Real Time Management Development (RTMD)

Infographics – RTMD

We can make an improvement (not change) now, right at this moment, is the premise from which RTMD draws its significance

We are not jugglers because we hold on to just one thing, a ball at a time. It is either this or that, there is god or no god, it is good or bad, it is day or night, black or white and so on ad infinitum.

We have just run a content analysis on a popular social network for consultants/professionals and had to conclude that most of us are no exceptions.

(Are we the toxic assets?)

We need to move on from the black and white to the grey, the twilight zone and then to the  green, perennial, and then to the  creative commons and be at home with all the positions yet take an invariant position beyond all these and begin juggling with all the four and more.

The challenge lies in our action being justified against the ideal for all times and in making sure that our output invariably exceeds the inputs, giving more than we take.

If we agree we can move on.  If there is an agreement, we have taken a common position.

That is a great improvement.

Building Our Ark, Living in Real Time

In the beginning was the word and before the beginning, we lived in real-time.

Most of us live in linear time and some in real-time. Those living in real or relative real time live longer, the blue ocean people. Those living in linear time die early.

Noah, Aaron and Abner are kids around us. We are fascinated as to why we go back to the Old Testament to dig up these names? History and myths chase us when we don’t understand them?

Books can be written only in linear time. So is history. In real time all of past and all of future are NOW. From now we connect to a history of the future.

In linear time, we and the world were born at some distant past. We and the world will die at some far away future.

Wright brothers were right. They gave expression to our collective longing to fly. Buddha, Christ, Mohammad and Gandhi voiced our longing to break free in a different way. We played with technology to break free from the confines of the planet driven by some distant memories of longer flights. In the beginning, was oneness and the longing for oneness took us to transcending the barriors of time and space. With the emergence of the web and the cloud, when we are stuck in the clouds for hours we have a semblance of what it is to live in real-time.

In real time the flood is now, not in some distant past. It calls for all our skills to craft an ark to survive the flood. One such skill is to transcend the linear to dynamic and real time.  The ark is the symbol of the self. Everything of the past is embedded into it, a new synthesis of all that has happened in the past, the sum of all improvements in the evolutionary journey, plants, animals, and a select few from the millions who are ready for the transformational voyage, crafting an accumulator to collect everything with a survival value and stepping into a new future of rainbow promises.

The old fisherman took me to the shore, pointed to the horizon, some distant waves and the shoal. I could not see any fish. I pretended that I could,the coward that I was. Then on I started watching the waves, and to learn to see beyond the waves. Gradually it fell in place how all the waves, together, tangible and intangible, come together to create what we create.

It is against our programming to think in waves. Unlike fishermen, men on land have come to think in straight lines which leads us to booms and busts rather than waves and cycles which are but  natural But we are always taken by surprise. The captains could not see beyond the linear,   waves and cycles.

Dev complains, the dialogue brushes past too many issues and leaves everyone of them unexplained

Dialogue is for ADULTs. They need no advice. You can at best draw their attention or perhaps provoke them to ask questions. Once this is achieved they need be left to make the rest of the connections. (If there are gaps one can always Google it). There has to be enough space for the adult to find itself and mature.

Now that the context is set and the flood is more than a myth, choice is between building your own ark or a community one. The latter happens only in myths and is beyond our scope.

There is no substitute to building a personal one. We need as many arks as possible rather than waiting for another Noah. Each one needs to build an ark for oneself. Without learning to ride the waves, one can not lend a helping hand. That would be catalyzing suicide

The pyramids were built when the valley was fertile and the soil supported the community. The floods used to keep the soil fertile. When we were young we celebrated the floods which were a rare event. It was a time for celebrations, taking out the canoes, go frolicking. Now they have built embankments to the river. When the river swells, the currents are stronger digging the bottom of the river further down. The embankments get washed away but are strengthened continuously, further accelerating the death of the river. The forests were replaced by a wide portfolio of crops which more or less acted like natural forests which gave way to the plantations, fertilizers, pesticides and weedicides. Now the soil is dying. Floods when they come spread the pesticides and weedicides all over, further accelerating the rot.

The other flood is more difficult to see. The most endangered species is the Homo sapiens and not the others in the list. History tells us that the collapse takes more than 100 years for the full cycle to be completed. When our span of attention is less than 15 years, we fail to see the flooding that takes a century or more.

The crisis could be the birth pangs of a new species. Nature is ruthless when it comes to the survival of the fittest.

One of the participants had this dream of the pied piper and the giant wheel. We get into the giant wheel and the driver decides when we need to get out. The music is so enchanting that we merrily join the flow, the flood. We become the frog soup – drowned in the flood

Either we dream of a glorious past or a glorious future. Neither helps, the flood/ crisis is a perennial one , taking place here and now. We pray to our father who art in heaven. Just as we push him up  (push HER underground) out of our lives we dream of a golden past or a future. This is the problem with stimulus selectivity. We would like to listen to our favourite music and shut out the inconvenient and the unpleasant, out of focus.

Are you suggesting that we don’t wait to save the planet but be selfish enough to save our own skin.

