The Plan B bar is high. It takes a sprint and great effort to clear the bar.
The Extraordinary Plan A to Plan B metamorphosis process
The pole vault by the workforce from Plan A to Plan B, a phase change, has to be done right from the first step, in order to clear the high bar. The sprint starts in Braniac-controlled turf and is energized and navigated by Prudentia. This requisite, which attends all psychologically-based issues, is the reason Plan B was never discovered by mankind before. It is one thing to envision your Utopia, but quite another to move workforce producer society to it from Brainiac’s Plan A, a dissipative structure. Human history records at least a hundred implementations of Utopias. In spite of adequate budgets, every attempt crashed and burned. Few implementations lasted more than a year.
The usual culprit in trust-building failures is the blinding speed by which the subconscious mind, Brainiac, completes its decision cycle – from start to finish in less than a centisecond. That means in practice that if you don’t ace trust-building at the starting gate, the opportunity for Plan B success soon falls to zero. No trust, no Plan B. Trust-less societies cannot survive the onslaught of reality because they can’t manage the essentials of survival through disturbances.
To commence building high stakes trust you must first be angst-free and have your own act together, no exceptions. This requisite suggests you must first be a veteran of Plan B in order to discover system Plan B. It took decades of painful and erratic trial, redesign, and error to be prepared to recognize the miraculous occasion when it finally blossomed.
The knowledge development process that landed us on Plan B is not for the impatient. It begins with black-box testing of the system of interest. Known inputs into the system and the outputs delivered by the system provide the basic data. The logic then employed was first described 150 years ago by the polymath Charles Sanders Peirce. Neither deduction nor induction, it was the only rationale that drove progress. He called it abduction.
- The surprising fact C is observed from black box testing in the operational reality
- But if H were true, C would be a matter of course. H is conjured by individual imagination
- Hence, there is a reason to suspect that H is true
- Run black box testing for H
- Repeat with variations to validate
The road to Plan B was constructed from such individual conceptual spaces of social behavior which, as Plan B matured, became independent of them. When you have your act together, objective knowledge of reality is always developed in the long run through a repeated process of implementation, evaluation of performance, and redesign. The vindication of Plan B is in its use. Its higher truth is confirmed by facts.
The A-B “born again” enculturation process is implemented on the Plan A organization’s workforce roster as-is. Except for background turnover, these are the same people who will hyper-learn during the FLLP and be the implementers of Plan B’s prosperity. That’s proof positive it’s all psychological.
The entire FLLP program is focused exclusively on the keystone-level occupants. These MitMs are the one and only level in the hierarchy where reason and logic can enter the producing organization as operational norms. The keystone always goes into Plan B mode first. Establish trust with the keystones and most of your transposition problems dissolve. Keystones have their own elaboration page.
The front line leader program, conducted by the interventionist goes through three maturation stages.
- The Front End (TFE)
- The FLLP processes
- Exploiting the streaming benefits of Plan B
The complete FLLP syllabus
Process Milestone Sequence
The Front End
- Interventionist offer to deliver FLLP accepted
- Ground rules sign-off
- Plan A system baseline performance measurements
- Building high-stakes trust between interventionist and keystone commences
The FLLP keystone process
- FLLP by interventionist
- Angst blowdown: 2-3 episodes
- Getting the Plan B act together: 2-3 episodes
- Plan B benefits begin streaming: 1-3 episodes
- Keystones, by example and trust-building practices, bring their workforce out of Ca’canny mode
- Keystones practice Plan B at home, reaping benefits, positive reciprocity
- Basic benefit packages operational
- System performance measurements for before and after comparison
- Positive reciprocity beyond family life commences, Plan B secure
- Competitive advantage, harnessing the ingenuity of the revenue crews
The topical content of the FLLP as delivered in the 42 episodes with the keystones has its own page. There you will find the generic topical goals of the interventionist for each episode for seven seasons. Each participant receives a workbook listing the topics of the workout. As the interventionist fills the whiteboard with details, the keystone fills his workbook with notes and sketches as he sees fit.
The first episode of season one is sacred. It has been proven effective with raw recruits over 350 times to date and starting right is everything. The interventionist silence-breaking tricks at launch, always evoking the Ho Lee Schmidt reflex, are remembered for life.
