Symbiosis in LO LO11237

Durval Muniz de Castro (
Tue, 03 Dec 1996 12:05:48 -0800

Replying to LO11219 --

Thomas Benjamin wrote:
> The concept is worth pondering over to gain valuable insights. For
> instance, in nature, it is designed that some are parasitical while others
> are mutual. In the long run they keep the ecosystem in place. Nature does
> not assign a value to this behaviour.

I was wondering that the classification of symbiosis types is done based
on the knowledge we have about the phenomenon. Maybe we should say that
when nature lets something exist, it is assigning some value to it.

> For instance, an invalid relative or
> colleague may be in a paracitical relationship, but is that not expected?
> Isn't it the role of the host to give till it hurts?

Maybe this relationship is not parasitical. An invalid that is cared for
by the family or friends gives many important contributions to the
persons who take care of him. It only seems parasitical when the
cognitive filter of the observer ignores these contributions.

All scientific knowledge uses a lot of filtering, and this is one of the
factors that make science so successful. But we must be careful because
in some matters, common sense is wiser than science!

> I think in an organisation in persuit of
> learning, it has to learn not only to survive in the market place but also
> to make it a community.

Maybe we should say that the most important objective is to make a
community, and surviving in the marketplace is a mean to achieve that

> I know, what I have said has no meaning to shareholders and other
> significant stakeholders. For the present it is only a thought. The
> challenge I think is to find ways of making this thought workable.

When people say that profit is the main purpose of business, they are in
reality assigning priority to one of the stakeholders, that is, the
shareholders, for whom the business is an investment of money. A
learning organization is not compatible with this biasing. All
stakeholders should be learning: customers, employees, owners/investors,
suppliers, communities and competitors. Of course, there is much to be
learned about that, but this is one of the things that make the proposal

> A useful starting point maybe the self.

There is no possibility to improving organizations without improving
people, but there is no possibility to improve people without community.

One of the ideas behind community is that a person may participate in a
community without giving or getting anything in exchange. This is one of
the features that distinguishe communities from societies, where people
participate in order to obtain something in exchange for their
contributions. Our economic world is built mostly around the society

> The two learning
> disciplines that come into this most prominantly are the personal mastery
> and systems thinking. The basis of this suggestion is that for whole
> system effectiveness negetive outcome relationships are also necessary.
> Isn't that what nature is doing?

Personal mastery seems to have a strong relation with moral education.
Moral education is something that became discredited, maybe because it
didn't evolve with our times. For instance, Goleman's best seller about
emotional intelligence is in reality moral education, but if he used
that title, nobody would want even to see the book!


Durval Muniz de Castro <>
Fundacao Centro Tecnologico para Informatica <>
Campinas - Brasil - Fone: 55-19-2401011 - Fax: 55-19-2402029

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