Creeds and Truths


Keystone’s Creed

  • System think paramount
    • Solve social system issues before addressing component issues
    • Prosperity, security, psychological success, sustainability is the compelling purpose
  • Transparent transactions
  • Never attempt to defy a natural law
    • The impossibility of defying natural law stays impossible.
  • Never attempt to defy the principles of social system operations
    • Personalize
  • Actionable quality information
  • Scrutable connectivity to natural law
  • Responsibility/autonomy bond
    • Masterless men
    • Whoever picks the parts owns the behavior
    • Personal responsibility and individual liberty are the highest human values
  • Feedback-driven
  • Entropy extraction paramount
  • Gatekeep delusion-speak
  • No losers
  • Control by goal-seeking effectiveness


Authority-speak Creed

  • All imaginations are equally infallible
  • Operate the chain of command as if it worked as advertised
  • Groupthink is infallible, especially where it isn’t
    • Two infallible doctrines cannot occupy the same territory and time
    • Systems held infallible are exempt from the principles of self-regulation
    • The First Commandment
  • Shun implementation responsibility
    • Marginalize implementers
  • Ignore
    • The laws of nature
    • Outcomes, consequences
    • Entropy accumulation
    • Feedback
    • Disconfirming evidence
  • Rule-based operations
    • Freeze the connection of means to ends
    • Control by threats of punishment


When no one is supposed to think for themselves, they cannot act with intelligence. Complicit in OD, they can no longer bear to think about what they are doing in support of the organized thoughtlessness. The organization responds to proactive MitMs with implacable hostility, keeping them in their place by threats of punishment. Victimhood becomes a way of social life.

You can operate on the values of personal morals, self-image, contributions to society, and human dignity – loyalty to your clan – or you can serve the instincts of domination of the head shed in silence. You can’t serve both masters at the same time and avoid cognitive dissonance. Your self-respect is taken away along with your inalienable rights, for no reason other than that you value them so much, making your own actions pointless.

Head-shed Groupthink

  • If you don’t have an extraordinary claim, we’re not interested. Defense level One. Intellectual, rational
  • If you do make extraordinary claims, as we require, you must produce extraordinary evidence or we’re not interested. Defense level Two. Intellectual, rational
  • If you do produce extraordinary evidence, we’ll end the proceedings nonplussed. Defense level Three. Physical, irrational
    • We can’t discuss why we feel compelled to thwart your attempt to help the organization, goodbye.


To begin reconciliation, you need an open discussion of the very phenomenon of undiscussability. You need a safe setting to recognize the underlying truth that organizations operate on the basis of perceived power, not morality, and that you possess, by role, the organizational tangible economic power supply. Meanwhile, in the world of implementation, the operational reality of existence, the MitM faces the natural laws, monsters of indifference. Since no law of nature filters information, you can identify each discipline by knowing the variables the members tacitly opt to ignore.

When the organization creates the tension of cognitive dissonance by retaliating against silence-breaking, the organization reveals to all that it cannot stand truth in its midst. Everyone has a picture of the way organizations respond when confronted by an outspoken member who has observed organizational misconduct—and the rationalizations of its members who remain silent. It is not so much who goes outside the organization, it’s the MitM who appears to remember that there is an outside. To be a MitM, then, is to assert the social conscience in the midst of the dysfunctional organization. Understanding the inherent conflict between authoritative domination and social security helps to understand what is going on in your organization.

OD survivors abide the unwritten rules of membership:

  1. Never go around your boss
  2. Tell your boss what he wants to hear
  3. Drop what the boss wants dropped
  4. Anticipate what the boss wants
  5. Not only do not report, but cover up what the boss wants unreported


Once an organization loses its spirit of pioneering and rests in place, decay is the only possible outcome. T.J. Watson

Noble truths

A noble truth is an axiom that has worked 100% of the time in application for so long that you are no longer interested in its pedigree.

