Hard Work and Efficient Management = Success? LO28381

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 05/02/02

Replying to LO28366 --

Dear Organlearners,

Fred Nickols <nickols@safe-t.net> writes in replying to LO28352 --John

>"it takes more energy to waste" Quite true.
>Working involves expending energy. All such
>expenditures are some mix of productive and
>wasted energy. If the proportions are not managed,
>specifically, if the wasted portion is not reduced to
>a minimum, then to achieve the result requires more
>total energy expenditure than would otherwise be the
>case. Or, as John says, "it takes more energy to waste."

Greetings dear Fred and dear John,

It takes a lot of time to keep up with replying to each contribution on
this topic by you fellow learners. But I feel compelled to do so since I
came up with the original request. Anyway, both your contributions have
been most helpful as all the others before.

Thank you for you valuable comments linking hard work to (free) energy and
how vital it is to manage that correctly by preventing wastage.

Several years I wrote a very long essay
"Efficiency and Emergence LO22426"
< http://www.learning-org.com/99.08/0043.html >
To sum what it says: We cannot have both our cake (emergence)
and eat it (efficiency of converting free energy into work). I am
still convinced, if not more, of this as in those days.

Two day ago I recieved a private email from a fellow learner from whom we
have not heard anything on our LO-dialogue for several months. In it he
wrote the following:-

"Just to share with you I have taken my simulations just one step further
and looked at Input (flow) and output (flow). The very interesting thing
is that when the output and input is close to each other (in quantity) but
generally Qout/Qinput is less than one 1, I get a very nice Devils
Staircase or punctuated equilibria situation. All these simulations
(entropy production) have shown to be fractal i.e. they have a power law
distribution and hence a fractal dimension (D)."

Note the "Qout/Qinput is less than one 1", i.e., Qout < Qinput (where <
means "smaller than"). Here our friend is now discovering in a
mathematical model by simulation how emergences (giving the "Devils
Staircase", something which Goethe called "Steigerung") use up free

The decline, if not the very crisis, of the organisation is that it ought
to have transformed itself radically some ten years ago to survive in
society much different to those years. With "radical transformation" I
mean that it should have emerged into a much more "learning and living"
nature along all its organisational lines. To do this requires free
energy. However, much free energy has been wasted in the hard work to keep
the organisation up in an environment which has changed so much socially,
politically and economically.

I think that the organisation has focussed so much on its daily tangible
productivity that that it lost sight of its inner reforming to keep up
with this external productivity in a vastly different future.

Dear Fred, this one fellow learner Alfred will love very much because in
the nature of their business they have learned by their very experience
that it is the case. All their competitors get caught up in the trap which
you warn against so timely.

>Here's a trap, so beware. It is very tempting and
>very easy to assert that Ee = Ep + Ew. Going a
>step farther, one can say that Ep = Ee - Ew. From
>there, it can be argued that increasing the amount of
>energy expended (Ee) will in fact increase Ep (and so
>it will). What is not clear from the expression is that
>increasing Ee will also increase Ew so that not all the
>increase in Ee will show up as an increase in Ep. Why?
>Because Ep and Ew are functions of the way in which
>the work is performed (and this includes the procedures,
>methods, tools and so on).

I have tried many times to explain patiently to Alfred why the = sign
cannot be used in Fe = Fp + Fw. Please note that I have changed the E's
into F's because I am focussing on "free energy" F and not "total energy"
E. There is not conservation law for F like for E!!! In other words, we
ought to write Fe < > Fp + Fw where the "< >" means "is not equal to". The
reason is that between these tow < > signs we can write Fe < bifurcations
> Fp + Fw

Bifurcations can lead to destructive immergences (which we rather call
waste) or constructive emergences. When they lead to immergences, we can
quantify much of this waste and hence the term FW explicitly. But when
they lead to emergences, we cannot quantify them directly, even should we
consider these emergences as the very opposite to waste.

I think my explanations to Alfred helped because he is becoming quite
smart on the nature of bifurcations. Therefor I think he will have deep
understanding for the following (but it is for him to say whther it is
really the case)

>Most important, the real leverage in productivity
>improvements lie in "working smarter."
>Now how do we get organizations and their leaders
>to "learn" that?

Yes! How?

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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