The way we see…blinkers..filters..frameworks

We see but don’t SEE
We see what we want to see….fail to see what is right in front of us…..closest to us. ….the most visible ….but not seen…to our own peril ”
What are we missing out on ?
# What we see is what we get. A broken lens gives us a broken view
# An unbroken view is the imperative to sustainability (anti- fragility?)
# Multiple views are essential to ‘see’ through the heights of complexity
# What is excluded in the act of seeing might be even more significantThe way we see: Blinkers….
When We Solve a Problem for India, We Solve a Problem For the World …..Says Google CEO Sundar Pichai..This is the way Sundar sees it ….his position statement for Google
What we see depends on where we stand…….the positions we take…..
India is the Everest of complexity.
Solutions that work here work….globally.
Did we ever have frameworks to address this complexity ?
We had
The lion capital of Asoka….Asoka chakra
Catushkodi…….Nagarjuna
If we go beyond the obvious ….both frameworks are essentially the same……..that reality can not be reduced to any one extreme….that all four lions are of equal importance…the coin has four sides …….not two
Compare 500 years since Buddha with 500 years since Luther ……
We might conclude…
We are as bad as our maps…
We don’t have a map…..
Amnesia….. ?
Map is not the territory…..without the map there is no territory….
Better the map….larger the empire ….

The way he showed me…….My mentor …he wouldn’t agree..
He is 76……way ahead of me….in every which way…..not just age
Tells me
I am past my current life expectancy here
My only purpose in life is to prove that you and your maps are all wrong….not to you …..to myself…..that all of history is one big lie…..for me it is post lie …..not post truth
So I stretch …..challenge myself….the one metric i keep track of these days is the distance I cover when I run …….if you take care of some such anchors in your routine everything else will be taken care of….
Now you know where I picked up one of my recent fads…..
More ……..later….we are traveling today ….tomorrow…
A day with my mentor at his farm
Here take this …give this to that monkey…tell him this is my take on it…
If you are a Mallu you can flash back here to your image of the proverbial monkey who had ginger for his breakfast
I know who he has in mind……a career bureaucrat ….a mutual friend..+ reminding me of his axiom ….careers to community
Who is interested in me ….a Robinson Crusoe ….I have only things to barter like this organic ginger…..can you make it digital…reduce it to a number for the economist?
Who is interested in your fishermen…the tribal…they are beyond numbers….how do you monetise them….make them smart?
If you pay peanuts?
You get monkeys…..I had an answer this time
What is the economics of a world class economist working as the Chief of the Fed for less than 1/3 the starting salary of a third rate MBA ?……
why not monetise it….you…..smarts?
I knew who he had in his mind ?
Now get out..I have work to do…..the Hammer is down……the strike …surgical…… is complete…….A surgeon par excellence
It will take many sleepless nights for me to heal my damaged internal networks..
another monkey map….the monkey with the coconut that he can’t break open…..then that of the First Monkey…..the 100th monkey…..Rupert Sheldrake….the angry old man……my mentor
Yet another one from Taleb- of somebody who can not identify a coconut in a coconut Island
Who is that mentor of yours whom I don’t know of …was the most frequently asked question from the few who called me these last two days
I follow the same tactic that HE does to me…..a different answer to each one
To my dairy friends ….Dr Nazki….a friend of 36 years
To friends from my fishing (not for fish) days…..Tony Michael ….a friend from my operation flood period…I first met him in 1971….you do the counting……the one who is yet to divorce his first love- the cow….
Both are on FB…..check if you like…interesting characters..
We are about to return. The car is loaded with the loot from the farm…all organic or at least natural to the extent that it can be natural in our times..
HE surprises me …..I am coming with you. He has a small shoulder bag….
He wants to drive…..enjoys it …is a far better driver than me…I too am relieved….I can do without the back seat driving. He is off grid to a ridiculous extent…car…power…food…money to a large measure. A modern Robinson Crusoe…demonetised………well almost…
He will clear a good part of the confusion that he has triggered in me and he is at his jovial best when he drives
We start. He is happy
I too shoot out ….my FAQ ….once again….who is your… ?
My mentor is a composite character….virtual….Imagine Dr. Kurien….as a centenarian….add a dash of MS Swaminathan…. Dr MS Valiathan…Prof NS Ramaswamy…..Whitehead …..Ashby….
you have a fairly good approximation of my mentor
He is as unpredictable as ever and I need to wiki ….
Good many mallus…? ….I can’t help it
The rare good mallu is a global Indian and the good Indian other than the dead Indian is a global citizen…..
Look at Aurobindo…Tagore…
Some more food for thought….I fall silent
He has a glee on his face. He knows that I have been silenced…he can enjoy the driving
Who is driving me now ?

