Sustainable Learning LO11396 -Comments
Thu, 12 Dec 96 07:33:14 -0800

Replying to LO11360 --

Bill Harris's response to Grant Head's comments.

______________________________ Forward Header __________________________________
Subject: More Comments on Jottings #66 [00213-81185] (fwd)
Author: billh-at-lsid ( at HP-PaloAlto,shargw3
Date: 12/10/96 7:07 AM

On the subject of passion and tact and communications:

> All that was necessary to take a blah, normal, passionless, boring
> team and to create a passionate, high morale, high productivity, high
> quality team out of it was to establish a couple of rules:
> 1. Authors of documents to be reviewed must never defend themselves.
> 2. Reviewers must be extremely tactful and considerate.
> And then to observe over (relatively little) time with daily reviews
> that rule 1 was easy to keep and rule 2 was impossible. There was no
> fighting. (It takes two to tango.) And people were able to express
> themselves as strongly and passionately as they wanted to.

It seems to me that this is a characteristic of the open, Model II
behavior Argyris describes (without saying if this group achieves that; I
obviously haven't seen them in action).

My former team developed from a quiet, "tactful" organization into one
with real, effective, efficient communication, using many of the classic
tools such as the ladder of inference and the left-hand column, and they
sped up their decision making, they improved their capabilities through
increased learning, and they served their customers better. They
astonished people who saw the inner workings of the group and the
perceived harshness with which they dealt with each other. On the other
hand, they weren't afraid to speak honestly or to hear honesty, they
weren't afraid to show their emotions as well as their intellect, and they
bonded as a team really well. (Oh, yes, and we all screwed up from time
to time, including in our ability to communicate; that's part of being
human, too.)


Bill Harris Hewlett-Packard Co.
R&D Productivity Department Lake Stevens Division
domain: M/S 330
phone: (206) 335-2200 8600 Soper Hill Road
fax: (206) 335-2828 Everett, WA 98205-1298

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