Organizational Styles and Learning Modes

Lately I’ve been thinking about how teams and departments in business learn to work through projects, changes brought on by personnel changes, mergers, or strategic realignment of objectives. Some learn and adapt quickly while others seem to struggle endlessly for months or years. My experience of many of these growth opportunities in the major corporations I’ve worked with tells me there is a combination of elements of the working styles, personalities, hopes and fears of the individuals that influences the process. There is also a personality and style of the organization as a whole.

Moshe Feldenkrais in his book The Elusive Obvious talks about how we tend to organize our lives around actions where we feel most inept. What I see in organizations is a generalization of this principle as part of their styles. In groups we learn through various experiences that some tasks and processes are more difficult or even unpleasant or painful for us. We find ways of skirting around these or avoiding them altogether. Eventually we run into a situation where we need to learn a different way of handling them. We often enter a period of great discomfort and uncertainty as we work through very unfamiliar territory.

There are ways each of us as individuals learn to develop new learning strategies. I believe that some of the same approaches can guide organizations into new approaches for learning. Especially of interest to me is the application of the Feldenkrais Method® in business settings. This system of learning through movement has a way of gently yet powerfully leading students into significant discoveries about how they approach difficult challenges and opportunities for change.

Feldenkrais Method® is a registered trademark of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America


One Response to Organizational Styles and Learning Modes

  1. Ryan Nagy says:

    Hi Robert. Nice looking blog. I have often wished that systems thinkers, as represented by Moshe Feldenkrais and others, would start making there way “deeper” into the corporate arena. There is much benefit to be had.

    cheers – Ryan

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