Emergence of learning-org LO25885

From: Jan Lelie (janlelie@wxs.nl)
Date: 01/15/01

Replying to LO25863 --

Hello Rick, hello reader, hello friends, hello all of you,

"Wie schrijft, die blijft"

Richard Karash wrote:

> If we start from the point of view that in complex adaptive systems, new
> phenomena tend to emerge spontaneously, but there are usually small
> elements of structure that greatly help the emergences.

I agree, moreover, every "stable" system has small, random fluctuations
that rapidly grow into a complex adaptive system that squeezes
fluctuations. Every now and then one fluctuation escapes and creates a
next level of stability, again at the expense of others; Creating also
means destroying.

There is here - in this universe - a kind of evolutionary process in which
the members of the internet community "select" their winner. The winner
will suit their survival best. An perhaps the LO-list was just the first
to appear, the first to adapt to the needs of the audience.

> Today I faced an interesting question: Something has emerged here on
> learning-org... We have almost 2000 people who receive our distributions
> every day, there are hundreds of messages each month, we are now numbering
> our messages in the twenty-five-thousands.

So i noticed. 25000*2000 = 50.000.000; not so much compared with
people on earth.

> Question: What is it that has facilitated the emergence of what has
> occurred here?

You, of course

> Some of you will mention my role as host... I'll thank you in advance, but
> please try to be specific. If you think that something I've done has
> helped the emergence, please say what it is specifically.

You made a creative, interpreneurial, intervention: from a vision, an
idea, you've adapted a new technique - e-mail, internet - to an existing
problem - organising - within a context of need - communicating. Or, to
put it differently, you've created an opportunity to wich we stumbled.
What attracted me was the ease of use of the system, the cycle rate - not
too long -, the identification of the messages and the lack of control of
the content. Content rules. There might have been a process of "success to
the successful, were an initial, call it lucky, high quality treat*
emerged that attracted others, that created a spiral unto the level we now

I stumble on it by change (Search "Learning Organization"), and stayed
because i contributed. "Wie schrijft, die blijft", we say in Holland: "who
writes, will stay". So also everybody who "stays" has a certain "stake", a
small gain, gets a result, a bonus. Perhaps we're sometimes like pigeons
who only need one reinforcement every 200 attempts, just to maintain their
behaviour of trying.

> The reason for my question: I am a Trustee of the Society for
> Organizational Learning. We are examining our present and intended actions
> to facilitate the emergence of a global community interested in learning
> organiations. We are considering what are the small things we can do that
> will facilitate the emergence of wonderful things from hundreds or
> thousands of interested groups around the world.
> Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
> In summary:
> (1) What has enabled the emergence that has occurred here (learning-org)

The technique, techniques enables. e-mail, internet (html and tcp/ip and
browsers). 5000 years ago somebody wanted to send a message from Egypt to
China and it just didn't arrive because of the network. Also, the browsers
are to be used without instructio, that is also important. Easy as a
telephone or a car.

> (2) What might SoL do to facilitate emergence of wonderful things around
> the world concerning organizational learning?

Let it be.

You speak about co-generating, creating (new) solutions and paths based on
a "seed" idea (organizational learning). This is a faciltative
intervention. It will require patience and insight from your part.

I would suggest: generating ideas on the problems ("what - for you - are
the problems with OL?" "What - for others (specify) - are the problems
with OL?" or more specific: the problems with a SoL). Cluster ideas and
formulate cluster titles. Make a sentence from the cluster titles. This is
the root-definition of the issue. Then you generate some solutions and
present them as incomplete solutions to groups all over the world, asking
for help, support, suggestions. The groups and you will rework the
solutions and the issue and - perhaps - come up with an improved
suggestion. This work might be organized in "local" groups that come
together on a weekly basis, groups that share stories and tales,
experiences and motives. They migh submit their improvements to our
society. In the end the groups will become local SoL's, with local
leadership, adapted to local environments and issues, using their - and
ours - common knowledge and experience to improve. This whole intervention
should be treated as a not-zero-sum-game, a game of creating games.

The paradox, however, is that an organisation is usually organized as a
game of control and "forces" people to see the world as a zero-sum game
(what i gain, will be your loss) and that our thoughts and our language
has been infected by these ideas. So leadership usually is perceived and
treated as "control".

Also, i would look into other techniques: video conferencing, using
computer supported brain storming, creating common planning rooms, chats,
using GSM's and SMS-ses, what will WAP bring?

Furthermore, think about creating - or stimulating - the stroried culture
that seems to have evolved: make a kind of central camp fire were we can
share stories, songs, pictures, small clips and motion picture, perhaps
using Flash. People are jused to pick up meaning from stories. But the
interface should be as intuitive as possible.

> Thanks!

No, thank you for defining reality,
Hope this helped.

Jan Lelie

With kind regards - met vriendelijke groeten,

Jan Lelie

Drs J.C. Lelie CPIM (Jan) LOGISENS - Sparring Partner in Logistical Development mind@work est. 1998 - Group Resolution Process Support Tel.: (+ 31) (0)70 3243475 or car: (+ 31)(0)65 4685114 http://www.mindatwork.nl and/or taoSystems: + 31 (0)30 6377973 - Mindatwork@taoNet.nl

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