That may be the best that one can do., appropriate selfishness – Charles Handy

Nature will see that in spite of floods and plagues there will be enough left for the show to continue. One can choose which fork to take. The crowd will always be behind by at least 20 + years behind the lone walker. Nobody is going to build a Lexus, reading the Toyota Way

We can learn from the people on the edge. The African proverb, a favourite of Al Gore and quoted in The Hot, Flat and Crowded by Fried man, “If you want to go quickly go alone but if you want to go far, go together” may at times turn out to be suicidal.

For Galileo it was much longer. Had he gone with the crowd, we wouldn’t have him in the history books. The crowd and the pyramid dwellers took a long long ime to reconcile with his personal vision. One can not always go with the crowd. One has to learn to hunt with the hound as well as run with the hares.

What about the Gurus, Best sellers, the secret, the law of attraction, the self improvement industry – NAN

There are enough saviours/ pied pipers who promise salvation. The crutches help till you learn to walk. Once you have learnt to walk, it is time to dump the crutches and listen to the guru inside. One cannot see through the other’s eyes. We need new eyes to see a new vision NOW to create a desirable future

What is the visual about ?

The new eye, window to the self/reality’.  We have attempted to map, create a visual of what we have been discussing. Perhaps one could meditate on it for some time. We were talking about a learning engine.

The Ark is the learning engine which continually outperforms, beyond booms and busts, floods, feasts/festivals.

It is about our self and selves.

Sustained High Performance by Design

The Graphic User Interface (GUI) contributed significantly to the pervasive use of computers, PDAs, mobile phones and various other gadgets transcending barriers to the use of technology and thus accelerating the emergence of a more connected and flatter world. The GUI attenuated the complexity of the black boxes, hardware or applications software and facilitated self-navigation. A similar interface to the discipline of management would go a long way in bridging the even more challenging issues of transcending the divides and barriers to the emergence of global community

Management is relatively a young discipline with the potential to emerge as an integral Meta system to bring together various disciplines. However the student is often perplexed by the profusion of jargon resulting in a semantic swamp. The crossover seldom happens. The current context, of business, environment and development, raises serious concerns as to the relevance and validity of the practice. General Motors which provided the context to the Concept of the Corporation, (Drucker) has filed for bankruptcy. GM is not an isolated example. The best of talent which headed to the investment banks took decisions which they would have thought to be in the best interests of its stake holders which came to challenge the very foundations and premises of the discipline. Major growth stories of the IT era were mostly entrepreneurial and technology driven. This growth has peaked and in scouting for fresh growth the emerging markets have become the focus of attention. While China has more or less followed an aggressive path of taking on the competition, the Indian position still remains unclear and out of focus. For the student of developmental management India is unique in its level of complexity. It is what Galapagos was to Darwin in deciphering the story of evolution.  Solutions that emerge out of this complexity have universal validity that could meet the challenges of creating a more desirable future, both local and global. The GUIID is a map to make sure that we don’t miss the woods for the trees since in the final analysis we are as good as our maps since we know physical world through our maps of the world.

Reading the Map

The observer self at the centre attempts to make sense of the world looking inside and outside to fix its own position and evolve a map for the journey. The self can be the individual, organisational or community self. The map has four quadrants, directions, as in any other geographical maps. N stands for true north. The quadrants on the left are internal to the self and the right, external to the self.

At some stage in the process, the self positions itself for improvement and takes the invariant position, anchored at the centre. P is the present position, variant in time and F, the direction for the journey. Between the three, the common ground for all metrics is defined which can be made specific to each context, practitioner and domain. This is the solution space, the gap between potential and performance, the blue ocean space for the onward journey.

Quadrant NW is a map of the ideal, the deep structure, the conceptual, pure potential, design and the world of ideas .The order, hierarchy, complexity and potential increase with each level. The alignment and interdependence need to be recognised to understand the performance issues in the external world mapped in the bottom right Quadrant, SE. The four quadrants are analogous to the four wheels of a car, a learning engine, which continues to improve its past performance as it moves to true north. The eye at the centre represents the self, the observer and the driver of the car. The wheels must be aligned for the car to move on

There exists a conflict, misalignment, between quadrants NW and SE, ideal and the operational. The same goes for quadrants SW and NE, between internal self and the external social system. It is for us to create the alignment so that the car moves on. The first step is to see the interconnections and see the whole as one in process, evolving, in emergence from completeness to more of completeness. What makes the human unique as a class of systems is the potential to improve. There is ‘no’ gap between potential and performance up to the level of animals (see quadrant SW)

The gap begins after the level of animals. The gap can also be seen as the waste in the system, the unrealised potential, the root cause for problems. In terms of potential vs. performance, the human is sub animal. Corresponding to the total potential/performance gap, there exist a gap in every one of us which forms the personal sphere for improvement which would lead to the question, what are my potential and my performance?

Quadrant NW is the ideal, perfect, conceptual, pure potential in perfect alignment at all levels, from the maps to Meta systems.  Quadrant SE is the physical world of measurement, performance and mirrors NW, till the level of animals. The knowledge gap is the major reason for the gap. There will always be a gap but it is feasible to narrow the gap and bring about sustained and continual improvements.

Quadrant SW is internal to the self and NE represents the external social system. While learning is a pre-requisite to improvement, history and habits encourage conformity. This is both a challenge and an opportunity. Self could be the individual, team, organisational or community self. Complexity increases with levels, potential too.

