LOs and Metanoia - Two Conceptions of LO's LO27196

From: Richard Seel (richard@richard-seel.demon.co.uk)
Date: 08/30/01

Replying to LO27170 --

In message <003e01c1312b$2b900ca0$536fd789@AMdeLange.Gold>, AM de Lange
<amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> writes
>But as for the first two paragraphs, not all gardeners are like that.
>For example, there are gardeners who, when a new township is set out
>in some wild area which already looks like a garden, leaves it as much
>as possible intact, even when burning with desire to change the garden.
>There are also other gardeners who become almost like plants when
>caring for them. They talk to them, caress them, smell every part of
>them (and not only the flowers) and even listen to the sounds which they
>make when the wind blows past them.

At, I agree that some gardeners are have much greater empathy the garden
than others. But it seems to me that there is still a fundamental flaw in
the analogy

gardener : garden :: manager : living systems organisation

It seems to me that it should read

plant : garden :: manager : living systems organisation

We are all plants in the garden, so to speak. Some of us may have a role
which is more far-reaching, some of us may have a role which looks more
towards the whole, but none of us can be gardeners for the gardener is at
a higher logical level than the garden (because he or she is able to
conceptualise the whole and to act upon the whole) while the plant is at a
lower logical level than the garden (just as a member of an organisation
is at a lower level than the organisation itself).

Thinking of organisations as living systems therefore does two things for

* It reminds us that we must act sensitively and nurturingly if the
organisations of which we are part are to thrive.

* It also reminds us that we cannot design or create or manipulate or lay
out the organisations of which we are part, just as a plant cannot design
the garden (even though we have much more creative ability and scope for
intentional action than a plant).

I don't think we are disagreeing, I probably didn't express myself clearly
enough in my first post. This is very difficult stuff - I find it hard to
get my head round it...

Best wishes,


Richard Seel

New Paradigm Consulting
Organisation Consultancy & Development

Seabrink, Beach Road, Bacton Green, Norfolk NR12 0EP, UK.
+44 (0)1692 650 706


Richard Seel <richard@richard-seel.demon.co.uk>

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