Objections to Learning Organization LO24051

From: ekh (hocinc@earthlink.net)
Date: 02/24/00

Replying to LO24015 --

>My response is below... How would you respond? What are the objections to
>the learning-organization approach to organizational improvement?
> ---
>Well... I'm one of the advocates on the good side.
>When people resist LO, it seems to me it is with one of these lines
>of thinking:
> 1. (Don't trust the means) The goals are right, but I don't like the
>means (reflection, capacity building, dialogue, addressing mental
>models, teaming skills). I don't believe in the means, they feel too
>soft to me. To reach the goals let's just work harder and smarter.
>(Other approach) I prefer _____ (some other approach to improvement).

I enjoyed Rick's nutshell versions of the objections; they're just the
sort of thing you DO hear. Found myself thinking, though, that these
objections reflect one or more truths about the objector: their personal
style, their cultural background, or their values. It's bad enough if one
of those entities is engaged in resistance, but if all three are ....
forget it!

I do think that the "don't trust the means" objection may have some merit.
This is probably my own bias towards the practical, but judging from many
of the more rhapsodic musings in the LO list, the connection between
learning and organization is sometimes pretty tenuous. Adult learners
thrive on practical application of concepts; few of us reach maturity
thirsting for knowledge all by itself (some of us do, the savants and
scientists and poets and philosophers ... but they are rare
organizations). Most of us simply don't retain learning unless we touch
it, use it, apply it.

So the question becomes how can LO believers acknowledge the drive for the
practical as a LEGITIMATE part of organizational learning, even a MAJOR
part of organizational learning?

Unless we can do that, lip service is all we'll get. And I don't want to
settle for that!

--- climbing down stiffly from soapbox.

Eric Hatch, President
Hatch Organizational Consulting, Inc.
"Enabling Positive Change"

You can call us at 1 800 586 1487 or 513 683 2265
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Loveland, OH 45140

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ekh <hocinc@earthlink.net>

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