U-Netted Nations™

It's about time… to take INDIVIDUAL responsibility for our MUTUAL benefit..

Archive for the ‘recovery’ Category

It All Stacks Up..

with one comment

UPDATE: “Where did you go… while I was away..?”

I bet you were still looking for answers – to issues that probably affect all of us.

The constant change that we all experience

– requires that we constantly change – the way we manage change.

That is the profound simplicity of life – for each of us and all of us.

How we do that is then the holy grail of success, individually and collectively – and cooperatively.

But enough about me, what about you – will you agree to cooperate? Maybe, if there is also something in it for you as well (WIFM), a mutual benefit. So that – (WIFM/mutual benefit) is the underlying foundation to the value stack – and the reason why nothing stacks up – at least very well or for very long. Even our shared intentions to do good seldom result in mutual benefits. Most often that is “because” we overlooked some stakeholder or failed to anticipate some unintended consequence. That “hidden” insight is what I was looking for when I found “ASK4” – a core set of questions to take things apart and reconstruct them in a sustainable configuration.

Ironically, even with the entire blogosphere at my doorstep, I have been unable to express that in such a way that a tipping point cold be reached, and the energy of a k-zillion minds could be beckoned and applied to use our common sense to solve our common issues and enjoy that mutually beneficial result.

That turns out to have forced a pivot – a slight CHANGE from just proposing the potential value of such an “ASK4” approach – to actually putting that approach into action and solving a familiar problem. I was forced to face the reality that if this process is viable it must also become visible to become valuable. I realized that if it was a means to enable innovation, it must be applied to create an innovation. Proof-of-concept always stacks up higher in the value pyramid than than does mere conjecture. I needed an artifact that in fact ASK4 can work

So I have been offline from this blog posting for some time. Instead I have applied the ASK4 process to create an innovation – and as of my recent birthday the fee has been paid for an approved patent on the ConstruKs.com erosion and flood control technology.

The ASK4 process works – and my goal now is to put a lot of folks back to work: making a variety of ConstruKs product versions, that can solve a host of infrastructure problems and introduce an economic development opportunity in those same communities. I’d like to modestly call that integrated approach “Economic Recovery In A Box”.

Turns out that people already know how to “stack dirt” to build topographical features for landscaping and roadways and bridge abutments and building foundations, and even for buildings themselves (like adobe/compressed-earth structures). Turns out that people have stacked rocks for keeping landslides from taking the hillsides away and along streams to keep from losing precious landscapes. Turns out that people have used these natural resource materials to create jetties, bulkheads, and seawalls to prevent beaches and lakeside boundaries from changing or endangering lives and property. Turns out that if you place those ballast materials (ex:dirt) inside an interlocked protective material it will stay put and resist the forces of nature – from gravity to floods to wind to ocean currents. It also turns out that many of these issues from mountainside to seashore share a common problem – water.

The problem of flooding (water) that I chose to address as an ASK4 case study is widespread and worth considering – again. The long-standing answer seems to be dirt-simple, sandbags.

Turns out that sandbags aren’t very “long-standing”. That approach takes a source of sand – moved to a staging area – placed into bags – that are hauled to site – carried to the streamside – placed into stacks – and when they have served their purpose, picked up again – carried to a vehicle – hauled away – and a hole dug into which they are disposed – dirt-simple (_n_o_t_). Labor-intensive – yes.

As it turns out, water is an alternative soultion.

Once you investigate an isssue it is likely that the answer is right in front of your eyes – or at least can become more easily visible (using ASK4) .  The problem with flooding is water – the problem with flood water is that it is not useful – the reason that it is not useful is that it can’t be stacked (to create a flood barrier) – the reason it can’t be stacked is for lack of a viable container. The root cause of this whole stack of issues is again dirt-simple – create a stacking container system that can hold water. Using a membrane liner in ConstruKs units, water from a flooding tributary/rising ocean can be placed into the standing diamond columns that are laced together to form one interlocked boundary unit that could stretch from North Dakota to New Orleans. When the challenge has abated, the water ballast can be easily returned and the stacking units (which can be made to easily collapsed) stored for future use – efficient/effective/economical. And if desired, they can be filled (once) with the same familiar sand (or even concrete) to become a permanent construction – that resists erosion and may be adequate for the next inclimate season.

Using ASK4 as a proces to address any issue can create viable solutions – as it just did for me. That simple ConstruKs solution may serve you or your community some day. It may provide employment, it may keep a landslide from taking out a highway, it may keep the levee from failing or the river from flooding your property. It may keep the rising ocean from taking away a beach or an entire community.

Before that can happen, I am now faced with some new issues of manufacturing and marketing that this ConstruKs innovation opportunity has introduced. That is where this discussion began:

“The constant change that we all experience

– requires that we constantly change – the way we manage change”.

During the time it has taken to invent and patent the ConstruKs idea, others have launched a whole new online means of crowd-funding such ventures by enrolling the power of a multitude of smaller supporters (rather than a single affluent venture-capitalist). I now have an option to place my innovation idea atop the enabling financial benefits of another useful idea (crowdfunding). Together that could stack up better for each of us and all of us. I can now offer rewards to those that want to help “stack water to stop a flood” – and jump-start their local economy.

Perhaps by addressing the ‘flooding’ case-study example we now have a suitable innovation artifact that exemplifies how we can change the way we manage change (ex:flooding).  Perhaps those with programming skill and change managent insight can now see the value of joining forces to place ASK4 online. Perhaps we may all get to cooperate in the ASK4 process to solve countless other issues with our common sense – across these U-Netted Nations.

We’ll see how this all stacks up – and soon I hope !

Bookmark and Share

What’s about YOU? – care to comment?

