The third screenside chat question I wanted to address this week was one that was a little provocative, and I enjoyed it. It was by Bosvanda Hataran and he argued that, basically, organizations don't learn. They aren't alive, they aren't conscious. So he's kind of a, let me read it to you really quick. A fundamental question, Dan talks about organizations learning, and moreover, teaching their employees. Since organizations are not alive, I would like to raise the argument that they cannot learn or teach. It's the people in the organizations that learn and teach and organizations themselves do not have this capacity. To emphasize this point, I would like to submit the case of a former employer. I worked there for a year and a half and after I left within two years, the company had an employee turn over of 100%, nobody I worked with, still worked there. The end result, nothing of what I knew in the company was still there. None of the learnings were there, none of the structure, nothing. For organizations learn and not people in them, this should not have been possible. It's interesting that Professor Dan says it's not the routines and processes that consist of the learning. Yet those are the only ones an organization can actually hold onto and they're not in the hands of the people working there. So my statement, this week's lectures are false. [LAUGH] Organizations don't learn, they're not alive, and so the correct answer to the first question, the first quiz question should be number three. Doesn't make sense organizations learn not one, two and four that are correct according to literature. So Bos I'm happy to answer this. Look, there are very intelligent students out there. And I think it's easy to ask to some extent to problematize the consciousness of a firm and to problematize the notion of a social entity of the firm. To focus on it purely as a literal contractual entity. And I think that's, or a legal entity and I think that's kind of the the argumentative move here. And I think the point of full turnover in a company is that you really have no memory and, I think, no knowledge in the sense that the infrastructure of some firms are not preserving what they have learned, they aren't intelligent and not demonstrating intelligence. It's not to say that there isn't some kind of learning going on or there isn't intentional activity within firms but I don't think you should take this theory too literally in terms of a conscious learning entity. But in terms of a social entity that exhibits characteristics of intelligence as a collective, I do think it's a serious thing to consider. The kind of things that you need to put in place, so you don't have goldfish memory where people turn over where there is nothing left behind in the routines. I do think that routines and processes are, you know, have symbolic value and they do also have memory placed in them about learning about things. But, not necessarily about learning by doing and I do think thr personnel and the kind of understandings and explanations and the kind of formalisms we use to account for, lived practices within working institutions, that's the way that you really learn or have some kind of knowledge or understanding of things. And I think a lot of the examples we gave were pretty common sensical that I can't really learn from a rulebook. Here at Stanford, I can't look at the Masters student and PhD student manual to understand what it's like to be a student and help them as an adviser. I have to go pretty far beyond that and talk to other people and be a mentor to actually experience it before I gain a degree of understanding and knowledge of it. That said, the infrastructure around here does codify these rules and has procedures for a variety of reasons for batch processing and what not. And it tries to improve on itself, but I think that the kind of memory we have in a lot of organizations is through mentoring, it's through interpersonal collaborations, it's through overlap of turnover and personnel so that before I leave, I will pass on some of the knowledge I have to others. One of the things that I think is especially interesting, and by the way, the points I'm making are really ones that I think Stanislav Ivanov, and Yao Ju did a wonderful job of relating in terms of saying that the organization as a legal entity does not learn. The organization as a social entity does as a collective that has some kind of intentional coordinated action, that's geared towards some kind of goal. So as far as the definition of an organization goes, that coordination of participants and people toward some collective end. I think it does require some degree of intelligence and that intelligence is that you learn from mistakes, that you learn from success, that you reflect on it, that you are concerned with improving. Now not all firms demonstrate that. A lot of the fall into learning traps. A lot of them have kinds of deficiencies that make it more problematic to learn and remember these things, where they go through these crises and in some cases, you may want to forget and this is something that not too many people. Maybe caught in the readings is an implication that there are cases where I'd like to start over, and forgetting would be a really useful thing for a firm if I want to go in a totally different direction. I think that was brought up in the prior screen side chat about organizational culture. So I do think there are quite a few things that the other post said that you can do to institutionalize and create an infrastructure of knowledge that retains knowledge. And so hopefully you look at that post to kind of think about how you can create, socially construct an intelligence for an organization. And I think that's the point. I mean, sure, it is socially constructed, and there is this entity, independent perhaps as some kind of object or not a true thinking being per se. But I still think this applies on organization idea. Note too that with turnover you have a particular kind of exploration. You have new people coming in with new ideas but you have loss of information of what works, so you're always in exploration mode. And that can be chronic. You're going from one thing to the next, it's like you have amnesia every day as a company. There maybe cases where that's good and there maybe cases where it's not and so that kind of intelligence maybe disliked or not very helpful in some context. The last thing I want to remark and this response is just that I enjoy these kind of provocative questions and I don't mind them so hopefully you aren't afraid to ask them and I'm happy to confront them. One thing that I would love to hear from a lot of you is as we're in the digital age now, and we have all these listservs and forums and threads everywhere, and firms have them, even my course the students have them, and parent clubs in the neighborhood, they have them. At the community counsel that I'm on we have them. There's these never ending conversations, but how to search them? You guys tag really well on the forum, but it's still not the most effective way of organizing all these wonderful conversations where we actually get somewhere and learn something. The examples everybody points to are something like stack overflow. But that's great for programming, whereas this class is more perhaps about conversations and understandings that are more of a humanistic nature and social scientific nature that may not lend themselves to a stack overflow kind of organization. It'd be neat to hear from you guys whether there are better or worse ways of organizing these dialogues, and retaining what we've learned and passing it on for year after year, like I would love it if I could combine forms from last year to this year. Where you could search all of it. Or you, we could synthesize it to some extent so that you could enter these conversations and quickly get the best parts of them that would crowd, at least crowd source in the sense that people thought they were the most useful and access that because it's there and it's just, it's being lost. And I'm not, I'm not the expert in terms of how to use IT and technology to actually optimize that knowledge to be fully intelligent about it. So I would love to get feedback, maybe in the forums that you guys have, letting me know what you think would be a great solution and what, maybe I can implement on next round of this course, and possibly work with coursera to work on improving the current format. So these are all great questions, please keep them coming. And as always, I'm going to look for you on the forum. Thank you.