Tag Archives: perception

What is Killing Strategy?

3 Aug

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.

Turbulent times

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.

  Continue reading

Where do our “Generic Strategies” combine with our social nature?

22 Sep


The term “generic strategy”

Generic strategy” in the true sense and essence of it, is very much part and parcel of our everyday life and has a life and purpose of its own. Just like fire it gives energy off and fuels what is to come.

“Generic strategy” is that significant and pivotal to our existence, it is the “carbon atom”, of strategy.

So-much-so that it is hardwired into our DNA – it is our very own human operating “software”, if that makes better sense – it is strategy operating at the core, making us fit for survival and co-existing. Without it we would have acted purely instinctive, animalistic even some believe.

The popular Porter model by the same name, generic strategy, is not in discussion here.

No, the term “generic strategy” embraces everything strategic, human, and instinctive; allow me a few minutes to explain, it does not only infer an exclusive one model definition.  Strategy as a rule simply cannot exist if not for generic strategy existing originally.

To explain this statement, we need to start with linguistics first and then build up the concept.

All strategic concepts are defined by “CAPS”:

A. Concepts,

B. Attributes,

C. Perceptions,

D. Systems.

  1. In this instance the concept is referred to as “generic”

Starting off and borrowing from the Latin here; the word “Generic” infers “genus”, to mean a kind or species, otherwise when translated into the English, we get something of a general occurrence/ application -having a wide or general application then – also when used in conjunction with explaining behavior, it means to explain common exhibited traits very specific to a group or a class of people, species, clan or society, describing their nature, (as a basic mannerism) or a way of dealing with things. Continue reading

Strategy without a solid corner stone, sociology – will become a mental stonewall, built with only bias and denial.

9 Dec


We are our own worst enemy

How many times have you heard that? Indeed it true, we are our own worst enemy, especially when it comes to neglecting to think about or do certain things that we don’t want or like, somehow we almost instinctively steer away from that which we don’t like or want. However, it’s not always ideal, especially where its things we have to deal with, then simply avoiding them does not mean they don’t exist any more, or will go away, we have all I am sure practiced this behaviour, when we start using avoidance, or denial, then we are in fact just poisoning our mental well-being (or capacity).

Continue reading

Ideology can become a sources of Risk

11 Nov

Risks are not just about identifying events that, when triggered, could cause problems, even all the defects, and operational issues like none performance, shortage or scarcity of some resource, all the obvious things we were taught that create risk, yes still valid, but now there is more to consider when talking risk. The SWOT analysis is just not good enough; we require some sociological scanning…

The environmental scan is the second tool to use with RISK analysis; for today deeper and unseen aspects prevail, that also impact our risk factors and profile; it could start with any underlying philosophy being promoted, even our way of thinking could be contaminated, anything that rides the strategic train of thought with us, and then takes over at some point from rational and tips us towards the emotional, or abstract side of reasoning. Aha, so risk is not just measurable, tangible, foreseeable, and obvious, it’s also hidden in our metal make-up…and very much so.

Hence, risk identification should also include the people involved in our teams, profile them; for their bias, fears and then most important their ideology.  Yes, the very way we are trying to solve a problem, is directly linked to how we are positioned, toward our environment, how we understand it, operate in it, and control it, is strongly influence by our ideology, things we believe in. This aspect could become the actual risk, sometimes only later on, and even a threat to the entire scheme, greater that the initial problems we foresee now… itself.

Continue reading

The Biggest problem with corporate strategy is trying to predict the future and to “dictate the marketplace.”!!!

21 Oct

Almost all strategic planning sessions start off with the vision, mission, goals, values, and objectives scenario – yes? This begs the question, how good is our track record for predicting the future – I bet it’s pretty bad?

Maybe it’s time to become radical, and to totally change our strategic start up design perspective. If I tell you that there is a far better way to hit the bull, more often than not would you be interested?

Would you consider yet another reality; May I change that perspective, and let’s see if that is still all true.

(My theory is if we change our perspective and not just our perceptions, we will get a much better look at the real problem, and the way we look at things, then creates scenarios in the brain, that keeps changing with the new perspective).

Because if we only believe we can’t predict the future with much certainty then we won’t bother planning it in much detail, will we? Safe to say; No one can predict with up-most certainty anything that is in the future, let alone what will happen next week…

Nevertheless, forecasting is of the up-most importance in business.

Therefore, strategist, and forecaster alike need to probe beyond that curtain of uncertainty, and predict what the eventuality could/ would be like if we stay, start the course with our current strategy.

(The academics teach us to apply the laws of averages here, to find the average, and then to summarise risk, and come up with a worst case, average and best case scenario.)

Now days we see a change, away from that norm, towards looking at broad spectrum analyse of strategic challenges – by firstly looking at both internal (environment) as well as external (environment) and scanning it for defects, and misplaced links, between structure and strategy…, translating into emergent strategy; There are two approaches to strategy making – a deliberate or emergent strategy. The deliberate strategy is analytical and structured – Vision Statement, Mission Statements, Strengths and Weaknesses (SWOT), Objectives etc.

Continue reading

If you desire true innovation, then you should be familiar with the concept and what it really has to offer.

