Social context

Social operating environment punchlist

  • Depersonalization
    • Inalienable rights
    • Extrinsic (baitball) motivation
    • No responsibility for positive results (or negative results)
    • Angst increase
      • Ca’canny
  • Head shed indifference
    • Workforce health, welfare, workmanship, fairness
    • Productivity, environmental, amount of damage
    • Successful methods
  • Class distinction, social status by authority, entitled consumers
    • Zero sum
  • Support
    • Responsibility/autonomy
    • Mentor Line, causes above
    • Measures of actual condition
      • Endocrine system/BDNF bloodwork
      • Workforce health
        • Turnover’s 36% rule
      • Undiscussables
        • Silence breaking test response
        • Reaction to demonstration offers
      • Project outcome history


Depersonalization of the producers by the entitled authorities guarantees:

  • Inalienable rights removed
  • Extrinsic motivation practices
    • Drive management
  • Rule-based behavior: no responsibility
  • High producer angst
    • Ca’canny

Head shed indifference

When organizational management is focused on preserving business as usual at all costs, the 2nd Law is given free rein as change agent. When class distinction by entitled authority is operating policy (cause), everything else (effects) follows as an ensemble of covariables.

When turnover exceeds 36% per year, little else matters to the trajectory of the organization. Things can only get worse.

Class distinctions

The upper hierarchy separates itself from the workforce in social status by competing for entitled authority while the workforce earns its social status by performance. Since it controls the treasury, the head shed adopts zero sum competition with labor, a game it cannot lose. In most cases, labor union bosses collude with corporate management against the best interests of the workers.


In the dysfunctional organization, no one is responsible for the consequences delivered by its dysfunction. Any officer who claims responsibility, before or after the fact, by virtue of his office, is deliberate deception. When called to a Congressional hearing, the first line of defense by the CEO is his inherent disconnect from the world of his producers, knowledge disavowal. It never fails.

The Mentor Line (ML)

Separating those issues which can be resolved by rule-based behavior from those that require a cross-disciplinary approach to identify primary causation is the ML. Most issues that defeat standard organizational processing have their basic causes above the mentor line. Discussion of the ML is available on another page.


Turnover is ground truth on management practices. If turnover exceeds 3% per month, its cascade of consequences cannot be altered by extrinsic motivation. High turnover is very costly and its expense is paid for directly out of corporate profits. When turnover exceeds 36% per annum, all remedial efforts fail. Accordingly, the first step of the FLLP is to switch from extrinsic to intrinsic motivators.

Undiscussables (Argyris)

This OD indicator is easy to measure and failproof in its implications. The existence of undiscussables itself testifies to their importance to the head shed. As Argyris counseled, “The fact of undiscussables is itself undiscussable.” Breaking silence is all it takes to validate.

 Project history

If the project history of the organization is good, it will be on public display. If not, performance will be undiscussable. Breaking silence will release a flood of commentary. Business as usual does not work on projects (novel and temporary).

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