Monday, November 30, 2009

Some follow up to today's class session

Here are some points we didn't get to. I simply note them here.

1. We should have tied Senge on Personal Mastery to Bruner on Intrinsic Motivation and the other things we read on intrinsic motivation. In some sense, personal mastery as a path is a commitment to lead a life driven by intrinsic motivation.

2. In our discussion we assumed that the origin of the shared vision is the CEO. But that needn't be the case. The origin can come from within the organization.

3. However, one reason why people leave big companies to become part of a startup is because the shared vision is hard to achieve from the bottom up in a big company.

Also, I made comparison between Personal Mastery and Maslow's notion of self-actualization. This is a very accessible site about Maslow. Scroll down to about the middle of the page and read the section on self-actualization. The list of meta needs that follows is interesting. I wonder whether you yourselves feel those needs (all or a subset) and if you think your education has made you aware of them.


  1. Though I often do not recognize meta needs or think of them so explicitly, I do feel when they are lacking in my life. One of the most lacking meta needs is simplicity. I almost immediately feel it when this one hits me. There are so many responsibilities, deadlines, and cool gadgets. I feel that sometimes, I need to unplug from the life around me. Finals week post-finals usually allows me to do this the most. I feel most able to sit back and just read while the madness continues to ensue for everyone else.
    Other meta needs, like beauty, are harder for me to notice when lacking. Maybe they just aren't lacking as much. I don't really think my education has made me aware of them. Other aspects of life (family, faith, friends, etc.) make me more aware.
    I really enjoyed thinking about Maslow's delineation of meta needs. Hadn't ever given them that much thought.

  2. There is a really important question whether the pace of every day life, particularly at work, maybe in school too, is nurturing or if it grinds us down. On occasion I feel good that there seems to be an insurmountable set of tasks on my to do list and that I can be frenetic in pursuit of their completion. But much of my adult life I've learned to find truth by staring at chalkboard or a pad of paper and trying to penetrate that. The two are definitely in conflict.

    There is beauty in math, particularly in the elegance of arguments and the cleverness behind certain constructions. I suspect you've come to appreciate some of that and as that grows you likely will appreciate beauty elsewhere, though surely we remain dull to much potential stimuli.