Work as School

^z 2nd June 2023 at 11:39am

From "Episode 034: Systems Thinking in the Real World" (2017-05-24) of the Greater than Code series of conversations, a fascinating observation by Janelle Klein:

I have a thought I wanted to run by you all. I've been thinking a lot about one of the ideas in The Fifth Discipline that I think I might have gotten out of the Fifth Discipline Field Book. One of the ideas that Peter Senge brings up is to think of a learning organization as this hybrid between a business and a school. If you imagine that you're learning so much in the context of your job that it feels like you're going to school, and mastery is just baked into part of your job, the union of those two systems is kinda-sorta what a learning organization is, or characteristically would look like.

If you think about that system model, one of the interesting effects is there's a fundamental shift in the direction of money flow. In the context of a business, a business pays employees; and in the context of a school, the students pay tuition to get an education. If you put these systems in equilibrium so that currency flow is off the table and all of the transactions between people occur at a point of equilibrium or barter, such that — this is where the idea of open mastery came from — finding that point in equilibrium, and you design a system around it, this is what originally gave me the idea of, "What if we built a software education support infrastructure into the industry?"

(lightly edited from the transcript; cf FifthDisciplinarians (2000-09-10), KnowledgeAndSociety (2002-03-25), Learningful Life (2021-07-02), ...) - ^z - 2023-06-02