Trends in Organizational Learning concept LO29378

From: Vana Prewitt (
Date: 10/23/02

Replying to LO29350 --

Philip Keogh wrote:

> There is much to be said for clearly defining what is meant by Information
> Technology (IT) and Information Systems (IS). It seems to me many people
> mix them up or merge them together and confuse the concepts.

You are so right that a lot of confusion exists about the role
technologies, especially information technologies, play in supporting the
goals of organizational learning. For my part, I've seen the eagerness of
corporate executives to believe the oversimplified explanations of
less-than-competent consultants who believe the oversimplified sales
pitches of their company executives eagerly waiting to install a
multimillion dollar computer system.

It seems more palatable to the business leader because he does not need to
fully explore the difficult and messy issue of what it means to learn or
to know. Writing a check is easier than exploring one's motives for
achieving organizational goals or asking how organizational and personal
goals can be harmoniously aligned. Taking a true leadership role in
becoming a learning organization, capable of continuous change,
adaptability, and flexibility would mean the corporate leaders would have
to get to truly know themselves and that's just more than they are willing
to do.

Easier to write a check and believe the oversimplified hype of technology
gurus who speak in complicated terabyte lingo. It sounds so impressive
while not really taking any effort.

Philip, you hit a raw nerve for me. My cynicism is out in the open. On
the whole, I don't believe that "people" misunderstand the difference
between IS and IT when it is fully and honestly explained to them. They
"get it." But too often it isn't in the best interest of the person doing
the "educating" to be completely truthful. That's why we have a lot of
people in business today who mistakenly believe (unchecked assumptions,
really) that organizational knowledge is being stored in databases. I
think it is our responsibility to constantly challenge these assumptions
and ask people if they really understand the implications of their

kind regards,

Vana Prewitt


Vana Prewitt <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.