Learning to Model LO5382

Michael McMaster (Michael@kbddean.demon.co.uk)
Mon, 5 Feb 1996 00:56:48 +0000

Replying to LO5279 --

There are some hidden assumptions in the idea that Rhoderick presents
that, I think, support John Warfield's statements - and claims for IM.

> > no modeling session will bring success unless you are able to define a
> >common problem to the group. In my opinion, this is where the first crucial
> >mistake is made in modeling attempts.

1. The possibility of defining a common problem begs the question.
To an important degree, something exists "as a pro lem" because of a
lack of agreement on its nature and even if it is a problem.

2. The definition of the situation or "problem" is frequently the
most important and powerful of the steps to resolution. (Warfield's
IM is a powerful tool for accomplishing this.)

3. I think the greatest danger is hidden in the language of
"you...define ... problem to the group". It is the group's job to
define their own problem, challenge, etc. What "you" as a relative
outsider can define is a process to accomplish this.

The situation, if it's worthy of intervention is too complex to be
defined by anyone - inside or outside. The situation is distributed.
An effective response will be emergent from the dialogue and
interaction (and display of that) of the community involved.

I modify what John said about "a problem is someone's perception of
something." The problems that organisations are dealing with (and
that IM is applicable to) are problems of communities. That is,
there are no personal, individual problems of much interest to
organisations. I suggest that something occurs as a "problem" for an
organisation as it appears in the conversations of the communities
involved. They are matters of perception, as John says, but not
merely personal perception.

Michael McMaster
-Info: learning-org-approval@world.std.com or <http://world.std.com/~lo/>