Dear LO' ers,
In 1984 a lady in an American television commercial made "Where's the
Beef?" an icon for a fast food chain. Ads showed her looking at a large
hamburger bun containing a smallish piece of meat and uttering those
famous words. A few years later I was sitting next to an attendee at a
System Thinking conference who, after listing to speaker after speaker
describe the challenges, philosophy and hopes for Learning Organizations,
asked a similar question. To paraphrase her statement: "now that I'm
really excited about and see the benefits from a LO, what can I do to make
it work for myself and my business?"
Back "home" after many of these conferences, I'd find that the "half-life"
of the expectations created by conference speakers and discussions were
usually greatly diminished. My focus would be redirected by job-specific
realities that were both complex and time consuming.
Over the past decade, a small group of colleagues and I have worked to
create a methodology to address the LO "implementation" challenge. We
wanted to create an effective way to help people ^Ö whether they be
students of business or "leaders of industry" ^Ö to explore, discover, and
ask questions about their business or business in general and to implement
their learnings. This effort evolved into a series of commercial computer
systems called "DeSASim" - PC-based, ready-to-run simulation products for
individuals or teams to learn WBSDWTD ("why businesses systems do what
they do") and to perform strategic and tactical planning tasks.
I invite you to look at these novel products at http://www.desasim.com.
DeSASim products are not "answer machines"; that's why I believe "Where's
the Fish?" is pertinent. Our goal was not to teach people about business,
but rather have them learn by "playing the game" as best fits their
particular situation ^Ö to enable them to fish and learn for themselves
whenever, wherever and however they want. A student of business may have
little experience but lots of creative ideas that they may accidentally or
consciously inject into scenarios they create. A person with years of
first-hand involvement with business may explore scenarios differently and
will usually test the extreme limits of operations.
Does DeSASim cover everything that could impact the success or failure of
an organization? No. However, the main components that have been the
time-wasters of the past are taken into account, thereby giving the user
more "thinking time"^Å. and, the system is designed to evolve as
experience is acquired.
Now, here's a thought for the LO List membership: In the ideal world
wouldn't it be great to have a consortium of interested people work
together to implement and improve on the methodologies like DeSASim. Such
an effort could be a multinational learning experiment that enables people
to better understand what makes businesses succeed.
"Terry Priebe" <email@example.com>
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