Two years after 9/11 LO30704

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 10/13/03

Replying to LO30692 --

Dear Organlearners,

Jan Lelie <> wrote:

>Hello Clyde, Bill, At and other lovers of learning,

Greetings dear Jan,

What a warm feeling does it not give to the heart being greeted like you
did. Thank you.

>There is however a connection between the diabolic (or symbolic)
>act of 9/11 and all the ones thereafter and Model I / II and the
>resistance against change.

At the beginning of the year i did a lot of reading on the the events of
9/11. What struck me is that so much of it could have been prevented if
more of the organisations involved were acting according to Argyris' Model
II rather than Model I. This Model II is for me somewhat the description
of a LO (Learning Organisation).

But i want to rush to the following:

>The problem - if any - is - as you seem to point out - that there
>is no way you can "manage", "coerce" or even "teach" people to
>accept their (negative) feelings and emotions and in the end
>You can lead the horse to the water in all possible ways, but there
>is no way that will insure that she will drink.

So much of what you have written above is true. But i have found a way to
let the "horses drink". First, make sure that as many as possible follow
you all the way up to the water. Then, tell them that to drink or not to
drink is their choice and nobody else's. But most important of all, make
sure to tell them that you will use nothing of what happened in the past
will be used against them when they decided to drink AND make sure that
you keep your word! (It makes me think of the other on going topic --
Reconcilliation and Forgiveness.)

>I do not think however that it is possible for a single or a small
>number of organizations to make a - lasting - transition from
>Model I to Model II. I think it is worse. You either have the
>basic assumptions ("morale", "ethics", "mind") that make that you
>behave in ways that are consistent with Model I or you cannot
>act but according to Model II.

I think somewhat differently. It is indeed extremely difficult for a Model
I organisation to transform into a Model II one. But it can be done. It
requires a leader with enough insight and patience to prepare that
organisation for such a transition. The preparation may take several
years. During that preparation very little of a gradual transformation can
be seen. Then, sudddenly, when it comes to the clench, the actual
transition happens surprisingly fast.

>As it has been put - in despair - by the Belgium writer Louis
>Paul Boon in the last sentence of his book "My Little War"
>(about W.W.II): "You have to keep on kicking people until
>they have developed a conscience". The lucky thing is that
>we're busy kicking ourselves until we have face the fearful
>truth: we're all alone.

I have a few books on the history of warfare. (There was a time when i
suspected that studying this history will reveal to me principles of
learning which cannot be found otherwise.) What struck me from these books
is that the generals who secured the best discipline among their soldiers
also fared the best in wars. But what also hindered me, is that they
usually secured this discipline by coercive methods -- the "kicking" or

Jan, you wrote: "..until we have face the fearful truth: we're all alone."
This is crucially in any bifurcation -- you are alone and what happens to
you depends on you and you alone. It has to do with openness.

>Another day closer to the great transition, may your fears
>be with you,

Thanks for your step along the path of preparation. A great transition
requires a great preparation.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> 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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