learning organization philosophy LO24625

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Date: 05/17/00

Replying to LO24552 --

Dear Organlearners,

Liaw Fenn Yenn <fenn61@tm.net.my> writes

>I am currently working in acollege. How do I apply this
>philosophy in this organisation? What are the benefits for
>adopting this philosophy? What are the relative strengths
>and weaknesses of this statement- All organisations must
>surely benefit from adoption of a learning organisation philosophy?

Greetings John (?),

Your manner of introducing the LO and its application will depend on
whether you are a student, lecturer or adminstrator. Whatever the manner,
beware of grand schemes. When beginning any farm in a region where no
farming has been done before, the wise farmer knows that schooling fees
will allways have to be paid. Grand schemes often lead to excessive fees
and thus bankruptcy. In other words, learn how to set up a LO while
setting it up. Try to anticipate as much as possible. However, when in
doubt, always do the brave thing. Never give up.

The benefits are staggering. People working in the college in whatever
capacity, will love the college as if it is a second family. They will
all accomplish much more and the much higher quality of it all will make
them very happy. They will dignify other people rather than stereotyping
them. They will grow in love.

The most obvious strength of the statement is that there will not be blind
members and one-eyed leaders in the organisation anymore. Every member
will focus on Personal Mastery as well as participating in Team Learning.
For learning institutions like schools, colleges and universities this has
a profound implication. Those who teach will considering their own
continuous learning of higher priority and those who learn will also learn
teaching because of helping their fellow learners and teachers. The
boss-slave mentality as well as rote learning (parrotry) will diminish.

The weakness of this statement is the "all". Only some organisations will
become truely LOs and thus experience its staggering benefits. Others may
try jumping on the statement as a bandwagon and thus give a bad reputation
to LOs. This will happen because of destroying the harmony between content
and form. Consequently the majority of the rest will try to avoid becoming
LOs. The danger for the latter is that they will throw the baby out with
the bath water. How? The LO functions in terms of certain essences (see
Appendix of Fifth Discipline). When denying the LO, they may deny
inadvertedly these LO essences. This will jeopardise their creativity

One last note on that "all". Practice what you preach. Do not endeavour to
transform one specific organisation like the college into a LO while
neglecting other organisations of which you are a member too. In other
words, be careful of LO-hypocrisy. Bear in mind that the "all" does not
imply "all at once". Various organisations will take different times to
emerge into a LO. The time will depend on the complexity of learning
involved. Transforming learning institutions into LOs is very complex.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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