Challenging our own thinking LO11823

Rol Fessenden (76234.3636@CompuServe.COM)
12 Jan 97 01:12:49 EST

Replying to LO11812 --

Michael makes an excellent point here about challenging all the "what must
be" assumptions we make based on our own experience. I think it is very
important that we do two things. first, learn from our experience.
Seoncd, always challenge that experience to see if there may be learnings
that are not covered by the experience.

This question of hierarchy is a very loaded one in organizations and in
this forum. I understand what Scott is saying, and not based only on
organizations that we all know which have hierarchies. Fortunately or
unfortunately, I serve on a number of music and educational boards, as
well as a town planning board. Often, these organizations do not have
hierarchies, and one clear outcome is that they do not function
particularly well.

Sometimes one of these boards will function very well, and in every case I
have experienced it is because someone has provided leadership. Now, of
course, this leadership is not coming through an official hierarchy, but I
notice that people gladly follow this leader, nevertheless. Perhaps the
point is that this person earned their leadership position because people
were willing to follow them. I think this is a healthy way to find a
leader. But it still ends up being hierarchy. Benevolent hierarchy, but
hierarchy. In fact, the dictionary says that the 'hierarch' is the leader
or chief of a religious group or society. So it feels like hierarchy and
leadership are synonymous.

Well, I have not stopped looking for non-leadership ways of having
functioning organizations, but I have not actually found one that is
consistently able to be successful. Some work for a time, generally based
on the force of a few personalities.

Small teams do function non-hierarchically in certain situations. My
limited experience tells me they are successful when the work is
well-defined and has a well-defined time-frame for completion. This may
not be accurate, it is only the result of some limited experience.

My experinece, of course, constitutes a proof of nothing at all. Whether
I have found such an alternative or not, I still continue to look. But I
certainly understand Scott's perspective.


Rol Fessenden LL Bean, Inc 76234,

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