Learning Organization Comments LO28235

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 04/15/02

Replying to LO28156 --

Dear Organlearners,

Margo Menconi <malyme@hotmail.com> writes:

>I think one should distinguish between the
>natural/spontaneous learning that occurs within
>organizations and that which is more or less

Greetings dear Margo,

I cannot remember that you have written before, but I do think that your
comments are very important. A long time has passed since I last stressed
that one of the "defining" features of authentic learning is that it
happens spontaneously.

Gibbs first pointed out more than a century ago that for any physical
system to act spontaneously, it must use its own internal source of
phsyical "free energy". Unfortunately, this important truth is known
mostly by some chemists. Outside chemistry few people have even heard
about it.

Learning is a spiritual act. For learning in an individual or in an entire
organisation to happen spontaneously, it will help to think of spiritual
"free energy". Organisational learning will happen spontaneously when that
organisation uses its own spiritual "free energy" to drive that learning.

I personally think it is possible to plan for spontaneous organisational
learning while avoiding its non-spontaneous counterpart. Any system,
physical or spiritual, can be forced by an external agent to act
non-spontaneously. As a first requirement that agent has to have
sufficient "free energy" to force the system by work into action.
Unfortunately, non-spontaneous action is usually destructive rather than

>One major issue in either case, though, is how
>open the organization (or or other system, like
>a community) is to learning and change. If it is
>more open and responsive, it may learn more.

This "open" for me relates to openness while the "responsive" relates to
liveness. Openness and liveness are two of the 7Es (seven essentialities
of creativity). The more a system grows in each of these 7Es, the more the
system is able to react constructively and spontaneously.

Thank you for your valuable comments.

With care and best wishes,


At de Lange <amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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