Multiple Personalities LO28651

From: John Dicus (
Date: 05/29/02

Dear LO,

Over the last few months I've spent some time with a person who is very
familiar with multiple personalities. To say the least, I've learned some
things that will never cease to hold me in awe. The depth and rich
capability of the human mind is indeed breathtaking. Especially it's
capability to do what it needs to do to protect a person from some of the
unthinkable traumas individuals are forced to endure from time to time.

I want to mention one aspect of multiple personalities and ask you to
ponder with me how this might apply to organizational learning. My belief
is that a group of people have some sort of collective mind. They can
think together in unconventional ways. They might have some sort of
prescience from time to time. Anyway -- just to set a context for

Apparently it's been documented on many occasions that a person with
multiple personalities may manifest a certain physiology when one
personality is present, and a different physiology when another
personality is present. In one instance, a diabetic condition came and
went with two specific personalities. Blood pressure conditions can
change. I don't know what else -- but what I'm relating is probably just
the tip of the iceberg.

If I sit and think, all sorts of metaphors begin to pop into my head.
But the very first question that jumped out at me came almost immediately.
It was sparked by the realization that there was a completely different
physiology accompanying a different personality. "Instant change," I

A question for you. First -- how valid are our assumptions regarding how
fast change can take place in an organization? We talk about revolution
and evolution. We talk about how we have to go slow and give people time
because "no one likes change except a wet baby."

And second -- can an organization undergo a personality change and almost
instantly have a new physiology? What would it mean for an organization
to have a personality change and what would cause it? What is
"physiology" in an organization? What would cause an organization to have
multiple personalities? Would it have to be traumatic? Could there be a
personality shift under "better" conditions -- like a change in mindset?

I'd like to hear the stuff this brings up in you.

Many thanks,



John Dicus | CornerStone Consulting Associates - Leadership - Systems Thinking - Teamwork - Open Space - Electric Maze - 2761 Stiegler Road, Valley City, OH 44280 800-773-8017 | 330-725-2728 (2729 fax) |

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