LO and the Public Sector LO22858

Malcolm Burson (mburson@mint.net)
Tue, 12 Oct 1999 19:42:50 -0400

LO colleagues --

As a list member for the last 4 years or so, and an occasional
contributor, I'm aware just how graceful and powerful our conversation can
be both in stimulating thought and action, and building connections and
relationships. I've recently entered a (for me) brand-new world, by
accepting a position in Professional and Organizational Development with
the State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection. It's my first
experience in the public sector, and I'm interested in hearing from others
of you out there who currently (or in the past) have held _internal_
positions in this sector (not that I'm uninterested in those with external
consulting experience here, but for the moment, I'm trying to sort out the
peculiar dynamics of working in this particular "inside" environment.)

Let me pose a question: in what ways do you think that the quest to build
organizational learning / a LO in the public sector is like, or unlike,
that in other organizational systems? Thus far, I have identified what
seem to me a few critical factors, including

(a) the challenges of an executive branch organization constantly subject
to external politicized decisions;

(b) relatively stable, long-term employment characterized by attitudes
like, "the top decision-makers change all the time, but we folks in the
bureaucracy just do it the way we've always done it," and "nothing will
ever change;" and

(c) comparatively low salaries and employees who work hard, but remain
fundamentally cynical.

I'll be eager to learn from others' ideas and experiences. Post to the
list if you like, or, if you'd prefer to communicate with me off-list,
please write directly to me as given here, or to
<malcolm.c.burson@state.me.us> I'd welcome the chance to develop some peer

Malcolm Burson


"Malcolm Burson" <mburson@mint.net>

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