Form, Re-Form, Trans-Form

PIc3

It is a perfect sheet of Rubber, being pulled -stretched- evenly in all directions. Being perfectly elastic it stretches infinitely.

Where is the centre of the sheet of rubber ?

Now stop stretching. It reforms itself, there was a form, there was a re-formation and a recovery of the form. All through the process nothing happened to the centre. It was always at the centre.

Now make a foot- ball out of it. What happens to the centre?

The centre has shifted to the centre of the FB.

Take the FB to the World-cup. The FB is kicked around mercilessly by the best of players. Imagine its plight from post to post.

What happens to the centre?

The centre is not disturbed unless you decide to destroy its foot-ball-ness.

Is there any rubber at the centre of the FB ?

It is the zero-point that holds the FB together as a FB

The centre and the periphery are in a relationship? This is the nature of the problem of centralisation vs decentralisation. Either or is an impossiblity. It is centralised and decentralised at the same time.

‘Return to the Centre’ – Bede Griffiths

The zero-point is the source of infinite energy available at all points in space. Connected to the source, the flow is infinite. Transformation is inevitable. This is the power of the invariant position.

Light houses do not run around.

Either change your course or take up the lighthouse position.

Buddha was a lighthouse. Sankara was a reformer ~ xxxx years, Gutenberg, another lighthouse. Martin Luther was a Reformer. Sankara to Martin Luther ~ xxx years. Asia ~ Europe. Text – linearity – flat earth lasted for xxx years, hypertext took over since the 1990s.

Birth of a new species , the Planetary Human is Now.

In the connection economy, information is the commodity. It demands its own literacy (New- Literacy) to filter information from misinformation for search, connect, condense and exposition to be effective. This is the purpose of the MOS

The narrative has changed, the Alchemist comes on stage. From Re-Form to Trans-Form – NITI

 Adult  – Human, Facilitator, Hand holder, Consultant, Builder, Mentor, Coach, Team        leader, Member/Team, Guide, Nurse, Doctor, Healer, Philosopher, Professional, Transformer, Catalyst, ……………..Friend

Be, Build

Confront

Discipline

The monkey woke up from the worst nightmare of his short life. He was being pursued by a sledge-hammer and the mother judge forcing it to become a Human. His relief was immense.

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Directioning: Where we should be going ?

Blue Ocean People at the Top of the Pyramid, BOP @ TOP

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we need to do is keep on walking.”—Buddhist proverb

Potentially, anyone of us could aspire to be one of them. Please see the wiki list of lists of centenarians to get a feel of what I have in mind. Most of these people would qualify to be there in the BOP@ TOP list that I am compiling.

Having worked for over three decades at the bottom of the pyramid and branded myself a low impact lifer, aka poor, much before the jargon was in vogue I am more fascinated with people at the top of the pyramid. It is for the TOP to make it lighter for those at the bottom. We have enough of them to show us that it is indeed possible. These people have taken the road less or not travelled. They show us the direction for the journey, milestones that point to further stretches of the road not taken, of the unrealised, unexplored territories, the blue ocean space of strategic directions for self-management or HRM, Human Resources Management, to use a B-School jargon. They give much more than they take. They are Low impact on inputs and very high impact on output. They bridge us with the past and point to us, the future

For me HRM is Hira Ratan Manek. Born in 1937, a graduate in mechanical engineering  who carried on with the family business, of shipping and spice trading till he retired in 1992. After working for 3 years, he re-discovered the secrets of sun gazing.   Since June 18th, 1995, HRM lives only on sun energy and water. Occasionally he drinks tea, coffee and buttermilk.  He had three strict fastings, during which he had just sun energy and only water and was under the control and observation of various science and medical teams. The first of these fasting lasted for 211 days which was followed by a 411 day fast from 2000-2001 in Ahmadabad. Indeed it is written “Man Shall Not Live by Bread Alone “

Another one is, Pandit Sudhakar Krishna Rao Chaturvedi, a vedic scholar, teacher, writer, translator and journalist was born in 1897. At 113 years he says in the Vedas it is said that a person of pure character can live for 300 years. He hopes to live that long. He has planned his work for another ten years.

PC Devassia, whom I knew from very close for over two decades, who is in one  of the wiki lists, lived for 100 years 6 months and 15 days. This by itself is not a feat but how those years were spent is. On the day he retired from  nearly four decades of work,  he talked on how he planned to spend his remaining 40 years. His magnum opus, Kristubhagavatam, a meeting point of two cultures was written in his seventies. All those forty years were exceptionally productive, even more productive than the first forty years of work. The decision to live for a 100 years was a conscious one taken very early in life which he had made known to his son when he was in school. The position was taken very early in life, the direction was set and reflection was a continuous process. His work was his spirituality and he was religious about it. Making work meaningful and fun is the best medicine to live long. Instead we wait for a day when nano-robots will make it possible for us to become immortal.

