The Enchanting Collective
The Enchanting Collective (Plan B), TEC, is material, physical and dynamic, vibrant. With corporeal reality and venerable principles of social action in play, the invitation is always out for your onsite examination and evaluation of Plan B dynamics. Since Enchanted Collectives (EC), another label for Plan B, can’t be moved, everyone and anyone is invited to audition them in situ. The invitation includes every stage of Plan B development in real time. There are several hundred active Plan B inhabitants and M2 (magnificent metamorphosis) veterans available to interview. For learning, nothing beats face to face dialog while witnessing the work of the organization in process.
You can examine the realization and continuation of the substantial, wide-ranging Plan B benefits package. You can audition the methodology by which dysfunctional organizations (ODs) are transmuted into ECs, starting at day one of the M2 process. The first transmogrification from OD to EC (2013) is at a large industrial complex with a thousand employees, firmly in the beautiful climax stage of social functioning we call positive reciprocity. This marvel is open for audition and authentication 24/7. As the past is dead and the future is imaginary, Plan B behavior can only be experienced in the present.
The physical context of Plan B is real and real people are executing procedures within it. Individuals who contribute to and sustain TEC are warmly personalized. As book three discussed, the process of transmutation from OD to TEC is real and it is quick – think sprint, not marathon. The wide-ranging EC benefits package includes productivity, quality, availability, safety, loss reduction, turnover, competitive advantage, competency with disturbances, new opportunities, morale, regulatory compliance, corruption, management workload relief, and public relations. The package is real and measurable.
There is plenty of time after you assure yourself that transmutation goal Plan B is authentic to delve into its socio-technological backbone. It is the platform of principles, a doctrine shared by Plan B members that facilitates collaboration, cooperation, coordination, and correlation in goal-directed task action.
For those who refuse to host an inhouse demonstration or audition transmutation goal Plan B – IRL, in real life as the texters say, it should be clear that rejection of the invitation to first-hand transmutation Plan B experience in no way controverts the Plan B ideology, paradigm, algorithms, or principles. Refusal examples the final barrier, discussed in book three.
At this point in storming the castle, the subconscious mind of the socially-conditioned antagonist takes over – immediately crashing into his own psychological defenses. It erroneously places real transmutation goal Plan B into the same category of the non-real as Eden, Nirvana, Shangri-La, utopia, paradise, Valhalla, heaven, Arcadia, and Avalon – fantastical fiction, science fiction on steroids.
In the fantasy world of the Happy Hunting Grounds, a world without material expression, and because it is thereby immune from the 2nd Law, things are wide open to debate and arguments about its premises of “perfect” and “infallible” society. One person’s fantasia about paradise can never be congruent with another person’s notion of social system perfection. “Your doctrinal imperfection exposed, in my eyes, is intolerable to my infallible notion of an infallibly-perfect society.” In this way, cognitive dissonances over trivia are all it takes for Missionary Baptists to convince themselves that all Methodists are going to hell.
As you learn about Plan B operational reality, avoid referencing your notions about utopia to Plan B. Comparing real-time EC against fantastic, delusional “perfections” is not objective comparison. In fiction-land, opacity and deception are mainstream groupthink. Plan B is obsessed with implementation.
To make progress, evaluate Plan B against the natural laws of the material universe. Examine and witness the core principles by which TEC functions. Since the ultimate reality of Nature Herself is Her 2nd Law, the most secure natural law in the entire collection, it always heads the list. In Plan B, dealing with the 2nd Law, extracting entropy, makes transparency and brute truth essential. It is the 2nd Law, increasing disorder at atomic scales and fractal from there out beyond solar systems, which degrades perfection and infallibility as fast as you can do the work to shore it up. You are always shoveling progress against the relentless, incoming tide of disorder – arriving at all the levels at once.
The most real force field in the universe does not respond to deception or groupthink delusions. Natural laws are deaf to persuasion, making the most irrational act of Homo sapiens the attempt to defy a natural law. Does defying mathematical physics somehow make you more omnipotent than divinity? Does creating the illusion of defying natural law build public esteem? Did the Wright Bros. really defy gravity? Do we want our buildings constructed so as to attempt defiance of the laws of stress and strain?
From its earliest expression to the present, a basic human Utopia, in which everyone has adequate food, shelter, and clothing, gained without debilitating labor, and in which people lead secure lives without fear of, in early versions, wild animals, and in later versions, other human beings, was invented. But these basic elements, prosperity and personal security, are expressed in different ways in different times and places and also reflect individual concerns. As a result, the range of Utopias contrived throughout history is vast. There are oral utopian traditions among the aborigines in Australia, the First Nations in Canada, the Maori in New Zealand, and the Native American Indians in the United States.
With the exception of the early Greeks and their family of flawed gods, definitions of Utopia use the word perfect in their descriptions. The ideas of “perfect” are as varied as the idea of “Utopia “and “Infallible.” Using “perfect” to escape the cognitive labor of defining Utopia in objective terms doesn’t make up for the fact that no one is basing his description on first-hand experience from living in them. Calling it fiction doesn’t help in engineering Utopias either. To avoid the baggage of Utopia and Perfect and Infallible, they are displaced by “The Enchanting Collective.”
When the first magnificent metamorphosis (M2), Plan B transmutation goal was engineered in 2013 that reached auto-ignition, a proper name for the social system ideology that did the trick was far down on the list of concerns. Many of the early attempts to address organizational dysfunction used “utopia” as the description of the aspired goal. As the attempts crashed and burned, the critics had their say. Without giving the naming matter the examination it deserved, Utopia the word was adopted for titling the initial five-book Kindle series “Pilgrimage to Utopia,” available now on your smart phone. The name was an error.
Only after studying the long history of attempts to establish a “perfect” society did we fully realize the extent of our gaffe: Plan Bis real, utopia is unobtainium. Society cheerfully embraces the impossibility of utopia, however, as a defense of status quo OD against change. It uses this confection of its mind to delude itself about its own importance in the affairs of the universe.
The concept of “infallibility” is logically ridiculous on its face. “Infallible” can’t even get out of its incubator. Both “perfect” and “infallible” are lost in the ashes of the eternal 2nd Law inferno. The most infallible force in the universe eats perfection and status quo throughout the cosmos for lunch. The first interlude is packed with stories of various failed attempts to establish “ideal” societies. It makes a mockery of any association of utopia with social system immortality.
After living in Plan B for a few years, the most appropriate descriptor is “enchanting.” It is. We use “collective” to avoid the many layers of diverse meanings that have accrued to the word “organization.” Yes, Plan B is magical in how it correlates in collaboration, coordination, and cooperation. Living in TEC, there is no sense of organizational hierarchy in the context you work in, no chain of command. There is no central control room, no potentates in charge, no police. When you visit an EC and ask to see management, you have given yourself away as poorly prepared. This invisible social system adhesive has been recorded many times before. We lived it during WWII. Not so much during Korea. Absent altogether in Viet Nam.
One of the themes common to all failed utopias and to all ODs is the diversion of energies and efforts to address consequences of dysfunction that should have never arisen as issues needing administrative attention in the first place. No head shed tracks its allocation of effort against the issues of organizational operations that should not be issues at all. The human social system, a unit, encompasses several key factors in prosperity and security:
- Loss reduction
- Competency with disturbance
- Competitive advantage
- New opportunities
- Regulatory compliance
- Public relations
One of the striking attributes of system Plan B is that no one is making a particular fuss about sustaining prosperity and security, about quality, about turnover, following the rules, or about the competition. Everything listed is wrapped up in the doctrine of the system. The necessaries of EC immortality are automatically getting done by people happy to do them (Sir Thomas More’s theme in Utopia).
The paramount guiding principle of Plan B is a secure prosperity. That means you can focus your efforts on increasing the surplus because your “social environment” has your back – and its act together. Any time you have to allocate efforts to security, to protect yourself against carnivores and invaders, it subtracts from your store of internal energy available to goal-seek. The pall of insecurity, quite prominent in today’s society as high anxiety, is highly debilitating. In M2, the first milestone is eliminating this apprehension. Only OD can run on insecurity, Plan B cannot. EC members need a lot of free internal energy for the adventure.
