Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category
Could be. That would be what we would all like to happen each time we made a decision. It would be nice to be done with it – that little extra weight gain, that little financial loss, that persistent patch of weeds in our lawn, or that inconsistent politician that claimed to be a statesman. If only that was the last time we had to deal with them we could get on with business and then hurry off on our vacation….. STOP !!
You overlooked something and there is an emergency meeting that your boss (or wife or Congress) just called to sort out why it didn’t work as you intended. That is not just the problem – it is also the solution. But in our stressed minds and fault-finding attitudes we often overlook that the “media is the message”. If you get it, stop. If not I’ll explain.
“You overlooked something and there is an emergency meeting and you now need to sort it out to see why it didn’t work as you intended”. That’s all. And that is the message and the process and the answer. All you need are the right questions – to get to that answer. With the right questions you can get past the blame-game and win the real prize. You can get past the guesswork and get to the real work. You can get off your “But” of reluctance and past the restraints of “Because” and onto the critical path that is hidden just behind the “overgrowth” of root cause (like those weeds that keep showing up in our lawn).
So what’s the best question? (that one of course). “Because” until we ask the right questions the real issue will remain just out of sight – hidden in the details – that are only known by someone that we overlooked because they aren’t in charge, they are just impacted (again).
“But” we had such good intentions(?). Good. “But” that is not good enough – for you or for me or for us – and somehow (“Because” of you) we are now all in this together..
and that’s life.
The challenge (and opportunity), which is ongoing, is to manage the results of our latest decision. So the only way we can do that is to use an approach that takes what we know (or should have learned), compares that to where we want(ed) to go instead, determines why we are where we are instead of where we want(ed) to be, and how we can get there (instead). That process now becomes our “life” and makes our life better – and better -and better.
I don’t have to convince you to do that. You and I (and everyone else) want something better. Unless we are completely selfish we also want that for others so long as our portion is still equitable. We want to be equitably rewarded according to our effort (not according to the entitlement schedule imposed by some imposing authority that re-distributes what we should have received). Absent that equitable system we resort to getting ours first – making the result of our last decision worse and worse and worse – for everyone.
The result of that (selfish) approach starts to look a lot like the outcomes of the United Nations – well intentioned and overgrown with inequality. It starts to look like the failed corporations whose leaders took a disproportionate share of our efforts. It starts to look like politics, overgrown with special favors – taken from our taxes and then redistributed (under the guise of “equal” rights) to others who voted to support that “selfish” system. It starts to look like the broken families where love was not understood, or shared, or received. It starts to look a lot like our job, our government, our world. It all starts to look too familiar.
And that’s LIFE… unless we change something…
We (each) must change the way we continuously change our minds – about the results of our latest decision. We (all) must change the way we continuously manage the ongoing change that can make our lives better and better – by cooperatively managing the results of OUR latest decisions.
How can we do that ? – I thought you’d never ASK…
“You overlooked something and now you need to step back ONLY one decision
and sort it out to see why it didn’t work as you intended”.
That’s all you and I and we have to do, globally!
Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life –
unless you want to get started early – today.
Let us know what part you want to enjoy – with us!!
NOTE: While this website is my personal initiative, the ASK4™ approach is aparticipant-managed collaboration platform and the U-Netted Nations™ is the result of our ‘Collaboration On Purpose’. My voice becomes one in a million – immediately.
Written by gsbigger
August 16, 2010 at 7:26 am
Posted in accountability, bailout, co-creation, collaboration, Congress, crowdsourcing, design thinking, Distributed innovation platforms, election, Global Redesign Initiative, Idea platform, innovation, politics, Prediction markets, Process Improvement, social capital, social collaboration, social media, social networking, transparency, tyranny, voting
There are acronyms to describe the tools and systems that are used to survive in the world of business – including:
- BI – collecting business needs
- ERP – providing business solutions
- CRM – managing customers/feedback
Every new parent knows what every business owner (and everyone else) should learn – that knowledge comes from the sudden awakening that the baby needs something – and right now.