Dominic Chacko Kizhkemuri, DC,was born in 1914 .He worked as a teacher for over a decade, was involved in the freedom struggle and imprisoned, promoted SPCS, the writers’ cooperative which created history.   He retired   at the age of 60 and started his own publishing firm, the DC Books with a capital of less than $ 200 which became a market leader in the business by the time he died in 1999

I am grateful to my B-School education for introducing to me many in the following lighthouse people. Some of them continue to beacon us and would qualify to be included the list of immortals if there were one.  The immortality quotient, my fascination for the long term, was triggered by them

W Edwards Deming 1900-1993

Ludwig Vn Bertalanffy 1901-1972

William Ross Ashby 1903—1972

Peter F Drucker 1909-2005

Kenneth E Boulding 1910-1993

Russel L Ackoff  1919-2009

Anthony Stafford Beer   1926 – 2002

Ronald Coase, 1910-

Emanuel Revici, M.D, 1898-1998

Obviously living a long life is not the only qualifier to be in the list of BOP @ TOP. Warren Buffet or Bill Gates will not qualify in spite of the combined weight of their charities.

The Blue Ocean Strategy, W. Chan Kim and Rene’e Mauborgne, is about uncontested market space, how market leaders continue to stay far ahead of competition without wasting their energy and effort on market wars. I draw my lessons from people not corporates having lost my faith in B-Schools and business with my four years of education in two Of them. Imagine the vast unexplored space that is available to move on and the spin offs if more of us decide to adopt a blue ocean strategy in our lives. That would set one of the coordinates for strategic HRM, the blue ocean space that each individual discovers around oneself is the major driver for growth and improvement, true of all of history and the drive behind all those in the Guinness book of records. Future is in the making when we see this collective blue ocean space that remains unexplored.

The seniors shall inherit the earth

Can one grow old and young at the same time?

Some people, a small minority, do it. They mature like old whisky and still remain young, challenging common wisdom that old dogs cannot pick up new tricks. New findings suggest the opposite. For some seniors growing old and growing young are parallel processes.  They challenge their brain with continual learning. The result, plasticity of the brain improves. Intelligence too has the same character.  It improves if one keeps challenging it against problems. When the brain remains young and one is driven by work that is motivating on its own merit, the body grows young renewing itself continually like a river which is not blocked from renewal by our ecological footprints. One grows old and young at the same time.

Olive Riley, the world’s oldest blogger, passed away at 108. She must have picked up blogging when quite old by our usual standards. I also know some very smart, much younger people who boast of not using the internet or the computer claiming that they are against too much of technology. I am afraid it is a camouflage to cover up the resistance to embrace the new.  In my search for the old and young I met Joseph Smith. He weathered many a storm on the high seas and on land for 82 years and graduated from the school of hard knocks. He is old and young, more active and concerned than most of us about the way the system works or does not. The ‘old and young’ need closer attention because they are travelling a different road which is likely to be a mega trend, gathering momentum.

Elsewhere there is a conversation going on the future of social enterprise. I am convinced that the future of business is in the enhancement of community, global and local.   I spent four years as a student in two B-schools. Both claimed to be teaching management but proved to be just business schools. Some of them have an identity crisis like many of their clients. I would prefer to  believe that every business, including the business of religion and non- profits, is about creating community within to connect to the community outside and business performance ought to be measured by the enhancement of community or net value addition to the community capital. Many of them very successful by conventional norms could be destroying community. They survive and grow by reinforcing the business of shadows and substitutes. Growth does not differentiate between real goods and services and shadows and substitutes.

Established religions have stood the test of time, but have a shadow side to their existence. They appear to be more successful than most business organizations in promising the most intangible with the lowest cost of production, manipulating masses on the fear of death and retribution in next life. Priests and politicians play god and peddle dependence. Many of them love to be worshipped and are on a drive to fulfil their own power drive distortions. Did somebody say that the earth will be revealed to us when heaven is destroyed ?

Will insurance companies   have any business if   people have no fear of death or the future? If people are anchored to their true SELVES how would the fashion and cosmetics business respond which often assumes that the cosmetic is more important than the content?

Would there be a fall in demand for big screen heroes if we reframe our notions of the hero to the real meaning of the term, conquering one’s own fear?

