STIA: About Interventions?? LO2964
Wed, 27 Sep 1995 22:42:19 -0400

Replying to LO2937 --

Proposed Subject: Interventions: An LO Conundrum?

At the 5th STIA Conference, a few of the concurrent session leaders
used the word INTERVENTION. The context as I have come to
understand this word is to ... design interventions FOR the team,
impress it ONTO the team in order to shift them in some way. I am
perplexed about how dependence on an outsider to show me the
TRUE WAY of being and learning fits into creating a learning
organization. If I don't have the curiosity to SEEK what the outsider
offers, I am blind, deaf, and crank up my immune system in order to
reject the nasty new disease.

Is not the intervener shifting the burden for learning to themselves
and away from the team?

The only intervention I can understand so far is the type Argyris
describes in _Knowledge for Action_. Helping people to reflect on
how their own behavior hinders or aids learning sounds like
attempting to pry open the mind for the possibilities of learning to

I feel that the other kinds of interventions (I hear described) designed
by a person outside of the team contain a huge potential for immune
system rejection over the long haul. I really don't understand this
concept of a neutral, context/content ignorant (said in a kind way)
person creating an intervention for me to learn from.

It feels like I'm seeing about 10 per cent of the puzzle and that your
replies will help me understand better ways for me to intervene. It IS
my job in Dow. What are the views on this digest about
What is meant by designing interventions? How do you avoid
shifting the burden to the intervener? Or how do you avoid letting
the outside intervener become the new organizational defensive
routine? Have any of you actually videotaped your own behavior in
designing or conducting interventions? If so, what did you learn?

Have a great day!!

Dave Buffenbarger
Organizational Improvement Coach
Dow Chemical Company
(517) 638-7080

A blank mind makes way for new possibilities!