Speed. Change. Time. LO10175

Benjamin Compton (bcompton@geocities.com)
Wed, 25 Sep 1996 19:52:27 -0700

Replying to LO10079 --

Mike McMaster wrote:

> One thing I'd change in what you said that might alter the spin on
> the rest: Companies don't exist to make profits.
> At least, no more than I exist to breath. Companies who do what you
> are talking about well *will* make profits. They *will* survive over
> time. But I maintain that they don't exist *to* make profits even
> though they must.

Had a real clarifying experience last saturday. Every week I take each
of my children on a walk, just so we can talk.

While walking with my seven year old he said, "Dad, I really like
myself." I inquired why he liked himself. He said, "Because I imagine
things, and then I create what I imagine."

I couldn't help think to myself, "geez, this kid has life figured out."
My son doesn't live to breath -- to take from Mike's metaphor -- he
lives to imagine and create. Of course, if he didn't breath he couldn't
imagine nor could he create. At that moment I saw what Mike was saying.

Organizations don't live to make money. They live to imagine and create
new things. It just so happens if they didn't make money, they couldn't
imagine and create.

Earlier this week, in a management training seminar, I used this example
in a break-out session. Whew! I'm still pulling the knives out of my
chest! People went nuts on me. "If organizations don't exist to make
money, then what the hell do they exist for"? one participant screamed.
No one in the group would even entertain the idea. Stodgy farts!

Interestingly enough, that one comment caused those in my group to
dismiss every comment I made after that. My influence was shot for the
rest of the day.

To borrow from Alexander Pope, "O what a tangled web we weave, when
first we practice to believe we're always right!"


Ben Compton The Accidental Learning Group Learning through Literature, Poetry, Music, Drama bcompton@geocities.com http://www.e-ad.com/ben/BEN.HTM

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