At, I love your messages - they make me THINK. Thank you. Thank you also
for replying so generously to my question about your learning influences.
Good to read you on the list. Hope the book is going OK!
In your message, you ask three distinct questions ...
"What is creativity?"
"What is an LO?"
"Is creativity necessary for an organisation to become a LO?"
(not necessarily in that order)
I'd like to take a step back and ask, 'What is learning?' Richard Bach
says 'Learning is finding out what you already know'. I take that to mean
being able to make the connection between 'something out there' and
'something in here' and understanding the link between them.
Let's call this 'making connections'. I think making connections is
fundamental to learning and is at the heart of creativity. I don't
understand where you're coming from in terms of physics, but I did look up
'entropy' in the dictionary and found out that it's the 'measure of the
unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical
work.' I'm not sure whether that means the system's worn out, and dead,
with no energy left to do anything - or alive and kicking, with all the
available energy being translated into work (i.e. reaching its full
As I understand it, an LO is such a system (by either interpretation of
the definition - presumably) - an organisation with masses of potential
but really grinding slowly to a halt, or an organisation that is working
to its full potential, realising its full potential and manifesting it in
its work ... and presumably there are all the shades between.
In this interpretation, perhaps creativity would be the thing that sparks
the LO off into the 'lively' part of the picture and away from the 'deadly
dull' part. You mention complexity - maybe success in an LO can be
determined by the quantity and quality of the connections made. (I like
this idea ... I'm interested to see whether you get as fired up about it
as I am!!!!)
What is creativity? dunno - but I think it is to do with making
connections. That's how I understand it. I also make connections between
my work and my hobbies - all of which are creative (reading, fibercrafts,
music, arts) and try as much as I can to integrate them - what I learn
from doing one thing, I apply to another. I do so so much, that it creates
problems - I am constantly emerging, learning, moving on, seemingly never
standing still for any length of time - where I find satisfaction and
fulfillment is in the times of learning between the times of motion!
In the light of the previous paragraph, I have seen another connection ...
between my arts background, and reading and an idea you mentioned in your
message ... about containers and water ...
In 'Training the Singer Actor', (An amazing book for releasing
creativity), Wesley Balk quotes this Zen parable:
'Skill creates the vessel to be filled.
But until the vessel is filled, its purpose is not fulfilled.
And until the vessel is created it has no purpose to fulfill.
If the grain for the vessel grows before the vessel,
It has no containment,
It spills and disperses.
A vessel without grain is barren;
Grain without its vessel is scattered,
and feeds neither mind nor body.
As the grain grows mysteriously,
the vessel is prepared.
The vessel-maker's skill sings the song of the growing grain.
The grain, filled full of earth and sky,
Thrusts up to its fulfillment.
When the grain is ready,
The vessel must be ready.
The vessel-maker must not lag behind.'
The image of a nuclear bomb vs. a nuclear reactor is a powerful one - and
a fitting one to describe the incredible creative power within the
universe - which has lead me on to an amazing thought ... but this message
is too long already.
The Conrad Voice Consultancy
Leon Conrad <100755.1675@CompuServe.COM>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>