At last I get to use my system modelling skills! (I did get grade 5 on scale 1-5 from the dynamic simulation course last fall where we used Powersim to build technical and ecosystem models.) Here I have used Vensim PLE which is free for personal use.
Here is pictured a system model on learning: the scale can be individual as well as organizational. The model is not definitive in the sense that all possible causalities are drawn; I have most probably missed something, but you get the image.
- An arrow can be read as “affects”.
- The arrow above emergence means flow; the boxes can be thought as stocks.
- + means positive causal link. This means: “If A increases, also B increases, and if A decreases also B decreases”
- - means negative causal link: “If A increases, B decreases, if A decreases, B increases.”
- || in the arrow means delay.
Most of the variables are quite complex and not something that can be measured.
Instead of increase/decrease, we could think the positive causality as “Improvement in A improves B”, negative causality as “Improvement in A weakens B”.
In addition to serving a healthy dose of Financial Times every few days, the extensive business book collection in Fellmannia library has gotten me into the habit of randomly wandering about the section. Inspired by the Dialogue book, I started searching for works by Peter Senge who has developed the theory of learning organizations.
Currently I’m reading Senge et al.’s The Dance of Change – The Challenges of Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations (see Amazon) and Presence – Exploring Profound Change in People, Organizations and Society (also in Amazon) (with the different et al.’s).
It’s interesting how even dusty debates such as the one on the coming community suddenly have much more relevance when new information emerges. We should ask: what kind of role does the ability to suspend the “Voice of Judgment” have in a learning organization (such as the coming community)? What kind of organization is built when “fear, judgment, and the chattering of the mind” (as characterized by Michael Ray) is replaced with calm introspection and ability to openly tell others what you are thinking and feeling?
Isn’t this precisely the moment when the participants’ uniqueness “both conjoins and remains”? I am what I am and think what I think, but that does not limit my ability to cooperate with others.
Filed under Books, Learning
Let’s think of the moment learning happens. A situation can be imagined where person W has done some stupid act, and person Q tells W that “you have been stupid”. What is the anatomy of this situation?
What Q says is actually a form of feedback from the outer reality to W’s consciousness. W can react in the following ways:
- Indifference: “Yeah, so what. That’s my right as [a convenient noun here]“
- Aggression: “It’s not true!”
- Self-defence: “Maybe, but I blame…”
- Learning: “Ok, I have been stupid. So what should I do next time? How should I change my thinking that led to the stupid act?”
What annoys me in the commercial media is the ahistoricity that’s often applied to every mistake. Because the media (=a reflection of the collective consciousness) always asks the question: “Who is to blame? Who is to be fired?” real learning (institution-wise) – and thus, change of practices – never takes place.
In a state of scandal or crisis no-one remembers the simple fact that people make mistakes. The power of the spectacular consciousness is strong and it is able to block all facts in order to maintain the course. So to restore the imaginary confidence, leaders are given the boot and new ones elected. But because the system and it’s practices don’t change, the world keeps rolling just like nothing happened. And the crises keep coming.
Today was my last exam in the Finnish education system. I thought it would be interesting to have a little retrospection of how I now feel about this trip that took seventeen years.
This is a long story which probably bores the reader, so I use the more tag. Here it is.