"Be The Change!" – 7 Steps To Manifestation

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

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Mohandas Gandhi’s quote above is powerful, isn’t it?

Being the change requires that we embody change itself. To do this, each of us must surround ourselves with a community of others that can provide us with encouragement and supportive feedback.

Seven Steps To Becoming The Change:

  • Know WHY you want change and be able to articulate it.
  • Understand WHAT it means for that change to happen.
  • Time WHEN the change can best occur.
  • Find WHO you want to ally with.
  • Consider WHERE the change can best serve.
  • Practice HOW the change needs to emerge.
  • And always always always be aware of the influence of your change on others – Our greatest risk is that we become blinded by your own righteousness about our own need for change. This is why a community is necessary to keep each of us highly motivated and always in check.

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Become a ‘Fuel-Molecule’ within the Solution of Change

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Because ‘WE’ being change is far more powerful than just ‘ME’ being change.

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JOIN US!

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TO SEE CHANGE, ONE MUST BECOME CHANGE !

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Building A Learning Organisation

A learning organisation is an organisation that learns and encourages learning among its people. It promotes exchange of information between employees, hence creating a more knowledgeable workforce. This produces a very flexible organisation where people will accept and adapt to new ideas and change through shared vision.It is said that the only constant in life is change and organisations are not spared. Change brings about not only uncertainty and risks but also opportunities for growth. Those organisations that can manipulate the information available have a bigger chance to succeed. It is therefore important for everyone to be more knowledgeable about the work environment they are in. Building a learning organisation is a means to a business goal. It is not a new theory but a concept that has become an increasingly widespread philosophy in modern companies, from the largest multinationals to the smallest enterprises. It is to be applied according to the circumstances of each business, which has to cater for it at strategic and operational levels.

‘Systems Thinking’ takes a holistic approach to learning whereby not only does the organisation learn but so do all its employees, irrespective of their role within the organisation. Information has to be disseminated to all levels and does not stop at top management, thus, facilitating learning through flexibility and open communication by removing barriers to communication and adopting flatter organisational structure and design.

Therefore the message is clear: any organisation that is committed to future success must become a learning organisation in order to compete and survive. Today continuous improvement is a must. “Any organisation is only as good as its people and continuous improvement in business is about the development of people and therefore creating a learning culture.” (Sheppard)

Systems Thinking

The idea behind the concept coined ‘Systems Thinking’ in the 1950’s was that enterprises need to be aware of both the company as a whole as well as the individuals within the company – taking a holistic approach to managing. Gould-Kreutzer Associates Inc. defined it as “a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things; to see the forest and the trees.” System Thinking therefore tries to change the managerial view so that it includes the ambitions of the individual workers, not just the business goals.

However, it was only during the 1990’s that this concept started to be taken seriously by organisations. Systems Thinking nowadays is synonymous with Peter Senge, one of the modern day gurus, who in his book “The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organisation” popularised the concept of the learning organisation, and referred to ‘Systems Thinking’ as the Fifth Discipline. Since its publication in 1990, more than a million copies of this book have been sold and in 1997, Harvard Business Review identified his book as one of the seminal management books of the past 75 years.

According to Senge, learning organisations are “organisations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together. ”

Senge posits that the dimension that distinguishes learning from more traditional organisations is the mastery of certain basic disciplines, which he regards as a series of principles and practices that we study, master and integrate into our lives. The five disciplines that he identifies are said to be common to all learning organisations.

They are:

1. PERSONAL MASTERY. This is the discipline of ‘continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively.

People with a high level of personal mastery live in a continual learning mode, continually clarifying and deepening their personal vision. This takes place by assessing the gap between their current knowledge and the desired knowledge, and by practising and refining skills. This develops self-esteem and creates the confidence to tackle new challenges.

2. MENTAL MODELS. These are ‘deeply ingrained assumptions, generalisations, or even pictures and images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action. ‘

The discipline of mental models starts with turning the mirror inward; learning to unearth our internal pictures of the world, to bring them to the surface and hold them rigorously to scrutiny. Every individual has his own perception of the things around him. This happens consciously and unconsciously and therefore, if team members can, through positive, constructive criticism, challenge each others’ ideas and assumptions, they can begin to perceive their mental models, and to change these to create a shared mental model for the team. This is important as the individual’s mental model will control what can or cannot be done.