  • Natural law is the law of experience. Self-evident.
  • The only thing constant and ubiquitous across time is Universal Law
  • We have no social system dynamics that is not shared with every other species.
  • Allegiance to rules is mutually exclusive with responsibility for outcomes (Turing)
  • Responsibility and autonomy are two sides of the same coin.
  • Infallibility is in joint restriction with intelligence (Turing)
  • Ignoring process consequences snubs any process purpose.
  • Only variety subdues variety (Ashby)
  • Starkermann’s conclusions on social systems
  • Structure + work is essential for reducing entropy. In the end, everything succumbs to entropy.
  • Intelligence is appropriate selection – and nothing else (Ashby)
  • Intelligence is a function of the amount of quality knowledge developed. (Ashby)
  • All intelligence is a product of run, break and fix. (Ashby/Turing)
  • The longer entropy accumulations are ignored the faster they accumulate
  • Entropy can only be extracted in chunks
  • When the better institutions are getting better, the better they get the better they get – slow.
  • When institutions are getting worse, the worse they get the worse they get – fast.
  • On a personal basis, no form of behaviour is rational
  • You’re never on the same page. That’s what diverse redundancy is for.
  • Autonomy granted is inseparable from taking task outcome responsibility.
  • All employees manage upward
  • Any interaction of command with rank and file separated by three or more tiers is meddle management.
  • When infallibility is under siege, the utility function payoff is irrelevant.
  • All natural law based concepts and designs can be demonstrated FIBYBI
  • The best behaving systems are not composed of parts behaving at their best. (Ackoff)
  • Whoever picks the parts owns system behavior.
  • Damage done cannot be undone, sunk cost
  • The most productive human relationships are + – in frequent oscillation.
  • Failure produces angst. Success appears effortless.
  • In an institution, personality traits are inactive ingredients.
  • No matter how high the data pile, it points nowhere.
  • Getting a correct analysis is separate from knowing how to exploit it
  • With IA2 you are always bigger than the problem
  • The Plan B methodology works regardless of situation
  • Truth and trust are two sides of the same coin.

When you have been flattened by failure, you can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.

Noble Imperatives

A noble imperative is a generic instruction applicable in every situation.


  • Ask them to do what they cannot (Warfield’s Dictum)
  • Think natural law can be bent, ignored or avoided.
  • Be complicit in an attempt to defy natural law
  • Ask for divine intervention
  • Start before you know what success looks like
  • Try to outflank a joint restriction
  • Take an action attempting to defy a natural law. Wo sei
  • Pursue the impossible
  • Navigate by bogus information
  • Accept the mission statement as the mission
  • Trust the command of anyone with no skin in the game.
  • Take outcome responsibility without receiving autonomy in task action
  • Use story or case history to help justify theories already welded to natural law
  • Look for the solution in the wreckage heap



  • Establish responsibility for application fitness first.
  • Synthesize stoprules second.
  • Distinguish pursuits of the impossible from striving towards the attainable.
  • Pursue, tag and maintain quality domain knowledge. Identify the resolutions at which the relevant objects and entities must be measured and recognized.
  • Build towards incontrovertible by scrutably connecting to natural law.
  • Trust only those taking responsibility for design consequences. The only one with legitimate skin in the game is the designer.
  • Invent more and better complexity-reducing structures.
  • Plan to throw one away. And, then another.
  • Stay connected to the principle that people can’t be motivated to action. Your actions to motivate, well meaning or not, can only demotivate them. Your goal in your relationships is not to empower but to remove obstacles. (Scott Adams)

All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work. T.J. Watson

Note: “Managing upward” is the subordinate finding ways to subtly manipulate his superiors in order to prevent them from interfering with the subordinate’s productive activity or to generally limit the damage done by the superiors’ incompetence.

Jay W. Forrester on the mental models of  social behavior

Man acts at all times on the models he has available. Mental images are models. We are now using those mental models as a basis for action. Anyone who proposes a policy, law, or course of action is doing so on the basis of the model in which he, at that time, has the greatest confidence. Having defined with care the model contained herein, and having examined its dynamic behavior and implications, I have greater confidence in this world system model than in others that I now have available. Therefore, this is the model I should use for recommending actions. Those others who find this model more persuasive than the one they are now using presumably will wish to employ it until a better model becomes available.

It is to be hoped that those who believe they already have some different model that is more valid will present it in the same explicit detail, so that its assumptions and consequences can be examined and compared. To reject this model because of its shortcomings without offering concrete and tangible alternatives would be equivalent to asking that time be stopped. But the world will continue to turn. We always use the most acceptable model at any point in time. But how should we proceed so that the most acceptable model is also the best one that is available? We should try for three things. First, the best existing model should be identified at each point in time. Second, the best currently existing model should be used in preference to traditional models that may be less clear and less correct. Third, aggressive effort should be devoted to a continual improvement in the available models of the world system.

It seems traditional for explicit models of social systems to be greeted by vague criticisms about their lack of perfection. Instead, we need equally explicit alternatives with a demonstration that the alternative leads to a different and more plausible set of conclusions. By proposal and counter proposition our understanding of social systems can advance.

Views: 131