Bolx to CoPs, as they were Wengerised away from the elegant ethnography of Jean Lave, in service of McKlumsey or was it SpiteWatereddownShysters. CoPs were emasculated at birth by theMan. Bolx to System Convening, a Learical senescent early-retirement community.
How dare you desertify a floral community and replace it with a floral clock?
Back then, though, I was revisiting all the marvellous 80s learning organisation malarkey. Having been handed its ass on a plate by the wily orientals of the co-opetioning clans (Co-opetition? ugh. Great idea, vile wordle curdle) gathered under the stern gaze of grandma MITI, American carmakers were licking their wounds when a nice young man in a periwinkle blue jumper wandered in from Harvard with a book wot he wrote… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_organization
I soon realised the learning organisation was a dumbass reification, a pellet of baby food regurgitated for the fluffy pinstriped baby birdies in the boardroom to swallow. The issue is how do organisations learn, ffs, not have they got a ‘stificate in PRINCE Charming sick Stigma. Possibly helped by the fact that I was picking up on the learning organisation fad as it fell out of the top twenty and had therefore been dropped as a work area by m’colleauges in the spanish Inquisition, sorry MPD, management practice and development, when I worked at LGMB, formerly LGTB, not to be confused with LGBT.
Shapiro, Eileen C., FadSurfingintheBoardroom: Managing inthe Age of Instant Answers, Basic Books (1996), ISBN 0-2014419-5-0
organisational learning isn’tmuch better becauseit is, wordsaladalert a neologism portmanteau of reificatio… fuqsayk, just say it man – because its a POS made up of 2 horrible reifications, because organisations don’texist as a thing and neither does learning. Iwill stab you if Ihear you say ‘learning point’s or key learning points, and swear to god I will shoot you dead if you pluralise the verb learning.
What were really getting at is this, punchline alert, thingification is a process for an individual or ideally a small group who care, to deploy when they try to bring forth a new, erm, thing. That’s why Icalled it thingification. It is the yin to the enormous yang of thingification. Loved by Etonians because it hides the pain of thinking and feeling.
So, our pinstriped Waitroseian strides forth into his Cotswoldian landscape to inspect his (his! Lol) tradition country garden, the wife is really into Beth Chatto you know [look, you can use google, ffs, I’m getting tired now] these are hollyhocks from John Clares [googlit] garden near Stamford, and, its been a cold winter, not that he noticed, and the daffodills aren’t out yet, they’re the original ones you know, the pale small native flower not the horrid Dutch cultivars, like swaggering drag queens in SF, ugh, and he is suddenly apoplectic with rage, the pure Etonian rage of cousin Eustace in Dawn Treader, (twas on telly yesterday,) the Bunter-roid rage of the thwarted ten year old nanny’s boy, becuase Charles, and Bex, and tommo and Katerina and Binky and Daisy are up from the smoke for the weekend and the fucking daffodills aren’tout, and Iknow m’wife Madelaine will be so dissapointed, because bloody women letting me down again, and suddenly— a boy wrenched from home aged 7, and therefore locked into a grief gestalt trauma beneath saville row body armour—- and he will beat Maddy after his not-friends from the Bank have failed to gaze upon his Ozymandelsonian fucking flowers that Ibuy every year from by the till in me Nisa.
And do you know what he shouts? This Proustian wail he bellows across the hollyhocks, they aren’t out either, bastards, across the pinstripy lawn, we have this marvellous little man, George, still uses an absolutely ancient Dennis mower, must be in his 80s, Idigress, so he stands, our brittle etonian, at the top of his fitness peak, his arse getting stabbed by the ointy peak of his fitness, his perfect adaptation as bastardi di tutti bastadi, bigdog, and he shouts at the flowers, or rather the vibrant pale acidy-green spears of life stabbing up through the dirt and John Innes, and he shouts:
GROW, DAMN YOU, GROW ! ITOLD YOU TO GROWW!!!
IT’S ok, I’m calm now, gather, gather, deep breath.