18 Sep

In strategic circles, the one with the most “innovative” thinking trumps any one’s brilliant plan.

We’ve all heard the saying “perception becomes reality,” now if that statement was true, what will it take to make all “innovation” become reality too, and if it is that easy, why aren’t we seeing a lot of innovation or inventive people around?

I hear a lot of talk, everyone is abuzz with innovation, “we have to be more innovative people”, oh and the classic – “think outside the box”, who started all this madness, event at schools teachers are teaching “innovation” and how to be “inventive”.

We hear the word “innovation” everywhere, it is spreading like wild fire, especially in our media and business press, suggesting the word is becoming “a cliché,” (or used out of context) and just implying some form of change, and is used more as a buzz word, a fashion statement, than to actually advance very specific ideas.

“Innovation” – has also become big business; it has created a new economy; franchises, schools, institutions even, and lots of  literature – over 250 books on Google books with innovation in the title; consultants are popping up all over, people even get appointed with the title as innovation consultants, officer, office, thus making millions of dollars, even in advising, it’s become businesses. Just like global warming it s creating jobs and a sub culture.   Yet, I still have to see something  that’s truly jaw dropping, one invention that will convince me it exist, that will convince me it has merit, or can be taught, or harnessed like energy and has place in business theory. Continue reading

Business formation is changing the way we see Strategy, Management, and Leadership roles and function…

31 Jul

“It is all changing so fast” – just look at the way we communicate with all the tools and gadgets we have available. Laptops have just started becoming cost effective, and now they are already making way for “IPad’s”, “Smart phones”, and “tablets”.

The Information Age is here; also commonly known as the Computer Age or Digital Age, characterized by the ability of individuals to transfer information freely, and to have instant access to any type of information that would have been difficult or even impossible to find previously. It has become a fast paced, radical, and challenging world, where information is power, and the lack thereof, will cause your down fall some believe, just about everything out there is information driven, and it informs every aspect of life and living as we know it today, in one way or the other.

Information shapes the business landscape; so too our own managing styles and management philosophy, thereby business practice are adapting, with new entrants that are also becoming fashionable; the likes of BI, MIS and BA. What do we know about all these changes taking place, have we kept up? What do they hope to achieve and how do they work?

Today several new entrants are with us, they have come a long way in the making, and it is only now that they are finally coming to life, and extremely useful. With that said, they also come with some integration problems and challenges of their own, they are; Business Intelligence and Business Analysts as well as Management Information Systems Analysts still seen as new kids on the block – however we hear a lot of BI and BA talk, things are changing likewise with MIS also becoming a buzz word. Continue reading

A Few Things about Having (Problems) You Ought to Consider

25 Nov


The first thing you will hear is, “We have a problem”…

Whenever we have a problem then we need a fix…fixing problems is what this article is all about.

Therefore, it stands to reason that we look into the pitfalls of addressing problems.  It does shed some light on the road well traveled going there when negotiating problems.

Whenever problems arise, get it down on paper, and then draft a problem statement, define in words what is wrong.

Drafting “Problem Statements” are good precursors to what’s to be expected next VS. where you are now.

It orientates both people and groups.

Problem statements are the pre-cursor to what lies ahead, a list of things describing a problem, and what we can we expect, shortly, if we act versus if we don’t. Especially when looking at ways and means of solving these problems in a business sense. Then having problems on paper is always a good idea…thus the first step in solving problems.

So what is a problem stamen exactly?

Continue reading

Understanding the Influence of Real World Politics on Strategy.

18 Nov

What is wrong with strategy, not much some believe, if seen against the backdrop of the prevailing political climate changes?

This is the story of the Wolf pack and the Lions.

Just like global warming, our politics of the day is now also impacting directly on our personal wellbeing; our health, wealth, economic and social standing – as well as our strategies.

The big players are; Freewill, Morality, Democracy, Conservatism, Liberalism and choice, all politicians want us to have more of, so what do they have in common with strategy?

Let me give you some back ground; THE FIRST RULE OF POLITICS IS; anything you practice as government politics BECOMES UNIVERASL AT SOME POINT, what happens there could affect what happens here – the world has become totally connected. We affect our immediate and distant neighbours with our own political dispensation… Then too businesses that have global impact affect as too.

Point in case; If we just look at how Goldman Sachs created the world food price crisis and how they and the other big banks are literally starving billions because of it. Just with ONE strategy; imagine what could go wrong globally if many strategies fail…as is the case now. The best thing is, they could do – and can still do more – of this because its good moneymaking “strategy”, and they are banks, so they hide behind the defence that their business is to make money – and lots of it, and their political views “say this is good practice”, so we don’t suspect much foul play, and life goes on for the (citizens) sheep of the world, so nothing ever happens to them, they even get bailed out, because the social elite would have all benefitted, again.

It’s not about morals and ethics in this life anymore; ethics is what we feed sheep – our good citizens, so they don’t get too nervous about the future. It’s all politics, the politics of predators that can never marry, with the beliefs of sheep, its sole purpose is to have and create invisible divides, between lions and Wolves at the top, with lots and lots of sheep at the bottom, with their politics.