The axle of Plan B is project-think – implementation of strategy. Projects are “novel and temporary,” each with a specified goal and a specified end condition. It is not focused on standardized routine operations but on making progress with goal-attainment. At all times, in processing a project, you see both the goal and the functional principles by which you can arrive there from where you are. One of the sacred principles of TEC is specifying and re-specifying what “done” looks like before implementing your next procedure. All goals creep.
Farewell to Responsibility
Just like the words Utopia, Perfect, and Infallible, the word “responsibility” is so layered with diverse meanings and abuse, it has lost utility in rational discussions about society. Responsible for what, exactly, is the centerfold of head shed abuse of their subordinates.
When “responsibility” is used for services, there are always precedents and standards that confine and channel task actions. Paramount is obedience to authority, OTA, a nobrainer.
When “responsibility” is used for results and outcomes, in contrast, there are never precedents and standards to go on. Outcome is future and various disturbances await in ambush between now and then. There can be no rules for addressing novel disturbances. That’s the definition of novel. In project think, invention must have a hall pass. If there is no autonomy, no boundless discretion for attaining goals the direct way, labelled “short cycle run break and fix” (SCRBF), the project becomes the pursuit of the impossible.
The popular hard way is labelled “long cycle run break and fix” LCRBF. The pattern of LCRBF is exhibited every day, everywhere. In spite of project review meetings galore, management finds out that the project has failed only after the due date of completion has passed and the budget is overspent. With the money and the time management allocated for the project gone, now what? The real shame of LCRBF is that its lessons are never learned. “Adding staff to a late software project makes it later,” Brooks Law.
When management talks about responsibility, it is never defined in measures and detail. Subordinates hear responsibility for outcomes delegated to them by their superiors, but the head shed means reach the objective using standard, business-as-usual practices only. Management makes you choose between OTA and goal attainment. If you stick with OTA, you will retain membership status. If you attain the goal, impossible under OTA, you will be punished for insubordination. The USA military prosecutes a thousand court martial cases a year where OTA was valued higher by commanders than mission success.
Botching up the job of infusing Plan B doctrine to the workforce destroys any responsibility-taking. If there are no dependable navigating principles, taking responsibility for any outcome becomes foolhardy and irresponsible. Unity of legitimate outcome responsibility is a basic organizing principle of Plan B. Unity of command is not.
The only responsibility that matters in Plan B is outcome/results responsibility. Yoda had it right about goal attainment: “Do or do not. There is no try.” Since no one gets a chance to rehearse, responsibility for goal attainment has to be focused on an individual who has personally chosen to be outcome-owning responsible in exchange for a hall pass – autonomy and unconditional, cross-discipline discretion, and is positioned on the hierarchy with role and workers to make good on his promise. Only the vector/foreman is a legitimate owner of responsibility for security and prosperity. All others are frauds. Any Congressional hearing will feature potentates reciting the standard rejections of responsibility for their calamity, ancient in origin, after the fact of administrative failure.
Run, break, and fix (RBF) is such a large component of Plan B life, duty to rule-based services as benchmark makes no sense. In order to discover what will do, you educate yourself as to what will not do. Every contributor in EC is riding on a hall pass where errors are considered normal functioning and comforting signs of progress. Screams of failure emanating from the TEC workforce are simply announcements that they have yet another GD thing to fix. Don’t we all?
Plan B contributors have inalienable rights, held inviolate by their peers. No person is expected to give up his rights for the sake of his social system. The rights stay the same no matter the context or situation.
In Plan B, as stated before, the goal is anchored on prosperity and security. These are project goals, as the 2nd Law degrades productivity and resistance to disturbance on a continuous basis. The vector replaces the confusion over “responsibility” with the phrase Personalized Outcome Ownership (PO2). In use, the worker freely chooses to take personal ownership of outcome, the objective of collective effort, in fair exchange for a hall pass. He gets a talisman documenting the transaction. TEC doctrine requires that talismans be honored by both parties. Violation is a stop rule.
I Think, You Think, We All Think Groupthink
Variety in the membership of a social system brings conflicts in phobias and motives, which are impervious to counsel. The subconscious 90% mind answer to this dilemma is “Groupthink.” It is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making process. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences. The Abilene Paradox is an example of groupthink that preceded the word itself.
The phenomenon of groupthink is brought up here because it has received a lot of scientific study and its symptoms have been widely discussed. OD groupthink is the equivalent of the massive black hole that centers a galaxy.
The Nash Equilibrium is the natural law driving Groupthink. Janis (1982) defined groupthink as ― “a mode of thinking people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members striving for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.” Groupthink is a pattern of behavior characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics. Janis modeled groupthink as certain antecedent conditions, which lead to concurrence-seeking (or groupthink tendency), which results in observable consequences, yielding a low probability of a successful outcome.
For observable consequences, Janis included two categories:
- Symptoms of groupthink
- Symptoms of defective decision-making
For symptoms of groupthink, three categories:
- Overestimation of the group
- Illusion of invulnerability
- Belief in group‘s inherent morality
- Closed mindedness
- Collective rationalization
- Stereotypes of out-groups
- Pressure toward uniformity
- Illusion unanimity
- Direct pressure on dissenters
- Self-appointed mind guards
Symptoms of defective decision-making
- Incomplete survey of alternatives
- Incomplete survey of objectives
- Failure to examine risks
- Failure to reappraise rejected alternatives
- Poor information search
- Selective bias in processing information
- Failure to work out a contingency plan
There are several key elements to groupthink, a process that can cause a group to make failure-prone or immoral decisions, including:
- The group develops an illusion of invulnerability that causes them to be excessively optimistic about the potential outcomes of their actions.
- Group members believe in the inherent accuracy of the group’s beliefs or the inherent goodness of the group itself. Such an example can be seen when people make decisions based on patriotism. The group tends to develop negative or stereotyped views of people not in the group.
- The group exerts pressure on people who disagree with the group’s decisions.
- The group creates the illusion that everyone agrees with the group by censoring dissenting beliefs. Some members of the group take it upon themselves to become “mindguards” and correct dissenting beliefs.
The lesson in groupthink is that no one has a clue about an effective fix. The tactics proffered are proven losers and everyone knows it. The stalemate condition explains groupthink’s strategy in justifying OD. It is a classic example of the Abilene Paradox.
Recommendations designed by academics to prevent groupthink from forming:
- Each member should be a critical evaluator of the group‘s course of action; an open climate of giving and accepting criticism should be encouraged by the leader
- Leaders should be impartial and refrain from stating personal preferences at the outset of group discussion; they should limit themselves initially to fostering open inquiry
- Establish multiple groups with different leaders to work the question in parallel
- Split groups into subgroups to assess feasibility and effectiveness of proposals
- Each member of the group should privately discuss current issues and options with trusted associates outside the group and report reactions
- From time to time, bring in outside experts to challenge the views of the core members
- There should be one or more devil‘s advocates during every group meeting
- In conflict situations, extra time should be devoted to interpreting warning signals from rivals and to constructing alternative scenarios of their intentions
- Reconsider the decision in second chance meetings before going public
This list for losers is an example of attempting to fix a component of the OD system in isolation. It is doomed to fail because groupthink is a social system phenomenon. The social energy that expresses itself in the form of dysfunction, OD, is the same energy that, by transmutation, expresses itself in TEC. Groupthink plays no role in Plan B. The doctrine of TEC that binds things together takes a constitutional convention to change.
As life in a tall hierarchy affirms, it is the head shed that chooses between the attainable and pursuits of the impossible for its workforce. Head-shed groupthink doctrine mistakenly holds that because it has unfettered discretion to issue commands on whim, enforced by law, it therefore has control over organizational prosperity. It is a grievous error.
