High Expectations LO17585

Bill Fisher (renovation@i-way.net)
Fri, 27 Mar 1998 15:08:09 -0500

Replying to LO17554 --


In connection with your

>Is it realistic for a group of self-actualized academians (us) to
>believe that organizations containing people at all levels of Maslow's
>hierarchy (in differing ratios) can become, together, a learning
>People who are struggling to make ends meet, who may have other, more
>pressing problems will most likely not be too concerned about learning,
>about how effective or adaptive their organization is, about how
>connected they feel to their colleagues, etc. Organizations are filled
>with people doing the best they can to stay afloat.

I suspect that if those folks become truly convinced that by turning the
organization to which they belong into an LO they will be better able to
make ends meet and that will have a real possibility of helping them do
more than just stay afloat, there would be nothing (including others)
stopping them from turning it into an LO. Human beings, IMHO, always
dedicate their energy to those matters which seem to have a REAL promise
of solving the problems you describe.

and your

>Can we really go into these organizations, having left our ivory towers
>temporarily, and profess that the learning organization must evolve?
>How much credibility will we have? After all, we are seeing
>organizations from a lofty, theoretical perspective vs. a day-to-day,
>gotta-get-things-done-and-I'm-2-months-late-on-my-rent perspective.

Seems to me there are several problems to your #2 we must address.

1. Shouldn't be up to us to convince anybody; in terms of conviction the
most we can possibly do is help people think through whether or not they

2. We should resist like mad (and I know from personal experience how
hard that is to do) being used by top management to help impose and "LO"
on the organization. If management wants to impose the concept, we need
to help management see the dilemmas that creates.

3. Management must be responsible for assisting the rest of the
organization to see how so doing will deal with the difficulties you
describe in your #1. Again, our task is to assist them to develop
strategies to do so. Otherwise, the kinds of learning we tend to address
in this list will never happen. Further, if management holds out the
"hope" that becoming an LO will address those difficulties, it had better
be able to provide some assurance (I know what that might look like would
be different in every organization.)

4. We know some learning can be accomplished by stick and carrot
techniques, but LO (again, my interpretation) demands self-directed
learning to a large extent. And that's TOUGH to create through S&C.

That's too much for now, but I hope lots of us address the issues you

Bill Fisher


"Bill Fisher" <renovation@i-way.net>

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