That is to say, to create weak, strong and super strong classes of economic wealth, through the use of politics. Politics becomes a trick or treat for us normal men and woman, they blind us with all their fabulous ideas, and promises? Politics today have become more inventive, it even includes spying on our citizens, to keep them in check, it even includes media blackouts; and my favourite, it include Wolves posing as sheep, in sheep skins, and offering lambs for lions.

So, it’s a free society, we have all the democratic freedom we can handle, now we give them more freedom, and movement, and we vote for it too, thinking that they ( we are talking about our government, employers and social elite here)  will be responsible, and act with dignity and honour, now that we all have great freedom. Now if the government gets all these powers, and it does, then it’s all open to abuse, then the rich will follow on, and copy this, and then you have government now running industry, far from the back, but still running it, and even owning stakes, or shares in it, for their political parties can now own businesses, and so to the individuals in government,  and then their families. So who is going to play policemen here if everyone at the top has a hand in the cookie jar?  Anything you can use to get what your wants and desire, you get through the use of politics or crime, and it is yours as long as you share. This is the game of politics, it corrupts so easy in a free society. By definition; Politics has as its main aim; the acquisition and application of power, to create wealth. It does not say for whom?

The rest is just smoke and mirrors. So that the citizens (the sheep/ their slaves) can still have that warm fuzzy feeling whilst being raped with taxes. Politics is there to keep us in line, and so that we are reminded of our place in society, whilst being torn between two powers, the Lion, and Wolf pack.

The morality, religion and virtue cards are all played to keep us all captive, by making us feel obliged to keep doing the right thing even as a “slave”, no matter how unfair, and dire your own needs, and situation, be good, and suppress all your desires, it’s for (your) sorry – our- or the greater good. Human desires have ring-fenced the subtle arena of human social interaction, that dictate our social behaviour and opinionated nature and interaction, if we are not clever in politics, and diplomacy, then it could become a deep strategic pitfall. People the world over know they are getting ripped-off, somewhere; somehow, it’s okay, as long as “everyone is” getting ripped of the same. Now, if anyone in this day and age, can’t see this happening, and still think that we are all real nice compatible social creatures, immune to abuse, control, manipulation, and exploitation from governments, employers, and powers in society, just because we have liberty, freedom, oh and democracy, some law and very little order and the rest, think again?

Just because we fit into society nicely, and play nice, play by its rules, and belong to the race called homo-sapience, this in itself is still no guarantee that you will not become the prey, in the radical revolutionarily strategic management matrix, called life, where predators roam daily, then we have it all wrong. We were in fact created to be indifferent…totally self indulgent, and driven by desire, in pursuit of its fulfilment, and because of it, we stand opposed, we take sides, we strategise and we group along the lines of our constitution; our beliefs, religion, virtues, race, culture, language – these are all very subtle, when compared to how we group ourselves politically, then all the aforementioned groupings tend to give way, to our political orientations forming.

Strategy is all about managing perceptions; politics is all about managing people with fear. Therefore, start by looking at the foundation of democracy, where Democratic principles tend to hide the fact that the elected determine the distribution of future; social values, economic power, and reforms. Then it will also most surely define who will be the social elite. It’s not at all concerned with moral commitments; although they talk about it – and a lot – it always fades, fades with the last vote cast, the last speech made, etc.

Politics uses diplomacy to mask otherwise naked competition and aggression, for wealth, resource and power. Stemming from a Wolf-Pack ideology, democracy emanated somewhere half way between capitalism and communism; serving both by the way, so no lion can ever belong and feel at home in a democracy, just too much chaos, because of free will. Wolves are active with chatter – free will – vocal, and are erratic, opposed to lions that have routines, they sleep, take life easy… The paint work on the caves of humanity depicting free-will versus the lions outlook, has become smudged, there is a deep grey gorge forming that is becoming as clear as daylight. We see it everywhere; you have those that break-down, and those that build-up. We are slowly moving apart, the magnetism of beliefs are giving way to two streams, one cold, one warm, like two currents meeting, we are drifting worlds apart because of this rupture in humanity. Simply put it has everything to do with our virtues, our outlook on life, and our expectancy.

Let’s term the two opposing sides, Wolf-Pack and Lions to illustrate how far we are drifting apart. (There use to be a BEAR in there too, but he got killed by the lion). Because of way too much use and abuse of these terms by politicians, the media, religious sects, and the rest, that will all attempt to define what is good and what is bad for you, via their own beliefs…through using them, we have corrupted their use. We now can’t even distinguish between predators anymore, they want us to see them all the same – they are not. Never the less, this articles purpose is to illustrate how your own feelings, and emotions, and beliefs, as well as virtues, are pulled at when having to take stance on these issues of liking predators, and siding with them.

This is a test, to show you how powerful our own convictions are when tested, when we have a choice in the matter, especially under these currents that influence us politically, and that sweep through our strategic abilities and plans…such as politics, when we design strategies. Daily we try to divorce our inner virtues and beliefs, to fit in with society, in one way or the other – all in order to blend in with a warped sense of social reality today, all in order to aspire to the latest trends and beliefs, as well as propaganda promoted. EVERYONE; the flavour of the day is; “all change is essential and good” – so come on and have some. It’s all an attempt by governments to form one global identity, passed on to corporate business through skilful legislation, to form an identity that is not too Wolf-Pack, and not too traditional, not to conventional, radical, democratic or even weird. But every bit predatorily. This new generation youth today, is desperately looking for a new way of practicing liberation, freedom, and struggle all in one arena. All in order to belong, to come to rest and have one identity, one common understanding of what we are, if we are free, then we want to practice our freedom, be free-willed, until then we must be “freedom fighters” or something, and as a result then we must be Wolf-Packs too?