The map facilitates positioning, fixing the direction for the journey and measurement of progress.  It is possible to visualise the nature of the journey as an ongoing process of continual improvement and renewal. The problem/solution boundaries help reduce the search effort, accelerate learning and reduce the risks of futile search. A map is a pre-requisite to any journey. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Confucius. To take that first step we need to know where our position is and the direction in which to take that step, to be on course.

The ideal of an integral and problem focused metrological pluralism suggests that we reflect on the way we use developmental metrics, in order to make principled decisions about which types of metrics are appropriate for which purposes. In order to do this we need to build validity and reliability profiles for existing metrics and begin to dialogue about the implications of what we have to work with. This rigorous reflection on metrics should be supplemented with reflections on the problem-spaces we face. What are we trying to do with the metrics we have? For example, it is likely that clinicians and coaches need different metrics than researchers, while educators require measures that differ from those used by organizational consultants. 2.  It is precisely this logic that has brought us to the current stalemate. All measures need to converge on the common ground of taking us closer towards true north rather than lead to greater chaos.

Using the map: A Simulation

Teaching is dead. Long live the Teachers – A Journey to the Centre for Accelerated Learning and Competency Development.

GS is driving.  Sree and Dinesh are new to the dialogues. JM and Sree are in the back. The mood is one of excitement. We feel as if we are going back to school. All of us had some experience in the past as regular teachers. Sree has recently taken up a teaching assignment in one of the B- Schools in Bangalore.  We are to meet forty Professors in one of the best seats of learning in the south. The University has around 14,000 students including a significant number of foreign students and 800 teachers on the faculty. We are to facilitate a dialogue on Accelerated Learning and Competency Development (ALCD), for eight hours.

Who said what is not very relevant. What is important is that the dialogue continues.

Welcome on board, Sree and Dinesh. First things first, the journey of 440 KMs starts with a single step

Confucius was wrong. There is something which is even more basic to the first step.

What is that?

Where are we now? Without knowing our position, we will not know where to point our first step to.

We are in Bangalore and we will be in Hosur soon and in another three hours we will be in Vellore, one of the earliest seats of learning, in the history of new India

What are you hinting at?

What is our position, I am talking about the invariant one? Are we teachers or students?

Students, yes, Teachers, not.  All of us gave up our teacher’s hats long long ago. We take the common position that we are facilitators, not teachers. This is what brings us together. Senge is right, we are our positions. The paradigm has already shifted. Teaching is dead, only learning matters.

But for your teachers you wouldn’t be here now. True. I hated most of my teachers and never wanted to be one.

But that is what you have become. Resistance creates resistance. You have become what you have hated most.

Yes, in a way. I was teaching for three years and I was burnt out. I walked away from the job.

That was because it was a job for you. What made the turnaround?

The bad teachers taught me the most, how not to teach and the best teachers did the least teaching. These were the ones who brought us to what we are doing now, accelerating learning and competency development. They facilitated. They did not teach

So teaching is not dead. Long live the teachers.

Hold on, there is a call from the University.

They are waiting for us. We are running late, stuck in the traffic. A garbage truck has had an accident, a multiple collision. The average effective speed of traffic on the road to Hosur is around 15 Kms, sans accidents like this.

GIGO, Garbage in Garbage out. In my hometown, the municipal tractors are on the road even at ten in the morning reducing the speed of traffic to the speed of the tractors.  Nobody seems to be bothered because things haven’t improved much in the last forty years of my flitting in between. The garbage inside is more serious than the garbage outside. The garbage is a toxic asset, we too need a toxic assets rehabilitation programme, TARP.

It could be a TRAP. You touch toxic assets and you too would turn toxic.

We will develop technology to handle it without getting toxic. If that is the case doctors would fall sick more than the patients.

Who says doctors are healthier than the general population?  There have been studies.

This is an occupational hazard. Once should know how to take care of themselves.

Hold tight, not to your hand rests but to your own positions. There will not be any risk. Risk is when we are not sure footed in our invariant position. Doctors fall sick when they shift from their invariant position, that of healers.  Catalysts are not burnt out in the process.

We will be late; the morale scale shows a low.

6.00 PM, we see the grand entrance and pass through the gates of learning.

A very lively campus, boys and girls crowding around the food courts …float over the magic carpets …walkways. There is an incredible feeling of lightness all around. We recollect the child in us.

The morale scale is up. We are transported back to our student days and memories of all the campuses we have been through, some of the best in the world. This too is a beautiful one, one of the very best. We are in awe of the grand vision reflected all around the campus.

The CAL team is waiting, patiently.   We have a wonderful dialogue. They have a great team and some veterans in the same domain. The morale scale registers VH, very high.  We present our game plan, agree and move on to the guest house, refresh our selves, impatient to move around and get a feel of the campus.

JM has a call from Shillong from Das whom he had met there during his last workshop on ALCD. Das wants him to meet his daughter, Madhu, a student here.  He lights up at the possibility of some market research, first hand. He promises to meet her after the workshop, the next day evening.

The dialogue continues late into the night.

