Nothing is completely irrelevant LO5570
Mon, 12 Feb 1996 19:30:47 -0800

Replying to LO5499 -- Mike McMaster's...

>So far are we in agreement and consistent with a biological model? I'm
>using more of an information theory model at this point but I think that
>they are largely overlapped.

One of the points I've been trying to make in the conversations of this
list is that of course the biological model works for people and their
organizations; not just because it is a good model, but because it is
constituitive. It cannot help but work.

>The point of my work is freedom and effectiveness. Hence my statement,
>"That frees creativity, innovation and breakthrough to happen anywhere in
>an organisation."

I posit that creativity cannot happen at the center if (where) there is
homogeneity. Creativity requires the tension provided by heterogeneity.

>The model that I strongly disagree with is one of equilibrium and
>disequilibrium. No living system is in equilibrium as I understand them
>and equilibrium. This is where the economics has gone severely wrong
>through most of its history. There is not market equilibrium nor even a
>tendency for that to occur. I think that much of biology has sufferred
>from a similar mistake - using linear, physical models to understand
>living processes.
>If a system is in equilibrium (presumably therefor non-living, in my
>interpretation), then I agree that it takes a disruption "from the
>outside" to generate anything - not just creativity. But the model I am
>working with emergence. Here we are dealing with systems that tensions
>and balancing requirements built in to their organisation. The challenge
>is not to disrupt them but to access or nurture their inherent forces of

I think organizations and even people can be at equilibrium (granted the
individual cells in the body are obviously not in equilibrium for chemical
disequilibrium is basic for biological self-organization and life, but the
emergent phenomena we call people and organizations can be at equilibrium
at the "whole systems" scale). Organizations at equilibrium have stopped
coupling with their environments and are not coevolving with them (these
organizations are in effect all "center"). They are doomed unless the
stasis is disrupted, disequilibrium reestablished and strucural coupling
with their environment resumed. > snip

>Thanks for the challenge and opportunity of your quality disagreement.

hear, hear

Roberto Reichard

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>