Response to 10 days of LO LO5283

John Paul Fullerton (
Thu, 1 Feb 1996 11:01:01 +0000

As Rick mentioned, there has been an increase in the number of notes to
the Learning Organization list. I've gradually decided that I can't
personally spend as much work time with the list, so I've been collecting
messages the last few days. Yesterday I t ook home about 100. I wanted to
add some comments about some things that had been said.

First, the clarification that sunlight was the means through which energy
is received into the environment was new to me. I guess it would seem
obvious; however, the idea seemed as informative as if it were brand-new.
This provision of basic information f or an adult relates to the need of
clearly stating requirements and realizing that what we understand as a
system, in the common sense of the word, isn't necessarily understood that
way by all observers.

One person wrote that leaner companies sometimes became "meaner" to their
own employees. He said that decompression time decreased. I took that as
recovery time from particular work projects. It's probably related to the
reflection phases of the Plan Des i gn Act Check cycle.

The captain in the military talked about the potential conflict between
learning organization ideas and the opposite effort of military actions. I
think that that means that military actions collectively could be
considered in abstract terms as making the enemy's system not work right,
whether it be through bombs, radio broadcasts, or any other action that
decreases the opposition's chance to learn and advance.

Someone mentioned married people leaving parties in different cars because
of a competitive game, and I remembered the rule I've learned in advance.
No competitive games for me and my wife! The other side of this is that
some forms of competition are what helps to define excellence. The four
minute mile was probably defined according to the fact that people were
not running the mile that fast. Maybe there's some space between wanting
to outdo others and yet still seeking to meet imagined goals that are a r
ranged just for a day in an event. If someone throws the ball and it goes
toward me in such a way that I will have to reach to catch it, it's
certainly tougher on me than if it were just handed to me. Yet the two of
us would be the same team.

I enjoyed the Bill's comments about the relevance of military management
to business management. His ability to take over the helm in a time of
need brought to light the possibility that in other types of management
situations input into tasks might not b e as evidently expert and needed.
That doesn't advocate no input or management, though!

Something reminded me of hearing Myron Tribus's introduction to some
1980's videos of Dr. Deming's lectures. He presented a thought experiment
where you contact acquaintances and offer them a job at twice their
present salary. The only requirement is that at the end of every day,
whatever they've produced will not be retained. Who would take the job? He
said that he asked 1500 people in one city, and no one took the job.

Have a nice day
John Paul Fullerton