Lions, in stark contrast to the afore mentioned political culture of turmoil, know who they are, what they stand for, and how compromising, just one thing will lead to more compromises, later on. That one normally ends up regretting. Then everything ells will become compromised, such is the law of compromise. Therefore, they don’t want, or like, or care for any newness and “transformation”, or to compromise just for the sake of change and belonging. They have learned that nothing on this earth is ever new, it’s just rediscovered. Their general view is this; if something works; don’t tamper with it, especially for the sake of change. This is their standing belief.

Things have evolved to this point pretty well, and if it works, then it is just perfect… discipline and hard work is the back bone of society…freedom is not a right it’s a hard earned privilege paid for in blood, now shared by all.

Back to the two sides, if we try to divorce our preconceptions of what is Wolf-Pack and what is a lion, and how we view and label them, as being optimistic or pessimistic, as new and old, or as good and bad. Then we will find that. The question at issue is both personal, for each one of us, and both political as well, for our lives are flooded and governed by the powers that be, be they Wolf-Pack or lion; daily with shape shifting, through the media trying to win our favour – votes. They, the politicians, and decision makers want us to invest our hopes and dreams with them. They should rather come out with the truth, and say; Bank with me, I will give you good dividends. I will only take 20% of your income. So who are these people; the lions, It is then said that; on the one hand, a lion is a bitter former Wolf-Pack minded maverick whose idealism was crushed and life taught him a few hard lesson… Never the less, lions are seen as happy and content with what they’ve got and don’t want or need to change anything, whereas Wolf-Packs are NOT happy, hence they want to change things all the time, in pursuit of happiness, Nirvana for “all”.

I think Wolf-Packs are not as happy as lions, for lions conserve that which works and so to have greater strength and more resources, and teach what is deemed good to society, namely discipline and restraint, limited free will, you can think what you like, but you can say it that way at time, be sensitive, diplomatic, opposed to Wolf-Packs that have freedom of speech, they say what they like, “but never mean it”, if it comes flying back.

Then lions also aim to eliminate waste; by working hard, they don’t spend on brand names they don’t need, opposed to Wolf-Packs who use the excuse to just spend to impress, they both understand quality cost good money, they just use it differently. Change is imperative in all spheres of life, both sides grasp this concept, but interoperate it vastly differ. Now enter will, or will power and thereby we can open ourselves up for abuse, society’s norms of FREE WILL, and the use of majority “consensus” or rule, will dictate trends, designed to hide behind over indulgence with, if they do it everyone can do it, so let’s do it.

Wolf-Packs have to have a victim mentality, they love to complain, and preach to the converted all the time giving them “hope” and promising them some more change soon, going from one focus less ideology to another, seeking refuge and comfort in revolutionary ideology “one for all, and all for one” implying that the collective will benefit from change, so “let’s change everything!”. This is nothing new, ever since the beginning of time; we have had these two ideology’s pestering us with problems, or as Wolf-Packs term it “challenges”. Nietzsche: Indicated if a culture suffers from a lack of “uniformity” because of divergent ideology, and sub cultures, then stagnation and passivity will set in for sure. He was dead right; we see it in every nation, where there is no unification. This is exactly what is happening on a global scale. No one is unique or immune to this virus either. Unity is broken down, with the advent of immigrants, political exiles, and activists. However there is good news – “Then such a Culture can be healed”, healed not saved – and there is a condition to this; “if a majority of people rediscovers “critical thinking” – the “thinking about thinking.”, then unity will give way to ingenuity, and individuality will emerge and start to create creative healthy competition – entrepreneurship. History seems to contribute to informing strategy very well, we just choose not to see the relevance of the past, dictating the future. History has a bearing, because we can go back in time, and see how, vision and mission, have changed society at many specific intersects in time, we don’t have to repeat the same mistakes over and over in this cycle of golden and then dark ages of existence, “seven fat cows, and then seven thin ones” as with history that will for sure repeat itself. To this aspect of pessimism insofar as that it suggest that cultural decay is only a matter of time. Well the time is here; we have moved from a gold age and are now entering the dark ages again.

According to socio-biology we are programmed to do one thing here, and that is to maximize the proliferation of our genes – “go forth and multiply”. Well I think that we have done that very well, too well, and it’s a good time to cut back now, or we will be living on a rock soon. Wolf-packs tend to have big litters opposed to lions that have small. However, wolves share, and look after each other’s children, where raising lions dictate much time, effort and individual attention, and resource to develop lion cubs with. The striving for individuality, self-realization and self-preservation is the result of a biological program running; lions aspire harder to this than do wolves. So our biology just wants us to multiply…

Behavioural science on the other hand assumes that animal behaviour; forms a premise for our basic behaviour as well- it strives to sustain species by the mechanism of group selection. Okay, so now we can think on how to multiply, and we can choose whom to do it with – the fittest, to build the best gene pool. If this is true, then there is a selection process, then there might also be something like “a common interest of mankind” to make sure that the fittest will survive. Or at least thrive. But, according to socio-biology, group selection is an exception and not a rule. Wolves don’t practice selection, to such an extent and degree as do lions. In those cases where group selection does exist, it can be derived from the more fundamental rule of gen-maximization.

