First Principles of LO LO11649

J.C. Lelie (
Fri, 03 Jan 1997 23:29:34 -0800

Replying to LO11621 --

Rol Fessenden wrote:

> Jan Lelie says you can't keep from forgetting the lessons gained in the
> course of our reflections or experiences, nor can we identify the most
> timeless lessons that we would benefit from remembering.

I said, or tried to say, that i didn't mind whether i could or couldn't.
I think i meant that i try to act out of uncertainty. I tried not
generalize this, because i know other people easily remember lessons and
reflections. I wonder how they do that.

> Math and Science a huge amount can be reconstructed pretty easily from
> first principles. That is the core of much education in these fields,
> particularly in Germany and Japan. This makes me wonder if there are
> 'first principles' of LO. It may be too soon to identify them, but
> perhaps not too soon to think about them. Certainly Senge's 5 disciplines
> are relevant to a re-learning mode.

Thanks for the idea. I agree.

I'll try to find these principles using the matrix of 'pure realities' as
described by Will McWhinney in Paths of Change (Sage Publication, 1992).
I started to read it during the holiday season, but it had been offering
itself a long time. I still try to grasp the content of the marvelous
ideas, and like to do it by applying them.

He (McWhinney) draws a simplified map or realities, consisting of two
1. Does the change move things towards being more alike or more different
2. Is the cause of the change an external, natural condition or are there
intentional acts of change?

Based on these two dimensions he describes four 'pure' realities, called:

               1. Plurality
     Monistic <------------------> Pluralistic
 2.    /\        Unitary     Sensory
 Ag    |
 en    |
 cy    |         Mythic       Social
     Free will

These realities do not exist in pure form, only in blends. I see them as
archetypical. Change, in this way, is seen as moving through the different
realities, hence paths of change. What we perceive as resistance are the
conflicts based on the beliefs as shown in this map, when we move through
this strange land.

I for myself would like to add: as we have no choice but to believe,
according to our character, our mental build up, models, conflicts arise
quite naturally. Unless we stay in our room (adapted from Pascal).

Change means choosing to walk a path and follow the rules as described by
the territory. And at the same time change might mean changing the rules,
also dependent on the territory. And at the same time change might mean
changing the purpose, also dependent on the territory. And at the same
time change might mean creating meaning. So we'll have to consider four
levels and four realities....And i think we also unintentionally might
create changes on every level. Depending on the situation, these
unintentional changes may in the long run counter-act the intentional
changes (like tourism to unspoilt people and countries; like social
programs for people in need; like dykes against floods (i live in The
Netherlands and have a hard time convincing people that higher dykes only
lead to worse disasters)).

I sense, feel, conclude and create that an attitude towards 'learning'
also derives from these realities. In its pure form, learning would mean:
- in pure Sensory reality: observe the interactions between things, how,
with what necessity
- in pure Social reality: exchanging feelings and emotion, interactions
with others, who, with what value
- in pure Unitary reality: deriving conclusions from principles and laws,
what, with the purpose of highlighting the Truth
- in pure Mythic reality: creating symbols and meaning, renewal, because
i want to.

I suspect that the other disciplines (visioning, team learning, personal
mastery) are also open for different interpretations, depending on the
path and the position.

There are other principles to think of: like the impact of the direction
of change. I still make an intuitive choice for the Path of Renaissance
(going from sensory through social and mythic to unitary reality, ending
agian in sensory reality with a new design). However, most organisations
resist this path and would rather go by the Path of Revitalisation. Both
paths give rise to counter-inventions or interweaving.

Also, one of the spin-offs from the LO, the learning histories, have to be
taken into account. I myself feel rather attracted to this way of working,
and now know why: storying, story telling, acts as a counter-invention to
the clustering and might create the new cultures we want.

Food for thought, thank you for the inspiration,



Drs J.C. Lelie CPIM (J.C. Lelie) @date@ @time@ CREATECH/LOGISENS - Sparring Partner in Logistical Development - + (31) 70 3243475 Fax: idem or + (31) 40 2443225

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