What is on your mind……….?
Shooting my Mentor
My God died young …Sasthi Brata ….1968
If you meet the Buddha on the road …..kill Him….Sheldon Kopp …1972
Mentor…mentee
Guru…..disciple
Leader …..follower
Teacher….student
Creator….created
Only a Vysya can design a product like Twitter and a sick mind can accumulate followers around her
Learning begins when you graduate from the stage of the dwapara….. the dualist …..the world of yes or no…..and move on to the thretha ….third stage…..yes…no….yes and no…..
In very rare cases one might graduate to the fourth state…..the satyayug….the domain of the adult …….Of course the curious innocent infant lives in the Kaliyug…….we need it all through…..
As we flatearthers see it …….the model is not a linear framework…..
Nagarjuna was not a flat earther….he was a Brahmin….Kshatriya….Vysya…Shudra..all in one …….at the same time..
You peel of the first skin ….of my friend Shankar….a modern Shankara….Hindu …..he was born with it…..you will find a Buddhist….a Christian more loyal to Christ than the Pope and the Queen….a Moslem and if you go further ……even a Jewish one…
nor was Chanakya..or …..the Greeks..
The tetralemma and Catushkodi are multistage.. …dynamic……real time frameworks..all the four stages are co terminus ..multi level..all four Lions …are aspects of equal importance….
a culture which gave birth to the only language for process…Sanskrit…can not be …..flat earthers….
Of course……..morons are free to get stuck and rot in any one of the hells…stages
Every disciple will have to do a Judas …betray your guru….
Thirty sovereigns were a huge fortune ……if you work out the present value of the blood money….
Traders that we are ……we sell a country …monetise it…..for much less
If you are still searching for a mentor ….the adult is yet to take birth.
The fate of your God is no different….mot mine…one of quality not numbers….
Some day you will have to shoot your mentor….
I am no mentor of yours…Fxxx you
He slowed down ..stopped the car …picked up his shoulder bag and merged with the flow
Still searching for a Mentor ….?
Join….CAN…..citizens’ adult network
Wiki …..Google …..to connect the dots
What is on your mind ?

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Of Peanuts and Monkeys

Who are you calling a Monkey? Your dad? “

I called you the First Monkey, I thought I was flattering you

Google for the First Monkey Effect or ask your mentor

Rupert Sheldrake was living in your own city”

She cut me off !

I looked at the Mac, not wanting to face those fiery eyes.

It was stuck for the first time in its life dealing with the aftershocks of my fiddling with it to use the air drop to share something with Shastri. Wondering whether to go to him or not, I raised my head to stare into the same eyes that I wanted to avoid. Is this what they mean by manifesting ?

Still stuck with your I/OS ? “

Not I/OS, my iphone six is fine

I meant your Operating System not that of your phone. I was testing you on your very own O/S. It seems you dont understand both”

Peeved. I tried a prank. I must be becoming that what I thought my daughter was calling me.

Are you the First Monkey ?

The face lit up for the first time. I smiled at my own smartness, thanks to her

No that was a long long time ago, not any more. I watched his eyes. I could sense his going back reflecting.

You know the story ?

My smartness was not built to last. This time I played straight. I dont know Sir.

There was this Banana Island which the monkeys, the sole inhabitants of the Island, had declared the ‘Banana Republic’ far away from any other land mass where Bananas and Peanuts were available in plenty and the monkeys lived a happy life. There was also another nut with no name for it that the monkeys never ate. Mothers frowned at the little ones if they even dared to look at it. They could’nt use them like scarce pebbles on the beach to send them touch flying over the waves. Their folklore had it that long long ago, the mother judge of the tribe had hammered her little one to death for eating the nut with the very Hammer that she used to call the court to order.

