LO and Organization Development LO30196

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 05/21/03

Replying to LO30192 --

Dear Organlearners,

"sun rize" <sun_rize31@hotmail.com> writes:

>Am second year master student, Public administration.
>I would apreciate your kind help for me... I need information
>or articles about the Learning organization and organization
>development and the relation between both.

Greetings dear Sara,

You are in need of WHAT information exists. It involves the "first loop"
of "double loop" learning. However, every student also has to learn HOW to
find the information which he/she needs. This involves the "second loop"
of "double loop" learning. I will tell you HOW to find articles (files) on
the web having the information which you need. But i wont tell you the
WHAT of the information itself.

Make use of a so-called "search engine. I like to use Google's advance search
engine. It is available at
< http://www.google.com/advanced_search >
Click on the URL above and a page will appear with lots of small windows
on it, each having its own function.

Should you type in the top window
and in the second window
   learning organisation
it will search for all files on the web having the word
and the phrase
   learning organisation
in them. Click on the button SEARCH to do the search. I did it and got
30 300 hits.

It will take months to search through all of them. So we have to prune
them by giving the search engine better information. It did not above
searched for files having the word "organisation" occuring alone, but only
for files in which the word "organisation" occured in the phrase "learning
organisation". So add this word in the top window as
   organisation development
with retaining in the 2nd window
   learning organisation
I did it and got 19 500 hits -- a 35% pruning!

Yet they are still too many to work through. Having in the top window
   organisation development
does not mean that Google wil search for the phrase "organisation development".
It will search for files in which the words "organisation" and "development"
each occur at any place. To search for the phrase "organisation development"
itself, make use of the following trick which fellow learner Don Dwiggens taught

On the first page of hits there is at the top a window with
   organisation development "learning organisation"
in it. Change it into
   "organisation development" "learning organisation"
by putting "organisation development" also in quotation marks. By clicking on
on the button SEARCH, it will search for files in which both the phrases
"organisation development" and "learning organisation" occur. I did it and
got 914 hits. This is much better than the initial 30 300 hits.

It will still take several days to work through all of them. Now think of
something vital to organisations. Many will think of "leadership". Should
you think so too, then change that top window on the first page having
   "organisation development" "learning organisation"
   leadership "organisation development" "learning organisation"
and do a search. I did it and got 603 hits. It is not much of a pruning.

"Leadership" is important to organisations. But "wholeness" is one of
the 11 essences of a Learning Organisation (LO). This means that
"wholeness" is not only important to a LO, but essential to its very
existence. So change that top window into
   wholeness "organisation development" "learning organisation"
and again do a search. I did it and got 4 hits!

Perhaps these four files do not have the information which you want or too
little information for your liking. There is also another danger and that is
that many people use "wholeness" as just another fashion word. So use
another of the 11 essences of a LO in its place. "Openness" is one of
them. Change the top window of the first page of hits into
   openness "organisation development" "learning organisation"
and do a search. I did it and got 174 hits. That would take you a day or
two to work through.

You may very well wonder why "openness" gives much more hits than
"wholeness". This is an important question. Two centuries ago, Goethe,
much more known as a writer than also a scientist, came early in life to
the realisation that thinking in terms of wholeness is much different from
the "analitical thinking" of most scientists in those days. For example,
in analytical thinking the information obtained from other people plays a
crucial role. But in "holistic thinking", it has somehow to be intergrated
with thinker's own experience, intuition and creativity. This integration
is necessary to preserve the "unity" of the intellectual mind. The next
stage is then usually an awareness to "diversity in unity" rather than an
abitrary collection of diverse things.

So, you may also search with Google for
   diversity "organisation development" "learning organisation"
in top window on the first page of hits. I did it and got 334 hits, perhaps
too many to work through in a couple of days.

You may very well wonder, according to what Goethe thought, whether
wholeness is not essential to openness. If it is the case, then the 334
hits for openness contradicts the 5 hits for wholeness -- the latter
should have been more than the former! We thus have to conclude that both
wholeness an openness act as essences.

But we still have to find an explanation why so few people are aware that
wholeness is essential to both "organisation development" and "learning
organisation". Perhaps Goethe is right that we have been indoctrinated too
much with analytical thinking. But there is also another possibility. In
1926 Jan Smuts, the father of holism, published "Holism and Evolution". In
it he explained how holism="increasing wholeness" is the driving force
behind all kinds of evolution and not merely biological evolution. The
intellectual mind also has to evolve. Without "increasing wholeness" it
cannot do so. Consequently anybody aware to "wholeness", but not also to
"increasing wholeness", will not develop holistic thinking. Such a person
will not seek pertinently for wholeness in all thinking.

I think that "organisation development" has to be an evolutionary process
to have any lasting value. Why? Nature has set us an example over two
billion years with the evolution of living organisms. If this is the case,
then wholeness and especially holism="increasing wholeness" is crucial to
any lasting organisation development.

But what about learning organisations? Many people believe that any
organisation in which knowledge and information are major resources, is a
LO. They only differ in degree how much they are LOs. Such people then use
the five disciplines of Senge to make such an organisation more of a LO. I
think differently. An OO (Ordinary Organisattion) cannot be a LO too. It
has to EMERGE into an infant LO which then has to grow into a mature LO.
This emergence requires "increasing wholeness"=holism to happen.

Jan Smuts defined "increasing wholeness"=holism as that
   the whole is more than the sum of its parts
Using this definition, an OO is the sum of its parts, but a LO is a whole
which is more than the sum of its parts. So what in this whole makes it
more than the sum of its parts. It is here where many organisation
developers think that Senge was too idealistic/esoteric in his articulation
of a LO because he identified "metanoia" as one such a thing in the
whole of a LO, but not in the sum.of a OO. The members of an OO
can have "orthonoia" (normal thoughts) and even "paranoia" (abnormal
thoughts), but not "metanoia" (over/beyond thoughts).

So another thing which you can search for with Google is
   metanoia "organisation development" "learning organisation"
in top window on the first page of hits. I did it and got only ONE hit.
Perhaps Senge is too idealistic or perhaps even wrong. But i do not
think so. I have past experiences of three LOs and in them we were
all aware of such "heavenly thoughts" about love, care, companionship
and trustworthyness. I am now involved in four tiny LOs which have
emerged recently. Again these "metanoia" excite the members of them.
They all say frequently that it is a great joy to belong to them.

Sara, happy hunting for the information which you want.

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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