A leaning organisation is a garden in a shitty patch of suburbia. Choked with bramble and knotweed, rose-bay willowheb, old mans beard, n shopping trolleys, ford anglia gearboxes and Pampers and hedgepr0n, prone to flooding when the river, etcetera, overhung by senile sycamores and seedy silver birch and I need this bombsite to look like this…
We need a group quietly nods it head sentence gary.
Heres mine for learning organisation
“how, can we, (and by we I mean everybody, not just us, the staff and children of the small primary school in worcestershire, but the village and the cleaners and, and ,and, and and — where’s the boundary Gary, of the fishtank in the dentist waiting room, Gary)
“But there is a kicker to the story, and in it we see how the cynicism of self-preservation prevailed at the expense of doing something long-term and substantive about race relations. Shortly before Macpherson published his report, Straw proposed a follow-up – an ambitious strategy that would prioritise race equality considerations in policymaking across government bodies. Yet taking on racial justice in such a direct manner was just too risky, too destabilising to the government. “A regulation nightmare,” said Blair. Angus Lapsley, an official in Blair’s private office, decided not to back a proposal that racist police officers should be dismissed (government was “cool” towards this suggestion, he said), not because the policy would be wrong, but because of how rightwing papers would react to it. Here is where the decibel level rises. “This could easily become a ‘Telegraph cause celebre’ if taken too far,” said Lapsley. Blair agreed, saying: “We do not want to go OTT on this.” The proposal was killed. There is a sort of sickening relief in seeing those sentiments – expressed behind closed doors – spelled out so matter of factly; in knowing for certain that concerns about racial injustice aren’t taken seriously not because they’re not believed but because they rock the boat. Indeed, the smothering of a broad, progressive race policy 20 years ago tells us much about where we are today, with a government proudly hostile to interrogating the true state of race relations”
A friend of mine said, in a lovely,erudite presentation to some very smart folk:
“a weakness of my current thinking is a lack of explicitly encompassing the group, the social.”
Totally agree, we all lack this.
Re-examine page 49 of ‘Navigating Complexity: the essential guide to complexity theory in business and management’, written by myself.
Then think about that botanical nostrum – Early Years textbooks teach that there are three kinds of play in young humans and many mammals:
Know that this is botany – classifying plants by the shape of their leaves. We observe the spots of a leopard, but what is the mechanism that creates them?
What are the primitives, the atomic irreducible processes that underly the phenomena?
We do not have a language to describe phenomena in groups. I suspect they are incommensurable, like weather prediction after Lorenz.
We do not have a language to describe phenomena in groups.
This has hamstrung playwork, education, professional football, orchestral performance, NASA budgetary oversight inquiries, Air Accident Investigation, Corporate Fraud Investigation, etcetera etcetera.
There are clues in the Miles Davis approach to group play.
There are clues in Taoism, and Zen.
But as Sapir, Whof and Wittgenstein, and probably Gibson (JJ not W) would tell you, language shapes thought and we do not have the language.
Try explaining how to put oil into a car without using any car-related, or engine-related words. Go on, try it. Write it down, now go through it and strike out any car-related and engine-related words that crept in. We don’t have a big enough RAM, our short-term memory, to hold even one sentence of the resulting tedious arm-waving stuttering verbiage.
Why doesn’t the world move when I shake my head?
M’learned friend also said:
“This has many implications, but that main one is that we should judge education by the value created for stakeholders (laudate Tom) – this is fittingly complex and circular.
NO NO NO, NO!
Very pleased that you rate teecha Tom.
Not stakeholders, feck stakeholders. Leave that to the Tory Goovey Gradgrindians.
I think you might mean participants? If so then I‘ll semi-agree.
How would you judge a Beth Chatto garden? Answer that and you’ll know how to judge education .
This is a new category, in some ways going back to my original idea of a scrapbook in the form of a blog. So half-baked musings are scraps of thinking, that I might do something with, or might pique my or someone else’s interest.
