Wheatley Dialogue LO10273

Debbie Broome (debbieb@linux.plano.gov)
Mon, 30 Sep 1996 16:37:09 -0500

Replying to LO10250 --

Replying to Rick, Jack and Julie:

I was off line for a couple of days and actually printed out all of the
messages on the Wheatley Dialogue so I could think some about them. I
just had a couple of comments on the discussion here regarding breaking
the whole down into parts.

Early in Meg's book (Leadership and the New Science), I was struck by her
description of the discoveries of quantum physics. The description went
something like this:

When scientists isolated and attempted to diagram particles, they came
away with pictures that made no sense in that they were very random and
appeared to have no shape or direction. Conversely, when scientists
studied the particles and their *relationships* to one another, they were
able to produce the drawing featured on the cover of *Leadership and the
New Science*.

This concept impressed me so much because in organizations we often break
things down into parts because they are eaiser to understand as many have
pointed out here. However, when you look at the whole of the parts
including their relationship to one another you can get a *completely*
different picture. IMHO, it seems that organizations are not attuned to
this phenomen. Even if an organization is astute enough to look at both
the parts and the whole, we don't know what to do when different answers
or pictures are produced. In my own experiences, it seems that we tend to
accept the picture produced by the "analysis of the parts" because that
has been our trusted world view up until this point. Wheatley's work
challenged me to trust the different pictures that are produced when
relationships are included in the analysis.

I've always been moved by the teachings of Chief Seattle and other native
Americans. It seems that Native Americans were much more readily able to
trust an accept a relational view of events as described by Wheatley (such
as man's relationship to animals and the land).

I have been told by Garth Johnston of the Colorado Issues Network that
Sheryl Erickson, coordinator of the presentation series "A Simpler Way,"
has plans for a listsrv on the topic. Will keep you posted on where and



Deborah Broome | P.O. Box 860358 Assistant City Manager | Plano, Texas 75086-0358 City of Plano | e-mail: PHONE: 972-461-7122 FAX: 972-423-9587 | debbieb@linux.plano.gov

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