Then it happened. One in a pair of twins, away from their mothers’ eyes did it again. It danced and jumped around with a wanton glee on its face. The other went rushing to pass on the news to the elders. The first one wanted to have more of the good thing. He rushed to the shore with a few more and sent them flying over the water. The last one that he had decided to eat fell into the water. He picked it up and ate it.

It was even sweeter, a double whammy, history went into the storybook

The noise from the on coming crowd could be heard in the distance. He thought of his next move.

The Potato chips came much later…

Next : Who owns your body ? What is your O/S ?

The Community College: Ride IT

“What are you building capacity for, the Taj, the Temple or Community?  Gurcharan Das’s ‘Cathedral building’ talks of building the Taj. ‘Ride IT’ fits the bill for real community building, building for the next generation, creating a footprint of their own by scavenging waste. “

“But carpooling has always been there, not been very successful.”

“Do you really want it to be successful? The government, employers and employees can come together, exempt road tax for corporate fleets and make such investments eligible for CSR benefits. It is more than free like all good things in life when four in five cars go off the roads, cars idling in parking lots carry employees from the graveyard shift, leverage shared journeys to promote internal and external community, reduce the carbon footprint, eliminate the need for a few flyovers……….. Don’t you see what they are trying to do?  If you can see it you can certainly do it. Gone are the days when your car created your identity. It is your sense of community that creates your identity”

“Should we build capacity or create an environment for expression of capacity?”

“We can build to break; we can also break and build. It depends”

“Check with the visual whether Ride IT fits the bill on all dimensions for   bringing community centre-stage through convergence “. Less is certainly more.

The Community Learning Engine

community college

“What do you mean, the learning engine? “

“The learning engine continually improves on its previous best performance. It feeds on waste like all good consultants do.”

“Let us look at our municipal corporation as a learning engine. It would look something like the next visual”

cc2

“GIGO, Garbage in garbage out?”

“Solid waste is very visible and tangible, the more vicious waste goes unseen, intangible. If you can see the waste behind an IMR of 40+, visualize all the wasted years, it might make one shirk off a little bit of complacency. If you want to solve the problem at source, see the garbage inside and treat it there. Intellectual poverty is more vicious than the other poverty”

“Why do you stress the visual so much?”

“Search for Sabrina Bresciani on Knowledge Visualisation. If you can see it you can do it. Text is no substitute for the visual in certain contexts- think of a map or the design of a machine. We are building a vision to be shared, the first step to building community.The issue is ‘New Literacy’ “

“New Literacy? What is that? “

New Literacy: In search of the adult

“Most people die before they are fully born. Creativeness means to be born before one dies.” – Erich Fromm

What is it to be fully born?

Raj was 15 and Herman, 35. They were walking home from the exhibition grounds, a very long walk to the Ashram where they stayed.  Herman was a priest. The boy frequented the Ashram whenever he could.  The boy was tired, falling into sleep and forcing himself to remain awake.  They entered the gates and lied down on the grounds, both of them gazing at the star lit sky.

Raj heard him asking “what is the meaning of all this”?

The boy had no answers. Silence prevailed, something sparked in the boy’s mind. “Someday, I will know”.  He never knew what was in store for the wish to come true. It was much later and getting himself burnt many times over that he knew that there is a price to knowing, the price that Oedipus had to pay for his insistence on knowing the truth at all costs.

Herman did not last long in the Ashram. He broke his vows and walked out. Raj came to know of it much later. His efforts to locate him were not successful.  Meanwhile many gods died very young for him. He had to pass through his personal omega point before he could come to a reasonable resolution of what he had hoped for on that starlit night, a journey of twenty six years.

I had fallen into a reverie of our conversation the previous evening while Raj was preparing the ground for one of his workshops, talking to the group about the ‘The Thomas theorem’- “It is not important whether or not the interpretation is correct. If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences”, a theory of sociology formulated in 1928 by two Thomases. He was going a step further proposing what he termed the Thomas Principle.

