The Greek god of Utopia has two faces, like the Roman’s Janus. The familiar face of Plan B in fictional literature greets you with a pleasant countenance. Its companion face, unfamiliar, jolts you. While Utopia as benign entertainment is acknowledged, you will find the themes of Utopia in this tome to be brute non-fiction reality. If you continue, somewhere along the line you will experience intellectual pushback. It turns out that Utopia is genuine. How is this known?
- Plan B dynamic specification met
- Map to get there proven
- Map to sustain Plan B proven
- Open for visitor surveys
As entertainment, the fictional view of Utopia is fantastical. The only way human society has ever been able to envision the nebulous idea of a plan B society for itself, is through the kaleidoscope of science fiction. The entire history of mankind to date has been predicated on the doctrine that only one form and functionality of human society is possible in this universe. Any other combination must be contrived fantasy and, like all Utopias and Hogwarts, imaginary. On earth there is but one kind of materialized human society, call it what you will.
The thesis herein is that our sapient species, Homo, imprinted with the standard mammalian genes, has social-system options that were never available to any other life form since the formation of the solar system. Not only does a social-system plan B exist, complementary and opposite to what we have (Yin/Yang), you can go there, experience it for yourself, and bring back souvenirs.
When the idea that Plan B is real, available now, and a whole lot better than the standard Establishment issue sinks in, you will be unable to remain the same person. Yes, man has finally materialized Utopia and built the factory for making Utopias out of dystopias, for real. You can physically visit there and participate in Plan B dynamics, as you wish, for yourself. When you’re there, you can interview pilgrims, veterans of the journey out of dystopia. A pathway, a pilgrimage, has been built, think yellow-brick road, which takes you from where you are to Plan B. All the building materials of Plan B come from dystopia. You will recognize the lot. Where else but from the real world we have inherited?
What’s the jolt of a tangible Plan B? Finding out that you were conned into living a dysfunctional, man-made form of organizational life that was completely unnecessary. Your very own society made a fool out of you. To accept the truth of Plan B is to call your life choices, you thought you made, into question. Skeptical?
It only takes a couple of minutes for you to bring up the basic concept of Plan B reality, as we just did here, with another person and observe the face of disbelief about the truth yourself. Forewarned is forearmed.
The definition of Utopia dynamics used throughout the pilgrimage is by the same Sir Thomas More who coined the name Utopia in 1516 CE in his book Utopia. More’s definition is functional. He says Utopia is a social system where:
- The necessary services to husband Utopia prosperity are competently provided, by
- People who are happy to fulfill their assumed responsibilities for sustaining Plan B.
Remember the instant the notion that Plan B might be real entered your mind? Wasn’t the intellectual bombshell like the climax scene in your worst nightmare? All of a sudden your subconscious brain is working overtime and you can feel high energy consumption you can’t control.
To have a slew of fantasy worlds to engage is so human. You don’t have to concern yourself about consistency with the mathematical physics of the universe, whatever that is. You can conjure a condition as you wish, animate it as you wish, and never have to explain how your “condition” came to be in the first place.
As soon as the word “real” enters the social system design arena, the game being played there changes. In fantasy world, magic justifies everything. Fantasy is so easy, so social. When it’s time to eat real food, you can park your fantasy anywhere. You’re in total control.
In real-world society, there is a barrage, an onslaught of material issues that have to be aligned, congruent and consistent with universal law. Why? If there were any real paradoxes in Nature, we wouldn’t be here. Reality is so brutish, so indifferent. Ugh!
Tell us you have a real Utopia and give us directions, we are immediately going to go there and measure its activity against the known laws of the universe. We will stay in your Utopia until we find out how it came to be from the stuff nature provided everyone on the planet to work with. If your Utopia meets the universal specifications that all sustainable realness has to meet, we will apply for citizenship. We will pledge our utmost to keep it viable. We want the best Utopia possible for our progeny.
Everyone knows how dystopia actually operates day to day because they live in it. Thanks to a highly effective social conditioning system, dystopia is so everywhere people believe there is only dystopia and so become resigned to it. Besides, every account of Utopia in the library wants you to take its veracity on faith. If their Utopia is so idyllic, why can’t people go there and smartphone selfies to their social pods? Why hasn’t idyllic naturally taken priority over how we live?
The public witnesses and experiences instance after example where revolt from one dystopia goes to a brief limbo state where the only options out of limbo are back to another dystopia, think French revolution. Because no one ever lived in a real Plan B (knowingly), people have no material concept of a social system dynamic other than dystopia and thereby have no curiosity about a path that takes you to a Utopia. The whole in-your-face reality of dystopia is stacked against nothing but surreal musings about a supernatural “system” cloaked in fantasy and fable – no two the same. “People in my heaven believe that your idea of heaven is blasphemy.”
Pilgrimage success announces that the puzzles and mystique about Utopia are no more. You can visit a Plan B, at your convenience, and measure for yourself. You can take a well-trodden path, the pilgrimage, which connects from where you are with Utopia. You will be told about the necessaries of Utopia that make it not-dystopia, during the pilgrimage. You will be the first person to know when you get there. By all means, take selfies.
You learn to tell Plan B apart from dystopia by what it does, not by its location, architecture, or facilities. Strange, the many writers of Utopia were unable to identify a single artifact that was uniquely Utopian and generally recognized as such, like Star Trek’s The Enterprise. Since you can live and work in Plan B, you can compare the A and B brands of social system dynamics for yourself. Everything else is exactly the same. Huh?
Now that Plan B is materialized, a vigorous, vibrant place you can examine at your convenience, it’s time to face the grossly-flawed assumptions behind your acculturalization – of dystopia, by dystopia and for dystopia. Appreciate that the enormous library of non-fiction material produced since Eden about leadership and social system operations is by necessity only about dystopia. You have no frame of reference, a mental model for recognizing Plan B. Turns out, it’s an action movie with familiar actors and places. Plan B is the story board.
Some authors fantasized about a Utopia, to be sure, but no one dared say they knew how to implement one. Those who described their ideas about what properties and attributes Utopia must possess, could think of no path to create a Utopia out of what everyone has to build one with – dystopia debris. Many tried; none succeeded.
In no other endeavor of mankind has so much been spent by so many for so long to such miserable effect. It is the largest-scale proof ever that no matter how much data you gather about an issue, the data point nowhere. The paucity of attempts to extricate humanity out of the quicksand of dystopia, a man-made artifact, simply shows that humanity doesn’t really believe that an alternative to the deplorable, world-wide situation can exist. This truth can be demonstrated on any social system of yours in ten minutes. The big paradox standing athwart the goal-seeking path, one that you have never witnessed before, is that the same public which rails so forcefully against organizational dysfunction is petrified of its remedy. There was no way to know this before a self-sustaining Plan B was materialized. Barriers to Plan B are everywhere.
The big spectacle of the before (dystopia) and after (Plan B) comparison, spotlighted by the new capability to transform dystopia into Plan B, on demand, is that the emperors wear no clothes. Stop and consider what this bias towards dysfunction means to problem-solving activity. Does it not shed new light on your experience? Read the paper.
(2016) Sales at each bank and for each employee were reported to district managers four times a day and discussed by them, according to the complaint. Employees who failed to meet daily sales goals were approached by management and often reprimanded.
“Wells Fargo knew that their unreasonable quotas were driving these unethical behaviors that were used to fraudulently increase their stock price and benefit the CEO at the expense of the low-level employees,” the bankers alleged in state court. “Although this policy was known to top executives of defendants, plaintiffs, as bankers, were blamed for harm to clients and retaliated against.”
Typical news, but what to make of it? People are burdened with dystopia-caused angst and shout against inane, harmful organizational dysfunction. When offered an opportunity to forsake dystopia for Plan B, however, they rigor mortis. The invitation to visit a Plan B and learn directly from the pilgrims how it’s done, triggers catatonia. You can test this out in five minutes on anyone. After you get the same reaction a few hundred times in a row, wielding the power of the test won’t be as much fun. And then, you think about what their catatonia means. Jolt.
In order to better grasp what the pilgrimage is about, it is essential to appreciate the significance of the wholesale rejection of real Plan B. What people mired in organizational dysfunction do, is clamor for a leader to fix things right where they are – knowing full well it is wishful thinking. Huh?
Why is changing leaders always the dystopians’ default fix to their calamities? The current opinion on this miscarriage of acumen is that the general population prefers the devil they know to an unfamiliar regime of dubious heritage. The masses have been burned too many times by faux change. They have no trust to attempt another. Whatever, the rejection of rescue from dystopia is a deep-seated reflex.
People with experience honestly believe that all changes from their dystopia can only make things worse. Experience with implementing Plan Bs, however, has shown that once the realities of a real-to-life Plan B have sunk in, expectations validated, the attitude makes a 180o. The typical reaction at their epiphany? “What was I thinking!”
Catatonia aside, the fact remains that Plan B and the pathway that leads from dystopia to Plan B exist. Reality never has to ask for faith. The pilgrims are on the path. They are material, living and enthusiastic and you can immerse yourself in the action. Refusal to do so in no way disproves the facts of the tangible, prosperous alternative to dystopia. Rejection just represents another triumph of social brainwashing over experience.
Pilgrimage benefit package – in a nutshell
We offer implementation of a fast-acting paradigm that simultaneously:
- Cuts losses by 50%
- Cuts turnover by 75%
- Cuts waste by 50%
- Raises production by 25%
Together these improvements deliver an increase in productivity that rolls up into a 25% profit windfall per annum.
There are several active implementations in the USA in various stages of maturity where you can examine realizations of the extraordinary benefits package and interview the participants. On-site audits expedite understanding and assessment in the best tradition of “Try it before you buy it.” Are you prepared to take advantage?
The Man in the Middle (MitM)
The individuals for whom this Book 3 was prepared are quite special. They are not members of the hierarchical level that automatically qualifies them as pilgrims. They seek the Utopian way of life each for his own benefit, not that of his organization, and consider their upcoming social losses as an unavoidable, but acceptable, cost of the transmutation. The aim here is to assist the candidate pilgrim in making a choice best for himself. He needs truth about the hit in social standings he will take when he mutates and he needs truth about the benefit package that comes from building his personal Plan B bubble. Everything in the pilgrimage is focused on the MitM. If you’re not one, the only benefit you can expect is to shed your angst. Once you understand the rationale and mechanisms of action of the paradoxes surrounding you, they lose their grip on your emotions and self-image.
All automatically-qualified pilgrims are “Men in the Middle,” MitM, in three dimensions. The popularized names, “Man in the Middle” and “Marginal Man,” document back to 1880 when railroads became nation empires unto themselves. MitM are the front line supervisors. The first century of MitM, called the champion era, was tumultuous with high highs and low lows.
MitM are at the center of inward-outward self-perspectives and they are the focal point of the down-up perspectives of others in the hierarchy. The outward view is You, Inc., your family and your social environment, however you value it. The inward view is You, LLC. You must husband your own viability before you can do anything constructive at You, Inc.
The down view of MitM is from a management cascade of domination and command that considers the productivity gatekeeper MitM as the whip end of the drive-the-worker chain. The up view is from the workmen in the revenue crew laboring at the workface, called “grounders,” who position their foreman to be the incarnate organization itself. The top-down buck stops at the productivity protagonist. The bottom-up buck stops at the productivity gatekeeper – the man chosen by Nature to be solely responsible for outcomes delivered by the (work)force. The distinguishing attribute of the MitM is that he has nothing socially to lose. He is already marginalized-man by virtue of his intrinsic role in the hierarchy. He is of Nature’s “chosen” people. He has been given the most powerful positive action role in the hierarchy, bar none.
The collision between top-down “Make us a world-class organization” and bottom-up “What do we produce today?” takes place between the ears of the MitM. He is the “Engineer/Designer of Record” of the revenue-generating process. All designers are MitM. All designers are de facto responsible for the dynamics of what tasks and systems they design. The ones who told the MitM, in generalized language, what outcomes they needed, know that whatever designers are, they do not belong in their club. Members in their league, acutely aware of their incompetence, do not command each other to resolve complex issues.
The ones who will be using the designer’s creation know they are being asked to take a risk they did not sign on to. Until the design is proven in use, the designer is no friend of the user. After the design is established, there’s no point to know anything about the designer at all. It is only, always and completely about his design, not his personal attributes. The user relationship is asocial – unless it fails.
All designers are taking abstractions (generalizations, goals, whims) in and delivering respective goal-attaining tangibles out. This magic of transformation, raw creativity and local knowledge, called the Franceschi Fitting, is strictly and uniquely MitM- individual. Fitness requires design autonomy given in fair exchange for freely-taking outcome responsibility – the only kind that is legitimate. Social systems can debate about the fitness of the magic, but as collectives, they cannot perform it – even at Hogwarts. Any confusion on this point can be erased by running a test. The response to the command to create en masse is always paralysis. Try it.
The hierarchical position of foreman, aka front-line supervisor, the boss, dates back to the master-apprentice age. That was a time in labor-management relations when it was recognized that this position of influence was somehow “special.” The roles of management and worker in the early stages of huge industrial growth were pretty much the same as they were in Feudal times. The lords came around to the peasants to get their piece of the action but they did not tell them how to farm.
The MitM in principle:
- Is the only place in society where ends and means are fused
- Is the designer/architect of productivity
- The exclusive front line leader, productivity protagonist, productivity gatekeeper
- The Franceschi Fitting
- Capable of Maslow’s self-actualization, psychological success
- Is the critical, essential, key level in the hierarchy authentically responsible for viability husbandry
- Fulfills a role that cannot be destroyed, altered, or delegated
- Chief entropy extraction and relocation officer
- Masters of their destiny in the workplace
The MitM in dystopia:
- Is anonymous, depersonalized, handicapped, marginalized
- Is management’s punching bag
- Deliberately mushroomed by management
- A disappointment to his workers
- Is not given or allowed membership in the executives club
- Is not given or allowed membership in the union
- Is not legally allowed to form a union
- Denied assistance
The MitM in Plan B:
- Esteemed in particular and in general
- Proudly responsible for Plan B husbandry and recognized as such
- Given devout as-requested assistance
Ignorant of, misunderstanding, and handicapping the functional role of the MitM is the most self-defeating, egregious error made in social operations anywhere and everywhere. The awful, ubiquitous blunder puts strict limits on goal-seeking effectiveness. Whenever the true, functional MitM role arranged by Nature Herself is impaired, for any reason, society as a whole suffers the consequences. Abusing the foreman, rather than eagerly supporting him, jeopardizes organizational survival. No matter that it’s standard practice, it’s self-defeating.
The MitM were prevented from forming a foremen’s union by the Establishment. In 1934 Congressional hearings, CEOs argued that foremen were part of management. When Congress favored foreman independence, they were invited to form a union within the CIO framework in 1936, but in 1938 the CIO threw them out. The killer blow to independent foremen unionization came in 1948 with the Taft-Hartley act. Not even remnants exist today.
Management has hostile feelings about any level in the organization it feels it can’t dominate (the First Commandment syndrome). Management reasons, subconsciously, if the foreman and his revenue crew is recognized for its (obviously) key role in keeping the organization viable, people might then wonder what management does for its lofty wage.
To temporarily address its cognitive dissonance, management punishes the foreman it holds responsible for causing its anxiety in every way it can (financial). Management believes that the foremen somehow surreptitiously took the power and control away (how else could they get it?). In seeking revenge, management may be able to temporarily attain cognitive-dissonance relief by marginalizing the foreman role, but it does so at a loss in organizational viability. The great impact this paradox has on reducing organizational survivability is, perforce, covered up. How else to account for the embarrassing rate of business failures?
During the first century of the champion era, 1800-1925, the role of the foreman was widely appreciated for its critical importance. In 1890, the YMCA first established “Foremen Clubs” for MitM (Ohio), providing foreman with higher education opportunities, training, and social occasions. Several of the champions were regularly invited into well-attended auditoriums, usually on Sunday, to deliver their messages on productivity, often a variant of Taylorism. The audience of foremen treated them as heroes. A few of the YMCA foreman clubs lasted through WWII.
The champions could not help but recognize the special nature of the all-foremen audiences in great contrast to their many “other” audiences (a key factor in our experience as well). Several of the champions remarked about the critical importance of the foreman in their papers. But in the end, everyone went with the established flow of hierarchical domination. Taylorism missed the foreman prize by a mile. Even protagonist Whiting Williams who lived with and worked as a worker, missed the role of the foreman as chief viability wizard. The current guess is that by his time (1918) the foremen had been reduced to impotent rubble by management by economic force. It never occurred to Williams, we surmise, that the “rubble” could be reconstructed back to fully functional, rightful prominence.
Who wants the job of explaining to management how it is that natural law gives it full discretion on issuing commands to all, at the same time it gives the foreman sole power and responsibility for husbanding viability? Try explaining to zero-sum management that it has the power to end the clash with Nature’s indifference, by sending to the foreman whatever discretion he needs, irrevocable, to fulfill his role – like it’s done in Plan B.
Ignorant of or misunderstanding the functional role of the worker is the second biggest error made in organizational operations. This error is so ubiquitous and deeply held, even the workforce itself, when interrogated by professionals, affirms the dubious doctrine of depravity. The proof of this false façade was nailed for all time by the very determined and brave Whiting Williams from Cleveland, Ohio, mentioned above. For three years (1918-1921), he joined the workforces of the world, cheek by jowl, living and working as a laborer with the laborers. His insights from first-hand experience, recorded in his books, blows the false assumptions of the worker to smithereens. When we took Williams’ considerable research out for reality testing in the 21st century, his findings and conclusions were affirmed. Talk about Ashby’s intelligence amplification!
