Conversational Paradigm LO5900

Julie Beedon (
Thu, 29 Feb 1996 09:30:08

Replying to LO5883 --

snipping Francis's mail here and there...

>some thoughts I've had for a while, around how language can be used either
>a) to describe our view of reality OR b) create/generate a whole new

I have had a similar view on language (in some ways my own
perspective on language goes back to the notion from John 1 - in
the beginning was the word!!) I can see words and language
creating and sustaining our reality... and I love to engage with new
words .. I think it was Joel Barker who said something on the lines
that as we use new words for things we are signalling that it is a
new paradigm (may have been in paradigm pioneers but I'm not sure)

>If I think about organizations, in hindsight I see that words/phrases like
>reengineering and total quality are basically invented. Recently
>invented. If in retrospect, someone successfully opened up a whole new
>area of inquiry by creating new language (if you disagree, try doing it
>WITHOUT new language) then I'd say that we can deliberately do this...
>intentionally do this.

The issue for me then becomes how people recieve and understand the
new word - some time back we had a lengthy conversation on the
list about Jargon and the way people react to new words...

>I assert that it's an important missing in our conversations on the
>mail-list. And the reason why I'll say that the concept of a Learning
>Organization has not caught on the way reengineering has. At its face
>value, reengineering seems to be more "simple" and not as rich in
>distinctions as that of an LO. I say that to make LO's occur in reality
>will take new, invented distinctions* that reside in language.

... and does everybody understand the same thing when they use the
word re-engineering... or TQ....... have people appropriated the
language without the new ways of thinking ... how do we integrate
and enculturise language... I frequently saw things being brought
into the sytem and rendered 'safe' ... almost as though the system
had anti-bodies which gathered around anything new and either
rejected it or changed enough.... which had the effect of
resisting change to the system... how many people have seen this
happen? .. how many times do we reengineer and go back to find
people are doing much of what they always did??

>As proof, I offer the most recent postings on the mail-list. I don't
>"hear" anything new being said or distinguished, and I don't hear new
>language. For me, this could just as well be a list of any name, such as
>"Improving Companies."

... I might be more tempted to call it transforming companies...
but that might just be a language thing!

Another thing which your posting prompted for me is a thought I have
been having for some time now... what does LO evoke for people...
I came to it through whole systems and transformation and so it is
part of that deal for me ... does how we come to it effect what it
means for us?? Smetimes I hear people talk about it and it sound
like something else.. effective training .. or investing in people
.... most of the time I hear the whole system thinking and new
sciences underpinning things ... but is that because I read the
ones which appeal to my own thinking??

>I'd like us to begin the work started in the Conversational Paradigm
>thread, and to actually craft new language tools (distinctions*) that
>empower us in our work with Learning Orgs.
>Anyone willing to play?

Are you going to start us off - any new language in mind??

Julie Beedon
VISTA Consulting - for a better future


Julie Beedon <>

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