Elements to build a LO LO5961

Sun, 3 Mar 1996 00:44:57 -0500

Replying to LO5945 --

"What are the elements of a learning organization?"

The element of interdependency plays directly into learning. The brain,
for example, is a lesson in the power of interactions. Learning is,
literally, evidenced by growing interdependencies. As you learn more,
connections between brain cells called dendrites lengthen to connect a
greater number of brain cells. One learns by changing and increasing the
interaction of brain cells -- change to the cells themselves is incidental
to this change in dendrites. Similarly, organizations learn by improving
the interaction of their parts -- not by improving the parts in isolation.

Once you begin to play with the potential of focusing on interactions, you
enter into the world of COMMUNICATION (and dialogue vs. discussion,
meaning and language, metaphor and modeling, theory of knowledge, etc.),
ECOLOGY (the organization's interactions with its environment),
SELF-ACTUALIZATION (or personal mastery or whatever label you wish to give
to the process of unfolding or reaching beyond one's current boundaries)
SYSTEMS THINKING, VARIATION, and the importance of quality (of life) vs.
quantity (of goods). (Of course, one would be remiss to exclude any of
Deming's four elements of profound knowledge or Senge's five discplines
from this list, so consider them included.)

The elements of a "learning" organization are not really so different from
the elements of a "we already know it" organization, just as the notes
used by a great composer are little different from the notes used by the
amatuer. What is different is the way those elements interact.

Ron Davison, San Diego Deming User Group Newsletter Editor and Video Producer
of "A Change in Thinking: Systems Thinking, Learning & Intellectual Capital"


Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>