Posts Tagged ‘Peter Senge’

Fire And Rubber

September 29, 2018 Leave a comment

As I write this, my feet are on fire and my right leg feels perilously like rubber when I walk. Oh, and someone has turned up the volume on the ringing inside my cranium. Those are the symptoms associated with the inflammation caused by my brain tumors. In the worst cases of inflammation, my sense of balance also deteriorates and I experience small, fleeting headaches in the back base of my head.

These symptoms have been ebbing and flowing over the past couple of months. They are more annoying than painful, but the worse they get the less mobile I become. They are less annoying in the morning when I get up and then they seem to get worse during the day.

The first time I experienced these symptoms my oncologist put me on steroids. The steroids alleviated the symptoms by decreasing the inflammation but they came with their own uncomfortable symptoms (crazy sleep patterns, anxiety, puffy pie face, huge appetite). When I stopped the steroids, things returned back to “normal“.

Since the symptoms of brain inflammation have returned yet again, my oncologist has given me the now familiar choice: I either go back on steroids for the umpteenth time to suppress the inflammation or I become sedentary and wait till the inflammation (hopefully) subsides.

For now, I’ve chosen to stay off the steroids and remain mostly sedentary. If I start getting headaches and a decreased sense of balance, I will go back on steroids. Do you think it’s the right choice?

Shifting The Burden

May 18, 2012 2 comments

In a capitalist society, borgs that ship crap to their customers go out of business sooner or later:

In a corpo-socialist society, big, arrogant, and self-important borgs that ship crap to their customers get bailed out by both customers and non-customers in the form of taxpayer-financed government bailouts:

Note the feedback loop in action: crap -> customer -> money -> US Gov -> money -> to borg -> crap -> customer. It reminds me of  the “shifting the burden” system archetype presented by Peter Senge in his classic book  “The Fifth Discipline“. In corpo-socialist societies, the burden of staying in business is shifted from the borg itself to the American people. So much for the ideal of being responsible and accountable for your own success. It applies to individuals and small companies, but not to corpo behemoths.

Dynamic Loop Of Demise

March 25, 2012 1 comment

Uh Oh! Is Google going down the turd hole? First, in “Why I Left Google“, newly minted Microsoft employee James Whittaker says: last three months working for Google was a whirlwind of desperation, trying in vain to get my passion back. The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. In such an environment you don’t have to be part of some executive’s inner circle to succeed. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.

Then, in “Google’s Mounting Trash Pile“, Paul Whyte writes:

Google’s engineering culture has been an incredible asset. But the record shows that without some discipline, that asset can subtly but inevitably work against Google in its mission as a titan of Internet search and software.

On the one hand, Mr. Whittaker bailed because he felt the dense fog of bureaucracy and a narrowing focus descending upon the company. On the other hand, the (not unreasonable) pressure to jettison bogus research projects with no revenue stream in sight seems to be draining the passion and engagement  out of the workforce. Can a vicious, self-reinforcing loop be in the making? Increase In Pressure For Profits -> Decrease In Reseach Funding -> Decrease In Employee Passion -> Decrease In Number And Quality Of Products -> Increase In Pressure For Profits.

I don’t think this dynamic loop of demise is one of Peter Senge‘s “Fifth Discipline” archetypes, but maybe it should be.

Bone Rattlers

March 10, 2010 1 comment

Peter Senge is a colleague of dear, departed Russell Ackoff. Peter recently wrote a passionate tribute to his friend on the Ackoff Center Weblog and he rang my bell with these bone-rattling quotes:

So long as people think in fragmented ways they will act similarly – Peter Senge

The inherited traditions over generations toward patriarchy, authoritarian views of leadership, and rigid systems of institutional power will not change in a generation – Peter Senge

How long will we preserve the belief that power comes from institutional position versus connection to the creative flow of the universe? – Peter Senge

The forces for change come from “life’s longing for itself,” not from ego-based human striving – Peter Senge

That last quote is really a zinger because I’ve been wrestling with my ego ever since I finally came to the realization that it dominates my (and the vast majority of other people’s) thinking and external behavior. Sadly, I (the real self) don’t have the upper hand on the “I” (the imposter) thought, but some day I hope to do so. Hence, my spiritual quest continues in a seemingly self-referential infinite looping attempt to use the ego to beat the ego into submission.

How about you? Do you realize that you’re not living up to your full potential because your ego is in charge? Do you care, or is everything just peachy keen for you the way you are?

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