Heart of the Matter LO6183

Dr. Scott J. Simmerman (74170.1061@compuserve.com)
23 Mar 96 12:08:54 EST

Replying to LO6102 -- was: Intro -- Michael Erickson

Responding to Michael Erickson's Intro, LO6102

>I find that the plain old Cartoon gets to the heart of the
>matter (motives and thought processes) most directly and exposes
>the mental models and areas of ignorance or confusion that would
>come back and haunt the designers...

I couldn't agree more. Sometimes looking at the nature of the
dialog herein, I wonder about the pedigogical gobbledegook and
cosmological luminous volumentary bandied about and wonder if
we're not missing something more essential:

That work is about people's beliefs and values and sometimes our
academic models about The Reality may not truly align with the
beliefs of the human beings involved in the process and processes.
I have always wondered why we don't do a better job of getting
people's real thoughts on what is happening and what is going on.

Surveys don't do it (Most clinical psychologists - can't believe I
said that - will agree that the question "Why" cannot be answered
because people hypothetically construct reasons for actions). Go
ahead, do a multiple choice or 1 through 7 question on the issue
of leadership aligned with vision within top management.

When I was a "rookie" in the consulting business, working for a
nationally known firm, I had the Ph.D. in behavioral psychology
and teh classroom teaching experience. But I didn't know what a
13-period year was and much else. So, dumb me asks a LOT of
questions and checks a lot of answers with a lot of non-management
people. End result, outstanding, measurable successes, articles
on my work picked up by the Associated Press and run in US papers.

I became an expert after 5 years and was more inclined to "strut
my stuff." (after all, I did have a Ph.D. and 5 years of
consulting experience and articles written about my work, didn't
I?) Clients didn't expect me to ask questions, I was supposed to
know the answers.

And results got worse and worse.

The message to all of us, I hope, is that we can open a lot more
minds to possibilities by asking questions. And like Michael, I
believe that cartoon-type, projective instruments can get us a lot
closer to real issues and participant ownership of solutions than
will some of our expert diatribe.

Let me also add that I also DO like the academic / biological /
systems / modeling stuff since it often adds an element of theory
and challenges our thinking. But I also desire to keep my
personal feet on the ground (and not stuck in the mud!).

For the Fun of It!


Scott Simmerman Performance Management Company, Taylors SC 29687-6624 74170.1061@compuserve.com

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