Creation vs. Organization LO13235

Benjamin B. Compton (
Tue, 15 Apr 1997 10:49:09 -0700

A few days ago one of the participants -- who escapes me right now --
posted a message in which he talked about how God had created the earth
from nothing. This is a fairly common theological view. I don't want to
contend the point on theological grounds. But I do want to explore the
difference between organization and creation.

I think it is possible that the word creation is a bit of a misnomer. It
seems illogical to assume we can create something from nothing. As far as
I know there is "nothing" in existence. There is "something" for there to
be any type of existence. Is there a place in the universe where there is
nothing? What if "stuff" just always existed in the universe? What if God
just organized that stuff in such a way that a world formed, a planet, a
star, a nebula, etc.?

This leads me to my next point. "Stuff" -- particles, atoms, molecules,
cells, etc. -- must have some form of volition to even exist. Without
volition all the "stuff" out there would be inert. Volition -- the ability
to make choices -- seems to be a primary characteristic of intelligence;
intelligence seems to be a primary characteristic of adaptation. I like to
look at it from a social perspective: Imagine what type of society we
would have if all the people on the planet did not have the ability to
make choices! Where would we be? How would our society evolve? Actually I
think the the species wouldn't even be propagated because we would be
bereft of the choice to procreate!

And so the stuff that was used to create -- better to organize -- the
world, the planets, the galaxy, the universe may have -- at a very finite
level -- the ability to make choices. This ability gives all that stuff a
certain degree of intelligence, which in turn, allows adaptation and
evolution to occur. The more the "stuff" learns the greater its capacity
to make choices. This increases the field of possibility, allowing more
complex and healthy forms of life to evolve. At some point the stuff used
can actually learn to self-organize.

This is just a theory. I'm not a scientist, but I think it's not a bad

To relate that to human organizations, let's take the following track: We
don't create organizations. We organize people through the use of theory,
language, structure, and processes, so that a group of people can achieve
some purpose. The people within the organization have volition -- the
capacity to make choices. This gives intelligence to the organization. The
more the people within the organization are allowed to make choices -- and
experience the consequences -- the more they learn. This allows the
people to expand the field of possibility, which creates an environment in
which rich and complex actions can occur (both in the form of work done,
as well as in theory, language, structure, processes). This seems to be
how an organization can best ensure it's survival: Leverage the volition
of each person within the organization! It is from this type of
environment that we can have self-organizing human organizations!

This is precisely why I feel that command and control management is a bad
practice. It limits the ability of an organization to evolve, adapt, and
self-organize! It limits the intelligence of the organization! And it
limits the survivability of an organization!

Respect for independent volition -- and the diversity that naturally
emerges from that volition -- seem to be critical to the long-term
survival of every organization.

Just a few rambling thoughts on a nice, warm golf day in Utah. . .

Ben Compton
"Friends are the ornaments of life."
Phone:  (801) 222-6178
Fax:    (801) 222-6993

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