LO list as practise field? LO12110

JC Howell (orgpsych@csra.net)
Tue, 21 Jan 1997 21:36:23 +0000

Replying to LO12085 --

In LO list as practise field? LO12085 Malcolm Bursun wrote:

> For example, the discussion on length of posting should, to my way of
> thinking, lead us to reflect on the differences in learning styles that we
> each bring to the list, and then begin to ask questions about how
> organizational learning strategies might account for, and honor, these
> differences. Instead, we seem to have a lot of advocacy for long or
> short, or apologies for preferring one to the other. Rick has generated a
> thread identifying some of the _reasons_ why list behavior ("Inner
> circle") is the way it is; wouldn't it be good if we could then seek to
> connect that with life in organizations?
> Similarly, in the "Disappointment--no soul?" discussion, I would welcome
> the opportunity to learn from you what the implications for organizational
> behavior are, based on our common experience here. Might we generalize or
> build a model that explores what happens in organizations when heart/soul
> "breaks loose" or goes underground? Instead, we seem mostly to be
> particularizing our own experience and making assertions about it.

Interestingly enough, I was recently pondering the developments in part of
the "Disappointment" thread and in the "Inner circle" thread. Very
quietly a part of what I used to tell people regarding their work behavior
came to mind. That was the point about taking the initiative, taking a
chance to make a difference, owning the job, investing one's self in a job
in order to make a difference. As I pondered further I found myself
drawing parallels between my past experience, current work, and the events
in these threads.

AM De Lang has gone in the direction in some of his postings of saying
that we have to not be bothered by the behaviors of others. We should
just do what we feel is right. While I agree with this, I also remember
many instances where I was under pressure to be quiet or not say the
obvious comment. Too often I found myself starting to yield, knowing that
the consequences would be undesirable in the long run.

We each create in our own minds pressures to behave in certain ways.
Those pressures are reinforced by others. When we let these pressures
keep us from doing what we truly feel should be done, or doing anything,
regardles of the level of passion that is involved, we stop functioning as
useful members of the group. Yet, if we ignore these pressures entirely,
we are punished by the group, even by those who are glad we did act. Can
we stand up to this consequence? Are we mature enough to create a
consequence that is otherwise? Hard questions.

I have managed to take an organization that has been running effectively
(more or less) but in a loose fashion and start molding it into a more
structured operation. I didn't create, I simply started adding a little
structure through my own actions. The results have been very pleasing to
all, including our customers.

Now I have put in a bid to become the manager of this group. What an
opportunity to apply LO principles! I may not be successful in my bid,
but, I felt the need to do this. Had I devalued my skills in order to not
stand out, or kept my contributions to the level that might have been
otherwise expected as "one of the gang," the progress we have made and are
now celebrating would not have happened.

I don't know that I need to create an actual model of the dynamics that
are taking place. I would, though, love to explore them in order to
better understand the people I am dealing with. There is a saying (I hope
I spell it right)

"The DAO you can describe ... is not the DAO"

Creating models often requires such precise language that the essence of
the experience, the dynamic, is lost. The final model can come to reflect
something entirely different from what was originally explored.

Still, others can use such a model effectively. We both gain from the
experience and exploration, we just use the knowledge in different ways.

For what it's worth.


Clyde Howell orgpsych@csra.net

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