Individual Competence vs. Organizational Efficiency LO28876

From: Barry Mallis (
Date: 07/22/02

Replying to LO28866 --

Uh oh, Terje, you really struck a nerve with this one. I can't overstate
how much I agree with your words below:
"As of late it seems he doesn't want to measure anything at all, thinks
that all work and learning will get done by intrinsic motivation and that
even saying something like "good job!" is a bad thing. These ideas are
very appealing to certain teachers though (who pay for his books and
presentations,) because removing such tests would make it practically
impossible to tell if they were doing anything at all, and fit well with
their romantic ideals."

In this geographical place where I live and work, on this planet, in this
country, workers WANT TO BE TOLD that they are doing a good job. Told by
peers and managers, by leaders and supervisors. It's at the top of their
list. Maybe this is not so in other countries, but it IS SO HERE.

Having taught fourteen years in school classrooms, and then in corporate
training rooms for another twenty, I have my own opinions. One reason I am
jaded by the school teaching profession is that poor competence or
incompetence too often goes unrecognized, uncorrected, unaccounted for.
Where are the measures? Why do so many people remember only a handful of
their teachers from twelve, sixteen or more years of classroom experience?

We all read English. How many of us can teach an English class, eh?
Teaching is a human science which CANNOT be unbound from art.

And today? Dams of data have crumbled, releasing inundations much of which
may never become information. We're so overwhelmed, gasping and grasping
for the light, for the soul of it all. Muddy data solidifies into a
concrete, much like the loose flakes of avalanched snow harden into a vise
grip around the stripped tree.

I fellow teacher whom I respected decades ago recounted to me how he
visited an "experimental" school for children in the U.S. where we lived.
He described to me how he came across a group of young boys and girls at
that school who were melting lead objects and letting the liquid it fall
into a large basin of water. When from behind their shoulders my friend
asked the young boys and girls why they thought the liquid reacted as it
did upon contact with the cold water, several said in unison to him, "Uh
uh, that's teaching."

Rumi said 800 years ago that

Mind does its fine-tuning and hair-splitting
but no craft or art begins
or can continue without a master
giving wisdom into it.

and also, he wrote

What the material world values does
not shine the same in the truth of

the soul. You have been interested
in your shadow. Look instead directly

at the sun. What can we know by just
watching the time-and-space shapes of

each other? Someone half awake in the
night sees imaginary dangers; the

morning star rises; the horizon grows
defined; people become friends in a

moving caravan. Night birds may think
daybreak a kind of darkness, because

that's all they know. It's a fortunate
bird who's not intrigued with the evening,

who flies in the sun we call Shams.

So, dear Friends, let us keep our LO caravan moving along in the sunlight;
asking questions, seeking the outside on the inside, and the inside in
front of our eyes; master as student, then exchanging places.

I bow to the god inside you,



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 email:

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