Dependence on Lists & Recipes LO6926

Michael Wild (
Mon, 22 Apr 1996 08:16:05 -0400

Replying to LO6845 --

In LO6752 Michael Erickson wrote (inter alia) :

>It's very important to get past the list/recipe/process level and get down
>into the "why" level of understanding. The staged models are often looked
>at as a recipe or list and organizations that compare themselves will
>often see themselves as being up a lot farther than they are-because they
>don't understand all they know... they only have the "list" level of

and in LO6845 John Paul Fullerton (quoting ATTTJ) :

> "One concern about becoming process focused is that it stifles the
>creativity of the staff and is too tedious to follow."

I mentioned the CMM, referred to by JPF, in my question in LO6721 because
it seemed to have a chance of not being turned into a "checklist"
approach. I agree the danger is there with any prescriptive system.

The essence of this seems so simple. Suppose I make a shopping list, a
tool for doing shopping with. If I insist on buying only what is on it and
nothing else, I may have become dependent on it, seeking to transfer my
responsibility for managing the shopping process to the list - for example
by failing to substitute an alternative for an unavailable product. If the
list was created by another, I may seek to use it as an excuse for the
dependent behaviour - "you didn't tell me what to buy instead of ...".

Having just returned from a group relations event, I have no hesitation in
seeing such behaviour as possible for groups and organisations as well as
for individuals. One question is whether some prescriptive methods are
less vulnerable to this type of abuse than others, and if so why.


Michael Wild <>

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