Senge Perverted LO25404

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 10/04/00

Replying to LO25393 --

Dear Organlearners,

Winfried Dressler < > writes:

>This is interesting, I thought, and had a look at the
>mentioned site. In the announcement of a speech by
>Senge I stumbled over the following sentence:
>>The fifth discipline in management developed by Peter
>>Senge - systems thinking - is the basis for the other four
>>disciplines in management."
>Whoever wrote this has not understood why Peter Senge
>wrote his Fifth Discipline. The point is - and please correct
>me if you see it differently -- that if systems thinking were
>indeed the basis for the other four disciplines, there would
>be no need for the other four at all.

Greetings Winfried,

Congratulations --you have made an important distinction here. Your depth
of understanding gives me great joy.

As I see it, Systems Thinking is not "systems doing". Furthermore, as I
understand "authentic learning", i.e creative learning, its culmination is
not in thinking, but in doing. The doing tell much better the thinking
than what wording ever could. Creativity has for me two important facets,
the "dassein" and the "mitsein". This facets are "inherited" by authentic
learning in its individual and collective facets, or better known in
LO-terminology as Personal Mastery and Team Learning. Consequently, for
me, these two of the "other" four disciplines of a LO are much more
"systems doing" than Systems Thinking.

>This makes the strength of the analogy: The reader can
>imagine both, the plane and the infrastructure. And the
>point of this analogy is: The four disciplines are necessary
>conditions to make the fifth discipline WORK. I don't know
>how you feel, but this is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what is
>said with "The fifth ... is the basis for the other four disciplines",
>as if you need systems thinking in order to be able to develop
>the other four.
>The strength of the analogy is also its weakness.

Dear Winfried, I have quoted also your first sentence of the next
paragraph. This is much wisdom in this sentence. It is like the saying
"dont throw the baby out with the bath water".

Your argument seems to be for me as one against Reductionism. But what is
Reductionism? In short it is the "one replacing the many", a kind of
"many-to-one-mapping" to serve the paradigm of simplicity. However, bear
with me some further dialogue which may for the moment seem to be hair

Is the "many-to-one-mapping" the same thing as the "one-to-many-mapping"?
Here are two examples to illustrate these two mappings. The selling of
many kinds of products on a market, getting one kind of money for them, is
a "many-to-one-mapping". The spending of one kind of money to grow or
fabricate many kinds of products for the market is a
"one-to-many-mapping". Is the "producing" and the "selling" the same
thing? No. They are actually two complementary duals of a system which we
may call "business" or "enterprise".

When our "paradigm shift" from simplicity to complexity, it does not mean
that we invoke LEM (Law of Excluded Middle). It does not mean "in the past
it was only simplicty" and "in the furture it will only be complexity". As
I understand authentic "paradigm shifts", the new paradigm incorporates
the old paradigm as part of its history. Niels Bohr stressed this
inclusiveness for the shift from Newtonian Mechanics to Quantum Mechanics
by what he called the Correspondence Principle (CP). This CP is one of the
many exciting ways in which the Law of Requisite Complexity (LRC)
manifests itself. The old paradigm is not only necessary for the new
paradigm, but also contained in it so as to emerge to a higher level of

I see in the "The fifth ... is the basis for the other four disciplines"
not only the ARTICULATED "many-to-one-mapping", but also the TACIT desire
and need for a "one-to-many-mapping"! Perhaps it is a case of me reading
too much between the lines than in the lines or staring too much in the
future than in the past. I always bear in mind that our articulation of
tacit knowledge is usually slow because of the many corrections upon
corrections we have to make. Thus by way of these corrections we learn
more (on a tacit level too) about the seven essentialities so as to
complexify in them. What I perceive here is that the "one" had been
identified incorrectly as Systems Thinking. The actual "one" in the
"one-to-many-mapping" is the Learning Organisation (LO) itself! The LO
maps itself on each of the four "other" disciplinies as well as the Fifth
Discipline (Systems Thinking).

I think that Senge was aware of this
. one(LO)-to-many(5displines)-mapping
when he warned that the five disiciplines should not be used as
a recipe for the transformation of an organisation into a LO. If this
was possible, then it would amount to
. many(5disciplines)-to-one(LO)-mapping.
To use my two examples above concerning selling and producing,
we should never confuse the "selling the LO", i.e.
. many(5disciplines)-to-one(LO)-mapping
with "producing the LO", i.e.
. one(LO)-to-many(5displines)-mapping
It is because of this complementary nature of "selling the LO" and
"producing the LO" that we continually get requests on our dear
LO-dialogue "help me to tansform our organisation into a LO".

>And this is why we have to learn - individually and
>organizationally - learn to cope and grow with the
>requisite level of complexity. Discipline is a wonderful
>word for such learning.

I cannot agree more. You know that I understand the seven essentialities
to be fully dependant upon each other rather than completely independant.
You also know how I, originally "trained" in the physical sciences where
"independant components of the base" (base vectors) play a paramount
important role, struggled very much to shift my understanding from
"independance" to "interdependance". Finally, you know that once this
shift had happened, I was able to think of all seven essentialities while
focussing on any one of them, say "wholeness", as "deep wholeness".

The interdependance of the five disciplines makes me think of them
together as the "deep discipline". It is indeed possible for me to think
of all five, while focussing on Systems Thinking as "deep systems
thinking". But it is also possible for me to think of the very LO as the
"deep discipline".

