Entropy, Learning Styles and the corporate wars LO29484

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 11/12/02

Replying to LO29477 --

Dear Organlearners,

Pixie Delite <pixie_delite@hotmail.com> writes

>During performance review, I was told in a very annoying
>tone from my boss how he is tired of me approaching things
>differently all the time from everyone else.

Greetings dear Ms Joy,

When i got to this paragraph, not even knowing what you will be writing
further, i was roaring with laughter. Not that you are funny, but because
you have described something which happend so many times to me that i
cannot recall even a fraction of the cases.

>As an example he brought up how once he had asked
>me to do a simple risk template for the team. He went on
>to say how I had made the task into a project and done a
>detailed plan, workplan, template, theory, background etc.
>paper on it! He questioned my reasoning behind such an
>elaborate display over a simple task. To which, I sincerely
>replied "Well I was thinking about the whole template in its
>context, the complete picture and long term use. I wanted
>to be sure that e.g. if I left tomorrow from this job, whoever
>comes in can see the template and actually know in what
>context it was written, what was the motivation behind it,
>what the situation was, and who had input into it.
>My boss clearly continued to show his unhappiness about
>my method for a simple task where he wanted me to not
>think at all and just produce.

I think that you are completely right for having done it in this way.
Actually, what you did was to excecute the task in a CREATIVE manner such
that others could benefit in a CREATIVE manner from it. But what your boss
wanted was that you should execute the task as a human robot programmed to
follow his preferances. He was annoyed because he did not succeed in
programming you as he seemingly did with the other employees.

It is because of creativity that people exhibits styles in executing any
activity like learning, promoting, caring and even managing. When a person
demands only one style in any human activity, it points to a serious
impairing of that person's creativity. It is usually a direct impairing of
otherness ("quality-variety"), one of the 7Es (seven essentialities of
creativity). But it could be also an impairing of one of the other 7Es
which is reflected in otherness. For example, an imparing in fruitfulness
("connect-beget") will show up as the incapacity to deal with other
varieties of the same species.

Corporate wars result because some people cannot accomodate the creativity
of others.

>.... I did the whole paper on the template (as a reference
>booklet thing) because my brain is geared to think that
>way and thus does not need to gather momentum etc.
>After reading what Mr. de Lange had to say, I have
>been trying to think why this has been a conflict as far
>back as Grade 1 for me when I was 4. I guess it is the
>way my brain works. Never sees anything "on its own".
>I think if it even stopped a minute to think about anything
>"in its singular nature", it would go to sleep and not
>perform the task out of share boredom and laziness and
>lack of connectedness. It almost needs to think beyond
>because only in its complete use and busy-ness does it
>carry out a task.

I think of wholeness as involving "unity" and "associativity". Jan Smuts,
the "father" of holism, thought of wholeness as involving a "whole" and
its "field". For me this is rather sureness "identity-context".
Nevertheless, it is clear for me that as far back as Grade 1 you have been
seeking greater wholeness, i.e., walking the path of holism. It is all
your experiences in "the whole is more than the sum of its parts" which
made it impossible for your boss to program you. I have done a little bit
of computer programming and from what i understand of it, the program
(sum) is always equal to the sum of its procedures (parts), but never more
than it. In fact, should the program act not according to its procedures,
it will be malfunctioning!

But this is exactly what creative humans do. They are malfunctioning in
terms of the procedures prescribed to them by others. Hurray for such
malfunctioning humans.

>The fundamental definition of what a task is to me and
>to most others I have encountered is quite different. For
>me a task is answering the immediate in a short time in
>its complete wholeness. For most that ends up being a
>project. For me, a project is the operational version of
>the task. Its almost like a task is the blueprint and project
>the execution of it all for me.

To use the terminology (or fashion words for many) of complexity science,
the task is the "strange attractor" while the project is the "adaptation"
or "self-organisation" needed to reach that attracting state. Or to use a
metaphor from everyday life, it is one thing wanting to eat apples, but
another thing planting an apple tree and caring for it until it bears

>Anyhow, like I was saying, the whole entropy explanation
>did make sense and helped me to understand better that I
>am not a loser or an incompetent employee ( I think?). I am
>about to leave this job anyhow as, being part of corporate
>management, I find myself in constant conflict with the
>environment, the ethos and the non-learning organisation
>attitudes (and not to mention upper management).

Not a week goes by without somebody telling me the same things as you have
told us. They long for a Learning Organisation (LO), but their longing is
based on a tacit-intuitive perception of the LO. Since they have only a
tacit perception of it, it means that they had to have earlier experiences
of LOs. Where would they had derived such experiences? I wonder how fellow
learners will answer this question?

Is the organisation in which you work a hellish hole or a heavenly
plateau? Is the people with whom you work devils or angels? How much has
your own attitude to do with how others respond to you? If you want your
organisation to become a LO, the first step is for you to act as if you
belong to a LO, even in the face of provocations to the contrary.
Afterwards fellow employees will come to you, not in a torrent, but drip
by drip, asking for advice. It is then when you have to plant the seed of
the LO concept by presenting your advice as part of this concept.

>Glad to be back. Will try my best to maintain my presence
>and read up on all the interesting feasts on the chain.

Keep up living true to yourself and your creativity while caring for
others in the same manner.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@postino.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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