3. BUILDING SHARED VISION. Senge sees this as ‘the capacity to hold a shared picture of the future we seek to create. ‘When there is a genuine vision (as opposed to the all-to-familiar ‘vision statement’), people excel and learn. To create a shared vision, large numbers of people within the organisation must draft it, empowering them to create a single image of the future. With a shared vision, people will do things because they want to, not because they have to.

4. TEAM LEARNING. Such learning is viewed as ‘the process of aligning and developing the capacities of a team to create the results its members truly desire. ‘

It builds on personal mastery and shared vision, but these are not enough. People need to be able to act together, as virtually all important decisions occur in groups. Adults learn best from each other and with team learning, the learning ability of the group becomes greater than the learning ability of any individual in the group.

5. SYSTEMS THINKING. The cornerstone of any learning organisation is this fifth discipline. This is the ability to see the bigger picture, to look at the interrelationships of a system as opposed to simple cause-effect chains.

Systems thinking shows us that the essential properties of a system are not determined by the sum of its parts but by the process of interactions between those parts. This is the discipline used to implement the other disciplines. Without it each of the disciplines would be isolated and would fail to achieve its objective.

How to build a learning organisation

The challenges facing managers in applying these five disciplines at the workplace are the following:

. Building a sound base

. Apply the Golden Rules

BUILDING A SOUND BASE

Before a Learning Organisation can be achieved, a solid foundation has to be in place. This can be implemented by taking into account the following points.

~ Awareness. Awareness of the benefits of a learning organisation must permeate to all levels not just the management level. A learning culture must be fostered among the employees that survival of the fittest depends on having a knowledgeable workforce. Change should start and be supported from top management and this ‘new’ culture should be manifested in the commitment to learning, personal development of the individual as well as valuing people and their divergent views.

~ The Environment. The right environment must be in place so that learning can take place. Centralised, mechanistic structures do not create a good environment. Organisations having organic structures are well positioned to develop
into a learning organisation. An organic structure places less emphasis on giving and taking orders and more on encouraging managers and subordinates to work together in teams and to communicate openly with each other. Authority, responsibility and accountability flow to employees with the expertise required to solve problems. In a nutshell, a flat organisation, whereby communication can flow in all directions and foster innovation amongst its employees.

~ Leadership. Managers must adopt open communication management styles so that employees will be able to question and come forward with ideas. Understand that mistakes and errors are part of this process and therefore employees should not be in fear of reprimands. Managers must also provide commitment for long-term learning in the form of resources (money, personnel and time). The amount of these resources determines the quantity and quality of learning.

~ Empowerment. Employees should be empowered to take decisions and actions. Let them own the process whilst monitoring all that is happening. Only through motivation and innovation will the employees grow and learn, equal participation should be encouraged so that employees can learn from each other simultaneously. The benefits are for themselves and the organisation.

~ Learning. Company-wide training is to be made available. This may take the form of simulation case studies where brainstorming sessions will be beneficial to all participants.

APPLY THE GOLDEN RULES

The following practices and approaches can be used while managing the learning process.

1. Thrive on change. Management must not be afraid of change. There should be commitment to and focus on the things that matter most. Change is necessary and therefore clear objectives and plans must be in place. Change will translate itself into a learning opportunity.

2. Encourage experimentation. Change will bring along uncertainty and risks. Experimentation is a necessary risk. Accept mistakes as a normal process and encourage employees to come forward with ideas. Learning from mistakes is often more powerful than learning from success. The most important thing is to ‘fail intelligently’ to learn something from mistakes. Apply reviews of the whole change process and reward individual effort.

3. Communicate success and failure. Let there be a communication system of disseminating information and knowledge that reaches everyone efficiently, for example, through company journals, website, job rotation programs etc.

4. Facilitate learning from the surrounding environment. Learn from internal factors such as processes and procedures at work and find ways of how to improve learning from competitors. Avoid their mistakes and copy their well-achieved results. Can also form alliances to have a cross fertilisation of ideas. Build a relationship with customers. Apply an outside-in policy to strategies. Customers provide free advice through their complaints, suggestions and surveys. After all, the organisation survives through satisfying customers. Theirs might be the best advice.

5. Facilitate learning from employees. Offer continuous learning and multi-skilling opportunities. Remove hierarchies and empower people to experiment and take decisions. The people at the lower ranks in an organisation are the ones who know most of the problems within the business. This means that more often than not, the employees themselves know what needs to be done to improve the business.