The next question is WHAT. The baby is not able to communicate so the parent has to investigate the situation and determine the options that could bring relief – or satisfaction. The next question is HOW. The parent has to decide how to address the situation and provide the solution. With any luck (and just-in-time delivery) – the needs will be met and the parent can return to business-as-usual, LISTENING And READY for the next active call of duty.
Babies don’t even have to ‘know’ what they need to create the change in the system that can force parents to listen, respond, learn (repeatedly). Somewhere along that critical path toward mutual success they come to a sustainable approach – the viable convergence of needs, and solutions, and feedback. Parents know that the baby must be fed – and then we also must eventually “burp ’em” . That final result serves as a feedback loop – assuring that the formulation was well placed – and well received (borrowing/combining “BIRPM” from those three business acronyms above suggests the same closure).
Unfortunately, that early lesson is often lost later in life. Those same babies may have all but given up yearning to get what they want – let alone what they need – by the time they mature, enter the workplace, interact in society, and share common space on this small blue planet. Their frame of reference ‘lens’ somehow seems to get broken.
So would it help to replace that ‘lens’
– to improve our own insight – to expand our shared vision ?
“Reframers” is only the latest term used to describe those who are willing to take a new look at what is – and consider what might be better – and how. That focused choice is not new and countless others have made it – on the way to a mindless job – in the throes of a hopeless marriage – on the last day of meeting payroll – on the way to an enemy prison.
Somehow at the ‘last moment’ they decide.
That decision is their first step in a better direction.
“Reframers” decide to “question prior answers”. Repeating what has always been done is only randomly effective, even given the same challenge. Only those with “status” stand to gain from protecting the “status quo”. Everyone else stands to gain from liberating everyone else.
They use the new insight to “answer current questions”. That is always the first step toward a better result. Getting current information about the real need can empower us to avoid a another failed approach – to create rather than focusing blame on ‘yesterday’.
They create “future solutions”. The symptoms of yesterday’s decisions will face us today. But our decisions today will also face us tomorrow with more unwanted symptoms – if we don’t enact meaningful change. Today we must converge insight into the initiatives that can fulfill our desired results, tomorrow.
They share the “benefits”. Some will be the customers – some will be the providers – some will be brokers of information or products – some will defend the rights of all of them to exchange and enjoy all these benefits. They all share a relatively small space on a small planet that is hurtling through space – one that ‘they’ must all sustain if WE are to all survive.
Where does your frame of reference …fit within this frame of relevance?
Are you ready to be cloud-based and crowd-sourced..?
Can we apply a little process improvement
– and even some parental skill?
Written by gsbigger
July 14, 2010 at 12:37 pm
Posted in accountability, co-creation, collaboration, Competition platforms, Congress, Content market, crowdsourcing, design thinking, Distributed innovation platforms, Global Redesign Initiative, Idea platform, innovation, Innovation prize, Prediction markets, Process Improvement, recovery, social capital, social collaboration, social media, social networking, transparency
Tagged with ambient knowledge, Business 2.0, business intelligence, collaboration, Communities, cooperation, crowdsourcing, customer relationship management, Process Improvement, relationship economy, social collaboration, social media, social networking, social networks, WEB 2.0, Wikinomics
Everybody says – that something SHOULD be done
Everybody does – SOMETHING, especially at the start
– and what finally gets done is often less than what is needed.
We could predictably digress to a discussion about so-called reform and how politics can divert to the vested interest of those in the ‘pork’ business. But there are more pressing needs in our immediate neighborhood and that of our neighbors (like Haiti of note). What we are addressing touches on both. Neither will be resolved until SOMETHING affords the real CHANGE that we can ALL believe in – not just the few that might be self-served otherwise. And even in the midst of our good intentions and humanitarian efforts, the frailty of our human nature is often showcased as well.
“Everybody knows…SOMETHING” – is more than true, everywhere. While management may desire to know what to change to make things better, line workers are challenged with making things work, anyway. They know the problem intimately and live with it daily. The problem in many cases is also that those who should be listening often turn a deaf ear to that insight. So our first challenge is to open the dialogue and afford everyone equitable representation in that continuous feedback mechanism. Few systems are designed for unfiltered feedback from all those who are impacted and transparent accountability back to all its stakeholders.
