Teaching Smart vs. not LO13540

Michael Gort (gort@ms.com)
Thu, 8 May 1997 00:32:34 -0400

Replying to LO13499 --

Debbie Broome says "Ben, your comments have generated some interesting
conversation on this list. I've noticed that only two of the posts (by my
count, forgive me if I missed some) deal with the issue of accountability.
One of those posts was mine and by far, probably the most harsh. It's not
that I don't believe in the need to see things from another's point of
view and to ENGAGE other's in learning (not command, which cannot be
done), but what seems to be missing for me in all of this discussion is
accountablity. ....IMHO, TQM movements started toerrode the
accountability of individuals to managers, despite all the many, powerful
good things that have come about. I am not advocating the old command and
control structure, but how does accountability fit in with learning and
what is management's role?"

Debbie -- Accountability speaks to me of green eyeshades and large
ledgers. Of counting up and assessing the value of the person. Dr.
Deming spoke of the role of the process or system. He said counting
widgets and exhorting higher production from workers in a process that was
in control was fruitless. The system controlled the output, with only
normal cause variation. If you want higher output, focus on improving the
system, not telling the workers to produce more. Accountability in large
organization practice really revolves around blame setting. If I am
accountable, and something does not work, I am at fault. Forget that the
system had flaws and balancing loops that prevented me from achieving that
for which I am accountable, it is my "fault". I have been there, and I
have held and been held accountable many times. Never have I felt that
holding or being held accountability helped or encouraged my or any
other's learning. Aren't we really talking about sharing a vision, and
being committed to learning from every failure so that we can further
advance the cause towards that shared vision?

Michael Gort


"Michael Gort"<gort@ms.com>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>