Creativity and Mode of Speach LO22488

AM de Lange (
Wed, 25 Aug 1999 09:48:02 +0200

Replying to LO22468 --

Dear Organlearners,

Tom Christoffel <> writes:

>You define and recommend CC (creative correctness) instead
>of PC (political correctness) in communication for the benefit of
>bringing out the creativity in others. You suggest: "Use plain,
>simple commands in a friendly and civil manner."

Greetings Tom,

Yes, I did.

But please be carefull. Do not command left, right and centre. Seek for
the harmony between statements, questions and commands. Distinguish
between the harmony in your own mind and the harmony in the minds of
others. Our minds each sings a different song on the Creator and Creation.

Perhaps I should have written P"C" and C"C" rather than PC and CC to make
my intent more obvious. I like PC and CC, but to go overboard with it,
results in P"C" and C"C".

>In our organizations you suggest:
>>Here is a simple test to make sure that your organisation is
>>not a LO. Begin to use simple commands to get creative
>>results. Observe how other members of the organisation
>>react to your imperative mode of speach.
>>Be ready to defend yourself from all sides. If you are a MD,
>>do not assume that their fear for you will prevent them from
>>attacking you under all sorts of cover.
>This is very thought provoking.

Dealing with the creativity of other people and not merely commenting on
creativity as a topic requires self a high degree of creativity. Imagine
giving a kid the keys to all sorts of nuclear technology, or to a snake

>Working with obnoxious people obviously enhances one's
>creative responses. Opposites clash. In my regional
>cooperation work I seek ways to define a common ground in
>reaction to the demands of all the local government
>stakeholders. I have referred to myself in the past few years
>as "a professional trouble maker" since the reactions to the
>issues raised are so negative.

Tom, how I wish that you could see yourself as I am seeing you. How I wish
that I could see myself thirty years ago as I am now seeing myself thirty
years ago. I was then very much involved with the farming community like
you are, but as a researcher in soil science. Soil science then consisted
of much experimental data, but very little theoretical framework (systems
thinking) to fit it into. The frameworks of traditional physics and
chemistry were of little use because they were based on reversibility.
Only when I shifted my paradigm from reversibilility to irreversibility
(entropy production), did many pieces of the complex puzzle begin to fit
together. I was filled with joy. But I was also perplexed.

Although physical facts on soils and organisms depending on soils began to
fit together, the spiritual facts about humans (the majority being a
farming community) remained a puzzle to me. Today I understand why. I
shifted my paradigm to irreversibility for the physical world, but not for
the spiritual world also. Fortunately for me, I was able to perceive the
"joker which kept on scrambling the pack of cards in the spiritual world"
-- that which kept on keeping the spiritual facts a chaotic puzzle. It was
the ordinary creativity of the farming community, much different to the
scanty studies on people with superior creativity available in those days.

Like you I was also searching for that "common ground". Almost
unnoticeable "entropy production" receded into the backgound.
Much to my surprise three notions, which I could barely articulate
with "becoming-being", "categoricity" and "monadicity" began
to take shape in my mind. You will notice that they have to do
ith three of the seven essentialities of creativity,
Essentiality - "becoming-being" (liveness) LO17651
Essentiality - "identitity-categoricity" (sureness) LO17823
Essentiality - "associativity-monadicity" (wholeness) LO18276

Following these three notions became exciting, but also caused me much

>In business, this probably explains the value of "skunk works"
>for generating new solutions in companies. The demanding
>(obnoxious) people are squirrled away out of sight so they don't
>irritate others.

What a poetic way of commenting on C"C"! It is like "hiding creativity in
the closet".

>It is clear that I present leading questions to others in order
>to try to get their agreement to the underlying assumptions.
>Don't we all?

Tom, people think that there is virtually no connection between creativity
and (declarative) logic, that they are even incompatible. It is not so.
In declarative logic we work with assumptions, those inherent to the
logical system (called axioms) and those imported into the system (called
hypotheses). It is only when we consider these axioms and hypotheses as
fixed and preordained that creativity depart from logic. However, to
transform these axioms so that they do not diverge from truth and the
hypotheses so that they converge to truth is a most creative task.

Think about the last sentence and its meaning. But also observe that it is
a statement. Now think about your own questions with which you investigate
the assumptions. Are they not actually concerned with
"truth-transformations" -- truth not only as a "being", but also as a

What we ought to become sensitive to, is that statements, questions and
commands influence "truth-transformations" differently.

>I'd appreciate some examples of shifting to imperatives
>from questions, from PC to CC.

