The Joy of Learning LO23773

Date: 01/16/00

AM de Lange wrote (in Farewell Remarks LO22225):
> It is a pity that the joy as well as the other adjoints of emergent
> learning are not discussed more on this list. An organisation cannot ever
> qualify as a learning organisation if joy is not plentiful in such an
> organisation.

I'd like to take At up on this, to see if there's more to discuss about
the role of Joy as a driving force for individual or organizational
learning (I'll leave it for later, or someone else, to address the "other
adjoints"). I've recently come to realize its central role in driving and
shaping my choices and way of doing what I do (I recently raised some
eyebrows in a meeting of the Los Angeles Software Process Improvement
Network by stating "I believe that software development should be a joyful
experience"). Here's a handful of thoughts on joy to kick things off:

 - A "joyful experience" is not the same thing as "having fun". One can
suffer mightily during such an experience, and emerge drained, and still
feel suffused with the joy of it. (I sometimes use the expression "a
fierce joy".)

 - Remember the book "The Joy of Sex"? I sometimes think that what
disturbs me most about pornography is the lack of joy that's communicated
by it.

 - And from poetry:
    The Best Friend

        Now shall I walk
        Or shall I ride?
        "Ride", Pleasure said;
        "Walk", Joy replied.
        Now what shall I --
        Stay home or roam?
        "Roam", Pleasure said;
        And Joy -- "stay home."
        Now shall I dance,
        Or sit for dreams?
        "Sit," answers Joy;
        "Dance," Pleasure screams.
        Which of ye two
        Will kindest be?
        Pleasure laughed sweet,
        But Joy kissed me.
    -- W.H. Davies

 - Finally, is there a testable hypothesis here? Could Gavin Ritz or
someone similarly inclined measure something like a "Joy Index" and
correlate it with good outcomes for an organization?


Don Dwiggins SEI Information Technology Man ascends through the discovery of the fullness of his own gifts. What he creates along the way are monuments to the stages of his understanding of nature and of self. -- Jacob Bronowski, "The Ascent of Man"

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