Management may want to take the lead in building company prosperity, but its meddling in the affairs of effective goal attainment can only make matters for organizational prosperity, its espoused goal, worse. By experience with its well-meaning initiatives, the head shed eventually learns it has no real power to secure prosperity for the organization it “owns.” It finds that exercising its authority, with or without noble intentions, invariably forms a context featuring insecurity and ruin. It “lives” with its powerlessness self-image, a cognitive dissonance, by abusing the workforce. When cornered, management defaults to “We’re no worse than the others.” True.
Engage to learn – engage to win
This is the crossroads where you decide whether to engage to learn or engage to “win.” It’s always one or the other. Camping at the crossroads of choice takes more strength than you possess. Default is engage to win.
Argyris specified in his “Theory of Use I” (1960), his doctrine of dystopia: “Win, do not lose” is on his list. In practice this manifests as coercing every transaction into a zero sum conflict where you have the upper hand. When you argue to win, you are simply trying to defeat an opponent. This counterproductive, testosterone-fueled aggression, prominent in zero-sum, changes the way the aggressor thinks about the subject issue and the people on the opposing side. Zero-sum gaming, especially where it has no basis in fact, e.g., management-labor union negotiations, has a toxic effect on understanding the very issue under discussion. How people frame the goal-seeking process alters their deep understanding about whether there is any objective truth at all.
It is easy to detect and witness the details of zero-sum interactions. Both sides are stoned on testosterone and all battle outcomes are stalemate, although it may not appear so materially at first. The casualty of every zero sum is truth. When you review the local and particular issues in the arena of zero-sum conflict, not one in a hundred is a legitimate zero-sum condition. Very few matters in life are authentic zero-sum. The “pie” in contention can always be increased in size to accommodate demand. More revenue? Raise productivity. That, exactly, is what ECs do.
Plan B is people happily working together, uncoerced, to increase the size of the “pie” because they can enlarge “their” pie more effectively collectivity than as individuals working independently. It is the same dilemma, exactly, that confronted the builders of Stonehenge (2500 BC). Consider the various skill sets necessary to get the bluestones quarried in Wales, shaped and loaded on a boat, shipped two hundred miles over furious waters, offloaded and hauled miles up the hills to the site in Wiltshire to be set in place on the construction site. No project overlord. Administrative force is nowhere to be seen. Everything is volunteer work and the volunteers were coming from afar, no smart phones. Plan B is the only social system concept that could possibly have pulled it off.
When the Egyptians began to build their pyramids, also in the late Neolithic period, they already had an established hierarchical society with priests and pharaohs at the top. It soon became clear to the priests that if you really wanted a pyramid, administrators of the hierarchy better stay away from the construction project. Graffiti on interior passageways records what the workers thought of authority-infused meddlers.
As everyone in Plan B is a responsible contributor to that shared objective, everyone in TEC is important to everyone else. Contributing to social system EC success is essential to groom your self-image. It is mutual dependency on reciprocity.
In dealing with the operational reality, if you choose engagement to win, you must face consequences of the real thing, IRL, as part of your steroid-amplified, learn-nothing aggression. This unavoidable crossroads of choice is also a clear window into your subconscious. In most cases, the moral backbone of your conscious mind is overwhelmed by the pressures of your morals-challenged subconscious mind and groupthink to preferentially engage zero sum. As individuals, no one fails to see that there is something critically important about social system collaboration cooperation, correlation, and coordination, and something fundamentally counterproductive and immoral about artificially-contrived zero sum conflict. As in all great wars, to participate is to lose.
Why does any of this matter? There is no moral accountability to natural law. The cosmos is neither better nor worse for what you choose to do. Human nature, for all practical purposes invariant, is designed to survive and flourish in the face of entropy and calamity, within limits. Human nature comes equipped with a moral and purpose-driven life – manifest at the pleasure of the laws of nature. That’s all there is and that’s all you need.
When the fury and smoke of unnecessary human conflict clears, the 2nd Law remains as the first law of life and if you don’t extract entropy on a regular basis, you accelerate to higher disorder and an earlier demise. Did we say the 2nd Law is deaf to persuasion?
Characteristics of a Plan B Society
- Information, independent thought, and freedom are promoted.
- A figurehead or concept brings the citizens of the society together, but not treated as singular.
- Citizens are truly free to think independently.
- Citizens have no fear of the outside world.
- Citizens live in a harmonious state.
- The natural world is embraced and revered.
- Citizens embrace social and moral ideals. Individuality and innovation are welcomed.
- The society evolves with change to make a perfect utopian world.
Plan B Concepts
- Most utopian works present a world in which societal ideals and the common good of society are maintained through one or more of the following types of beliefs:
- Economic ideas: Money is abolished. Citizens only do work that they enjoy.
- Governing ideas: Society is controlled by citizenry in a largely individualist, communal, social and sometimes libertarian “government.” The term government is used loosely, as power is seen to corrupt, so constructed government systems are warned against.
- Technological ideas: In some cases, technology may be embraced to enhance the human living experience and make human life easier and more convenient. Other ideas propose that technology drives a wedge between humanity and nature, therefore becoming an evil to society.
- Ecological ideas: Back to the nature, humans live harmoniously with nature and reverse the effects of industrialization.
- Philosophical/religious ideas: Society believes in a common religious philosophy, some fashion their surroundings around the biblical Garden of Eden. In inter-religious utopias, all ideas of God are welcomed. In intra-religious utopias, a singular idea of God is accepted and practiced by all citizens.
The Plan B Protagonist
- Works to promote the ideals of society.
- Questions the existing social and political systems with the aim to bring positive change.
- Believes or feels that the society in which he or she lives is always getting better.
- Helps the audience recognize the positive aspects of the utopian world through his or her perspective.
The definition of Plan B we embrace, is to engineer a society so that a large majority of its inhabitants considers it paradise. Using POSIWID on the attempts, the core idea appears to be that the utopian society would sell itself by its success to the population at large and be replicated. If anyone had reached this goal, everyone today would be utopian. Failed utopias are exploited by the Establishment to reinforce the concept that business as usual, Plan A, is the only stable society possible. Grin and bear it, dysfunction and all, because there can be no Plan B.
The Platform and Principles of Plan B
The algorithm that worked
The purpose/goal of this section is to describe the way of life in Plan B and what it takes to perpetuate the enchantment – prosperity and security. In contrast to the monotony of OD, life in Plan B is a daring adventure in exploration. The theme here is effective husbandry of Plan B, a project.
The principles employed to engineer M2 and Plan B and sustain the benefit package, are constructed on two basic assumptions:
- The invariance and indifference of natural law, universal law, mathematical physics
- The invariance and indifference of human nature, our genome, our program
Nothing is debatable about natural law. Invariance and indifference are siblings. Mathematical physics gets to be a natural law precisely because it is irrefutable. It is also omnipresent, inescapable, fractal, and testable. Universal law applies to materiality, not imagination, shaping the behavior of systems of metal with the same veracity it shapes the behavior of systems of flesh. Natural law forms and reforms the world we live in. When we leverage natural law to purpose, we can live in a world of our design.
- ODs are spontaneous and self-sustaining by business as usual.
- ECs do not occur naturally. ECs are intentionally assembled and deliberately maintained.
Since human nature cannot change its DNA, even in the time frame of a few millennia, in social system matters for contemporary goal-seeking, it is practical to consider human nature a constant of the universe. Social system invariance shows up in many places and forms. The age-old complaint about not learning from experience is an example. If your value system for choosing your social behavior is fixed in groupthink concrete, what’s the purpose of feedback?
Actionable quality information (AQI), ground truth, supports the platform upon which all effective entropy extraction depends. The 2nd Law, the first law of life, does not respond to make-believe “interpretations.” Actionable knowledge is not only relevant to clinical Plan B practice, it is the knowledge that contributors use to create their operational reality.