Every episode features silence-breaking, concepts to test, and practical tools. The keystone, on his own cognizance, tries out the new goodies in his own work sphere after an episode. Early on, the at-ease keystones join the conversation give and take. The interventionist provokes the “quiet ones” in good humor until they add their stories and opinions to the pot. This learning environment helps everyone. That’s how the FLLP constantly improves.
It is… easy to be certain. One has only to be sufficiently vague. Charles Sanders Peirce (1879)
The platform for the FLLP and Plan B is high-stakes trust. Building and sustaining trust is a mainstream endeavor. The first requirement to proceed is that you have to have good health and your own act together. Trust is a 100% subconscious mind affair, an opinion formed by your Brainiac.
Learning and practicing the Rogerian triad takes time and effort. Since trust is decided by Brainiac in an instant, every instant, it has to be spot on at the first encounter. Everyone learns about subconscious mind decision speed when they are betrayed by someone they trusted. You switch from benevolence to vengeance in one heartbeat.
Mastering high-stakes trust building pays off all day every day, anywhere you happen to be. The topic has its own page on this website under the MitM gallery and appears in many other pages. Like the keystone, trust is an umbrella factor in Plan B. Securing and maintaining trust is about 80% of Prudentia’s workload to sustain Plan B prudency.
Unless man has a natural bent in accordance with nature’s, he has no chance of understanding nature at all. Charles Sanders Peirce 1877
Engineering the evolution of Plan B
The social hierarchy behavior matter-of-fact is that humanity had 12K years and 15 billion individuals working from base “Plan A” to resolve the menace of Plan A. It suffers the consequences for failing to solve it with Establishment-approved methods. It is also a demonstrable fact that the Plan B solution to the Plan A carnage exists.
The question the two facts immediately raise is: What is the distinguishing difference between the efforts that failed for 12 millennia straight and the methodology that demonstrably succeeded? This question has been given a lot of thought because its answer is both a call to action and a description of the actionable A-B transposition process.
The only tangible result of giving the question to a thousand of our peers, so they could contribute towards answers, has been to zero-out our Rolodexes. The zero response did add a data point to our deliberations. Avoiding the keynote question supports the fact that the methods of organized humanity failed to solve the Plan A problem for 456 generations. In contemplating the distinctions, we are left with our instincts, knowledge, direct experience, and the process of elimination. Clearly, the cause of Plan A calamity, by entitlementers, is well above the mentor line while its mechanisms of action deliver consequences below the mentor line.
The Plan B solution did not evolve from the arts and sciences of civilization, huddled as they are beneath the mentor line. Looking back at our decades-long struggle, we got good advice from our mentors, but no solutions. Chris Argyris, for one, patiently schooled us in the requisite characteristics of Plan B, which proved out to be on-target, but he never got there himself during his lifetime of head-shed consulting. John N. Warfield, for another, provided non-stop criticism and advice on our erratic journey to Plan B for decades, but he could never accept our evidence that top-down was a fatal assumption.
In retrospect it was traditional arts and sciences that informed us about the Plan A dilemma and provided context, but the only navigational aid that bore fruit towards plan B was the mathematical physics of engineering practice. We’re licensed professional engineers and members of our respective disciplines in good standing, but there is no discipline for systems-think engineering, our acquired forte, necessary for Plan B attainment.
In systems think, there are no discipline borders, no science borders, no rules, no ceilings. The only constraint is indifferent natural law and invariant human nature. Systems-think engineering is the most effective self-correcting discipline on the planet.
The fact that no consumers want in on this social-engineering, sociotechnical stuff, doesn’t mean that the principles of engineering don’t apply to consumer social relations. Likewise, the fact that every social science wants no part of the engineered Plan B solution has no bearing on Plan B application effectiveness.
It was engineering-think that made the distinguishing difference for attaining Plan B. Science had its chance for millennia and blew it. Rudolf Starkermann, professor of control engineering at UNB provided the dynamic simulator that connected mathematical physics to hierarchical behavior. In the end, we were the only loyal apprentices he had.
- Above the mentor line for causation
- Conscious mind gatekeeper
- Proactive offensive
- Self-correcting process
- Inalienable rights predominant
- Rapid, tangible payoffs
A booster rocket
For getting here on your own, you’ve earned a navigational aid assembled from natural law that you can put to valuable use immediately and often. It is the concept of a self-correcting process of goal-seeking that will, sooner or later, take you to the destination. It is fully generic, systematic purification that works for anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Self-correction processes require a detailed goal specification for navigational reference. The destination has to be described in terms that support map-making from a situation hostile to self-correction to a condition where self-correcting operation is a way of life.