9.00 AM.  The game is on

There is only one rule for the game. You are the prophet, I am not the one, and we are not the ones and perhaps the other way too.

Dialogue is possible between adults, in humility with the highest respect for the other. It implies that you respect your own self too.

We are 49 in all, professors, CAL facilitators and the four of us

GS presents the game plan. JM presents the framework. We do a simple metrics of where we are.  Activities and the process begin. Time shifts to timelessness. It is 4.30, time for the post metrics. The game is up at 5.00 PM. A good number of them would be interested in further dialogues. We sit together with the CAL team for stock taking.

We certainly learnt quite a lot and decide to meet again. The morale scale goes beyond VH

Madhu calls. She is coming over. JM has a long walk with her. His intuitions are validated. This indeed is the seat of learning in the south. He returns to the guest house.

The four of us take stock once again. We look at the times when we slipped from our invariant positions, a few, and retire for the night, pleased at a good day’s work.

Sreepuram is 6 Kms from Vellore. The temple is a very large magnificent structure, built at a cost of over Rs. 400 crores, a physical representation of the self on the ground, in the shape of a Sri Chakra. Sri Chakra and the Star of David are very similar. Sri is prosperity, goddess Lakshmi. There is a wait of three hours for the free darshan. We take the short cut option paying Rs 100 which still takes an hour. The sanctum sanctorum and the structure at the centre of a pond are plated in gold.   We attempt to connect our SELF to the structure and our own centres to the physical representation of it, the lotus flower on which the female principle of Lakshmi dwells. The soft music is pushed away by the silence at the centre. We return, more silent than when we went in

We drive back to Bangalore. The silence gives way. The dialogue picks up

So who is the driver of the car?  What drives us?

Are you referring to our car or the learning engine?

Even the car is not driven by GS because the CAL team were driving us to Vellore and now Giri is driven by his family because he steps on the accelerator to reach home by his regular dinner time with his kids before they go to bed.

If the car were a learning engine, which is defined as a system which continually improve on its past performance, I would say that the living matrix or the Meta framework is driving it

Why are you stuck up with frames and framework?

A movie is a designed collection of frames to evoke a deeply moving experience. This can work only if the design connects with embedded frames in the mind of the viewer.  The success of the movie will depend on how many are touched and to what depth they are touched. When one encounters a new situation, or makes a substantial change in one’s view of the present problem, one selects from memory a structure called a Frame. This is a remembered framework to be adapted to fit reality by changing details as necessary. (A Framework for Representing Knowledge, Marvin Minsky, MIT-AI Laboratory, 1974). He adds A Frame is a collection of questions to be asked about a hypothetical situation; it specifies issues to be raised and methods to be used in dealing with them.

The FD framework is an attempt to reach the common ground of such remembered frameworks.  That would accelerate learning and competency development so that we could achieve in three days much more than what may or not happen in the best MBA program in two years. Remember, some of us went through more than one.

Minsky further clarifies the distinction between the magician and the audience. For there exists a great chasm between those, on the one side, who relate everything to a single central vision, one system more or less coherent or articulate, in terms of which they understand, think and feel–a single, universal, organizing principle in terms of which alone all that they are and say has significance–and, on the other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory, connected, if at all, only in some de facto way, for some psychological or physiological cause, related by no moral or aesthetic principle.”–Isaiah Berlin {the Hedgehog and the Fox}

The difference between the magician and the audience is in their positions. The positions lead to a point of view.

Minsky goes on.

Questions arise from a point of view–from something that helps to structure what is problematical, what is worth asking, and what constitutes an answer (or progress). It is not that the view determines reality, only what we accept from reality and how we structure it. I am realist enough to believe that in the long run reality gets its own chance to accept or reject our various views. –A. Newell {Artificial Intelligence and the Concept of Mind}

What we are attempting through the framework is a Meta theory of problem solving to show the problem space which reduces the extent of the search effort and accelerate the pace of real learning.

The matrix, meta-framework points to the blue ocean space. Every achiever, manager, leader seek to grab a slice of this space.

Are you suggesting that the teaching paradigm has shifted to the learning paradigm?

It is just semantics. Chris says, the Welsh have only one word for teaching and learning, Hwyl!

Let us not forget Kuhn. Major changes result from new “paradigms,” new ways of describing things that lead to new methods and techniques. Eventually there is a redefining of “normal.”

We are in Bangalore. We have completed the circle. We are entering the dragon, back to the well.

We are not coming back to the same well. It is a different well. The ends will not meet since we are on a path of progress. It is not a recurrence to call it a circle.

Dinesh and JM get down, heading to the bar. GS and Sree head homeward. Both will make it to their dinner in time.

Romancing the impossible / The ultimate pragmatist

Do not

Wish for it ever, it might come true

To be immortal and die the perfect death

To be the perfect master and the perfect slave

Wish for perfect madness and perfect sanity

Meet the perfect partner, commit the perfect crime

Lose your voice and find it in its pristine clarity

Meet the fire in those eyes haunting you for ages

Hear the mountain brook of your childhood sleepless nights

And the chirping of the crickets deep within the concrete jungle

Do not

Wish for it ever, it might come true

To sing for you while you dream those impossible dreams

Do not

Wish for it ever, it might come true

You live the complete fullness /complete emptiness

Every moment of your seamless flight

And it comes true.