The fundamental assumptions about the “worker,” the man wielding the pick and shovel, hold that his “class” is lazy, stupid, ignorant, immoral, and only shows up at work for the wage. This “untouchable,” inherently-unworthy caste seems to be a necessary anchor to a many-level society. With social conditioning emphasizing the contrast between the deserving people at top and the undeserving low-lifes at the bottom of the social ladder. Affirming closed-loop behavior ensues. Thusly, the grand poohbahs at the top think of their dominion as an extension of their god-given right to establish the way of life for their people as their whim sees fit.
To play along with their deliberately-maligned role, the worker class acts-out the very qualities declared as gospel by the poohbahs. With feigned sincerity, workers themselves claim to possess every personality attribute that high society denigrates them with. The workers themselves buy into the untouchable role, as coerced, as Whiting Williams exposed. It is an act of submission they are taught at an early age.
To leverage the truth, the pilgrimage was designed on the platform that the worker was every bit as fit, intellectually endowed, and noble as those in management. In no instance during our long quest has this assumption failed us. When the pilgrim-foremen recognize the ruse society pulled on them, they learn they can have all that capability, creativity, competence, and horsepower available to amplify goal-seeking progress. The power of effort amplification was right there in their hands the whole time!
When the veteran pilgrimage foremen implement the truths about their workers with understanding and intelligence, they are bowled-over by the immediate positive response. (How long does it take a person to change an attitude when he wants to?) By no other route but bell-cows could a benefit package so large manifest so fast with such a range of individuals. For the workforce, there’s no going back to dystopia and Ca’ canny.
The view of things from the MitM perspective, the one that counts, is illuminating. As a marginalized member of the organization, the MitM encounters no:
- Regard as an individual
- Respect for MitM job-critical capabilities he contributes
- Professional courtesy for the role
- No listening of concerns, doubts and issues
- Recognition of his performance
- Understanding the difficult circumstances of his work:
- Understanding of:
- What we do
- How we do it
- Organizational support
- No one looks after the MitMs
What the MitM does encounter is alienation coupled to the depersonalization of work. He has firm evidence of being an anonymous object of senseless abuse and obstruction.
The force-based treatment of labor by management forms the image workers have of management and unenlightened foremen, as people who:
- Drive them for no reason
- Try to hurt them
- Do not care for them
- Enjoy making their life more difficult
- Are indifferent to their needs
- Are treacherous
This is not the stuff of productivity-increasing organizational excellence.
Non-qualifiers group in three classes:
- Management, executives, potentates
- General staff: professions and disciplines
- Stakeholders: stockholders, labor, and the public at large
The ruling caste, by definition, is hostile to Plan B from any angle. Even as a concept, the very idea of a self-governing, self-sustaining high-performance social system is nightmare-city to the head shed. “How in hell do you dominate one of those?” Management above the 2½ rule on the ladder is spared engagement with the paradigm because, as considerable experience shows, knowledge about Plan B functionality does it more harm (cognitive dissonance) than good. Management exclusion (by bifurcation) is one of the stop rules. You won’t encounter management on the pilgrimage.
The general staff category is intrinsically and permanently ambivalent about Plan B. It wants control without responsibility for fitness, a flat-out impossibility. There are many important designers in this class, bona fide MitM to be sure, but vicarious pilgrims must be open-minded about embracing the Plan B way of life. Plan B cannot adapt to the general staff.
Engineering is the only general-staff discipline that has conditions of professional license, inherited from Hammurabi and congruent with Utopian ideology, particularly the part regarding fitness responsibility. Note well that academics, scientists and managers are not in licensed professions. Civil law does not make them responsible for the dystopia mischief they deliver because in their case, the law reflects the authentic responsibility exclusive to the designer. No matter how adept, non-designers cannot deliver positive organizational outcomes. All problem-solving, all improvements come via design. We live in a world that is designed and none of it was designed by a head shed. No improvements can come from rule-based behavior, obedience to authority.
When testifying before Congress, every CEO of too-big-to-fail orchestrates his feigned responsibility with: “How could anyone at my level of authority know what was going on in production?” This universal excuse for the carnage he inflicted on the public always prevails. The workers guilty of the crime of obedience, enablers of his crime of command, default with “We were only following orders.”
Who’s left without an excuse? The MitM. He does know what’s going on in production and he does design the tasks performed by the workers. There is no one else. There can be no one else. Nature has designed it so.
The stakeholder category is the largest, by far. Everybody is a stakeholder in many organizations at once. Stakeholders tend to be organizationally neutral about the dystopia/Plan B situation. Their quiet submission to flowing damage stems from the fact that stakeholder collectives themselves are as dysfunctional as the organizations they have a stake in. Resignation to their fate at the hands of dystopia, passive acceptance of its pain and abuse, is expressed as “It could have been worse.”
If you are a member of category 2 or 3, you can benefit greatly, personally, by taking the pilgrimage. You can create your own Plan B bubble, of course, but you are not hierarchically endowed to bring Plan B to your organization. Unless you are careful to accept the limitation and keep your achievement low-profile and personal, you will be marginalized. Think of your pals in dystopia as hired heretic assassins. To protect their own memberships, they would not hesitate to throw you under the bus.
Your personal situation doesn’t count for acceptance as a pilgrim until after you choose to experience a Plan B. Refusing to audit an implementation is the end of it. As Claude Shannon derived mathematically, closed mindedness always ends the purpose of communication. Channel bandwidth has nothing to do with it. The immediacy and the finality of the refusal, the typical case, affirms that no conscious, cognitive processing went into the decision. Refusing the Utopia experience signals that nothing else, like a book, could make a difference. Closed-minded is as closed-minded does.
If you do examine and evaluate an application, whatever you decide after your audit will be the right choice for you.
Following the derivation of the paradigm will acclimate you for the assessment experience. The more you learn what to expect in Plan B and why it operates like it does, the more likely you will make a sound evaluation. What’s at stake? The way you live and the outcomes you attain.
Setting the stage
The pragmatic reason for mutating from dystopia up to Plan B is unpretentious. Dystopia is a stressful, unsafe, unhealthy, and unjust place to live. It is marked by perfidy. Dog eat dog? Just look.
What could have delivered a more complete, authentic accounting of dystopia than the 2016 presidential election? How could anyone have questions about what dystopians do to bring about collapse to a civilization? When in history has more egregious counterproductivity been on public display in so short a time period? The truth about operational Establishments provides a stark backdrop for the Utopia show.
Yes, membership in the cult of self-inflicted misery is automatic, a free ride. Your affiliation credentials appeared in your wallet by growing up in dystopia, where stupid is rewarded and manifest intelligence is punished. Go mindless, effortless and, drowning in paradox, emulate whatever the others in your caste do and you’re platinum plus. In dystopia, time never works favorably for the workforce.
Nobody ever worries about perpetuating dystopia because it strengthens bonds on its own. Swaddled in enigma, everything important there is undiscussable. Collaboration disintegrates to every-man-for-himself. In dystopia, physiologically, your dopamine levels bottom out.
Of course the way you live affects your physical wellbeing. As anyone can see, people complicit in organizational dysfunction are hurting. Socially conditioned to be submissive, no one appreciates that their anguish is unnecessary.
While the drive engines of dystopia and of Plan B have been derived as manifestations of natural law, the case resting upon empirical knowledge is voluminous. After WWII, an army of academics and think-tanks took off after the organizational factors that were so prominent and influential during the war. In 1964, Chris Argyris, then at Yale, published “Integrating the Individual and the Organization,” which gathered the thousands of various disjointed works together for appraisal. It documents that fifty years ago, key elements of the pilgrimage paradigm were well established and widely known.
The Argyris compilation is an encyclopedia of knowledge about the characteristics of dystopia and the attempts at building Utopias which, since no one had ever been to one, were conceptualized using the same flawed assumptions that produces dystopia. The Argyris 2004 book laments that his 1960 specification of Utopia had never been met. He also claimed that his specifications of a self-sustaining Utopia would stand. He was right on both counts.
Argyris’ heroic work needs no updating or expansion to be relevant to today’s situation. He hammered his peers about how few efforts were aimed at developing solutions to the societal malfunctions their own research had illuminated. He chided the disciplines of psychology and sociology for having no theoretical framework for mapping their activity. He lobbied for an overarching, systematic philosophy from which solutions could be developed that can be tested (audited) against his characterization of Utopia. Never happened.
As it turned out, it was the mathematical physics perspective of organizational behavior established by Rudolf Starkermann that explained why global society failed to act on the well-publicized, invaluable, empirical knowledge. With reckless abandon, it ignored two centuries of very-costly lessons learned. It was the structure established by the dynamic simulations of Starkermann (Starkermann.com) that highlighted the flawed assumptions. Once identified, examples of false assumptions in action were found everywhere. Demonstration of these, using your situation, is easy and quick.
The lesson learned from erroneous assumptions is that it only takes one essential factor to be missing or corrupt and remedial efforts concerning dystopia fail. It’s a lot easier to fall off the mountainous trail to Plan B than climb it. Plan B can heal itself only after it ignites and dynamos as a functional unit. In stark contrast to dystopia, many elements in this Plan B business are all or nothing.
For those thinking about getting out of the asylum of crazies, dystopia handles the potential of member defection two ways. First, it socially conditions everyone to believe that Plan B doesn’t exist. “Go ahead and leave. You’re next stop will be the same or worse.” This admonition has been painfully true.
Second, defectors are excommunicated. In these two matters, dystopia is both efficient and effective. If Utopia really is fiction, as every author of Utopia this or that has clearly announced, there is no purpose to pilgrimage. As reported throughout human history, the destruction of one dystopia was quickly replaced, not with a Utopia, but by another cast of trained dystopians. It’s an ongoing process you can follow in today’s world news – a procession of autocrats.
While Plan B is a happy, rewarding, and healthy place to live, to devout dystopians it comes with a big catch. To be a card-carrying Utopian is not a free ride. You have to do chores – thinking and acting in the operational reality in concert and collaboration with others. Plan B does not come for you. You have to leave dystopia-land-doings behind to get there and it’s all uphill. In Plan B, everyone is into the husbandry of social system viability. They are consciously aware that maintaining viability against the forces that would snuff out Plan B is essential. Utopians want a secure, happy future for their progeny, and so on through the generations. Bringing up kids in dystopia? What’s the future in that?
Plan B is keeping the ball of collective viability and prosperity up in the air. In Plan B, they’re trusting you to contribute, cooperate, collaborate and deliver. Physiologically, because of the incessant learning adventures (failures) involved in changing for the better, dopamine levels surge. Yes, the difference between living in dismal dystopia and enjoying psychological success in Utopia can be determined by blood test.
Since no one denies the ubiquity of organizational dysfunction, start there. Two platforms for generalizing a rejection of the Plan B way of life are available.
- The benefits of Plan B over dystopia in any event are insufficient to warrant a change. It costs more than it’s worth. Significance. ROI
- Plan B and by association its benefit package do not exist. The whole proposition of fix is hypothesis and guesswork with a terrible track record. Failure is inevitable. Existence.
It takes but one visit to an implementation site to validate these objections. What then?
Seeing that Plan B is real and the benefits breathtaking, you can begin to appreciate that dystopia is based on mental, not material. Continue the process of eliminating flawed assumptions and you will end up at the headwaters where the path to dystopia is chosen. That’s the key to understanding how the operational mutation to Utopia has been engineered.
Concepts on dystopia
The prime movers of dystopia change shape throughout the life cycle of the organization. The common artifacts of business-as-usual that must be jettisoned during the pilgrimage include:
- Attempts to defy natural law
- Invite GIGO
- Ignore the 2½ rule
- Argyris Theory-in-use I
- Ignore the 2nd Law
- Drive task action
- Meddle management
- Zero sum relationships
- Defense of ideological infallibility
Argyris: The unintended activities with their protective defenses and the resulting worker attitudes towards productivity, lead to a situation in which:
- Increasing increments of internal energy will be used unproductively
- The internal energy available for goal attainment decreases
These conditions require increasing increments of input energy for a reduction in attainment. The result is organizational dysfunction such that the participants are unable to correct it.
Toolsmithy for understanding dystopia
It is essential to avoid attempts to defy natural law. You always get caught and your rank stupidity always gets punished. Successful avoidance requires an understanding of the role natural law plays in shaping the constant of human nature into the variety of human behaviors in social settings. Just about every destructive feature and function of dystopia originates in an attempt to defy a natural law or two. It is the pursuit of the impossible.
Every law of physics can be described mathematically using functions with basic properties. As such, it is not necessary to understand every possible relationship to generate an answer. Knowing the fundamentals of the issue in a hierarchical structure, you can approximate each layer toward a solution that will keep Mother Nature benign. The paradigm of the pilgrimage takes advantage of this technique for solving what would otherwise be hopelessly complex. Materialization of the benefit package demonstrates the efficacy of the method.
Before visiting a Plan B, checklist the set of distinguishing characteristics of dystopia where you are. Use them to sensitize your benchmarks for auditing Plan B. You know these attributes come as a set so that if you encounter one behavioral pattern during your examination, mark the joint as a dystopia in camouflage. It is expedient to view dystopia as a system built to rigorous specifications. Since it can’t fix itself (Gödel), the purpose of dystopia is what it does. Dysfunction breeds dysfunction by reflex reactions. Doing nothing is dystopia proactive.
Observe that in dystopia you are never asked to develop knowledge, study, think or create. You are expected to emulate your peers; be obedient to authority, and follow the rules. You are discouraged from thinking system, to aggressively search for the truth. Don’t get caught trying to put the pieces and parts of reality together to make sense of a scene crawling with paradox, contradiction, and absurdity. You are forbidden to discuss the undiscussables or even to admit you are avoiding the undiscussables. Know your “place” and, like your peers, stay in it. Obey these “infallible” rules over time, however, and you will not be able to solve problems of any sort or preserve your own viability. Conform and your name will be engraved in gold leaf on the collective’s membership roll. That’s the tradeoff.
The distinguishing characteristics that define dystopia, where all the brains run on time, are no accident. In dystopia, no one is capable of keeping their word and no one expects you to try. Organizational dysfunction persists globally because that’s the way autocracy wants it. Notice that whenever you succeed in fixing a dysfunction, locally, the rest of dystopia rushes over to put its condition back as it was (Nash).
The benefits of dystopia to management, such as they are, accrue only if the other hierarchies in society at large are also run as dystopias. To perpetuate this madness, the Establishment instructs management schools to deliver exact replacements. They gladly comply. Why is solidarity in zero-sum genocide so essential? Easy.
Dystopias form when top management realizes, by experience, that its control cables are connected to the actuators in the workforce, the revenue crew, in only one direction – push – a direction one that is notoriously counterproductive. It reacts to this ego-deflating truth by putting everyone under their command on the defensive. They have learned about the 2½ rule the hard way – that whenever they tug on their my-way or the highway workforce control cable, good intentions or not, things get worse. All schemes of rewards and punishments, all fads and fashions, all altruism, all parental benevolence bestowed by the head shed, in the end, fail. Organizational history by Argyris is littered with examples.
The only person who mans the various control cables – pull – that can work things in a positive direction is the MitM. Nature attached the effective “pull” control cables to the MitM and no other. That’s why he is the productivity gatekeeper. Only the productivity protagonist is legitimately responsible for revenue generation. No other echelon in the hierarchy has the productivity design role and workforce control. Nothing can alter this assignment of Nature. Not even heads of state.
The supreme commander of the organization seeks to show that he deserves the absolute authority vested in him by virtue of his demonstrated leadership. What he does to that end is establish the standard of best “attainable” organizational performance used by his social environment to evaluate him – at whatever level the workforce happens to produce. That which his organization is attaining, by definition, is meeting the prevailing standards of leadership excellence. When challenged by the facts of declining productivity, the big Kahuna defaults with confidence, knowing his peers are running the same con game taught at graduate school, to “I’m no worse than the others.” These perpetrators of dystopia may be well rewarded financially, but they have created a society they themselves find unfit for their own progeny to live in. How can they expect a Congress they purchased to solve the real problems they created?
It is easy to join the giant chorus vilifying cruel and irrational management. It is easy to join the global clamor for strong, effective leadership. Unfortunately, these palliatives don’t resolve the dilemma. The barrier of unenlightened management is too big for the pilgrimage to tackle. So, it doesn’t.
The pilgrims learn, during the pilgrimage, how to climb up a level or two in abstraction and see the wealthy puppeteers of Establishment at work. Once the paradoxes of management are decoded back to their mechanisms of action bolted to the platform of natural law, the angst of managerial enigma vanishes. Resentment is replaced with pity when the same fundamentals are used to derive the fact that the pilgrim is, in reality, the god of organizational productivity – far above emperor level in power and control. Think of what money can’t buy. Start with trust.
Societal success is functionally and critically dependent on the foremen, not the head shed. Like any manager has done, you can go to any construction site, any industrial complex, and observe this truth in action. There is no invisible hand running things. You can see and hear the foreman in his hands-on, task-design role.
