No matter how you view Plan A it’s still Plan A.

Foreword

The MitM transposition experience can only take place in the hyper-learning setting. That means getting to Plan B status is not a solo performance. The MitM engaging the FLLP is surrounded by his fellow MitMs going through the same process. It is a social metamorphosis.

The walkthrough follows a packet of MitM peers travelling together with the interventionist/guide from Plan A towards Plan B. No others are in the setting where hyper-learning takes place – a stop-rule provision.

The interventionist does all the upfront work. When the stop rules are issued, he begins one-on-one visits with every member of the MitM group, in situ at his workplace. Personalization by the interventionist, before the episodes start, is part of high-stakes trust building. As in all hyper-learning, the FLLP runs on a mutual-trust basis. All else fails.

The walkthrough follows the Plan B sequence of learning. There are three major milestones along the path to the payoff; restoration, implementation, and accumulation. The focus at any slice of time is always on getting to the next milestone, nothing further. Each journey between milestones is its own unique challenge, structured by the Ackoffian Triad. Getting to Plan B is not one seamless campaign but a series of bite-sized campaigns in tandem, each one building upon the previous attainment.

Since no website can provide the necessary hyper-learning setting, have no expectations for reaching Plan B via documentation alone, hard-copy or electronic. Getting to the Plan B state is a sprint, not a marathon, and a pole vault.

Preparing for the FLLP

The long history of management abuse of foremen makes the stop rules a necessity. Management can be trusted only to behave as groupthink management. It rightfully fears foremen becoming aware of the intrinsic power the foremen have, conveyed by their role, to determine the prosperity of the organization. As experience teaches, the critical point is reached when management learns the FLLP is delivering its promises. Management will either stay disconnected, as required, or break the stop rules, ending the FLLP. As PEs, the conditions of our license require withdrawing from the engagement.

The “Front End” scope of work by the interventionist, necessary to run a successful FLLP, is critical to Plan B installation. He arranges for the hyper-learning context and arranges for management “acceptance” of the stop rules. Nothing takes place with the MitMs until the stop rules are in place. The interventionist is in it for the outcome, not the income.

All MitM participants in the A-to-B process enter the learning arena as psychologically-damaged goods. The milestone after the front end is to restore the MitMs to the open-minded, inquisitive condition they were born with. The subject matter to be injected into the MitM class via hyper-learning follows the need to reach the next milestone.

This knowledge is injected in phases into the MitM vectors-in-restoration by the interventionist during the FLLP. Many of the items marked Ḧ are known by the MitMs, but generally undiscussable in Plan A conditions as Ḧeresey.

  1. Top priority in Season 1: Episodes 1&2
  2. High priority in Season 1: Episodes 3-6
  3. Introduced in Season 2
  4. Peripheral

Ḧ- Heresy

Top Priority – 1

  • Rogerian triad, personalization ❶
    • Platinum rule ②
  • A network phenomenon ❶
    • Autonomous desynchronization ②
  • 2½ rule ❶ Ḧ
    • Limits of management scope ②
  • Great divide ❶ Ḧ
    • Delusion implementation ❶ Ḧ
    • Yin/Yang attractors ②
    • Abstract tangible ❶
    • Subconscious rule-based v conscious performance-based ②
    • Mentor line ②Ḧ
    • FF ❶ Ḧ
    • Value systems of groupthink management ❸
      • Reaction to Plan B ❸
    • The A-B Delta Chart ❶ Ḧ
    • The 2nd Law ❶ Ḧ
      • Entropy Extraction ❶
      • Infallibility ❶ Ḧ
      • Groupthink Ḧ
    • Information quality ❶
      • GIGO ❶ Ḧ
        • Opacity v transparency ②
      • Lies ②
    • Hyper-learning context requisites ❶ Ḧ
    • Power ≠ authority ❶ Ḧ

 

High Priority – 2

  • Natural laws ②
    • Gödel Einstein ②Ḧ
  • Control theory ②Ḧ
    • Stability laws ②Ḧ
      • Gain ②Ḧ
    • Ashby ②
      • POSIWID ②
    • Shannon communication ②Ḧ
    • Systems think ②
    • Incontrovertible, failure proof ②
    • Ackoffian triad, front end ②Ḧ
    • Activities in Plan A absent in Plan B and vice versa ②Ḧ
    • Responsibility/autonomy ②Ḧ
    • Intelligence amplification ②Ḧ
    • Innovation amplification ②Ḧ
    • Ca’canny ②
    • Subconscious mind attributes ②
    • Recidivism Nash ②

Season 2 Priority – 3

  • Inalienable rights. Psychological success ❸ Ḧ
  • Subconscious ❸
    • Gatekeeping ❸
    • Triage ❸
    • Negative characteristics ❸
  • Warfield’s dictum ❸
  • Connectance ❸ Ḧ
  • 36% Turnover Rule ❸
  • Social conditioning ❸ Ḧ
  • Legal ❸
    • Conditions of license ❸
    • Deliberate ignorance ❸
    • Crimes of command/obedience ❸
    • Stop rules, professional license ❸
  • Endocrine/immune systems ❸
  • Plan A MoA history ❸

