Why does LO stop? LO18083

Ben Compton (BCompton@dws.net)
Tue, 12 May 1998 10:57:20 -0500

Replying to LO18065 --

I agree with Rick Karash that this is a really good question.

My experience in a large organization could be simply summed as:
"Instituational inertia prevented any serious or long-term efforts to work
toward becoming a Learning Organization."

I would say that the work required to make serious strides in the
direction of a LO require a great deal of patience, commitment, and
intelligence on the part of management.

Another big stumbling block I think is the lack of trust between the
employees and the managers. I wish every manager/executive I have known in
my career displayed the wisdom of Rol Fessenden or Richard Goodale.
Unfortunately they do not. So when mgmt. shows up with the idea of
becoming a "learning organization" people scoff, laugh, or even mock the
idea, and go about business as usual.

If I had it to do again, I'd begin by working with the employees and
ignoring management. There are tremendous learning opportunities embedded
in day to day operations that can be captured, explored, and expanded
without managements permission or cooperation. Once the ball starts
rolling I think it might be easier to convince management to join the

One of the things that frustrate me about much of the work with LO's is
the focus on management. That is probably due, in part, to the fact that
management are the ones who pay the academic researchers who conceived and
popularized the concept. But I think the bowels of an organization is
where the best learning can thrive. . .

Just my two cents.

Benjamin Compton
GroupWise Engineer
DWS -- "The GroupWise Integration Specialists"
A Novell Platinum Partner

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