By rationalizing dystopia as the only and therefore universal performance standard, which it has been in reality, what is being obtained in terms of operating results is set equal to the best that can be attained by leadership trained to Establishment specifications. This strategy gets you a raise in pay independent of organizational performance. Besides, what counts in the ruts over at the CEO club is the differential between your pay package and the revenue crew – the zero-sum game score. Having labor unrest that makes the papers, attests that your antlers of dominance hover at maximum size. Good show.
To dupe the stakeholders to tolerate these shenanigans, the Establishment socially conditions the public to embrace the same false assumptions that enable the autocrats of dystopia to ruin society:
- Dystopia is the only stable, self-sustaining social system functionality that exists. All else is science fiction, imaginary, impractical, impossible
- The ideology of the organization is infallible
- The chain of command is absolute
- Dysfunction is doctrine
- At all times, submission to authority
- Systemic change for the better can only be obtained top-down via obedience to authority
- “The workforce is ignorant, stupid, immoral, lazy, and fixated on its wage.” (Joe Biden, 2016)
- Attempts to defy natural law show commendable initiative
- Measurable change to dystopia, e.g. change corporate culture, has a time horizon in years
Compliance and resignation to these assumptions are essential lubricants of dystopia. Stakeholder unrest is the precursor of impending genocide. It is manifest social system mortality progressing towards the ultimate exit.
Benchmarking the before
It is necessary to quantify the productivity situation in dystopia before the pilgrimage. After all, the interventionists are in this for the enormous psychic payoffs, not for the services contract. The dopamine rush comes from the before and after comparison of productivity and morale.
The measures of productivity group into five categories.
- The Losses: This category includes injury, damage, and production unavailability.
- The waste: Defective products. Low quality. Rework.
- Turnover: This underappreciated overhead expense is a waste, a drag on productivity, and a loss.
- The production consumables.
- Production: This is the gross revenue stream.
Productivity equals 5 – (1 + 2 +3 +4)
In the typical engagement, the production figures are conveniently available. The material and energy consumed in production are available in pieces and parts, but rarely assembled as a category. The figures on turnover are available but unreliable. The costs of handling turnover are deliberately granulated and concealed in obscure ledgers. No one actually tracks the cost of turnover. The workers will, as usual, be the most trustworthy source of relevant information.
The cost of waste is rarely tracked by the accounting department. You’re the only one in their experience who ever wanted to know. The best source for particulars will be the workforce. All other informants will lie to protect their contributions to the rubbish heap.
The cost of losses can be reasonably estimated from the safety record and the paid insurance premiums. Both items will be well defended from view. You will be held in high suspicion even for inquiry. Items 1, 2, and 3 are considered dangerous to institutional infallibility. How could there be waste, loss, and obscene turnover in an infallible institution? On average, the workforce accounts for 95% of the losses, waste, and turnover. Who’s in control of the workforce? The foremen.
Since morale is a psychological condition, an effect and not a cause, its measure is only for navigation. The truth of morale cannot be hidden. Use two conditions for before and after comparisons. First, it is not possible to have high morale in a dysfunctional organization. Second, it is not possible to have low morale in a high-performing collective.
As any place outside of Eden is dystopia, by definition, there can be only one Eden. It means that any place that is not dystopia, must be Utopia. When your Plan B ignites, roars into life, and flourishes, you will have the “before” figures to compare with the prosperous, ongoing “after” scene. With the numbers speaking for themselves, quantifying the realized benefit package, potentate attention will turn to other areas.
From Book 2:
- The menagerie
- Argyris Theory of use I
- Productivity accounting
- Rasmussen TDBD and the Franceschi Fitting
- The 2½ rule
In dystopia, stuck in their designated shells and sealed within delusion, no one is in touch with reality. Organizational operations are wrapped up inside of a web of false perceptions, an imagined reality where certain instincts predominate over others. This fantastic incongruency with reality is a viability menace, a cycle of endless frustration in trying to get emotional satisfaction from paradox-laced experiences.
The very existence of an authentic Plan B rattles dystopians at a gut level. The Utopia reality calls into question the veracity of perceptions of the organizational creed and its membership. Since infallible doctrines require defense at any cost (infallible is intrinsically unsustainable), the reflex is irrational hostility. Demonstration of this reflex, straight from the limbic system, can be done anywhere and it takes less than ten minutes.
Remember, dystopian perceptions of the world are constructed on the platform of cultural indoctrination and its plane of contrived action. From there reality is not seen as it is, but rather from an image projected by a phantasmagoria of conditioned ideas, judgments and habits of mind. We have been trained to categorize and judge reality on a grossly distorted basis. For one example of the common-mode insanity, we find ourselves having to cope with executives who have made a career out of abusing the same people the pilgrimage brings to psychological success. Try using persuasion to get the 2nd Law to do your bidding.
The “self” we consider to be a stable, independently existing entity is nothing but a loosely knit fabric of inconsistent perceptions and motivations shaped by our acculturalization. It is this socially-woven fantasy that runs our lives. It filters out any awareness of things at the mechanism of action level residing above the level of effects (Gödel). In truth, the underlying reality of life is all around us and it is GIGO in action.
Plan B cannot operate on the basis of false and distorted information. GIGO is to Utopia what krypton is to Superman. The front line leaders know this as the “bad burrito” rule. The reason is the 2nd Law. The paramount functionality of Plan B is entropy extraction and relocation. This operation on information, structure plus work, only gets the job done when the reality of the operation neutralizes the reality of the entropy accumulation. Entropy is like soo real.
Remember that the gigantic library of social history, in the non-fiction section, is exclusively about dystopia. Ask the librarian about Utopia and you will be directed to the fiction department. With the only personal experience you have to go on being dystopia, how can you build a road to Plan B when no first-hand explorer knowledge exists?
The pilgrimage works to undo your false notions by breaking silence on dystopia undiscussables – pointing out the paradoxes, side by side, which are already there in your experience and plain sight. Only by liberation from falsity can you experience what is right there in front of your eyes. The common denominator of pilgrim adepts is enlightenment. The moment-to-moment quality of delusion is matched with the moment-to-moment quality of the pilgrimage that starts from where you are.
While dystopia is an integrated system, to be sure, it is a system energized by the 2nd Law menace. That is, you get dystopia automatically by doing ineffective things or by doing nothing at all. The gravitational pull of enculturated social system functioning is towards dystopia. When the menace of organizational dysfunction exploded on the scene during the 19th century, going from remote palace to local mill, no one needed instruction on how to construct a dystopia. The monster threat was on hot standby within everyone – what else?
A function is an equation with an independent variable going in and a dependent variable coming out. Plan B is a functional unit. In order to perform its primary function, viability husbandry, every sub-function within the unit must be in place. Opposite to dystopia, Plan B requires proactive, intelligent upkeep on a continuous basis. Fail in this essential, the default is dystopia. Plan B is an “earned” condition. Its people know they are valued members by what they accomplish. They work at its husbandry. Since entropy extraction and relocation is, by definition, a very material affair, performance can always be measured objectively by counting.
Nothing can be done about it, but your behavior, like everyone’s, is socially judged by its outcomes. Meanwhile, you’re judging your own behavior by your intentions. Actions and material outcomes offer a common language, exploited during the pilgrimage, through which agreement can be reached. You know you deserve membership in Plan B by what you accomplish, not by how others may vote.
In Plan B, performance is easy to measure. The structure imposed on the disorder is real and the effort it takes to hang the racks with stuff and dispose of the rubbish is real work (force times distance). Only a MitM can extract entropy, orchestrate effective viability husbandry, because it is an act of design. All the rules of design, enforced by natural law, apply to the creative, uniquely-individual act of designing. In Plan B, design is king and working conditions are groomed to encourage the activity. It’s a fun place to work.
Perspectives on Plan B
The notion of Utopia authorized by the Establishment is that Utopia is an unspecified, but isolated location on Earth, a terrestrial Eden where people bred and raised as Utopians practice their culture. Utopian society maintenance does not require social contact with the outside world. Its inhabitants live in fear that people brought up as non-Utopians will discover their Eden, barge in, and forcibly displace the Utopian ideology with their own. There goes paradise.
In Aldus Huxley’s 1962 “Island,” an ideal society, “Pala,” attracts envy and enmity from surrounding standard societies. In Huxley’s story, an agent of dystopia gets to and lives in Pala only to become an ardent fan of Pala society. The popular notion of Utopia is fabricated with unbridled fantasy expressly designed to discourage any attempts to discover the authenticity of a pragmatic, superior paradigm for society operations – one that reallocates power distribution in business-as-usual. Since no one on earth has actually been to Utopia and returned to give an eyewitness account, the science-fiction ploy still works. After all, if Utopia was real, not fiction, why would anyone want to remain in the state of organizational dysfunction? The more damage dystopia inflicts on its citizens, the more it has to enforce its first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:2-3).
The notion of dystopia as the only possible social system, certainly borne out by the record of man, is held at every level of society top to bottom. Management pulls up the ladder of social advancement behind it and it’s accepted as “natural.” A thought experiment will help you to appreciate its universality. At the top, consider Star Wars, Star Trek, mutinies, rebellions, revolutions, and insurrections. The conflict of its scenario is never about organization (architecture and ideology). It’s always about changing out the bad people in hierarchical power with good people in hierarchical power. The epics of humanity are never about two fully disparate kinds of social systems in a Yin/Yang relationship (opposite, complementary) on the table, with people taking their pick as to how they want to live. The survival strategy of dystopia as the only possible system, perforce, is to keep pressing the people that, because Utopia is pure fiction, it’s not available as a real choice.
Now that the Yin/Yang reality has been validated, Plan Bs on-demand, in-hand, and come-visit, the curtain on dystopia’s worst nightmare has been raised. The inertia of lord dystopia is gigantic, to be sure, but the play about viable choices, where there were none, has finally lifted its curtain. As the evidence suggests, the head sheds of tall institutions are the last places to promote the benefits of a migration to Plan B. As a double check, thousands of them were contacted directly regarding the opportunity, all records available for inspection. We predicted ad hominem. What we got was catatonia.
For the reaction at the other end of the power spectrum, you can test yourself. How do you answer the strong invitation one-on-one to examine and evaluate a Plan B and interview a hundred of its veteran pilgrims? Still skeptical? Make the same offer to your peers and note the reactions. The claim that Plan B exists and you can get there is not refuted by rejecting the invitation to audit a Plan B site.
Two lessons were learned from this test experience. The first is that all of the objections and obstacles in the way are psychological and not material. Materiality and objectivity have nothing to do with the erected barriers to Plan B. Appeals to common sense about the unnecessary waste and destruction are a waste of time. Promoting a rational approach to evaluation and decision is taken as deliberate annoyance. It is proof enough that the psychological barriers to Plan B are deeply psychosomatic.
The second takeaway is that because of dystopia eminence and unchallenged supremacy, the size of the pilgrimage benefit package, before Utopia compared to after Plan B, is huge. The amount of damage wreaked by dystopia is unlimited. Nothing can be done to prevent it. There is no halfway house. Dystopia cannot fix itself. Time makes the damage from dystopia worse because nothing can be done about that pesky 2nd Law either.
The record of 21st century Plan Bs makes it clear that their blazing success evokes no requests for paradigm emulation from regular collectives. The benefit package delivered by Utopia propagates by reciprocity to dystopians, to be sure, but in no instance has anyone ever sought to implement the paradigm in their own shop. Each implementation requires an interventionist-designed assault and a back door entryway.
By “marketing” the pilgrimage to Plan B to whoever, you can develop your own correlation of hierarchical level to the affinity for dystopia. It forms a profile of dystopia beneficiaries. The benefit of dystopia is distributed by the domination span. Subtract the worker negative from the head shed positive to get the intensity of domination.
In the initial condition, the workers are afraid of any change because all previous changes instituted came out for the worse. Their apprehension flips to positive when their foreman ignites his Plan B.
The advancements in productivity are engineered by the Utopians themselves. The size of the benefit package is determined by the before and after circumstances. What the pilgrimage does is establish Plan B. It neither fixes dystopia nor instructs pilgrims on what to do with their new circumstances. They had the power the whole time. To summarize:
- Plan B is not a “place” or an architectural style, but a mindset.
- Everyone already possesses all that is needed to live and function in either dystopia or Plan B.
- Plan Bs can be established, quickly, wherever you are.
- Everyone can choose for themselves which of the two social systems to animate.
- Everyone can go back and forth between dystopia and Plan B, like going between states, without having to get permission or a passport. It is a reversible mutation.
The arena that includes dystopia and Plan B is planet earth. Functionally nested, the same sandbox play applies at the individual level and it applies at the League of Nations level. Science fiction writers have never been able to conceive of an organizational design that functions in any way other than Kirk’s organization operating the Enterprise. Regardless of the galaxy of origin, the worst of aliens runs its shop no differently than the best of the aliens. The only difference fantasy writers can conjure to work with is uniforms and facial/dental abnormalities. The behavior? Identical. Appreciate that establishing a Plan Bis achieved with the same people and organizational configuration that operated in dysfunction. Take human nature as a universal constant. It is what humans do, dynamics, which marks the distinction.
What consistency, top to bottom, means is that you can take whatever you measure in one situation and multiply it by all equivalent situations to arrive at a grand total, level by level. Whatever you can certify in one instance can be multiplied by the number of equivalent instances. Because in 2016 there are 7.4 billion individuals and millions of their social systems situated around the planet, the numbers for Plan B windfalls multiply out to very large amounts.
Depending on what you enter on the ledger, the differential cost to global humanity for supporting dystopia and not Plan B, since 1800 CE, is near two quadrillion (15 zeroes) dollars. In terms of injuries and untimely deaths, dystopia has adversely affected billions of individuals. As reported in the earlier books, just the cost of trying to cure the plague of dystopia, spent since 1940 CE, sent over $300 Trillion in Establishment treasure up in smoke. As far as the pilgrimage to Plan B is concerned, its significance as a fix is far too high for anyone to disregard.
When you can wipe out acceptance in terms of existence, potential significance doesn’t matter. Everyone needs to know that Plan B is real, alive and well. Anyone is welcome to visit a Plan B – the 8th wonder of the world.
More/Argyris-class Utopias are tangible enough. Without realizing it, perhaps, you’ve been in Utopias. They were fleeting events across your life trajectory, like shooting stars, but Plan Bs still. You have fond memories of those good-natured, event-driven collaborations that got the things that needed doing done so quietly and effectively. You were alert to do your part. You wondered at the time, “Why can’t society work like this all the time? Why do these fine people tolerate, even abet, dystopia?”
When you audit a Plan B, the excuse of no-existence dissolves away. There is nothing to take on faith or self-study. The developers of the paradigm had no Plan Bs to visit, of course, so the platform for constructing the transformation was built from natural law, bypassing the precedent problem. A Utopia had to be operational before we could visit one and take measurements. Turning a miserable affair into a happy productive workplace is its own reward. It is impossible to spend time with the pilgrims and their work crews, hear their stories of the transformation experience firsthand, and deny the reality of Utopia. For the interventionist, it ranks as the top-flight Maslow “transcendental.”
While the success leveraging universal law was entirely convincing to us, derivation by mathematical physics proved impotent to convince others – the non-qualifiers in particular. The policy that evolved from experience is to present the derivations after you settle the existence argument by an implementation site visit. This book serves as an overview of the derivation. The paradigm is incontrovertible.
If you refuse to examine a Plan B, knowing that it cannot be for reasons of significance or existence, your decision criterion is left for you to rationalize to yourself. We can only deal with the material side of this affair. The psychological side, the side that’s making your choice for dystopia, is far above our pay grade. Whenever you can try it before you buy it and you don’t, your refusal is loaded with psychic meaning. Refusing the remedy is encouraging the disease and its consequences you so strongly complained about. The inconvenient truth remains, refusing to engage the paradigm or visit a Utopia does not in any way, shape, or form constitute controverting the claims in the pilgrimage benefit package.
Every distinguishable difference and the only distinguishable differences between dystopia and Plan B are in their system dynamics. Their people are the same and the organizational-chart configurations are the same. You can only tell one system from the other by how it behaves, what it does, and the consequences of its actions. POSIWID.
Applying POSIWID to Plan B, you conclude its paramount purpose is to get better. Applying POSIWID to dystopia, you conclude its purpose is self-annihilation. All the rest is elaboration.
Plan B is as tangible as dystopia but transparent. Utopians know that solution candidate failures accompany changes for the better, so failures are occasions to learn from, not to hide. Nothing is undiscussable. Transparency is the norm, taken for granted. How else to learn but trial and error? Everyone in Plan B is running on trial and error – run, break, and fix (RBF). That’s why no central control room can be found there.
The top phobia of Plan B is GIGO. Intolerance of false information in Utopia contrasts with the GIGO factories of dystopia. When you’re there in Plan B, test for GIGO response. Throw in a lie and see how long it takes for your fiction to emerge as a detected error. You know from experience that throwing in a lie in dystopia encounters no error-detecting scheme and, undistinguished, simply joins the other lies in the seething cauldron of fiction. Breaking silence in dystopia, naked emperors notwithstanding, is considered disloyal.
What were the distinguishing differences that enabled developing a paradigm for building Plan Bs out of dystopias? A confident answer to that question took repeated successes with the pilgrimage. With hindsight, a key factor was in accepting Rudolf Starkermann’s organizational dynamics data as true and to hold any empirically-based theory that contradicted Starkermann as false. Over time and extensive field testing, we learned that Rudy’s stuff worked 100% of the time. It is incontrovertible.
