Creating Learning Environments LO30658

From: Terry Priebe (
Date: 10/06/03

Replying to LO30638 --

Edward (Edward W. Rogosky), good morning...

I just read your post "Creating Learning Environments" in which you said:

>Senge speaks of using no coercion in the implementation of a learning
>organization. Yet, people hardly do the right thing inless they are
>slightly coerced into moving in that direction. ..."

Some quick thoughts...

I agree that you can't - over the medium to long term - force an LO into
being. My experience is that such an action will have a very short
productive half-life and will likely postpone the emergence of a desirable
LO for quite a period - probably until the current "players" are off
somewhere else, and a new group is in place. A failed LO leaves a terrible

At this point, I've concluded that there's something missing in the way
we've approached the LO creation process. Senge's 5 disciplines give the
key, but they have generally stopped short of providing - or better,
encouraging - a stabilizing factor.

Years ago, Senge spoke highly of technology to leverage the LO creation
process. For many reasons, this confidence was lost. Emphasis now has -
as I see it - been primarily placed on individuals and teams to be
inculcated with the theory, the hopes, and the persistence to pursue an LO
path. There are, however, few long-term success stories that live up to
those hopes and it's rare to speak of the use of "technology" as a
significant partner in an LO. (Throughout, I'm referring primarily to
organizations whose purpose is an economic - profit-making one)

Addressing where "slippage" in the process frequently occurs is needed to
help people sustain a meaningful dialogue over time and to build
relationships of trust that are aimed at the kind of LO's that we talk
about. I think part of the problem is in the difficulty we have in
growing and anchoring our knowledge in a way that permits us to examine
new possible courses of action AND maintains the collective hopes,
persistence and trust among the larger, Relevant community. ( the "R"
because it's probably a large part of our "community" that's typically
left out - because of communications, time, not knowing, fragmenting
relationships, etc...)

Therefore, I see a better approach in a hybrid methodology that bridges
the human component of an organization with the larger community of people
and, explicitly, the processes in which they work. Unfortunately, the
current polarization of "method" has created somewhat of a catch-22
situation. I think that without addressing this "condition" in a way that
considers the above, we'll continue to spin our wheels at a time when
burning rubber shouldn't be satisfying.

I've gone on a bit longer than expected... may I turn the "talking stick"
back to you (and others on the LO List). Your topic of theological
systems thinking in intriguing. I just finished reading Mary Doria
Russell's "The Sparrow"... an in-depth fictional tale of systems thinking
from a theological point of view if I've ever seen one.

Best Regards,

Terry Priebe


"Terry Priebe" <>

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