flock of birds LO21863

Goad Edwin R (edwin.goad@redstone.army.mil)
Tue, 8 Jun 1999 09:09:38 -0500

Adding to LO21846 --

Dear Leo, et al.,

Your working hypothesis that "the group attracts, the individuals reject"
causes the following thoughts in me: Perhaps: On a physical level people
tend to maintain some optimum distance (such as 3 feet) for
safety/security/mobility/practicality purposes. And also:

On an emotional/psychological level a similar distance would be desired
because it helps me feel included in the group, but yet is not so close
that you will see/feel/smell/hear my warts and flaws (and thus exclude
me). And: On a spiritual level ????????????

However, is it more likely that the group or the individual is doing the
attracting/repelling? I'm currently working on the hypothesis that all of
the above is the result of choices by the individual (although influenced
by the options presented by the group, of course). To believe that the
group holds the ultimate power allows me to blame the group for my

I have this analogy for the birds on a wire:

One dimensional adjusting may be similar to the "vertical" chain of command
in a hierarchical structure. Each person in the chain wants to be accepted
by/in favor with/included by the more powerful person above, but also wants
some level of control (and not be a puppet on a string). And thus a
balancing act, or spacing out on the wire, to optimize our needs for
significance, competence, and likeability.
Two dimensional adjusting may be like a meeting room, elevator or work
group, where the "horizontal" factor of coworkers is involved. Still
complicated, but somehow it seems more useful than mere 1-dimensional
Three dimensional adjusting (flying) may be like when outsiders to the
subsystem (i.e. customers, suppliers, others, the whole system) are
involved. As far as organizational change goes (or individual change) my
experience is telling me that we never really change until we see and
involve this third dimension, only then can we fly!

Thanks for the dialogue,
Ed Goad


Goad Edwin R <edwin.goad@redstone.army.mil>

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