I've been lurking long enough. Now I think it's time to introduce myself.
My name is Bill Ayers. I currently work for The City of Winnipeg
Continuous Improvement Initiative as a Research Assistant. I am also
completing a Master of Arts degree in Religious Studies (main area of
interest: the intersection between religion, philosophy and literature).
In particular, I have been enjoying the LO conversations around narrative,
implicate order, and assumptions, although I find most of the other
postings worthwhile too. I'm a father and husband; I love to play hockey,
and I have been known to dabble in contemporary folk music.
At The City of Winnipeg, we have been attempting to leverage fundamental
change in the way our civic services are administered. [For those of you
not familiar with this corner of the world, Winnipeg is a city of roughly
625,000 in the heart of the Canadian prairies.] During the last three
years we have been pursuing a somewhat "agressive" education program for
the "leadership" of our organization with secondary effort toward
application. So far, we have been teaching the theories of W. Edwards
Deming, Peter Senge and other "systems thinkers." Through our education
efforts, we have laid a solid foundation for change. Now we are shifting
our focus to more thoroughly integrating the theory into our daily
operations--through further education, increased applications support
(applying the API Model For Improvement, and using tools like control
charts, flow diagrams, etc.), system alignment (a la, Robert Fritz's
"river banks"), and communication.
I'm in danger of going-on too long. Afterall, this is my intro not The
City's. Speaking of that, my opinions are my own, not necessarily those
of my employer.
However, I am interested in this list for both personal and professional
reasons (if you'll pardon the dualistic construct).
I was thinking that I'd send my "mind-expanding reading list" in a
separate post, but it seems to me that these sorts of things provide
valuable clues to the sender's identity. So, to add to the other works
already cited, here's my list:
1) Owen Barfield, Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry.
A succinct account of the "fact" that we participate (as Senge
recognizes, 5th D, p. 12-13) our reality and that we have systematically
suppressed that "fact" in Western Civilization.
2) Charles Taylor, The Malaise of Modernity.
A series of radio lectures (CBC Ideas Series) on the concept of
"authenticity" and its import to our culture.
3) John Ralston Saul, Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in
Too vast to condense here. Yet it's probably the most "important"
book one could read.
4) Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade.
This probably needs no introduction here, but I don't recall seeing it on
anyone else's list (?). Besides, I didn't want you to think I read only male
I'll close my list with a few works of fiction because, afterall, it's
through stories that we find our identity:
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.
Herman Melville, Moby Dick.
just about anything by Margaret Laurence, but especially The Stone
Angel and The Diviners
Enough already. Glean from it what you will.
Bye for now,
-- Bill Ayers, email@example.com
[Standard disclaimers apply.]