The ADULT is the sacrificial goat, when

Master and disciple,

Teacher and student

Coach and the coachee,

Consultant and client,

Counselor and counselee,

Shepherd and the sheep,

Pope and the faithful,

are stuck in their respective positions; cannibalism and slavery are the outcome.

Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. – Mathew 7.19

The disciple has to fail the guru but Thomas never failed, the  other adult in the ring of 13. The other Judas fell to greed and the rest failed to realize their adults much like the unhappy younger brother. When the prodigal son finds the adult, he returns to his father. In recovering the adult he had to let go of a father and the father recovers his very self. The church that Thomas went on to establish was built on the rock of reason unlike the other churches built on the rock of faith. Both work  but whereas one thrives on dialogue, creates adults and community the other relies more on fear, manipulation and aggression, creating a setting that  makes crusades feasible.

Dialogue is possible only among adults, where reason prevails.

Raj was stirring up a hornet’s nest. There was visible uneasiness among the group. I was thrilled to see that the group was approaching its omega point, which I define as the point of maximum sustainable confusion any group can withstand. The group will either break up or come to a reasonable resolution of the issues to form a community of practice for the rest of the programme. A few of them would form new alliances and bonds that would last a lifetime. I was here after two decades of our first meeting in one of my workshops.

Raj appeared to be relishing the confusion. We want to create an environment of community here for the duration of the programme, he continued.  Organizations are not for adults, community is. It is natural/imperative that the disciple fails the Guru – do a Judas- the mentee the mentor, student the coach, counselee the counselor. Peter fails repeatedly.  Thomas, the rationalist, is perhaps the only adult in the dozen and his bible, the only adult version of the story of transformation.  The church that followed him stood its ground   in the cradle of all religions against successive waves of Buddhist, Jain and the Hindu revival.  Disciples go on reinventing the master, do a Procrustus, and cut the cloth to suit their own different sizes.

A stage will come in every learning relationship – including marriages – when the travelers reach the fork on the road. when master and disciple turn adults or one has to let go of the other on grounds of greater love, if that is the only way the other faces the reality of the dynamics. Resolutions might/not happen. When the prodigal daughter returns she finds that there is no father or daughter.  In my father’s abode there are no husbands and wives, fathers or daughters/sons. The cheating wife is a product of this dynamics. She doesn’t want to cheat but has to cheat, destroy herself to rebuild herself. The other has to let her go even at the risk of her own death/suicide. Death is a normal risk to the human, but to die even before one is born is a greater calamity. Life will go on.

Hands were being raised. Raj paused giving in to the questions. He waited for all the questions before getting to continue with the conversation

The fifty year study of myocardial infraction is a recent example of the progressive decline in community among the Roseto. Probably we had better community prior to the beginning of settled agriculture among the hunter gatherer. So in one sense what we call progress was no progress but a decline and decay of community.

Perhaps the universe is perfect, says the digital philosopher, Rudy Rucker.  For the mystic the world is perfect beyond any uncertainty, he lives the connection with the whole and has repeated experiences of this connection which spills into his art, making it immortal.  For him nothing happens by chance, everything is a participative outcome of the grand design. Tolkien believed mythology to be the divine echo of truth. We don’t allow them to die. For them to die, we need to draw the principles they embed and realise them in our daily lives. In those days art deserts the museum walls, the opera and the cinema halls and occupy the Wall Street, virtual walls waiting to be painted.  Art is routine.

If myth is the measure of wealth, India is the wealthiest of nations. Weighed down by the burden of myths they labour more, asking more questions on Quora than others in the world. The wealth of their myths lies hidden like the Temple Treasure of Trivandrum. Unearthing hidden treasures could be opening the Pandora’s Box as the state in Kerala has come to realise the proof of the Matthew effect, (Matthew effect – Robert K. Merton) – the poor in spirit becomes poorer in health and wealth.

So what ?

Ask more questions !

