Hard Work and Efficient Management = Success? LO28435

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 05/08/02

Replying to LO28421 --

Dear Organlearners,

Glebe Stcherbina <gstc3416@mail.usyd.edu.au> writes:

>I basically agree with your comment that "good wine
>becomes better when allowed to age". However, may
>I add by saying that if a "knowledge work team" helps
>to prepare the wine by crushing the grapes in the vat
>(as a team), then the final product may taste even better
>to all of those who contributed to the wine making process.

Greetings dear Glebe,

Your words are very dear to me. It descibes exactly what all the inputs of
fellow learners from many angles meant for me in the topic "Hard Work and
Efficient Management = Success?".

Thank you all very much!

In the beginning my idea was to ask from you an independent
opinion of the organisation's crisis. I had to make use of the
. organisation * me * you
This is the associative pattern of wholeness where the middle
element is the "umlomo" (Zulu for mouthpiece). I had no idea
that it would gradually change into
. organisation * you * me
In other words, I did not expect that you (fellow learners) will
take my request so seriously that you actually have become the
mouthpieces between me and the organisation. What wonderful
thing is the wholeness of team learning not! Far better than an
aged good wine!!

>In closing it maybe a case of re-examining how
>small work teams can bring about learning change
>in the organization rather than trying to rely on
>formal processes to dictate the direction.

I have mentioned the project in that organisation with which a small team
including me is involved. That project is nothing else than exploring the
production tasks of the whole organisation with small work teams! Our own
small team did our "home work", so to say, and came to the conclusion that
the best strategy will be to use small work teams to bring about the very
learning change which the organisation so desparately needs. You are
right, the organisation has reached that stage in which its formal
processes cannot dictate the direction any more.

It makes me think of equilibrium and the manager of that organisation who
was formerly a chemist. He still ought to know a lot of chemistry. An
equlibrium in a system is reached when its free energy reaches its lowest
value for its present processing structures. The organisation has reached
an equilibrium state with its reliance on its formal processes to dictate
the direction.

This equilibrium is not stable, but labile. This means that the
organisation needs something in the environment, even as small as a
butterfly flapping its wings, to bring the rain storm about in the
organisation which will rejuvenate it. Perhaps the manager knows it too,
but he persists articulating it as "efficient management". Thus he brings
in from the managerial schools a stampeding elephant rather than allowing
a flapping butterfly take its effect.

It reminds me of a question which I once asked in our LO- dailogue. Where
do we initiate a learning change in a system stucked in a labile
equilibrium -- in the system or in its surroundings? Fellow learner
Winfried Dressler (who is now a senior manager in their company with work
up to his nose) took that question up with me and eventually discovered
that the change has to be made in the environment!

Thank you all for becoming the butterfly flapping its wings.

The LO-dialogue is a flapping butterfly.

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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