Conversational Paradigm LO5457

Doug Seeley (
08 Feb 96 14:54:50 EST

Responding to Michael McMaster in LO5382 and John Wharfield in LO5279 in
the thread Learning to Model...

John said in LO5279...
>" what Ackoff labeled a "mess" back in the early 1970's. He defined a mess
to be "a system of interacting problems". Note that with this definition,
the word problem is not allowed to be used to represent the whole
situation. This is a very valuable distinction, because a problem is a
construct of one individual--not of a group. If you insist on specifying
the problem, you are asking others to accept your formulation. "

I agree with John insofar as individuals certainly experience what they
consider to be problems. However such individual problems are often a
result of wanting to force others and the organization, and even
themselves, to be other than they actually are. This is often because of
a fixed attachment to certain perceptions, attitudes, guidelines and
personal agendas. In the end I can see that this is equivalent to
incomplete conversations with rest of the world of others (do you agree
Michael?). When we project our problems onto others or the organization,
are we not actually avoiding the acceptance of their own realities?

as Michael said in LO5382...

>" 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. ",

We are finding that the bottom line of improving decision-making in
organizations always involves the personal politics of the situation.
This raises its head because the visualization capabilities of our
software platform often puts issues into a relatively objective focus, and
indeed raises issues which could not be seen before. Would you see this
as also an issue of incomplete conversations again? If so how would you
frame the conversations?

>" ...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, although I very familiar with the conversational paradigm in
interpersonal relations, project management and software design, I would
like to understand more of what you are explicitly referring to in the
community of the organization?


Doug Seeley:
			" Is it emergence all the way down? "

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