Nothing is completely irrelevant LO5634

Michael McMaster (
Wed, 14 Feb 1996 14:56:22 +0000

Replying to LO5570 --

Roberto continue in a vein that is too rich to stop. We seem to be
agreeing on the theory but less so on our analysis of organisations
and their behaviour.

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

I agree IF there is such a thing as this homogeneity. As a relative
term, it is less at most (corporate) centres. There may even be a
few who have completely isolated themselves. But they are dead and
don't know it yet.

The heart of our disagreement is his statement "organisations and
even people can be at equilibrium".

I think it's valid to say that some spend a great deal of energy
attempting to stay at equilibrium but even here, for any appreciable
length of time, they must fail. I propose that it is the attempts to
maintain equilibrium that is often the source of loss - and of pain.

But that is a different matter to deal with.

There is no such thing as a living entity - human or human
institution in particular - which is not structurally coupled to its
environment and continually evolving that structural coupling. Some
are developing couplings that will fail. All are developing
variations and different levels and qualities. No human institution
can "uncouple".

Why not? Because they exist in a linguistic environment and the
people and their language are continually evolving the coupling.

I do not consider it a trival point here. If we are talking about
matters of degree - which I think we are - then our approach is very
different than if we are talking about the nature of the entity.

I maintain that corporations are intelligent in their own right. If
that is valid, then our approaches will be to increase their
intelligence. If that is not valid (and we want intelligence) then
our approach will be to try and create intelligence. Two largely
different undertakings.

Michael McMaster

Michael McMaster <>

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