Throughout your adventure it will be necessary to size up the social situation correctly, so as to prevent big setbacks. You know that how you interact in a trustworthy situation is quite different from how you deal with a situation populated with individuals you distrust, playing a contrived zero sum game that potentates can’t lose, adds to the problem. The simplest and most fail-proof sorting criterion is producer/consumer. Producers will gather about, consumers will flee.
The social system of consumers is dead set against self-correction, worshipping the authoritarian status quo, is perforce running on blind drift by impetuous, entangled subconscious minds filled with fiction and cognitive bias. This Plan A situation channels your options into a defense based on an appropriate offence. You may not solve the particular problem of Plan A, but you will remain intact.
The social system centered on self-correction, in contrast, is navigating by the difference between its position and the goal. To avoid the noose of GIGO, it requires ground truth and a workforce functioning on a high-stakes trust basis. The operating mindset is striving to improve performance, resolving the errors as you go. An organization that cannot self-correct is hostage to a dismal future. As you know, sometimes its end is reached by progressive deterioration, most of the time it implodes.
Truth (trust) is the fundamental operational requisite. There is no form of life which does not trade in trust (truth) and this redundancy property of truth (trust) makes trust (truth) part of any social intercourse that merits the name. Trust is the belly of prudence, of Plan B
Elaboration on “self-correction”
The “self-correcting thesis” of polymath Charles Sanders Peirce contended that science has at its disposal certain methods that were self-correcting and would therefore lead to its statements, in the long run, to converge with truth:
Truth is that concordance of an abstract statement with the ideal limit towards which endless investigations would tend to bring scientific belief. The opinion which is fated to be ultimately agreed to by all who investigate is what we mean by truth, and the object represented by this opinion is the real. CSP 1895
Induction methods are self-correcting. They are modes of reasoning which adopt a claim as approximate because it results from a method of inference which, through goal-seeking implementations, must eventually lead to the truth. This is the status, exactly, of Plan B. The benefits of Plan B coincide with the predictions for a Plan B implementation. The risk of failure has been zeroed.
Engaging the front lines of the operational reality every day, places engineering paramount in self-correction methods. While social science, for one example, is nowhere to be seen in this arena of progress-making,. Science, in general, is not in the “real” problem-solving business. The disciplines of science act to maintain a class distinction above vulgar engineering. If you have to get your hands dirty in your work, you don’t belong.
There is simply no escape from the fact that determinations of progress must be made relative to a certain set of ends and that there is no uniquely appropriate set of those ends. Goals can be evaluated on the basis of reconciling theory and practice. When claiming to be pursuing the stated goal, actions and actual choices must coincide with attainment. If the task actions imply the pursuit of a different objective, POSIWID.
When we find ourselves in a situation where there is tension between our explicit aims and those implicit in our actions and judgments, we are naturally under significant pressure to change one or the other, or both. On pain of being changed with inconsistency (not to mention hypocrisy, dishonesty, etc.) the rational person, confronted with a conflict the goals he professes and the goals that appear to inform his actions, will attempt to bring the two in line with each other. (Larry Laudan 1984)
Twelve millennia of total failures to address the Plan A carnage puts Plan A squarely in the not self-correcting category. We contend this perfect record of failure is due to the fact that all Plan As are constructed and operated by subconscious, entangled minds executing a genome formula evolved over eons to preserve hunter/gatherer nomads. It is impossible for the subconscious mind to know or deal with reality, truth itself. It functions by GIGO-driven reflex. It has no goal specification of the attainable state. How can a society succeed when it only has failure for navigation? Well, it can’t. POSIWID
The history of humanity has no examples of self-correction in Plan A hierarchies. It is, however, replete with examples of correction avoidance, preferring organizational extinction to change for the better. Plan A societies are run by entangled subconscious minds where every choice of action is based on fiction and cognitive bias and the calamities generated are covered up.
Plan A, drenched in the delusions of infallibility, is the opposite of self-correcting. An ideology predicated on 2½ rule violations and holding significant matters as undiscussable, saturated with distrust from top to bottom is not the stuff of self-correction.
