Sunday, November 12, 2006

and so....

I am suggesting that when conversations are characterised by some critical state of redundant diversity in which there is a critical potential for misunderstanding, words in their speaking have the potential for transformation into new patterns of meaning, thus of acting. Since the kind of conversations I am talking about are characterised by uncertainty and misunderstanding they raise anxiety in those participating.

Thus, if the conversation is to continue, there must be something that allows people to overcome this anxiety and avoid the collapse of the creative potential of misunderstanding into the regular pattern of talk in words already spoken. This, I suggest is curiosity and, most important, trust. Trusting those that engage in conversations that might reach a critical level of redundant diversity and its associated potential for misunderstanding, enables people to live with the anxiety arising in the frustrated expectations of finding rapid solutions and immediate support.

As part of their current tasks in organisations people are expected to perform some clearly defined sequence of actions during which their behaviour is bound by rules, culture or shared expectations. This is necessary for the efficient performance of daily tasks. This is the behaviour that is validated by the legitimate pattern of interactions in companies. It is derived from the "economic purpose" of each "organisation". However, while people are performing these actions, they also engage in redundantly diverse behaviour. This might arise in attempts to accommodate ambiguity, uncertainty and ill-defined outcomes of economic actions or in some current or prospective events that relate directly to the job in hand. Furthermore, people also engage in talk with their colleagues, friends, customers and other persons, about issues that do not relate to the organisation or its goals and procedures.

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