[Arbitrarily linked to How does our theory become practice? LO23721 by
Dear List Members
How does our theory become practice? Indeed. It is a question I wrestle
with every day in my current role. I believe my organisation finds the
question too difficult to deal with and instead apportions part of its
budget to training and development and hopes! Spray and pray I've heard
the tactic described as. If you don't want to go on a long journey that
may lead to nowhere may I suggest you read no further.
The purpose of the organisation I work for is to manufacture products
needed by individuals and organisations to satisfy individual or
To manufacture products efficiently to the satisfaction of our customers
the individuals within my organisation need to act in a specific manner as
individuals or in work groups.
For any specific task associated with satisfying the needs of our
customers I have been told and have witnessed that there is a specific
method to accomplish the task in the quickest, efficient, and most cost
I know that we can experiment with individuals or teams to find that
specific method and that we as individuals or teams can henceforth
systematically improve on that method as we strive to compete with or
outdo our competitors.
I work in the training and development field. Included in my duties is
the task of convincing and training production workers (unionised) that
for the sake of longevity as an organisation it is imperative that we find
and work to that one best method forever striving to improve upon it.
To assist me in my task I read widely, I joined an ISPI chapter, I
experiment on the job and I joined this mailing list. So how am I doing
in my role? I'm struggling. So let me go off on a tangent!
How do I, as an individual, learn?
Some of what I've been reading tells me that the human brain is made up of
three sections. There is the basic core or REPTILLIAN brain that is for
want of a better description "hard wired" in that it has a few
pre-programmed responses and is substantially unalterable. Then there is
the LIMBIC section, the centre of the emotions. Many of the techniques
used for the purposes of remembering information make use of emotion. My
reading tells me that the limbic section is capable of being re-programmed
i.e. it can learn and discard responses that don't give the individual the
desired result. The third section is the NEOCORTEX supposedly the newest
in terms of evolution and capable of sophisticated theorising and
analysis. I suppose the three sections can be likened to the reactive
mind, the analytical mind and the time track with its file clerk as
described in Dianetcs.
I am able to use this model to plot my progress in terms of learning
throughout my life very well. REPTILLIAN and LIMBIC served me very well
in early life. I breathed, my heart beat etc and when I wanted something
I yelled. I didn't need to use NEOCORTEX. I guess I fully realise that
there is a huge span in terms of years for when individuals find there is
a NEOCORTEX. I surmise that some individuals die having only used
reptillian and limbic. So, maybe my intuition told me that neocotex was
present and long after my formal schooling ended I decided to exercise it.
And amongst my other studies and my work here I am on this list reading
from the theories, experiences and practices of others on a similar
In exercising my neocortex I have read the "7 Habits", I have taken "the
road less travelled", read the "fifth discipline", walked my way through
the "long walk to freedom", studied "emotional intelligence" etc etc, and
I'm still trying to come to grips with the "7 essentialities. Hopefully I
will soon be able to answer, for myself at least, the question "how does
our theory become practice?"
When I look at how few are the organisations that have existed for greater
than 100 years, or at the societies/empires that have risen and fallen
over time maybe I'm being a bit ambitious. But I'm looking from an
individual perspective and an organisation consists of as many
perspectives as there are members.
I recently read something went like this Destiny - Quest - Story. Destiny
is what I am here on earth for. My quest is to align with my destiny. If
the alignment is good then my story will be a good one, if not my story is
miserable. And can this model be applied to and organisation?
My organisation continues to struggle, its unfolding story has not been
good. I know lots of theory and I'm trying to put it into practice to
make the story a better one. My individual story gets better.
Participating in the dialogue on this list helps. I hope it helps each of
your story's as well.
Dennis Rolleston <Dennisr@ps.gen.nz>
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