OL across cultures LO26343

From: Sajeela M ramsey (sajeelacore@juno.com)
Date: 03/12/01

Replying to LO26268 --

Dwig beloved,

Sajeela finally responding here.

On 03 Mar 2001 23:35:30 -0800 Don Dwiggins writes:>
> Sajeela prods me gently thus: Having seen these now Dwig, please say
>more about how this impacts your work with organizations and this
>passage from your post:(snip) Actually, I was thinking about other
>distinctions in views of time, e.g.: Units of time: we tend to think
>about >everything in terms of the units of our immediate experience
>(snip). At >one extreme, geologists and astronomers work in terms of
>millions and >billions of years -- (snip) At the other extreme, particle
>physicists work on >scales below the nanosecond level. (I suppose this
>could be considered another sense of "polychronic".)

Sajeela's response:

Yes, I suppose this is an example of polychronic. the more space related
the more poly --- the more time related (since time is a phenomenon of
gravity-bound envoronments only) the less poly or whole.

Dwig goes on to say:
> So, what units should senior managers of large corporations work with?

> For example, how do you reconcile starting and managing an expensive
> multi-year project with a corporate "planning horizon" of less than
> a year? Or, how long should it take before a change initiative begins
> to show effects? How long before it can be considered "mature"? Can
> the organization sustain the effort and attention needed for the
> required amount of time? In my limited experience in this area, I've
> seen >a lot of lack of attention to this aspect, as well as wishful
> thinking or even flat-out denial in the face of the obvious.

Sajeela's response:

Precisely (groannnnn!!!) It is very frustrating working on the physical
plane only. Organizations could use far less gravity [:)]. That way they
could float a little --- time would not be so restrained. Complexity
theories point to this, and I would say the real irony is that the deeper
we sink into our bodies the more we realize we are NOT traveling in time

Dwig goes on to say:
> I think this is also a factor in valuing actions that have social
> and environmental consequences. Our economics is focused mostly on
> short-term valuations, so that effects that take years to arise are
>discounted, if not completely ignored. If corporations should be
>considered using multi-year time units, shouldn't nations be considered
>in >terms of decades and generations?


YES!!!! Elliott Jaques in his article "In Praise of Heirarchy" says that
when managers add a new perspective to the work of theyir subordinates,
one that is broader, and, most important, one that is extended further
over a longer period of time, they literally bring more value to their
workers performance.

>Here's a challenge for economists: >find a way to value the true costs
>and benefits of an action across all >those who will be affected, and
>across the time during which the effects >will be noticeable. Here's a
>challenge for voters and leaders in a >democracy: find a way to
>encourage elected officials to think in the >appropriate time units,
>while >keeping office terms short enough to >maintain responsiveness.


Some theorists believe (and I am apt to agree) that accounting systems
shape our social constructs of reality. What is the "appropriate" unit of
analysis for perceiving Beauty in organizations? This is not what one
learns to ask in accounting 101.

>(snip) I think there are cultural differences here as well, such as the
>amount of time that> Japanese businessmen are willing to take in a
>meeting to maintain harmony, avoid embarrassing anyone, etc., vs. the
>American "cut to the chase" approach.


Precisely. And notice the qualitative difference in what is valued.
Aesthetics (or a lack there of) have everything to do with temporal
orientations. One of the key factors of an Aesthetic Intervention (TM) is
that it will tend to arrest motion, or slow down a process, adding entropy
and a brake-ing (pun intended to linguistically deconstruct) down of
energy excesses.

>On the "different view of the relation of individual to collective":
> This is a topic that I've been fascinated with for a while now, at
> many levels.


So it appears! What a list! And all relative to what I was saying with
regard to temporal orientations between individualistic and collectivistic
cultures and how this affects organizing.

Here's a few connections that have come to mind:
> - At's repeated theme of "one-to-many mappings"
> - the contrast between individualistic and collectivistic cultures
> - the dynamics of self-organizing teams, and self-sustaining
> organizations
> - Simon Buckingham's "collapsible corporations" (www.unorg.com, also
> see his
> contributions to this list of a few years ago -- type "buckingham
> site:www.learning-org.com" into Google.) [without the quote marks
> ..host]
> - the differences (and similarities) between mechanical and organic
> ensembles (Jan Smuts indeed has interesting things to say here;
> I'm in the middle of "Holism and Evolution")
> - individual vs. collective salvation. (snip)

Here's to perceiving the beauty of the present moment,


Sajeela Moskowitz Ramsey
OD Specialist/Culture Generalist
2432 Villanova Drive/Vienna, VA. 22180
703 573 7050/ SajeelaCore @Juno.com


Sajeela M ramsey <sajeelacore@juno.com>

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