6. Reward learning. Have a proper performance appraisal system to reward those employees who are embracing the learning culture to boost morale. Remember that everybody wants their work to be appreciated. Make sure therefore that individual performance is linked with organisational performance.

7. Intentionally retrieve and retain company memory. It is important to keep a record of processes and achievements so that learning will not be lost; it can be passed on to those coming later on into the company and also the company can refer back to information held. The learning process must be planned and objectives for it set. It must be monitored and reviewed all the time.

Through the learning organisation process people will develop, the brains of all employees are switched on, not just those of the few, and a feel good factor is created through greater motivation. A more flexible workforce evolves by building organisations fit for human beings. People will become more creative and social interaction will improve. Teams and groups will work better through knowledge sharing, becoming more interdependent, increasing responsibility at all levels and developing an entrepreneurial spirit. The company will benefit from better customer relations, the breaking down of traditional communication barriers, and from the increased creativity and innovation of its people that should give it a competitive edge.

By Sandro Azzopardi

Collective Intelligence and Collective Wisdom

“Change” has been the big topic of conversation for some time now. For the most part, the change that everyone writes about and talks about is economic change. There has been much written about the change from a manufacturing economy to a service economy and there has been much written about the movement of manufacturing jobs off shore, but I want to concentrate on another kind of change. Willis Harman wrote a whole book about it in 1987 entitled, “Global Mind Change.” To paraphrase a line in this book, society’s experience shapes it’s science and science shapes the experience of it’s society.

We have been educated to assume that our scientific view of reality is correct. Harman suggests that there may be other views of reality that are complementary. He continues by proposing a reunion of science and metaphysics. He states, “The fundamental change that we are suggesting is happening in Western society can be put in terms of these metaphysics. Essentially, it is a shift of dominant metaphysic from M-1 to M-3.”

Where:

M-1. The basic stuff of the universe is matter-energy. Consciousness emerges out of matter. Consciousness apart from a living organism is inconceivable.

M-2. Matter-energy and mind-spirit stuff both exist in the universe. Matter-energy stuff is studied with science. Mind-spirit stuff must be studied in other ways.

M-3. Consciousness is the ultimate stuff of the universe and matter-energy comes in some sense out of consciousness.

Margaret Wheatley in her award-winning best seller, “Leadership and the New Science” suggests that, “we let go of the machine model of organizations, and workers as replaceable cogs in the machinery of production, we begin to see ourselves in much richer dimensions, to appreciate our wholeness, and, hopefully, to design organizations that honor and make use of the great gift of who we humans are.” She believes that ownership is essential and suggests that ownership is not only literal owners, but describes personal connections to the organization that inspire people to contribute. Participation in the development of a plan of action creates ownership. In fact, we participate in the creation of everything we observe. In a sense, we are owners of everything we observe.

We have all seen the progression where raw data when properly analyzed and organized becomes information. Information in turn is the basis of intelligence and intelligence the basis of wisdom. Historically, management has worked to control information. Wheatley uses scientific support to suggest that for a system to remain alive, it must have a steady flow of new information.

Much has been written about the fact that information is exploding. We know that more information was produced between 1965 and 1995 than in the preceding 5000 years and that knowledge is now doubling every 5 years. Technology certainly has fostered the explosion, but it has also made this information available to more people as well. It is no longer practical to use a traditional building block approach to information. We need what is described in quantum physics as relational holism.

Wheatley suggests that the new science reminds us that this is a participative universe and that nothing living lives alone. We are constantly called to be in a relationship and through relationships we co-create our world. With that in mind, we make systems stronger by connecting to more of itself. Webs and networks are stronger than single connections. Participation is the key.

The May-July 2004 issue of “What is Enlightenment” has some incredible articles about collective intelligence. In an article entitled, “The Science of Collective Consciousness” Robert Kenny provides strong evidence that collective consciousness exists and can be used to produce benefits. Another great article entitled, “Come Together” by Craig Hamilton, reports, “Call it collective consciousness, team synergy, co-intelligence or group mind – a growing number of people are discovering through their own experience that wholes are indeed far more than the sum of their parts; that when individuals come together with a shared intention, in a conducive environment, something mysterious can come into being, with capacities and intelligences that far transcend those of the individuals involved.”

