Re: Metaphor and Mental Models

Chas. A. Barclay (
Sat, 31 Dec 1994 20:14:12 -1000

Barton Stanley writes a fine post though it lacks a hammer-like punch.
I'll try to teach by example. He asks:

> Charles, is "a world looking for efficiency and economy in one's
> purpose" really what we want *all the time*? I am dearly afraid
> that in our unending search for "efficiency and economy", we may
> *lose* rather than find that for which we *ultimately* search.

Yes, Bart, we not only want efficiency & economy all the time in
business--we need it. Leisure is different--by definition. Even in
the arts, we want someone who currently takes a year to produce a
breathtaking piece to produce an equally or more breathtaking piece in
364 days next year.

Here is why. Our collective humanity rests on continuous improvement
in our selves as individuals and our communities to make powerful
organizations. Since organizing people to pull together is the only
way truly amazing human feats are accomplished.

How will we fulfill our destiny if we do not as a society, and every
individual as a member, increase efficiency, productivity and sustain
growth through learning better ways and improvement in our existing

How will we travel to the stars, learn & fight with new (to us) worlds
and unlock the secrets of the universe if some members of our society
refuse to learn, refuse to care for themselves, and insist on taking
from society instead of giving to it through profitable activity?

Our society has some members with screwed up views of the learning
organization. The LO exists because it is our destiny as humans to
continue to learn, explore, and develop. For example, those that
criticize our demands for people to take care of themselves and
then insist we give tax dollars to people exhibiting parasitical
behavior, rather than let society profit from their existence--drag
down our development as a society. This means less money spent to
explore the dynamics of partical physics, develop safer fission,
unlock cold fusion, engage space travel, and develop new materials
science like polyester. :-)

Those that suck from the society suck our knowledge opportunities up
as well. This is, in my view, critical to the learning organization
reform we need.

Charles Barclay 2404 Maile Way
Dept. of Mgmt & Ind Relations Honolulu, HI 96822
University of Hawaii Fax: 808 956-2774 Phone: 808 956-8545

"The marketplace is much too Darwinian to permit that much
discussion." DEC CEO Robert Palmer assessing the effect of managers
working together in management decisions for foreign operations.

BusinessWeek 1994 Special Issue--21st Century Capitalism