Are "Teams" a meaningful unit of learning? LO13576

Len Tischler (
Sat, 10 May 1997 00:11:18 -0400

Replying to LO13389 --

Response to Tom Petzinger's comment:

In answer to how to differentiate a learning team from any other team, you
said, "The learning team would change its actions from time to time, one
hopes for the better more often than not. The other team would not

I would modify that a little. All things change, whether there is
learning or not. I tend to define learning as part of an intentional
process which results in a change of behavior that is intended to be an
improvement or to produce growth. Thus, a learning team would attempt to
change in ways that are intended to create improvements or growth, however
the team defines improvement or growth. Non-learning teams change more
randomly: as their environment pushes them around. There is no internal
intention to grow or improve.

As "the nature of life is to grow" (from physics and the Vedas), I
would surmise that a learning team or a learning person is relatively
unblocked (psychologically) from his/her/its own nature (to grow). On the
other hand, a person or team that is usuallyy not learning is probably
blocked in some way from his/her/its natural instinct to grow. Deming
would say that the block comes from the systems in which the person or
team are embedded. Others would say the blocks are in the individuals.
Others in their interactions. Wherever the origin of the blocks, they
appear to exist when learning is not the modus operanus. In teams, for
learning you would probably need a critical mass of relatively unblocked

Does this help?

(P.S. Thanks for sending me your articles.)

"Len Tischler"<>
Web Page:

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>