Re: LO as Hype/Fad? LO2808
Thu, 14 Sep 1995 01:37:15 -0400

Replying to LO2759 --

Barry, you wrote in LO2759 in response to Duncan (LO2733) regarding the
possibility/potential of Learning Organization (theory?) as "hype or Fad."

I've been working today on the design of a training program and I'm in a
somewhat contemplative mood. I haven't responded to a post on the LO for
some time now, AND something in your words struck me- ever-so gently.

I suppose it's because I have at times thought about the same questions.
Here's what I am currently thinking --

My background is training and development; I've spent many years designing
and delivery training programs both as an internal and now an external
consultant. At least in the past, and all too frequently now, companies
look to training as some kind of magic that is going to give everyone the
skills and tools to make it "all OK." -- however they define OK.

When I look at Learning Organization, the theory, as well as the
application, I think of an organization, or a group that recognizes there
is some deficiency in how they are conducting their business, how they are
behaving, that is less than effective - both for the people in the
organization and the organization itself. They ask the appropriate
questions: what is missing, what do we need to learn, how will we use
that learning, how will we measure the results of the learning and, how
will we document both our successes and failures with that learning to
preserve its history.

I can design training and effectively deliver it; however, if the
organization has not done the upfront work (either because I wasn't asked
to participate in the process or they ONLY want the training) then what
has been gained that will provide "learning" to that organization?

Now you may say well I agree; however, it's only a matter of perspective.
Yes, it is. And maybe now is the time for businesses and the people in
them to consider a different perspective.

Senge has looked to the writings of Argryis; he has quoted Deming as well
as many others. Maybe there are no new ideas in the universe, only their
re-definition, re-clarification, new synthesis, perspective- whatever.

It appears to me that what Senge has written and speaks about is
absolutely right for our times.

I respect your words - just another frame.


Joyce D'Ambrosio
Quality System Implementations
San Jose, CA