Peripheral

  • Leadership
  • Credentials
  • IQ
  • Morals, ethics
  • Golden rule
  • Tradition

 

Salute to the Kernels

The kernels collections are the topics infused by the interventionist as the FLLP progresses from Restoration to Implementation and on to Accumulation. The interventionist will introduce the kernels customized to the “class” as he continues to learn about individual MitM needs from one-on-one discussions in the workplace attending every episode. You are not expected to learn the kernels from reading the website material. The interventionist shows you how to test a kernel in your own social envelope. That’s the only way you get to own the knowledge.

The English pioneers

A review of MitM history will help to understand why sophisticated preparation is necessary to stage the FLLP.

Foreman were ignored, demonized, and attacked from the advent of the industrial revolution in 1750 England forward. The history of the foreman role is fragmented, sporadic, and biased – as if foremanship was an obsolete fad. The Establishment, devoured by the compulsion to deskill and subordinate the working class, steadfastly refused to treat the revenue crew as a lived relationship between creatures of flesh and blood. Aristocrats want foremen to be insignificant, harsh, arbitrary, despotic, and interchangeable persons – all the while the role calls for the keystones to be the “tsar of productivity.”

In the USA literature, the phrase “man in the middle” first pops up after the civil war when the industrial revolution shifted into high gear. For over a decade, absentee factory owners gave the foremen free rein to run the mills , so flak from above was seldom a factor. As the number and size of industrial corporations grew, the foremen class was often recognized for its key, critical role in revenue generation and stability. At first, foremen were well rewarded for their role in social system prosperity. Because of the 2½ rule, that role cannot change. In effect, the laws of Nature prevent any other hierarchical functionary to deliver prosperity. Personality and discipline competency have nothing to do with Plan B.

In the 1890s, after Taylorism started spreading, management encouraged education of their front line leaders, MitMs, in the art and science of foremanship. Support by big industry materialized through contributions to the YMCA to set up and operate foreman clubs for training. These clubs were highly successful and noted champions of Taylorism, like Harrington Emerson, traveled from club to club orating at YMCA convocations of foremen. The lead role played by YMCAs in organized foremanship training lasted until after WWI.

When labor unions became major players in industrial expansion, the foreman class was intentionally marginalized. Lawyers on both sides of the management/labor negotiating table excluded foreman – because they were recognized as being on both sides (MitMs) of the table. Let the unbroken history of anti-foremanship aggression by the Establishment be a clue.

In 1938, the CIO established a foreman division for negotiating contracts with management. It lasted a little over a year. Recognizing their critical role in industrial productivity for wartime, the government stepped-in during WWII, as it did in WWI, to educate and reward foremen. Foremen formed unions and negotiated separately with management.

The published, realized effect of foremen unions was an increase in workforce productivity of 25%. Behold. Let the failure of this monster windfall benefit to draw due attention to the critical role of foremanship be a clue about management groupthink.

This brief interlude of collaborative foreman power was so successful for foremen and their organizations, demonstrating the exclusive capability of foremanship to make the company prosperous, the ruling class overruled Truman’s veto of Taft-Hartley in 1947. The organized-foremen run, closed down by Taft-Hartley, is still dead. So much for windfall profits as a head-shed incentive to respect human rights and make money at the same time. Let the Taft-Hartley atrocity committed by the potentate class on MitMs be another clue to the loaded dice.

1909 Graphic: The Man in the Middle

The MitM/foreman role is the center of the “hourglass” between the workforce (implementation) and management (delusion) because a steep hierarchy cannot function any other way. The MitMs represent and connect both “sides” of the unavoidable language divide to each other and neither to themselves. Robbed of their capacity to withstand the strain of the role, MitMs are caged in a societal no-man’s-land designed and policed by the ruling classes.

No level in the hierarchy requires a broader span of knowledge and competency to fulfill the hierarchical role (FF) than the MitM. The 1909 hourglass representation just scratches the surface. Every book and article about foremanship devotes a third of its content just to enumerating the various responsibilities of the MitM. To this day, whatever anyone thinks ought to be done that doesn’t fall squarely in their own narrow slot is tossed over the wall to the foreman. Corporate finance? He should be familiar. Worker relations? He should be an expert.

While one viewpoint calls this ubiquitous practice a cop out, the fact of its necessity defines the MitM role. Of course the head shed and general staff can know nothing of implementation. Of course the laborer knows nothing of high finance. Of course everything has to come together to make the organization viable. Where else can this merging of the two disparate worlds, the FF built into every social system, take place but at the center of the hourglass? A government bureaucracy?