“Everybody says… ” – that SOMETHING should be done. There are a growing number of portals and websites and blogs that broadcast our opinions on everything, and to anybody that will listen or watch. The problem is that what we say in one place is not ‘visible’ to what has already been said or what will likely be repeated by someone else, somewhere else, again and again. Not only is the information often repeated, but so is the problem.
Everybody does – SOMETHING, especially at the start. It is easier to rally the troops when self-preservation is at stake. It is easier to ride the emotion of a recent catastrophe than rekindle momentum based on its fading memory. The problem is that our attention is often drawn to a new problem, that too often is just a repeat of an old issue, long since forgotten or buried in the wealth of information that is too often overlooked, or perhaps incomplete or even useless.
So what finally gets done is often less than what is needed. Anyone with a grasp for the obvious is probably aware of this set of issues – and is probably presently involved in some misplaced effort that echoes these problems. And the good news is that the solution to these problems has just been defined within the problem statement itself.
The problem is one of divergence
– that can be resolved by convergence.
We can start by learning SOMETHING from our past. A quick review of the issues described above offers us more than enough insight. The challenge and opportunity is then to collect that knowledge and make it useful, simply and effectively. So how can we all LEARN something, from everybody, everywhere, and every time?
Got a “checklist”…?
Dr. Atul Gawande has recently posed that approach as a means to refocus all the energy that is too often wasted instead. To help with putting that approach to work for us he has even offered a checklist for making a checklist. At its basic concept the checklist serves us in several key ways.
The checklist starts with the affirmation that finding out what ‘someone’ knows is important and will be collected from anyone that cares enough to participate. It continues with a structured process in which it will be collected so that everyone knows which facets of their viewpoints will be evaluated. It culminates in a formalized framework in which their diverse insight can be implemented. What is… broken, what will…be considered, what can…be done?
It offers consistent input to anticipate consistent throughput for useful output.
It holds out real hope for real change for real benefits – for everyone.
Perhaps the internet has finally afforded us the technology to join our collective voices – for good. The challenge is to create a checklist that applies to everyone, everywhere, every time.
I would suggest that all we need to do is ASK4 it…
Written by gsbigger
February 8, 2010 at 10:39 am
Once upon a time, a long time ago, some forward-thinking person suggested the ‘suggestion box’.
It was adopted in some situations, affording numerous participants an equitable representation in the shared experience, the open collaboration process, and the mutual success of their renewed efforts.
Too often, when it uncovered evidence of any malfeasance, the submitted info was misused to identify those who disagreed with upper level leaders (who then sometimes chose to suppress those voices, or render sanctions, or enact other ‘ruler-ship’ injustice against them).
We’ve come a long way since then, or have we..?
How is the suggestion box working in your company?
How is it working with your ‘congress’, or country?
Is your leadership the core team for helping to uncover issues and then roll out continuous improvements? Are they encouraging embedded innovation or encouraging you to just ‘get in bed’ with their own views, and quietly go along for the ride?
Sadly, leaders can forget the lessons and the benefits of shared responsibility. And in some companies (even countries), some watch hopelessly as leaders forget that the suggestion box (or ballot box) is meant to provide equitable representation and define equitable remuneration for everyone.
If I work for a company that doesn’t have a suggestion box, I may also have no voice. If the suggestion box is monitored for ‘malcontents’, I may not have equitable representation. If I join a group, the beliefs/politics of that group may not represent my opinions or interests. If I want to express my opinion in that circumstance, some steward or ‘boss’ might influence some of my future personal benefits, or even current success. If I accept any group benefits (or ‘bailout’ money), I may find that my rights to express divergent opinions are ‘discouraged’, just like they are for those whose suffer lack of freedom under a dictator in some foreign country.
In governance circles the concept is referred to as freedom of speech, uncommon in many countries and paid for by the sacrifice of patriot lives if it is to prevail. Where other citizens desire that same freedom, some patriots have been willing to risk their lives on those foreign shores to confront those tyrants who usurp or even deny those God-given freedoms to others.
