Got a Suggestion? LO12234

Mnr AM de Lange (
Tue, 28 Jan 1997 11:23:18 GMT+2

Debbie Broome wrote in LO12191

> Robert Fritz writes of this concept in "Corporate Tides." What I
> understood from his writings was that someone or something in an
> organization needed to deliberately create disequalibruim and during the
> very small window, before the "silent conspiracy" (which is all of us)
> seeks to return to the status quo, is where creativity and learning take
> place.

Dear organlearners,

Debbie, my understanding is very much the same.

We must not see equibrium as a pure being, a state where nothing happens.
A lot happens at equibrium, but whatever happens, is reversible and
insignificant for the future. Maybe the following is a good example of the
equilbrium state. Many of us had to attend regular meetings where a
decision A has been taken on date AA, only to be reversed by decision B on
a later date BB, then to be reinstated by decision C on a later date CC,
etc. After many meetings, nothing significant has yet happened.

The equilbrium state may be broken in two manners. Firstly, an external
factor may begin to operate which previously did not existed. It is
important that the system itself is not closed towards this factor. Thus
the system has to respond like a nonspontaneous slave. The equilibrium
becomes broken and significant changes take place. But usually the system
does not get in a position to avoid the next equilibrium state. For
example, except for the leaders in any fashion market, most other
businesses in such a market function as nonspontaneous slaves.

Secondly, some part of the system itself may begin to operate in a manner
which previously did not exsisted. This part is usually activated by an
extraordinary combination of the insignificant, reversible actions at
equilbrium. It is important to note that this part, although structurally
stable towards uncombined (simple) actions at equilibrium, is structurally
unstable towards combined (complex) actions at equilibrium. Thus other
parts of the system have to respond like spontaneous peers. The structure
of the unstable part is transformed, thus providing the gateway for other
parts of the system to follow in order to set up a new equilbrium state.
Usually the original instability is inherited, but in a new form, so that
the next equilibrium state may again be broken. For example, the leaders
in a highly competitive, innovative market follow this second manner.

Now exactly what is this 'silent conspiracy'. It is the other parts of the
system not being able to create the gateway or make creatively use of it.
In other words, something is 'wrong' with the creativity of those parts. I
use the word 'wrong' in inverted commas to indicate that the 'wrongness'
may range from a mere immaturity to a deliberately created incapacity.
Consider, for example, one of the seven essentialities of creativity,
namely variety or differentness. A deliberate incapacity would be to force
conformation and homogenisation deliberately under whatever pretentions
such as discipline or solidarity. Thus variety and eventually creativity
become impaired - become the winner by incapacitating the creativity of

Another essentiality is becoming-being (note the order). When new entropy
is created, it first has to be manifested as chaos of becoming before it
can be manifested secondly as order of being. Instabilities in present
structures (beings) lead to new (more variety) in actions (becomings) and
thus a new order of structures. However, advocate the fancy that any
questioning of structure is a sign of disrespect and any unusual behaviour
is a sign of irresponsibility. Thus another recipe to incapacitate
becoming-being and eventually creativity is made available.

Debbie, I think you had the last essentiality in mind when you quoted the
work of Robert Fritz.

> As an aside, At, I really enjoy your posts and read them from start to
> finish, no matter how long.

Debbie, thank you very much for your kind and inspiring words.

As to the length of my posts - it is usually quite different in an
eye-to-eye discussion. Once I am able to observe the eyes and the rest of
the body language of my fellow conversant, I almost become abrubt in the
ecomony of my words. I often merely do what you have stressed by referring
Robert Fritz - deliberately create disequilibrium by 'touching' an
instability in a manner as kind as possible. To act as a midwife for the
ensuing emergence is highly rewarding, but also extremely taxing. An
emergence is usually so complex that we do not know exactly what to expect
until such times that we have sufficiently complexified through our
experiences. It is very much like the work of a stunt actor.

Best wishes
- --

At de Lange
Gold Fields Computer Centre for Education
University of Pretoria
Pretoria, South Africa


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