Measures of LO Effectiveness LO5845

Dr. Scott J. Simmerman (
24 Feb 96 21:02:26 EST

Replying to LO5819 --

John Conover wrote:

>There seems to be substantial dialog concerning metrics of learning
organizations. Note that to formulate a set of metrics, it is necessary
to develop a "model" of what is being measured.... (snip)

If I may, I might add one additional, adjunct, humorous yet serious note
to the discussion,

If we consider the wagon as an organization rolling along on square wheels
with the wagon in it, is it not unlikely that someone somewhere may
generate the idea of improving the wagon by changing the square wheels...
to triangular ones. This concept, termed, "A Desk is a Dangerous Place
>From Which to View The World" is not altogether unrealistic given my
experience. The triangular ones cost 25% less AND give the organization,
"One Less Bump Per Revolution." Thus, depending on our choice of
organizational improvement tools, we get cost reductions and an
improvement in our measures of quality (those, assumingly being thumps per
mile / km.).

And while my early consulting experience was, in fact, implementing
performance management systems ala the work of Tom Gilbert (RIP) and Ed
Feeney (I worked with both), I was amazingly dumb to the fact that my vast
inexperience forced me to consult with the workers (and often the
poorrrest of the poor performers) to assist me in generating alternatives
to the feedback and measurement systems in order to have _real_ gains in
productivity and quality. The people with their hands on the back of the
wagon have a much clearer idea of what needs to be improved.

My concern with dialogs "at the top" are that we tend to sometimes lose
sight / feeling of the fact that Human Capital is a critical factor in
long term profitability and that people, in fact, represent the heart and
soul of the organization at every lever including the top.

Pardon me for speaking in metaphor, but there is 18 years of consulting
experience behind these thoughts as well as a doctorate in psychology and
I get confused and bewildered by the complexity of all these things like
fractal processes, chaos theory and Kaizen.

John concluded:
>Then, if these three assumptions appear to be reasonable, (which, granted,
would depend on your on your point of view,) we would have a a
"prescription," for a fractal process, one of the family of processes that
are studied in complexity theory-and one of the first that was placed on
"good analytical foundations." It would also seem reasonable, that these
analytical methods, conceivably, could be used in a scheme of
organizational metrics.

For the FUN of It!

ps. John, I do like what you said and think that your ideas have merit.
I am just unsure what to do next.


"Dr. Scott J. Simmerman" <>

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