To Dream, To Believe LO11576

J.C. Lelie (
Fri, 27 Dec 1996 23:32:27 -0800

Replying to LO11557 --

Hi Ben,

Thank you for your compliment and your complement (a rather akward joke).

I enjoyed your contribution, because it "solved" a riddle i've been
concerned with for a very long time: my humble conceptual model of
organisational processes (describing the interactions between
communicating, cooperating, confiding and committing resulting in, amongst
others, resistances to change) leaded to the conclusion that an
organisation is in homeostatis. So how could it ever evolve?

and then you simply wrote:

> Homeostatic learning, however, is what leads to evolution. ... In other words,
> the whole purpose of evolution is to allow a living organism to achieve
> homeostasis.
> This may be obvious to everyone else on the list, but because of the way I
> was raised, it is new knowledge.

My education included evolution (theory) but your remark certainly was not
obvious, at least not to me. This is a great insight.

> Organizations evolve to achieve a homeostatic existence. ... We run into
> trouble when we fail to recognize how environmental changes are
> threatening our homeostatic existence.

Yes and no: yes we evolve to achieve homeostasis and no: we do not run
into trouble because we cannot reach homeostasis. That is the structure of
the game. We "only" run into trouble if we try to "fight" either evolution
or homeostasis: e.g. try not to change or try to "improve". This is a
beautiful paradox: this is what "drives" us, this is the creative
"vector", the arrow of time. Of course, this is why envisioning works,
this is why there are no preconditions to changes (or, for that matter
learning organizations), this is why our emotions may block us and may
help us.

> Which then raises a number of interesting questions:
> What is an organizations "sensory system" that allows it to detect
> environmental changes?

We are, people are. (Sometimes, when you still work in coal mines, singing
birds: detecting CO)

> What is an organizations "nervous system" that it can adjust, in
> real-time, and evolve over a long period of time, to new conditions?

Again: it is us.

> How can the entire organization adapt to new conditions in unison?

As it has always done: through information processing systems, ranging
from sign language, hierogliphs and stone tables, through spoken words, to
written words and, watch this: post. (nice word, a paradox in itself: it
signifies something dynamic: something send and delivered and at the same
time it means something static: waiting, resting, exchanging place). This
is why IT "is changing" us and our organizations: we're able to inform on
a broader scale, thereby changing the organizations which were designed
for that exact purpose.

> Again thanks for your message, I enjoyed reading it.




Drs J.C. Lelie CPIM (J.C. Lelie) @date@ @time@ CREATECH/LOGISENS - Sparring Partner in Logistical Development - + (31) 70 3243475 Fax: idem or + (31) 40 2443225

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