In companies, what we are now calling “embedded innovation” is the way we try to make life better BY everyone – FOR everyone. “Win-Win” is not a new or novel concept. It IS however now empowered by a transparency and accountability ‘engine’ that can be engaged to transmit power to and from all stakeholders.
Perhaps it is long past time to re-invent the suggestion box, again. Perhaps it should never have been taken out of gear, or abandoned. Perhaps it will be hard to re-engage the ‘right’ to contribute, collaborate, converge consensus, and launch mutually-beneficial initiatives. Perhaps those who influenced the universities, that created the graduates, that now run the companies, that answer to the groups and vested interest parties are already exerting more than an equitable share of control. Perhaps it is already too late…
Perhaps that would be true if it weren’t for one thing – our global suggestion box (the web).
Now at the speed of sound, if someone violates the rights of others it is noted and posted and re-tweeted around the globe, instantly. Even those bystanders that aren’t directly impacted can recognize and respond and even contribute to events that occur outside of their own normal circles of influence. There is a certain poetic justice to that – and that justice is swift and sure.
Company stocks can fall instantly based on the real-time perception of the watching world. Bridges to no-where and airports for the privileged few become beacons of hypocrisy. The inequitable ’empowerment’ of some nutty group to organize and assist other citizens in law breaking becomes the reason they can just as quickly be disconnected from prior rank and privilege, even when they were formerly approved by connections to the ‘big man himself”.
So, the question is NOT:
whether (or not) to have a suggestion box or some form of participation
– or similar form of shared governance (and political process)
Rather, the question IS:
how to implement an embedded innovation process
– as soon and as effectively as possible.
- What are the RISKS: egos and tyranny
- What are the REWARDS: success and freedom
- Who CARES: We’ll See..! (and they’ll all see too)
What’s about YOU?
– care to comment?
– dare to COOPERATE?
Learn from the PAST – Adapt to the PRESENT – Envision the FUTURE
That is what happens in every generation – with or without any real progress – until the “next” generation posts its manifesto of wanted change on the wall of history. The real change that has occurred is that pundits are posting those ‘mandates’ in real time, 24,7.
You can now search the web and find an unlimited supply of “now-new” ideas and good intentions and upstart initiatives that want to create that change. They all want to enroll us in their vision of the future, cleaning up from the past, and stepping into their global change effort. Many even have a plan and a time-line. They are empowered to publish, connected to converse, and positioned to compete. “But” what they don’t have is a ‘clearinghouse’ or coordination, “because” they are not yet interoperable or cooperative.
- How have we so ‘successfully’ re-created digital stove-pipes, globally?
- What is the carbon footprint of all that duplication of those environmental and ‘reductionists’ efforts – why are there so many efficiency initiatives ?
- Why is our process still broken – and why do our results mirror only repeated frustration?
“Because” we have not entirely learned from the past or adapted the tools of the present, we may NOT be creating the future we envision or desire – or so critically need to even survive.
Worse yet, we may be rushing to re-create the very same things that we want to escape from our past, just like countless generations before us. Our abhorrence of the past entices us to create the possibility of the future without regard for the limits of the present circumstance that we may then inadvertently re-create. The agreed urgency to change from the past can ensnare those who react to the emotion of the present to avoid the prediction of pending doom in the near future. We are willing to give (present) credit to those who hope to reduce the footprint of our errors, even if what they do may be found to actually be worse in total impact (future). Nobel prizes may await those pundits who can manifest the best version of this questionable call-to-action formula, literally!
But when is all is said and done, there is just a lot more said… and little if any done that creates sustainable change. Worse yet it can trumpet those bad ideas from one-to-one-millions to speed their acceptance and then aggregate those errors for deployment across the communities represented in all those threaded discussions. Our hope in a new promise enrolls us in a well-intentioned vote. B_u_t “politics as usual” soon surfaces b_e_c_a_u_s_e our ‘new’ process does not transparently identify and then accountability exclude our past mistakes. So many good intentions, so little to show for it, so sad.
