Re: STIA- The Natural Step LO3563
Wed, 1 Nov 1995 05:02:21 -0500

Replying to LO3474 --

In LO 3474, Michael McMaster wrote:

>What I've been addressing in my post is arriving at an
>intention that will move into effective action and produce desired
>results. I'm interested in the nature of those processes to the
>extent that they are non-linear and adaptive - fit for a complex
>world - and in the ways of relating to possible futures.

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the response. You must have a bias for action in the real sense
beyond legs and elbows flailing (the appearance of working towards desired
results). Your clients must find it interesting to work in this sphere
since I would suspect your expectations, explicit or not, rub off on their
efforts to complete actions towards results.

>My "planning model" is - suprise - also a set of conversations.
>That is, in my interpretive approach, I consider everything to be
>conversations. The question is, having decided on an intention
>(preferably a general intention appropriate to operating in a complex
>adaptive environment), what conversations will move a team, group,
>community towards its realisation. I don't consider this to be a
>series of conversations but rather a group which are iterative and
>recursive. The next conversation which is likely to be needed is
>determined by what is most missing in that moment of realisation.

The word conversation intrigues me. I wonder how often it is used in the
postings on this digest? It's surprising to me the high percentage of LO
talk either "in the middle of or on the fringes of the importance of
conversations". At the same time attempts to measure the "beingness" of a
learning organization is (mostly) posed from a mechanical model (e.g.
*what* do they focus, *how* do they do something). Since I am not by
nature an either/or person, I am not posing here that mechanical measures
of a Learning Organization are wrong. I'd like an addition.

What I have not seen suggested in the literature or in conversations is
that we attempt to understand (measure does fit my paradigm for this
upcoming thought) if people are enhancing their capacity to create by
noting words, stories, patterns, used by folks in their interactions. And
this takes me back to a thought on the beginnings of this thread.

I would love to have been in the room to hear Karl-Henrik Robert have a
conversation with (insert any corporate head's name in here). Do you
suppose the patterns would be different than our typical confrontational
approach? What words might be different? Would we be capable of even
recognizing the difference and in some way quantify/qualify the
conversation as better/out of the ordinary/an enhancement to creating what
is needed and in the end, desired?

So, Michael, you got my mind to wander back to a thread on measuring the
degree of existence of a learning organization. I have previously
discussed measuring words like - I, we, me, shared vision in
conversations. I am posing that conversations and *how* we conduct them is
perhaps the biggest single change in becoming learning organization we
will encounter.

Yet, we have no talk of measuring the conversations. Will we miss the
change if it occurs? How will we know if it did or not?

>By "tricking the ancient ways of thinking" I'm referring to the 2,500
>year old "western" way of thinking which is linear, mechanistic,
>reductionist, etc and which limits what we can consider as

Thanks. Understand and agree.

Have a great day!!!

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