If people redefine work as self-expression, will they continue to suffer from boredom and consequently will the market shrink for entertainment products and services? The entertainment industry stretches itself to keep boredom at bay. The demand is a derived one from the inability to find a purpose in life and work that is motivating by itself.

How would lotteries and the stock market fare if more people put an end to the wait for a better day game and start living in the present?

More than economics distorted human drives drive the economy. Which business is not a social enterprise though most of them implicitly admit that they are antisocial.  What would be the role of charity, other than as a measure of guilt associated with wealth when every business redefines its mission as enhancing global community?

These are landscapes   that one might come across on the two roads, one by design and the other by default.

One can go on ad nauseum about the shadow side of every business, profit or non profit. I believe more than the religions, business will take the road to spirituality. I have experienced better community in business than in religious organizations. Business will be more pressed to reinvent itself as enhancing community within to connect better to the external community locally and globally in a   borderless world.

It is neither easy for business or for individuals to walk out of the shadows, because we will have to turn against our own vested interests, the shadow side.

The ‘young and old’ show the way. The most successful of them have no learning plateaus as they take their positions very early in life. They quit only when their mission is fulfilled. The others have successfully negotiated the learning plateaus at different stages of their life. They live a life of their own design and they are their own heroes.  They earn credibility with their life and walk the talk. They are not looking for a secure tenure   or driven by the need to perform in the marketplace where your future is as volatile as the stock market, where in the first 15 years of your career your fate is almost sealed whether you belong to the ‘top of the pyramid’ material or not. Demography favors the seniors. Thanks to the web more of them are finding their voice and we have enough of them in the public domain to listen and learn how to live a life by design.

‘The elephant rock declaration’

In one of our workouts, we, twelve 60 + couples, got together to discuss the trend, climbed the elephant rock and shouted out the elephant rock declaration – “The seniors shall inherit the earth”

Building Our Own  Ark, Living in Real-time

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

Angels of Death and Devils of Life, Old and New

What would you prefer to be, an angel of death or a devil of life?  Be a devil of life, a ruthless one at that, 8×5 if not 24×7.

If the belief in god begets the devil, isn’t it better not to believe in that god ?  God and devil, life and death need not be at the poles and in opposition to create each other. If charity begets charity, it takes a lot of courage to stop being charitable.

Can life die?  Everything that lives eventually dies, says, a popular author to his six year old son who asks, will our sun eventually die and the earth turn into a lifeless planet? It takes some understanding and even more courage to say, I don’t know.

The true scientist working to decipher the code for biological immortality has no options  but to take a different position, live that reality at least in part, now. For her life never dies, everything that lives need not necessarily die.  She chooses to pay attention to ‘facts’ to support her position and work towards translating the dream to a lived reality all through her living life. She sees everything alive and not dying. She too could die but she truly lived when she lived, out of the shadow of death. Biological immortality is a virtual reality for her, now.

Nature continually renews itself. We create death working overtime, resisting nature. Our best selling author also does almost the same, paying attention to ‘facts’ to support his position, spreading the message of death all through his dying life. Death is the virtual reality for him now.  The coward dies many deaths.

The author is an angel of death and the scientist, a devil of life. A devil of life is rarer than a black swan.

Black swans are exceptions when we take very thin slices of  time and space. Compare this with the universal, all slices of time and space. Imagine all the unknown earths where white swans are as rare as black swans on our planet.  In some future time we would be ‘successful’ in making white swans extinct so that the black swans will be the ‘normality. Or it could also be true that in ‘her-story’ in some unknown past, nobody wrote a ‘his-story’ of the swans, black swans were the normality. America was doing all right, perhaps better from some other perspective, even before Columbus ! Thanks to Taleb for the trigger, a black swan in our present slice of time and space. In the cacophony of the market place one with the best noise box is listened to and being audacious is integral to a  B-School education. One is advised to have big hoary audacious goals.  We go to great lengths to prove that we belong to ‘mediocristan’ to use one of Taleb’s coins. Mediocristan and extremistan are two sides of the same coin which has a third side for ordinary mortals like us and many more sides to the likes of Taleb, which most students and their professors fail to connect to in their case studies in B-School.  In the medium run all of us are dead or ‘fooled’ in mediocristan, the flatland.

