Creating Learning Environments LO30672

From: leo minnigh (
Date: 10/08/03

Replying to LO30638 --

Dear Edward,

In the last years your question has passed several times in various
variations on this list. It is one of these fundamental things of human
behaviour and a popular thought of many.

>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...

You are wondering how something could be moved from A to B. The destination
is B and not something else, like C, D or E.
I propose that you do the following (thought) experiments.
1. If you have a driver license and a car with a trailer, move this trailer
with your car one mile along a quiet road. First you do it in the normal
way - pulling the trailer at the back of your car. Now, the diffficult
challange: do the same but now backward driving - pushing the trailer.
2. You need a fluff or light-weighted feather. Blow this fluff from one side
of the room to a particular spot on the other side. Now you install a vacuum
cleaner at that spot and try to attract the fluff from the opposite wall of
the room.

I think you now have experiment the differences between attracting and
pushing, stimulating and forcing. What are the differences between the
two? Circumventional behaviour is characteristic of punishing and
coercion. And not only humans and other living organisms are creative in
finding ways NOT to do the right thing as you have experimented.

Why is repression, coercion and punishment (our laws our completely based
on punishment) so popular, not only with politicians? Probably because
a)pushing has immediate effects, and b) one could direct the pushing force
to a certain target, and c) it works over greater distances. The
unexpected effects and uncertain destination of pushing are useally
denied; systems under pressure need permanent control. On the other hand,
the effects of attraction, stimulation, sucking are less direct, they
appear on the long term. Moreover, attraction is undirected (it works on
the complete surroundings) and it works on shorter distances (probably the
vacuum cleaner had no effect at all, because of the great distance); the
final result (destination B) however is from the beginning known and the
system is self-controlled. The short distance-effect is possibly the
reason why personal coaching works better than distant learning.

Edward, it is up to you which method you like to use. But I like to warn
you: be very careful (its better to avoid it completely) to introduce more
energy into a system, than the system can cope with; an explosion is

Leo Minnigh


"leo minnigh" <>

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