Yes, but does LO work? LO18999

Paul Foley (
Thu, 27 Aug 98 21:07:35 +0100

Replying to LO18982 --

>It may be in the handbook, but there were real examples. Unfortunately,
>the bulk of the examples were about sports teams, symphonies, dance
>groups, etc. Unfortunate not because these are not good examples.
>Unfortunate only becausethey share a critical trait that is not available
>in most profit or non-profit organizations, and that is that they all
>spend more time practicing than in executing (one could add military org
>here as well). Personally, I believe this is why they are such good
>examples of learning orgs. I don't understand how to transport that
>example to environments where practice is not practiced.


I recognise the difficulty. However I see the task as being to get them to
blend practice and executing into one thing. There will be times when
formal systems encourage formal review and learning - project debriefs for
example. On the other hand people are learning individually and
collectively all the time; it's WHAT they're learning that worries me!

When they acquire the personal and interpersonal skills to think and
communicate more effectively, they are acquiring learning skills. Arie de
Geus in the Living Company discusses "decision making as a learning
process." In other words it is not separate from work but part of it. By
encouraging this approach, we also have a better chance of getting it done
- senior management are less likely to see learning as an extra resource
to be put in (or left out of) the budget.

Part of this is about building LO initiatives around commercial projects.
Many worthwhile commercial exercises can benefit from the application of
some of the Fieldbook examples. If a less-than-visionary Chief Exec sees
it as a new approach to "bring this product to the market more quickly,"
or "Increasing sales revenue by 20%," he is much more likely to support it
than if it's about "A new approach to thriving in the knowledge economy."

All the best,


Paul Foley
Kynesis - orchestrating organisational change
7 Burnside Road
G73 4RF
Tel: (0)141 634 5423
Fax: (0)141 634 5220


Paul Foley <>

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