Angels of death come in all colors and shades, most pleasing, gentle, dying to do good, promise to make you all powerful, beautiful, immortal, a full life here, another one after your death – ‘mutually inclusive’, so on and so forth. The cosmetics peddler, medicine man, philanthropist, priest, pedagogues, top of the pyramid, blue chip performance, pied pipers, astrologer, snake oil in all rainbow colors…………noblest of intentions ………….. The effect is invariably malignant and they are so sure of themselves. You will never hear them say, I do not know.  We are not that sure.

The devils of life come in gray. They are very rare. Keep searching. Appearances are very very deceptive. There could be a beginners’ dilemma.

Keep paying attention to the new. Everything is renewed. Life never dies. Somewhere on the way, the tipping point will come, death will be the abnormal and life the normal. Biology will be in fashion than Physics.

Why wait for the prophet who will never come?  Let us begin building our ark.

We become what we pay attention to. Resistance creates resistance. Do not resist. Meera looks at the jaded jeans from her B-School days completing a quarter century of companionship. She chooses to see the new feel of it, today, now.

 

Juggling with Ps – The Picture of Philosophy

  • When everything is a lie, lie detectors are akin to mousetraps where rats are extinct. What we need is a truth detector. Philosophy ought to be that touchstone to detect truth.pic of philosophy
    True normality  
    • When one’s inheritance is from the cloud every one is a prnce or a princess.
    • Will Durant  tells the Story of Philosophy in over 600 pages and Kant takes 800 pages for the Critique of Pure Reason. Yet the story is far from complete. Schopenhauer laments,  “ I could not find a shorter way of imparting it than this book, The World as Will and Idea.
    • Philosophy has gone out of fashion. We should  not expect the princes  to wade through the semantic swamp of philosophy and the other disciplines and  come up with a new synthesis.
    • The shorter way, a new synthesis,  is an imperative. A picture is worth thousand words is an understatement which discounts the value of maps, and mapping. Text can never be free of slipperiness and linearity. We need more maps and pictures to avoid killing more trees, more so when reading has given way to viewing. Visual literacy has become a critical competency.
    • The perceived normal is the abnormal. We can now see the truly normal
    • History is Philosophy in motion (Croce). Pull down the tent poles of space and time, history and philosophy collapse to the present and the two meet. The true historian (all history is lies and it is always His story not hers and western philosophy is no different) and the true philosopher would meet at this  moment of truth. The  artist,scientist, theologian and the pursuers of other paths too would meet at the same cross roads if the synthesis  is effective. We would be saving a lot of wasted effort when all of us use the same philosopher’s compass.
    • Most of our partners in dialogue had  their background in business, governance and developmental management. We worked together to arrive at the common ground since it  is from here that accelerated community learning  takes off.
    • Less is more. “Brevity is the soul of wit.”
    • Connect > Occam’s razor
    • Philosopher’s stone
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Hutter
    • Intelligence > Problem Solving> Continual improvement
    • Why AI, artificial intelligence > Modeling NI, natural intelligence, with gainful compression of knowledge

Metaphoria of Transformation

“Connecting with Consumers Using Deep Metaphors.

Famous brands have an emotional meaning that taps into thoughts and feelings related to the positive aspects of transformation, according to Gerald Zaltman and Lindsay Zaltman, authors of  Marketing Metaphoria: What Deep Metaphors Reveal about the Minds of Consumers (HBS Press 2008). Transformation is just one metaphor that finds expression in products that satisfy deeply held consumer needs and desires. Other metaphors they notice include balance, journey, and connection”. Martha Lagace,  http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5871.html

To learn is to connect.  To connect is to solve a problem, recognize or see the pattern and in the process the solution emerges. The learning resultant from problem solving, accumulated knowledge, catalyzes development and growth.

Some learning is possible only through parables or stories.  Stories synchronise brains. The story outlines that follow can be used to develop the connecting, catalyzing and reflecting skills. A story acts like a map, a metaphor and can be used to connect the internal and external territories to unearth something that people already know at deeper levels.

E.g. connectivity and the structure of silicates, maps and meta maps, programs and meta programs, competencies and meta competencies, archetypes and design

More metaphors

1. Story of One , Differently Abled Child and the Teacher

2.Mental maps – Eagle’s gift

Thinking about what we can’t think about

The eagle nests on the tallest tree

The tree is by the side of a very deep well

In the well is a community of frogs. The well is so deep that the frogs have never been out of the well.

As the sun sets and the darkness rushes into the well, the little ones in the community crowd around the nanny frog pestering her for stories.  May be she will repeat one of those stories, yet it is still very comforting at the time when the shades of grey drives out th world of light darkness takes over.

Darkness is yet to take over the tree tops. It is very rare that it happens, once in a while when the sky is completely clouded and stars are invisible.

