My name is Cliff Hamilton. I want to introduce myself and offer a new
topic of discussion. I've been lurking for several months and have very
much enjoyed the discussions. My primary home is Hillsboro, Oregon, (USA)
a suburb of Portland. (Secondary one is Scottsdale, AZ.) I'm a biologist
and educator by formal degrees - an independent scholar (no institutional
support), facilitator and consultant by current lifestyle. I've managed
to work in government, nonprofit and private sectors over the past 25
years. A major interest is in the changes and shifts going on in society,
demographics, organizations, management and business and where they all
This brings me to the second item.
The new topic of discussion is "living " organizations, an organizational
model that includes the learning organization concepts and goes well
beyond. From my research of the past four years, I'm convinced it's the
organizational model (or at least metaphor) of the future. It's what we
are inevitably evolving towards in bits and pieces, whether we like it or
not. This is about far more than simply applying some biological
principles to organizational models. That's old news. It's about a
comprehensive "wholeness" of organizational characteristics, structure and
operations and an evolution in progress which we are all part of.
Writers and researchers such as Peters, Senge, Kauffman, Rothschild,
Drucker, Bridges, Laszlo, Covey, etc. are each discussing fragments of the
whole. It's like the story of trying to describe an elephant with your
eyes closed - each person feeling only a portion and inferring from their
small part what the whole elephant looked like and how to manage it.
"Living" organizations is the elephant. Recognizing this reality may
allow us to take a shortcut to the organizational model of the future and
put many of the current topics and issues in context.
The living organization model applies five principles which have already
emerged (flexibility, continuous adaptation, integration, individuality
and sustainability) to basic operational components like staffing,
financing (energy flow), project management, organizational structure,
etc. The living organization concept provides a context within which to
fit new management approaches as well. The model offers organizations the
possibility of identifying their current situation and "shortcutting" an
otherwise expensive and time consuming evolutionary process they
inevitably must traverse. I've been using the model in consulting
activities, steadily grow more excited about its utility and remain
totally convinced of its validity. I also still consider it a work in
progress. Given the nature of evolution, it may always be.
I've enjoyed listening in on the LO conversations and would like to share
information on the living organization model in return. I'm not really
sure what approach will be of most value. The synopsis version currently
exists in matrix format and thus does not lend itself to email. If you
would like a hard copy of the synopsis, please email me your mailing
address or fax number. If you would like other responses, please contact
me directly via email or through this list serve.
Thanks again for letting me listen in on your interesting discussions. I
look forward to hearing more.
Best wishes to all.
Cliff Hamilton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
26600 N.W. Sunday Dr.
Hillsboro, OR 97124
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>