Purposes and Results of this list

Richard Karash (rkarash@world.std.com)
Sun, 4 Dec 1994 21:15:10 +0001 (EST)

Garth Johnston in Colorado is hosting a downlink of Senge's telecast and
plans to demonstrate the learning-org list for the local audience. Garth
asked me a few questions (below) and here are my answers.

To everyone on the list, please feel free to add your own comments!

On Fri, 2 Dec 1994, Garth T. Johnston wrote:

> The Colorado Issues Network will have about 70 people at the Senge-Ross
> teleconference on Monday, Dec. 5. As a way of stimulating their interest
> in learning-org I would like for them to have a few words from you
> directly that I could include in the handout packet.
> - How you and Innovations Associates got into this listserv and perhaps
> Senge's current connect with IA.

Charlie Kiefer and I had been exploring the Internet in our "spare" time.
I was astounded by the diversity, vigor, and expertise represented on the
"net" in the conversations (mailing lists & Usenet newsgroups). I was
also impressed by the growth figures. One morning I woke up with that
blinding glimpse of the obvious: the Learning Organization should be on
the internet!

Peter Senge is a founding partner of our firm, Innovation Associates,
Inc., and conducts our Leadership and Mastery program several times a
year. Peter primary time commitment is as director of the MIT
Organizational Learning Center.

> - The purpose of learning-org, approximate number of participants and how
> to subscribe.

The payoff of the Learning Organization concept is in the application, and
the work of building Learning Organizations is subtle. We need more people
who can do this work skillfully in the world. The overall purpose of the
learning-org list is to support and connect people around the world who
are working to build Learning Organizations.

There's a second purpose in the list: that, within the bounds of our
limited communication via e-mail, the group actually *be* a Learning

We have 475 subscribers to the list. The participation is very diverse --
consultants, industry, military, health-care, academia. And the overseas
contingent is very substantial.

> - Your personal thoughts on the issues, highlights, value of the
> conversations to date.

I can answer that very easily. Although I'm working in this field every
day with a group of pretty talented and experienced people, I've been
stimulated and informed by the conversations on the mailing list.

Many of the participants are not the "usual crowd" I see at the
conferences and meetings I attend. I've discovered that there are many
clusters with interest in the Learning Organization, and that I've been
active basically in only one of those clusters. One of the unique
advantages of the Internet is that it's global. Messages to Australia or
South Africa are no more difficult or expensive to send than to one of my
IA colleagues. I hope that having the Learning Organization on the
Internet will connect these clusters who might otherwise not have much

I've learned much my self from the conversations on the list and look
forward to continued conversation with this group of people!

Richard Karash ("Rick") | (o) 508-879-8301 | Mac * Flying
Innovation Associates, Inc. | (fax) 508-626-2205 | Systems Thinking
3 Speen St, Framingham MA 01701 | rkarash@world.std.com | Std. Disclaimer