Resistance to Change LO24669

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 05/24/00

Replying to LO24658 --

Dear Organlearners,

Winfried Dressler <> writes:

>But I am open to learn. So I am eager to hear your opinions:
>Did I miss something I should know with respect to this
>irrational fear? Isn't treating irrational fear in another way not
>always systemically increasing it, because it serves the fears
>basic goal: not to get started?

Greetings Winfried,

It is strange way you have said it, namely that the goal of fear is not to
get started.

Here are three questions which you can ponder over in your own learning.
What is the relationship between fear and destructive creativity coming
from the environment? Can the system sustain itself against this
destructive creativity and thus overcome its own fear by responding self
with destructive creativity coming from within? What will happen to the
system when it does not make a distinction between destructive and
constructive creativity?

>Somewhere I have picked up the term 'therapy junkie'.
>What do you think?

Well, the "junkie" means depending on something with which we can do
without. Although we can become "alcohol junkies", can we ever become
"water junkies"? We can become "perfume junkies", but can we ever become
"oxygen junkies"? Many would answer -- never. But think more carefully.
For example, what has become of a person who needs to take a bottle of
water along when going into the desert? Is that person a "water junkie" or
a "technology junkie"?

The "therapy", as I have noted earlier, means healing (Gr: "therapuos")
having as roots "doing with care". It is essential to take care of one
another (as in Learning Organisation) and of oneself (as in Learning
Individuals). Should we believe that a LO is possibility, but definitely
not a necessity, then because of "taking care of one another" being
essential, we will sooner or later become "therapy junkies", i.e.
depending on something which we can do without (according to our belief).

But is something which is "essential" not itself a belief about that
something? (In other words, is the statement "care is essential" not a
belief too?) What is the difference between "essentials" and "beliefs", if

Winfried, I will not say that you have missed the following on the dilemma
of language because you have already shown much sensitivity to it in your

In my four years as a high school teacher (1972-75), I observed that the
far majority of "maladjusted pupils" who deperately needed psychotherapy
came from "ill families". In those days the word creativity was seldom
used and the concepts "destructive creativity" and "learning
organisations" unknown. Need I tell you how often and severly I was
criticised for using the term "maladjusted pupils" and "ill families"?
Today I can speak of "maladjusted pupils" as "pupils creating
destructively" and of "ill families" as "families not functioning as
learning organisations". It is new descriptions for the same entities.

If we do not learn in terms of a painting rich pictures what these (then
and now) descriptions mean, will we ever progress from criticism to
therapy? If we do not test our understanding in the doing, how sure are we
of our rich paintings?

The main problem with these (then and now) descriptions are that they are
negatively rather than positively. I can add a list of all the technical
names used in formal education for them. The one term which has the
sweetest coating, but is the most bitter inside, has persisted up to this
day. It is to name them as "disadvantaged" pupils and families. Thus all
these names carry prejudice with them rather than a honest appraisal of
the condition of these pupils and families.

Can we ever escape this "prejudice carried by negative descriptions"? Yes,
to some extend by doing a rather an extraordinary thing with language.
Switch from the declarative (descriptive) mode to the imperative
(prescriptive) mode. Speaking of "maladjusted pupils" becomes "pupils who
have to create constructively" while "ill families" becomes "families
which have to learn organisationally". It works, except where the
prevailing practice is to control systems from the outside. In that case
most of these pupils and families will even resist changing according to
these positive prescriptions!

There is a much better way to escape this dilemma caused by language. It
is simply to say as little as possible (to remain tacit) and do as much
as possible in terms of caring love. It is by far the best way in my
opinion for LOs. But it is impossible to do it in the LO-dialogue where we
have to learn specifically about Learning Organisations. It is because
language is so integral to the LO-dialogue. Thus, whenever any LO has to
step into any LO-dialogue, especially when it concerns the LO itself, a
most important commitment has to be made by every member. STOP THE
JUDGING. It destroys the LO-dialogue.

Judging comes form the Latin "judex" > "jus" (law) + "dico" (saying). Its
Greek equivalent is "kritikos".

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.