If we want change so badly:
- why do we make wrong choices
- why do we passively accept status quo
- why don’t we define meaningful improvements
- why don’t we implement truly sustainable solutions
Here is a basic truth – we individually and collectively do it “because”. We hang on to some element of erroneous belief that passes for an excuse (our individual and group-think rationale for irrational behavior). The emperor’s new clothes are always a poor fashion statement – the audacity of transparent hypocrisy is always unbecoming, just “‘because”…
So if we are to escape the bounds of our self-imposed gravity, the first step for man – on behalf of all mankind, is to get off our “BUTS” (those bastions of defensive opinions) and trade in our effort-guzzling clunker-thinking rationale (“because”) for the logical and objective results of root cause analysis.
We must first integrate and then cooperate in
- finding collective insight (from PAST lessons)
- coming to collective consensus (about the PRESENT)
- coordinating collective actions so we can minimize the effort in
- creating sustainable outcomes (for our mutually-beneficial FUTURE).
And one more thing, we will all have to be actively engaged in the equitable representation of that self-governed process in order to enjoy an equitable remuneration share of its co-operative innovation economy. “WE the PEOPLE” is about “OUR government” –
“BUT”, until “we” get to the root cause,
“we” may just suffer more of the same old stuff,
generations to come – “Because”…
What’s NEXT with YOU – care to comment…?NOTE: While this website is my personal initiative, the ASK4™ approach is a participant-managed collaboration platform and the U-Netted Nations™ is the result of our ‘Collaboration On Purpose’. My voice becomes one in a million – immediately.
Where are we now – where are we going – how can we get there?
Few would argue that this equation defines our circumstance, echoes our desires, and determines our destination (and results). We are reminded by the wise that: “If we don’t know where we are going – we could end up somewhere else” – “If we can’t say what we want – don’t be surprised by what we get” – and numerous other truisms.
Now imagine that these concepts were not ‘true’, or known, or were not heeded. We would have folks taking off in the wrong directions, making the wrong turns along the way, and ending up facing the wrong way on one-way streets by repeating the errors of prior travelers.
We would probably be seeing
exactly what we ARE seeing, everywhere, everyday.
Are we there yet? – YES! Is that where we thought we were headed? – NO!
How can we get back to where we started – before we got so tired, so lost, so hopeless? How did we end up here when we had such good intentions?
Why can’t our relationships work,
our citizens and communities thrive,
our nations live in peace, our planet survive?
You probably have an answer. And you probably have an answer. And you probably have an answer too (get it?). That’s the problem – and the answer – to how we all got somewhere “else”.
We ALL got here “because” (of someone’s brilliant suggestions) …and now we need to get back home to ‘reality’ by everyone’s quiet “introspection” – and a cooperative search for new directions and solutions.
Why can’t individuals agree? – “because”! Why don’t relationships work? – “because”! Why can’t communities thrive? – “because”! Why can’t nations agree? – “because”! – simply ‘because’.
What’s the problem with ALL of these issues – “root cause”. What did I ask to be able to know that? – exactly! (I asked “what”, and then why and how and who,,). The answer is in the question – and using the right question guarantees the right solution. Asking will not only lead us to an answer, it will uncover other hidden problems in route. We aren’t looking for the roadside parks of paralysis analysis. Rather, we seek the Visitor Centers of information that direct us away from tourist traps and toward worthy landmarks and economic services.
And there’s one more thing, we aren’t looking for the blueprint of how the road WAS built. We are at least looking for a recent roadmap – better yet, a real-time GPS. If a recent flood just washed out the bridge to our future – we need to go another route. If the survey party is now planning the new tollway to go completely out of the way in order for us to stop at all their gas stations, then we may not want to pay that toll in our future travels.
I want to know from each recent traveler how the weather and road conditions are right now. I also want to know not to turn left according to some information that has already caused other travelers to end up off the road and in the ditch.
I don’t know about you, but I think it might help – before we go any further, if:
- I heard back about your trip and what I face ahead
- we all knew about where we are now, and trying to go next
- we knew about those directing us, or whether they have a ‘safe’ record
- we considered our alternate routes, and where else we might end up
- we avoid buying another old map – that is now out-of-date – “because”.
