Learning Organization Mailing List and Archive

Copyright (c) 1994-2002 Richard Karash -- NOTE: This dialog ended 2004

This is an internet dialog among people interested in the Learning Organization concept, as described by Peter M. Senge in The Fifth Discipline, (1990, New York, Currency Doubleday).

Click here to go to the Learning-Org Dialog

Information about the Mailing List & Archive (These are links within this page...)

What is the "Learning-org mailing list"?

It is a flow of messages over the internet. There is a list of subscribers and all subscribers receive all the messages. Our robot keeps track of subscribers and distributes the messages. To add your contribution to the flow, you send a simple e-mail message to our address and the robot takes care of everything else.

This is available to anyone who can send and receive Internet email messages (including America On Line, eWorld, Compuserve, Prodigy, local Internet providers, and most corporate e-mail systems).

We focus on practitioners, i.e. those working to build learning organizations, but our group is very diverse. Most of our messages are thoughtful and inquiring. Our aim is that the discussion on this mailing list be conducted in the spirit of learning and exploration. Messages with an authoritarian tone are discouraged and "flaming" is not permitted.

In other words, we are conducting a dialogue about building learning organizations, and you are welcome to join us.

The Learning-org list was launched in June 1994 and now has a large base of participants. This a world-wide facility, with strong international representation.

English is the primary language for Learning-org.

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What are my options for participating in the Learning-Org list? -- Note: This dialog ended in 2004

1) You can receive Learning-org daily in your email in-box, either

   1a) You can receive individual messages (10-30/day).
      This is called the "main list" (learning-org). 
   1b) You can receive one longer "Digest" message each day; this is
      a compilation of all the individual messages on the main list and
      this is called the "Digest list" (learning-org-digest).
2) You can read the messages in the Learning-org archive

...and, in any case...

3) You can create messages and send them to the list. 
To receive Learning-org in your email in-box (that is, 1a or 1b above) you must be a subscriber. No subscription is required to read messages in the archive or to participate by sending messages to the mailing list.

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What is a Digest?

A Digest is a daily compilation of Learning-org messages, with a simple table of contents at the top. These are the full messages, not a condensed version. The Digest is distributed once a day Monday thru Friday, usually late evening US Eastern time. If there are no messages on the list (a rare occurance) there will be no Digest that day.

If you like to be selective in reading list messages based on the "Subject:" line, then you'll probably want to receive the individual messages. If you would rather download all the list messages to read later or print them out to read on your train ride home, then the digest version is for you.

In either case you can create new messages and reply to messages of others.

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Subscribing to Learning-org -- Note: This dialog ended in 2004

The mailing list is handled by Majordomo, our faithful robot, no human action is involved in list maintenance. But Majordomo only understands certain commands. Follow these examples carefully:
1) To subscribe for individual messages send an email to:    

   The subject line is ignored; begin the msg with two lines:
      subscribe learning-org

2) To subscribe for a daily Digest of messages, send email to:
   The subject line is ignored; begin the msg with two lines:
      subscribe learning-org-digest
Any additional text in the msg body (e.g. your sig) will be ignored. You will be added to the list and will receive a Welcome message including this info file. Please, please, please...

keep the Welcome message for future reference!!

If you have problems or receive an error response that you cannot handle yourself, then forward to your hosts

whatever you received that indicates to you there is a problem. If all else fails, email us at that address.
3) To change from individual messages to Digest, send email to
   The subject line is ignored; begin the msg with these three lines:
      subscribe learning-org-digest
      unsubscribe learning-org

4) To change from Digest to individual messages, send a message
similar to the one in #3 above, but move the two characters "un"...;
it's easier to do than to explain.

5) To leave Learning-org, refer to the Welcome message you received and
saved for reference. If that's lost, send a message to
   The subject line is ignored; begin the msg with three lines
      unsubscribe learning-org
      unsubscribe learning-org-digest
You'll receive a confirmation message with subject line "Majordomo Results." (This method is a brute force approach that will unsubscribe you from which ever list you are on; the second unsubscribe line will fail with an error message which you can ignore.)

Again, if problems, forward the error msg to

-->>IMPORTANT<<-- Do not send subscribe and unsubscribe messages to the list address (learning-org...)! Send them to majordomo... as above.

For those familiar with LISTSERV type mailing lists -- Majordomo performs most of the same functions, but the commands are different. Please follow the examples above, not the forms you have used with LISTSERV.

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Posting to the List -- Note: This dialog ended in 2004

Easy! Send an email message to learning-org@world.std.com and it will be re-broadcast to all subscribers.

...Or... Depending on your email reader, you can probably just take any Learning-org message and reply to it.

...Or... Use the links on the web pages.

