I woke up a few hours ago from a dream of being a storyteller of happy-ending life struggles in a world resigned to merely fixing its escapes from despondency. My mind has been working subliminally for some time (years maybe?) in resourcing and restructuring who I’ve been and in heading me toward what to do diligently with the rest of my life, and last night’s dream was clearer than ever a calling to act now without further delay to be much more clever in a disciplined way to create what I can and to join with those who are working at telling stories that heal broken hopes of personality and community. I’ve never been really good at heeding calls to reform myself — I’ve seldom disliked being me — so responding to the call to a more virtuous life in the dream is in jeapardy of self(ish) inertia as a time of amazed enthusiasm for it recedes into the past and out of memory. But it is worth letting others know that I may be quitting an obsessive procrastination cold-turkey.
English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education — sometimes it’s sheer luck, like getting across the street.
~ E. B. White
[found at http://grammar.about.com/od/yourwriting/a/advice.htm]
Luck is, in my estimation, the most important idea one can understand, not only about using language interestingly, but also about how the cosmos and everything in it happens. There’s a lot of emphasis by scientists of various stripes on “rules” that determine how things happen; but they really know better: that a sense of predictable mechanics misses the deepest uncertainty out of which anything exists–including you and me!
What happens when you mix:
an American organizational theorist, consultant, and Anheuser-Busch Professor Emeritus of Management Science at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, who is a pioneer in the field of operations research, systems thinking and management science,
the founder in 1968 of a place where people decide for themselves how to spend their days; where students of all ages determine what they will do, as well as when, how, and where they will do it; which belongs to the students as their right, not to be violated?
They write a book collaboratively in 2008 which is titled Turning Learning Right Side Up.
Both of these “wild and crazy guys” have been intellectual-activist heroes of mine for a long time–separately in his own field. Each of them has remarkable organizational and personal development results to show for their unconventional professional thinking and efforts.
Thanks very much to a friend of mine Mike for pointing out the book. I just ordered a copy of it.
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Posted by curiositymatters
Just got to a book last night which has been on my “anti-library” shelf for several months–Peter Senge’s The Necessary Revolution (2008)–which I highly recommend. Here’s an article from Business Week‘s “Innovation” section which reviewed the book last summer and spurred me to acquire a copy of it.
The following paragraphs from the book’s first chapter, “A Future Awaiting Our Choices,” provide a good introduction to the nature and scope of Senge’s recent work.
The Industrial Age has often been called the “machine age” because the rise of machines and the way they operated transformed the way people thought and worked. It wasn’t long before people were expected to work like machines and the assembly line became the icon of efficiency and standardization for all organizations. Gradually, machine thinking shaped much more than manufacturing: Economic progress became synonymous with increases in efficiency and productivity; cultural advance became equated with dazzling new technologies; and nature, including the other creatures with whom we share the earth, was reduced to ‘natural resources,’ inputs to the economic machine.
A sustainable world, too, will only be possible by thinking differently. With nature and not machines as their inspiration, today’s innovators are showing how to create a different future by learning how to see the larger systems of which they are a part and to foster collaboration across every imaginable boundary. These core capabilities–seeing systems, collaborating across boundaries, and creating versus problem solving–form the underpinnings, and ultimately the tools and methods, for this shift in thinking.
For over a quarter of a century our work, first at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then through the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) global network, has involved helping organizations of all sorts to “learn how to learn”–which naturally leads to the question, “Learning for what?” For many years, precedent provided the answer: learning so that companies could be more innovative and profitable, so that schools could help students learn, so that governmental organizations could better serve their constituencies. For the past decade, however, we have begun to also see a larger answer: shaping a sustainable, flourishing world for life beyond the Industrial Age. This represents perhaps the greatest learning challenge humans have ever faced, and it will require extraordinary leadership from institutions of all sorts.
This is not pie-in-the-sky rhetoric or intellectual idealism, but in fact is reflected in ways organizations and individuals are already working together. The organizations and people you will meet in the pages that follow are starting to enact new ways of managing, leading, and ultimately creating value, not just for today’s real needs but for tomorrow’s, and their practices are spreading to hundreds of businesses and non-business organizations of all sizes around the world. There is no silver-bullet formula for putting these ideas into practice widely, but there are principles, practices, and ways of getting started.
I once was guided professionally by Senge’s idea of the “learning organization” in my own organizational development / knowledge management work. I’m guided again by him, this time by his idea that the environmental and social challenges we face create an unprecedented opportunity for us to bring about real, sustainable (and “revolutionary”) change in the ways we work and live.
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Posted by curiositymatters
A new posting at the TED Blog announces Sir Ken Robinson’s new book titled The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything and provides a link to a video of his TED presentation on creativity in 2006. I continue to listen to what has been Robinson’s clear voice on creativity and human being. Awakening students’ passions of mind and heart in learning is as revolutionary and fundamental an aim as I can imagine for constructing an educational agenda.
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Posted by curiositymatters