Books by Chris Argyris LO13423

Edwin Brenegar III (
Fri, 02 May 1997 07:46:43 -0400 (EDT)

Replying to LO13385 --


One other side to this issue of accountability and growth. I was leading
a workshop on self-directed work teams, using Katzenbach & Smith diagram
of Skills, Commitment & Accountability, and reality jump off the screen
and hit me square in the head.

People who are fearful of growth, often lack a supportive environment or
community in which to test their horizons. It occurred to me there that
most of the problems that groups, teams, organizations, families, etc.
face are not skills problems, but of not having a proper relationship
between the commitment and accountability sides to K&S scheme.

You can't have genuine commitment by a team unless they have a genuine
structure of mutual accountability. And accountability means nothing is
there is not a genuine commitment to one another on the team. Putting it
another way, unless we have someone to whom we answer, we are alone in our
desire to learn. It was a not a new thought, but the reveleation to us
all that day was eye-openning. It explains a lot.

Thanks again,
Ed Brenegar
Leadership Resources
210 Wood Dale Drive
Hendersonville, N.C. 28791
704/693-0720 voice/fax

On Thu, 24 Apr 1997, Benjamin B. Compton wrote:

> Ed writes:
> > Ben, IMHO, Adults who are unwilling to learn have failed to see the
> > consequences of the process. And often they fail to see these
> > consequences because they do not have to be responsible for them. I am
> > finding that the issues of accountability are becoming more pronouced in
> > the groups with whom I work. You may be able to finesse your boss, but
> > you can't finesse your life. It will eventually catch up with you.
> >
> > If you listen to great coaches talk about what it takes to build a team,
> > they often start by talking about recruiting great talent. Talent is the
> > ability to learn, to overcome one's own weaknesses, and to live beyond
> > your abilities through team work. "Stupid" people haven't figured that
> > out yet. One of my first mentors once told me, that "It is more important
> > who you work with than what you do." For the most part he is right.
> >
> > Thanks for addressing an obvious, but needed point.
> Thanks, Ed, for a great post. Scott Peck, I believe, calls people who
> chronically seek to avoid responsibility "character disordered." I think
> there are a whole lot of people out there who suffer from this.
> Responsibility implies accountability; learning requires growth, growth is
> sometimes painful; growth can be risky because it is in moments of growth
> -- as we explore unchartered territory -- that we make most of our
> mistakes. And taking responsibility for our own mistakes is often
> uncomfortable. But I've never believed there's much to be gained by
> running from the pain of growth. In fact I think we're at our best as
> human beings when we embrace such pain, work through, and become better
> for it.

Edwin R. Brenegar III <>


Edwin Brenegar III <>

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