This transcript of a conversation between theologians and est founder Werner Erhard may be incomprehensible to anyone not trained in ontological coaching. For those of us who are, Werner provides a thrilling demonstration of how to apply coaching distinctions. In this excerpt, Werner articulates one of the fundamental insights executive coaches bring to bear on their clients’ issues.
Interviewer: I want to know what problems you see, and how those changes are going to contribute to the relationship between you and your underlings in the organization.
Werner Erhard: I’m not making an issue of the words you use. I’m making the system from which the words are derived the problem. Given the system, I can’t answer the question. You see, it’s not simply the words you’re using that are the problem.
What I want to convey to you is this: In the assumptions from which you are asking the question, you allow for no truthful answer to the question. The words you use reflect your assumptions accurately, and given your assumptions, there’s no solution to the problem. One cannot solve the problem in the system you are using. In fact, that system is the problem.
Now, I’m going to answer your question, because, you know, I came here and agreed to do that, but I want to tell you the truth before I answer the question. So I’m telling you that my answer will make no sense if you listen to the answer in that system from which you asked the question.
The answer is that the organization has for several years been shifting away from a structure that has a central place or a top place from which decisions are made and passed on. We always tried not to operate that way, and over the years we’ve become more and more successful at not operating that way. The structure of just about any ordinary organization, however, is that way.
in The Network Review
See also, Never say, “It’s Just Semantics” on this blog.
System is the key word. My successes were frequent and often. I could not make a difference as often with others however. In one paradigm, this had to be them or me. When I noticed design, I questioned the marketing aspect of the systems. Results are always a function of design. The Marine Corps has a ‘remarkable’ success rate. Do research on ‘The Delancey Street Foundation’ to discover a near 100% success rate. I now have found colleges with 100% graduations rates. Most of what pass as paths to success are merely sifting and sorting systems to find the few who will, no matter what, succeed. The rest never had a real chance but failure. Blaming the victims has always worked.