So next time you “set out” to plan a get together, start or run a business, lead a community event, charter a national initiative, solve a regional ‘crisis’, or champion a well-intentioned cause that “hopes” to create ‘world peace’, perhaps you will want to take a moment to ask a few questions, map a viable path, listen to the feedback from others, and avoid the dead ends and tourist traps. And maybe you will be more wary of anyone telling you that:
you can only buy that kind of gas HERE, and
– We ALL Have to get going… NOW
Want real cooperation, progress, CHANGE ? – Dare to ASK4™ it…?
What’s about YOU?
– care to comment?
– dare to COOPERATE?
‘Experts’ tell us that some issues are beyond the mental reach of the ‘rest of us mere mortals’. That opens the door for ‘some others’ to act in our stead – and perhaps against our best interests. Even those ‘in-the-know’ really know that every global issue is comprised of regional and local and group-think issues – and that the root cause of it all goes ‘all the way to the bone’ (of individual thinking).
More respectful leaders of ‘change’ like Rosabeth Moss Kanter invite all of us to realize that “When everyone else suffers from over-complexity, there is a market for products and services that simplify life.” -(see “Simplicity: The Next Big Thing“).
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler. Albert Einstein, (attributed) US (German-born) physicist (1879)
Obvious (unstated) problem: ‘How simple can we make it?’. (Un?)fortunately I was introduced to database design and the need to ‘normalize’ things that were to then be collected and searched for inference and new insight. Perhaps we could apply a modicum of those design constructs to our re-design efforts to simplify our thinking – improve results.
Paul Glen, author of the book “Leading Geeks: How to Manage and Lead People Who Deliver Technology” shares his expert insight this way in a post on TechRepublic – “Monitor Project Progress with Micro-deliverables“. He suggests four simple principles to normalize-formalize-manage the process.
“When you plan for micro-deliverables, each person on a project has responsibility for some physical product every few days…gauge the health of the project by checking whether the micro-deliverables are done or not (and)…there are a few simple rules to follow:
•Never let anyone go longer than a week without owing a micro-deliverable.
•Micro-deliverables are either done or not done… 100% complete, or they are 0%.
•Progress is not measured in effort, but…micro-deliverables-done on time or not.
•A micro-deliverable is the responsibility of only one person.
Using these simple rules, you can begin to identify project problems quickly and accurately avoiding the surprises that are otherwise all too common.”
Seems overwhelming when ‘experts’ ask us how we could ever “eat a whole elephant”. But what if bit-by-bit, WE each made incremental “change-it” contributions to that looming (“mother-of-all…”?) CRISIS? And, what if those charged with solving our BIG problems took advantage of the insight – and the micro-resource that we can each become to them? What would happen if “WE the PEOPLE” were actually ACKNOWLEDGED by our representatives for our diverse KNOWLEDGE, our opinions actually considered, and our convergent consensus actually implemented? What if those representatives were accountable for their mico-deliverables (like LINE ITEMS) – unable to hide their responsibility for… irresponsible legislation ‘PACKAGES’. What if WE each took personal responsibility, and then held each other accountable as well? Suddenly our representation looks more equitable and perhaps the ‘elephant’ looks more ‘palatable’. Not surprisingly, whether ‘expert’ or novice:
We probably won’t BELIEVE in ‘change’
– until we believe we actually SEE change.
If we all seek those type ‘answers’ – toward simplifying our lives (locale) and enjoying the developing ‘Relationship Economy’ (global) – then there must be ‘simple questions’ by which those ‘simple answers’ can of course be found. Instead, we are often busy seeking ways to BE HEARD in more sound-bytes, promos, marketing, more photo-ops, Congressional ‘hearings’ – rather than LISTENING.
And if listening for the best answers is the better approach, shouldn’t we be seeking the BEST ‘questions’ (like that one for instance)?
Want real cooperation, progress, CHANGE ? – Dare to ASK4™ it…?