Yes, all sorts of “normal” organizational activity proceeds based in part or in whole on false information (on faith). But this mode of action triggers painful, expensive, time-consuming crises from failures that were avoidable. Since you soon learn you can’t trust the doctored information fitfully careening up the chain of command, you gravitate to various redundant informant systems to make decisions, each route prone to concealed, grievous errors, and thwarted by the 2½ rule. People associate this venerable fiasco with large organizations.
The brute fact is that the head sheds, even of the CIA, FBI, DOJ, etc., have no access to ground truth. There is nothing management can do to force AQI to climb up the ladder of command. The 2½ rule is applied by Nature, not man, and it cannot be circumvented. The will of management, enlightened or not, has nothing to do with it. It is why F.D. Roosevelt sent Eleanor out to the field to short circuit the doctored information flows he was getting. She travelled a lot. That’s why John Adams called upon his Abigail to send him the truth about British movements while he was stationed in France.
Complaints about social systems never learning lessons from their experience go back to the Bronze Age, recorded on cuneiform tablets. This is one of two massive reasons why the vector is critical to Plan B success. The foreman’s informational input comes from his personal senses in direct connection to the work face and his work force. His input is ground truth as good in quality as that of his workers in the trenches and it is continuously updated during the workday. His progress feedback loop is in minutes. As Henry Ford espoused in 1916, “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” Self-inspection.
Tall hierarchies measure their feedback lag in months. That’s plenty of time for leak, lag, and friction to ruin information credibility.
Few organizations can produce more surplus than the money they lose due to processing faulty information – garbage that should never have been there in the first place. GIGO is a top-flight social system killer all by itself. Experience in communicating the toxicity of GIGO has found a more universal metaphor, “The Bad Burrito Rule.” The turnover dysfunction engenders eradicates all the good changes made, by displacement of veteran with novice, while it amplifies dysfunction. How can the social systems of Homo sapiens think that operating on lies, deceptions, and distortions is benign to their prosperity and security? Did Nature implant that cancerous blindspot for some purpose?
The second massive reason why the vector is critical to Plan B success is his role in getting his workforce collaborating on the same page of effective operating principles. Doctrines of organizational attainment always precede organization design for coordination. Principles are the benchmarks of doctrine you start with. Plan B runs on creed, not rules. The vector is the only one in the hierarchy that can get the workforce on the same page of operating principles.
Typically, the head shed does a dreadful job of educating its people about the fundamentals of organizational success. Maybe because its own notions of the principles are grotesquely mutilated? When things come unstuck, as they always do, there are loud complaints about rampant disobedience of the workforce to the nebulous corporate policies. To address the crises, management installs a variety of “behavior police” in its general staff. It responds to malconformance to the rules with force via threats of punishment. Just like GIGO, the head shed funds a variety of culture police because it can’t trust the workforce to do the “right” thing on its own. It never occurs to management that itself might be a direct and primary cause of OD.
Just like GIGO, forcing standardized efforts on a depersonalized workforce is terribly expensive, ineffective, and entirely unnecessary in the first place. Since attempting to outwit the workforce is folly, each policing functionality is prone to its own dysfunction. Trying to compensate for conflicting principles is costly and notoriously wasteful. Elaborate reporting schemes, although popular, have proven to be counterproductive. Committees are where innovative thinking goes to die.
The vector, a neutral and ready-minded change agent, having no social status to lose, is the one who teaches the principles of collaboration to his personal workforce and circulates the knowledge. Immune to all interpretations of status, the man-in-the-middle doesn’t need to wonder if his crew understands and applies the principles of effective organizations because he witnesses the efforts of his workmen on the job several times a day. His feedback loop on principles utilization is in minutes and his strategy of correlating midcourse corrections never fails. The ever-popular drive enforcement method has a feedback lag in months but it poisons productivity instantly. Do the math.
The brute fact is that the head shed, perpetually contaminated with bad information and crazed on DHT, is powerless to force compliance to the principles of effective organizations. The head shed inculcates a significant disconnect between basic individual needs and organizational demands. In Plan B, the individual meets his needs as top priority and then contributes unstintingly to the needs of his organization. The need for larger pies and effective security for the individual and for his social system is congruent.
In OD, management places strict limits on individual efforts oblivious to the needs of these independent, active, self-aware, creative people. Experienced and knowledgeable workers, who make the best employees, tend to be independent in thought and invariably find the context of OD to be unbearably restrictive. The trust and loyalty that should be rewarded are instead destroyed with reckless indifference. High turnover is the Grim Reaper who resolves all uncertainties with liquidation.
Principles of knowledge development punch list
Knowledge development principles for M2 and Plan B, our creed for action, involve circulating the same merry-go-round of task actions. Because of all the surprises you encounter, life harbors all kinds, the work is never boring.
Principles of task action, part one:
- Detect behavioral patterns in behavior observed. Be ready-minded to examine the social behavior you experience, in particular, as one example of a pattern.
- Test your hypothesis and candidate pattern against recorded history and the experiences of others. All genuine, qualified patterns of social behavior are global and fractal. One contrary example is disqualification of the hypothesis. A thumbdrive of the huge library in .pdf is available by request.
- By test and observation, determine the initialization choices being made for social action, navigation, and trajectory. The choice to go dysfunctional is always made at the outset. Natural law takes over after the first choice is made, the only choice that is completely free.
- By test and observation, determine social system responses to initial dysfunctions. Do things progressively get better or worse? They cannot remain constant.
- Once the choices are known by inference, POSIWID, study the effect of natural laws on those choices to predict trajectory. Using the care and maintenance of infrastructure as our example, you can measure that 2nd Law deterioration is ignored in OD until a crisis event occurs and then Band-Aids are applied.
- Noting the responses to the first cycle of dysfunction, predict the choices that will amplify the next cycle of dysfunction. In a few cycles, the most relevant force-fields of natural law that apply to the particular case will be illuminated, coupled with groupthink that makes prediction reliable and easy.
- The universality and durability of OD will become painfully obvious.
Once you have a handle on the prime movers of organizational dysfunction, you can evaluate the M2 and Plan B solution candidates. With no successes to emulate, you are relegated to the messy world of run, break, and fix (RBF). It’s the same real world that contains the 2nd Law. Embrace it. Success in maintenance of TEC uses the same process.
Principles of task action, part two:
- Examine your candidates of remedy against recorded history and the experience of others. Attempts to neutralize organizational dysfunction (OD) are as ancient as OD itself. Variations upon the themes that have failed, about which there is no lack of documented precedents, should be discarded out of hand.
- Attend to system before component
- Establish test beds for candidate fixes. Proving grounds can be virtual and real. Although our M2 and Plan B proving grounds always complete in the operational reality, we have an endless supply of ODs to test on, dynamic simulations using Starkermann’s models and research programs were critical to success. Some of the candidates took a thousand runs on the simulator to discredit or certify. The effect of OD leak, lag, and friction on reinforcing OD, cannot be over-emphasized.
- Run your candidate fixes over the proving grounds. Jettison the parts that failed; retain the parts that worked; and design another candidate. Repeat. It’s not as boring as it sounds. In some form, you do it all day, every day, anyways.
- Maximize your chances for luck. Reject the favorite assumptions of the disciplines, think new, and do as many RBF cycles as you can arrange. Remember foremost, no one ever attained M2 and TEC before. No one knows what they’re talking about from direct experience. You do.
- Be equipped with theory, hypotheses, and principles to recognize success when you attain it. There are many splendid examples of non-OD organizations in the record. Because no one had first principles and natural law’s doctrine to navigate by, Plan B examples were fleeting and went unrecognized. Facing the Big Lie, hope is quickly abandoned. Getting to TEC is intelligent work and sustaining Plan B is serious work, using developed knowledge, for the 10% conscious mind.
The aversions to implementing these operating principles have been noted for centuries. Sir Joshua Reynolds (1784) as president of the Royal Academy of Arts:
In the practice of art, as well as in morals, it is necessary to keep a watchful and jealous eye over ourselves; idleness, assuming the specious disguise of industry, will lull to sleep all suspicion of our want of an active exertion of strength. A provision of endless apparatus, a bustle of infinite enquiry and research, or even the mere mechanical labour of copying, may be employed, to evade and shuffle off real labour — the real labour of thinking.