Concepts and toolsmithy of the pilgrimage itself
There’s nothing equivalent to following an implementation of the paradigm to appreciate the range of factors and thinking that goes into delivering a successful pilgrimage. One implementation of the loss-reduction paradigm you can audit is a product-making industrial complex in Texas operating with a thousand employees. The number of pilgrim veterans in the collegium and the workers they supervise comprise about 80% of the on-site population. Since the complex manufactures a commodity it ships in bulk by truck and rail car, production records are quantitative and trustworthy.
The particular strategic objective in staging the pilgrimage for this organization was loss reduction by damage prevention. As loss-reduction design professionals (PEs), the loss-control goal is to prevent harm to people, stuff, and stakeholders. The world of damage avoidance, centuries old, has always been an amalgam of “insurance” and regulation going back to Hammurabi. Design work began with a soul-searching evaluation of the “safety” discipline’s loss-reduction effectiveness record.
One handy feature of “loss” information is that the bottom line of its reality cannot be hidden. Whenever the dances of obscuration are over, the insurance net written premium for loss, a quantity, is there in the spotlight. Insurance companies have a penchant for publishing their premium figures to justify the established pecking order. The direct, absolute tie of net written premium to losses allows quantitative, before and after, evaluation of any safety strategy, any safety training program. Consider the national fads of safety enhancement science over the years:
- Slogans “Safety First”
- Risk assessment, mitigation, transfer
- Enterprise risk management
- Regulators: OSHA, NFPA, etc. Rule-compliance
- Zero accidents
- Total safety
- Safety metrics
- Management buy-in
- Behavioral-based safety
Next, examine the insurance premium details over the same period, looking for corresponding bumps in the trend lines. This comparison can be made at any level – by plant, by industry, by economy. You learn that the discipline of loss control, however you want to characterize it, has nothing concrete in positive effect to show for its diligence and its expense. That is, there is no correlation between running a safety training program and an impact on loss experience. In all the history of loss reduction, there has been only one instance where an innovation for safety was materially tied to changes in the loss experience record – Zachariah Allen and sprinkler systems for textile mill fire protection (1822).
While there have been variations in frequency and severity of the losses and combined ratio, to be sure, the variations in the trend line of net written premium rise are too small to be called trivial. If there’s any effect of conventional loss control programs on results, it certainly does not show up in the increasing cost of insurance.
You learn that the before and after figures are always there, but no effort is ever made to use the data to grade loss-control effectiveness. There’s no feedback of impact on program. There is a strong correlation between promoting a fact-based loss-reduction campaign and triggering management hostility towards prevention. Conclusion? Ineffective loss reduction efforts are a norm because that’s the way management wants it. POSIWID
A parallel of this head-shed propensity is the discipline of management itself. It follows the same script. Management fads were a perfect way for executives to convey the impression that they were progressive and modern in their thinking, but with very little risk that the outcomes could be objectively assessed as successful or failed. For the people leading these projects, they were also highly engaging activities – an enjoyable distraction from the day-to-day realities of business.
Management fads are a cyclical phenomenon – rising and falling according to business confidence. Many of these fads have historically been about cost-cutting and quality improvement, which one might think should be more prevalent in a down-market. In fact they are more popular when times are good. Take the fads of management “science:”
- Management by objectives
- Management by exception
- Management by wandering around
- Management by consensus
- Management by commitment
- Management by forced ranking
- Management by economic value added
- Theory Z
- Search for excellence
- Core competency
- Total quality management
- Matrix management
- One-minute manager
- Business process reengineering
- Agile organization
- Knowledge management
- Balanced scorecard
- Supply chain management
- 6 Sigma
- ISO 9000
- 360 degree feedback
- Best practices
- Authentic leadership
- Embracing mistakes
- Emotional intelligence
The ineffectiveness of each fad has been thoroughly evaluated and reported in the business literature. Google any fad and see for yourself. Conclusion? Ineffective organizational management improvement efforts are a norm because that’s the way the head shed wants it. Notice how few management fads are in vogue today compared to the amount five years ago? If none of them “work,” why spend the money? Especially since few were being fooled by the exercise.
Facing this reality and still dedicated to loss reduction by prevention (we don’t do crisis response), the approach was to question the assumptions of business as usual and start fresh. To that end, a search of the record of the industrial revolution was made to look for anomalies regarding loss experience – both ways. The history is filled with examples where management by tyranny brought large upticks in losses. Jumps in loss experience, some of the losses by outright sabotage Luddites. The turbulent times of worker unrest led to strikes, the formation of labor unions, and government intervention.
Also in the record, here and there, are examples where local management philosophy converted from destructive to productive (e.g., Robert Owen). Along with the joy and benefit of increased productivity that followed, many of these examples reported, always as an aside, a large step improvement in the safety record, ditto quality. Along with a dramatic improvement in safety triggered by a dramatic improvement in productivity, turnover change was also reported as coincident. Could management philosophy, productivity, turnover, quality, and loss experience be directly connected to each other? Could our aspirations regarding loss reduction by prevention be met by increasing productivity first?
What experience has shown is that working to increase productivity leads the conterminous factors and they manifest during the productivity-raising process. The instructions on how to behave are already there. The speed of benefit manifestation that comes when your paradigm is spot-on, has no precedent in sociology or psychology. Healthy primitive instincts, spring loaded to go, are being set free.
A big leveraging factor in long-term success of the paradigm is the instinct of reciprocity. When the productivity protagonists start getting the hang of the transformation, the beneficial elements in the paradigm radiate out to others by strong reciprocity. The social context factors that jumped production up by 25% are the same ones that cut losses in half. This automatic radial expansion of benefit has no known limit. In time, it creeps into transactions with suppliers and customers and stakeholders.
Man perceives the world through his self-concept. His perceptions are constantly subject to his error. Self-confident people are as attracted to Plan B as strongly as they are repelled by dystopia. Naturally curious, people have never seen a Plan B. Once there, they notice that mutual trust works far better than “drive.” “And, goddamnitall, they’re having fun!”
Representative example numbers
Realizing that it is the same people in the same configuration, facilities, and primitive culture in both cases, comes as a jolt to common sense and every angle of objectivity. The differences in the attainable between Plan A and Plan B are so large and they manifest so quickly, it’s hard to believe all this mass of intelligence and talent of Homo sapiens could be brainwashed to ignore plain material facts. Reality attests to the effectiveness of social conditioning to Establishment specifications.
Minimum differences in attainable
The variables used to compute the attainable align with the broad definition by More and the more detailed definition by Argyris that supplements More. The measures occupy four categories, in addition to consumables.
- The Losses: This category includes injury, damage, and production unavailability.
- The waste: Defective products. Low quality. Rework.
- Turnover: This underappreciated overhead expense is a waste, a drag on productivity, and a loss.
- Production: This is the gross revenue stream.
Productivity is calculated as production minus supplies, losses, waste, and turnover.
The minimum reduction in losses benchmarked against as-received dystopia is 50%. This means dramatically less injury to the workforce; less accidental damage to equipment, more process availability. Over time, this record translates into substantial reductions in insurance premiums. This immediate 50% drop in losses meets the loss-reduction design goal. Reducing the damage done to the people is pilgrimage justification by itself. The profit windfall is extra.
The minimum reduction in waste benchmarked against previous dystopia is 50%. This increase in efficiency translates into less cost for parts and supplies.
The minimum reduction in turnover benchmarked against the previous dystopia is 70%. Turnover is so expensive it is an undiscussable. It does psychological damage to the workforce, coming and going. Turnover drags on productivity, quality and safety. The damage of turnover is shunted aside by management as an administrative cost “no worse than the others.”
The minimum increase in production is 25%. Even in organizations considered well-run, withheld efficiency runs this high. The Texas implementation you can visit, 4 years mature, when all the productivity components are rolled up, enjoys a windfall package in the ten$ of million$ per annum. This total does not include the humanitarian factors of morale, safety, health, and welfare. Benefits from strong reciprocity are still rising.
The pilgrimage has implementations you can audit where production doubled, others where turnover went from 250%/yr. to 35%/yr. Nineteenth century history on this contains many examples of transformations yielding a quick 25% windfall improvement. Although many were surprised and enthusiastic about the initial amounts of benefit, without the paradigm of Plan B as operating manual, no one had the benchmarks for maintaining the prosperity. Without competent husbandry, Plan B spontaneously defaults back to dystopia. As the record shows, it never worked the other way around. It takes the pilgrimage.
Bring this accounting exercise up a level in abstraction (Gödel) and think about what it could be that drives these quick, dramatic differences in “attainable.” History is filled with clues. The earliest documentation in the library is 18th century England. Back then, it was called Ca’ canny, a deliberate withdrawal of efficiency. Who hasn’t used this response to irrational, unfair bosses?
The difference in what productivity is attainable between dystopia and Plan B is directly proportional to the degree the workforce is oppressed by dystopian practices. Withholding efficiency is the only available way for the workforce to defend itself from the tyranny of management. It goes against the instinct of workmanship, but it is the only defense available to the workforce against autocracy. The lose-lose standoff is a breeding grounds for angst and that starts another counterproductive feedback cycle. Protracted angst is medically known to affect objective reasoning. Unmitigated angst interferes with your ability to attend to what’s going on around you. Mental exhaustion impairs the ability to make appropriate selections – be intelligent. Management, in zero-sum management labor relations, counts on this degradation cycle to impoverish the workers.
Foremen have membership in both labor and management. As MitM, the foreman is a member ex officio of both, by his function. The foreman is excluded by both groups so the zero-sum contest of management and labor can go on. The foreman straddles these two worlds with antagonistic values and both want him out of their way to the zero sum arena.
Trained to Establishment specifications, there is tacit collusion by dystopian organizations that each will operate oblivious to the withdrawal-of-efficiency factor. With the arena of competition leveled, organizations in dysfunction avoid keeping records of associated losses. As long as every organization is abusing its workforce, zero-sum, the huge delta in what’s attainable by psychological mutation is concealed. This is the core operating strategy of bureaucracy. As all bureaucracies get more dysfunctional over time, i.e., ignore the 2nd Law, each can default to “We’re no worse than the others.” The nickname 18th century England gave to efficiency withdrawal was “soldiering.”
The material fact of self-sustaining Plan B speaks to the universal assumption of workforce attributes. How to explain the large jump in productivity, quickly produced, from people assumed by general consensus to be ignorant, immoral, incompetent, wage-centered, stupid and lazy?
Understanding dystopian society in this light makes it easy to understand the leverage made available by the pilgrimage. The more the pilgrims see the differences in what’s attainable, firsthand, the more diligently they work towards transformation. Since they have full control of their dystopia-Plan B border crossing, the big changes happen in a flash of insight. Each individual jumps across his mind’s membrane to Plan B in his own way and in his own good time.
The pilgrimage was designed by MitM people, interventionists, on the assumptions that 1) human nature is a universal constant and 2) that its workforce is as sapient and moral as its head shed. Experience with hundreds of pilgrims has never disappointed us. It is a tribute to social conditioning effectiveness that society has operated lose-lose with this fallacious, inhumane, and very costly assumption for so many millennia. All this so that a few can indulge in the primitive instincts of domination while the others have to suppress theirs?
How in the world, for thousands of years, did human society ever convince itself that dystopia is preferable to Utopia? How did human society manage to ignore, for centuries, all the examples of its flawed assumptions and the blazing success stories? What is the dark energy that convinces those damaged by dystopia to accept their fate from dysfunctional organizations without a whimper? We call it dark energy because there can be no test for it. Our top guess, at this time, is the instinct of domination in free-range. The power of this dark energy, which can be measured, is so strong we can openly reveal the “secrets” of Utopia-building without the slightest concern anyone will steal the paradigm algorithms coming in Book 4, for exploitation. For now, the important thing is that Plan B can be fabricated and assembled on demand. See one for yourself. Have one built using your organization.
As far as the significance of the pilgrimage to humanity goes, what could be more significant? Refusing to engage the transformation is leaving an awful lot of money on the table. The allure of dystopia, whatever it is, cannot be about money.
Breakthrough to Plan B: The Interventionist Saga
In the beginning of dystopia, a long time ago, there was no concept of Plan B. What there was available as a way of organizational life, take it or leave it, was dystopia – as far as the eye could see. When the first ideas emerged that there must be a better way for society, especially after death, there was no way to prove that any scheme other than dystopia could exist on earth or, for that matter, in hell. When the time came millennia later to put a name on this repeatedly envisioned plan B, the Greek word chosen, Utopia, ou-topos, in English, means “no place.” Great navigational aid that is. More knew that the Greek companion word eu-topos, which is pronounced almost like ou-topos, means nifty place.
The literature available provided little guidance. Robinson Crusoe told the story of a good life outside of society altogether. Gulliver’s Travels was no help at all. Tiny people or huge people, it was the same dystopian way of life. When books named Utopia eventually appeared on the scene, the authors went to great lengths to label it pure fantasy.
No one had ever been to Utopia (knowingly). No one ever knew where it was, so naturally there were no directions on how to get there. Strange, there is no Genesis story for Utopia. Of the thousands of tribal stories out there about the supernatural origins of the tribe, its heaven and its hell, none end up with Utopia. Early in Genesis, man gets himself booted out of Eden, assumed by all to be Utopia, paradise, without any elaboration about Eden itself, except that it had serpents. Everywhere beyond the garden walls was dystopia. When the fantasy of how the tribe came to be is recited, there you are, with the storytellers, the elders of dystopia, as bewildered as ever, sore afraid to suggest the emperor has no clothes.
The landscape of the Utopia-or-bust vision is littered with the debris of great men, including all our mentors, who spent their lives exploring routes that led to dead ends. Every trail that was theorized over the centuries to get a person from standard issue to Utopia, even a fictional Utopia, proved in execution to be a flop. The buttery-colored road to Oz question, “Who got the yellow bricks and built the highway to there?” alas, was never answered. The first decades of our painful and erratic quest made it clear that, for all practical purposes, navigation was to remain a series of collisions and redirected efforts by blind drift. Only gluttons for punishment should sign up for the quest. There is no 911.
The whole dystopia to Plan B odyssey evolved from our discipline and our occupations in loss control. As professional engineers in construction and nuclear power, the only occupational goal we ever knew was preventing preventable damage.
- Make sure the buildings you design don’t fall down in design-basis events.
- Produce electricity with uranium without getting the population radioactive.
The never-ending loss-control design constraint is “How can the desired functionality be delivered in particular without bringing carnage to society in general?” Ever try to sell management on an effective loss-prevention program?
Spending a career engineering designs for the prevention of preventable damage leads to all sorts of introspection.
- What is the standard by which the excellence or failure of prevention designs should be measured?
- Whence did this standard come from and what was it based on?
- Who keeps the standard relevant to reality?
- Why is management hostile to the principles of loss prevention?
- How could a performance standard for damage prevention based on business as usual be any better than the ridiculously corrupt conventions of business as usual itself?
- How do you know that the standard, which came from institutions notoriously dysfunctional and debased, represents the highest standard attainable by a human-powered social system?
Data-mining all the material evidence, the evidence that can’t be obscured by organizational defenses, exposes puzzles in abundance, including:
- Why is so much pertinent evidence attending major damage events, deliberately distorted, denied and destroyed? No lessons learned? Isn’t all learning lessons learned?
- Is preventing preventable damage wholly an objective scientific-technological issue?
- To engineers competent in engineering practices and perspectives, could the damage that is occurring be prevented by affordable risk-informed design?
The main reason for the deep examination of basic assumptions was the fact that, over the years, evidence made it clear that no advancements were being made in damage prevention that were showing up on society’s bottom lines. Advancements in technology were not attenuating the upward trend lines of preventable damage. Effectiveness-wise our capabilities had collided with an invisible granite wall. All that well-intentioned effort and nothing to show for it.
Being psychologically reduced from a contributor to a parasite brings self-image repercussions. Even though it was a discipline norm, it seemed ludicrous to claim causal credit for those rare years when losses went down a bit, tying the tic of improvement directly to your salutary “sanctified” mediocrity. And for the great majority of years when losses went up? Reject any connection to ineffective loss-control activities.
Any sort of objective audit of the record would conclude that whatever damage prevention engineers did, it had little salutary impact on the numbers. What happens to the bottom line if you don’t run a standard safety training program next year? Nothing.
If you assume the functioning of the kind of society we have is all there is, then, as mentioned earlier, the established standards of performance delivered by business as usual set the uppermost possible level of attainment. In effect, the measure of excellence in this state is whatever dysfunction as usual happens to produce. Since the society we have has a long list of seriously damaging problems it never solves, the ever-rising amount of unnecessary damage inflicted on the public continues unmitigated. Organizational dysfunction has no stop rule. Peasant carnage is simply a social cost of doing business as usual. Depersonalize. Indifference.
When organizations grow to a certain size, a universal organizational protocol about preventable loss emerges out of the Black Lagoon. When you go after the facts surrounding big-damage events, you find the same patterns of behavior in sets, no matter the event. Bubbles in finance, genocide, flood, oil wells, air bags, strikes, contamination, Chernobyl, Bhopal, Challenger, etc., all the same behavior sets, before and after the calamity.
- The potential of big damage was well recognized early-on by everybody.
- The particular risk of damage was well recognized and tracked over time by non-management people close to the action.
- The reporting trail of warnings about the increasing likelihood of calamity preceded the catastrophe itself by months and often years.
- Those issuing the warnings were marginalized for their efforts before their predictions came true.
