Measuring Passion LO26358

From: John Dicus (
Date: 03/14/01

Replying to LO26322

Couty Sabah writes:

An LO is an organization with passion for learning and knowledge.
Structure, skills, procedures, knowledge repositories are necessary but
not enough. Does that mean that passion in an organization is not
measurable? that it cannot be operationalized? I don't know.


Dear Couty,

I think it is. Passion that is. Measurable. Who on this list could not
describe an organization rich with enabling passion? Who could not
describe an environment devoid of human spirit? The exciting thing about
working toward new language is that it not only shifts consciousness, but
it also provides a means of talking about things that are not as easy to
see as desks and chairs and buildings and org charts and profit/loss
ledgers. Not easy to see yet. But wait. With practice and time... who

Why can't our bottom lines be richer and fuller? Why are they most often
limited to a single element -- profit/loss? At a stretch, some
organizations honor investment in technology. But how many can we count
that honor investment in community. Or investment in relationships? Or
investment in meaning -- that which transcends? We know what it means to
be financially solvent. We understand the importance of investing
financially. We understand why financial reserves are necessary if we
want to absorb bumps in the road or take advantage of unforeseen
opportunities. Can we measure technological solvency? Or better yet can
we measure solvency in community, relationship and meaning? We see
organizations filing for bankruptcy with respect to community,
relationship and meaning, but rarely do we see them understanding what's

When do we reach (and how do we measure it) the point-of-no-return where
the organizational life-cycle tips to a death cycle? From living to
dying? From a virtuous loop to a vicious loop? Where systems shutdown in
cascade. We're pressured to operate with extremely low reservoirs of
reserve capacity in all arenas including those where true meaning resides.
Without adequate reserves, we and our organizations can't take a hit
without crossing the line from sustainability to decline. Better, faster,
cheaper, deader. (sorry)

I think it's time for us to make a concerted effort to surface all the
elements of sustainability we can, and find ways to 'measure" the
essential human elements of an organizational community.

If you were to describe an organization capable of sustaining life, what
would you say? What words? What pictures? What stories? What music?
What poetry? What would it sound like if you just sat down at the
keyboard and did a stream of consciousness thing? I'd love to hear it.
Even as we lament how far away we are from the LO's of our dreams, we
might find we're closer than we think.

If we just let go and listen.



John Dicus  |  CornerStone Consulting Associates
 -- Leadership -- Systems Thinking -- Team Building -- Open Space --
2761 Stiegler Road, Valley City, OH 44280
800-773-8017  |  330-725-2728 (2729 fax)  |

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