Matrix and Matrix Thinking

The sun rises in the east.  The coin has two sides, Change is the only constant. Time runs out, Time is money. Death and Illness are essential. It is true or false, yes or no. It is destiny. Oh my God, what the Devil, Black and White. I need 2000- 3000 calories/day from food. Let us vote for change.  Resources are limited and wants unlimited.  These little programs, cookies, were rejected by the matrix for incorrect logic. The programs reflect the logic of the programmer, the way they are internally organised. These programs were sent back to the recycling facility in Bangalore India. They were bangalored. Programs compete with each other. Every program, good or bad has life and the life-span varies with the quality of the logic. One with better logic prevails over the others. Such programs evolve and coalesce into maps. It appears to us that the sun rises in the east survives over the one which says the sun rises in the east. The one which says the coin has many sides over ‘the coin has two sides’. Resources are unlimited and needs limited take precedence over the old paradigm of scarce resources and unlimited wants. The neo-logic was that the creative intelligence is unbounded, the prime resource which transforms/catalyses the other resources.  The unlimited wants were found to be derivatives of some of the primal survival drive distortions. The realisation was found to have survival value since it appealed to the selfish gene

English > Inglish

COBOL> COPOL (common purpose oriented language)

The logic for the new language was that the syntax of one’s mother tongue went against the purpose of connecting – building bridges. It works like an empty parrot’s cage or the classic golden mouse trap where rats were extinct for a very long time. The syntax of the mother tongue promoted imperialism (read, version Anglo-Saxon). With an emergence of the syntax of viewing the syntax of text which promoted linearity became redundant

The programs are stacked into levels beginning with maps to Meta systems.

Science is a meta- system. So are art and religion. The matrix holds nothing to everything together.

While all programs have life a very small set of programs (+) have material form.

The current version of the matrix has been in existence since 1990 (PME 0). A new skin has been added in the version PME 19, the only improvement in 19 years

The project had begun with a class room discussion during 1981. The case study was ‘IT or MIT’. (MIT, read Misinformation Technology). JJ had taken the position that the critical issue in IT is the issue of standardisation of the observer matrix. Since every observer sees with a different internal matrix the resultant complexity would be unmanageable and IT would turn into MIT. Others stood for the remaining mostly hardcore technological issues. JJ took the position that what they see as hard is really soft and what they see as soft is hard. The entire class went against JJ’s arguments. JJ stuck to his guns and walked out of the discussion. The project had begun.

We see what we choose to focus on. What we choose to focus on is limited by the program which runs us and the positions we take which most likely has nothing to do with the common good. We could be charging full steam towards our own destruction. This possibility no more exists with the emergence of the matrix which has taken over the collective unconscious. Since the year of the matrix, 1990, 5169 Neos have been trained in the matrix. Somewhere in between, the 100th monkey effect took over and the program now exists in everyone. The Neos are conscious of the existence of the matrix. Others are not. Some Neos work as teachers and healers, in food and livelihood security, software engineering, and in medicine.

If you come across a neo-doc, s/he is more likely to ask you in his diagnostic foray what your work is or what you do for a living is in sync with your purpose of life. The data shows that this is the MFQ among Neos, what the purpose of the program is.  Another MFQ is about the fabric/quality of community that support our lives or about the quality of relationships outnumbering other questions on smoking,  exercise or number of calories that go into the  system. One is less likely to be asked who your employer is, a question often loaded with the hidden agenda of finding out if he can go ahead with all the diagnostic tests without worrying about your ability to afford

It took eight years for the matrix to fall in place. The cardinal frameworks had to pass the immortality test. The levels and hierarchy were to be assigned.  Example:- Christ is relatively more immortal than Shakespeare.  The matrix went through innumerable tests to pass through all possible contexts, past, present and future.

Successful centenarians work for over ninety years .Many of them have never consulted a doc. For them work is self-expression. These at the other end of the immortality continuum were studied in the formulation phase of the matrix. The single major challenge they faced for further extension of life-spans was the absence of community, as most fellow travellers had taken the exit route. More than anything else it was concluded that the quality of one’s work decides health and life spans and quality follows from the purpose. When one is ready to die for it death will be afraid to approach such.

What are you suggesting?

We are over deterministic in our assumptions and more often than not end up with the wrong diagnosis of our problems. We need a new way of looking, a set of new eyes if we want to craft a new vision

In the matrix trilogy, the Frenchman says, it is my business to know. Yet he wants the eyes of the oracle

The key maker is a meta- programmer. His business is to architect the meta-program, key to all programs, to make keys for all possible variety of programs

The matrix is a perfectly balanced equation

It is our business to know because knowing is doing. Doing without knowing is not doing

Black and White > Grey

Day and Night > Dusk and dawn, the in-between, gaps to fill, to connect

We have a pair of eyes, but we see as one

Ravana had 10 heads and 20 eyes. Still he could not see, avoid defeat or win the heart of Sita

Dritarashstra, the king, was blind, inside and outside. The queen / advisors had eyes but they opted to keep them shut or could not see the conflicts in the making.  They were myopic blinded by their selfishness.

