For what end? LO23264 -was: Instrument for Systems Thinking Inclination
Thu, 18 Nov 1999 10:36:52 -0600

Replying to LO23240 --

Warning! this may sound like a tangential rant ....

Malcolm writes:
>On the other hand, as we work in organizations, we're always looking for
>leverage points! Anyone want to help me out of this dilemma?

In response to Malcolm ... I am afraid that this may sound ... what ...
idealistic? But I am continually struck by the dominance of "the
organization" in our discussions. Yes I am well aware that the focus of
the list is Learning ORGANIZATION. This is not directed at Malcolm his
statement, I think it was the word leverage (leverage what? for what
purpose? to benefit who?) , sparked a sensitive point in me. I sometimes
tire of the dominate thesis which places the "good" of the organization as
the supreme end. We are bombarded with messages from all quarters (media,
elected officials, the courts, religious figures-those that are reported
by our media) that the welfare of human beings is tied to the welfare of
our organizations (both public, private, profit and non), and the
maximization of profit (please note I did not say the creation of profit I
am referring to the maximization of it) is the virtuous goal , some
maintain a moral obligation of the organization. A word about profit; I
construct this to mean not only money but power, influence and control and
their maximization to attain a desired goal. This could end up a larger
discussion but it isn't just money, that is why I include non-profits.
Many of our (i.e. consultant, managers etc.) jobs are the advancement of
that notion within the organization. Often through these threads I hear
concern for human beings as a function of what we do to/for/with
organizations. The center, the underlying essence, is occupied by the
organization (but what is the organization really? - a vehicle for the
privileged to maintain their privilege?). In a country that is one of the
most industrialized and wealthiest (I now speak from a very USA
perspective) where we have one of the highest percentage living below the
poverty level ( in some parts 1 in 4 children live in poverty), have one
of the highest infant mortality rates, where the distribution of all our
efforts (wealth) is highly polar I wonder if we have it all backwards.
And if we do, what is our complicity in furthering the organizational
agenda? As change agents do we have a greater obligation to move human
beings to the center? To deconstruct the current mainstream view of the
organization? ... ... ...

What all this has to do with MBTI and systems thinking inclination is
obviously not glaringly apparent. It just struck me this Thursday morning
as I was reading my e-mail. I intended to offend no one, I was just
wondering if there were any kindred spirits ....

John Truty


Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>