Intro (Re-Intro) and the past months LO25697

From: Artur F. Silva (
Date: 11/27/00

Dear lo-learners:

I have been a subscriber to this list for more than 3 years now, and I
also contributed some posts in the past. My last contributions, by the end
of April, were about "Unlearning", Tacit Knowledge and Metanoia.

>From then, I stopped participating and, even if I had not unsubscribe I
rarely had time to read the posts. I would like to explain you why, and
explain the reason for some post I will send in the near future.

>From the beginning of May to the end of July, I have been involved in the
Management of a very intensive IS Project. After that, I took a one
semester sabbatical, mainly to reflect on my practical activities and
readings of the last 4 years (including the dialogs on this list). This
meant to finish books and to read others that could make light to
inter-related subjects. And also to begin writing a paper (or book?) on
the evolution of management thoughts till now (half done, Portuguese only,
at the moment)

The main question was still the same: how to help the creation and nurture
of a LO, including reviewing experiences and literature of closed related

An effort of this type never really finishes, but, without pretending to
have constructed a "Grand Theory" (that now would "only need to de
explained", and reexplained, and "applied" to each new case, and that
normally closes the spirit to any different notions - that are
"assimilated", but would need an "accommodation" of the theory itself - to
use Piaget's terms), I think that some concepts began to make an overall
sense for me and are now in a state where a dialog with other views can
again be interesting to the different parts involved.

Now, thinking about all that, I discovered that I have never properly
introduced myself, which is important, as there are many new subscribers
and the older ones that have only a partial perspective of what conducted
me to what I think about organisations. So, in this post, I am sending (or
re-sending) and Intro of myself, and in the next posts will begin to
discussion "theories", with a lot of practical consequences, I think.

My Intro follows:

I am Portuguese, 50 years old. English is not my first language, nor even
the second (French is the second). In these last years I rarely write or
speak in English (so please forgive any "language problems").

I have studied Engineering at the University and (some 12 years latter),

I have worked for IBM during 18 years, first as a Systems Engineer, giving
training and consultancy to customers in Systems Analysis Methodologies
and Project Management. In the last years with IBM, I was responsible for
consultancy on "Information Systems Planning" (ISP, for short) and for
planning and running Executive Customer Seminars in Portugal. I left IBM
in 1989 (my decision!) to create a small consulting firm working on ISP
and ISManagement , with a lot more independence than before...During these
years I have worked in almost all continents, except Australia.

Even when I was a SE, I concluded that developing IS applications was not
my "real job"; my real job was to do "organisational change" through IS,
hopefully changing for the better... As an ISP consultant my job is "to
help customers develop better organisations through IS planning and

That is the reason why I became interested, some 20 years ago, in general
management questions, and especially in organisational development and
learning. Learning Organisations, Information and Knowledge Management,
Open Space, and the relations between Management, Ethics, and Social
Evolution are some of my current interests.

In this last 4 years I have also worked as Invited Professor, at the
"Department of Informatics engineering" of the University of Coimbra,
where, apart from ISP, I have been teaching subjects like "Management
Processes", "Business Management" and "Society, Profession and Ethics". A
report on the way I have taught Management, treating the class as a LO (or
as an Open Organization?), with the title "LOs in Higher Ed - a Portuguese
experience" can be found at:
Many materials that I (and my students) have produced during this years
can be found (Portuguese only) in

I hope I will find the time to participate more regularly in this list in
the near future and have the comments and suggestions of all of you.

Best Regards to all


[Host's Note: Artur, thanks for the renewed introduction! Readers are
welcome to, but certainly not required to, introduce themselves or
re-introduce themselves as they see fit. ..Rick]


"Artur F. Silva" <>

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