Research on Collective Metanoia LO20515

Artur F. Silva (
Thu, 28 Jan 1999 23:50:22 +0000

Replying to LO20493

I think the proposal from Wienfried to open a "research project" on
"Collective Metanoia" is very valuable. As I am particularly interested in
the subject, that is really what could be expected from me... But I think
that this is indeed a relevant topic for LO researchers and praticcioners,
that is important, and has not been very considered until now; and that,
in this list, many contributions have recently addressed questions that
(at least for me) seem related to this one. No some suggestions on the
"research proposal", Winfried made, rearranged a little...

At 15:29 27-01-1999 +0100, Winfried Dressler wrote:

>Research on collective metanoia should be descriptive and prescriptive.

I think we must do a descriptive (and interpretative) research for some
time, and a prescriptive research only after we have some clear ideas.
Going prescriptive only with some "recipes" not very well founded is quite
dangerous in this field, I think.

>The descriptive branch will report successes and failures and may for
>instance deal with the questions why some organisations last for centuries
>and others are terminated within two or three decades as Arie de Geus did.

Very much in agreement. Maybe we may begin to "collect bibliography" about
the subject :

>Synchronicity by Joseph Jaworski, as you proposed, seams to be a good
>starting point;

for my part I would add, Naisbitt, "Reinventing the corporation", namely
the part where he talks about "small passionate collectives" (sorry, this
is a translation to English, from a Portuguese translation of the original
version - that I don't have with me...)

An article on the HBR of Jan_Feb, 99, "Organizing for empowerment", is
recent and interesting.

Any other suggestions ?

Let me repeat my question to Wienfried, bur now to all of you:

>>And by the way, do you know about any research on collective metanoia
>>among the LO, OD, or SD communities ? ( or any other "research fields"?"

Coming back to Jaworski, W.D commented:

>The underlying thesis of this book is, as I understand it, that leadership
>is about leading a process of collective metanoia in order to shape or
>generate a desired future rather than just react on anticipated changes
>"out there". And that this task has more to do with the being of the
>leader than his doing, because the "right" being ("authentic presence")
>attracts what he calls "predictable miracles". ("Being" is meant to
>contrast mere "doing", I read it as a being in the state of

I read that in a different way: that is a difference in the "espoused
values" ( values one affirms) and the "values in action" (one acts upon -
"done"). A more subtle distinction is that I can act "as if I was", say, a
cooperative manager, but, if in reality I am not, this will show as
contradiction. "Being", if I have understood well, means, in this context,
a congruence ( or integrity) between the espoused values and the values in
use. Sometimes the doing is not related to the being; when it is exactly
your "being" that expresses in your doing, then you can lead a process of
collective metanoia. From a theoretical perspective, this may seem a minor
point; from a practical perspective, it is not ( my opinion).

>Another fruitful field for description is the rise and fall of any social
>movements - the vast field of history, including religously or
>humanisticaly motivated undertakings.

Agree, again. I can only recall Alberoni's, "Genesis". Do you all know
about ? Do you know other studies about the "rise and fall of social

And after we have done our descriptive end interpretative research, time
for prescriptions will eventually arrive...




"Artur F. Silva" <>

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