Thomas Edison had the Reynolds maxim, already condensed in Edison’s time, displayed in his facilities adding, during an interview:
“That is true. There is hardly a day that I do not discover how painfully true it is,” went on Mr. Edison. “What progress individuals could make, and what progress the world would make, if thinking were given proper consideration! It seems to me that not one man in a thousand appreciates what can be accomplished by training the mind to think.” TAE
Platform of basic assumptions
- Human nature invariance
- Natural law indifference
- One path to Plan B(M2) from OD
- All other trajectories lock in to OD
- OD (Yin) and Plan B (Yang) are the only stable social-system ideologies possible
It is the “idea” of system EC that, like war, forms a rallying point for diverse individuals to cooperate to attain mutually-shared goals, like Stonehenge.
Principles of Plan B dynamics
Doctrine of technical implementation
Before goal-seeking task action commences
- What “done” looks like (B)
- The plausible sequence of procedures to get there
- Correlation with history
- AQI actionable quality information
- Risk-informed decision-making
- System before constituent
- Current status determination (A)
- Credible procedures to move the context from A to B
- Human relations
- Anticipate husbandry needs
- Stop rules
Principles of implementation
- Proving grounds evaluations of implementation candidates before release
- Computer-based modular modelling
- Testing in the operational reality
- No defiance of natural law, in particular
- The conservation laws
- Control theory
- Shannon (communications)
- 2½ rule
- 36% rule
- 2nd Law entropy extraction competency
- Structure + work (Fxd) force times distance
- Focus on goal-creep specification upgrades
- Correlation of personal outcome ownership upfront
- Rogerian triad
- Decentralization of discretion authority
- Adult learning principles rule
- Encouragement of creative bent
- Encouragement of learning
- Equal opportunity ribbing
- No attempt to revise human nature
- Encourage “good” instincts, e.g., workmanship
- Discourage “bad” instincts, e.g., domination
- Acceptance of your social status, losses and gains, as-is
- Conscious-mind gatekeeper of subconscious-mind imperatives
- Outcome-committed, focused
- Error tolerance, RBF tolerance
- Trust until proven untrustworthy
- Strive for psychological success
- No criticism
Elaboration of the operating principles
All of the principles of TEC, listed above and discussed below, have been derived at length in the first three books. Discussion of the principles is provided in four functional categories:
- Preparing for the assault
- During the assault
- Human relations context
- Psychological success of the individual
Preparing for the assault
In TEC, the predominant working context is “project,” and not operational routines. The initial project emphasis is always on defining the project objective in terms of configuration and dynamics. From the finish back to the starting point feeds the design of credible procedures for making the trip (Ackoff).
Once the Ackoff schematic is set, concrete information is available to search the history of similar projects. Now that the massive OD library is in digital form, you can get the 32GB library on a thumb drive by asking for it, scanning in .pdf makes the search for the lessons-learned from history, among the million pages, much easier.
Because natural law is always involved in goal seeking, it is pointless to use any information of dubious pedigree. Ground truth sets the gold standard, but it’s important to take whatever pains are necessary to get and vet actionable quality information (AQI). Fiction, GIGO, is a bad burrito. Whatever you think you gain in the expedient of using informants will cost you tenfold in bad-information consequences.
It is necessary to know the dynamics of the OD system where you are starting from. Comparing the actual to the baseline gives you a measure of progress towards TEC. There is no level playing ground. You are always starting with damaged goods. The wind of business as usual is always in your face.
With the operational OD measured and the goal specified, it is time to take the knowledge developed and lessons-learned and assemble the options list of credible procedures to transport states from OD (A) to Plan B. Knowing the trail will involve plenty of RBF, it is not necessary to choose the perfect route to reach the objective before commencing the trip. Everything in goal-seeking is midcourse corrections. SCRBF will compensate for the guesswork flaws.
Human relations always take precedent over sociotechnology. It starts with your sentiments, beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions. This intangible, subconscious goop stands between you and your relationship to another human being and between you and your self-image. It is foolish to cut iron or write code before the context of human relations is shaped appropriate to the tasks at hand. Not only does it make the work easier and more productive, it prevents stirring up consequences that diverts and wastes internal energy otherwise available for making progress.
It is more efficient to build-in ways and means for effective maintenance of Plan B as-you-go, anticipating needs, rather than by backfit. Most of the conscious-mind work in husbandry is future-centered. There is a lot of prediction and forecasting and thinking ahead. That is how, exactly, you avoid the time consuming crises of system OD.
When things sociotechnical get underway and the checkpoints are being met, it is time to prepare and issue the stop rules. This step assures everyone that the project is going to succeed, as long as the stop rules are in place. Stop rules prevent sabotage and any failure to attain the target outcome. Stop rules come into play in about 15% of the applications, always attending management reflex to M2 success. POSIWID
Principles of task action
It is rare that a solution candidate cannot be dynamically evaluated before it is implemented. Computer-based system dynamics modelling can often be just as effective as a physical proving ground. The more candidates you can examine before implementation, the more likely your fix will be successful over the long haul. The use of models to investigate system dynamics goes back to ancient times. “Try it before you buy it” was a theme before the Greeks were “enlightened.” Construction of the Colossus of Rhodes was modelled several times before it was cast and erected.
Put effort into dynamic simulation and most of the project uncertainties will fall into place. This step is hardly a management favorite, but it’s the best way to get the right job done right.
It seems ludicrous to have to set “no attempts to defy a natural law” as a principle. Social conditioning should have driven that pragmatic of living into their youth before kindergarten. The passage of time does not change the laws of nature. The laws of nature do not change depending on where you are. Mathematical physics does not change because of your perspective. Sure, the scenery may change depending on where you’re standing and the direction you’re looking, but the fundamental underlying laws of the universe that dictates how that scenery behaves are independent of your time, location, and orientation. Laws that remain unchanged regardless of the situation are labeled “continuously symmetric.” Algorithms have the same remarkable property (Gödel).
With no experience to the contrary, how on earth can anyone think he can defy, e.g., the conservation laws? These laws are what drove science to accept the ideas of dark matter and dark energy. In the same way, the laws of control theory drive to accepting the 2½ rule as beyond human influence. Social systems are matter. All matter is subject to natural law.
Shannon’s laws of communication are significant factors in TEC. Shannon‘s laws cut through any delusion that communication has taken place, if it hasn’t. Early identification of such delusions has saved many lives and many projects from collapse.
How could anyone discount the bad burrito rule? When asked if his computing machine could be fed garbage and still deliver the correct answer, Charles Babbage was at a loss of words. This defiant relationship that human nature has with the laws of the universe is the first thing amputated by an engineering education. Follow your social conditioning with blind obedience and ending up in OD is inevitable.
Farm or factory, it is the 2nd Law that keeps things honest. There is and never will be any way to reduce entropy locally, of course, without imposing an appropriate structure and doing physical work. Any infiltration of false information fails the mission to extract entropy.
The fact that everything changes with time means that goals must creep. This inevitable condition means that Plan B procedures are typically done very quickly while the things that shaped task design remain constant. Fiddle around long enough and your design of action is rendered obsolete by change in everything.
The sociology of human relations
When a social system is inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, like Stonehenge, all the sinews of OD break their bonds. As consciousness expands in all directions, arbitrary fences and ceilings are transcended. When dormant forces, faculties and talents liven up, you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you were ever allowed to believe. This heartwarming phenomenon is the harbinger of enchantment.
We use the Rogerian Triad every day and every day we ask ourselves, “Why doesn’t everyone do this?” Every day the question goes unanswered. It’s one of the principles of Plan B that has no down side. It costs nothing and it never fails to benefit.
