Robbing children from their learning LO27167

From: Dennis Rolleston (
Date: 08/25/01

Replying to LO27140

Hello At, fellow learners,

At, tacitly I know what De Geus and his team observed is correct,
longevity has more fertile ground, yet the behviours of the individuals
that facilitate organisational learning is not explicit. Were it so,
surely the world would be a different place.

If I can try to explain in electrical control terms what has been on my
mind for some considerable time: Hard wired systems are like having your
hot water heated in a cylinder without a thermostat. It will boil itself
dry and burn the element out.

So we will add the thermostat - a degree of intelligence. The ability is
always there for the element to burn out if the intelligence (thermostat)
doesn't work any more.

Heredity? How much of our hard wiredness is heredity. How much of the
base instincts do we use in everyday living. In the theory of evolution
(my interpretation) man evolved from the animals (Apes). Like the water
heater element, and late in the evolutionay cycle, acquired a thermostat
(human intelligence). Always there is the potential for the thermostat
(intelligence) to malfunction and we are back to base 1 just survive man
just survive.

It is important to understand that "learning together" implies at least
that each individual should be a learner. This is reflected by Senge in
the discipline Personal Mastery (PM).................snip.

In " The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook" there are examples of behaviours that
need to be encouraged and behaviours that need to be extinguished in order
that the organisational members gain each others TRUST and work toward
making explicit their tacit knowledge. (Page 364 "The Cauldron", page 454
"Springing Ourselves from the Measurement Trap"). I see that the
fieldbook was published in 1994, and the Fifth discipline in 1992, and in
terms of evolution, in the last second. Perhaps collectively this is too
new for us and we need some more centuries of practicing to use the
thermostat (intelligence) before that becomes second nature - instead of
subconsciously allowing the hard wiring to take over, letting the water
boil uncontrolled so to speak!

To understand where we want to go with our organisations, we will
sometimes have to contemplate where we do not want to go with them. For
example, what will happen to any organisation if Personal Mastery (PM) is
thrown out of the window for some or other reason.................snip

Perhaps PM means doing like the boss says - it is more conducive to
survival in the jungle and in the "civilised" jungle.

Well, we need not to experiment to see what becomes of any organisation
when it scraps PM. There are enough foolish people on earth who would just
do that for some or other reason important to them. We merely have to seek
such irresponsible behaviour and observe what happens as a consequence of

How many companies launched actually survive longer two years? How many
civilisations have endured since the beginning of time (as we know it)?

One of the tragedies of this world is the colonisation of Southern Africa
through which the freedom and peace of many of its peoples became lost. It
is something which happened in the past (nineteenth century) and hence it
cannot be wished away. It happened because Western nations acted

Were the numbers of we Maori people of New Zealand the same as the Black
people in South Africa our colonisation experience would more than likely
have culminated in a similar situation - India and China were too big to
colonise yet I'm sure the colonisation attempts have left its mark +ve or
-ve on their societies. Our battles in NZ end up in the Privy Council, a
forum so foreign to Maori society I don't know why my people bother!
Time spend on PM is ten times more valuable, and much cheaper.

The Banthu peoples of Southern Africa had an ingenious system of education
before colonisation.....................snip

My Grandmother still had most of what was the Maori education system in
the way she lived and thought. I was lucky enough to spend sufficient
time with her to learn it alas, today what she taught me are little more
than the stories I tell my children (eldest 27). Time and the way things
are done march on.

What few people in our country noticed, both Europeans and Banthus, was
that the respect for Personal Mastery (PM) gradually

Many of our Maori leaders of yesteryear, rather than notice that PM was
being eroded, realised that their values, education systems, language was
surely disappearing. The fight to restore them continues today.

Snip......... Thus they took children from schools and instructed them how
to destabilise society and even kill people........... snip

Recently my 24 year old daughter visited the Les Baraque Military cemetery
near Calais in France. She was the first of our huge extended family to
visit the grave of my Grandmothers brother, a member of the New Zealand
Expeditionary Maori Battalion. He was killed (at 21yrs) along with
millions of other mothers children in 1917 for the ideologies of they with
flaws in their PM. They never got to grow up and denounce the futility of
such ideologies like most of those that returned?

How I wish I can stress upon you all that every child in this world needs
to be educated. By this I do not mean putting them between four walls
called a school where either rote learning or else nothing constructive

Bitter sweet are the memories of my Grandmother showing me how to prepare
sweet potato (Kumara) in a bed where they sprout new life ..."wait until
the third set of leaves form then gently pull them from the parent tuba,
leave them in a bunch in wet ground, then plant them like this out in the
field".......and I got to dig and eat them as well. Not much rote in that
 Zimbabwe (formerly Southern Rhodesia) is one of the neighbours to the
immediate north of South Africa. It is a great country to live in. Unlike
South African, Namibia and Botswana, it does not have vast expansions of
arid or even desert regions. Plant anywhere in it pumpkins or maize and a
crop will be ensured. Like in South Africa, the white minority ruled over
Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia). Like in South Africa the black people
had to fight for their freedom................snip

Much like the experiences of the Maori people in New Zealand, late 19th
and early 20th centuries, why does history repeat?

I repeat once again that Arie de Geus made the extraordinary observation
that when all the members of an organisation learn together the longevity
of that organisation is promoted...........snip

In my world I try desperately to encourage people to learn and to
carefully observe the actions they take from out of their learning, yet
learning is stressful and within organisations (and families) there are
those whose themostats are faulty, they dont recognise that the water is
burning everyone and the stress and the fear for lack of PM to challenge
the masters discourages the quest for PM. What difference is there in the
thought patterns that Mugabe is using and those used by some managers of
Ford as explained by Frederick Simon, Nick Zeniuk, Julie Petrucci and
Richard Haasin "The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook" pages 554, 560 when trying
to keep the troops in line? And Ford is not alone all organisations have
these people, many of them from "the" educational institutions of the

In my own organisation there are many managers who demand compliance and
get it along with badly demotivated people who do "just enough" to keep
their noses clean - what a bloody waste of human potential!

Snip..... Now it is Zimbabwe and next it may be South Africa. It is up to
the rest of the world to help these millions to restore their Personal
Mastery. Let us learn together how to do it. The longevity of humankind
itself depends on it...........

I agree At and Mugabe for example is a highly educated individual?

The cancer destroying Southern Africa will spread to the rest of the world
should we not take drastic action against it. Please do not reckon that
your countries are immune to it since your countries are part of the globe
as the one body of us all........snip

We in New Zealand know this At, it was the Sringbok Rugby tour of 1981
that alerted us that our cancer was in remission. I related to you on the
list some time ago about our youngest daughter who spent a year in South
Africa as an exchange student. She lived with a coloured family in
Kraaifontein in Cape Town. Following her return her host family contacted
me about emigrating to New Zealand, I arranged job interviews and her host
father received a job offer, they were accepted into New Zealand and now
live happily in their adopted land. However much of their hurt is still
with them. In their perception they were treated in their homeland as
second class citizens. The wife of the family even avoids white South
Africans in New Zealand. No doubt many white South Africans feel equally
aggrieved. South Africans are immigrating to New Zealand at the rate of
27,000 per year, and we take people from the Balkan states, from other
African Nations, Asian Nations, UK, Europe etc etc. Yes At, we are part of
the globe.

Please, let us put an end to robbing children from their learning. Any
learning without wholeness is useless, except to produce cheap slaves who
think they are free.

With all my heart At, yes, let us. I in my sphere of influence, you in
yours, and each member of this list in theirs.




"Dennis Rolleston" <>

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