Length of contributions LO12096

Mnr AM de Lange (AMDELANGE@gold.up.ac.za)
Tue, 21 Jan 1997 08:35:03 GMT+2

Ray Evans Harrell wrote in LO12043
on the traditional Cherokee council

> We begin by using the pronoun we rather than I (as much as we are able in
> this society). We also chose to be exploratory rather than persuasive in
> our intent. What that means is that no one repeats what another has said.
> It is as if you were putting the pieces of a puzzle together as a group.
> The only rule is that the picture must be complete and it is each person's
> job to search for the parts and put them in place. Of course it is all
> done consciously and in full view.
> There is no advantage to talking, as there is no advantage to being a
> lurker, because we are all one organism...
> One other thing, however, the council moves only as fast as the least
> member in the moment. This gives everyone a feeling of connection

Dear organlearners

Ray, thank you very much for a wonderful description of organisational
learning. If I had not similar experiences here in South Africa, your
enticing description would have made me long to become a Cherokee. But let
us honour the Cherokees by naming that which you have described, the
Cherokee Dialogue. Here in South Africa the black peoples have different
names for it, all having the stem word 'indaba'.

We had the thread "Symbiosis in LOs" which appears to have leveled out.
However, this thread is related to what you have said. I have noticed that
the Cherokee Dialogue is much alive between people who have a deep feeling
towards mutual symbiosis. I have also noticed that it is much more common
in the rural country side than in the cities.

Organisations in the cities (business, government, educational, cultural
and religious) now often (try to) make use of the Cherokee Dialogue, using
the Afrikaans name 'bosberaad' (bush council). I have participated in a
few bosberaads, but fortunately not in too many of them. The reason is
that the spirit of the Cherokee Dialogue was seldom present! I often got
the idea that top management used the bosberaad merely as a way to get
fast and extended access to bottom level thinking, a way to make long
contributions possible. You have contrasted it by pointing out that in the
Cherokee Dialogue the overall picture is more important than the various
levels of the organisation participating.

It is wonderful that this forum (listserver) does not function like a
bosberaad, but rather tries to maintain a Cherokee Dialogue. A Cherokee
Dialogue is immensely rewarding for me.

Best wishes
- --

At de Lange
Gold Fields Computer Centre for Education
University of Pretoria
Pretoria, South Africa
email: amdelange@gold.up.ac.za


"Mnr AM de Lange" <AMDELANGE@gold.up.ac.za>

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