Will Sr. Managers Change? LO7656

Michael McMaster (Michael@kbddean.demon.co.uk)
Wed, 29 May 1996 08:27:21 +0000

Replying to LO7643 --

There is a piece of this conversation which takes a huge leap (in my
interpretation) from anything that I have said. That is:

> > Both Michael and John Woods seem to me to be in denial regarding large
> > numbers of people who believe they understand the systems they find
> > themselves in, have determined them to be senseless, and feel powerless
> > (or are unwilling for other reasons) to change the nonsensical world they
> > live in.

I acknowledge that there are large numbers of people who fit the
description above. I work with large number of people on most days
and find the whole range of human behaviour, human experience, human
interpretation. The largest percentage of people that I deal with
seem to be disenfranchised in more or less the way described here.

I recently was asked to conduct a 1 day workshop with a group of 140
managers from two divisions of a company on organisational
intelligence. As the introduction the evening before, the manager
informed the group that 1/2 of them were being sold off. The upset
was enormous (crying, shouting, refusal to come in the next day,
argument - much heat and light). By the end of the day that I had
with them, these people were creating a new future for themselves in
a very positive manner and had worked out how to create an empowering
interpretation for the people they were responsible for. The group
moved (obviously not uniformly nor unanimously) from the condition
you mention to another state entirely. I don't think I could have
been in a major state of denial and accomplished that. And what I
write and say are quite congruent with what I did and how I was being

There is an important - I'd say crucial - phrase in what you say,
that I think is important to point out. You talk about people who
"believe they understand the system" but apparently don't and who
then act or resign themselves. I do not consider there to be any
similarity betweenn people who "believe they understand the system"
and people who actually do understand the system. I'd even say that
the crucial distinction is between people who actually understand
that a system is operating whether or not they understand it is very
distinct from those who don't understand this. (Probably most who
believe they understand the system are mistaken.)

The way of dealing with each of these groups varies dramatically.
Michael McMaster : Michael@kbddean.demon.co.uk
book cafe site : http://www.vision-nest.com/BTBookCafe
Intelligence is the underlying organisational principle
of the universe. Heraclitus


Michael McMaster <Michael@kbddean.demon.co.uk>

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