Saturday, 2 October 2010

20/20 Vision? Re-spect the one eyed jack in the hand of the blind


A one-eyed man in the land of the blind says Jack of Diamonds' a hard card to beat ...

So I'll lay some 2010 cards on the table now to clarify some of the key points we'll need to get right if we ever want to achieve 20/20 vision:

: the best metaphor here is not driving the train but leading the dance: weaving ideas and practices with your colleagues, enabling them to move smoothly with you as a unit, ensuring space for all participants to move effectively, and above all ensuring that the whole organisation is dancing in time and to the right tune.

: including all people means including colleagues, clients and all those who will be affected by developments. You include them all by engaging them in the dialogue of transformation.

Problem solving
: There is no such thing as a root cause. Nothing has a single cause. Everything that happens is due to a unique combination of complex dynamic factors. The Chinese language does not encourage Western ‘causal’ thinking, but rather it encourages people to think in terms of connectedness: instead of asking ‘what causes X?’ they ask ‘what complex of things tend to happen together in time?’ Think in Chinese!

: The real value network and eco-system of any organisation are rooted in its people and communications. They are heterogeneous. They are information doorways, and behind each door are paths leading off in many directions. Unlocking the network doors demands thinking beyond them to the paths you need to use, and which extend beyond your organisation itself

: Inclusion is recognition of the principle of connectedness that governs the world. Don’t just listen to words, but to tone and timing too, and note the spaces between the words. See the shapes of spaces between the objects, they are anti-matter. Most of the universe is made of anti-matter. Most problems and solutions occur there. Learn to use it.

: clarity is king, but the queen is veiled and harder to see (another reflection of anti-matter). Be as clear about what you don’t want to do as you are about what you do want to do. Also bear in mind the possible pitfalls of language. Native American languages don’t allow them to say ‘this is right’ or ‘that is wrong’, instead they say ‘I call this right’ and ‘I call this wrong’. Think like a Native American and ask why you call this right and that wrong.

: When an animal dies it loses a small amount of weight due to the cessation of movement. This was once thought to be a sign of the soul leaving the body. Energy is mass and so it has weight as well, and like the soul it cannot be weighed in living beings; we can only measure its indicators. But the signpost is not the thing signified. Vitality is the key thing we need to measure but being a quantum object it is intangible. Learn from quantum mechanics: we find what we measure for. And learn from psychology: we measure for what will affirm our hopes or fears. We must measure our measuring!

The Market
: The market is fluid, it is only defined by the routes to and through it. Our hands cannot corner water, fingers are made to leak. But they can splash, swim, cup and build channels.

: What makes us human is the ability to think about our thinking. Using that should make us more human as well as more successful.

: The highest we can aspire to is simplicity. If design, systems and integrative systems seem to make things more complex they are faulty. The greatest innovations are always simple and seem obvious: think ‘wheel’.

: More than inclusion of contribution, engagement is about inspiring hearts and minds.

: The wheel needs a surface to roll on. Including all parts in operations means including those that are acted upon as well as those that act.

: Look at yourself and see the human race, look at your home and see the planet.

: The fool is the expert of foolishness, the wise person is the expert of knowing their limits.

: This must always be between equals, yet no two people are fully equal. We must start by defining the salient ways in which partners are equal and this will suggest the scope for reciprocal enhancement and benefit. Every pair of feet is slightly odd, one may be longer, the other broader, one straighter the other higher, but we need both to walk.

Ability: Integrating human and machine is the big trick. Six million years and we’re still struggling to unite male and female. But it’s worth all the effort!

: You are not a self among others. We are one. Imagine the cells of your right hand thinking of themselves as individuals. Silly cells. Together they rise and together they fall.

: The arrow flies to the bullseye only if all the feathers are tightly bound together.

Best practice
: This a cultural construct. And culture is not static. You cannot put your foot in the same river twice. All statements of best practice are historical documents, by the time you’ve written it down the world has moved on. To get ahead of the curve you must read the river, think how the meander will shift, and stake your claim on that spot. Don’t copy the standards of others; nail your own colours to the mast!

: The West does have it right! But only a quarter right!! The North, South, and East each have the other three quarters. Use the languages, concepts and stories of all four quarters and you gain the legacy of all human understanding.

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