After the damage is done, the patterns of denial, distortion, deception and cover-up are familiar to all. Every large construction project posts announcements, cloaked in wry wit, equivalent to the following.
- Those that blared the warnings, ignored by management, are obliterated.
- The evidence of the warnings is commandeered and destroyed.
- The organizational response: “It was an act of God.”
- The managers that ignored the warnings, faithful to the protocol, are promoted.
- PR firms are hired to protect the executive perpetrators.
- The CEO announces his “responsibility,” once the damage and the coverups are out in public, as commander in chief.
- Years later, in testimony before a Congressional hearing, the CEO employs the tried and true standard defense. “How could the head of an empire like mine know what was going on out in the field of one of my many divisions?”
So, the first leg of our odyssey carried us to the conclusion that attempting to improve the prevention of preventable losses exclusively by rational technological means, science, technology, engineering innovation, is a waste of time that leaves you for dead. The big hitters in the world of preventable damage causation are driven by universal protocols of organizational behavior – logically irrational. So much for the value of engineering degrees in this quest.
The next lesson on the trail to be learned was that engineers engaging psychological matters are just as ridiculous as psychologists doing engineering. Engineers have natural law as framework and backstop for their engineering designs. Psychologists only have other psychologists. Taking stock:
- No one can prove that dysfunctional business as usual is the only social arrangement that can exist.
- There is no rule, scientific or empirical, on how much loss can be prevented by addressing the controlling psychological factors – even if you knew what they were. No one can prove what they are or are not.
- There is no way to know when psychological success has maxed out the irrational behavior factor. The ultimately attainable benchmark of loss prevention is elusive. The circumstances of loss control are dynamic.
- The arena of work in this field is loaded with invalid assumptions, doctored data, and narrow-minded, indifferent practitioners of the discipline. Making headway is a DIY effort.
- There is no way to know in advance the reciprocity effect. Each situation is unique.
- It is futile to attempt loss reduction design without resolving the irrational dysfunction issue first. Experience also confirms that when the dysfunction issue is fixed, losses drop by 50% without designing anything. These two conditional truths are directly connected to the same psychological phenomena.
The granite wall of organizational dysfunction, easy to reveal by demonstration, settles three long-standing issues:
- Organizational dysfunction, the barrier, is man-made. Nature, physics, has nothing to do with it.
- The psychological barrier to Plan B has no technological fix.
- If there is a plan B, it will be a psychological-sociological fix.
- Is there any scientific proof that the only social system possible is the venerable dysfunctional one?
- What would the bar of loss control excellence be raised to if a social system could be devised that wasn’t dysfunctional?
- How big would the difference be, anyways? Is the city worth the siege?
The goal of the quest we set for ourselves was to produce a clear, lasting, and substantial distinguishing difference in loss prevention. The new arrangement must be self-sustaining as a norm, a habit. The only way to start, of course, was to get off the beaten path to hell. Forget incremental improvements. Turnover washes those gains out of the system, if they ever were there.
Ruined at the granite wall of technological limit, in this loss reduction matter, the quest set off to discover, examine, and evaluate pertinent sociological evidence. The documentation of loss reduction exists from two distinct eras, separated by deliberate neglect.
- The inflation period – growth of big business and the wars of transition, 1800 to 1925. This interval is called the champion era.
- The solidification period, 1925-present. This time span covers residual labor-management skirmishes, affirmation of management supremacy, and monotonous increases in executive/worker pay ratios.
The history of dystopia inflation, 1800-1925, was created by people who were living the before Utopia of Thomas Jefferson and the time when the menace of organizational dysfunction took over society. By contrast, they knew something was bad wrong. The loss record of the early days of big business was non-stop carnage – atrocities of management upon their own workforce and their families. The amount of damage inflicted on society by organizational dysfunction was abetted by the government. All-out efforts were being made by the champions, such as Samuel Gompers, to stop the carnage and restore the “before” they knew was a better way to live.
The solidification of dominance, 1925-present, was buffered by Federal law. Defenders of the oppressed were few and far between. Today there are none. The arena of organizational dysfunction science is owned and animated by a disarray of academics. Their effectiveness on loss reduction speaks for itself. Look how effective academia is fixing its own malfunctions.
It was during the inflation period, when champions were active, where precedents for everything related to the 21st century pilgrimage were found. There, in the records of the early days of the industrial revolution, was all the drama that is on display today. The credence of the champion era history to the quest is that it was written by individuals working in the front lines of industry. There are no historians or politicians in the way of truth. Whiting Williams was a one-man symphonic band.
Since our experience in organizational dysfunction aligned with their accounts, reference is made mainly to the champion era. It is there in their experience where the occasions of transforming dystopia to Plan B were found. It was in the champion era where we learned that the magnitude of step improvements experienced in the 21st century pilgrimages were the same obtained and published by Robert Owen in 1800.
Be reminded that the platform for the pilgrimage is constructed entirely from natural law, mathematical physics. The frame of reference for navigating the pilgrimage is connected to physics, not the empirical record and adherence is unavoidable. While it’s comforting to know that our results matches the 19th century precedents, avoiding empiricism was key to arriving safely at the goal. The 100% success rate of the paradigm, incontrovertible, is the guidance for going forward.
While several instances of dystopia to Plan B transformations are in the early record, each registering the same jump improvements, there is absolutely nothing about:
- The principles that underlie Plan B, its paradigm derivation statement
- The path devised for transporting dystopians to Plan B
All the historical accounts of change discuss is what life in dystopia was like before the change was made and what life was like after the switch to Plan B was made. Without an explicit paradigm featuring explicit algorithms, none of the Utopias could figure out how to sustain themselves. No association of Utopias was ever proposed.
What history taught is that live, if transient, Plan Bs had been created in the past and that they cut the losses incurred in their previous dystopia arrangement in half. To professional loss control engineers, being able to cut losses in half is fantastically-compelling purpose.
With the quest fully justified, the focus shifted to what makes Utopia Plan B for real and how do you build one out of the available construction materials – all dystopian.
Literature about Utopia is from the fertile imaginations of practicing dystopians, none of whom ever stepped foot in a Utopia or a Plan B. The authors of the books on Utopia make it clear that the account provided is fiction. Utopia = nowhere. The transients who worked in Utopia never knew it as a Utopia. To them it was a happy workplace and a great relief from the dystopia standard.
In our research, the most practical specification of Plan B was provided by Chris Argyris in 1960. In that department Argyris has no peers. He was the only scholar out of thousands in the arena who ever took up the challenge. As far as the pathway to Utopia, we were on our own. In his 2004 book, Argyris laments that no one knew how, including himself, to meet his 1960 specification. He never would have believed that the trip to Utopia is not a marathon, as he proclaimed throughout his career, but a sprint.
Our first clues to the pathway came from comparing the Argyris specification against the operational reality – dystopia. The striking differences include:
- Utopias are self-sustaining ◊ dystopias end in genocide
- Utopias are increasingly prosperous ◊ dystopias become parasites on society
- Utopias embrace learning ◊ dystopias embrace infallibility of business as usual
- Utopias feature fault tolerance ◊ dystopias conceal their dysfunctions and debris
- Utopia has no central control facility ◊ dystopias have a chain of command
- Utopias encourage creativity ◊ dystopia demands obedience to authority
- Utopias are vigorously proactive about maintaining viability ◊ dystopias ignore entropy buildups
- Utopia operates on mutual trust ◊ dystopia operates on regulation and enforcement
- Utopia honors its MitM ◊ dystopia marginalizes its MitM
A little reflection on the scope of this checklist will help you understand why no one before had ever figured out the pathway. To what discipline would you go to for answers? The fruitcake psychologists? The sociologists baffled by long division? The socially-challenged engineers? Those who commit the crime of command? Those who commit the crime of obedience? The perpetrators? The enablers? The Luddites? A university? A government agency? Just to be sure, legions of tests on each category were made. We had run up against another granite wall.
In such times of despair it’s back to the womb. For engineers that means starting over with basic engineering principles – building models and proving grounds for candidate solutions. Run, break, and fix in mass quantities. If you can’t build a dynamic simulator using natural laws that reproduces what you know, you don’t know it.
To the soft sciences, the thought that mathematical physics could replicate social behavior in dynamic simulation is unthinkable. However, the fact that social behavior is so universally the same patterns means, to an engineer, that it must be capable of dynamic simulation. The life-long work of Rudolf Starkermann, a professor of mechanical engineering teaching control theory, made the matter moot by doing it. For decades, we collaborated with Rudy by testing out his simulation findings in the operational reality. Confidence established, work focused on the dynamic simulation of dystopia. The project was successful.
Because there were no first-hand accounts, no ground truth, modeling Plan B directly was impossible. The dynamic simulator of dystopia found service in our quest to identify the particular functionalities of dysfunctional organizations that made them dysfunctional, toxic parasites. Once the findings of that exercise were tested in reality, the culprit functionalities were (mathematically) corrected one by one to determine the effect on organizational viability. When the paradoxes and stupidities were taken out of dystopia, mathematically – the boosts in organizational effectiveness as computed by the simulator were dramatic. Although we did not know it at the time, it was our first glimpse of Plan B in action.
Working with the model, we learned there was an interface in every organization situated between what Nature will tolerate without taking vengeance and task action decisions by company staff. What we were doing to cut losses was changing the configuration and parameters – within Nature’s tolerance band. There’s nothing in dynamic simulation that tells you how to establish in reality a state that you’ve tested using computers.
The next step was to compare the tables of results from dynamic simulations with dystopia dynamics and look for incredulities. While many mismatches were spotlighted, they were expected. The one puzzle found in the study we did not expect was how destructive management was in relating to its workforce – the revenue generator of the organization.
All engineers know, by firsthand experience and common sense, that foremen are the gods of productivity. By designing task action of labor on a continuous basis, the foreman has direct minute by minute influence on the work of 80% of the people in the entire organization. Foremen get top-drawer treatment and deference. When this plain fact was checked out with the norms of dystopia leadership, the actual treatment generally accorded came as a jolt. It was against all logic and highly counterproductive. A study back in the champion era records found that the deliberate abuse of foreman began after the civil war and accelerated during the 1890s. Lo and behold, dystopia and foreman abuse were tied to the same phenomenon. You always find foreman abuse in dystopia. You never find foreman abuse in Plan B. No exceptions.
After the connection was made, two conundrums immediately popped up.
- Is the irrational abuse by management of the foreman critical to the existence of dystopia?
- If the abuse is stopped and the foreman enlightened about his mathematical-physics role, a role he can neither alter nor delegate, does that lead to significant loss reduction?
To resolve the conundrums, work was focused on rehabilitation of the foreman (via the pilgrimage). Since this was a psychological obstacle and not a material one, the mentor of choice was Carl Rogers. Like Starkermann, Rogers’ stuff works every time you use it.
For the first time a possibility opened up that there was a plausible, objective basis for designing a path from dystopia to a real Plan B. For the interventionist:
- Set the stage for long-term Plan B success (stop rule)
- Stop the abuse (stop rule)
- Establish mutual trust, one-on-one
- Serve as blowdown tank for angst
- Educate the foreman to his true, unique role, his responsibility and his intrinsic autonomy
- Educate the foremen about best practices for entropy extraction and relocation
- Encourage him to try out available and proven-effective toolsmithy in his operation
- Be there for him as he transforms, one-on-one
- Encourage the brotherhood of foremen for long-term mutual support
With the dynamic simulations of Starkermann showing the absolute power and control of the foreman’s workforce, a program based on that hypothesis was developed and tested. Since we had dealt with hundreds of audiences that had foremen sprinkled about, without success, the test of the program was done on a foremen-only audience. The advent gathering, season 1, episode 1, of the paradigm and the foremen was love at first sight. Both the interventionist and the foremen were stunned (shock and awe). Once we had demonstrated that Starkermann, Argyris, and Rogers were on-target, everything kept on getting better on its own. Trust established, learning in the measured way of the pilgrimage went into overdrive.
The foremen test the concepts and tools on their own between the 2hr episodes, 4 weeks apart. When they find the stuff works, the word gets around. Those that didn’t test the stuff to benefit find themselves chastised by their peers at the next episode. (Look what you missed, dummy!). As you can imagine, that occasion only happens once. It never happens again in that pilgrimage group.
As learning and testing proceeds, the realization strikes the pilgrims that the stuff always works as advertised. This OMG moment is private and occurs at different times with different people, after episode 2 and always before episode 5. From then on, material benefits manifest as a step function. When the workers decide to release the efficiency they have been withholding, they do so all at once. Everyone in the organization notices the bump. In fact, it’s impossible to not notice.
Since implementing the paradigm was how the pilgrims got to Plan B, the same paradigm instructs how they stay in Plan B. There is no backsliding because everyone is on alert, as experts, for the myriad signs of dystopia. They took the pilgrimage not just to get away from the dead ends of dystopia, but because Plan B is the way to live. It’s happier, healthier, and a hell of a lot more satisfying. “Hey, I found out I was born to take responsibility!”
It is not the fervent wish to get to Utopia that carries the day. It is the mutual practice of Plan B ways, concepts and tools, which brings about the transformation and the actuality. Strong reciprocity, a phenomenon that starts by itself and spreads by itself, provides the stream of incentive for Utopia husbandry. Reciprocity-Utopia has proven to be highly addictive and when it radiates, there’s no telling where benefits will appear. And, it keeps on going by itself. Who wouldn’t want one of those in their driveway?
What’s it like to live in Plan B?
Living in Plan B you become vividly aware of the parts scholars like Argyris got right. You also can commiserate on some of the fundamental assumptions they had so wrong. Yes, Plan B is foremost a society where the necessary and sufficient functions to prosper are handled competently by people happy to do them. You note there is no central control room or a top to bottom pecking order. Management is a service center for foremen, not the other way around. These servicemen just happens to wear dress shirts.
One thing More had wrong, because he never had one to go to, is that Plan B is not associated with a place or a tribe. It is neither a remote island nor a Himalayan valley. It is not a culture or a religion or a fortuitous collection of nice people with law degrees like himself. What stymied Argyris was thinking, to the end, the fate of all enterprise was determined top-down.
Plan B is where you are. Nothing material, metal or flesh, has to be changed. Plan B can be anywhere a group of people, any size, collaborate, cooperate and collude to live by More’s dictum. The characteristics of the people acting the role of ceremonial potentates don’t matter. It is functionally Utopia because of what people in the workforce do there. Utopia is not a slave-catered society where living for non-slaves is easy and all the fruit is low-hanging. It is not Disney Land without need for off-hours garbage collectors. In Utopia, everybody there matters. Everyone is, in effect, a voluntary employee of the collective Utopia. There is no central control room of puppeteers with chains that attach to every member.
The glue that holds Plan B together is overt and conscious discussion of the paradigm of action held in common. The pilgrimage ideology serves as the regulator of transactions and, like everything else in the universe, it needs husbandry to keep ahead of a changing world. With everyone in Utopia a worker, collaboration, cooperation, and coordination take care of disturbances. Self-interest coincides with Utopia prosperity. The productivity trend line is up.
The measure of Plan B is made by what they do with what they have. Everyone you see there is a former dystopian. It’s the same people with the same stuff and organizational chart, no longer doing zero-sum transactions like they did in dystopia, doing what it takes to husband Plan B viability. The din of failures in trying to raise productivity is the comforting anthem of Plan B. In Plan B, everyone is sensitive to indicators of relapse. When productivity is rising, it is safe to assume the enemies of Plan B are being held at bay.
Everybody notices features about Plan B that just seem “right” in the way society ought to run. Healthy instincts have free range. Nobody is engaging zero sum at work. You get to watch a lot of innovation take place and then get assimilated without a hand-wringing crisis. You benefit from this innovation stream in material ways. Likewise, your creativity finds a neutral environment when your innovations are ready for implementation testing at the proving ground of reality. Nobody freaks out with well-designed and instrumented failures. Lubricating all this is mutual trust. You can have a trust situation within dystopia, of course, but there is no Plan B without trust wall-to-wall. When the paradigm works, when trust is mutual, you want transparency.
You learn to trust the processes of viability husbandry because they consistently deliver the intended outcome. Reciprocity of trust works for you as the platform of action. There is little need for police, regulators and inspectors (Deming). Transactions based on trust are efficient. They can afford to be transparent. Implementing the More/Argyris definition of Utopia encourages the energies and competencies that human beings have to offer.
The absence of angst in Plan B is striking, like silence at a rock concert. It is the ambience of mutual-trust that overwhelms. The abundance of uncommitted free energy (Gibbs) allows for more projects to be going on, thereby skewing the world of Utopia more towards project activity than routine production. The workers in the factory are encouraged to come up with projects aimed to make their work easier. Project world (novel, temporary) is anything but rules-based.
