LO a means or an end? LO6229

Dr. Scott J. Simmerman (74170.1061@compuserve.com)
25 Mar 96 18:37:12 EST

Replying to LO6175 --

In LO a means or an end? LO6175, Gene Bellinger wrote a good overview
of his learning organization and added a new (to me) metaphor of
leadership, shepherding:

>So, my understanding of the disciplines was used as a basis for
>shepherding the discussions (I use the word shepherd in
>terms of leading from behind)

It reminded me of the:
"Sweet Feed Theory of Organizational Development"
as once expoused by my friend Bob Roach:

One way executives drive their organizations is with whips and guns,
yelling from the back of the herd and getting them to move forward,
fitfully. They can get to Abileen (or wherever) but you need a lot of
cowboys to ride herd on the group. And you need other cowboys to
round up the strays and bring them back. Lots of wear and tear,
imposed stress, sleepless nights, yelling and shooting -- but it
works, you do get the cattle to their (final?) destination. (pun

Another approach is to be at the front of the herd with some sweet
feed (oats, barley, molasses etc. all mixed together) and toss it on
the ground. A few of the cows will notice it and move forward (mooo,
goood, mooo), some get to eat it and a few others get to see or smell
it and the rest wander forward going, "what's happening and why is
everybody excited."

So the herd moves together, gradually forward as more sweet feed is
thrown. Eventually, as the cows shift places and the hungrier ones
move to the front, an observer will notice that the whole herd is
moving forward at a steady pace, relaxed yet energized toward the
(perceived) goal. They get to the destination in much better shape
than the first herd.

Now, maybe that isn't reality. You probably need a few cowboys riding
herd at the back to keep the whole group together. But the way to
move an organization forward is NOT through fear and intimidation.
It's through a more positive, shared approach.

Any comments can be directed at Bob Roach, after all, it's his model.
And I'm always reminded of the Spectator Sheep on the side of the
hill, "Naaaa. Baaaaaa!" and so forth.

For the Fun of It!

P.S. - Let me know if you want a posting of, "The Calf Path" by Sam
Walter Fosse
[Host's Note: OK, Scott. Sure, let's hear 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/>