More of fantasy is not the solution to the burden of our myths

To continue

The journey so far

Summing up 1990-2013

Image

Summing up 1990-2013

“For over 1200 years Taxila and Nalanda were the finest centres of learning in Asia and the world. Emperor Ashoka was the political outcome of this intellectual leadership. As Taxila and Nalanda declined, centres of learning emerged elsewhere. This process continues.

What is now emerging is far more exciting, driven primarily by open — often free — real-time access to information and technology. With social networks and the immense possibilities of online learning, the centres of learning have shifted homeward. Critical to the success of these new, emerging centres of learning is the maturity of the learner. In fact, the key outcome of this new literacy is the emergence of the adult who thrives on dialogue and community. Yet existing leadership styles and organisational practices often tend to stifle the blossoming of the adult, especially in large organisational and governance systems.

This is where First Discipline comes in — as the management equivalent of the graphic user interface. The graphic user interface took technology to the masses; this book seeks to do the same for management, facilitating accelerated learning and mastery of the critical set of sustained high performance competencies.

Management is often understood as a derived discipline. This book though, rests on the conviction that management is a foundational discipline that offers a meta-framework to integrate all other disciplines. The limitations of the discipline of management thus arise from the failure to recognise its integrative role. Through visual semiotics, the integral First Discipline Framework takes the reader to the philosophical foundations of management, highlighting its integrative nature, connecting the east and the west and the process of achieving accelerated mastery of this practice.

Developed in 1990, the First Discipline Framework is a visual compass for our journey through personal, organisational and community life. The tool continues to be used in diverse contexts — schools, MBA programmes, start-ups, industry, non-profits, government and for capacity building among the ecosystem people.

From 2007, the dialogue has gone online and global. This book is an outcome of the expanding dialogue on First Discipline.”

The Chariot of Fire

The indigo flight was on schedule. He was the last to board and was heading straight in my direction, with a beaming face. 

What a way to meet, twenty years and the very same date when we last met. I am Raj, he said, offering his hand.

It is indeed a small world.  I couldn’t believe my eyes. He almost looked boyish or at the most a 25 year old. Raj of my memory was in his fifties, one of those who had challenged everything one believed to be true.  1990. The workshop was coming to an end. Participants were visualizing their future. Raj, a onetime scientist with NASA stood up to share his personal vision of the future.

“I have worked for over two decades on space travel and somewhere on the way I came to have this vision of translating the logic to my physical self, convert my Self to a space vehicle and explore the universe. Do you think it feasible or is it my personal madness?”

Raj walked down the aisle to his seat.

This was the immediate trigger. Earlier the mother when they met had set off the first one. “Death is not the only way out. There is another one far more exciting. Death is a normality of our present time. In another time death will be abnormal or accidental.  But accidents are not all that accidental when we get to understand how the design works.  Only the normal can aspire to be supernormal.”

“The first step to walking with the gods is to be a true normal.   What we consider normal is a false normal.

To the true normal

Renewal

@ is much more than the symbol of our digital identity. It is the symbol of return to the tribal to create the new tribal and re-establishing our identity in the second age of real-time”

“When was the first age? “ – Ann

“Over 10, 000 years, in the original age of affluence, we lived in real time, gathering and hunting.  With settled agriculture, ownership, waiting for the harvest, hoarding and barter, linear time came to be. We lost our innocence, grew up in shame and then came the philosophers and the modern!  “

“Be like children? “

“Detox, empty, all the accumulated crap of over 10,000 years”

“You, a communist? “

“ It is a long journey. We can see the future only to the extent that we can see the past.  To create the new tribe and community we need to craft a rough cut of the prototype. Nothing is available in the recent past that gives us even a rudimentary idea of what we seek to achieve.”

One dimensional man?” – Marcuse

“May be four dimensional, we are talking about the four fold path, the view that prevailed some 2500 years back in linear time. We need to see progress, decay and emergence across time, four aspects of the process that we call progress. Most often, progress has been mistaken for decay.  Schopenhauer was 25 when he wrote “ On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason. One or four is not the issue. Seeing is the issue. Both saw”.

