The Unlearning Organisation LO9714

Keith Cowan (72212.51@CompuServe.COM)
03 Sep 96 13:39:54 EDT

Replying to LO9652 --

(Phillip Capper) talks about DEEPER learning:

>...United DC 10 at Sioux City. In all three cases
>the aircraft suffered extreme structural damage which made them virtually
>unflyable, yet the crew managed to keep the planes flying and saved most (or
>in the case of Sioux City, some) lives.
>My belief is what some here call 'unlearning' is in fact this process of
>accessing deeper level understandings in order to produce new solutions to
>novel situations. It cannot be done (except by the 'monkey typing Shakespeare'
>sort of chance) unless that deeper level understanding is there. To the person
>without that knowledge it appears that existing rule based performance has
>been randomly 'violated', but it isn't so. I do believe it is 'intuitive'
>because I believe that is what intuition means....

I like this analogy. In each case, the experts claimed that the planes
were not capable of the flight that they actually had. What they meant was
that the "average" pilot could not have done it. Two factors were
highlighted in the Sioux City incident: 1) the pilot was also an
experienced gilder pilot so could "intuitively" adjust or compensate for
the aircraft's inability to fly "by the rules", and 2) he did not know the
extent of the damage and so had no mental blocks (like the experts).

This would suggest a conviction of the possible and digging into related
learning not taught as part of the mission at hand. I believe this is at
the heart of change agents. An unfailing belief in the possible, and lots
of depth in a variety of situations that can be brought to bear on the
specific situation at hand. It likely also applies to the "masters" in any
field - counsellors, teachers, lawyers, business leaders... For the fun of


Keith Cowan <72212.51@CompuServe.COM>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>