So here is the first one, file under ‘who should run the world and why’.
Very cool lady judge presiding over the Pistorius case. I’m going to extend the ‘the world should be run by 8 year old girls’ to include ‘successful black women of pensionable age’ (context: where black is an oppressed group within the dominant societies on this planet. Your culture may vary. May contain traces of nuts).
Despite being jovially couched, this is a serious notion. Its about experiences and perspectives. Its an idea emerging, slowly.
The idea is to specify, in a quasi-scientific manner, the ‘necessary and sufficient conditions’ for a thing. In this case ‘running the world nicely’. It’s like a concept car for management systems thinkers.
Oh boy. A work colleague sends you an email. It’s 3 words. It might be ambiguous, so at the risk of looking a bit silly, you reply asking: Did you mean x or y? they reply, tersely, in what appears to be confirmation. So you then say: So what we are saying is the blah blah is x and not y because of [reason]. You don’t need me to tell you how much longer that took.
And multitasking is a myth. Every time the inbox pings, your concentration on that important thing pings away. Hey.
Some things can’t be explained in a text, or a one-line email.
Like love, or systems.
Or why? why usually needs space, which, increasingly, we ‘don’t have time for’.
Call me Captain Prolixity, for reasons that you don’t have time for.
What follows is the (obviously) unofficial view of a senior police officer on the subject of ASBOs, ABCs and other legal attempts to control the nuisance of children.
The officer is commenting on a report, which you can read by following the link below.
The officer said:
“I am writing in a non official capacity – my role is that of *** in ***
If I can take the opportunity to comment on your ABC report. I thought it
was spot on and I will ensure it will be sent to my officers responsible for
delivering and working with those who deliver ABCs.
I do see a use for ABCs but as you point out, when the system is vague
and threatening it does nothing to inspire me that this is a tool that will
be of any merit or worth.
Surely children who may be experiencing problems in their lives require
support and should not be growing up in an authoritarian environment?
Thank you for a thought provoking report.”
The report he or she is commenting on is this one:
Report re: The Compatibility of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts with
Article 6.1 of the European Convention on Human Rights
“I told a friend today that it’s time to take a stand. Here is that stand.
“I have been an advocate for, and more importantly a community worker in Active Play for quite a few years now, and have worked in a number of capacities. Because of that, I have had the opportunity to watch our advocacy develop in the context of physical education, sports performance, the so called “obesity crisis”, and the push for academic “excellence”.”
“During this time, there have been herculean efforts made to justify ”moderate to vigorous physical activity” for kids and teens in terms of things like “productivity”, “test scores”, and “health”. All you have to do is look at the terminology. It is clinical and measurable. That’s what I keep having to justify play against – clinical and measurable. I will submit to you during this article that play can’t compete with measurable on it’s turf, but measurable is no match for LIVING.”
Some schools announced this morning, that they will be closed tomorrow – how do they know? Other schools are open. Apparently Five thousand schools were closed today. Ooh… Interesting…
The weather is different in different parts of the country. Some schools within a mile of each other are differently open: one is closed, while another is open. Some heads insist on opening, making a special effort. Others close if they think significant numbers of children won’t be there, perhaps because it affects their absence records, which in turn affects their league table position. It’s complicated. Questions are being asked.
An ambulance man said, on the telly, that there had been a number of sledge-related incidents, and advised people to wrap up warm, despite not being a weatherman or weather woman. Seems that stating the sodding obvious in a serious way is within the purview of all who appear on the gogglebox.
Snow threat receding, we are told – how on earth do the Scandinavians cope?
Given that lots of schools are shut, and a lot of children are sledging, we might expect a few incidents.
No broken bones, because, if there had been, we would have been told about the ‘snow shock near-death horror’ by a meejah desperate for something more than:
“School shut, kids have fun in snow.”
COBRA discusses growing AlbertKyder threat
Some schools are open, some schools are closed. Maybe some questions should be asked.
