LO, OL, and Social Learning LO26373

From: Barry Mallis (theorgtrainer@earthlink.net)
Date: 03/16/01

Replying to LO26354 --

Malcolm cited this interesting observation:

> Given the clear linkages between organizational learning and
> global/environmental sustainability issues, I'm wondering what
> connections, as well as differences, you can help me identify between
> organizational learning as we discuss it, and the social learning process
> by which communities and nations endeavor to "make sense of what is
> happening, shape interventions informed by that awareness, and interpret
> the consequences of the interventions against expectations of what might
> otherwise have occured" (ibid., 49).

Thanks for sharing this, Malcolm. My first thought is that the processes
-- still undefined perhaps -- by which we "make sense" of our small planet
are for many humans in social leadership positions clouded by money, its
accumulation and controlled dispersal.

We are the only animals of immediate planetary consequence who, for
example, collect food into contained areas and then sell it for plain ol'
survival. People like me who live in comfort don't ever think of
purchasing food for the sake of the word survival, but we do, after all.
Money in the equation. Don't misinterpret my thoughts here. I'm not
suggesting a foolish return to urban gardens or hunting-gathering. What
I'm hinting at is the immense complexity of our specie's development into
the culture-that-we-are, the animals-that-we-are.

I'll wander a little, always fearful of a polemic. Today in the U.S.A., we
make decisions about the globe and its environment based upon money, not
health or welfare in the longest term. Some will justifiably question that
phrase "longest term." I mean, for instance, that in order to help a
statistically significant portion of this country's population keep their
current jobs in industries which we have grown for many years, we don't
change our attitudes about development versus earth science discoveries
about the globe and its environment. At worst, individuals are called tree
huggers and maniacal capitalist exploiters.

It's tough. We humans continue to learn the hard way, sometimes playing
catch up when we realize we've overstepped some boundary not universally
recognized, and certainly not universally accepted. Ozone years ago was a
laughable issue. I recall a religious official saying to me 31 years ago
that the whole of the world's population could fit into the space of one,
large New York State county with room to spare. Ergo, no need for any
controls whatsoever on population. But I digress from my digression.

All in all, Malcolm, you have re-raised an interesting topic. Perhaps
another for this list to consider -- one most volatile -- is the role of
Money (as in capital, its creation, exchange and accumulation) in the
learning organization. Now wouldn't THAT be something!!!!

Warming regards from your neighboring state of New Hampshire,


Barry Mallis <theorgtrainer@earthlink.net>

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