Now psychology enters; that deals with the mind. We are simple; we are no way nearly as complicated as we would like to believe when it comes to thinking, and procreating. It states that the conscious mind is badly informed about just about everything. The entirety of psychic processes is filtered and censored and only a small part becomes conscious. So we are in effect very complicated machines acting out rituals.

The thought processes in the brain are deterministic and the contingent processes on the quantum level cannot be influenced. This then brings me to the one thing “everyone” so dearly wants, for a lack of knowledge, free will. There is no room for free will in the microcosm – a miniature representation of something that describes how the smaller relates to the bigger picture. In other words; we don’t have the capacity to deal with freedoms un-limited, or free will for that matter, we are habitual creatures; we are just not designed for it.

So why aspire for this, if we can’t use it to benefit man kind. The greater the freedom, the higher the incidents of crime, and conflict, and the more violent society become… something to chew on. This would explain the high crime rates in countries that per-sue ultimate freedom… “We certainly don’t have much use for free will. Not in the sense we think.” Will is dictated and informed by, nature, nurture, needs, wants and political view… its simple; we have complicated it with the introduction of politics. Studies affirm this; In June, the neuroscientist Sam Harris claimed, “You seem to be an agent acting of your own free will.

The problem, however, is that this point of view cannot be reconciled with what we know about the human brain.” This aspect becomes imperative to strategist, in realising that golden treads extend right throughout our history that guides and informs our reasoning and our will – whether we have free will or not, we will act true to our programming and drives first… to have and make use of the powers we have at our disposal… Why was man then given choice? When it makes him do stupid things… so then he is not really better off or superior to animals, especially for having the ability to choose freely – to think and reason. Us compared to animals; they live simplistic habitual lives, they give what they take, and they only take what they need, to keep maintaining a gene pool.

Then we look at humans mimicking nature, like true lions, they scratch and claw trees – “tree huggers”, our nature conservationist people, that realise that we were not meant to evolve and multiply beyond a certain point like we have, and mainly this is the only reason we were given brains, to say stop, enough, opposed to striving for more resources and freedom to make more of us with, all technologically evolved to stretch life to its absolute limit, at such a high degree of unabated freedom, with unlimited freedom, to every individual, to the point where freedom un-restricted is now in effect designing our own demise and doom. Sick people are kept alive, but can’t contribute…

Why do we need so much freedom, if it comes without responsibility, restraint and or accountability…then its degrading the very moral fibre of society…and quality of life, can we still afford free will then? This also poses yet another problem Choices are informed – so this makes them fellable – firstly by needs and then want, when all your needs are fulfilled, then wants take over… Then we have our Nature and nurture; nature speaks to our character traits, that dictate choices and preferences in the main more pertaining to likes, and dislikes, food, colour, dress, manners, etc…, now enter nurture; our nurturing is our upbringing, our forming years, it comes from your schooling, religion, experiences, grooming, and peers, imprint on your own choice forming here. As adults we take position; mainly by choosing between two streams of though emerging Wolf-Pack or lion. Now let’s see how divergent these two stand in opposition; Lions profess to be living in the truth and about being open to the truth, to the reality of all situations of life and living, they view the world from a perspective of cause and effect, and contrary to belief they don’t have “closed minds” in order to be lions, no they have “critical minds”, they criticize, they give critique. In order for them to function, they seek to find the truth they need to live with, to create their understanding of reality.

Now the Wolf-Packs may argue that they too have open minds, but the real difference between the Wolf-Packs and lions are: 1) Wolf-Packs are only open to facts which they find them agreeable. The Wolf-Packs mind-set is one defined by having favorable public responses – to a variety of statements touching on economics, war and crime. They like to be the good guys, Wolf-Packist will agree that it feels wrong “when an employee who needs their job is fired”; “that it’s morally wrong that rich children inherit a lot of money while poor children inherit nothing”; and they describe themselves as often having “tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me”, implying they suffered this injustice two, they are in the same boat, even though they all wear designer labels and drive foreign luxury cars…when they can get the facts to point elsewhere, and fix the blame, they become heroes…they like to be seen as martyrs– and they like playing this card over and over. When in fact they are just opportunist, waiting for yet another a free meal.

Those on the left also agree that “peace is extremely important.” They believe that they have “understanding, appreciation and protection for the welfare of all people and for nature” and they feel “close to people all over the world.” Wolf-Packs generally “believes that offenders should be provided with counselling to aid in their rehabilitation.” Then why do we still all strive equally hard to attain the greater good, and are we all inherently born good, if so why do we do wrong, and do we all aspire for more of same?

Wolf-Packs—ideologically tend to repulse facts–their policy and responses are ineffective and bear no relation to reality or facts, its emotional decision making. Egocentric management styles, that not only represents the collective of Wolf-Packs manner, and experiences of men, trying to figure out man, and how to live with him, peacefully, but also on what grounds may I take from him, that’s also- justifiable.

