Re-emergence of Asian Management

First Discipline

Discipline of disciplines

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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

Maturity Metrics,Stages of Growth and Levels of Awareness

“If 50 is the new 30 when do you turn into an adult?

“Adulthood is yet to be defined. We have different numbers for different purposes, contexts and cultures pegged at 13, 16, 18, 21 “

“You may be 100, but that is no guarantee that you are an adult”

“Most metrics are quite arbitrary and we give undue weightage to numbers”.

“Dealing with the demographic imperative necessitates bringing quantity; quality and time to be reckoned with at one go. Erikson’s eight is too inadequate.”

Most of us may never pass through the gate to adulthood if we define adulthood as maturity to self-regulate, take informed decisions that leads to continuous improvement. Adulthood in the information age is about discerning information from data, the competence to ask the right questions or search. Information is data that kill misinformation that takes us to more order than decay.

Collectively we do not even manifest the wisdom of a single cell in its ability to take care of itself. We are yet to graduate from the level of the clock/ simple machines. Perhaps our institutions partially exhibit some of the characteristics of advanced machines with limited self-regulation.

The cell is to the body as an individual is to the community. Let us look at the issue at this level before proceeding to higher levels of complexity.

Event Process Metric/s

Stage /  Event Process Metric/s
1 Conception One-ness, Ignorant bliss Dreamers
2 Birth/death Duality, Separation, Pain, paradise lost Conflicts, noise
3 Positioned Purpose Clarity, Work to fun Silence, voice
4 Map Directional Clarity Improvements
5 Clock Mechanical awareness Rituals, Measurement,Breakdowns
6 Thermostat Self-regulation Decisions
7 Cell Organic life Increasing order
8 Plant Rooted Glocal
9 Animal Perfection Design awareness
10 Human Identity, Independence, Freedom Gender intelligence
11 Community Interdependence Happiness Index, Community Intelligence
12 Meta maps Accumulated learning Expertise, Practice
13  Aligning with the unknown Balance Humility, sustained improvements
14 Graduate/Warrior Catalyst Adulthood, Continual Renewal, Servant leadership, Reflective

We are still struggling with improving this tentative proposition. The dialogue is on.

Why blue?

20 April

“So what is the new 21”

“60 and in perfect health”

” then the new 74 will be 222+”

“Yes, computationally speaking, otherwise no such limits. You are not your 58 kilos”

” oops”

“Then what are you?”

” You are your work”

“Hmm”

“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”  -Buddha

Positioning: Where are we?

Visualizing Knowledge

What the dog sees and we don’t. Who has gone aSTRAY?

From the lowly perspective of a dog’s eyes, everyone looks short – Chinese proverb

IF  

Just as we forget phone numbers and multiplication tables with cell phone memories and calculators we have forgotten to check our positions and some whiz-kid has hacked into all the GPSs to show the wrong position

THEN  

We will all be rushing madly to where no one really wants to go

WHAT IF

This is the truth with or without GPS?  

The corruption in our thinking is at the very source itself!

So how do we debug the source code? 

For us the dog’s is a lowly perspective. But we can prove that the dog’s position is above us and ours is the lowly perspective. All dogs do not see the same. Stray dogs see even better than their domesticated fellows. The latter become less intelligent in the process of socialization with the humans who cut them to size to suit their unfulfilled needs and wants of relationships and community. We are far inferior to them on Community Intelligence and I have reasons to conclude that the stray dogs see that we have gone astray! This is what the visual above shows. The top left quadrant shows the increasing potential of simple to complex systems. The bottom right quadrant shows the corresponding performance at each level of systems. We don’t see a gap between potential and performance till the level of animals, the level which also includes the dogs. From the level of animals we see a fall, which we take it as great progress. What we see depends on where we stand.  In the case of the human and still higher systems, performance is below that of animals. The fall is so steep that it is just on par with simple systems similar to a clock. What we see as great progress is a myth and we are firing on all cylinders heading towards disaster without even realising it.

Where are we ? The Chandrasekhar Limit

This has nothing to do with the famous scientist and the phenomenon that goes by his name. This is about another limit more closer home and this Chandrasekhar is a friend of mine. One morning too early in the day for most of us, I found him in front of his regular bar frantic and searching for a familiar face. He wanted to go home but he didn’t know where he was. Imagine his relief to meet me. He could not hold on and it just popped out of him “Where am I?”  He was greatly relieved. I was not. It continues to haunt me that we know far better about the unreachable stretches of space than what is closest to us and we go around creating a world outside to fit the garbage inside us. That also includes the cosmologist who attributes his fear of death to the universe seeing it breaking down like a clock.

The Position and Positions

Without answering where we are as a species, we cannot have an answer to where I am as an individual.

