Uncovering the Act of Organisational Learning LO28863 (Part 3).

From: Jan Lelie (janlelie@wxs.nl)
Date: 07/19/02

Replying to LO28843 --

and LO28819 and others

Greetings dear At, dear reader,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on learning. I love to learn, but hate
being thaught. Let me add to the confusion, In my view, when i start to
think about these issues, the core issue of the learning organisation (LO)
consist of the organising processes: the who, why, what and how of
organizing. The central paradox there, as formulated by Chris Argyris, is:

"Learning in order to control behaviour inhibits learning".

Or, as i would have formulated: learning - or development - in order to
organize behaviour inhibits learning - development. Organizing, working in
teams and groups and (individual) learning, development are tied together
like a Gordian Knot. Groups and teams are a "conditio sine qua non" for
survival. We wouldn't have developed language if were not forced to live
in groups. So we'll have to adapt (= to learn) how to live, to survive in
groups and with groups. On the other hand, we do not want to loose our
individuality, our spirit, our soul. On the other hand, we'll have to
accomodate, adapt. The more we stress our individuality, the stronger the
group will try to pull us back. The more we adapt to the group, the less
we learn, create, renew. Every movement, every change, every invention
creates its own counter-invention. There is only the dance, i've been

This universe is biased however. We're made from dust, so the material
side has a slight advantage. The thing is always stronger that the
concept. While dancing, we'll tend to notice the dancer. And so, in
organizing, we tend to notice the organisation more.

How to proceed? Well, look, i personally think that we tend to use labels,
words rather awkwardly. Sometimes words hide the concept we have to deal
with. I dunno why this is the case, i guess it is because we do not pay
them enough - attention. Some word combination seem to have a ring to
them, an appeal, speak to us. Like Knowledge Management. Or Learning
Organisation. Or Neural Linguistic Programming. Or Archetype. etc... But
"Knowledge Management" - in my view - is not about knowledge, but about
managing people. But "Learning Organisation" is not about learning, but
about organising. etc.

AM de Lange wrote:

> Dear Organlearners,
> Greetings to all of you.
> This is:-
> Part 3. Organisational Learning within a Learning Organisation.
> I did not intend to write part 3. But within an hour after having mailed:-
> . Uncovering the Act of Organisational Learning LO28818 (Part 1).
> . Uncovering the Act of Organisational Learning LO28819 (Part 2).
> I began to feal uneasy. I focused so much on the maze of information
> that I failed to take all my own experiences into account. I now want
> to introduce them by asking two questions.
> Does the OL (Organisational Learning) in a LO (Learning Organisation)
> differ from the OL in a OO (Ordinary Organisation)? If it differs, how
> does it differ?
> We know that not only are the two disciplines Personal Mastery (PM) and
> Team Learning (TL) essential to a LO, but also the three other disciplines
> Mental Models (MM), Shared Vision (SV) and Systems Thinking (ST). PM
> involves IL (Individual Learning) while TL involves OL (Organisational
> Learning). Thus PM and TL have clearly to do with learning. But it is as
> if learning stands in the background with respect to MM, SV and ST.


With kind regards - met vriendelijke groeten,

Jan Lelie

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