By now all which I have written in this reply may easily be judged as also
a serious "Senge perverted"!!! If any fellow learner wants to make such a
judgement, he/she is free to do it. What the fellow learner then will
obtain, is the "LO sensu Senge". Obviously, the learner will then have to
follow the path of rote learning so as to make an exact copy of the "LO
sensu Senge" in his/her mind too.

But as for myself, I am continually learning that with every judgement
which I made, some of my learning ceased. In terms of my recent
contribution "Work and Free Energy", judgement leads to a very serious
rheostasis. To make that learning happen again and also authentically, I
had first to repeal (annul) that judgement. Thus I am following the "path
of evolution" (digestions and bifurcations) once again. This is also what
I call the "art of deep creativity".

Some may judge this "art of deep creativity" as the worst possible
perversion of all the creative outcomes of every other creative
thinker-doer. People have claimed many times that I "pervert" the
authenticity of somebody's superior creation with my "art of deep
creativity". You have observed how it happened a number of times
even on this list. But as I understand it, I try to homour the seven
essentialities of creativity. I extend (rather than pervert) for such
creations their
"becoming" to their "being" -- liveness
"categoricity" to their "identity" -- sureness
"associativity" to their "monadicity" -- wholeness
"beget" to their "connect" -- fruitfulness
"limit" to their "quantity" -- spareness
"variety" to their "quality" -- otherness
"essence" to their "paradigm (example)" -- openness.

>I wished that that sentence in the announcement is 'just'
>a problem of transduction - erroneous complexity
>attenuation for the announcement. But I am afraid that rote
>learners of 'systemic management' fad are invited to worship
>their gods.

Winfried, whatever walk in life (like education, politics or religion) we
may observe, we will find this symptom of "worshipping some creation" for
personal gains, usually money. In the walk of "organisational management",
it becomes an enterprise (like consulting, training or institute) in the
work of some creative thinker on this walk like Beer, Ackhoff, Checkland,
Flood, Deming, Senge, Goldratt or Holland.

As I understand it, this "cashing in on the rote learning" of others in
need of authentic learning, has a serious consequence. By locking in on
the exclusive work of one person, these cashers cause a rheostasic labile
equilibrium in that organisation. Sooner or later that organisation
becomes tacitly aware of it so that a new fad needs to be implemented at
great costs. Hence the organisation is released from its former rheostasic
labile equilibrium so as to change for some period irreversibly. However,
far too soon the organisation gets fixed once again at a new rheostasic
labile equilibrium corresponding to the new fad.

Sadly, this may even happen to Senge's work as a result of "selling the
LO" rather than "producing the LO". This gives the LO the "bad name" of
"another fad". Nevertheless, I am sure myself that the LO is definitely
capable of preventing itself to get locked into a rheostasic labile
equilibrium unless it does so for pretty good reasons (remember the whale
with the massive layer of fat).

Here in South Africa incredibly many such rheostasic labile equilibria had
been set up during the last couple of decades in the era of apartheid.
With the termination of apartheid in 1992 vast irreversible changes began
to happen. Because of the "inclusive" leadership of Mandela, the majority
of all our peoples were willing to step into an unknown future of
irreversibility. Thus people became aware, once again tacitly, of how much
they were bootstrapped to the folly of their leaders.

And the leaders, what did they do? As fast as they could, they made a
final addition to their rches with a spoil which we call ironically the
"golden hand shake" (the last robbing from the assests of the people). But
in further telling and doing they are now even inferior to their feeblest
former followers. They are as timid now as a "bed lamp".

This incited immense anger in the minds of many people which became, in my
opinion, a major cause for the explosive increase of crime. Only the past
couple of years people are beginning to articulate their tacit knowledge
and anger in, sadly, destructive debates rather than constructive

The first venting among my own people (Afrikaners) happened only some
months ago, more than eight years after the termination of apatheid. One
Chris Louw wrote a letter to the Afrikaans newspaper Die Beeld ("the
image") under the title "Boetman is die bliksem in". I wish it is
possible to translate this title in English, but its semantics is in the
Afrikaans womb. The closest to "boetman" will be "little chap" when
compared to the collocial "old chap". The "bliksem" is literally
"lightning". But when I say "jou bliksem" (you lightening ;-), it means
"be infernally damned". But when I say "ek is die bliksem in" (I am in
the lightening ;-), it means "I have worked myself into the fulminating
blaze". I hope this explanation will give you an idea of the intensity of
the anger. Hundreds of Afrikaners began to express how they are "in the
lightning" for leaders of church, state, business, family, community,
school -- nothing is spared.

And the children of the new generation stopped playing, gazing in shock at
this venting of anger, wondering what life is about.

The increasing scarcity of fossil fuel and its eventual depletion may very
well be the trigger of a vast transformation in the present capitalistic
world should something else not trigger it earlier. Like South Africans,
many people will experience how they had been bootstrapped to the folly of
their leaders when getting released from the multitude of rheostasic lable
equilibria which they have been subjected too. Like South Africans, far
too many of them will spend the relase of "free energy" in anger or
depression rather than creativing constructively for a better future. Like
the former South African leaders, these former leaders will make one last
grab before becoming as quiet as a bed lamp.

Dear Winfried, it seems as if I am now "selling the LO", but my actual
concern is "producing the LO" before these vast, irreversible changes in
the capitalistic world will begin.

>Anybody here still thinking that the Fifth Discipline is
>just a matter of simply do it?

Yes, if it concerns "selling the LO".
No, if it concerns "producing the LO".

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

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