Re: Organizational Thinking LO3619
Fri, 3 Nov 1995 07:45:35 -0500

Replying to LO3596 --

Barry emphasizes the importance of group facilitation in his organization
and (presumably) in most organizations.

For all those on the list who like "archetypes", I have described five
prototypical (extreme cases) of bad facilitators. [See pages 284-290 of

o The Pure Tekkie, who will automate anything that moves, no matter what
the cost, and creates ad hoc graphical structures at the drop of a byte.

o The Pure Behaviorist, whose dislike for technology begins with the clubs
used in the Stone Age, and who would sacrifice everything to make people
feel good, even if it's only transitory.

o The Pure Systems Thinker, who is more interested in sensitizing everyone
to the wonders of systems concepts, whether at a high level of abstraction
or in some specific case; and will be quite happy if everyone gets
sensitized in this way, even if nothing else is accomplished as a

o The Action-Oriented Manager, to whom rapid-paced flow of decisions is
everything, and time wasted in thought is anaethema (I hope I spelled that
right), and who thinks the key to using group product is either (a) to
accept the group's view which coincided with the one he sought to have
them reach or (b) to throw it out and come back for a second try.

and, last and least,

o The Improviser, who has the highly unusual ability to invent process on
the spot, thereby making obsolescent all of the previously-developed
processes which the Improviser does not care to study.

It is claimed that the ideal facilitator will gradually exorcise from
him/herself all of the bad features of the five prototypes, and gradually
integrate all of their good features (if they have any), enroute to
Facilitative Nirvana.