… the extremists being the short, sighted politicians on Wandsworth council: telling lies and treating peaceful protest as if it were a bomb scare…
Kiburn AP deceased 2012
(That’s a picture of another AP, closed last year. You never see children in these pictures, because play projects have been bullied into believing that it is illegal to take pictures of children without the consent of all parents. It is not against the law to take pictures of children, although if you do you may be assaulted by stupid people who think you are a bad person, and even detained by a plastic policeman who doesn’t know the law. As a result, even nice people, like a photographer working for the play project itself, with the consent of management and parents, are put off. So the consequence is that no-one knows what a joyous place an AP in full flow looks like, they just think it is some sort of deserted half-baked unused play sculpture.)
Please read this considered and considerate perspective on the closure of the Battersea Park adventure playground by Wandsworth council.
Despite what the media tell you, these Occupy people are sensible and grown-up. This is how the item opens, I love the deference of the opening words:
“If I may I would like to start with a quote from my mother who worked with children and parents at one of the first adventure playgrounds in London at Notting hill.
Notting Hill AP: A screen grab from the film
“The adventure playgrounds from the beginning and relevant now were where children were able go out of school hours to try out challenging play opportunities in a safe environment using and developing their own imagination and practical skilled designs for the new playgrounds in their areas. Parents were able to be proactive in becoming involved and so gain an understanding of the adventure playground concept – in several cases they became champions and worked tirelessly on the adventure playground model in their local communities after having spoken to local residents and neighbours on their vision and explaining children wanted somewhere to play where they could have an adventure and take a few risks not just a playground with swings and slides. The community did not want them in the streets.”
”The community still does not want them in the streets and why would they? Nor do children want to be on the streets. What Wandsworth council are doing by removing the adventure playground at Battersea park is directly removing a safe environment for those children where they can be free after school, hang out with their friends and give younger children further opportunity outside school to learn through play, something which is still part of our schools national curriculum and has been for many years.“
What’s that? You don’t agree? Why not? You are against bullying, aren’t you? You don’t agree with bullying, do you? You support AntiBullying Week, don’t you? How dare you disagree, you bully!
Well, if you support anti-bullying, you must support those statements, because all those ‘truths’ are the consequence of anti-bullying policies. Which leads me to this article denouncing anti-bullying policies, which contains the most cogent argument I have ever read on the issue. Read these quotes, then follow the link below:
“Whether we like it or not, arguing, teasing and fighting are normal parts of childhood. Learning to tell the difference between a spat and systematic bullying should be a basic parenting skill, but our much vaunted zero-tolerance policies on bullying make it impossible. They also make it very difficult for children to reform their behaviour.
”…[W]hen every incident is treated like a potential crime, teachers’ roles change dramatically.
“She cannot simply say: stop it! Nor can she simply scold the perpetrator or propose such age-old solutions as ‘shake hands and make up’. Her job is no longer to educate, but to investigate. Once a report is being made, the accused child’s parents immediately – and quite naturally – become Jack’s defence advocates. They tell their child to deny everything and challenge every accusation by demanding irrefutable proof. …
“The process demeans the teacher’s authority, eliminates arbitration and belittles personal responsibility, as it teaches children that guilt is dependent on proof and not conscience, and that sincere apologising is not honorable but contrary to self-interest.
”And children do learn. They soon learn that making accusations gives power, and zero tolerance means the presumption of guilt. Our current interpretation of bullying is entirely subjective, thus bullying occurs whenever someone feels he or she has been bullied. We have already had a case of bullying where Jack told Jill she has a nice hat. Jack thought he was complementing her, but Jill interpreted it as a sarcastic remark.
“In another case, boys who didn’t allow a girl into their game were considered bullies by way of exclusion. So children no longer have the luxury of choosing who they play with. It was not systematic shunning; but a single incident was enough.
”For those of us who still believe that children are neither as vicious nor as fragile as we are now led to believe, it’s time to realise that the over-officious anti-bullying campaigns are a part of the problem.”