Replying to LO27170
At 22:29 26-08-2001, Richard Seel wrote:
>I spend quite a lot of my time inviting people in organisations to consider
>the differences between thinking of organisations as mechanical or living
>The first step on the road to 'getting it' seems to be that they come to
>the above conclusion: we, as leaders or managers, need to become gardeners
>- to nourish, fertilise, prune, weed, care for, allow growth to happen, etc...
>Yet I always challenge this. For it seems to me to still be 'old paradigm'
>thinking, albeit with a more organic flavour. The gardener is outside the
>garden system - or at least at a higher logical level than the garden. The
>gardener operates upon the garden, for good or ill (there is a whole
>strand here about the imposition of culture upon nature which I will not
>go into here...
>But leaders and managers in an organisation are not outside the system,
>nor at a higher logical level than others in the organisation. *That* is
>one of the great fallacies of the mechanical view. It also seems to be a
>fallacy of much so-called systems thinking.
I completely agree with you. The gardener metaphor is a convenient first
step for making the change (from mechanics to an approach based on living
beings), but it is still limited. After all, human organizations have
people and not flowers within them. Indeed in the next posts of this
series I will try to refer to approaches that consider the change agent as
part of the system to be changed - that is part of what I mean by
Anyhow I would like to comment that maybe a Taoist approach to gardening
would consider the gardener included in the nature to be gardened... And
maybe it is our occidental culture that sees the gardener separated from
the garden... In that "oriental vision" we could also think of parenting
as gardening; and of course parents also change due to their parenting...
"Artur F. Silva" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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