Opposed to lions that respect each other’s stuff – property –although they likewise share a similar thought process, yet they come to different conclusions. George Lakoff of the linguistics department at the University of California at Berkeley argues that “ lions believe in individual responsibility alone, not social responsibility. Therefore, a lion and a traditionalist is not the same thing… lions don’t think government should help its citizens, and be charitable, we must work, each to his own trade. That is, they also don’t think citizens should help each other.” 2) lions believe that employees who “contribute more to the success of the company” should “receive a larger share” of the pie and they value “social status and prestige, control or dominance over people and resources.” The differences of opinion on war and peace are extreme, reflecting the importance of the hawk-dove split between the parties. Many on the right agree with few qualms that “war is sometimes the best way to solve a conflict” and that “there is nothing wrong in getting back at someone who has hurt you.”

Lions believe “that ‘an eye for an eye’ is the correct philosophy for punishing offenders,” and they endorse the view that “the ‘old-fashioned ways’ and ‘old-fashioned values’ still show the best way to live.” It feels wrong to them when “a person commits a crime and goes unpunished.” From the beginning, “respect for authority is something all children need to learn.” This might all seem obvious, but actually seeing how the world looks to the most representative members of the left and the right helps us understand why the gulf between the sides is so deep. They talk right past each other. Analyzing the hurdles facing Democracy in motion, the politics that influence our strategies, are the policies practiced on the streets, and in government… If, as is increasingly the case, left and right see their opposites as morally corrupt, the decision to cut the benefits or raise the taxes of the other side become easy – too easy — to justify. Do we still need choice or free will, does it in fact exist, or is free will just a political campaigning trick?

Man can indeed do what he wants, where he want, as he wants, but he cannot have all what he wants’, we learn the influence of our will from experience alone. No amount of rules can keep us safe from crossing over and doing bad things. And experience only teaches us, how one event constantly follows another, what gets rewarded and what gets punished. We are truly a planet of two types of beings, lions and Wolf-Packs recruiting sheep… The one thing that makes us all stupid is having the ability to choose. Strategy would have truly been a great thing without an abundance of “Politically” motivated choices. Again, with all politics, there’s that pesky “potential for abuse” which requires us to carefully regulate free will with our strategies, we don’t want people to bring their political views into play with strategy, strategy speaks to lions, but wolves need it more.

Choice or choosing right from wrong corrupts us all. Wolves are more daring, lions more careful, balance these two powers in your strategies. Choice is nothing else but an exercise in bias, (exercising a preconceived notion) for now enter all the kings of chaos; Free will, Rights, Religion, Reasoning, Morality, Law, Tradition, Education, Norms, Tendencies, Trends, Standing, Perception, Emotion and the list goes on… yes, choice has a tail that circles the earth many times, right to our first choice ever, in the garden, of creation.

So choose wisely the men and woman that you will be leading your strategies with…

Read my book; 

All the views and opinions expressed here are purely illustrative, and in no way reflect any views of any institution I belong to or affiliate with…

Critical aspects of system design; dealing with curvature

7 Sep

Critical aspects of system design; unpacking the sub-systems and forces in the system map:

What is your color, and how do you bend to fit in, especially with others and their culture, are you a rainbow culture or a solid one with one color?


# 1 – Culture;

Culture is a definition highly misunderstood and misused, thus the need for an explanation:

Culture refers to the following Ways of Life, including but not limited to:

  • Language : the oldest human institution and the most sophisticated medium of expression.
  • Arts & Sciences : the most advanced and refined forms of human expression.
  • Thought : the ways in which people perceive, interpret, and understand the world around them.
  • Spirituality : the value system transmitted through generations for the inner well-being of human beings, expressed through language and actions.
  • Social activity : the shared pursuits within a cultural community, demonstrated in a variety of festivities and life-celebrating events.
  • Interaction : the social aspects of human contact, including the give-and-take of socialization, negotiation, protocol, and conventions.

All of the above collectively define the meaning of Culture.

Then we have Organisational culture;

Organisational culture is an idea in the field of Organisational studies and management which describes the psychology of business theory; all the attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values (personal and or cultural values) of an organisation

With this as background.

We will explore the meaning and “fit” of it, the importance and uses of culture. Specifically organisational culture and its history. Important, and noteworthy, Organisational culture makes up the founding principles on which any organisation was/ is built.  It entrenches what the organisation stands for; strives for, hopes for, and we even find an ethnic culture, a religious culture, an ethics culture, all woven into the same fabrication … it does not stop here either…

We even find sub-cultures if we dissect what culture brings; it deal with all the things individuals bring, that lives just under the surface,  inspired by; gender, age, a value systems, social status, unionism, and lastly a recreational or social culture or a lack thereof.

All these aspects determine the core energy of the organisation. Energy comes from having a healthy balanced culture. From this energy and diversity we look for: innovation, creativity, leadership, agility and flexibility. We also want to grow an ergonomic working relationship that will lean itself towards, participative management and the need for CRITICAL THINKING and thinkers, to develop synergy of vision, mission, goals and team spirit.

