Disappointment -- No Soul? LO11751

JC Howell (orgpsych@csra.net)
Thu, 09 Jan 1997 00:35:39 +0000

in LO11711 Sherri Malouf wrote:

> What I have liked about some of the threads is their "realness" -- people
> expressing what is within them in a very real way. You can feel the heart
> and soul in some of the postings. My disapointment is that these are
> rare. I find there is a lot of intellectualizing, debate, and advocacy.
> Which is okay -- sometimes. Most of the time though it becomes boring for
> me. In fact, I had a call from a fellow list member who felt the same
> way-- I wonder if we are the only 2?

You are not the only 2. I have struggled with over-intellectualized
practices for a while. These always seem to act as a barrier to real
learning and helping others to grow. I always feel as if I come away from
such an encounter with the intellectualizer (is THAT a wrod?) feeling
empowered and the recipient of such "wisdon" feeling very much
dis-empowered. This is the case whether I am the recipient OR the
intellectualizer. I just can't find any lasting value in such practices.

I have begun to feel disappointment at the way this group conducts its
business. There are those who are the acknowledged "experts" in this
area. These include Wheatley and Senge. I respect these people's work a
great deal. There are also those who appear to be lesser experts within
this group who are quoted often. If one's post doesn't include a quote
from one of these, it often is treated as somehow of lesser value by those
who are entrenched as the regular contributors.

I have noticed that a number of people post stimulating thoughts and ask
good questions only to get no response. Sometimes I get the feeling that
there is an "inner circle" within this group that polices what goes on

All of this is a pattern that I have noticed in large organizations over
and over. When this starts to happen, I can start to feel the barriers
going up and the open communication evaporating like so much steam in a
warm day. What comes next is a light dusting of activity with no real
substance. Anyone who tries to be truly open is disciplined or ignored.

For those who require a quote from an expert to take this post seriously,
please refer to Chris Argyris excellent work on organizational defenses.
We are becoming a clasic example of this phenomenon.

Since we are now starting to fall into the very traps we say we are trying
to avoid, what is next? Do we select a CEO and start trying to figure out
how we can charge for participation (this has been proposed). Do we
disband and look for some other forum to exploit for a while until the
same thing happens? Are we doomed to the typical life cycle of a
corporate fad?

> Causing trouble again...

Bless you, Sherri. We all need to be shaken from time to time.
Regardless of what I have been told in a previous corporate environment,
those who cause trouble are invaluable agents of beneficial change.
Please keep it up.


Clyde Howell orgpsych@csra.net

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>