“The return of the noble savage? “

“Not really, may be a re-cognition of our roots. If you were lucky enough to have grown up on the banks of an unpolluted river, you would know how much time it takes to catch enough fish for the day, with bare hands. The original affluent society enjoyed full employment, had very little need for sophisticated tools and lived in non- time. Everything was in the commons, the equivalent of wiki in our times.  In spite of all the progress we are once again reduced to gatherers and hunters of a different kind, for safe food, water and information that reinforces our fitness to survive. We are hooked not connected.  @ signifies our birth in real time where wiki is the benchmark for not writing something that is already there or can be accessed through a simple search. It also signifies the death of the philosopher’s world that we created with a few lighthouse people as the paradigm and the birth of the new age of affluence. “

“Do we have any remnants of the original affluent society”?

“May be in some far corners of the world where the modern is yet to encroach. Not all societies moved to settled agriculture at the same pace. The Malabar Coast, present day Kerala, was one such region where the gathering/ hunting culture prevailed till the arrival of the Portuguese.  Pushing the tribal and the fisher to the edges is as old as the spicy seduction of the Queen of Sheba by Solomon with spices from Malai.  Malabar was the first El Dorado for the trader and the seeker, companions on the road and the sea. They came from all parts of the world. It did not take much time from the arrival of the Portuguese for reverse- migration to begin which continues unabated. The Constantine church met with the Thomas Church here. The faith that survived on its own merit for a millennium and half against waves set off by Mahaveera, Buddha, Asoka and Sankara gave in to the Constantine wave. The hunter turns hunted in no time”

“You are compressing a lot of history into a few lines.”  – Shan

“History is story, even science is. When facts are stranger than fiction, fiction sells no more. Story telling becomes story killing. His story is complete when read with her story.  Hyper – text is layered and each reader has the option to branch off any time with his explorations on the pointers in different directions.  We can now gainfully compress data as against loss-less compression of data.

Philosophy is a product of affluence, rather an affliction of modernity. Mahaveera and the Buddha were princes who renounced material affluence to the spiritual. Spinoza worked hard to earn a living to philosophize. Our modern versions feed on the commons but talk in tongues alien to the commons in their journey to be crowned. They will in time be reduced to a wiki-page and when the number of hits   falls below some prefixed number will vanish into digital oblivion.

When space and time come together history gives in to the new, R, the net value between the two opposing flows. It might appear to be insignificant now but the tectonic plates have begun to shift and the process will gather force as we become free from being hooked to being connected.

“We are no longer talking about philosophy. We are talking about organised religion.” – M

” We are exploring the larger context. The priest used to be the philosopher for    the masses. The role has been usurped by the scientist for many and the philosopher for some.”

Think outside the Planet

anchor

Think outside the box is a cliché that we hear too often. There must be a deeper reason for the persistence of the phrase

At some level it stands for thinking beyond the planet

As virtual space expands we are less stuck with the material. I don’t have to move my physical mass to go to the bank or to buy and sell my shares or to be in real-time touch with my friend in the valley.  Gravity is less of a constraint and achieving take off velocity demands less of an effort – in virtual space.

We are stuck with the material – physical, positioned in the physical world. The perfect sheet of rubber transformed into a foot-ball has no rubber at its centre.

What appears to be normal from this position, is the false normal

“Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the Earth.”  Archimedes saw the problem with our position. In nearly 2500 years we are still stuck with the problem. .  

To move the earth, we need to re-position ourselves outside the earth, to a position external to the physical. We are much more than our physical selves.

We see the true normal from this position, similar to the astronauts looking at the planet from space.  True progress involves a return to the center. @ is the symbol of this return and the new journey.

Taking Position

PP'

We understand reality through the tools we use. The compass is replaced by the GPS. We may not care how it works but we take it for granted that it shows us our position and whether we are on course or not. If we were to develop a GPS for the journey to our true normal- potential- the first step would be to fix our position as the GPS does in our journeys in space.

What we see depends on where we stand, the position. P’ is the position arrived at by the GPS and P is the position external to the physical realm.  P shows us the true normal and P’ the perceived normal. P is in real-time, P’ in linear time.  P is invariant and P’ is variant in time and space.  The directions cover virtual and physical space.  P’ has a time horizon of around 75 years, current life expectancy in Kerala and most developed countries, whereas P has eternity as the time scale.