Observe what happens in a school. In the beginning of the year declarative
sentences are used most by teachers and pupils. But as time gets less
while creativity has been neglected, interrogative sentences become more.
Near the end of the year when creativity becomes critical in saving what
is still possible to save, commands are issued left, right and centre.

Think about cult leaders. Have you ever noticed how much they use commands
to boost the creativity of their followers? Some people consider the Bible
as a cultish book. I wish they would calculate approximately the relative
frequency of statements, questions and commands. The Bible is a superb
example of a dialogue harmonious in statements, questions and commands.

Think of a goverment official. He (she) has to deal with three sets of
imperatives: the law, himself and any member of the public. The saying
goes: "Two is a company, but three is a crowd". In this case the member of
the public is excluded from the company. Command yourself firmly and
friendly back into that company. You are at the top of the triangle, but
you need not point it. A king (queen) never says: "Do x y z because I am
the king."

>Another issue this raises is the projected end of "Command
>and Control" - where that is deemed not possible in today's
>complex world. If your proposition is "Command and Create"
>then how is the creative soup managed to produce output.

As for the individual self, I can recommend the following. Make very sure
what your mission in life is and follow it, come heel or high water. Is a
mission, not after all, a command just like goals and objectives? Does it
not empower these latter commands?

But I think you refered to a soup consisting of many individuals. It is
here where I have observed that "stick to the mission" seldom afforded
the same success as in the case of a single individual. Even the formation
of an organisation in that soup does not ensure success, although many
believe so. How many times have we not observed the assumption "Let us
form an organisation to further our misson" and eventually its failure in

It this is where I see much need for individuals to act within the
Learning Organisation rather than a mere organisation. A serious problem
which I have to work upon in almost every new relationship is that people
can be as creative with me as they like -- they do not have to hide their
creativity in a closet. I am not in the business of judging their
creativity, but to promote it as a gift and especially the fruits which it
must bear.

Should you take the last sentence and substitute "creativity" with
"learning", you will have a sentence which describes the Learning
Organisation! In other words, what I have described in that last sentence
is a "Creating Organisation". So why do I not, taking a que from Peter
Senge, begin to promote this concept of a Creating Organisation"? Well,
the Learning Organisation is a fruit of the Creating Organisation and thus
more important to me.

Perhaps our most serious problem is that the majority of people in the
organisations in which we work try to put creativity and learning in some
or other closet -- hiding the "skunk works" as you put it. My greatest
frustration self was people who talked about creativity and learning, but
who did not walk it and prevented others by all sorts of schemes to do it.
In others words, the essentialities openness and liveness were seriously
impaired in their case.

>What kind of process then takes the demanding members
>of a team to a usable public product? The customer might
>be the judge - but having the customer in the design process
>would seem to be better.

I am one with your question and comment.

My answer I have given above. But it is very incomplete because it is the
answer of someone acting as a learning individual.

The comment to your answer has a very deep meaning to me. I have argued
in earlier contributions that we cannot have both dialogue and judgement.
Either we talk to each other or we judge each other because they are
mutually incompatible. Your comment suggest the same -- judging by the
public and designing by the public cannot go together. This recurring
incompatibility results from what has now become a very fundamental truth
to me:-

Perhaps this is the fundamental error in the democracies of the present
era. The officials or professionals do the creating and the public (demos)
do the judging. Since they do the judging, they cannot do the creating
also. Maybe this judging required from the public is the principal force
which drives their "skunk works" (creativity) into the closet.

I would strongly suggest that the learner, customer (or whatever we may
call those who benefit in the creativity of others (the teachers,
merchants, etc.) to participate self in that which will eventually benefit
them. But it requires people from two much different levels of advancement
to work together -- two parties much different in their creativity. If
these two parties do not become aware of this fact, their joint venture
will fail because of too much ensueing frustration.

But through own experiences and many discussions I know that collective
creating can become very frustrating for both parties. In cases where the
rudiments of a Learning Organisation were operating, much of these
frustrations were tempered. One wonders how much better these frustrations
would have been handled should the five disciplines of Learning
Organisations actively been employed.

One of the most important fruits of such a collective creating is the
growing respect for one another and the accomplishments of all. Today I
consider any lack of respect as clear sign of a creativity moving into the
destructive rather than the constructive direction.

>As always, thankful for your perspecitve living the learning

Thank you for your kind words. History has shown us that most kings who
formerly lived as peasants and slaves became the best kings. I think it is
because they learned how powerful and thus also how dangerous imperatives
are when the state of mind is destructively. The King of kings gave only
one command for all people -- love (unconditionally, irreversibly and

Best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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