The power of the Rogerian triad is derived from Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety, a corollary of control theory. Ashby’s law states that you must have as many control options at your disposal as behaviors the system may exhibit. What the Rogerian triad does is enable many more response options than behaviors that anyone can exhibit.
In Plan B, every contributor works on the square deal of PO2, personal outcome ownership. For freely taking responsibility, the contributor gets a talisman and a hall pass. There are plenty of jobs in TEC for those who fear taking responsibility for their actions. As they observe the lives of the contributors changing for the better, the aversion to outcome responsibility tends to dwindle in intensity. It is the job of the vector to end up correlating the PO2s to make sure commitments are covering the whole. He fills-in any gaps.
The science of adult learning is mature and solid. If you don’t teach and train by using the proven principles, you will fail before you begin. If you do run adult learning programs by the principles, you secure success before you begin. The facts and the lessons-learned about adult learning are no secret. Yet, M2 is the only program we know of that puts the principles of adult learning into the stop rules. We can only guess why the science is routinely ignored.
Since learning and creativity are so central to Plan B, they are encouraged for all Plan B members. No social system can be maintained by rule-based behavior. Rules have a shelf life, principles don’t. Freedom to create attends encouragement to learn.
It is 100% instinctive, but mutual ribbing for any and all reasons is a fixture in Plan B behavior. It is an effective way to accommodate all the differences in people and keep eyes on the same goal. Ribbing announces “I recognize your unique traits and I will collaborate with you going towards the common destination. You are free to rib back. Your ribbing will be graded as it is tolerated. Good-natured ribbing is a sign of personalization, trust and EC health.
Taking human nature as a constant of the cosmos, it is foolhardy to think anything can be done about adding or subtracting instincts. In OD, the prominent instinct is domination, manifest by contrived and staged zero-sum battles. In Plan B the paramount instinct is workmanship.
Instincts are morally neutral, inherent, and either in play or dormant. The endocrine system has a lot to say about which instincts will predominate at any slice of time. People on high-octane testosterone are hindered from calling up their instincts associated with benevolence. They can’t build anything more complicated than animosity. So to vent their excess energy, they destroy. People addicted to oxytocin surges cannot be goaded into zero-sum combat. They are collectively engrossed building their Stonehenge. Best that the folks with opposing hormones, steroids of aggression and peptides of felicity, be kept apart.
There is a punchlist of principles that apply to the individual that any Plan B contributor can recite, like a multiplication table. Foremost he must accept his official social status as irrelevant to his prestige. Plan B is about getting things done better and better. Anyone good at implementation will be esteemed by his peers, no matter what else he represents. Do you really care that the dude making the place hum is adorned in tattoos? Do credentials in the head shed matter against the fact they are powerless to aid organizational progress?
At all times, promise to yourself that you will gatekeep, using your conscious 10% mind, all imperatives produced by your 90% subconscious mind. When the imperatives flash on the screen in your head, whisk them off to a holding pen for 10% conscious-mind examination and evaluation. Your effort is all you can control and every opportunity to do so should be relished. Your 90% subconscious mind powerhouse is not your enemy but it is untrustworthy to an extreme. Yes, it’s cognitively demanding, and no vacations, but gatekeeping is the centerpiece of Plan B. If you want to see what living completely by your 90% subconscious does for you, interact with any system OD, which you do in any case several times a day, and observe the personnel. Nobody can gatekeep your irresponsible 90% unconscious for you.
Individually, everyone in Plan B is committed to and focused on the project goal. That means tolerance for the errors and disappointments that come with RBF. Remembering that you can’t put your foot in the same river once, be skeptical of business as usual and status quo.
Trust is so important and so individual, you give unconditional trust first. If the target is untrustworthy, it will come out as events unfold. Targets that are trustworthy will reciprocate your initiative in clear and unmistakable ways. This procedure greatly truncates the time to establish trust with deserving associates, compared to letting nature take its course. There is no alternative to trust to keep Plan B glued together.
As a basic right, but optional, you are encouraged to strive towards psychological success. Everyone is pulling for you because everyone benefits from your progress. Maslow’s pyramid has stood the test of time and membership in Plan B takes you up to the security level to start with. Yes, it’s labor for your conscious 10% mind and it takes protracted effort, but every level you rise is beneficial to you in ways that are apparent to everyone in your bubble.
As there is no such thing as constructive criticism, it is your duty and obligation in Plan B to gatekeep your criticism of others. When your 90% subconscious mind screams out to criticize the offenders of intelligent thought, stick the imperative in the holding pen until you figure out another way to get remedy. In such circumstances, our habit is to find a humorous angle. It tells the goof that errors are the price of progress and do not count against him. Error better next time.
Distinguishing characteristics of Plan B way of life
The enchanting collective is a cohort of >2 EC social-system units that comprise Plan B in a hierarchical organization (>2 echelons). The aim of the Enchanting Collective is not proficiency in reacting to the systemic crises of dysfunction but doing system-wise whatever it takes to see that the covert ills of OD never sprout in the first place. There is no role for high testosterone in Plan B. Everyone is looking to get their daily oxytocin surge. Yes, you can validate everything in Plan B that makes it a TEC, everything that makes an OD an OD, by your endocrine system bloodwork.
Every contributor represents the Plan B culture; everyone benchmarks behavior with the principles. While there are few common beliefs, there are common principles of human relations that maintain the angst-free zone.
If you take the invitation to live in a Plan B and authenticate for yourself, you will soon be drawn in to the way of life. There is no government, no meddling head shed. When you find you can’t inject unhappiness or create dissent in the proceedings or get away with not contributing, you get hooked. Eventually, you will join the others in thinking “Why live any other way?” This Plan B way of life is immensely satisfying and fun!
The trust-based, Ca’canny-free productivity is obvious. You can see the lentils of Stonehenge being locked in place by the coordinating, collaborating work gangs. Things complex and big are getting done. Results are correlated and coming together. Snide remarks are flying about from clan to clan and are being graded by laughter. They will soon find a gag name for you and bring you into the fair-game zone. Your differences will be accepted but with regular commentary. You have equal opportunity to comment on the differences as you see them – always in a humorous vein. It’s the only way extreme diversity can work together. Attaining the goal takes precedent over cultural defense via humor.
The idea that Plan B must be spontaneous, like OD, is ridiculous. The fruit of business as usual is always OD. To produce any other outcome requires directed intelligence. The fact that the Enchanted Collective state takes considerable cognitive effort doesn’t mean Plan B is unattainable. It means that the process of maintaining an Enchanted Collective involves intelligence and work on a protracted basis. To fall short on maintenance is to go on spontaneous mode to OD. It’s the same thing as short-changing infrastructure maintenance. It’s a one-way ticket to crisis response and condemned facilities.
Once again, the secret to Plan B is not to try to correct the consequences of OD one by one, but to establish the system principles of security and benevolent prosperity and live up to them.
There is an inclination to think that Plan B is “unnatural” and an uphill battle against human nature. The truth is that Plan B is held together by instincts originating in human nature, such as the instinct of workmanship (Veblen), reciprocity, and a square deal. OD is held together by the primitive instincts of social conformity. OD is a state of affairs that requires no effort to sustain. Plan B is a system of social living that requires intelligent husbandry to perpetuate. The effort it takes to sustain Plan B is, however, much less than the effort spent on dealing with the miserable consequences of OD.
Security is knowing that whatever events befall your social system, you’ll be able to deal with them by collaboration and cooperation. Proficiency in dealing with disturbances, like errors, is a major contributor to security. In Plan B, change is accepted as a constant. Error identification and removal is daily life. Crimes, sabotage, the 2nd Law, mistakes, disturbances, are all catalogued under errors. Accident or intent makes no difference to the corrective response.
Plan B attributes
- Principles are taught and discussed and monitored by efforts exerted
- Responsibility is allocated as appropriate
- Creativity = everybody matters
- Most contributors have a hall pass and unblinkered discretion
- Quiet – crises of OD consequences don’t arise in the first place
- Flexibility and adaptability over rule-based
- Blind to race, nationality, and religion
- Error tolerant, no criticism
- Mutual “Got your back” safety
- Personalization, kidding
- Healthy self-image. Self-grading contributors know when they are materially supporting Plan B.
