The pace of change isn’t slowing down we can all attest to that – it’s accelerating at an unprecedented rate. Life is becoming expensive, demanding, and trying even… Mankind has seen more change in the past century than in all of recorded history combined, and we’ll be seeing even more. This aspect is forcing people into some form of survival mode, both at work and some even in their relationships. Interestingly, it’s also bringing about new management phenomenon.
People are confusing change with strategy today. These two words are not mutually exclusive or interchangeable. Change is used as a tool today to force sudden events upon us, to take place, and thinking it will render magical results without proper planning. Strategy on the other hand is systematically, planed, informed decision making, where change is haphazard – turbulent.
“Turbulence” is the best word I could find to explain this, have you ever been in an aircraft that experienced turbulence, it’s sickening, frightening, disorienting, its survival mode kicking in. Turbulent changes do not affect reality on a deeper level other than to cement the status quo. So, in plain English it makes things worse… change is not a strategy its an event.
Managers and leaders alike today cause turbulent change, due to a status quo being practiced; the most common cause of turbulence is a sudden change in direction. Words that signal turbulence; restructuring, downsizing, institutional review, strategic changes, change initiatives. Then stress levels rise, when distress appears, when tragedy strikes, too often we attempt to keep up the same frantic pace or even accelerate, thinking somehow that the more rushed our pace, the better off we will be.
We have many educated people, leaders and experts, but still their cognitive Ignorance causes way too much unfounded stress, all caused by people screaming change, change this, change that, we even find books, media, politicians, teachers and even management gurus are tripping over their own change advice too, as it does not have any working concept of cause and effect, project managers budgets dry up because things “changed”, strategist can’t find competent people to plan and work with, because things never change much either these days, even if we changed them, the more they change the more they stay the same. Change has become ineffective if it has no clear long-term impact or strategy.
The way we look at things will determine how we solve them
Perception determines reality. Why? Well many people are programmed to look at change as a “challenge”. The way we look at things will directly attribute the elements we utilise to remedy them. If we use the word challenge in our vocabulary to summarise problems we are experiencing them we are bias. A challenge is a short term look at a challenger, how to win him, and carry on. A call to prove or justify something, “it is possible to challenge the report’s assumptions” invite (someone) to engage in a contest. It’s all combative…with an end result of winners and losers.
Whereas if we used the correct term, lets solve problems, the results in itself would have been un-bias; a question proposed for solution or discussion. This is not combative, it’s an intellectual challenge.
What is missing? What is killing strategy then?
Clearly our cognitive bias is the big culprit. Our cognitive bias describes the way our brains sneakily convince us to make decisions that often work against our best interests – because all thinking is bias – it favours us. If you expect the world to be fair with you because you are fair, you’re fooling yourself. That’s like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him. People do what seems easy, just, moral, tribal and convenient, not what is best for them…some of us have a moral obligation to inform them then.
So when things, like our thinking, don’t favour us, or our way of solving problems, and you feel like walking away from all the drama and the people who create it . . . when you would rather pack it up and surround yourself with people who make you laugh, or forget, just to for a moment, the morally and intellectual corrupt, the crime, the burdens of modern living, and focus on some of the good stuff life and living still has on offer . . . when you love the people who treat you right, and decide to avoid the rest with a passion. Then you know you have become a survivor, a participant, an adaptive combated.
Then, you have effectively become a survivor centred being. Our mode of existence has become survival focused; our survival strategies are now on overload as individuals, and we have created a society of survivors. Survivors are all bias; they want to survive, so it’s all about me. Strategist has not escaped…
Strategist are now forced to become “adaptive combatants”.
- The traditional roles of strategist have been stripped of all value; they have had to become adaptive, and it “had to be” changed, the successful ones are now taking on the role of the “adaptive combatant”. A more politically correct term would be to change combatant to participant; a highly adaptive “participant” – also known as change agents – can construct new strategy and tactics without any prior experience – all we need to do is talk about it in the collective, this is the new trend. They no longer lead, they join, and they participate. Survivors can’t be leaders. Purely by steering the collective towards or away from bad hypothesis. People want to do things in groups; they are not fond of being told by leaders today. By using adaptive behaviour which is a collection of conceptual, social, and practical skills and ideas to influence people with, we now think and strategize in the collective sum. The combatant part comes in with the self, and how it functions in the group; how we conduct ourselves with others with; self-discipline, self-criticism, self-analysis, by rendering a much more guarded perspective of what the self will bring to the party or not; in terms of influencing opinion, and hypothesis on strategies have become a survival strategy for most strategist in the work place.
Unlike the caveman, in today’s world we’re not afraid of the sabre-toothed tiger. Yet, we put into motion the same primal stress response the tiger created in the cavemen, every time we go off to work, daily, we are charged up. We feel that our worth have diminished and even feel threatened in some instance by our piers way of dealing with us. The environment has become combative, people are very angry, they fight, they argue, they have outburst, because we are forced into groups. The fear of failure has been replaced by self-imposed emotional and intellectual fears. We are afraid our beliefs and decisions will be attacked if we become too controversial or to radical, critical, or just stand for something, that we’ll be made out to be wrong, even look foolish, be rejected socially or get emotionally hurt. Ultimately, we’re afraid we’ll lose something of our own worth, sanity, peace even, and these fears run us because we desperately want to be in the rat race, be part of the group, but not get caught up in it.