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Introducing Yourself

You are invited to introduce yourself to others on the list. If you wish to do so, we suggest:
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Mailing List Etiquette

In this dialog, we are trying to be a learning organization; the spirit and tone of the Learning-org list reflects this and is different from some Internet discussions.

In addition, note these elements of good Internet etiquette:

  1. In replying to a msg, think about whether you want to reply a) directly to the writer, or b) to the whole mailing list. You might say different things in a one-on-one conversation than you would in a very large gathering! Learn how to do each of these in your mail reader.

  2. Please pay attention to the "Subject:" line of your msg. If you are continuing the same thread, keep the same subject line.

  3. Help your readers identify the message to which you are replying. Start your message with something like:

  4. Sign your message with name and email address at the end. Some people set up their mailing program to add a "sig" at the end of each of their messages automatically. See Emily Postnews for advice about "really long sigs with lots of clever and interesting quotes and intricate drawings that readers just love to see over and over in all your messages." In other words, we suggest you keep your sig short (e.g. four lines max).

    The reason for putting your email address at the end of the message is that some mail readers do not display the "From:" address in the message header, and their users would otherwise be unable to contact you directly.

If your message violates one of these elements, your host may try to correct it, or may return it to you to fix. (Remember, this is a volunteer effort).

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Learning-org Archive

The World-Wide-Web version of Learning-Org provides a different way to participate that may be more attractive. This is be a matter of personal style and preference; many will prefer to participate through email.

The URL is http://www.learning-org.com

It's hard to describe the Web, and I won't try here, except to say that it's the fastest growing element of the internet, and has tremendous promise for ease of use, once your browser is set-up.

If you have a Web Browser, you can find messages by date, thread, subject, or author. You can read what you want, when you want, and your Browser will probably keep track of what you've seen vs. what's new to you. You can continue a discussion thread right from your Browser or start a new topic. In short, this is not just an archive for use once in a while to find a lost message, but a different way to participate fully in the Learning-Org discussions.

AT THIS TIME, the LO archives are NOT available by FTP. They may become available again by FTP in the future, but not now.
ftp to: TBD and the directory is TBD

See any of the popular Internet guide books for how to ftp.

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  1. You own your own words. Participants in the list should not take the writings of another and reuse them (except in the dialogue here) without permission of the writer. In posting, you may place your copyright on your message. The message archive is accessible to anyone on the Internet and carries a notice: "All msgs Copyright (c) -their author- unless otherwise noted".

  2. Spirit: Learning is promoted by dialogue in a spirit of inquiry, curiosity, and mutual respect. We conduct our discussion in that spirit. Thus, our discussion will be less strident, less authoritarian, less confrontational, less "knowing" than on many Internet forums.

  3. The list is moderated. This means that your host sees each message before it is distributed to the list. This insures that errant messages don't get distributed, and we screen messages which are off topic or contrary to the spirit of the list. In each such case, we communicate with the msg author.

  4. Learning-org is strictly a volunteer effort. There is no customer service number or staff, and your host cannot provide help with communications or getting started on the Internet. If you need such help, we suggest you make arrangements with a public access provider in your area or talk to your system administrator (if you have one). I recommend for Macintosh users The Internet Starter Kit by Adam Engst, and there are many other Internet books. But, by far the best way to get going on the Internet is to find a friend who can help.

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Richard ("Rick") Karash is host for learning-org and the contact email is learning-org-approval@world.std.com

This facility has been created by Rick Karash and Charlie Kiefer as a service to the community, and the (modest) costs are supported by Innovation Associates, Inc. (In U.S. 781-398-8500 or innov-assoc@world.std.com; in Canada 905-731-7991.

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Spreading the Word

Please do tell others about this list! To do so, do not re-distribute this long file, but please send them just the instructions below. Encourage them to try these instructions and, if this fails, to contact the hosts.

   ---start of instructions---
For info about Learning-Org -- the internet disucssion of the Learning Organization --

Via the Web, the URL is http://www.learning-org.com/ 

By email, please msg to our faithful robot, majordomo@world.std.com

The subject line is ignored; begin your msg with these two

  info learning-org

If problems, please *forward* whatever you have to Richard Karash, host,
at learning-org-approval@world.std.com
   ---end of instructions---

This info file is Copyright (c) 1994-98 Richard Karash and may not be re-distributed. However, the "For info" instructions, just above, may be distributed freely.

Learning-org and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.

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      Richard Karash ("Rick")    |   <http://world.std.com/~rkarash>
  Speaker, Facilitator, Trainer  |     email: rkarash@karash.com
"Towards learning organizations" | Host for Learning-Org Mailing List
(617)227-0106, fax (617)523-3839 |     <http://www.learning-org.com>

The End