What is it to be human?

“I think the light house people have always liked to use language not understood by the commons. It’s just that now there are many more claimants to the crown spouting Guru sounding stuff which ties in with the term I have co-opted “veneration of the personality”. – Shan

“Your stuff doesn’t make any sense to me’ – Dreamcatcher

“We still worship the dead. The veneration of the living and the dead are two sides of the same coin. The adult of the species is yet to be born. Our lighthouse people speak to the commons not the academics. As for making sense, this is a long term project which might make sense eventually. They say that tolerance to ambiguity is essential to making sense. ” – JM

Since 1990 we have been confronting people with the question, what is to be human, in our work towards arriving at a common position in the contexts of  teams and organizations.  A Google search throws up not one but 29 answers in the first link that comes up on top of about 1,530,000,000 results (0.40 seconds).   Simple questions are the most difficult to answer. None of the answers reduce our uncertainty. They only add to it.

Does more information really help?

Among those 29 answers, this one is central to this dialogue.

“The symbol-using (symbol-making, symbol-misusing) animal, inventor of the negative (or moralized by the negative), separated from his natural condition by instruments of his own making, goaded by the spirit of hierarchy (or moved by the sense of order), and rotten with perfection” – Kenneth Burke.

He lived to be 96, for us a measure of his personal intelligence grid.

Burke’s terministic screen’ is “a set of symbols that becomes a kind of screen or grid of intelligibility through which the world makes sense to us.”   We named it ‘the matrix’ in our v.1 discussions.  For Burke, reality is a clutter of symbols (1966). Things remain the same or even worse in the post-internet age.  The clutter has only amplified. We hope you have looked up the wiki link. If we are separated from the natural by instruments of our own making, we could as well make instruments that bring us back to the natural too.

“Have we have been evolving in our human-ness in the last 10,000 years, since our gathering – hunting days? “

“In some aspects, most times we regressed. We need to put this in perspective as we go along. Taking a common invariant position is the first step”

“Cut the crap, what is THE answer?” – Ann

“We are the only species which can continually improve. We are learning engines with the potential to continually improve on our previous best performance”

Re-emergence of Asian Management

First Discipline

Discipline of disciplines

om

The Re-emergence of Asian Management 

Ancient Roots, Global Reach 

Analytics, integration, the three imperatives and six perfections 

Category: Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Business, Development, Governance and Management 

Contents:  Foreword, Dialogue Development and CommunityNew LiteracyFirst Discipline FrameworkProcessMetaphoriaReflectionsFutureFAQs

Foreword

First Discipline (FD) is the discipline of disciplines, the base from which other disciplines are derived. Disciplines, art, science or religion, are but collections of maps of physical or virtual spaces. Literate or illiterate, we cannot survive without maps. We start with models and when results meet our expectations consistently, we elevate them to the level of maps. An example is the periodic table. At the highest level maps  connect meta-disciplines unifying them into knowledge and wisdom. The silos get connected. The self is the agent of learning and transformation of data to information creating sense, meaning and structure. It follows that FD is also the study of the self in relation to the whole, from the level of the personal to family, groups, organizations, and society.

Technological bandwidth increases at a frenetic pace. We also find instances of human bandwidth shrinking even faster. The paradox necessitates that we develop a framework, lens, that facilitates analytics and integration,  seeing and showing the deep structures to achieve much higher levels of integration

Growth is a process of resolving issues of identity, moving from dependence to independence and to interdependence. Individuals, teams, organisations and communities need to go through the process. Copying from less complex contexts will not suffice to stay ahead. It is essential to go far beyond imitation to create competitive advantages. FD offers an analytic and integration tool and methodology to address these challenges and disconnects. Through visual semiotics, it incorporates eco-literacy, the new spirituality of work, system thinking, cultural archetypes, continual renewal, mental maps, personal mastery and other unifiers to work together like an operating system of the self at different levels.  Transfer of learning and mastery of  competences are acquired at a faster pace in comparison to any other approach. If the world has turned out to be imperfect, it has more to do with these models of the world than the world outside. The visual semiotic tool, the new eyes,  show us a coherent whole giving us the new vision an essential prerequisite to creating a more desirable future. As in the case of a terrestrial journey, the approach incorporates positioning, measurement, feedback and reflection, functions that are carried out by the compass, clock and the feedback system that enables the traveler to be on course.