Animals display two response in situations like this; “fight or flight” when it perceives a threat, many leaders frequently resort to survival tactics when they feel stressed too, confronted, cornered, inadequate or confused. This behaviour is adaptive, in other words learned, and they get their subordinates to follow in the same fashion, soon everyone is guarded, and combative. Even if it is not in your personality, we become like them, those that lead us, dictate to us, teach us, feed us…
This behaviour breeds more bad behaviour throughout. No one will admit it, but look deep, we are on our guard, battle tired, blind to our own mistakes, this is weakness festering, if we can no longer point to a thing and say it’s wrong, corrupt, broken, not working, bad, then we are morally and ethically corrupt too.
Those who don’t like violence – rather pretend they know when they do or don’t, we shade the truth, and play the audience for the approval, we have all been forced to become politicians, vote of others, by playing cards; the race card, the victim, the political card, the favouritism card. I am sure many can relate…
Even with “Tight” control in place, we only see them delegate work, no one takes ownership, all things need to be centralised, they micro-manage, fight to win at any cost, withhold information and manipulate facts and figures to look good, to survive.
They may have a strong drive to succeed, be good people, but their results and internal well-being is undermined by their self-sabotaging survival strategies. This aspect is killing good will, values, co-operation, and growth. In effect strategies, as no strategy will emerge if the right condition for strategy is not met, or present, thus none existing.. Strategy firstly requires trust, before anything else, and trust requires maturity of character. Old and young is not the issue here, cognitive maturity is.
We mature cognitively very differently too. With our worsening education system, things are not going to get better either. Cognitive refers to the process of acquiring knowledge by the use of reasoning, intuition, or perception.
There are basically three levels of human development to cognitive/ rational – maturity. Each step offers differing levels of personal power and growth potential – the ability to choose, generate, create and cause the experience you want in life stems from your cognitive composition or lack thereof.
We grow intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually even, because of factors in our immediate environment in which we were born in, and then, dependent on our willingness to grow and learn more, we move to higher levels by means of experience and learning. The three levels are:
- Tribal cognitivism
- Individual cognitivism
- Spiritual cognitivism
Tribal cognitivism; is the Group Mind-set and we all begin our journey here. Family, society, religion, political parties, cultural standards are all forms of group thought. The beliefs we have about people who are like “us”, and “them”, those different from us, are all formed in our growing up years.
When you are living on the Tribal Power level you are literally thinking, acting, working and moving at the speed of a group and your sense of power moves at the speed of the group. You run your ideas past a group of people for empowerment and approval.
The group determines who you can /cannot love/marry. The group determines what clothes you wear, what actions are acceptable, what is good/bad, right/wrong. When you step out the door, do you think it’s just you? No. It’s the whole tribe. You ask yourself, “How should I look, act, speak, believe . . .” The Tribe determines.
Forgiveness is not in the Tribal Code. Vengeance, retribution, being right and reputation is. The tribal system discriminates too, although it will tell you it does not, along birth lines, royal bloods, and half-blood, boys, men, and elders, chiefs and leaders. Not to mention against woman.
Individual cognitivism reflects on the self and at some point sits up and realizes that “I” have something to do with the results in my life and in the world around me. When you are on the level of Individual Power, you recognise that there are two roles, responsibility and accountability – the responsibility you have for the quality of thought forms you have in your head and the consequences of those attitudes, judgments and beliefs. You willingly take accountability for your actions, reactions, inactions and you suffer the results.
Spiritual cognitivism is a Life Force removed from the self, becoming selfless. Concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish. When you are on this level, you separate yourself from yourself so you can observe and learn without feeling threatened or defensive. You see everything as being a part of a magnificent spiritual design which is much bigger than you and yet you realise that you, too, are that spiritual design. Or at least this is the idea.
You realise you create your own reality and that what you generate externally affects you internally and what you focus on internally manifests itself externally.
You understand we are here to learn how to manage our spirit, to learn how to become effective human beings, to be more interested in living than in life, working – serving – than in being right, to find workable solutions for everyone, to learn how to generate love not hate, how to build connection not separation . . . how to focus on our similarities, not our differences, how to consolidate change.
Mastering all three levels of cognitivism becomes consciousness. Cognitivism is not consciousness. Consciousness is a state of being awake and aware of what is going on around you – it changes the speed of things… it makes us faster and better. It is an emotional state of existence self-induced…through mastering cognitivism.
Perhaps one of the two most important questions we can ask is, “What is real consciousness?”
Tribally – consciousness is peace, harmony, joy, etc., the things we all want in our lives – values. But that is not real consciousness. Politically – Consciousness is a willingness to let go, a willingness to change to serve one agenda, so no it’s not real either. Spiritually (not religiously) -The only way you can raise your consciousness is to seek out new experience, that will generate new levels of Spiritual awareness, knowledge is power, experiences confirms this. Individually – consciousness is what we say it is.
What matters is no longer set in societal norms, practices and standards of living.
Knowledge in all things, in heaven and earth is true power today; it has created a whole new system of consciousness – the old tribal mentality – no longer holding us enthralled and together. We no longer have faith in those limiting patterns of thought that still enslave so many people today still. Through knowledge transformation we will/ or should learn a whole new level of existence, free of fear, embedded with trust. We break the habit of telling tribal lies, conforming to tribal alliances, which bring short-term comfort but long-term pain. We develop a new sense of self-worth and of trust and honour, values and the rule of law.
Tribal mentality the world over is going through a vast transformation. For some this is a good, for others it is the beginning of the end. This begs the question; “What will you give up to get those things you want?” to stop being a survivor and become a conqueror of knowledge, an awakener of human potential, not serving one agenda, but humanity?