Intro -- Thomas Bertels LO2901

Thomas Bertels (
Wed, 20 Sep 1995 21:23:21 +0200


My name is Thomas Bertels. I am deeply fascinated by the possibility the
NET offers to exchange ideas. My interest in the Learning Organization
started in 1991 during my studies in Germany. I wrote my thesis for
diploma on the topic "The Learning Organization - approaches for
realization". After my thesis I have been publishing some essays on this
topic, and January 1995 I published a book on the intelligent company, a
concept which is close related to the ideas of the Learning Organization.
The book, german title "Das intelligente Unternehmen: schneller lernen als
der Wettbewerb" will also come out in English pretty soon.

I am especially interested in different qualities of learning and the
potential in conscious not-learning. All the literature focusses that
heavy on learning, but what I find that there are many settings where an
organization does better not to invest anything into learning in order to
put all the learning efforts into the fields where the core competences of
the organization are. There is no point in optimizing e. g. a product line
which will become obsolescent within the next year.

I am also very interested in tools which can push learning in companies.
In my opinion there has to be an institutionalized setting where people
have the chance to meet and exchange their looks at the world. I found it
very useful to use e. g. strategic discussions, quality circles or
coaching in order to initiate communication and learning in an

Parallel to my studies I worked for a consultant where we realized a few
projects in order to help corporations to learn.

At the present I am working for a subsidiary of swedish-swiss Asea Brown
Boveri (ABB)in Germany as an executive responsible for sales organization.
Here I am developing structures which allow people to take
self-responsibility in their job. My stress lies in reducing complexity by
concentrating on the basic processes like order processing..

This is in short (or length!) my background. I would be very interested in
exchanging ideas on a lot of topics because I feel that if people with
different cultural and professional backgrounds get together to discuss a
topic as the learning organization this can be real productive. I am
especially looking for concultants who have gathered practical experiences
in helping companies to become learning organizations.

Looking forward to learn from you.

Thank yuo for the time reading this message. Tom

Thomas Bertels
Ulrich-Jakobi-Wall-Str. 1A
59494 Soest