Tuesday, 22 May 2007

What's the Buzz about Organizational Learning?3

It seems that as human beings we are designed to move 'away from' the things we don't like and 'towards' the things we do like. So at work something like the sales pipleline being as empty as a platinum blonde's cranium, sorting out that short delivery problem yet again (think Santa and Dwarves), or recruiting a CV instead of a person, are all types of stuff that 'we don't like'. And the first thing we do? We come up with a theory. Yep a theory that says something like 'that's a crock...here's what'll put it right'

Organizational Learning is one of those. We've tried everything else, like strategic marketing, management by objectives, sweating your assets, sweating your ass, psychometeric horoscopes, and the essential white water rafting day. O.L. is the Daddy of them all, the way forward and the explanation for why the other stuff just don't work. The alpha and the omega of management interventions.

Why doesn't the other stuff work?, well according to Peter Senge its partly due to the fact that we are all frogs. Mon Dieu! (p.c.ometer kicks in and prevents parser from mentioning le pays sud de la manche)

People and Organizations are like frogs placed in a pan of water that is slowly heated up. The gradual change in environment is imperceptible. The frog goes to sleep and is boiled alive!. So question 1 are you in a pan of slowly heating water? question 2 how do you know? question 3 how do you know you know? (For you 'I'm only interested in personal gullibility' viewers you will, of course, see the obvious parallels here...slow gradual changes that put you to sleep then WHAM! you husband declares his feelings for the office goldfish)

My final question for this post is...Are you someone decides what the prevailing 'theory for success is?' like hooray lets try Total Quality Management Today, or WOW lets try the Miller Heimann selling process, or lets put flowers on reception. Or do you passively go along with the next gee whizz initiative because you aren't knowledgeable enough to pass a viable critical assessment... I know and your going to say you would BUT... (see Eric Berne for more on the BUT Game)...or your not in a position to change things... or you don't have the power and authority. OK so how come these other folks have got it? From the authority Fairy?

Check out Erich Fromm - 'beware of those who claim to have the answer for everything'...Damn...droves of people suddenly leave this blog..WAIT come back - there's more to come...

Check out the following Resourceful Humans sites for more interesting & useful info

Reflections Coaching

Mcarthurs Rant


  1. Hello

    I'm an assistant lecturer in performing arts and have few other pursuits that I endulge in.
    When it comes to teaching, I prefer to let the students realize things for themselves, rather than just giving them the answers, that way they develop the answers as skills. On top of that, due to the explorative nature of the classes, they develop improvisational skills too.
    In answer to what I feel is the over-riding topic of your blog (is there a right way?) is that the teachers need to be adaptive in the way that they teach. Often, the lecturer I work with and I will contradict each other almost completly. Neither of us are wrong, but the students need to understand for themselves what the answer is.
    So possibly, all of the techniques should be there for use rather than sticking to one.
    In terms of moving away from what we don't like, I think that that isn't always a bad thing. If something feels wrong for you, it probably is.
    However I am all for Pro-Activity. Meaning that in order to better yourself, you need to be active, often physically active in what you are doing. Rafting isn't necessarily the best option, but adapting your classes to incorporate "Physical learning" is a sure firing method to making things more attractive.

  2. Totally concur with your view about allowing the space for people to reach their own understanding. Interesting comments on 'physical learning too' I've actually used micro drama to get my studenst to enact - of all things - the business supply chain! amazing effect on uncovering, recovering and discovering learnings.

  3. Well as a natural silver hair,used to be platinum blonde, I can only answer that I am always drawn to what disturbs me the most. Not in the opposite direction. Now what this says to me is that apparently I thrive on controversy. Possibly due to growing up in an abusive home. And, no I do not seek success according to the social norms. Rather, I seek my own rewards within myself. Which has left me monetarily deficient but has opened the door to so many more satisfying blessings.