The first step to a common journey, to go home or elsewhere, virtual or otherwise, is to know where we are now .The GPS or the compass eases the complexity of the task in our regular journeys. Progress is a different kind of a journey and we are yet to agree on this first step. Each of us has a different position on this and the proverbial babble of Babel is the corollary. When we have different positions it is imperative that our perspectives do not converge. Unless we agree on a non-controversial reference to the starting point there will be no common journey

When our basic assumptions about the home position, the reference point,  are wrong it is certain that we will reach some place where we never wanted to go. Any process of improvement calls for fixing a starting position, deciding on the direction and reflecting/review with reference to the starting position.

For over two decades we have been asking people what our basic needs are. The first response is invariably the text book answer, “food, shelter, clothing”. For someone who has decided that life itself is meaningless and suicide is a better option, none of these matter. When we ask “How many sides the coin has?” the answer is always the same,two.  With a little bit of prodding around they will shift their positions and see better.

  1. For a moment let us take position where the four lines meet and take in the common perspective that collectively we are no better than a clock in terms of our performance against our collective potential to perform.
  2. Now it becomes possible to fix a direction for improvement and on this journey of improvement there will be variant positions as we move forward
  3. Now it is also possible to position myself (example: a professional or a facilitator to the journey) and see the variant positions, milestones in that long journey

Freewill or Freewheel?

Continued from Part 1. Freewill and the Immortality Quotient

The Shift

Religion owes its origin to immortality. I will always be with you till the end, said Christ. For ‘Peters’ the managers, institutional and personal self-interest take precedence over the conceptual and the visionary. Dependence is the fuel for survival of the pyramids.  Hierarchic religion will be the first casualty of empowerment!

How do you select a facilitator, Guru or even your physician, the consultant?

If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. There are no Buddhas any more.

Mintzberg says, “Coach our selves”.  Gurus die very young.

If the emperor claims to be the emperor, he is no emperor.

We are in transition to the age of the common Buddha. If you are in doubt, check it up at the corner shop.

Let us bury the dead. Shun the angels of death not the devils of life. Is she healthy physically, mentally, spiritually? Does she believe in community and dialogue?  Is she an adult on the path to immortality? Does she see the adult in you, even if it is a dormant one? What is her IQ, immortality quotient, commitment to the long term?

In 1990, Tara was attending the beginners program in yoga.  The centre was part of a large international network. She was carried away by the ‘presence’ of the facilitator and at the end of the sessions wanted to remain in touch with him. In the twenty sessions that they worked together with around twenty participants he had never shared his name or any other details. She was curious and once the question popped out of her.

“How old are you?’

“I am ageless”

“May I know your name?”

“What is in a name”?

This was all the one to one conversation that she had. She continues to practice yoga. She returned to the centre more than once in search of the guru who had set her on her yogic path. He had left the center and they could not help her to trace him.  But memories and the learning remain.  His words to the group still echoes in her.

“All learning is in the body. The body is the learning engine”

What is in a name?

Pied Pipers?

Zuckerberg, it sucks

The millions averaging six hours a day

It sucks, is it social?

Bill Gates and Windows

Where are the doors, open or shut?

Obama and Osama, the double or the other?

Bush and ambush, plain vanilla bush

Swartzkopf and shotskop

Friedman, hot, flat, crowded, and fried?

Hawking, hawks?

Grand design

Or Grand default?

Satyam = truth, Adarsh = the ideal

Maytas, truth reinvented the Indian way

Just two from the Indian summer of scams

Skill + Killings, spice it with Layings

Enron follows and the others join

Mc Kinsey, Donalds and WhartOn All!

Hamels hammer?

So much for the talent hunt

What a hunt?

What a war?

Overdogs or underdogs

What do the dogs see?

Outliers or mainstream

Black swans or White,

All is not well in Gladwell’s well

Where the eagles do not dare

Connect the dots, says him

Patterns, puzzles, mysteries and the misery

It is a mystic mandala

Hi Charles

It is very Handy

To be appropriately selfish

Read Will

Durant the durable

Not the perishables

The case for India

He had something of freewill

Not a free wheeler

For a taste of your own medicine

Appropriate selfishness

Stay Hungry, Stay foolish

Says the richest from the pulpit

Wow, what a Job, Connect the dots

Echoes Bansal from the land of immortals

Meluha

The empty raincoat, making sense of the future

Let us make sense of the present

The future will take care of itself

Empty drums echo best

The new Brahmins

Brahmin = Knowledge bearer, Vidyadhara

Vidya = real knowledge

Vidyadhara = one who bears knowledge

Vidya was lost on the way

Knowledge bearers became plain bearers

A country went under

History repeats on other shores

Connect the Dots, Manuel

God is with us

Will the elephant dance?

Will it?

Wont it?

We Will

Freewill and freewheel.

Community Intelligence