LO and Western Thought LO7632

Dr Ilfryn Price (101701.3454@compuserve.com)
Mon, 27 May 1996 14:47:16 -0400

Replying to LO7613 --

Rol gives an, as usual, logical rational answer to the point about fear of
losing a job holding back managers from trying to insytigate change.

My point is that paradoxically, the person who shows a willingness to try
the new things and take risks is exactly the kind of person that most
forward-looking corporations would love to hire. Therefore, the fear of
eliminating my job is frequently a baseless fear, and is more likely to
lead to exactly the outcome -- loss of job -- that the fearful person
wishes to avoid.

If you had written *should* rather than *would* in the third line of the
quoted passage Rol I would, as usual, have agreed. In practice, in my
experience [personal and as a consultant] even organisations that purport
to be forward looking, and in at least some cases have a good case to
make, get uncomfortable with people who are too different.

Any organisation, from your local golf club, to the most structured has
some kind of implicit contract of membership, some set of 'codes', or
'unwritten rules' or 'shared beliefs' which, tacitally or otherwise, you
sign up to when you join [you don't approach those you don't like and they
don't hire you anyway. If you/ they do you leave or they fire you [I am
not apportioning blame or responsibility]. Without these shared codes [my
partner and I call them patterns] the organisation could not function.
[Anyone who doubts this is welcome to try an offer an example of an
organisation of more than one person fulfilling some common task, that
does not have an implicit pattern - I would welcome finding one].

At some point to create a change an individual, must shift the pattern,
which is a threat, not necessarily [though often] to an established power
structure so much as to the pattern itself. Go to far and you are excluded
[automatically excommunicated] by the pattern. You risk membership. You
may indeed get hired elsewhere, but patterns extend outside individual
corporations to wider organisational entities. Forward looking
organisations *should* encourage 'mental diversity'. It is in their own
interests to do so. In practice few do, and all {?} face limits in what
constitutes acceptable diversity. Established patterns do not actually
want forward lookers.

IMO it is this dichotomy between the interest of the organisation and the
interest of its pattern that is at the core of many of the difficulties we
face in creating learning organisations [or even learning as individuals].
There is a precise corollary [which in other threads/ places I tend to go
on about at length] between the biological debate about the good of the
organism [or species] and the good of the gene.

If Price
The Harrow Partnership
Pewley Fort Guildford UK


Dr Ilfryn Price <101701.3454@compuserve.com>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>