Referred to as the organisational culture, the sum of all the cultures of the enterprise thrown together to form a corporate “VIBE” – or culture. Although it is a sub part of the bigger system, it is a key performance area. A very important part of the systems design, the human element and its dynamic in a system, this aspect can never be underestimated. If there is no discipline, either;

  • personal –
  • functional –
  • and or operational- discipline, then things crumble…

If hierarchy, clashes with culture, then mutual respect disappears from the corporate identity. We will also see disparity in work ethics, or a lack there off. Corporate culture influences the centre point of gravity, which could bring the organisation down if not sound or remedied.

It is not by chance that “Culture” and corporate identity was named as the number one attribute of success for any company, yes “number one”, for it is and should be the first aspect when designing a system to be given a critical review. If this one aspect is flawed at the route, then in essence people do not have the same levels of maturity in mind to see the bigger picture, then it all starts to revolve around me, me, me. Any sense of work ethic disappears, the proverbial “dry wood” appears, people will be slotted into positions they don’t have the capability for. This should be sorted out first, otherwise it will develop, into “bad blood” in the management caucus during the transition phase, because everyone is in this race for himself and I assure you it will carry through into the “new” system. So the old saying of garbage in, garbage out, well it still holds more truth here that what you could ever imagine.

The whole system and systems approach will forever keep struggling to get on to its feet, if the fulcrum it revolves around is weak, namely their “corporate culture”.

The point to make here is, even if you can have the best of the best of all things available too you, and you still do not have a sound corporate culture, it will all boil down to failure.

In order to change organisational culture for the better; you need to make a concerted effort to get to understand what every manager believes in, in every unit. This belief or paradigm will influence the type of culture that cascades from the top, if the top people have bad culture, get rid of them and fast, or influence their perception curvature.

Curvature refers to our personal horizons; the things we believe in, and how we promote this philosophy, how we see people, in relation to dealing with them and how they perceive themselves and view their reality of the organisation, especially at that point where things become future orientated and driven by their own inputs. Then we have friction, conflicting beliefs, views and beliefs. if we can solve this dilemma we are almost home free.

This aspect creates curvature; these curvatures will curve towards right or wrong, this is what you want to tap into. Influences from managers, on strategy and systems design stem from a culture, a belief, and values system they hold onto. This is the point where managers steer the course of corporate curvature. This is where the organisation looks at the horizon that reflects their future as “they” perceive it, influenced by the current way management is dealing with labour, managing resources and resolving or creating conflicting views and other issues.

Curvature is best explained as a rainbow; where every manager has an equal influence when working in harmony – in other words; when the “captains” / managers are creating a good working( corporate) culture, (and not sowing division, by bending curvatiures out of position) then they should be doing well in terms of building culture/ team work, then – they are “in-line with company politics and ethics. Flowing with the cultural curve/ curvature.

However, if they are not in harmony; then they create friction, and they start curving over each other, the influence of which creates a mixed up kaleidoscope, thus changing the color/ karma in the spectrum they are influencing (they impede the way that other mangers operate by interfering) this becomes a way of distorting others curvature. This relates to circumstances that influence people to veer left or right from the required norm, by having to follow the curvature of the influencing manager that is out of synchronisation.

These are the elements of “curvatures” bending, things that dictate how well we (as an organisation or as a person) will be able to:

  • Deal with the anxiety of events that fall outside one’s curvature of controlled Influence. Curvature bending is mostly attributed to uncertainty; this makes and causes people to feel out of control, they lose their sense of direction and or become anxious. Then they loose their color. They feel like a tree that has been uprooted by this strong wind of change, very helpless. If management fails to intervene, then it spirals out of control.
  • Imminent change of an uncertain nature falls outside the curvature of the norm and standard people were used to, things are now introduced that are no longer routine and known, we hear many managers say; “get them out of their comfort zones”, well here’s the truth. Studies have shown that comfort zones are the most productive sites and platforms for people to flourish in. If management and leaders are doing their intended jobs well, then this should not be a cause for concern, all this kind of talk just conjures up images of “Armageddon”. Beware of this aspect and keep people well informed, well supported and updated.
  • Threatening behaviour by management; where people are forced to go outside their own curvature of existence; by management imposing on family values and commitments; thus implying a possible lifestyle change, where they have to make the choice, between more time at work, and less time at home. Where a change in management style causes an actual change that affects their family life and or level of remuneration, all this pulls both at internal and external cohesion. Forcing more time at work and deductions, or scrapping of incentives this breaks morale, and team spirit.
  • Attacks on status and or prestige, will bend the persons character. Things that go outside the character curvature, so the person gets forced to go against his character, religious beliefs and or principles. Managers attacking peoples prestige and status, these are tags that people worked hard for and whereby other associate them with the organisation and its structures. Never degrade prestige, or prestigious titles, ranks, rewards and incentives ext.
  • A lack of motivation and interest is normally due to depression. Depression and stress are manifestations of disorder within the organisation and or private life, when combined, people feel squashed by their circumstances. A total move outside the reality curvature occurs, that sets in and causes disillusionment, which is passed on to fellow members in the team and family unit. It tends to spread like wildfire; don’t keep people in the dark. Don’t let them hang out in the wind either with empty promises. Never take all the work away from someone that was dedicated and hardworking and now ask him to do the training, or recruiting if it was not his passion. We kill work passion and ethic by splitting up work that belongs together, because it makes sense, but the cause and effect their off never gets focused on. Only the short term results that are obvious and cannot be argued stand as grounds for conformation of this “vindictive” move – defended as a “Strategic move by management” because we do things without consultation and mediation as management because we “can”, thus crushing the futures of people, they have set themselves up to get to their horizon, now it is no longer there. Be sensitive to old “covenants”, they have prevailed for years, and age differences, because of the way they function. People at grass roots, referring to middle management should be given the benefit of the doubt and only by proper orientation and consultation should their suggestions be swayed, in addition, other untested ideas implemented.
  • Where new systems, merge with new people, with new ideology, tempers and competition seem to be as fresh as well. Because the new clashing with the old and managers go outside the ambit of good norms and management values curvature. It all has to do with “newness”, where we size up the competition and seek out alliances. Some people value, values, so you need to bring in a value system that is accepted by all concerned. Others value prestige and will do whatever it takes to get it. New managers have the tendency to hide their inability by threatening and screaming and bullying. The fundamental principle of change mangers is mutual respect and empathy and a deep understanding of corporate culture. You attract more bees with honey, than with fire… What ultimately guides groups best is consistent, and good leadership, good command, and control. Someone willing to take critical and crucial decisions of his or her own accord – someone that can create momentum, without creating too much friction… This cannot be done by making stars rise and fall. The defining of true success resides in well-defined common goals that is challenging, if there is no challenge then the goals becomes obsolete. Challenges create excitement and in turn enthusiasm, success is not just measured in monetary terms, or by statistics, but in the ability to overcome as a unit. When creating this condition, there will only be a few that would still want to lead and lead well, call this the grinding process where we sift the weak from the strong, where only the strong of mind and the resilient of character will emerge as victors – and become leaders themselves, because they show resilience. Remember – people make people become stars, managers model them and not the other way around. Power depends on balance and support; so look at what is holding you up and remember that which holds you up, can also pull you down. Managers need to instil abundance, by advocating the rule; “You are only truly successful when you do what you do well consecutively, mainly because you are doing it by choice and through conviction, with the knowledge that what you do has meaning and importance to yourself and others and you can feel the significance and satisfaction by the amount of positive feedback you get and gratitude.” This covers section one on culture; we will still dig deeper into this aspect, however for now we need to understand that the way we design our frame of mind, will impact on the culture directly, which is the flipside to strategy. The point made here is that it is not just the function of strategy to plan but also to regulate corporate culture.

Empowerment of your strategic intent;

This is the first measure;

Finding people with true potential and then developing it along with culture; it is the pursuit of bringing out peoples true color. Some say, that, the greatest wealth of unused potential is to be found in a graveyard.

Well we have many corporations that are dead at the roots as well, resembling graveyards, lots of untapped potential, all color less. because they get overlooked, because of some bias in culture.  When formulating your strategy, make sure you always have a “strategic intent committee” of “Culture builders” that have been identified as future candidates, as future leaders within the company to come in at various stages in the development process. we develop culture by developing people alongside with it, as well as leaders. leaders don’t magically appear and become great. They need to be developed, by starting young, as Cadette executives maybe, to give inputs, critique, and perform realignment assignments. This builds the critical element of trust and performance culture, from grass roots up. As well as giving feedback to labour in general, about progress made –  perception management – is key to having a good healthy corporate culture, information is power, and kills off other trivial pursuits.

The second measure is to formulate the strategy in stages and at the end of each stage to have a presentation to level the strategic horizon again – so that everyone can see where we are going with this. The second measure or wave; Start up small process, get “people power” going, it is hard to get people into motion. However, if you have a “Need for Speed” then all you have to do is create the catalyst for speeding up processes; “NFS” – Norm, Form and brain Storm. To get that required speed going in the thought-processing department…in order to “Norm, Form and Storm”. One needs to actively invite participation at all levels right through. Nevertheless, you have to “Norm” first. Norming strikes at aligning peoples curvatures, getting people out of each other’s way, this normalises the situation towards open debate; by pushing people into a specific direction and this requires leadership skills.

Thirdly; Aligning curvature. As we discussed previously. Negative curvature creates connotations that stem participation. In addition, clearly explain the need for participation to formulate the scheme. By focusing the points/point for discussion and debate, by drawing up of action items. Keep things and communication structured. The forming of committees and groups may or may not be necessary to keep the continuity and harmony. Now we can start Storming, brain storming, not open debate that deducts from the effort, by interacting with one and other we break down barriers and form working relations. With continued interaction, we build relationships of respect and open judgment and participation. Storming helps eradicate unwanted perceptions by nipping it in the butt and getting it back in context. So if you have a lack of progress, you have to revisit your patterns that create success, the preludes to the big change. Now we need to look at patterns that create success.

More on patterns that create success in this book

Buy this book; https://bookstrategic.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/about-the-book/

get it here; https://bookstrategic.wordpress.com/category/about-the-book/

Read more on curvature here –

Design challenge to enable integrative comprehension of global dynamics

Draft http://www.laetusinpraesens.org/docs10s/thorns.php

%d bloggers like this: