From the pot to the plate: making ideas "edible" LO28410

From: Barry Mallis (
Date: 05/05/02

Replying to LO28403 --

Dear Alan,

You summarized in this way your posting LO28403 about managers who control
and manipulate their organizations into a sick condition:

> I suggest the way out of this paradigm is to provide sufficient guidance
> material, to allow workers to self-manage. A documented management system
> is empowering in itself.

I agree with you about documented management systems. My experience comes
from the painful implementation of an ISO 9001 over nearly three years. It
doesn't necessarily provide deep changes within management psyches,

As with most postings to this insightful list, yours provides a
high-level- abstraction suggestion worth pursuing. But 'sufficient
guidance materials', and, better yet, the verb 'provide' remind me about
the lowest levels of abstraction (a place I have always fretted about)
where ideas must come out of the planning room and meet the dynamic
reality of the workplace. There, individuals use whatever skills they may
have in order to support the organization's Reason For Being.

Every additional person/persona at work in an organization multiplies the
complexity of the heart and mind. It's so very, very hard to generalize
about what could work; about what literature to have 'lying around'; about
the management training which may prove effective; about a proper boundary
between the individual and the organization with it's demands.

And so we on this list continue dialog. We mix so many notions in the pot.
Every so often there may be delivered to some hungry individual among us
that morsel which defines a meal, or which goes further, delivering
nutrition beyond ostensible apparent size and weight.

Years ago, when the list was small and LO contributions numbered in the
hundreds, there were for whatever reason more such meals served up. Life
in this LO grew (matured?) in a its particular direction. As more join in,
we move upward in the sense that smaller, PRACTICAL details are
harder--not impossible--to discuss. We naturally moved from practice to
concept, where we mostly remain today.

If you asked me, "What constitutes practice, Barry?" I might reply: case
studies of applied ideas. This does not mean so much personal anecdotes
from which we have delivered our philosophie du jour, but anecdotes which
exemplify the successful and/or questionable deployment of concepts which
promote and maintain learning in organizations.

Yes, I know there are web sites on the planet which purport to do this.
Facilitator/trainer people like me are a dime a dozen, too. But gimme a
list of ten things to do which have worked somewhere, for someone, and
I'll try one or more.

'Nuf for now. Seems to me that I write one of these notes according to
some internal it every 8 months or something? Oh well, humor



Barry Mallis
The Organizational Trainer
110 Arch St., #27
Keene, NH 03431-2167 USA
voice: 603 352-5289
FAX: 603 357-2157
cell: 603 313-3636

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