In Plan B, few are struggling with Maslow’s Level One survival. All the foreman are self-actualized and daily encounters bump the workers to strive towards psychological success (instinct of reciprocity). Nobody thinks they’re stuck for life at a Maslow level One. >
Psychological success Take 1:
- Self-responsibility and self-control (autonomy) goals and paths to goals
- Commitment to the Plan B paradigm
- Productive effectiveness
- Use of span of abilities
- Worthwhile achievement
- Expanding competencies
- Self-awareness and self-acceptance
- Self confidence
- Using abilities
- Control over work
- Long-term security
- Autonomy and independence
- Challenge and self-responsibility
- Meaningful work
Psychological success Take 2
- Self-concept is rich and differentiated
- Congruency between self-concept and reality
- Positive mental health
- Sense of identity
- Growth motivation
- Long-range goals
- Effective in goal-seeking
- Self-directed and controlled
- Satisfying personal relations
- Achieve objectives
- Husband the internal system
- Adapt to the external environment
Safe choice for dystopians:
- To be controlled and directed by others
- Short time perspective
- Apathetic and indifferent
Plan B is felicitous. High self-confidence leads to plenty of good-natured kidding. Differences in workers and foreman are acknowledged as “noted and accepted” by an exchange of comedy. Your nationalities may be dedicated enemies, but in Plan B the contest is about who can make the wittiest remark about the other’s heritage. Nobody, including the interventionist, is spared. Like ball players, you get a “name” as a badge of membership. Mutual kidding signals mutual trust. Sarcastic-tinged comedy is a sign your workforce associates have your back.
In practice, the use of sarcasm is how the pilgrims help struggling brothers get up to speed. When a foreman is caught using force with his men, for example, his peers make public remarks about his lapse in intelligence. If there ever was an instant cure for deviation from Utopia-think, half-serious chiding by your peers is it. The impact resembles a hit by lightning.
Hallmarks of dystopia absent in Plan B
The scholarship of Chris Argyris on organizational dysfunction, which went on for over 50 years, was unmatched during his tenure. Living amid various organizations, Argyris observed and ran tests to discredit his theories. He summarized the mechanisms of action that define dystopia in his famous Theory-in-use Model I:
- Be in unilateral control over others and remain so
- Win, do not lose
- Suppress negative feelings
- Act rationally
In order to defend ideological infallibility, he codified the actions defining Model I as follows:
- Avoid defining clear objectives and evaluating behavior in terms of achievement of goal.
- Discourage inquiry and testing.
- Send mixed messages.
- Act as if the messages were not mixed.
- Make topic undiscussable.
- Act as if not doing any of the above.
- Be skillfully incompetent and oblivious to consequences.
- Intercept and contaminate feedback.
In dystopia, the elements of productivity are never assembled into a composite picture called Productivity. The only index of interest to management is production and, for accounting purposes, even those figures can be doctored. Essential components of productivity: waste, rejects, loss, and turnover, are not measured or trended. If you can’t find reliable data on employee turnover, you won’t find anything on health, safety, and wastage either. It’s not that the medical empire doesn’t tell you about its productivity, it doesn’t track any of its components. That’s how, quietly and gradually, unnecessarily-defective hospital care grew to be the third highest cause of death in the USA without anything systematic being done about it. Ten years ago, iatrogenic deaths were seldom even on the list of causes of death. That’s like covering up the casualties of war.
From experience living in Plan B:
- No menagerie of deception and cover up (Elephants, monkeys, etc.)
- No undiscussables
- No one is untrustworthy
- No inspectors, regulators
- No ambiguous outcome responsibility
- No meddle management
- No angst
- No infallibility. Fault tolerant
- Centered on transparency, feedback and lessons learned
Objectives of Plan B
The compelling purpose of Plan B, in perpetuity, is the formation of a felicitous, prosperous social system that is self-sustaining. You want your progeny to function in a community of self-actualized individuals that have the same goal of psychological success for their progeny. And so on down the line of generations. This goal is the pinnacle of bias, prejudice and bigotry against a society composed of competing objectives locked in zero-sum conflicts. This Utopia condition – how selfish!
This fact of selfishness might actually be a consideration except for the basic fact that Plan Bs are formed with the same people of dystopia. Everyone in the pilgrimage is from dystopia. Everyone. When you behave as Utopians, you have arrived in Plan B. The pilgrim is always free to return to dystopia, without objection, on the horse he rode in on.
All the pilgrimage does is spotlight wrong assumptions and encourage practice in how certain “chosen” citizens of society behave. The concept of the workforce, grounders and their foremen, is generating the revenue that engenders and maintains prosperity. Because of the 2nd Law of the universe, the choices for concept fulfillment shrink down to one – extract entropy. The benefit package that radiates out from the workforce productivity by reciprocity reaches everyone in Plan B. Over time the instinct of reciprocity brings benefits to every organization in contact with the host. The characteristic mind-set of Plan B? It knows, in great sociotechnical detail:
- How it was formed
- How it knew it ignited as Plan B
- Why it is so successful
- Why non-Plan Bs are so less successful
- How Plan B prosperity is maintained
No secrets are guarded in Plan B. Test it. All you have to do is ask. Utopia will share its knowledge bank with you, gratis. You can have copies of the productivity performance trend graphs peppered throughout the organization.
The More/Argyris specifications
Professor Argyris set the standard by which attainment of the pilgrimage goal could be validated. These attributes form the checklist items for auditor use. The paramount criterion, by far, is for Plan B to be self-sustaining. That means Plan B must have a self-regulating apparatus that does not need outside intervention. Validating this takes time. Three years of rising productivity seems to be sufficient.
The Argyris pilgrimage paradigm attributes:
It satisfies the following requisites:
- Upfront, causally-transparent specification of objectives, prediction of outcomes and the sequence of actions to produce them.
- Explicit premises, individually falsifiable.
- Structured in the form of concise causal statements of conditions under which the paradigm will hold.
- Falsifiable in whole and in parts. Provisions for error detecting and error correcting. Unconditional auditing.
- Effectiveness measurable by observable data.
- Robust ground-truth feedback process for continuous improvement.
- Final validation of effective application is realized productivity profile.
- Leads to the consequences it predicts. Delivers promises in the operational reality.
- Proactively humanitarian. Responsible steward of the quality of life.
- Foresighted, preventative, creative.
- Propagation and amplification of effectiveness by reciprocity – the supreme validation.
- Congruent with reality. No magic, intuition, faith.
- Establishes and fosters a learning context.
- Unrestrained truth-seeking. A lack of defensive routines.
- Risk-taking tolerant. No change-panic.
- Implementation protocols are teachable.
- High sensitivity to disturbances and highly effective in neutralizing disturbances.
- Causes no harm in implementation. (Warfield’s dictum). Rational demands of its elements.
- High explanatory power, with minimal concepts and premises.
- Authentic, genuine, trust, instinctive, happy, intimate, collaborative. In other words, natural.
- Fast delivery of benefits.
- All actionable knowledge developed has traceable pedigree to natural-law fundamentals and primitives.
- Aligned with and compelled by genetically-endowed instincts.
- Provides tools for rapid, reliable status assessment.
- Incontrovertible from any perspective.
Milestones of the Pilgrimage
- Qualification of pilgrim candidates
- Trust formation. Rogerian triad
- Season 1, Episode 1: shock and awe
- Angst blowdown
- Season 1, Episode 2: shock and awe
- Angst blowdown
- Season 1, Episode 3: Communications
- Over the inflection point. Benefits advent
- Season 1, Episodes 4-5: concepts and tools
- Season 1, Episode 6: Integrating modules
- The benefit package manifests. Losses drop by 50%
- Benefits expansion by reciprocity, autonomous
- Pilgrimage husbandry: Season 2 (Details in book 4)
Toolsmithy of Plan B
While all pilgrims (MitM) always had the power, they didn’t always have the concepts and tools (knowledge) to leverage their power to mold their Plan B. Global human society has, for some primordial reason, configured its acculturalization with incongruent mental models of reality and blind spots that flood the goal-seeking arena with GIGO. The ignorance of foremen to their true, natural role and influence is a stipulation of the Establishment. POSIWID
Since dealing with the operational reality is the only way to get to Plan B, the first order of business is clarity. Social conditioning sprayed mud on your windshield. Pilgrims must be able to see reality before they can shape it into their Plan B.
As mentioned before, there are artifacts of thinking and doing, the paradigm and its algorithms (intelligence), that enable pilgrimage success anywhere, on demand. As Plan B is defined by what its citizens do, the intelligence that decides what gets done defines Plan B at another level. The toolsmithy of the pilgrimage includes:
- Prime movers of dystopia: Understanding the mechanisms of action that deliver organizational dysfunction
- Selective demolition of the counterproductive and erroneous mental models
- Toolsmithy of the pilgrimage: The sociotechnical design for transforming dystopia to Plan B
- Toolsmithy of Plan B functionality: Effectiveness in husbanding Plan B viability
Understanding dystopia functionality is the first step, to be sure, but it does not illuminate the trail to Plan B. The treasury of tools and practices is not apart from the path. You have to know a lot about Plan B before you can figure out how to get there. Our first authentic encounter occurred by stumbling around blind-drift in the thicket for a span of time we now find embarrassing.
Toolsmithy includes concepts and techniques for implementation:
- Concepts: the strategies aimed to establish and keep Plan B prosperous – immortal.
- Understanding dystopia: what has to get lost and kept lost
- The concepts pertinent to Utopia: what “done” looks like
- The concepts of the psychological transformation: the pilgrimage
- The concepts that empower and sustain Plan B functionality: entropy extraction
- Techniques and tools: the practical means by which the strategies are materialized.
- The tools that deliver the transformation
- The tools common to all entropy extraction
One of the assumptions and predictions about the pilgrimage Argyris had wrong was the speed of transformation. Without an example to benchmark and facing all the failures he experienced to meet his own specification, he concluded that the first signs of Plan B would take years of determined, protracted effort. The fact is that if your paradigm and map is deficient in any way, the time to manifest results, extended by turnover, is never.
Because he has met with each pilgrim one-on-one as step one, the interventionist can predict outcome success and the schedule of benefit manifestation with complete confidence before the first episode is conducted. Since the paradigm is gold, the tell-tales of Plan B pregnancy start blooming within six weeks of Episode 1, Season 1, fertilization.
The costs of staging the pilgrimage are recovered through increased productivity in less than 2 months. Windfall benefits of the pilgrimage exceed the cost of the pilgrimage by a multiplication factor of 1500 by the end of the first year. Strong reciprocity effects raise the windfall factor up to 2000 by the end of the second year. Unleashing this kind of leverage is exciting for everyone involved. Restoring withheld efficiency is joyous. What’s your organizational ROI?
Designing the transformation from dystopia to Plan B makes use of several principles of psychology
- Stop rules and prequalification
- Rogerian triad
- Deep personalization: individual, custom
- Trust: strong reciprocity
- Angst blowdown: release of captive internal energy
- Extraction of fallacious assumptions
- Extraction of fallacious social conditioning
- Deriving and understanding Nature’s empowerment of the workforce
- Understanding the real “power” distribution of the hierarchy.
The tools that evolved from Rudolf Starkermann’s work on social system dynamics are practical and effective. They find good use every day. He started in 1960 by running his simulations on two-person social systems. It took 2 decades to finish, but no possible combination of two people was left untested. In 1975, exhaustive studies of three-person social systems were started and that research went on for two decades. In 1995, work started with social systems having 4 and more members. His various investigations were published in dozens of papers and several books (Starkermann.com). His research evolved into a comprehensive study of the hierarchy that finished in 2013, just before he went legally blind.
The special property of a Starkermann tool is that it always works. The application particulars don’t matter to efficacy. Anyone who engages social systems will find frequent use of the axioms that came out of his simulation studies. Anyone who attempts to defy a Starkermann axiom is a fool.
The trick we learned by experience was to study Rudy’s data looking for aspects that went against conventional wisdom, our expectations and common sense, and run tests in reality to settle things. Starkermann delivered the data on hierarchy control capability that nailed the 2½ rule to the cathedral door. He showed it was the computable leak, lag and friction in control signals traveling vertically in the hierarchy that prevented “truth” from workface dynamics from reaching management decision-makers. It has nothing to do with anyone’s intentions or personality. Once you realize it can’t happen, you can search hard for exceptions. History shows FDR, furious about getting doctored information from his informants, sending Eleanor out to the field to get ground truth to bring back to her husband. The works superintendent shows up at your station and asks “How’s it going?” What are you going to tell him? That the set screw on the pump driveshaft came loose an hour ago?
Starkermann worked out the relevance of personal attributes to system performance as a function of organizational size and architecture.
- When the individual is alone and beyond social influences, like Crusoe, the tie of his personality to his effectiveness is one-to-one.
- With a twosome, where the democratic partnership can be more effective than the best of two individuals in tandem situations, personal attributes predominate. Attitude is attainment.
- With a threesome, where collaboration cannot be more effective than three Crusoes in tandem, because of the communication load, personal characteristics start to matter less to group effectiveness.
- With a foursome, where collaboration of the four is barely more effective in goal-seeking than the threesome. Personal idiosyncrasies still matter, but much less than the threesome.
- With five or higher, a democratic relationship is no longer practical. The communication load sucks up all the energy. The instinctive fix is to form a hierarchy. As communication load is chopped down to issuing and submitting to orders, so goes the relevance of personal attributes to performance.
- When levels in the hierarchy get above four, personal qualities and attitudes don’t matter at all to operational effectiveness. That is why the head shed can depersonalize the workforce with impunity. That is why the head shed conspires to draw labor into a zero-sum relationship in which it cannot lose.
When the correlation of attitude with productivity was established, Rudy was able to simplify the individual model to make the dynamic simulations of large organizations practical with available computer power. The study of individual personality in many-tiered organizations explained why the fad of behavior-based safety was a flop. Ditto for motivational speakers.
Because the use of “drive” correlates to managerial attitude, Starkermann’s work calibrated the response of efficiency-withholding on productivity caused by attitude misalignments. His data on the impact of “force” to productivity does not set a limit on sabotage but it does show relative strengths of counterproductive workforce effort – Ca’ canny. It uses mathematical physics to prove what everyone knows from experience – that management by force is an attempt to defy natural law. Starkermann does not explain why two centuries of proof that “drive” fails the purpose has been ignored. Drive is the de facto standard of management today.
Concepts of Plan B Husbandry
The central pillar that keeps Plan B prosperous is intelligent husbandry in dealing with the 2nd Law. It is the paramount distinguishing difference between dystopia and Plan B. In dystopia, the debilitating effects of the 2nd Law are covered up. Infrastructure is allowed to rot until it has to be replaced. In Plan B, it is the opposite. Extracting entropy is everyone’s day job.
Since the 2nd Law acts at the atomic level, everything material is driven to disorder. The drive to disorder is so real, you can see the accumulations of entropy in the mirror more often than you find comfortable. This truth of the 2nd Law is absolute. To take advantage of Nature’s 2nd Law wormhole, the truth of your structure and work must be an exact match to the truth of the entropy. Nature has zero tolerance for fools and those who respond to rust with cosmetics. Only ground truth, timely, local and particular, works.
It is the absolute necessity for truth in dealing with the 2nd Law that keeps Plan B honest and trustworthy. Entropy extracting in a society takes collaboration. It cannot be done by a Hercules. It is the practical side of society husbandry that demands truth and cooperative efforts on a continuous basis. It’s nice to think people do what needs doing because of high moral code, but the specter of the 2nd Law serves quite well. GIGO is the Achilles’ heel of Plan B.
It’s ironic that the lies strengthening dystopia are toxic to Plan B. That is why the foremost structure in Plan B is its error-detecting and neutralizing apparatus. Disturbances, deceptions and sabotage show up as errors and processed just like any other error. That is why you cannot tell a lie in Plan B. It’s satirical that your lies in dystopia just mingle with the other lies to no intended effect. It makes you wonder about the payoff of lying.
From the moment of Plan B ignition, near the middle of season 1, Plan B needs proactive maintenance. The objective of Plan B is to perpetuate its felicitous, interesting, bountiful way of life, making the most of the hand Plan B has dealt its people. The means to attain that objective for Plan B must include, paramount, effective husbandry.
The 2nd Law is the most secure law of the universe. Like other natural laws, the 2nd Law is expressed as a forcefield that fills space. Wherever matter is, regardless of its form or amount, there also is the 2nd Law. Given this fact of life, it is strange that large numbers of Homo sapiens seen flashing their credentials of intelligence, go out of their way attempting to defy the 2nd Law. The fact the futile endeavors continue shows that nothing is being learned from the experience. It’s no secret that the 2nd Law drives time itself. It’s no secret that, in the end, the 2nd Law sees to it that nobody gets out of this life alive.
Because the Revenue Crew workforce must be proactive in dealing with the 2nd Law, all the process details flow from that requirement. There is no other choice. The revenue crew level is where this has to happen because it is the only part of the organization that can engage entropy reduction. The requisites directly and scrutably connected to the 2nd Law include:
- The workforce must be competent in project work (novel, temporary) as well as operations (rule-based, permanent). All entropy extraction is a project.
- In fair exchange for unconditional autonomy, the workforce leader freely accepts responsibility for fit project outcomes. That is, real entropy is really extracted.
- The workforce must acquire and develop actionable quality information. Think ground truth.
- The workforce must develop and operate a filter for identification and rejection of false or untimely information.
- The workforce will go about its 2nd Law business within the Plan B environment.
All entropy extraction and relocation works on the wormhole principle allowed by the 2nd Law. Nature will permit you to extract entropy locally in exchange for Her increasing entropy, globally, in equal amount, plus tax. When you make a bed, bringing order to disorder, the entropy of you and the bedroom increases because of your effort. The 2nd Law wormhole is structure and the physical work of imposing the structure on the disorder heap. There is no other way.
It soon becomes clear why entropy reduction and relocation is a design project. Having a load of disorder dumped on your lap in no way points to how its original order can be restored. The structure to be imposed has to be invented and the process of imposition has to be invented. Given a disorderly bed and no drill sergeant, you have to create a picture of what done looks like in your head. Then, you have to figure out how to attack the particular disorder to end up matching the picture.
