LO in Teaching Organizations LO12992

Stephan Berchtold (sbercht@wu-wien.ac.at)
Mon, 24 Mar 1997 09:39:39 +0100 (MEZ)

Replying to LO12950 --

"Andy Heifetz" <aheifetz@assurenet.com> wrote:

>Teaching "Learning Organization" principles to MBA students is very
>important since these MBA's will be in a good position in implement LO

Andy, you made me think. Concerning your comments on MBAs there are two things:
* Maybe I am a victim of one of my mental models. I am still trying to find
out. ;-)
* If I am a victim of my mental model, it then is a mm which seems to be
a shared one. At least here in Europe. Or just Austria?
At least among many of the guys I know. But I never challenged this
assumption till now. Now I will.
(I'll be back on this and let you know what I found out.)

>However, I think there are a multitude of reasons why a person would enroll
>for an MBA. Increased responsibility, job security/mobility, networking,
>etc. Advanced degrees are required in many fields.

Why do we need a special education that trains us to be able to take more
responsibility? Why didn't we learn it in our families or in elementary
school? Is there something saying that our education has to 'correct'
earlier mistakes? Why did they occur? Can we still repair them? How about
'quality thinking' and preventing these things from occuring?

Networking, buddies, ...: Charles Handy talkes of the portfolio-man
(woman), saying that one has to acquire different capabilities.
Communication seems to be a prime social feature. So why do we have to
'learn' networking, to be given a chance to talk to 'guys made from the
same woods'? Wouldn't we talk to them if they didn't participate in the
same program? Doesn't this networking-stuff say that we still didn't learn
the lesson to talk to everybody? How will these guys have their ears on
the shop-floor? If you mention job security - what did you mean? Does one
enroll for these courses to keep a job or for an increased employability?
What are the reasons?

>The schools I've talked to stress cooperation between students. I don't
>know how much this is lip service, but some schools have instituted a
>non-disclosure agreement about grades. Students are not allowed to tell
>anyone about their grades. This applies to fellow students, potential
>employers, etc.

But doesn't this mean that they still have no better idea than grading
each single student? How would they grade teamwork? A problem each company
introducing teamwork faces. Higher Ed (as the rest of Ed) still hasn't
found a solution. Well, how would you as an employer value a candidate who
is reported to have performed well in a specific team? Hire the whole
team? Working together and not talking about grades, don't you consider
this nonsense? Doesn't this build deepest mistrust?

I think that we have to see this subject (grading) from the system
thinkers point of view. But only if all parties involved join this
thinking we can find a solution. I mean that it doesn't mean to try to
force team grading unless business doesn't take it for serious. And the
other way round.

Some other thoughts:
Let's take business administration to show the idea: There is a whole that
has been divided into several (many, too many) subjects / courses to make
the material 'teachable'. None of the parts tries to focus on the bigger
picture. The student very often doesn't find out how to connect the puzzle.
Or, if he connects the parts - who checks the connection? Did the student
get the same picture that once was?
So, the question is: How can Higher Ed be changed (or should I say change
itself?) to help create what once was 'the whole' (in each subject, if
subject thinking is appropriate for the 21. century). Or, the other way
round: Who has measured the effectiveness and efficiency of the 'division of
teaching' lately? Why are we doing what we do?



Email: Stephan.Berchtold@wu-wien.ac.at
Tel./Fax: + 43-1-36 86 255
Vienna / Austria / Europe


Stephan Berchtold <sbercht@wu-wien.ac.at>

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