While we may not yet be able to exactly define collective wisdom or how it works, it is working. There are a bunch of collective intelligence initiatives underway including: World Café, Laboratory for Social Intervention, Open Space Technology, National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, Dynamic Facilitation, Deep Dialogue, Appreciative Inquiry, Global Leadership Initiative and others. This is not the product of some well-meaning, goody-goody types, but rather the output of some of the most influential organizational minds in the world.

My own experience using World Café, Open Space Technology and Appreciative Inquiry to address complex and chaotic situations from a holistic approach has convinced me that collective intelligence and in turn collective wisdom are real and offer incredible potential for all organizations in this time of information overload and complexity.

Bob Cannon/The Cannon Advantage, 2003.

Online Learning To Reshape Our World ?

I’ve been behind the mark in getting some good material out relating to online collaboration tools because I’m actually formulating new potions back in my personal ‘Colab’oratory. I am continuing my search for KISS (keep it stupid simple) online environments that will allow us all to connect online in amazing ways – no matter where we are in the world. And some cool tools are certainly rising to the top. I’ll admit as well that I’m finding the whole online tools explosion to be very daunting! Whoa, we’ve truly got a tiger by the tail, and no one knows what its head looks like! Anyway, I’ll be writing more in this area. A tools offering will be coming online on my DiscoveryFuel.com online tools page soon as well.

For now, I want to plug George Siemens from eLearnSpace.com (see details below), who is writing some great material on the whole online learning thing (otherwise known as eLearning). He found this article in The Atlantic and it’s worth you giving it a scan. For me, it emphasizes our need to learn learn learn about online tools and begin to use them alot. Why? Becaue it will give us the freedom to self-select what we want to learn in an accelerated, expanded, and deepened way without the limits of travel and location that have restricted our education in the past. It talks about how education (learning) and the bad economy are related, describing how education is ramping up, just as it has in the past during periods of bad economy.

Read up from eLearnSpace blog

Adhering to the motto “a provocative title will surely increase readership”, Atlantic has an interesting article on How the Crash Will Reshape America :  Economic crises tend to reinforce and accelerate the underlying, long-term trends within an economy. Our economy is in the midst of a fundamental long-term transformation—similar to that of the late 19th century, when people streamed off farms and into new and rising industrial cities. In this case, the economy is shifting away from manufacturing and toward idea-driven creative industries—and that, too, favors America’s talent-rich, fast-metabolizing places.

I find Richard Florida’s “world is spiky” view to be more accurate than Thomas Friedman’s “world is flat”. But, in this article a tension that I’ve felt with Florida’s work is more clearly revealed than previously. Florida has argued – generally quite effectively – that location matters. Cities and regions of creativity and innovation spur growth. To succeed in your career, it’s a good idea to be in areas that are hotspots for your field. But…I am not sure how to reconcile this view with the growth of technology. Now, more than ever, technology has reduced the challenges of distance. Online education and distributed teams reflect this. Video conferencing and online conferences reduce the need for travel. Is location less, not more, important than in the past?

Questions or Comments? Contact Me <mailto:gsiemens@elearnspace.org> Read ERN online at:http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/. Visit www.elearnspace.org <http://www.elearnspace.org/>  for extensive information and resources on elearning Visit my connectivism <http://www.connectivism.ca>  site for resources on the changing nature of learning. His book, Knowing Knowledge is available.

Organizational Geometries: Emergent Design

NOTES:

the chemical periodic table and its relationship to organizational configuration and development

energetic flux is generated by geometric configuration which then results in form & function

Economical, Equitable Leadership. Organizational Geometries.
Vibrational Organization. (physical) [ PROCESS

(coming in the future). Organizational Geometries: the chemical periodic table
and its relationship to organizational configuration and development.

 

Generative Dialogue Framework. Aligning Comprehension with Behavior. Ecological,
Economical, Equitable Leadership. Organizational Geometries.

Unbounded Particulates of Spirit
Memory as soul. – My focus: organizational geometries that can enhance learning
(relationships), sustainable business development (creativity that accounts

Creating Learning Communities
My focus: organizational geometries that can enhance learning (relationships), sustainable
business development (creativity that accounts for next generation
www.creatinglearningcommunities.org/resources/consultants.htm

relationship to Concentrix Management

– the geometry of space