High Expectations LO17578

Simon Buckingham (go57@dial.pipex.com)
Fri, 27 Mar 1998 16:16:31 -0800

Replying to LO17567 --

Meredith Emmett wrote:

> Thanks for opening a dialog on the day-to-day nitty gritty of what it
> means to create a learning organization with people with varying
> understandings of what that means and with the competing pressures of
> everyday life. I am the executive director of a nonprofit agency that is
> developing the community leadership skills of young people. For the last
> 18 months, I have been trying move the organization to focus on learning
> and away from doing the activities of the organization in same ways that
> they have always been done or in the same ways modeled by other
> organizations. My staff is young, not very well paid, and their lives are
> full of other interests and priorities. ...snip...

Day-to-day learning seems to me to be all about sitting down and
thinking about and working out what is important to each person- what
their "lifestreams" and priorities are- what makes them unique and what
they are talented and interested in. The same person often has multiple
interests- and this is a good thing in terms of maximizing diversity,
security and opportunity.

The trick is then to focus attention and effort and resources day in,
day out on those priorities by using learning activities to widen and
deepen the lifestreams- step by step- to become the world's leading
expert in unorganization, or Coca-Cola collecting or Short Message
Service or whatever it may be. Learning is the universal skill that
applies to the development and deployment of each and every individual
lifestream. Learning is the studying, exploring, doing and discussing
activities that go into improving the lifestreams.

Of course the beauty of it is that it is all a virtuous self-reinforcing
cycle- you start with something you are naturally inclined towards and
get better and better at it through learning. The biggest inhibitor of
learning is that it a voluntary activity in a world replete with
legitimized force- employees don't get to choose what tasks they carry
out, so they don't maximize their learning because they are not
intrinsically motivated to learn. You cannot effectively teach someone
who does not want to be taught. This is a vicuous cycle deplete of
thinking for self. Unless your lifestream is becoming an expert in the
flaws with formal, organized organizations (an area with a lot of
scope!), the optimal learning arena is self-employment- facilitated by
the ability these days to tap an Internet community to create wealth and
earn a living from an obscure specialism or two.

You may want to refer your young people to the free guide
"Unorganization: The Individual Handbook" at
http://www.unorg.com/indiv.htm which explains lifestreams, financing
passions and so on in more detail. Best wishes with your project.
regards simon buckingham unorganization


Simon Buckingham <go57@dial.pipex.com>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <rkarash@karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>