This discussion started as an exchange between two AMED members - Ned Seabrook and Deborah Booth. Attached is a word file capturing that exchange.

There are several concepts ideas and questions in here that need to be drawn out and explored.

Your help is sought!

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We've headed this 'Complexity' but there are other themes.

Could we start by sharing thoughts on what we understand by the term 'unlearning' - which started our whole discussion.
The chord this struck with me is the conscious competence model. The transition from unconscious to conscious incompetence can be a painful one, discovering unexpected ignorance.

Ned Seabrook said:
We've headed this 'Complexity' but there are other themes.

Could we start by sharing thoughts on what we understand by the term 'unlearning' - which started our whole discussion.

"I thought I knew something about this but it's all wrong." The more expert I am, the more difficult it is to see the unexpected gaps. I know where my expected gaps are, where I need and want to know more but please don't surprise me!
I wanted to comment particularly on the Santa Fe "school" which is referred to here. For an introduction to Santa Fe economic complexity thinking see: “Strategy at the edge of chaos” by Eric D. Beinhocker.

For a fascinating application in leadership and development see: C. Otto Scharmer's work on "Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges" (Cambridge, MA: Society for Organizational Learning, 2007) and "Addressing the Blind Spot of Our Time". See also: "Reflections", The SoL Journal on Knowledge, Learning, and Change, Volume 5, Number 7 and - most helpfully, perhaps - "Illuminating the Blind Spot: Leadership in the Context of Emerging Worlds" by C. Otto Scharmer, W. Brian Arthur, Jonathan Day, Joseph Jaworski, Michael Jung, Ikujiro Nonaka and Peter M. Senge published (in extract form in "Leader to Leader" (Spring 2002), pp. 11-14 or, in full, as part of the McKinsey–Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) Leadership Project (1999–2000).
Ned Seabrook said:
We've headed this 'Complexity' but there are other themes.

Could we start by sharing thoughts on what we understand by the term 'unlearning' - which started our whole discussion.

I thought this was a breath of fresh air:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/11207809/Creating-an-Innovative-Culture-C...
John,
Thanks for this very useful link - an 'unlearning organisation' - Have I understood correctly; s/he (author?) seems to be saying that the organisation has to unlearn some of what it knows before it can then move forward.
Do we need the term 'unlearning' for this - which appears to be the same as learning about/exploring what the accepted norm is for the organisation AND learning about alternatives outside of the accepted norm?

Ned

John Evans said:
Ned Seabrook said:
We've headed this 'Complexity' but there are other themes.

Could we start by sharing thoughts on what we understand by the term 'unlearning' - which started our whole discussion.

I thought this was a breath of fresh air:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/11207809/Creating-an-Innovative-Culture-C...
Agreed - though that does not go far enough to my mind and I think the attached paper teases out five dimensions rather well. There may be more!



Ned Seabrook said:
John,
Thanks for this very useful link - an 'unlearning organisation' - Have I understood correctly; s/he (author?) seems to be saying that the organisation has to unlearn some of what it knows before it can then move forward.
Do we need the term 'unlearning' for this - which appears to be the same as learning about/exploring what the accepted norm is for the organisation AND learning about alternatives outside of the accepted norm?

Ned

John Evans said:
Ned Seabrook said:
We've headed this 'Complexity' but there are other themes.

Could we start by sharing thoughts on what we understand by the term 'unlearning' - which started our whole discussion.

I thought this was a breath of fresh air:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/11207809/Creating-an-Innovative-Culture-C...
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