At times the eagle listens to the familiar stories. Over the years of its immortal life, it has heard them many times over, many versions of the same stories over many generations. There is nothing new about the stories other than it is almost a ritual that disturbs it in some way.

It is another day

The thermals are forming. The eagle is waiting for the thermals to gather force.  It is quite strong now.

The eagle swoops down into the well, grabs the nanny frog with its claws and rise up from the well into the sky assisted by the thermal moving up at a frightening pace.

The heights and the fear of death overtakes the frog. It shuts it’s eyes tight and wait for the inevitable.

The eagle has reached the heights and hovers there circling in the sky. It goes round and round for a long long time. It senses that the frog has quieted down and has opened its eyes. The thermal is waning. It gently floats down once again into the well and gently leaves the frog from where it has been taken for a ride.

On the return journey the frog had just a glimpse of the larger world outside the well.

The eagle goes back to the tree and waits for the sun to set waiting for the story of the day.

What will be the story of the day?

The participants are to write down a story and the trainer gives the feedback based on participants’ stories. Switch the roles of Eagles and trainers so that trainers don’t come to assume that they are the eagles. One has to be an eagle and at times a frog depending on the context.

The human condition is like that of the frog in the well. The mental maps are influenced by the ‘well’ we live in. They are improved with every bit of learning. The developmental process involves revision and improvement of the mental models or maps. Facilitators play a very critical role and to fulfil these roles they need to have the necessary competencies.

3. The Chandrasekhar Effect.

Chandrasekhar is a very saintly soul who has a weakness for     liquor.  One morning we found him in front of his regular hangout. Chandrasekhar was relieved to meet some familiar faces. He came out with a question which he wanted to ask somebody who is familiar. Even at this stage he was aware that his condition might make him ask stupid questions and he did not want to be humiliated.  The question was “Where am I?” We take the most fundamental for granted which takes us farther away from reality. When our basic assumptions, the home position, are wrong it is certain that we will reach some place where we never wanted to be. Any process of improvement calls for fixing a starting position, deciding on the direction and reflecting/review with reference to the starting position. A large number of people were asked this question as to what our basic needs are and the first reply is always the text book answer, “food, shelter, and clothing”. But for the person who has decided that life itself is meaningless none of these matter. If they are asked to respond to a question like “How many sides the coin has?” the answer is always the same – two, though with a little bit of clarification they will soon shift their original positions.   One of the obstacles, as old as history and symbolized in the story of Babel, to reaching a solution to the issue is the semantic confusion and that there is very little convergence between the domains that have the potential to offer solutions.

4. Blind men and the elephant

5. Don’t shoot the messenger

6. Mahabali and Vamana

7. Taj Mahal / cathedral Building

Emperor Shajahan asked the same question to the three stonecutters.  “What are you doing?”

The three answers are:

“I am earning a living”,

“I am polishing stones, and I am the best stonecutter available”

“I am building a monument which is an expression of the love of the emperor to his beloved and this stone that I am polishing will be the corner stone of the monument”

It is obvious that the third mason is more likely to meet the standards for quality and quantity and that if all the three are to meet these and other standards – of effectiveness, excellence and zero defects – the third mason’s vision is to be shared. When we work more and more with intangibles and the slave driver is replaced by one’s own self this becomes all the more difficult but essential to keep the network as one, connected.

9. Indra and the pigs – Resistance to change.

Indraonce transformed himself into a pig just to find out why   pigs enjoyed wallowing in the mud. He remained there till Narada searched him out and compelled him to go back to his former self.  It is quite possible that we get stuck with poor performance and come to accept that this as the limit of our possibilities till a compelling experience/crisis or vision might lift us out of the situation.

10.  Frog soup

A frog is placed in a bowl of cold water.  Turning on a heater     gently warms the water.  The frog initially enjoys the warmth and feels comfortable.  The increase in warmth is so gentle that the frog does not notice it.  The warmth gradually increases; the frog falls into a stupor and eventually turns into frog soup. The opposite possibility is that of continual renewal, to respond creatively to the process on a real time basis.

The story is quoted in two of the popular books on management, The Renewal Factor (Waterman) and The Fifth Discipline (Peter M Senge).  The frog in the cold water initially enjoys the increasing warmth of water in which it is immersed and by the time it is unbearable it is immobilized and incapable of escape from death.  The process of continual renewal is the opposite of this whereby individuals, institutions or a community continually respond to the environment and improve their contexts.  The process is qualitatively different and most often ignored in the preoccupation with the short term.  U.S. companies now lose half their employees every four years, half their customers in five, and half their investors in less than twelve months[ii]. The returns on investment, yield rate of stocks, market capitalisation   or increase in value of ESOP by themselves are not sufficient measures of success.  Corporates need to be concerned about the internal as well as the broader external community also, other than the shareholders and the targeted market segments.

