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Guiding Process Handling the Past

In the guiding process handling the past, the action of organising (=organisation) requires a decision regarding the question: “Should a decision made in the past be preserved, or should it be intelligently adapted?”

In this guiding process, an organisation grapples with the past (patterns, habits, decision criteria, structures) in the face of a new alternative. It decides whether to discard the old or the new, and, at the same time, to redefine the old or the new as currently valid. Viewed in this way, learning is not something additional, otherwise it would only be a broadening of competences or a new development. In the light of this, in addition to learning, there is also always the unlearning of (good) old things. This is one of the reasons why learning of new things is so difficult. No system will easily discard past success. When introducing change, the seed of failure lies within the often one-sided focus on learning something new. The necessity of retaining something and the effort of unlearning are underexposed and underestimated. At the same time it is stated, during this guiding process, that non learning is hidden in retaining! Not wanting to learn is thus an unavoidable decision variant of organisations in this guiding process.

During organisational change processes (‘change’) one must always bear in mind that the organisation cannot change itself. It must constantly decide if it should change itself in shape by utilising new options and possibilities or whether it changes itself by throwing out or ignoring the new and remaining with the old. If it retains the old, although there might have been a new possibility, then the old is no longer the same!