Stages in LO? LO6746

John Woods (
Wed, 17 Apr 1996 07:16:39 -0500 (CDT)

Replying to LO6721 --

Michael Wild notes:
>I find myself making connections between the Learning Organisation
>concepts and ideas/constructs/ways of looking at things from other
>apparently very different fields :
>- Non-perspective art : such as David Hockney's photocollages (eg
>"Pearblossom Highway")
>- Poetry : such as T.S.Eliot's "Four Quartets" (quoted at the end of Covey's
>"Seven Habits ...", BTW)
>- Philosophy : such as James Carse's "Finite and Infinite Games"
>- Psychology : such as Margaret Donaldson's "Human Minds" (which however I
>do not claim to have understood)
>Do others find themselves making such connections? Are they any use to the
>practitioner? For example, Hockney says he was influenced by Chinese
>scrolls, which themselves seem to be a form of story. The collage/scroll
>ideas might therefore be useful in designing storytelling exercises.

To which I will suggest: It is not surprising that you see such
connections, and here is why. Poetry, art, philosophy, psychology, and
perspectives on management are all manifestations and projections of the
human mind in different contexts. In each of these contexts, what we deal
with are processes and relationships. Each of these perspectives
describes ways we can understand relationships between ourselves and our
and the processes (i.e., relationships changing through time to achieve
some purpose or goal) we go through.

Human beings can see connections between anything and everything. We can
appreciate that what see, in the final analysis, are not things or even
special connections per se, but the myriad metaphors we can create of our
own thought processes to understand, deal with, adapt to, and create our
world. The learning organization is one such metaphor. It suggests that
organizations are systems, that we must explore our relationships and
processes and manage them to our mutual benefit. This is not such a neat
idea. It is one insight into our human nature that we can use (1) to
understand that nature, and (2) act on that understanding to create
something better for ourselves, which means creating something better for
others at the same time because we are all in this together.

So start looking around and seeing connections. They're there because we
created all these categories for the world in the first place. So
remember, what you'll always be seeing is our humanity in action. And if
metaphors, such as the learning organization and it emphasis on systems
and improvement and acknowledgment of our common humanity evoke a positive
feeling, that is an indication they have triggered the best in us.

John Woods

-- (John Woods)

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