Re: Organizational Thinking LO3596

Barry Mallis (
2 Nov 1995 08:13:10 -0500

Reply to: RE>>Organizational Thinking LO3558

I dive the growing number of contributions on this oceanic list each
morning, looking for points which catch my attention. It's a very
unscientific consideration, I suppose, but there's only so much time in my
particular schedule. Some pearls simply fall back into the sea to be
swallowed again by the clams.

Carol Whisnant's note remained in my basket at the bottom of the skiff.
In it she claims pride in her training organization and her learning
organization such as they are. Made me think.

I am the core of my company's TQ training organization at this time. One
of 700 at this location. The org. has extended team membership i.e. those
experienced practitioners who can facilitate. Yesterday I completed
presenting a 3 day course on Team Members-Team Leaders/Facilitation
Skills, so now I have an additional 22 people in my extended family.
That's a happy thing at this company which is just beginning to deploy TQ
practices against a backdrop of perceived, albeit vaguely expressed
commitment to continuous, iterative improvement.

Learning organization? Senge's 5th sits on my desk next to my computer; I
haven't purchased the Field Book yet. Maybe I'm too drunk from reading
some of his chapters, still reeling a little from a combination of theory,
intuition, disbelief and enthusiasm mixed into the same punch.

I am very proud of the slow, methodical way in which my company has
embarked upon TQ deployment. My current thinking is that there is a
symbiotic relationship between TQ principles and tool deployment and the
learning organization, although I do not at this time consider these
concepts to be found on the very same ladder of abstraction. Learning
takes place in the TQ deployment here, but that doesn't make us an LO per
se. I don't know what will, where the line is drawn, what the metric
might be. Yet, I think I'll kinda know when we're "on to something".

Traveling down the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires toward Montevideo,
the mocha colored water carries my river steamer and the silt from the
continental innards. Suddenly, not too many hours outside the destination
port, I notice that the water has turned greenish-blue where the ocean
with all its pearls has mixed and overwhelmed what was muddy.

Barry Mallis