All design is, by definition, creative and all creativity depends on autonomy. Ever try to force someone to be creative? Straightaway, then, entropy extraction is a creative process conducted by autonomous individuals who, in order to secure the required autonomy, must freely and voluntarily take responsibility for fit outcomes of the project. Entropy extraction and relocation requires a democratic arrangement. Hierarchy cannot get the job done.
The key creative act in the 2nd Law affair is the Franceschi Fitting. This inspired task is to take the goal of entropy extraction in abstract generalized-functions form and create the physical functions that will satisfice the goal. You go from the wish of entropy extraction to the local and particular material details together with tasks designed to make it happen. Designing a Franceschi Fitting is indistinguishable from performing magic. As with every creative act, the first products are solution candidates.
These interconnected requisites form the backbone of Plan B.
- Legitimate responsibility for outcomes
- Freedom to acquire the truth
- Mutual, unconditional trust
- Discretion of task action and intensity
- Candidate trial and error proving grounds
Tools of Plan B husbandry
For a long time it has been apparent that this whole dystopia-to-Plan B affair is what we call an AON. Namely, that getting in proximity to Utopia ignition counts zero. This critical-mass characteristic is unique to Plan B. That’s why, exactly, the benefit package manifests so quickly. Plan B becomes as a behavioral pattern set. Think all-or-nothing.
In dystopia, there is a rich spectrum in degrees of dysfunction. What is a common denominator to every dystopia is that with time the dysfunctions and their consequences get worse. Not so Plan B. With time, the productivity of Plan B goes up. There is only one form of Plan B. If you’ve worked in one, you’ve worked in them all. Plan B cannot exist without collaboration, cooperation, and coordination. Lose any one of the functions critical to Plan B and it snowballs apart. In dystopia, all functions are self-healing (Nash).
Almost there, nowhere
Once there, everywhere
Plan B◊ dystopia:
- Entropy extraction ◊ Ignore 2nd Law
- Trust ◊ Distrust
- Collaboration ◊ Antagonistic
- Never zero-sum ◊ All zero-sum
- AQI ◊ GIGO
- Comply to 2½ rule ◊ Ignore the 2½ rule
- Creative personalized ◊ depersonalized obedience
- Transparent ◊ Opaque
- Felicity ◊ Angst
- Responsibility authentic ◊ Responsibility feigned
- Shannon success ◊ Communication failures
Starkermann’s work on dynamic simulations of hierarchical social systems was truncated at 10 tiers because changes above 10 were straight lines no matter the attitudes and personalities. The span of domination was determined from the data tables by comparing magnitudes of power over subordinates. As you can see, the CEO domination index increases with the number of levels in the hierarchy. This increase comes at the expense of the bottom tiers. Every incremental gain in domination for the head shed, by adding levels, brings a large loss of discretion over the work by the workforce.
The dynamic simulations for the foreman level show what we measure – that the power of the foreman over his workers is constant no matter how many plies in the organization. In a two-level hierarchy, the foreman is the owner and perforce total domination can be exercised. From three levels on up, the power of domination of the manager over the foreman is also constant, but small.
From foreman to worker
The pilgrimage is geared to help the foreman understand the truth about his role and the absolute, unshared control over productivity he wields. The foreman role is impervious to managerial manipulation. He is the productivity protagonist by position with a responsibility than can neither be delegated nor abridged. He is in more ways than one an independent contractor.
Because the foreman’s role is design, it is project oriented more than operations centered. He inherits the responsibility-autonomy package intrinsic to the design function. He needs neither authorization nor permission to increase productivity. At all times, the foreman is free to test these concepts for effectiveness in his own sphere. As his comfort level with his true role starts increasing, the pilgrim is provided with the best principles and toolsmithy for fulfillment.
During this proving-ground phase, the foreman suddenly notices the jump in effectiveness by his workers – thus amplifying his competence in his role. He has his Plan B in hand, as promised.
As long as the foremen overlords continue to abide the interventionist’s stop rules, signed off before the start of the pilgrimage, the foreman can husband organizational viability as he sees fit. What the interventionist did, upfront, is quietly disconnect the chain of command at the foreman’s link. Management is a primary beneficiary of the productivity windfalls and should be content to justify its hands-off strategy to the head shed.
The workers who had lived in the “before” conditions have every reason to release their withheld efficiency and it shows up all at once when their instinct of workmanship is set free. The feedback cycle puts this happy transition into overdrive. That is why, exactly, the benefit package manifests so quickly and fully. Once Plan B is humming along, the workforce wants no part of slipping back to dystopia. Management has no material reason to stop the windfalls.
The workforce Plan B husbandry chores includes an occasional, subtle reminder to upper management about its revenue-crew role and its vigilance on the stop rules. As Plan B matures, reciprocity engages and radiates. Unlike the suddenness of forming Plan B when the critical mass of functionalities are assembled, benefit expansion by reciprocity takes time. For the worker, reciprocity to his foreman is instant. Experience shows that for working-level interactions, it takes a few months. For the higher levels, the lag is in years.
In Plan B, the self-actualizing foreman helps his staff reach psychological success. Everyone benefits from this. The foreman teaches his workers, over time, that the worker self-image branded by society is and always was a hoax. As the truth sinks in, more and more discretion can be transferred to the workers to design and redesign their jobs as they see fit. As for all design, discretion comes with outcome responsibility. No examples have occurred where a worker has failed to respond to the Rogerian triad or to fail his freely-chosen taking of responsibility. In practice, the misfits to Plan B take themselves out of the arena.
The view from Plan B’s head
A strong Starkermann master-apprentice principle, the laws of systems theory prove that you cannot understand system dynamics as a dynamical component in that system. That means people of dystopia, while committing the crime of obedience, cannot understand the mechanisms of action of dystopia as a total social system. When Plan B ignition is reached during the pilgrimage, the pilgrims can, for the first time, look back on the dystopia they immigrated from and understand more of its counterproductive functionalities, which at the time were paradoxes. This comes as a revelation.
The vantage point of Plan B brings several benefits in understanding social system operations, especially in predicting future behavior and outcomes. From Plan B, you can see things going on in dystopia you never knew were there before. For example, the 2016 election exposed the fact that the zero-sum game between the owners and the workforce has been played to the limit. The moneyed people that “own” the Establishment own all social system functionalities for dealing with the 2nd Law. When they purchased the Establishment and so dominate the peoples in a nation, they are left with a confederation of dystopias to deal with the 2nd Law. They eventually find out that money cannot persuade natural law. Money cannot buy entropy extraction. Mergers destroy both sides.
The 2016 revelations of unbridled wholesale corruption in the USA Establishment made it clear that the state has entered the climax phase of social life. Same as in forestry, climax is a state of affairs where no further evolution takes place regardless of time. The Establishment has been exposed in ultimate zero sum, in climax state, showing the public they dominate that they own the legal system as well as all others appendages of government. The legal system, fully aware of the breakage of established laws, has been rendered powerless – because the lawbreakers are their masters. With all the lawyers stymied, the owner class is immune from legal action and control. They have become gods over their domains. They can get nothing to work.
The fatal condition the gods of society have made for themselves is helplessness against the 2nd Law. Even gods must stop thinking there’s a way around the 2nd Law or they perish. Greek legends of their Gods are filled with examples of 2nd Law dealings. The zero-sum tsars, when they totally dominate a society, the object of their zero-sum game, have made society helpless against the 2nd Law. There is no truth, no autonomy for entropy extraction. “Drive” has stopped collaboration and creativity in their tracks.
Attempting to defy the 2nd Law is very bad for man and gods alike. The attempts themselves increase the entropy buildups over natural rates. Ignoring the 2nd Law is conducive to dystopia operations, but unanswered entropy accumulation means death to the organization.
Ultimate financial control of goods and services is negatively connected to the 2nd Law. Rather than zero-sum doing the viability husbandry job, it prevents productive action by the workforce – the only part of society that can produce revenue. When the tsars of finance have total domination over society and its way of life, with impunity, the top score in zero-sum combat, and they exercise that right of domination, the ability to husband viability of the society they dominate is destroyed.
Once dystopia has reached its climax state, it has no way to stop the 2nd Law degradation. What that means to the USA future is very apparent to Utopians. Unable to extract entropy, solve problems, things are headed from bad to worse. At some point, workforce revolt kicks in, followed by genocide. It is a scenario that has been enacted by every human “civilization” formed by Homo sapiens so far and a completely unnecessary ending.
Preview of the Transmutation:
The fourth book in the set, “Way Stations,” presents the structural details on how the pilgrimage is conducted by the interventionist to take you from dystopia to Plan B. There are two “secrets” to the Pilgrimage design that are critical to success:
- Composition of the group
- Orchestration of the sessions
The target transformation is obtained in three stages.
- The interventionist sets the stage. He handles the management obstacles upfront. Big job.
- The first-line supervisor brings the requisite revisions about for themselves and the domain they control – the workforce. This group accounts for 70-80% of the organization’s total population.
- The Plan B influence radiating by reciprocity with interacting dystopias.
Several Plan Bs have been implemented via the paradigm. Self-sustaining, they are available for your hands-on examination and evaluation 24/7. When you go, the first thing to verify on site is reciprocity. As all Plan Bs must continuously interact with dystopias, thereby exposed to their mischiefs, reciprocity works to increase the Plan B advantage. That is, the benefit package grows with time and you should measure that growth due to reciprocity in tangibles. People in dystopia learn to be truthful in transactions with Utopians because they can’t get away with lying (Dilbert). Since nothing is undiscussable in Plan B, dystopians take their interactions as opportunities to blowdown their angst to a low-pressure receiver, like the interventionist. Mutually happy transactions are always mutually fruitful. As reciprocity is the final phase of the pilgrimage and unique to it, verify reciprocity and you have validated the entire paradigm implementation.
The pilgrim is:
- By reputation: The Man in the Middle (MitM)
- By function: A designer, process and tasks
- By role: Taskmaster, benefactor of the Revenue Crew
- By hierarchical circumstance: The bridge between cause and effect
- By Grounder: The company, the boss, the enabler, the exemplary
- By management: The link that should not be there
- By the general staff: The necessary evil
- By the public: A management lackey
- By choice: Responsible for viability husbandry
- By Organizational chart: Front Line Supervisor
- By Labor Management Negotiations: Nonexistent
- By Systems View: Productivity Gatekeeper
- By responsibility: Autonomous
The sculpting of Plan B from the clay of dystopia is done in phases:
- The interventionist affirms the requisites and stop-rules of the pilgrimage with the organization’s executives.
- The interventionist develops quantitative measures of productivity.
- The interventionist prequalifies pilgrim candidates, as MitM, by one-on-one contact.
- Shock and Awe – the first two Episodes of Season 1
- Application benefits manifest Episode 4
- Plan B ignition: full benefit package shortly after Episode 6
- Reciprocity-driven benefit expansion
The transformation takes place by learning, application testing, and knowledge development. The critical success factors of the paradigm are introduced and hung on the visible scaffolding around which the concepts coalesce – first to understand the mechanisms of action of dystopia and then to understand the building blocks of Plan B. The mutation from dystopia to Plan B is involved and non-linear, to be sure, but for those that qualify as pilgrims, the path is well marked and success is certain.
The pilgrimage “program” is punctuated by Season and by Episode. Convocations with the interventionist are spaced 4 weeks apart to ease digestion and allow for self-testing of concepts and tools.
Pilgrimage Program Stop Rules
The following are the requisites for engaging the pilgrimage.
The overriding purpose of the program is to deliver the benefit package. Any of the requisites unmet and the benefits of the program will not materialize or sustain. Accordingly, these requisites are designated as STOP rules, such that a failure to meet them constitutes a directive to terminate the program, regardless of the stage of the program.
These requisites, proven through application experience, are non-negotiable.
The initialization “season” consists of six “episodes.” The benefits start to manifest well before the first season ends. The subsequent “seasons,” as requested by the participants, are started no earlier than 6 months after the first season ends. This allows time for the participants to experiment and work with the new concepts and tools before learning additional material. Multiple seasons have been designed and delivered.
- Only foremen are invited to participate. Any outsiders (non-foremen) inhibit the openness and candor of the group discussions.
- The FLLP cannot be combined with any other training programs. There can be no massing with any other training programs, regardless of the topics or importance. It cannot be run in conjunction with any other training programs. This is necessary in order to stay within the cognitive processing capacities of the participants.
- Classroom time for any one participant, on any one day is limited to the 2-hour Apotovsky Limit. Since the classroom setting is outside of the normal working conditions of the FLLs, each module is so constrained. This represents the maximum classroom duration which can be imposed and still permit reasonable retention of material covered.
- Participant confidentiality is preserved for the program duration. What transpires within the classroom discussions and individual, one-on-one coaching sessions, stays between the parties involved. After a season ends, there are no restrictions.
- Participants are not required to share any information about course or coaching discussions, with any non-participant of the program.
- The participants must be engaged in an active work season for the duration of the program. The coaching visits engage participants on site, where they are engaged with their crews, performing their normal leadership roles. The effectiveness of this integral component hinges upon the ability to observe and speak with them on scene with their crew. Ground truth.
- Non-involvement by management, for the duration of the program, Season 1. There are no restrictions on communication and subject matter after the benefit package is manifest, when it speaks for itself.
- To quantify the benefit package delivered, management must allow the forming of productivity measures, prior to commencement of the program, so the benefit package can be quantified against the initial performance data.
- Foremen, MitM exclusively
- Enrollment is optional, but once voluntarily selected, attendance and active class participation are mandatory.
- Anyone who must miss a session due to extenuating circumstances may be permitted to engage in make-up sessions. However, this option is limited. It is only possible to engage in make-up sessions for episodes 3, 4 and 5.
- Participants are only permitted to start the FLLP at the beginning of a season. If one cannot start with their cohort commencing with episode 1, they must wait for the next start of a complete program. No one is permitted to join with a group in process.
- If a participant misses episodes 2 or 6, they are considered dropped from the program.
- If a participant misses any 2 of episodes 3, 4 or 5, they are considered dropped from the program.
- Union membership is a disqualifier for participation. The conditions required of membership for any union prevent individual openness for learning and corresponding manifestation of benefits for the organization.
- Group Class size: 6-10.
- Duration: 2 hours. Classes run on time, and go no longer than the designated duration unless all participants agree to the overrun. The instruction is available both before and after each session if individual participants wish to engage in additional or specific topics.
- Preferred occasion: Conducted on company time, as close to the start of a normal shift as possible
- Frequency: Time interval of no less than 4 and no more than 6 weeks spacing between sessions
- Preferred Location: As close to their assigned workplace as possible (in-situ is optimal).
- No hitch-hikers – everyone who is a participant must actively engage in all activities. Anyone who does not engage in the program may be asked to leave. Any participant who decides they do not want to participate once the program has started can ask for a voluntary drop. The benefits of the program adhere to the individual leader, and they must freely chose to participate for the transformation to work.
- Each episode has a class handout. Note-taking on this material is a requirement. A binder and supplies will be provided at the start of the season.
- Make up sessions can only be conducted for episodes 3, 4, and 5. All other episodes must be done with members of their program cohort. An individual is permitted to engage in 1 make up session.
- Participants must attend all 6 episodes in order to obtain a Completion Certificate at the conclusion of the program season. Any participant who misses 1-2 episodes will receive a participation certificate. Individuals who attend 3 or fewer episodes are not eligible.
- Maximum number of group sessions per episode, per day, per interventionist, is 2. A third session may be provided as a make-up episode. The maximum number of group sessions which can be conducted in a single week is eight.
- Comfortable physical environment in a quiet classroom setting free from external interruptions. There should be appropriate room, lighting, seating, refreshments, and table space. A computer projector and whiteboard are required.
- One on one access to participants before or after a session as mutually arranged and as often as deemed appropriate. The topics of conversation, during these field coaching sessions, are strictly confidential. After the benefit package is delivered, the pilgrim, not the interventionist, is free to discuss subject matter as he pleases.
- Duration of field coaching sessions is set by the individual participant.
- No reporting imperatives.
- The program workbook, as provided to the participants, is not private until used.
- There is no role for management in attaining the goals of the program. As all stakeholders, management is a program beneficiary.
- The benefit package manifests as a set, all or nothing.
It just so happened that engineers were the first humans to enable, live and work in a Plan B and know it. This is truly a most unlikely circumstance as so many other sciences, professions and disciplines are far better positioned, by scope and inclination, to deal with the conception, construction and maintenance of a Plan B – a manmade, man-sustained social system.
Engineers, socially challenged to a man, are trained to reach their goal by some combination of might and directed horsepower. Tangibles are excavated, shaped and moved to another place by brute force. If engineers were told by the Establishment to build a Utopia, they would start by draining some swamp wherever the dart hit the map and pour a foundation using a Flash Gordon comic book for architectural drawings.
The big lesson to be learned about Plan B, especially for engineers, is that nothing Utopian happens by force. In fact, force = failure. More force = more failure. As long as you keep your eyes on the prize, eventually it will sink in that all you can do to a positive effect is enable – collaborate, cooperate, and coordinate.
