LO's and Metanoia - First Notes on Metanoia LO27333

From: Artur F. Silva (artsilva@mail.eunet.pt)
Date: 10/01/01

Replying to LO27238

At 13:41 20-09-2001, AM de Lange wrote:

>Both "normal science" and "revolutionary science" are needed to keep
>science alive. The "normal science" phase is needed to prepare for a new
>"revolutionary science" phase and the "revolutionary science" phase is
>needed to prepare for a subsequent "normal science" phase upon it. Should
>science get stuck in the "normal science" phase, it will get obese in free
>energy and too rigid in the valley of equilibrium. Should science get
>stuck in the "revolutionary science" phase, it will get emaciated in free
>energy and too plasmodial on the ridge of chaos.

I completely agree with you, At. But I have stressed the importance of
"revolutionary science" for many reasons that I would like to clarify.

The first one is that I am trying to understand "metanoia", hence
"profound shifts of mind", that are more like "scientific revolutions" (or
double-loop learning) than with "normal science".

But that is not the right answer, of course. The main point is the complex
set of reasons that took me to consider that "metanoia" was the subject to
choose now and in this list...

First, I think that we, as human beings, as well as our communities and
organizations, are "good enough" at single loop learning and puzzle
solving situations, as far as "normal thinking" within a previously
accepted paradigm is enough. And indeed all our "teaching institutions"
have taught us (and still teach our young people) "normal science" and
"single loop learning". We teach our students "too much" and that is still
worsening with "educational programs" ("teaching programs") to masters and
Ph.D. (A master should be someone that masters something alone, without
the need of any help, isn't it?). After having studied what the previous
generation decided they must study, and answered to the puzzles their
teachers create to "test" and "certify" them, they frequently become
unable to "invent" the completely new solutions they will need.

The problem is that, in my opinion, we are living in times where "single
loop learning" is no longer enough, and will not happen once in a
lifetime, but frequently. It is not enough in what concerns individuals,
in what concerns organizations and in what concerns society at large.

Normal science and digestive learning are good for situations that change
at a small rate. See how the tragic events in the USA are being worked out
("more of the same") and you would agree that "profound change", metanoia,
is what society is most in need today.

In what concerns organizations, single loop learning is what many
companies have being doing all the time. The reason why we need normal
organizations to become learning ones is because that is no longer enough.

And I doubt very much that with more training (the name that "teaching"
takes in the business world) or with more "disciplines" (a name that in
the occidental tradition came clearly from "schools") we will do it.

I thing that to become able to create and sustain LOs we need to learn
what inhibits individual and organizational double loop learning, and how
to facilitate that type of learning.

You probably have already understood that I also think that the "OL/LO"
field also needs very urgently a profound paradigm shift, or "scientific
revolution" (if we can call "science" to the "org studies"). And I am
quite worried because it seem to me that almost everyone is doing "normal
science" in a field where I think that a "profound paradigm shift" is

With the general Subject "LOs and metanoia" I mean: we need to understand
and facilitate metanoia in our organizations (or our client's
organizations), so that they can become LOs. And we need a metanoia in the
LO field to be able to do that with an acceptable rate of success (and we
already saw that the current rate of success is unacceptably low).

Best regards



"Artur F. Silva" <artsilva@mail.eunet.pt>

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