- Learning is encouraged, customized
- Striving for psychological success is encouraged
Plan B husbandry
It’s one challenge to engineer (M2) an enchanted collective and quite another gambit to maintain Plan B. Considerable experience has validated what it takes to husband the viability of Plan B on a sustaining basis. The price is continuous monitoring of the attributes of success. If your maintenance program is falling short, the first signs of deterioration in results are triggers for remedial action.
As defined by experience, Plan Bs are social systems with < 3 levels of hierarchy in a unit and >2 units in a cohort of units with everyone gravitating to the low end of the testosterone scale. The principles of Plan B maintenance do not necessarily apply to any other social system configurations. The head shed, off the charts on high-octane testosterone, DHT, is a menace to itself.
The primary indicator of Plan B in bloom is positive reciprocity. This is the condition where every non-Plan B that transacts with Plan B catches the bug through business intercourse. Because they are getting benefits from Plan B at no cost, their basic human-nature instinct of reciprocity kicks in. This is how the Plan B benefit package continues to expand over time. The lag between exposure to Plan B and reciprocity averages out to two months. Positive reciprocity is the most beautiful, most transcendent, most entrancing of all social system behaviors. It is always associated with low turnover.
Unless you have lived in Plan B, there is no way to determine what is necessary and sufficient to husband Plan B. If you can’t build an EC from available components, dysfunctional to a man, forget about maintaining one. For sure, there is nothing to be gained by trying to fix particular consequences of OD.
And to think our species Homo keeps calling itself sapient.
The principles of effective Plan B maintenance, viability husbandry of the EC, are universal:
- Just like the 4-H clubs, everyone in Plan B learns the principles of social system husbandry – derivation and implementation, as doctrine. Programs are custom developed to help every member get on the same “page.” Doctrine displaces a thousand times its weight in rules.
- The interventionist, always evaluating, developing knowledge, and pushing the envelope, visits Plan B on a periodic basis to upgrade and enhance the principles with the latest, proven sociotechnology. It’s like Detroit’s new model year program.
- Systems think before any maintenance action.
- Human relations before technology. No exceptions.
- Everyone, worker, vector and interventionist included, has low testosterone bloodwork
- Keep the little disturbances little. Anticipation, early detection, prompt local response, and feedback of lessons learned. Maintaining a social system without change is the pursuit of the impossible.
- All detected discrepancies, whatever their origin, are treated as stigma-less errors
- Allocation and correlation of IO2 (Individual Outcome Ownership) as appropriate to circumstances.
- Everyone in Plan B is an important, unique contributor.
- Every contributor has the inalienable right to strive for psychological success (Maslow).
- Every contributor has the inalienable right to increase his productivity-improving competency and be assisted by Plan B.
- All members of Plan B are AQI-trustworthy, taken for granted as such
- The creative bent is encouraged and assisted
- Every contributing member is supported by his immediate social context. No criticism.
Systems-think is a critical success factor. The good things of Plan B are always experienced as a set, implicating a system property that explains why working on the consequences of a system element such as safety, independently, has been so dependably ineffective. In the classical system fashion, system OD spews its set of consequences all over the lot. Comprehended narrowly by groupthink society one crisis at a time, in isolation from the other crises, event-driven groupthink terrorism constructs dysfunctional society as we experience it.
Reprise of the Plan B Barrier
Hints of the Big Barrier, as old as human nature and fractal, shows up in everyone’s experience. All it takes to go “Aha!” is knowing what to look for. The Big Lie is the Establishment tricking society into believing that the Royal elite, supreme commanders all, means what it says about social values and the social goals and objectives it sets forth. It wants you to believe that attaining their stated visions is the paramount value to be used, as a first principle, in selecting social-system activity. It wants you to ignore the fact that the cult of management, invariant, has only responded to human needs because of government regulation to that effect. Government intervention only occurs after protracted calamity on its citizens. Social systems determine their experience, good or bad, not the circumstances of life.
Yes, we have engineered the magnificent metamorphosis that transmutes OD into Plan B. Yes, we have engineered its husbandry on a sustaining basis. Nevertheless, we get scant comfort from the fact that no one ever developed a workaround to the Big Lie. Our quest is not yet complete, the Big Lie has stymied us. There are only millennia of failures for guidance. Thanks, mentors. Before enlightenment, RBF. After enlightenment, RBF. Is RBF the destiny of sapient life?
The Big Barrier is that stated goal attainment is far down the list of operational priorities for determining the task actions of society and its government. You have many examples of this betrayal in action values in your own experience. “Do what I say; not what I do!” The lie gets Big when survival of the social system is at stake. History shows us the choice of civilizations to fail has always been made to protect the higher values, undisclosed, that were really controlling action.
Applying Warfield’s Dictum to the monotonous rise and fall of civilizations, do not expect anything else. Do not fault a civilization for acting in opposition to your standards. You are asking it to do what it cannot. The more dysfunctional social systems default to forces outside of itself, the more it is dominated by them.
The more a society clings to its past, the more it becomes unavailable to the present. Bingo!
The Greek democracy didn’t last a century. The Vikings lasted for three, the Romans eight. Cyrus the Great established the civilization in Mesopotamia that brought prosperity and security for the duration of his reign. Cyrus the Great was not stoned on testosterone, a concept no potentate is trained to fathom. Turnover killed the lot. All the failures were due to the failure to husband the viability of their social systems. Many of the principles of Plan B were stated by Chinese philosophers and rulers eons ago. The concept of “vector” as the gatekeeper of culture and prosperity eluded everyone.
Why would anyone think that the “drive” strategy of management that failed so miserably in motivating you in a positive direction would serve your goals in motivating your workers? On what basis do you trust a head shed that issues commands contrary to its stated goals? How can you trust a management that allocates the majority of its time to amplifying issues that should never have arisen in the first place, and attempting to defy nature’s laws?
Top management allocates most of its efforts to two categories of task action:
- Issues that in Plan B never arise, but in OD are plagues
- Incessant attempts to defy a natural law or two
Management elite corners society’s credentials of intelligence while it acts contrary to its own stated goals. From what perspective is this not stupid? The majority of labor has high native intelligence but has bought-in on the brainwashing of its social conditioning – the myth that it is intrinsically incipient and irresponsible, which is why it’s called labor, and should leave decisions to the “intelligentsia.”
The vector is where the stupidity of management has to stop penetrating down the hierarchy. In the transmutation, the vector unlocks the intelligence and creativity of the workforce to the benefit of the individual and his social system. All creativity is in the now.
- Insulators from hierarchical testosterones and their inanities
- Systems think
- Increasing competency to:
- Detect and handle disturbances
- Extract entropy
- Relate to others
- Negotiators with hierarchical testosterones
- Security watchdogs
- Rogerian triad practitioners
Vectors rally the members around:
- The Plan B Magna Carta
- The individual bill of rights
Magna Carta Libertatum
In 1215, when the nobles of King John were exhausted from living with uncertainty, the archbishop of Canterbury prepared a set of “rights” to stem the habit of the King to imprison nobles who displeased him. By 1297 the inalienable rights had become English statute law. The parallel to the Plan B situation with King Head Shed is too exact to ignore.
When all questions about Plan B are answered by performance, it is up to the vector cohort to prepare its set of stop rules. As with King John, workforce security must not be abridged by a testosterone-crazed management bent on workforce annihilation. It is insane, but demonstrably true that management reflex to organizational prosperity is to destroy its source. This response spotlights where the instinct of domination ranks on management’s value system. The oxytocin-based workforce must be insulated from testosterone-driven antagonists in authority.
Stop rules, as proffered by the democratic vector cohort:
- No change in work context is to be made by management without consultation with and approval by the vectors.
- Management is responsible for workload trajectories. It must assure continuity of employment by constantly-supplied input hoppers.