The first deliberately-constructed Utopias were made decades ago, without knowing they were Plan Bs. They were project-oriented, like Lockheed’s “Skunk Works,” and they evaporated into thin air when the project was finished. The generic algorithms for assembling a Plan B in a project setting was formalized and published in several books you can buy on Amazon. Using the formulas, it was possible to create a project Plan B out of any social system and doing so became routine practice for us. Enjoying the benefits, only later did we become curious as to why the Plan B-based project concept was never emulated.
The history on this phenomenon includes day-long presentations of massive Plan B-based projects at major conferences. The huge differences between standard and Plan B persuaded no one. The very same colossus that hosted the Plan B experiment and acknowledged the windfalls, went back to business as usual for their subsequent projects. It’s all there in the record.
The lesson-learned is that big money is not an incentive for going Plan B instead of dystopia and if you dwell on the point with the head shed you will be marginalized. Once you realize that the content and size of the benefit package available from Plan B is counter-persuasive to dystopians, you are on your way to enlightenment. Use what doesn’t work as a navigational aid.
By using back doors and having some luck, an entryway became available to build operational Plan Bs. Never thinking it was possible, frankly, the initial implementations were purely experimental. In the operational Plan B business, we learned, close does not count. When you have the paradigm right, you get ignition and beautiful chain reaction. When you have the paradigm almost right, you get nothing. With the learning curve behind us, the rightness of the paradigm is validated by the fact that Utopias can be created, unconditionally, out of dystopias, quickly and on demand. All of them, self-sustaining, are open to visitors. The social system to be transformed is immaterial. Product or service, the same paradigm gets the job done. Natural law is like that.
The engineering report on Plan B projects is provided in the published books. The report on Plan B operations is on Kindle in a set of four books. You’re looking at book three. The engineering perspective on the manmade social system labeled Plan B is capitally important because it establishes the pragmatic foundation of Plan B existence. If you want a real Utopia, like a real Disneyland park, the people that work to make it seem idyllic and effortless have to be fed.
By the time you arrange for the necessaries of sustained Utopia operations, everything that’s left is for the artists to do with as they please. They will be fed from the surplus of productivity increases attained by Plan Bs workforce. Providing the necessaries for sustaining Utopia is the supreme essence of Plan B culture itself. By inferential logic it also instructs, what everyone knows from experience – that any social system that does not produce the resources to maintain itself indefinitely, will evaporate. All social system maintenance is foremost an engineering affair. Why? The 2nd Law menace to sustainability only responds to the sorts of things engineers routinely do well – design, structure and work.
As mentioned earlier, the history of man has recorded several instances of a fleeting Utopia. These precedents met everything in the specification of Utopia except “self-sustaining.” The occasions where Utopia popped into existence were never recognized as Plan B and, without the paradigm of Plan B to use as the maintenance instruction manual, no one knew how to keep it going. To maintain Plan B, everyone pitches in.
What is different now is that the specification of Plan B, a paradigm scrutably connected to natural law, proven in implementations, is in hand. The map for taking things from dystopia to Utopia is in hand. The criteria requisite for a self-sustaining Utopia, a key feature of the Argyris specification of Utopia, have been met and proven effective in service. Utopia is open to inspection.
It is one thing to conjure a Plan B, a confection of the mind where, like some heavens, the primary activity is playing harps and singing Hosannas. By fantasizing Utopia you can delegate the infrastructure matters, such as water, sewage, power, trash pickup, education, health, etc., to be cared for by magic. The fictional take on Utopia has great leeway. Whatever you might need in dream-Utopia is right there when you need it. The imagined slave-less Utopia is equivalent to the infallible ideology platform of human organizations. “Trust the government, follow its rules and everything will be peachy-keen.”
The very concept of infallible ideology joins the very concept of Plan B as soon as you want a movie, so you can live there, instead of a snapshot, where you can’t. Do you want an imaginary Utopia you can’t visit, or do you want a Plan B you can live in? If you want fictional Utopia, where you always end up where you started, just keep breathing. If you want real Utopia, you have to deal with real Plan B. It turns out that participating in Plan Bis a big deal. The vast majority, terrified of having to engage a real Plan B, opts to remain in dystopia. Real and work are both four-letter words.
The common refusal to visit Plan B is your lesson in Establishment social conditioning. You probably thought all those masses of people caged in dystopia, yelling their heads off for new “leadership,” would be only too happy to relocate in Plan B where they have it. When you accept their refusal to act as fact, then you can begin understanding how the world’s mess came to be.
The basic, demonstrable facts of the dystopia position:
- Dystopia management is impervious to the consequences of its business as usual. The kind and magnitude of the damage caused does not matter.
- Dystopia management is impervious to the benefits of changing its business as usual. The kind and magnitude of the benefits receivable do not matter.
These are the facts you must face when you wish to construct and engage a Plan B. No matter how good and quick you are to install a self-sustaining Plan B, you will never get an invitation from the management of a standard social system to implement the paradigm. You can figure out for yourself where that leaves you.
Although we did develop the paradigm that gets you to Plan B ignition from scratch, the reality of sustaining a viable Plan B has been another education. Not everything takes care of itself. The husbandry of Plan B viability has some aspects that were tougher than expected. As a counterweight, an operational Plan B, through strong reciprocity, delivers long-lasting benefits that were grossly underestimated. All in all, the impressive spontaneous surge of benefit makes up for underestimating the intelligence and effort that effective Plan B husbandry takes. The felicity of Plan B is frosting on the cake, it is an effect and not a cause.
“Where no man has gone before” is the study of live Utopias in action with the paradigm as frame of reference. With every pilgrimage being an experiment, the testing of Plan B, to learn the totem pole of critical factors in its makeup, has been going on for years. The testing program has more than proved the generality and universality of the natural-law-based paradigm. Demonstration of concepts and such has become routine. The people reactions just prove and prove again that human nature is a constant; that social system behavioral patterns are constants; that sets of organizational behavior patterns (dystopia/Plan B) are constants.
In recent years, with the all the key principles identified and accounted for, the study of Plan B has been towards improving methods of error-detection and more efficient learning. In the last two years the average time to Plan B ignition has been reduced from episodes 4-5 to episodes 3-4. This means another month of windfall. Thanks to strong reciprocity and smart phones, many of the first-timers enter well-briefed by veterans on what’s coming and are enthusiastic from the start.
It is one thing to arrange the ingredients for Plan B ignition, It is quite another to keep the chain reaction going. You may form a Plan B by chance events but chance cannot keep Plan B going after its yolk-sack is consumed. You have to know what its husbandry takes. The self-sustaining requisite eliminates status quo as an option like forever.
Everything Plan B has roots in two soils.
- Plan B is real, tangible, and material. Its dynamics are real, measurable, and predictable.
- Dynamic, energy-consuming Plan B is self-sustaining. It produces increasingly more than it consumes in production.
Everything we have to report from Plan B-Land is traceable back to these two principles. The real/sustainable attributes of Plan B centers on the 2nd Law.
The 2nd Law Menace
Everything tangible in the universe is subject to 2nd Law degradation. Everything infallible degrades to fallible. Everything magical degrades to dystopia ugly.
As soon as you enter the world of a real, self-sustaining Plan B, you are entering the 2nd Law-dominated universe – non-fiction. A long list of critical issues springs to life as soon as you want a Plan B you can live in.
- Food, shelter, clothing
The 2nd Law is indifferent to social system design. The issue facing Plan B is not if it is going to formalize its entropy extraction and relocation function, but how best to keep it effective and efficient.
For any living society, dystopia or Plan B, it is essential that resources be available to deal with the issues associated with staying viable. Those resources must be produced by society. The very idea of consumable resources itself throws existence under the 2nd Law bus. That means that the productivity of Plan B in producing what it must have to remain viable has to increase in order to compensate for the entropy buildup and so sustain the flow of requisite resources. For all practical 2nd Law purposes, self-sustaining means incessant productivity improvement
The fact you can visit a real Plan B at your convenience means that the practical aspects of a self-sustaining Plan B have been worked out. It also means that a goodly portion of the activities you will see in Plan B are being spent on viability husbandry. The prominence of the 2nd Law in Plan B affairs also means a fetish for truth – local, particular, and timely. For entropy can be extracted and relocated in no other way.
The philosophical part of Plan B comes after the practical necessaries of Plan B are tended to.
- Without slaves and magic, sustaining a Plan B takes a lot of intelligent work, a great deal of it in collaboration. In dystopia being lazy is taken as proof of conformance. In Plan B, being lazy or irresponsible is not going to work for you. Your peers will notice you are not doing your share to keep Plan B afloat.
- Domination is counterproductive. It ruins psychological success.
- All assignments are predicated on autonomy, in some degree or another, to carry them out.
- The person who freely takes responsibility for outcomes invariably has a pretty good idea of how he is going to succeed. His reward is an irrevocable pledge of job security from his foreman. “As long as I am your foreman, no matter what, you have a job.”
- Plan Bnever engages morals or ethics as a factor. There are no appeals to morale, personality, or attitude. The paradigm process takes care of those items as effects, not causes. Responsibility/autonomy will adopt behaviors that best meets responsibility. He will discover that truth works and fiction fails, on his own.
- Nature has no sensitivity to paradox, contradiction, puzzle, ambiguity. Nature just acts. The way you want your Plan B to work must be logical and rational. Nothing appears out of nothing. Everything you truck in to your Plan B, remember, is coming from dystopia.
- Punishment is exile to dystopia.
- Plan B cannot entertain depersonalization. It cannot break the 2½
- Consensual, democratic allocation of surplus prosperity.
- Plan B productivity surplus is not to be allocated to support parasitic dystopias. Every receiver must be into goal-seeking. Surplus allocation information is to be supplied to the workforce. It has veto power. Stop rules stop production in its tracks.
- Depersonalization is a condition unique to dystopia. In Plan B, depersonalization or marginalization surfaces as an error.
- Plan B is paradigm-driven behavior – not a behavior-driven paradigm.
- In Plan B everyone has an inalienable, natural right to seek psychological success. Maslow: enlightenment contributes to mental health, physical health. You want Utopia to be an ideal environment for your progeny. Plan B is a lot of chores for your mind and body – and no warfare. It is a perfect place for the next generation and it is sustainable.
- Tight control of Plan B fortunes begins and ends with the 2½
- Disturbances and errors are detected and addressed early.
- The functionalities essential to viability husbandry are competently, effectively, and efficiently provided. Productivity is increased.
Plan B has:
- Lots of autonomy. It is granted with the taking of clear authentic outcome responsibility. The more autonomy, the more secure is Plan B future.
- Everyone has the right to seek psychological success.
- Information quality filters.
- Tolerance for RBF, experimentation.
- The artifacts of RBF: proving grounds, test beds and dynamic simulations.
- Strong anti-GIGO: information quality evaluation. Stringent filtration of information flow.
- No writer of Utopia recognized what a work-busy place it had to be. In their Utopias, no one had to maintain infrastructure, ostensibly because there wasn’t any need to, and no one died. There was no connection between what it takes to keep any social system viable and what people in their Plan B did. The 2nd Law was not so much defied as locally, conveniently turned off. That alone made it a place no one could visit.
- It may seem counterintuitive, but the paramount status of truth and transparency in Plan B renders it felicitous. That is, people are happier in truth-land than they are in denial, distortion and deception. Transactions swarming in lies may be exciting, but the eternal quest for productivity improvement is far from dull city. The electrifying uncertainties of change take the place of zero-sum warfare and then some. Plan B is no stranger to rockets that blow up on the Launchpad.
- There is no place for the domination instinct in Utopia . It conflicts with autonomy/responsibility.
- To the head shed, dominance can be more important than organizational prosperity.
- In Plan B, the instinct of workmanship eliminates the need for regulators. The withholding of efficiency is the impetus for regulators. It never worked as intended anyway.
- The competent services are provided voluntarily and happily by people high on Maslow’s ladder of psychological success. They are freely using their talents, instincts of workmanship and responsibility-taking.
- You don’t maintain Utopia by covering over mistakes.
- You can’t fool Utopians about your organization. They are experts at detecting non-Utopias.
- When his behavior hurts his goal-seeking, the goal-seeker will revise his behavior on his own.
- Foreman doesn’t drive or dominate by force. His amplification comes from voluntary buy-in to responsibility/autonomy by example and reciprocity.
- The deal with autonomy is that if things are going badly it’s all yours to fix. In autonomy you have no one to blame but yourself.
When all the dust of skirmish between dystopia and Plan B has settled for the day. When there is time for long and intense reflection on what’s it all about, the pull of experience of living in Plan B keeps drawing you back to its quality of life. Since all Utopians are former dystopians, the sharp contrast between social systems guides future possibilities.
As discussed, this quest was undertaken because of personal, frustrating failures in attaining loss reductions commensurate to our noble efforts. The more we learned about injury and damage mechanisms, and designed and tested technological answers for them, the more we appreciated how much of the damage and injury occurring was systemically unnecessary. For every Challenger and Deepwater Horizon, there are tens of thousands of daily examples with the identical scenario. This universal exactitude of loss enactments is a significant attribute. Human nature is a constant of the universe. It means deliberate human choice. It means the choice can be dynamically simulated using mathematical physics.
Steady loss trends upwards kept drawing our attention to the performance of our profession. Something was getting between the causal facts of injury and wreckage and preventing that portion of loss which was preventable from being prevented. From our perspective, that something was definitely not technological, not cost. But, it certainly was something sprawling over the limitations of our professional engineering licensure!
When we consistently measured that more than half of the nation’s loss experience was unnecessary, our self-image went straight to hell. Always wanting to be worthwhile, contributing members of society, like you, it was impossible to reconcile our failure to dent the loss records with the effort we invested in the discipline-approved work. We wondered why society is supporting our ineffective, meaningless occupation. We consume resources, but we don’t deliver what we’re hired for, namely preventing preventable losses. Paradox.
Aiming at that huge 50% loss-reduction opportunity, we ignored discipline boundaries, doing whatever it took to stagger forward. We did not lack for legitimate reasons to abandon the quest. When phase 1 showed that technological/cost factors were powerless to move the needle, the hard sciences were put aside. That left only one region to engage. Rank novices, amateurs, and naïve, off we went into the soft sciences.
Moving the quest into the various “soft” disciplines, each as inhumane as they come, gave us the shock that the human/social disciplines were all variations on dystopia. They had the science, the research, and the facts, but they assumed that organizational dysfunction was the norm and off-limits to remedial effort. They collected the data on the injury and wreckage and then did nothing to get at efficient causes. Dealing with effects leaves things damage-wise where they were (Gödel). No unifying theory, no measures of effectiveness, and no idea of what “done” looks like.
As discussed, Starkermann’s dynamic simulations of social systems eventually led the way to tangible effectiveness in loss control. The professor expended extraordinary efforts over three decades to interest the dozens of disciplines in his dynamic simulations of social systems, especially since we were validating his findings in the operational reality. To say he was treated badly by his fellow academics is putting it mildly. At the time, we didn’t connect that uncalled-for abuse with generic organizational dysfunction.
The point of this tale is that we learned neither technology nor human factors disciplines were going to be part of a fix, before, during, or after. Learning that nothing under the Establishment sun is going to help in a fix is not bad news at all. What the determination of hostility to our quest did was to free us up to RBF a fix as we saw fit. And, supplied with dozens of real-life social system laboratories in reality, we went at it.
What do you have left to work with when all the sciences and disciplines of technology and soft sciences are removed from the picture? The workforce of dystopia itself. The spotlight was focused on these felons of obedience. Always into the workforce on a personal basis and a big believer in personalizing relationships with the workers as common sense, we found this focus entirely natural.
With things personalized and mutual trust being established, the quest for a 50% reduction in losses takes on new meaning. These people you are “saving” from injury are your friends. Their work life affects their families!
Dropping loss experience in half means higher workplace availability as well. The stuff that works for increasing productivity, gateway to loss reduction, is conducive to job security. The increase in the quality of life for the workforce, an effect and part of the benefits package, has no equal. That is why, exactly, turnover drops 70% when productivity soars 25%. It is simply the innate preference for the Plan B way of life over escalating social dysfunction. Who knew Utopia was real?
In the end, the highest voltage in running the quest turned out to be the big positive impact on the individuals of the workforce, our friends. With reciprocity reaching and benefiting 80% of the site workforce, this is Maslow transcendence for the interventionist. Happiness is mutually reinforcing and it ripples.
While the paradigm for Plan B success has no effect whatsoever on the Establishment, and never will, the fact that Plan B can be molded out of dystopia, on demand, by the numbers, is great news for humanity at large. The occasion of manifest Plan B finds parallels with the Trinity test. At 5:30 a.m. on July 16, 1945, at a site located on the U.S. Air Force base at Alamogordo, New Mexico, some 120 miles south of Albuquerque, NM, the first ever plutonium-fueled atomic bomb was ignited. In that instant, a zillion questions about atomic physics found permanent answers.
Since the fact that the paradigm works is incontrovertible, a zillion questions about Utopia have found durable answers. The established fact of Plan B, like the established fact of E=mc2, provides a new instrument for researching organizational behavior.
For example, the refusal of the head shed to go Plan B suddenly conveys new meaning. What does it say about management values when it refuses to capture an extremely profitable 50% drop in losses? Especially a 50% reduction in injuries to its own workforce? Getting the facts straight about organizational values, level by level, is critical to successful prediction of its behavior. You will find all sorts of conflicts in operational values in the chain of command. Ignore them at your peril.
The quest has ended on a positive note, mission accomplished. Knowing that Plan B is real and that a trail has been blazed to get there, for anyone, is self-transcendence.