One can have forty heads- levels – thinking hats/positions, take in 40 different/variant perspectives and bring them together into one vision. Each level has infinite elements that form the class. It is for us to choose the specific ones relevant to our specific context/s. When one is ready to die for what one sees others have no option but to come round to what such people see.  Community is in the making when more and more agree to the immortality of the program. Ideas also follow the norm, survival of the fittest.

Nature is not impatient, in a hurry. For nature time does not run out.

Meanwhile the pearl material accretes around the nucleus. The clusters which continually do this progress on the path reducing the waste in the system, a self improving program, the only metrics being how much of the garbage, waste, has been recycled, transformed to organic manure. Non-physical garbage took priority over the physical.

In comparison with the successful centenarians, most of us squander nearly half a century of our lives. The centenarians do not experience any recessions.

Multiply with the billions to visualise the total waste, the unrealised potential. The list could be pretty long. Add poverty, illness, infant mortality, terror strikes, and wars in the name of peace………..

Quality and Quantity is the count. Quantity without quality is waste

We can go on ad nauseum, but if you got it, you got it – explanations are redundant. If you didn’t, ASK

Is this fact or fiction?

It is fact and fiction. Fiction is more powerful than fact.. Myths live on, facts are forgotten. Leverage both, facts and fiction; tell a future story (?)

Matrix thinking is thinking with nature, co -creating……….. No need to go out to fight any wars …………… a home improvement project,

Let the noise die down

The First Discipline Framework

We are as good as our maps. These maps decide where we end up. The map above is a map of maps that sits on top  of a stack of frames.

We will be looking at the map and the frames step by step.

The map acts as a window to the world both internal and external. The window has four panes


Potential                           Perfection

Psychodynamics           Performance

The potential and psychodynamics quadrants refer to the internal. Perfection and performance quadrants refer to the external. The four perspectives together point to the direction to be taken for the improvement process, the journey inwards and outwards.

The scope for improvement is defined by the current performance against potential of the system. Improvement is constrained by gaps in understanding / internal competencies that define the learning requirements to realise such improvements. The roadmap and metrics to narrow the gap between potential  and performance emerges.

Poverty in the world is an artificial creation. It doesn’t belong to human civilization, and we can change that, we can make people come out of poverty and have the real state of affairs. So the only thing we have to do is to redesign our institutions and policies, and there will be no people who will be suffering from poverty.” – Muhammad Yunus

When breakdowns are pervasive it is time to go back to the design. We have many – poverty, the recession, illness, crimes, suicides, terrorism, climate challenge, enough reasons to go back to the basic design, the template/s of nature, the system of systems

The unknown is a rabid dog without its master. When it finds the master it turns into his/her most faithful ally. It is the submerged portion of the ice-berg of our self, personal and collective. The prodigal son returns to his father. It is time to celebrate, being reconnected to the roots. Farther we move away from the basic design and it remains unknown and unconnected, the scale and complexity of our challenges assume gargantuan proportions.

How do we understand the basic design, our collective inheritance, and connect it to our challenges to fix the direction for a life by design – personal and collective?

Quadrant 1 – A conceptual understanding of our personal and collective potential which follows from the basic design

Quadrant 3. The physical world of tangibility, performance and metrics

Quadrant 2. The social system as it exists now

Quadrant 4. The process of continual renewal, learning and improvement

The four quadrants are akin to the four wheels of the car. What drives the car, the process, is the process of the self – personal /community – as the case may be.

Understanding the basic design, Q1

Let us look at the body as a system and try to connect the map. In general it can be any system, small, large, very large or the largest

Back to storytelling

Ravana is a mythical character with 10 heads (from Ramayana, the Indian epic narrates the journey of Rama). Which are these 10 heads?

How can one have 10 heads?

At the centre is the self, the observer in us – a compass – purpose of the compass is to fix the position in relation to some  reference points prior to starting the journey. Let us take this dialogue as a journey to illustrate the issue

The second head is having a map/plan as to the direction of the journey. In this case let us say we want to understand the basic design. It could as well be designing the future.

The third head is the clock. One needs to keep some measure of the progress, keep counting, have some tools, technology, etc to go on the journey. Without tools where would we be? We could at best walk 20 miles a day and that would be the limit of our potential to travel for a day. In the last one decade, our internal landscapes have broadened much more than in any time during recorded history.

The thermostat. With every step that I take I need to check back with the starting position – reflect –to make sure that the step is in the right direction and correct myself if i have gone wrong

Level of the cell, the basic unit of the body, a virus or bacteria, a higher level system than a clock, or thermostat, beginning of life as we understand it . (There is no beginning/end as such since we are talking about a continuum)