11.  The Cannon Shot/The Two Roads

The road by design and by default

The two roads, one by design and the other by default and the  moment of truth.

What we believe as maturity, normal, is a HABIT, history, the roadblock.

The system at physical birth is comparable to the bullet that leaves the barrel of a gun.

The bullet is helpless to influence its trajectory.

Most systems, individuals or institutions seldom go beyond this level without that choice, a conscious decision to evolve, becoming aware of the position, direction and reflecting on the progress.

When it happens the bullet goes into orbit.

The linear is the road by default, the road to death, accidents, burnout and the road on which time runs out.

The other is the road to eternity, continual renewal and timelessness by CHOICE, the conscious decision to be on the road to continual IMPROVEMENTs, creating the future NOW, by DESIGN,  a future better than the present.

The cannon shot does not have the potential to become aware of it’s self. Individuals and organizations have the unique capability of self-observation and self regulation which implies the possibility of improvement.   This is what qualifies us to be termed human. The cannon shot that goes out of the cannon has no possibility of becoming aware of itself and the outcome is already determined at the moment of its departure from the cannon.  But the more advanced of human creations like those of sophisticated machines do have more and more of self-regulation built into them.  Thus in the case of space vehicles and satellites, extent of self-regulation and the possibility of controlling the behavior of the system from outside the system increases.  The extent of self-regulation, the possibility of reflecting on one’s behavior and even laugh at it, is what draws us apart as a class, from the rest of the systems.  In the case of the cannon shot gravity operates mercilessly and ultimately the shot is overtaken by it when the shot reaches terra firma.  In the case of individuals and organizations, it is the vision that keeps them going.  The vision is liable to be corrupted and needs to be renewed continuously.  Just as gravity operates continuously, the forces of decay too is natural to all systems.  In nature decay and renewal are continuous and it follows that for organizations to sustain growth, the effort at renewal too needs to be continuous’.

12. Ashram and the prophets– Leadership, Creating and Renewing Vision and Shared Values.

There is an ashram in which four sanyasins struggle to make both ends meet. There has been a golden time for the ashram when crowds used to flock together to the ashram but now the ashram has fallen on bad times with no visitors and no income.  One of the sanyasins hit upon the idea of visiting another sanyasin in a distant place to seek help.  They set out on the journey together, meet the sanyasin and present the problem. The sanyasin sends them back with just one piece of advice – One of you is a prophet. The sanyasins are not able to find out who   the prophet is but over time the ashram renews itself and recovers the lost glory.   ”.

13.  First monkey – Creative communities

There live a community of monkeys in an island. They had never eaten the nuts of a particular tree.   A curious little monkey picked up one of these nuts, dips it in seawater and eats it.  It finds that the nut is very delicious.  Rest of the monkeys slowly follows the little monkey one by one. Eventually the nut becomes a common meal for all the monkeys and when a critical number of monkeys pick up this habit, the behavior spreads all throughout in no time, all over the world. The group soon emulates the behavior of the first monkey.  When the group size crosses a certain critical mass, the new behavior is manifested globally without any apparent interconnections.  Something, which was beyond the realm of possibility, has now become possible and collective learning results. The phenomenon is observed in many other situations also.  Fostering individual creativity within the organizational community is integral to continual renewal.  Besides, the context now offers the possibility of creative individuals to make much larger global impact.  The typical examples are the emergence and growth of startup IT ventures during the last two decades.

14. The Imperial Chill – Daniel Quinn

15. Sheet of Rubber and the Football – Centralization and decentralization, Yes and No, Static / Dynamic

16. Caterpillar and the Butterfly, Seed to Tree, Cream to Butter, Ahalya, Pygmalion and Galatea , Rama and Ahalya

17. Less is more

18.  Complex vs simple

2×2=4

4×4=16

16×16=256

256×256= ?

