I have been a Student at this very interesting Dinner (Breakfast) Party
for a while and because of Stephen Covey's 7 habits, I find I can no
longer justify trying to keep up. The digest I have just finished reading
this morning contains the message from Julian Macnamara - The Spiritual
Dimension LO10884 - 07 Nov 96 07:08:23 EST. Today is December 18. I have
many times deleted months of digests to bring me up to date and fallen
behind again and again.
I have been a Lurker, because how can you participate when you are
listening to a conversation that has expanded, contracted, ended and
restarted and what I might have said, has been said and countered many
times already. I would like to say Thank You to the members of the list
and Richard Karash and Innovation Associates, Inc. for the opportunity to
be introduced to many new-to-me ideas and perspectives.
I am 40-something, born in 1955. I have felt and still feel many of the
concerns expressed by Joan Cole in Flat orgs and LO LO5196 - Mon, 29 Jan
1996 07:31:25 -0600 (CST) even though she is 10 years my junior.
Because of this list and other lists that I am also ending my subscription
to, I have spent a great deal of time becoming more comfortable with my
world view even while it is expanding at the speed of thought.
My resume may be appropriate here. I am an Information Systems
Professional. I perceive Computers, Programs, Software and Information as
Tools that are used by people performing their life's work and solving
their problems. Therefore I am a Builder and Maintainer of Tools.
It is exciting, for me, to introduce new methods of solving problems to
the people I work with. Thanks in part to this list, I am now more aware
of the effects this behavior has on the unexpecting recipients of this new
wealth. I have therefore slightly changed my methods which appears to have
had resulted in a significant increase in my perception of my success.
Being a Student also of the Theory of Constraints, I have spent a good
deal of time exploring Root Causes. Although Chaos Theory indicates that
there may be multiple Root Causes to most identified Effects, I have
narrowed my exploration to one, the perceived lack of Trust in my network
The Thinking Processes of ToC also provided a means for identifying a
method of resolving the conflict in this perceived lack of Trust. It has
been supported in Game Theory and beaten to death and revived here, but I
have accepted that my resolution is through the Golden Rule. I don't
believe it has to be modified to the Platinum Rule or any other variation.
I am also beginning to believe that God issued only one commandment and
then the Lawyers and Special Interest Groups got involved and added
additional regulations and are still doing so.
I have always made sure I had backup plans to most everything I did. I can
see now how this can contribute to the lack of Trust in my organization.
Through reducing the risk of loss to myself, I have demonstrated to those
I am working with, that I do not expect that they will behave in a manner
corresponding to the Golden Rule or as Game Theory suggests they must also
create backup plans to protect themselves. If we calculated the wasted
effort, time and resources spent, in creating these backup plans, because
of the lack of Trust, we might be shamed. How much could be saved if this
effort were redirected to productive work?
So I have included a story I created to increase my own perspective. I
share it freely.
The Season's Best to you and yours now and into the future.
Martin Charles Raff in Traditional Wisdom... LO8944 - Wed, 07 Aug 1996
13:35:52 may have said it better.
[Host's Note: What follows is Tim's story...]
Imagine for a Second
-- or --
Why can't Religion enable Management to Change?
Imagine for a second that you are a Senior Manager. Right now. You just
got promoted to the position, the [Deputy|President] showed you the org
chart, the SrMgmt rule book and presented his expectations. Plus he added
a list of problems he wished to delegate to you as he felt they were
appropriate to your division.
Some problems are from the [Minister|CEO], worse; some are from the
[public|clients], and easiest of all; some are from people in your branch.
You must solve all of them, keep business as usual, and spend less this
year than was spent last, while increasing morale.
After a decade or so (maybe sooner) you might begin to realize that some
problems can be ignored (delayed - put in the parking lot) while others
that seem insignificant must be responded to right away (this evening or
weekend). You also begin to realize that the same problems keep occurring
over and over, but the people who got good at solving them want to do
something else, so they don't solve them as well as they did the first
time. Or worse, the people that solve the problems for you know a better
way, if you just spend a little more money.
They want this and they want that, but you still (always -
year-after-year) have the same problems, regardless.
You know you can do the work better if; you could dedicate more people to
solving certain problems, train more people, buy better tools, or ignore
projects that do not contribute to any of the previous. You don't know why
the intelligent people who work for you don't see that you're doing the
best you can. Why aren't they? Why won't they quit grumbling? It's hard to
maintain a positive outlook if everyone is SOoo negative.
Is there a solution? If you solve a problem, does it go away or reappear
in different clothing? Why are you expending all this effort if nothing
changes? Makes you want to go to the church or the synagogue to hear
someone who is positive again.
Of course there are the (Snake Oil Salespeople) internal and external
consultants that can (scratch your back) temporarily rearrange your
problems. But nothing really changes in the long run. Just slightly
different ways of solving the same-old-same-old problems. Maybe, if you
just sit back and tweak a little here and tweak a little there, some of
the complaints will be reduced and morale will increase.
Every now and then the (SOS) consultants reconfigure the solution to ALL
your problems (Emperor's new clothes) and your peers buy shares, so what
are you supposed to do? Rah Rah, zizz boom bah!!! Let's go! This is it!
This will make our business the best it can be, now and into the future.
Why isn't everyone jumping up and down? Isn't this what they wanted?
What's the problem now?
This TOO shall pass.
Isn't life at the top grand?
Aren't you glad you are just imagining this?
So where should we be? SOS internal consultants with the newest and
bestest solution to all the recurring problems or positive reinforcement
to people who have a tough job? Or both? Or neither?
So your task (not imagining anymore) is to provide SrMgmt with the
language to explain that we are on a path through life. It is our task to
improve the process of living for everyone who shares this path. Sometimes
we will stumble, but we will pick ourselves right back up and continue
along the path. Sometimes there will be intersections on the path and some
of us will go one way and some the other. But our task will be to make the
transition over the path easier for those who follow. If we do this, we
will know that we are doing the best that we can.
I haven't been to church for a long time, but that Vision still scares the
sh.. out of me.
Isn't there a silver bullet for us as well?
(C) Tim Flewelling, 1996. TimF@gov.nb.ca
This article may be reproduced only in its entirety. Any reproduction
must include the author's name. This article may be published in formal
publications, either in print or in electronic form, without written
permission from the author. The author grants permission to any and all
to make multiple copies of this article for their personal use.
A Builder of Tools
"FLEWELLING, TIM (JUS)" <TIMF@gov.nb.ca>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>