Take a breath:

Realize that the MitM squeezebox driving you bonkers is no accident, no miscarriage of the fates. That it is perforce the goal of the upper classes is aligned with potentate groupthink. You will see that foreman abuse, as seen from the aristocratic level, is the only means they have available to tolerate their cognitive dissonance about authority being disconnected to power. The takeaway is: never give the aristocrats the benefit of the doubt.

Realize also that organizational dysfunction always increases with time, often exponentially. Because you see corrective action in other systems, you may think the wreckage and human debris of OD is self-limiting – that when the damage becomes so large it threatens the continuation of the organization itself, the perpetrators will pull back. Destroying the company is not a limiting factor in choosing remedial action. Running the company well is not even in the top ten of motivations. The takeaway is: in Plan A, bad conditions only go to worse

Resume thinking

It is the role of the MitM/foreman to take the abstract, delusional, intangible “stuff” in the top of the hourglass and, positioned at the orifice where it all passes through, turn it into the tangible “stuff” of task actions in the workplace – transmuting straw to gold as it were. The lesson about the social hierarchy to be learned from this transmutation role is that both sides of the hourglass use the MitM as a punching bag. Where you might think the MitM should be appreciated for his essential functionality, the reality is that he is denigrated at every turn. When you accept this fact, you have begun to understand the weird and counterproductive world of organizational dysfunction (OD). Rational and pragmatic it is not.

The foreman/vector/ front line supervisor is the intermediary between capital and labor and embodies the complexity of the labor relationship and the ambiguous (delusional) boundaries of class. The MitM confronts each of their divergent expectations, hopes, fears, representations of self, and assumptions about the square deal – head-on. He is the primus inter pares of the organization. He knows that positive reciprocity, the goal, can only exist when relations of power, not authority, are balanced. He is a study in how the workforce is managed in Plan B.  He knows that the “drive” system of discipline and punishment only produces animosity.

The sordid history of MitM creation and abuse is proof positive that the Establishment has always known about the built-in unilateral power of the foreman role. It has deliberately punished the front-line supervisor, the MitM, the source of its revenue, resenting the fact, never to be admitted, that authority and power are unrelated social phenomena. So, to deal with cognitive dissonance. it employs its granted authority to revile and castigate the foreman until he acquiesces to accept a fake, inferior role.

The salutary effect of his act of submission on management ego is short-lived, however, with reality soon calling for booster shots. Every MitM knows the drill. Any MitM can recite the endless organizational inanities and ironies in their work experience, alone or in choir.

Once the foreman accepts his fake inferior status to his superiors delusional  “power” as divine will, when management penalizes the foreman for being inferior, there is no pushback of reasoning. In this way, the potentates of steep hierarchies create their human punching bags. This behavior is associated with insecurity and self-image issues that are inherent in their false authority/power assumptions. Authority is powerlessness. Authority never built the equivalent of Plan B prosperity. You can be sure authority never produced Stonehenge or Khufu’s pyramid.

Groupthink instructs that the more authority they exercise, the more power they possess. Believing in their intrinsic infallibility, “why else would they have awarded me unrestricted authority?” Their unavoidable collision with the operational reality produces an endless dose of cognitive dissonance. Even the best autocrats are neurotic.

Taylorism tried valiantly to bypass the foremanship role, spending billions in the attempt, called “functional foremanship.” Rudolf Starkermann first demonstrated that the position of the front-line supervisor is a universal constant set by mathematical physics. Nature, an equal-opportunity tyrant, deaf to persuasion, punishes any and all defiance.

In the 20th century, for another clue, the Establishment went out of its way to disperse and destroy workforce history. The literature showed treatment of the workforce by management to be worse than slavery – tantamount to genocide. All sorts of inhumane conditions of workplace toxicity, hours, and wages were noticed and documented. Even politicians decried the brutal workplace practices that were taking the lives of their constituents. The persistent atrocities led to legislation like Workman’s Comp, which answered some of the abuse by adding the wreckage created to the cost of doing business. It is a Plan A tax we still pay.

Plan A encourages corruption, exploiting the doctrine of deliberate ignorance, as a conspiracy to deceive.

Think of Business as Usual, Plan A, as a bank robbery in process. The crooks need undisturbed time to carry away the loot. As long as the actual transfer can go on undisturbed, the robbery will be successful. What the robbers do not want is to be discovered during the heist. The stakeholders should think of their risk as an ongoing robbery.  They should assume corruption. If their safeguard is built on the assumption that the place is crooked, it will monitor ongoing activity to see that it is appropriate to purpose. There is no need for faith and trust. These are hallmarks of your garden variety corrupt corporate governance system. If you avoid the enablers, you do not need to trust.

Digitizing book-collection efforts by Google and others, enabled us to reassemble most of the large library. It’s all in .pdf on a 16G thumb drive you can have for the asking. Anything published after 1925 when the academics took over, with the blessing of the Establishment, misses the point. Not one of our great mentors, such as Chris Argyris, ever knew the early history of OD had been recorded! No university holds a collection more than 5% of the library on the thumb drive.

 

 

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