LO and the warrying on terror LO29201

From: Jan Lelie (janlelie@wxs.nl)
Date: 09/20/02

Dearest readers,

LO-concepts may be used to get a grip on the "verwarring" surrounding the
War on Terrorism. In Dutch, the word "war" has to do with confusion, loss
of coherent thought. A bit like "worrying", but that word seems to imply
more focus on one issue. So warrying. Terror, fear, angst has that effect
on people: it confuses. So warrying is the natural response to terror. But
it is an action-reaction response. It is not very creative, to say the
least. And it just brings more of the same: destruction, fear, confusion.
I like to invite you all to use the five disciplines on this issue.

 1. What could be the "Systems Archetypes" behind the current confusion.
We've been hinting at "tragedies of the common", fixes that backfire,
accidental advisaries etc.

 2. Personal Mastery: what emotions, values, visions are behind the
choices made? What orientation are available and what solutions can they
supply? What did you learn from this period?

 3. Mental Models - use frustration as a source for inquiry - how can we
better balance inquiry with advocacy. It seems that we're high on the
ladder of inference (Our beliefs are THE truth, the truth is obvious, our
beliefs are based on real data, the data we select are the real data).
What should the double loop look like? What assumptions, values need

 4. Shared Vision. Driving into a wall sure is a vision, but is does hurt.
How is the vision building process managed? Is it Telling? Selling?
Testing? Consulting? or Co-creating? Why? How much time and effort is
needed to translate the meaning of the Original Vision on for instance the
US or the UN to the current situation? What are the priorities then?

 5. Team Learning: we seem on the road to Babilene* (Abilene, Babylon),
because of our inability to manage disagreement. What are the
undiscussable themes? What are the mental models that are not discussed?
How can we reframe the issues?

My objective would not be to resolve these issues now or to prevent the
next battle in this war - that will be proven inevitable - but to gain a
better understanding of this warrying for the future. Remember that WOI
was triggered by an assault on the Austrian Emperor; WOII was helped by
the Reichstag fire; and on ans on until last year we had the 9-11 attack,
etc. I believe that these acts of terrorism do not cause the war. The war
is caused by warrying. Acts of terrot somehow start the avalanche. What
should interest us is:
 1. keeping out of the way of the avalanche - run for the hills
 2. managing the warrying when it is still small.

Any suggestions?

Kind regards,

Jan Lelie


Jan Lelie <janlelie@wxs.nl>

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