System Changing Itself LO6448

jack hirschfeld (
Fri, 5 Apr 1996 18:04:33 -0500

Replying to LO6311 --

Michael said:
>Julie, I like what you're pointing at. Help "from the outside"
>certainly doesn't have to be a consultant. It might be someone new
>coming into the company as an employee. It might be anyone going to
>another company and bringing back new thinking. It might be from
>reading a book (although few seem able to make this one go) and
>bringing in "from the outside" some new thinking.

About 11 years ago, Paul Carlin was named Postmaster General. A few weeks
before he was sworn in, he arranged for every manager and technical staff
in the system above a certain level (about 25,000 people) to receive a
copy of Passion for Excellence in the mail with his own personal
endorsement. Then a few weeks after he was sworn in, he promoted the
informal formation of study groups to discuss together their understanding
of the meaning of the book for the Postal Service.

This is an interesting example of bringing in ideas from the outside. The
gesture may have cost nearly a quarter of a million dollars, but think of
how much it would have cost to bring Peters and Waterman in to address so
many people!

Less than a year later Carlin was ousted because he refused to collude in
a questionable multi-million dollar purchase which favored the Chairman of
the Board of Governors (who was himself ousted a little later because of
some petty fraud).

Jack Hirschfeld        Nice work if you can get it; and if you get it, won't           you tell me how? 

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