Learning and enlightenment LO22440

Thomas Muirhead (architect@thefree.net)
Thu, 12 Aug 1999 09:45:04 +0100

Replying to LO22430 --

At 01:20 -0400 10/08/1999, HJRobles@aol.com wrote:
>>To: Readers -- Aleksandar wrote to us early in the period of bombing. He
>>recently sent another note which was a bit too partisan to distribute.
>>Frankly, if I had been bombed, I don't know how I could have written a
>>note without being partisan. One of my grand questions is how we can ever
>>lift the clouds of secrecy, disinformation, and partisanship so that we
>>might learn something from a war experience.
>> ..Rick]
>Dear Rick,
>I understand the concern with partisanship on a listserv of this nature,
>but truly, how can it be avoided in a true learning organization? And
>more to the point, should it be avoided? Sometimes I think we must
>embrace the tiger, even if it is not comfortable and even painful. The
>trick would be to take what comes from that experience and see what can be
>learned from it. I'm curious as to how you and others define partisanship
>and whether it is automatically perceived as something negative and to be
>avoided. Just some thoughts........Harriett.

A modest contribution on partisanship:

All of the most successful organisations with which I have been involved
have been partisan in their nature, and the people working for them have
taken part in the "mission". This leads to strong group cohesion. Other
organisations I have known have been beset with problems because
basically, the organisation has no purpose other than to become larger,
make bigger profits, and perpetuate itself.

Some large organisations can create a kind of consensus ( a sense of
belonging ) within themselves by cultivating a mythology about the
organisation itself, the Founder, the organisation's "great tradition'
etc., although after downsizing this seems not such a hot ticket. It may
be kind of "cool" to work for Microsoft, but I wouldn't think that goes
very deep.

In short: an organization has to be *for* some clearly defined purpose, to
which all of its components can subscribe and in which they can
passionately believe in. The purpose has to be something bigger than
helping the boss be successful. Employee or worker participation in the
form of a role in decision-making, or a share of the profits, are not much
of a help if the organisation, however large, has no purpose in life.


Thomas Muirhead Architects
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Telephone & fax (0171) 388 0582
E-mail architect@thefree.net

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Thomas Muirhead <architect@thefree.net>

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