- Vectors, gatekeepers of the line, are the gatekeepers of staff initiatives that may involve the workforce. Their say is final.
- Initiatives by the workforce to improve productivity may not be overridden by authority.
Plan B “Bill of Rights”
- Magna Carta in place
- Benevolent prosperity
- A square deal
- Insulation from testosterone-driven antagonists
- Personalized support
- Opportunity to qualify for a hall pass
- Opportunity to attain psychological success
- Opportunity to increase his talent stack
- Opportunity to test candidate solutions
- Every contributor implements the principles of Plan B
As stated earlier, we have no workaround for the Big Lie. We have little cause for optimism. The lack of auto-emulation of what is clearly superior is an unconquered barrier to spreading Plan B to its rightful extent. What we do have is a long list of strategies that don’t work, including every stratagem anybody ever thought of. We will not repeat them. There is no giving up on the final challenge, of course, but new assumptions are called for. We’ll start from where we know, the parts that worked. Your suggestions will be appreciated.
Preparing to hurdle the Barrier
We have assaulted the final barrier too many times in too many ways for far too long to think success in this particular quest at trail’s end is attainable by persistence with “the usual suspects.” Yes, we now have living proof what M2 success looks like, but Plan B is not self-promoting to the folks than run society. When management groupthink faces the reality of Plan B, the reflex is catatonia. This universal response can be demonstrated for you with your organization at-will. With what has been provided in this book, you can demonstrate this phenomenon in your organization at-will yourself.
Any social system in OD is reluctant to relinquish the predictability of its ideology. Clutching to its business as usual avoids having to assume responsibility for the consequences of its actions. Vectors have no such emotional baggage to lug around. They can’t afford it.
As with the engineering of M2, the only path to finding the fix, even if there is such a thing, is run, break, and fix (RBF) on a large scale. This means starting with fresh assumptions and taking the oath to avoid repeating the failures of the past. Using the process of elimination has reduced the zone of possible fixes to the alien and the exotic. In this quest, “Boldly going where no man has gone before,” there can be neither fences nor ceilings to system strategy and tactics. As Henry Ford voiced in 1919, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
For sure, the engine of the Big Barrier sits very deep in human nature. The errors of groupthink are being made at a very primitive level. The barrier is not the last resort of groupthink but the first. What follows is an example of the new thinking and testing of candidate fixes and their rationale.
An example of radical strategizing
Whenever a man obtains ownership of the work time of another man, he claims he does so to use the work time acquired to further his business interests. If the person is a slave, the master gets all of his time. If the person is a free man, the master gets as much of his work time as he contracts for. As part of the deal, the at-will citizen wage earner is an at-will employee, serving at the pleasure of the head shed.
Accordingly, management groupthink concludes that buying worker’s work time is equivalent to attaining head shed goals. It believes wages are directly connected to reaching objectives at the same time it engages the wages issue as a zero sum competition with the workforce. The worker sees lop-sided conflict with management as an unwarranted abuse of authority. By their actions, he can see management’s motive is confined to buying “demonized” labor as cheaply as it can.
By matching the indifference of management to worker with his indifference to management, the worker responds to managerial abuse by disconnecting all sense of ownership for what management gets for his work time. More abuse nets more Ca’canny, instantly. The standoff using the withdrawal of efficiency began in Britain, first named Ca’canny in Scotland in the 1700s, and continues to this day. The very same withholding of efficiency has been called soldiering, slacking-off, goldbricking, indolence, and malingering.
While management groupthink is fixated on equating purchased worktime with organizational prosperity, the workers believe their wages are connected only to the employee time clock records printed by the NCR machine – the machine that centers company policy. They think that any connection of their purchased work time to reaching organizational goals is entirely management’s affair. It is a colossal lose-lose blunder.
Above a critical size of the workforce, a nominal 200 individuals, called the Dunbar Number, no individual can “know” all the others, i.e., establish a trusting relationship with each person. This fact of multiplicity limit forces a landslide change in attitude between the upper echelons and the workforce. The multiplicity constraint of human communications, control-theory mathematics, lubricates a rapid slide to workforce depersonalization. The end state of depersonalization, accelerated further by high turnover, is demonization. The progression from human to demon labor attends the focus on work time as connected to goal attainment and wages.
The worker has been socially conditioned to exchange his work time for a wage, without an alternative, as divine destiny. Depersonalized by the organization which signed him on, he puts in his time indifferent to what his efforts may or may not achieve for the organization. The relationship begins and ends on the worker’s time card. The value of his effort to the organization, if any, is determined subjectively by management.
As reality shows, however, workers are smart and competent – a ready resource of intelligence and innovation amplification. In Plan B, this large resource is exploited to benefit everyone. The public operetta with wages for time is an act. As history shows, no civilization has ever been able to buy its way into prosperity by concentrating on wages for time-sheet time instead of reward, real or psychological, for accomplishment of primary objectives.
Disconnecting wages from any responsibility for accomplishment has the workers holding management in the same demonized state that management holds the workers – primed to the max on testosterone for zero-sum battle. With work time the focus of wages, management has many alternatives to labor demands. In lean times it can fire and replace at lower wages and the worker knows it.
Exchanging worktime time for wages has been an utter failure on several fronts. The long and broad history of wages for worktime speaks for itself. Between 1895 and 1925 about a thousand different ways of tying wages to productivity were implemented, testing the influence of wages on worker performance on a massive global scale. Some schemes seemed to work for a while, but time and turnover exposed the delusion.
Oblivious to lessons-learned, management insisted on keeping the 70+ hour workweek standard even when it was repeatedly shown that fewer hours of worktime produced more gross productivity. The inane, contrived zero-sum conflict persisted for more than a century until the government stepped in, around 1925, and, following England’s lead, made the obvious mandatory. The culture of management, sprouting from human nature of course, is one of the great invariants of the universe. The propensity to revert to form never vanishes.
The grand scheme behind this candidate to hurdle the Plan B Barrier is to reverse the de facto power gradient going from high management to low workforce, a delusion, to workforce high to management helpless, the reality. This candidate is completely based on something anyone can evaluate for himself.
Begin with the fact the workforce is the only segment of the hierarchy that can deliver organizational prosperity and security and that, and not time punched on a time card, correctly represents the workforce value. Workforce time, as the currency of management-labor relations, is the feedstock of OD. Goal attainment responsibility correlation is the feedstock of Plan B. As long as worker time is held as the centerpiece of transactions in the organization, OD will be the lose-lose outcome.
With prosperity and security attainment the focus of transaction of values added between workforce and the head shed, it is management that has no alternative. Management is incapable of delivering benefits in security or prosperity. The workforce is the only possible provider. It is thereby up to the workforce to focus on prosperity and security attainment as its reason for being – a reason that is demonstrably true. There is no zero-sum anywhere in goal attainment.
Accomplishment of noble purpose is paramount. Especially since management has no viable alternatives. Since groupthink prevents management from understanding the simple rationale, don’t ask management to understand what management can’t. Since is impossible for management effort of any kind or amount to produce a direct, positive influence on organizational projects, no infusion of money can make it right.
Since conditions in the operational reality are perpetually in transition, adjustments are necessary on a constant basis. Because these corrections have to be local, particular, and future, in order to be effective, only the workforce has direct control. The workforce can reduce productivity at will (Ca’canny) and it can execute algorithms that will increase productivity at will. In Plan B, the workforce displaces wages for work time as the criterion of membership with joyfully delivering the prosperity and security of the social system. Being in the driver’s seat and knowing it, the vectors take the lead in any negotiations. It is the reverse image of management labor zero sum where management controls the treasury. The workforce directly and immediately controls organizational prosperity and security.
Management gives up its “right” to meddle with operations and drive the organization into dysfunction, OD, in exchange for the sustained benefit package of Plan B. Work time as the currency of transactions drops completely out of the picture. Outcome responsibility, results-based performance, is the paramount factor in prosperity and security.