19. Blindness, Seeing, Jose Saramago

20. Magister Ludi, Herman Hesse

21. Time

Mastery of time involves going beyond the ordinary or common to the transcendental experience of time. The common understanding is very essential to deal with the day to day world but this is never the complete story. It is only a partial truth (illusion). Time /timelessness is another duality, gate, to learning the direct (mystic) experience, freeing one from the entanglement of a linear experience of time.There is nothing linear about nature. Linear time kills in many ways. Timelessness, eternity, is a common experience if one reflects over those experiences when time stood still, while you were in love vs. waiting for a P breakts

22. Timelessness/Real time

Real time

What black is to white is time to timelessness, as memory is to forgetting

Linear time meets memory at ground zero

To beget the NEW

As the eagle soars up in the sky details get blurred

But the essential is not lost

It swoops down faster to the goal.

Knows when to strike and when to sail

To switch between time and timelessness

What to gather and to leave behind

Complete the learning so as to forget

Learn history so that history is not repeated

Both personal and collective, for the flow of life to go on

Bury the dead so that renewal rules, not death and decay

Free the ground for the dance of eternity – timelessness

23. Habit/New habits

New habits

Transcend habits by more powerful habits.

Habit is history that keeps us stuck. Even death is a habit  and fear of death is the mother of all fears which drives many businesses. Resistance creates resistance. If the child wants to touch fire we can tell her don’t do it – a sure fire way of achieving what we never wanted. Instead show her the butterfly. Her attention is shifted to something beautiful. Big time improvement strategists play the latter game. They don’t preach change. They play the game of radical improvement through which people come together as one, in relationships, internal and external alignment, creating history. In the process we move forward, get unstuck. Everyone wins and none loses.

Amor is the Roman god of love. The root from Sanskrit ‘amar’ means immortal and ‘amrut’ is that which makes one immortal – knowledge. Work is love expressed – Kahlil Gibran. The path to immortality, exceptional performance, is possible only through transformation of work as expression of the self, an expression of love

24. The Light House Position. What is your call?

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is then not an act but a habit – Aristotle

Juggling with P’s – The Picture of Philosophy

Further :

Learning Plateaus

Learning Plateaus

Teachers’ Day Out and Designer Dreams

S: Good morning, happy Teachers’ Day. No classes, hurray!!

T: Thanks, I didn’t know. You seem to be very happy that you don’t have classes. If teaching is about learning you wouldn’t celebrate it this way. Learning itself ought to be the best fun.

S: The teachers threw a party for us and let us off for the day
T:  How can teachers not teach? It is unethical, against nature to strike work.  A farmer cannot strike work, the cow cannot. How can a few take such freedom?
S: Hmm…. Do you think…teaching in class is the only way to teach. I have learnt much more from my dreams than from class.
T Why should there be any teaching? Chris says they have only one word ‘hweil’ for teaching and learning. We should have only learners and no teachers.

S: One thing…quite weird… about the dreams
T: Shoot straight. Do not beat around the bush, in your usual style.
S:  I see dreams… where people only die  or dreams that revolve only around my world
T You never told me about these deaths other than killing your father and grandpa
S:  Yeah. Last night I saw two babies killed, I did not kill them, but they died, one of them as soon as it was born and the other after a few months
T:  What was the dream?
S:  I forgot if I was the mother or not. All I remember is that children died. I was sad though I did not cry. I don’t remember any more
T: You are stuck at 13. That is the reason for the killings, grow up. You are not yet an ADULT to have babies
S: I saw that someone said these children would have survived if you were 26
T: It shows.
S:  Yeah, very right, amazing.
T: Great learning, now take a break, here is a story that came in mail right now, synchronicity?

A Turkey was chatting with a bull.

‘I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree’ sighed the t turkey, ‘but I haven’t got the energy.’

‘Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?’ replied the bull. They’re packed with nutrients.’
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.
The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.
Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.
Moral of the story: Bull poop might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there
.

T: So how do you move from 13 to 22 ?
S:  I don’t know
T: You are stuck at a learning plateau, like most of us. We are all stuck at different plateaus when we are on the well travelled road, the red road in the visual. Take the green road if you do not want to get into highway pile ups. According to the model, the other plateaus are around 35-40 and 55-60 years, the midcareer and senior levels.  There may be exceptions who take the green road very early.
S:  As I study, I see my competitors. Earlier I saw myself studying. It is different now. I see killing or trying to murder them. That is evil, isn’t it?
T: 🙂
S: Why the smile?
T:It is easy to see physical aggression. There is a more dangerous version that goes unnoticed.   You are in the process of killing the Hitler in you.

Time for another break. Here is another story.