History’s Success Reference
The singularly-successful apprenticeship model is based on the assumption that competence cannot be acquired through verbal communication alone. Competence is partly situational and improvisational. It can therefore be challenging for the master to find the balance between demonstrating how to complete an assignment and explaining it with words. Visualization, demonstration, observation and imitation are his principal techniques.
- Participation in a community of practice: The apprenticeship takes place in a social organization, for instance a community of craftsmen. The apprentice learns by participating in a group of competent practitioners of a craft. The novice advances from “peripheral legitimate participation” to “full participation”, and gradually becomes a more competent member of the professional culture. Mentoring is done all the time in these communities, but it is not considered a separate activity. Reflection and action take place side by side. Mentoring does not follow a universal formula, but is adapted to the specific situation.
- Professional identity: The apprentice learns by completing practical assignments that gradually become more difficult. The professional identity is developed through the process of mastering new skills. The reflective conversation should take place soon after the assignment, or it may not have the desired effect.
- Learning through imitation of the master: The novice observes and imitates the work of the master or other skilled workers in a community. The mentoring process follows a traditional pattern, starting with the master demonstrating the correct execution of an assignment. The apprentice then starts to practice, and is corrected by the master until he/she is proficient at the skill. The master will often give more in the beginning of the process and gradually less.
- The quality of the work is evaluated through practice: The quality of a product is judged on its functionality and the customers’ feedback. The master governs the accumulated knowledge of the particular craft, and has developed subtle and complex criteria for the evaluation of craftsmanship. These criteria, however, are often characterized by tacit knowledge and are therefore not articulated. It´s therefore the master who selects the assignment which are appropriate for the apprentice.
The interesting thing is that the main function of the guild was not to produce goods or fix techniques ‘per se’ – those were supporting roles to the main function of the guild. The guild existed to serve a singular purpose: to train Apprentices. Bringing in and bonding Apprentices ensured a continuity of quality workmanship, consistent goods being produced, and traditions being maintained. Thus, the role of the Guild was not to form rules, mores, regulations, and laws with respect to their crafts; their role was to introduce a system of art or craft to a new individual, to instill in them the idea of standards, quality, consistency, and perfection. Their goal was to expand their horizons and technical knowledge in a specific area so they might provide for their towns as well as their families. Guilds and guild members served the community as much as they served themselves. This is the kernel of Plan B.
Master/apprentice can work so well because roles are delineated. People in these roles want to play them, rather than feel they have to. A high-functioning master-apprentice relationship is about working together on-the-job, reflecting experience back into the conversations in a structured way, welcoming the interdependence, recognizing the mutual benefit and the shared accountability.
In the FLLP, the interventionist identifies with every keystone on a personal basis as master/apprentice. He is their guardian of inalienable human rights. His job is to make sure his apprentices succeed. Security assured, the apprentices reciprocate in kind.
The engineering perspective
The only process that could ever get to Plan B existence had to be a self-correcting one. If Plan B process was not self-correcting, Plan B would never have been attained in 2013. The engineering process is unique in that its various constructions exist, its weapons win wars, its airplanes fly.
The venerable engineering process features black box testing and run, break, and fix (RBF). Self-correction requires eternal vigilance for error detection and timely response with effective measures. That means social system dynamics must be subject to experiment. Dynamic simulation of reality is the learning process for getting from Plan A to Plan B. It is also how Plan B is sustained. All self-correcting processes are totally dependent on truth (trust), AQI, and timely feedback. It requires actualization by the conscious mind.
When you accept the self-correction benchmark of goal attainment as true, you have enormously simplified the endless task of characterizing social systems. It is easy to detect the lack of self-correction capability. The mere existence of angst, of undiscussables, of escalation of dysfunction, settles the evaluation. It is also easy to detect the self-correction activity of Plan B by the incessant gains in productivity and the huge drop in turnover.
Since self-correction is married to trust (truth) for life, it’s a happy scene. In Plan B, errors are simply stepping stones to prosperity advancement. Classification sets the parameters for how you behave. Since you cannot trust Plan A with the truth, you cannot help them get better. The goal there is to do no harm. This is where stop rules come in to protect and exercise your inalienable rights.
If you consider yourself a MitM, you can continue at your own pace. Everything is study, comprehend, and test in the operational reality. Redesign your approach based upon your results and repeat. Now that Plan B exists and hundreds of veterans are available for coaching one on one, you do not have to find your way, as we did, by trial and error. Your adventure need not be painful and erratic. For Plan B development news.