Will Sr. Managers Change? LO7024

Sun, 28 Apr 1996 14:23:47 -0400

From: KFBA@aol.com
Kay Foster

I was disappointed to see a thread appearing that seems to imply that only
consultants (my interpretation of what is being said here - based on the
premise that most of those posting to the list seem to fall in this
category) will truly pick up on the theory and practice of learning
organisations and that senior managers will settle for skimming half the
book and implementing the principles badly..... (apologies to Ray LaManna
and others for the paraphrase).

I'm sure I'm not the only person on the list who considers themselves to
be a senior manager, and what are we doing here if not trying to change?
Perhaps we need to post more responses to the list ourselves, except that
the erudite nature of some of the messages can be off-putting to those of
us who spend our lives working more with implementation than with theory.

The various comments about senior managers moving between fads - from
re-engineering to LO, etc. - is so true, but who is it who pushes these
fads at us if not the consultants who make their living by selling new
ideas every couple of years?

In the end, those of us who are making a commitment to learn and grow as
people as well as leaders of our organisations must make conscious choices
NOT to take someone else's theories wholesale, whether they be Senge's or
anyone else's, but to build a model of what will work for us based on our
values and our experience. There has been a lot of debate on this list
about what is leadership - maybe it includes skimming the work of people
like Senge and taking the parts that fit what we need, rather than being
forced to follow the latest fad like sheep.

Willingness to change cannot be measured by whether we have grasped the
idea of the ladder of inference,or any other tool, and know how to use it,
but whether we listen to feedback, seek to identify areas in which we
could and should improve, and look for ways to do so.

Kay Foster
British Airways



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