An eagle was sitting on a tree doing nothing.
A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, ‘Can I also sit like you and do nothing?’
The eagle answered: ‘Sure, why not.’
So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it
.
T: You are killing because you are stuck. You are killing yourself, refusing to be an adult. What should be the trajectory under ideal conditions from 13 to 21, teens to the adult? I am not talking about chronological aging.
S: Yeah, mm, physical changes, changes in thoughts and perception.
T: What about the most basic drive, meaning or purpose in life?  Has it been resolved? Why are you here? This is the first plateau.
S: Yeah, I think we discussed it when we discussed Maslow and I am fairly clear about it. I know why I am here.
T: Physical changes will happen even without our consent. Nature is good at that but we are more than our physical selves. The mental and spiritual growth challenges need be resolved if you are not to be confused and remain stuck at perpetual adolescence.
S:  Hmm…You tell me. I am clueless I guess
T: Most of us are confused about the role of sex and sexuality to resolve the emotional challenges at this stage of one’s growth. The distortion stays till the end.   Even before Christ we had the Kama Sutra. After 2200 years we are not ready to discuss it, sex and sexuality, in schools or families or even between ‘adults’
S: Hmm. That is right; I wish I were wiser
T: Sex is the most difficult drive to be managed. First and foremost it is a spiritual thing. If you accept the spirituality of it, it cannot do any damage and it will eliminate the commoditization of sex. It is a natural drive. It is not for just reproduction. Reproduction is not such a big issue. Anyway we have more numbers than we want for survival of the species. Had it been just for reproduction, nature would have designed it the animal way. Earlier we had mentioned trisexual men and women

Si: Yeah, in Homo Novus

T: One cannot be sexual with somebody else if one is asexual with oneself.  This is like Christ said; love your SELF to love your neighbor. So the first step is to accept and appreciate the drive in itself so that one can express the same to the other. The other could be from the same sex or the opposite. Now you know what tri-sexual is, self, the other, male, female
T What about marriage? The young ones of the species take the longest time to grow up. In addition this meets the learning requirement for humans. One can learn only in relationship with another person who will not run away from you.
S: Hmm…..I did not get it exactly, I am confused.
T:  If you are not in such a relationship you will never know your blind spots, like I know how immature or mature I am only when I look at my relationships at home because we cannot take such liberties in our outside relationships. So marriage and family is for learning and adulthood and once this is achieved (?) the institution is redundant. For a long time to come this is quite unlikely. Marriage is for mortals.

T: This is the seeding for future dreaming and for transcending the adolescence plateau so that the bonsai becomes the tree

S: But, you know, I think…I felt it very comfortable to remain a baby.
T: Now the dreams should change. The bonsai is happy, people would admire it but the design is not for that. This is why we don’t have adults in this world, in spite of all the teachers, including Christ and Buddha.

T: So wallow, more bulls poop, remain a baby?
S: Gosh. No….well, I don’t know many…who are adults the way you ask them to be, I guess.
T: Probably there are no adults when we look from the position of the species.  We are very immature as a species and more threatened than the animals. When the species is not mature how can any one of us be an adult?
S: Once I thought, It is disgusting and a pain to remember my dreams.
T: I know and you resisted very strongly. The cows align north south when they graze even when they sleep.
S: Hmm. Why do they do so?
T: They have a built in GPS. They know the direction; they are more comfortable when they are in alignment, in tune.  Animals are always in tune. You are a singer and a guitarist. You should know.
S: Why is it that we don’t know how to tune ourselves, SELVES?

T: This is the problem with free will. Animals have no choice. We have options and we need exercise choice. We have to choose the direction. They are naturally tuned, as far as we guess, and we don’t know how to choose. We too have a compass but just having it does not mean that we use it.

S: I: hmm….then… We are worse than animals, it seems they are more intelligent, or may  be luckier?
T: What makes us different from the animal?
S: Brains. As everyone says or may be sense of humor?
T: This is tragic…  You know everything but not this simple thing. People are very smart, they are quiz masters, know everything under the sun, or we can Google it and get the information. But we are bad about such simple stuff. None has answered us within 10 seconds. So smarty, give me the answer or admit defeat
S: I admit defeat!!   Surrender. Well… one more guess…  we choose to go the way others have not gone…while the animals keep going on
T  : I want the unique difference between animals and the human. We don’t choose is what I am saying. To choose we should know and we don’t know, non ADULTs, how can u choose then? You had so many teachers, hats off to all of them on the Teachers’ Day. They did not teach you this!!
S:  May be they did not choose to teach this.
T  We are the only species that can improve, others cannot, and animals can not improve, we can but we don’t.
S: Yeah, right.
T: Ok. Happy dreaming. Now you will see the dreams evolve and the alignment with the internal and external will follow. Bye. Take care
S: Thank you. Bye.

The dreams