Plant – the plant world

Animal – All the animals

Human – the individual human

Community- organisations, teams

Learning / Knowledge. Learning is equated with improvement, accumulated wisdom. Our collective wisdom has evolved through our understanding of all these levels through history and various disciplines. The journey is towards more of it in sufficient measure so that we are not victims of the unknown. There will be unknowables and room for surprises and miracles so that life does not fall into monotony and meaningless repetition, eternal recurrence.
We need all the ten heads to be fully functional. Think of it as a ladder with 10 steps. Take away any one, potential is a myth. Being positioned /anchored is to place the ladder on firm ground and go up to take the eagle’s perspective. Another way to visualise it, is to see it as a lighthouse with ten levels each level corresponding to the steps of the ladder. The lighthouse does not change its position, but the sailing vessels do have to if they are not to perish. “ Dasavataram “ stands for the ten avatars of Vishnu, the ten stages of evolution of the human. is also the title of a recent movie by Kamal Hassan, the south Indian actor, who acts in ten different roles, avatars. Ramayana is the epic journey of Rama. (Ayanam is journey). The anti hero – is Ravana (An Asura) with ten heads who abducts Sita (the feminine) wife of Rama (masculine, an avatar of Vishnu). The choice is between turning into a 10 headed monster or to the truly human positioned to realise the design, the higher unrealised human potential. One needs to take a conscious choice to by the design than against it. Knowing is the design is a required condition. Who wants to grow into a monster intentionally? Not even Hitler would!.

Quadrant 3 is the performance quadrant. In an ideal situation we would have had a straight line beginning from the centre and going to the opposite corner. This is the fall of man which we often view, as ‘Progress’. One can now see the gap between potential and performance – the waste in the system, the unrealised potential, the root cause of all breakdowns.

To illustrate at the personal level, what is the potential vs performance of the body? Since we are all selfish this would be more appealing.

I knew somebody from age 75 till he died at the age of 100 years, 6 months and 15 days. Life-expectancy in the context in which he lived is 74 years. There is a gap of 26 years when one compares his performance against what is considered to be normal. He was abnormal in a positive sense because he achieved many times more than the normal individual and was healthy and cheerful, till the very last. But for an accident towards the end, he never had to go the doctor or take medicines. Other than the last few weeks he continued to work.
Why is it that there is such variance? If we visualise a future society with 100 yrs as the norm, there is a waste of 25 years. Why do such variances occur and how do you explain the gap between potential and performance?

The problem is not with the potential of the body or the design, but with our understanding of the design. First problem is the knowledge hole, much more serious than the ozone hole! The human potential is something like an iceberg. We see only a small part of it. What is hidden is much more than what is revealed, far beyond all that is known to us, beyond all those who are in the Guinness book, all the great ones who have passed away or the person whom I was referring to, who lived a meaningful life for 100 years . Nothing about the past gives us any clues to this unrealised potential other than perhaps the myths. There is plenty of room for miracles to happen because a miracle is something which is unexplainable by the known laws of nature. What we know of nature is so fragmented that it does more harm than good and precedence will not take us to Mars.

The model is about understanding the design in nature. The second step is to use this design to check whether the performance matches the design. It doesn’t. The gap between potential and performance as shown in Q 3, helps us to visualise this gap. How do we connect to that potential in us that is hidden, connecting to an infinite source of power ( at the time when we face an energy challenge) change course for good to the totally positive, never to return to the road by default. The moment of truth! The alignment needs be right for the car to move. The known and the unknown, conscious and the unconscious, are to be in alignment if the full potential is to emerge, If not they work at loggerheads. The unknown is our enemy which fights/plots against our own selves. Dreams and myths offer a bridge to the unconscious. During the time of Hippocrates, the patients had to dream that they are healed prior to the physician commencing his medication

In Quadrant 3 the potential performance gap begins from the level of animals. What we see as a rise in the line from the diagonal is a fall, the great fall of man turning himself to the sub- animal in spite of our “ progress’ which goes into the sorry state of affairs that we have created for ourselves. For animals there is hardly any gap between potential and performance but from the level of the human there exists this gap. Human is the only species that can improve itself, the unique differentiator about humanness. And when we don’t improve as a species, we turn sub-animal. It is not that we don’t want to improve, but there has to be a method by which we differentiate between real improvements and pseudo achievements

Q 3 is the physical world, the tangible and material

Quadrant 2 deals with the external world, the accumulated wisdom or ignorance of the social system which influences the self and the barriers created by the external world in realising one’s higher potential

In the last post, ‘Beyond the Waves’ , we were discussing the four different worlds , the eco-system people, farming communities, the industrial world and a post modern knowledge community in the making. There are lessons to be integrated from all the four worlds to create a more desirable future. The first world lives or used to live in harmony with nature living off on nature without hurting sustainability. Agriculture in the developed world has become industrialised. Farming communities in developing countries, though not industrialised to the same extent, are compelled to compete with industrialised agriculture. Industrialisation brought about major shifts in the way we think because the tools we use influence our thinking and leads to behavioural modifications. With emergence of connectivity and communications, paving the way for the emergence of global community, the possibility of another paradigm shift is emerging

However the dominant thinking, the mental models of our opinion makers – politicians, economists, engineers, medical professionals – essentially follow the machine logic.

It is not an unfounded fear that in some distant future, robots or artificial intelligence will take over humans. It has already done so because we are driven by the machine logic, a product of industrialisation, as our prevalent paradigm, the internal map. Are we turning into Pavlovs dogs ?

The machine logic is focused on entropy. No machine can regenerate itself, reproduce itself or make a copy of it. It is not a self –regulating system though advanced machines have some limited capacities to self regulate. Economists visualise the economy as an engine and the allopath sees the body as a machine.

