The Unlearning Organization LO9765

John Constantine (
Thu, 05 Sep 1996 08:55:32 -0700

Replying to LO9744 --

Michael Scudder in re "unlearning connotations" notes that:

>"Unlearning" to me connotes a return to some immaculate "unlearned"
>state from which the subject (person, group, organization) may proceed
>to relearn the "correct" skill.>


Should another connotation/meaning of "unlearning" be "de-briefing"?
This term denotes information gained which is or can be passed on but
not lost. In essence, we can be de-briefed and still retain the
knowledge, but with a new mission whose purposes don't require or
perhaps don't allow for the use of the "older" information.

Does this offer a way out of the maze that the definition problem seems
to present? I have found the use of the term "unlearning" to be a
hazard, a hindrance, not a help. We don't have to "unlearn" in order to
proceed forward. Of course, we can always "drop back five and punt",
without having to forget how to play football. We can re-track,
re-focus, re-fresh, re-new, etc., without having to forget. Indeed, if
it were necessary to "clear" the organization's mindset before making
useful headway, it might be that the old paradigm might just repeat
itself in the future, absent the corporate memory to fall back upon.

De-briefing offers an alternative. Are there more?


Regards, John Constantine Rainbird Management Consulting

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