Improvements, learning and change LO25932

From: KIDD, Bryan (
Date: 01/18/01

Replying to LO25920 --


I have lurked on this list for a month or so, and now feel compelled to
respond to your posting.

I have a breadth of experience in Australian educational and corporate
contexts in a number of roles.

> Failure teaches as much as, probably more, than success, yet schools are
> places
> where most faculty, staff, and administrators are loathe to take risks and
> the system is equally loathe to encourage the kinds of behavior -- e.g.,
> innovation -- that have an element of risk.

Tertiary education in Australia seems to be increasingly risk adverse,
offering more and more generic programs, and less and less inovative
programs. An example being the current demise of a Masters program in
Leadership and Organisation Dynamics at Swinburne University in Melbourne.
This program has evolved over 20 years, and provides signifcant learning
in such areas as psychodynamics, organisation development, consulting
methods and processes, systems thinking etc.

This program has been cut, although a few elements have been combined into
an MBA program. While this integration is admirable, it compromises the
capacity for 'pushing of the envelope'.

> All of us have to be prepared for failure and see it for the learning
> opportunity
> it is. Not so easily done in a professional bureaucracy!

Also not easily done in a corporate environment when there is variation
from successfuly completing activities that have a direct impact on the
capacity of yourself and your manager to meet performance objectives.

It seems that there is significant tension between the philosophy of using
failure as a learning exercise, and the practise of being able to manage
effectively with increasingly limited resources. The less redundancy in
the system, the less tolerance for failure.

Is this a significant barrier to organisational learning?

Thanks for your posting Harriet.




"KIDD, Bryan" <>

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