The biologist has a better model guided by the bio-logic, in stark contrast to the machine logic. The bio-logic is about creating order, increasing self regulation as we move up through the different classes of beings. That humans do not often self-regulate does not mean that there is no potential. Entrenched habits block this potential form emergence and conscious choice is a pre-requisite to self – regulation. The cell, the basic unit of life, is negentropic with increasing order and evolution. 200 years since Darwin, the biologist does not influence our thinking to the extent that other more fashionable professions do, the engineers, managers, economists, or those in the medical profession. These are essentially derived disciplines emerging out of our progress in knowledge and there will always be a lag between new understanding and such understanding influencing mainstream thinking. One has to take position against the limits of mainstream thinking, the burden of normality, if one has to move beyond the average, a perceived normality rather than true normality.

The cardinal illness is a thought disorder and other problems are derived ones from this fundamental distortion, the original sin?
Quadrant 2 More Ps

Q2 comes in between, the blocks/barriers to transcend to narrow the gap between potential (Q1) and performance (Q3)

Nature is perfect, beyond improvement. Nurture follows from history, institutions, assumptions, habits and positions. All of these together create the knowledge hole, barriers to realising the unrealised bur realisable potential, personal and collective.  This is the learning imperative, the syllabus for graduation from the school of life.

Being from and of nature we are complete and whole (by design) but we seldom take such a position. We take the position that we are incomplete, sinners and wait for the second coming of the prophet, to be redeemed.

What we see depends on where we stand, our position. The individual, organisation, community or society at large could be positioned for improvement or otherwise. Some take the informed choice, goes by the design and others take the road by default. The two options are by design or by destiny and the answers could be yes, no and yes and no. There is enough room for dialogue

Positioning is the first step to progress or continuous improvement whether personal, organisational, community/ communities. Clashes arise from the differing positions and finding common ground is essential to bring in peace. Power comes in between, sometimes genuine and authentic and at other times, distortions of power that arise from the primary distortion in the meaning of power. (Hitler vs. Gandhi)

Nature is always in process, of continual renewal. The ecological footprints of human interventions block renewal and we come to suffer from our own actions. It takes more than a year for nature to renew what we consume in a year and some damages are irreparable.

The body is in the process of continual renewal which depends on what we pay attention to. Pay attention to entropy, decay is the result. From completeness arise completeness, growth from acceptance, being to becoming.

Programming – socialisation- of the individual thorough its institutions of politics, religion (priests) , education (pedagogues) parents,   influences progress.   To the better or the worse depends on the position one takes.

Peters and Parrots – the effectiveness would depend on the vision with which they are driven. Rote learning is parroting not real. Real learning leads to real improvements. Sometimes parroting helps. But for parroting we wouldn’t have any myths, folklore, culture. We would have lost our roots and become impoverished,

Problems could be perceived as problems or as opportunities.  Complexity is a challenge to those who enjoy it and a puzzle for those who are perplexed by it.   The solution focus would accelerate progress and the opposite to compounding of the problems.

Quadrant 4 addressing the learning imperative

The eagle lives on the tree near a deep well in which lives a community of frogs. None of them had ever been out of the well. The granny frog has her bedtime story telling session. The eagle could hear the stories. On a sunny day when the thermals had begun rising, the eagle swooped into the well, grasped one little frog in its claws and rose up with the thermal. The heights and the fear of death overtook the little one. The eagle let go of the frog from the heights above the well.

During the fall back into the well, the frog had just a glimpse of the world outside. The eagle returned to the tree, waited for the sun to set and to hear the story of the day. What will be the story of the day?

We have been collecting these stories since 1990. Initially everyone connects it in their own ways. Some identified themselves with the eagle and some with the frog and the fear of death.

Not many with both, eagle and the frog

The big and the small

The telescope and the microscope, Hubble and the Femtoscope

Global,  local and the connections in between

How mental models are formed, revised and improved to mental maps

How best to continually learn, not to stop with any of the new maps

How an old world of the frog has collapsed, how a new world is born

That we are all in that well – of Nature and that we will never see all of it

But we can see much more now, than it used to be

Continual learning is the path to continual renewal.

Learning improves our mental models. The frog in the well forms a model of the world. The eagle on the tree has a different model. When the frog is taken out by the eagle and brought back into the well these two merge to form a map of the world. The world has not changed but the models of the world have changed.

We were inhabitants of a flatland in a not too distant past. With better technology and tools these models have given way to maps with increasing precision. Though maps of the physical world have become more precise the mental models that go with them are not easily discarded. The eagle represents the big picture and frog, the details. Both are connected just as the Hubble telescope sends us pictures from outer space and the femtoscope helps us see the smallest of the small. The eagle represents the global and frog the local which are but different perspectives of the whole. In a connected world, being GLOCAL is an imperative. So is the imperative of continual learning, leading to continual renewal

With a little facilitation everyone comes to share the common ground, the foundation, for a Taj Mahal, an ashram or a lighthouse to be built.  We have looked at the four wheels of the learning engine. We now need to move to the centre, the observer and driver of the learning engine and what drives her. It is also time to move away from orbiting, repetition, to join the dynamic conscious evolutionary spiral of continuous improvement /renewal

More: The Picture of Philosophy