LO and its environmental conditions LO30282

From: keith.cowan@ytasp.net
Date: 06/19/03

Replying to LO30250 --

Leo Minnigh writes:

>"What are the living conditions of a LO?"

>1. Like living creatures, it looks as if LO's could survive only either in
>a protected reserve, or they have found a special but rare niche. Because
>if the breeding ground and the ideal environment of a LO is ordinary and
>normal, then the LO should be the normal and common type of organisation.
>Is the ordinary environment so harsh that a LO couldn't survive? Well, it
>is possible. Let me try to make it clear.

>Is there an eco system where a LO could live, grow and survive?

All organizations that survive are "learning organizations". They must
display the characteristics of living systems. Some appear to be better at
it than others. This is the challenge of organizational learning (and
knowledge management): to help organizations better fulfil their natural
tendencies to generate and capture commonly-held and accepted knowledge.
Even so called government and corporate bureaucracies are learning. It is
just that most of the learning has already happened in view of those in
charge, and the acceptable behaviours have been documented.

Having said that, there are certainly conditions that management can
foster that would make the collective learning more abundant. These have
been documented extensively here as well as in various other forums: CQI,
Cycle Time Management, Senge's works, even Peter Drucker....

For a good reference on some of this background, have a look at:
for the dialogue that took place on October 1999 here.

>2. The second possible reason why LO's are rare.

>A LO emerges from an OO (Ordinary Organisation). It is an evolutionary
>feature. The phenomenon of evolution is very interesting, but not simple
>to comprehend. Evolution in nature is a result, it has no specific goal or
>purpose. It happens.

>...What do you think?

Here are some selected quotes from the earlier dialogues:

"A learning organization is an organization skilled at creating,
acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behaviour to
reflect new knowledge and insights."

"A learning organization is the emergent qualities resulting from the
dynamically complex interaction of people, processes, principles and
shared meaning."

"an LO is an organisation with masses of potential but really grinding
slowly to a halt, or an organisation that is working to its full
potential, realising its full potential and manifesting it in its work ...
and presumably there are all the shades between."

So we have lots of "prior art" on the topic. Suffice to say that, just
like certain areas of our planet are more prone to encourage life forms,
so corporate organizations are more prone to encourage those behaviours
that cause it to learn and adapt and remain competitive and profitable.

Thanks for asking... Keith Cowan
(An organ-learner since 1994)



Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <Richard@Karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>

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