The leverage of language LO24490

From: Roger Key (
Date: 04/27/00

Replying to LO24467 --

HI All,

In response to an earlier mail At de Lange wrote:

>> 3. Learning and creativity exist in the chaotic/complexity state
>> whilst the rules and regulations of business / society etc exist
>> in the stable state.
>I beg to differ.
>First two examples. The rules and regulations of business / society can
>easily become chaotic as is now happening in several regions of the world.
>The innovation of creativity without its chaotic invention phase happens
>orderly rather than chaotic.
>Creativity has a rhythm which swings between the serenity of equilbrium
>and the tempest of chaos. Learning which emerges from creating follows a
>similar rhythm. When learning happens at the edge of chaos, it may be
>called emergent learning. When it happens close to equilbrium it may be
>called digestive learning. The one without the other, in other words,
>learning without a rhythm cannot continue indefinitely. They sustain each
>other so that authentic learning happens autopoietic.
>The majority of learning problems locally among our own students can be
>traced back to a lack of rhythm in learning. The local attitude to such
>problems are that they are caused by a lack of intelligence. The effect is

I agree, but I do not think by doing so I contradict myself, perhaps we
have differing understanding of what I wrote! the theory in my point 3
came from a fusion of COmplexity and philosophy. The complexity thread
was based (in the main) on the work of Ralph Stacey and in particular that
in his book "Complexity and Creativity in Organisations" were he explores
human interaction, psycology, learning etc through a filter of
stable-complex-chaos. He identified there a common thread that - to use
my analogy of a chemical phase diagram, in the stable state - (solid and
possibly liquid) there is a level of structuring that precludes the
development of new realities - learning - it possibly does not stop the
gathering of further information to support the current theory. I guess
this is akin to Agyris' single loop learning and thus suggests that SSLL
is not always a bad thing. However deconstruction of the current reality
and the emergence of new realities require the learning to occour in a
more dynamic state, but not in chaos. The more dynamic state is in the
phase diagram at the phase interface and chaos is in the gas phase.
Stacey further suggests that this creativity, by needing to be in the
phase interface, and that the structured requirements of the organisation
requiring a stable state that this creativity cannot occour within the
structured part of the organisation. He proposes that there are two
layers to the system that is the organisation. The Legitimate System -
where rule and regulations exist. Where teaching occours etc and the
Shadow System, where play and dissent, creativity and learning occour. If
any of you have had experiance of Open Space Technology as opposed to
conventional conferencing and teaching you may welll recognise the utter
majic that occours in the Shadow System that cannot occour in the
Legitimate System. The second string was philosophical and drew heavily
on Rober Pirsig and his ideas of Dynamic and Static Quality within
societies. Essentially the story is the same, the Static Quality seeks to
maintain the status quo and the Dynamic Quality seeks to overturn it and
thus become the Static Quality!

At suggests that the rules and regulations of business/countries are
becoming chaotic in some areas of the world. Yup. But I thiunk that
these can be explained in the context of Static Quality / Legitimate
System and Dynamic Quality / Shadow System. The happenings in Zimbabwe
are not chaos they are the perfect outcome for a Static Quality \
Legitimate System seeking to maintain the stability it needs to survive
under threat from an emergent force from a Shadow System, There may even
be Dynamic Quality in there as well. As Pirsig points out Saviours and
Anti Christ's all come from the Dynamic Quality system, and you cannot
tell the difference until AFTER the event....

At mentioned rhythm in learning and that really works for me, build new
realities in complex states - access Dynamic Quality and then establish
these new realities in the Static Quality through testing against held
data, supportive data etc. Reflective learning I guess.

At are we thinking the same things? I get the feeling that if we could
meet face to face we may find that we are, e.mail strips out 90% ofthe
communication even if it includes 90% of the words.



Roger C. Key
Prescient - The Whole as One
(44) 01639 871062
Learn about Deming and CQI on line at

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Roger Key <>

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