How and what we learn as individuals, communities and community will decide our common future. Targeted learning is context and problem specific and seeks to connect, reflect and catalyze- better, faster and deeper. The pace of learning is the differentiator in the race for market share. Technology and the internet have changed the paradigms of learning. The full impact is not felt since habits linger on. It is feasible now to leave rote learning to the memory devices freeing time and effort to more productive. Learning on a need to learn basis at the time it is required is feasible. Self mediates in the process of transformation of data to information and knowledge creating sense, meaning and structure in turn leading to learning and improvement. Mastery of this process, at the level of individuals, organisations, community and society at large is critical the developmental process.

Icons and symbols, like road signs and traffic signals, can function like a compass. The Graphic User interface accelerated the emergence of a connected world. Within the networks is silicon which has the innate quality of connecting and forming very long chains. Digital and other deeper disconnects of multiple dimensions slow down the journey toward the higher evolutionary potential in us, individual or collective, creating serious threats to the very survival of the species. Marshall Goldsmith tells us ‘What Got You Here Won’t Get You There‘. If we go by history and precedence we wouldn’t have made the moon shots. History is created when we make it history.

The nature of the common journey is that we move towards our completeness and to greater completeness. A parallel can be drawn for this journey too, similar to out other journeys. Let us say that the journey begins now. I am in Bangalore and the time is 10 AM, 31 May 2008. We need a compass/map and the clock to do this. I would like to go to Mumbai. The direction too is fixed. As I take every step on my journey to Mumbai, I need to make sure that I am moving in the right direction and not away from it. This is reflecting looking back and forth to make sure that the process is in control. The three keywords are Position, Direction and Reflection the basic essentials to take on the physical world. Given the other requisites one is certain to reach Mumbai. Without the first three all the rest will not take us to Mumbai.

Mapping the physical world has become very precise in our times. Between Galileo’s telescope   the Hubble and the Femtoscope, are the very large and the very small – farther and deeper. The observer connects the two attempting to comprehend the whole. Yet we will never comprehend the whole in its totality. At best it will always remain an approximation and there will always be unknowables. What we can comprehend of the physical world is so vast that a system is required to navigate. The journey of life is much more than a journey through external space since we are much more than our physical selves. How does one position oneself for this journey? It is the self which fixes the position, direction and reflect on itself as to the progress of the process. The observer and the observed are parts of the same system. Mapping the whole system, physical, nonphysical, external and internal and evolving a navigational tool is one of the basic requisites for the journey on that less travelled road. From 1981 to 1990, we worked towards evolving the FDF, the road map. Eco-literacy, the new spirituality, system thinking, cultural archetypes, continual renewal, mental maps, personal mastery, and many more unifiers are embedded in the tool.  Since then we have been using tool for dialogue in diverse contexts though dialogue is not in our habit. Politicians and priests preach, professionals prescribe, teachers lecture, parents advise. Dialogue needs adults, not leaders and followers or shepherds and sheep. The approach is process and dialogue based, in real time, stretching without burnout and improves alignment at deeper levels of the self for sustained high performance.  Dream work, re-framing of mental maps through storytelling/writing, envisioning, action learning in a simulated work environment are some aspects of the methodology. The context and details vary but the principles remain the same. Since going online from May 2008, the dialogue continues globally and in real- time.

This living document is the outcome of this continual dialogue. It gets written on its own. In the past, several thousands, bulk of them from the edges, have participated in the process.  I/we in the document represent any one or the community which includes me. Among others, I remain one of the facilitators to the process and I alone am responsible for the biases, errors, omissions and jargon that would have crept in, un-noticed.

Many dots remain to be connected.  Welcome to the dialogue and to connect more of them.

Joseph Manuel