– dare to COOPERATE?

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.

Reframing Our Insights – Transforming Our Efforts

with one comment

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.

a shattered view of life

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?

S.T.O.P. (see the obvious problem?)

with 2 comments

Innovation is driven by a pressing need or a problem or an opportunity – and someone else may offer an insight or an answer.  The obvious problem is “What’s the Question”.

If that statement sounds a little unclear, consider this video about “STOP” signage:

WHAT’s The POINT? {{–video

Like so many misplaced initiatives, this obvious example hallmarks the way our good intentions can create unintended consequences. Whatever our goal. it is usually our desire to somehow stop the nonsense – and replace it with common sense.

Too often we find ourselves engaged in mere “change” that only results in even more non-sense.

Much of what we “hope” for in process improvement and innovation results in another problem – in terms of the process by which the original issue is first analyzed and then addressed.

In our haste to find a solution we are often beguiled to just take action, any action, on any one of many symptoms – only to create even more symptoms, non-sense.  The urge to accommodate those coming from other countries can obliterate the unique identity of the country that benevolently intends to assimilate them, non-sense. The urgency to save the shoreline may encourage us to move our activities off-shore – to drill for oil at depths and distances that prevent us from safely managing the process that then fails – and then threaten the very shoreline from which we retreated earlier, non-sense.

The list goes on and on and you have your own opinions about local examples of failing to act within a more expansive (or even global) context. Actions taken within any isolated viewpoint will predictably impact those outside of that limited field of view.  Again, it is obvious that our viewpoint must acknowledge the perspective of everyone else that has a viewpoint – all stakeholders – and even those that may only be surprised by the results…. of our implementing some totally unexpected  non-sense.

Transparency requires equitable representation

– and accountability requires equitable benefits.

Obviously, we need a methodical approach and a consistent way to find answers.  We need a process from which those consistent answers can be equitably (re-)produced.

Obviously we may not have FOUND the right questions…

– or perhaps we just have not USED them…(?)

The challenge is to S.T.O.P. (see through others’ problems) before suggesting alternatives.  Obviously there is a key question – or more likely a series of questions – to help us ALL get to the root cause of the real issues – that we ALL desire to solve.

Once we find the “best questions” – we can realistically expect the best answers.

Until then or even when we do – the next question may be:

“Will we agree to use them..?”

The answer to that question will be obvious!

—————–

What’s NEXT with YOU
– care to comment…?
– dare to COOPERATE?

Let us know what part you want to enjoy – with us!!

Bookmark and Share

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.

Knows, Says, Does

leave a comment »

Everybody knows – that something COULD be done

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.

WHY

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…

What’s NEXT with YOU – care to comment…?
– dare to COOPERATE?

Let us know what part you want to enjoy – with us!!

Bookmark and Share

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.

 

 

A Pair-of-Docs

leave a comment »

Here’s a paradox for you:

One reason a business fails – it doesn’t act like a social network!

One reason a social network fails – it doesn’t act like a business!

Somewhere along the path to good business relationships something is often overlooked. Customers like to go where someone “knows their name” (like “Cheers!”). Employees like to work where someone “knows their name” (like “Thanks!”).

Somewhere along the path to creating social networks, something is often overlooked. Participants only show up to get their needs satisfied (like “Cheer$!”) Those who invest time and money to provide these platforms for that audience also show up for their own satisfaction (like “Thank$).

Turns out it’s the same process from either perspective – and it’s all about serving the common needs of people.

It’s a pretty safe bet that most people are seeking

equitable representation and equitable remuneration

within whatever system they participate – and that

smart investors will want a ‘share’ in that ..

Persons, professions, and communities have familiar characteristics. Studies in psychology have cataloged humanity into basic personality types that respond in somewhat predictable patterns. Those patterns may predict the purpose for which they join together in interest groups and undertake common initiatives (religious, social, professional, political). That also translates into the way their relationships are formed, especially where commerce is conducted and money is exchanged.

The purpose for which a social network or business exists may vary from purely philanthropical to purely profitable. The distribution of any proceeds created by those efforts then gets apportioned within that purpose. Given that framework (stated intention/reward), individuals can choose an endeavor and will participate so long as their expectations are proportionately met. Unexpected changes in the purpose or the proportionate benefit can cause upsets – and an exodus may soon follow.

Yet, if you look at the organization chart of a given business you will likely overlook how things actually work, ‘socially’. If you look at the process of a given social network you will likely just become ‘lost in the conversation’. If you look at the purpose of a for-profit business it may overlook the social values of its customers. If you look at the operating process of a not-for-profit entity you may see that it fails to ever accomplish its intended social purpose. It appears that we may need to change the process, on purpose!

A pair of documents come to mind – each perhaps missing from the ‘other’ arena:

Where are the ‘business plans’

for social networks?

– the critical path?

Where are the ‘social maps’

for business development?

– the stake-holders?

Both arenas appear to suffer the same lack of results and perhaps for similar reasons. Perhaps its time to merge the documents – and dissolve the paradox – maybe it’s time to CONVERGE.

WHAT IF…

SOCIAL NETWORK CONVERSATIONS…

were mapped to support BUSINESS PROCESS?

and

BUSINESS PROCESS…

was the framework of SOCIAL NETWORK CONVERSATIONS?

——

and if we want real change…

What if each person, seeking equitable representation and equitable remuneration, could ALSO find that in their system of government?

What’s NEXT with YOU – care to comment…?
– dare to COOPERATE?

Let us know what part you want to enjoy – with us!!

Bookmark and Share

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.

Have – Want – Need

leave a comment »

relevance2Just when the cold war finally ended  and we felt somewhat secure, things started to heat up again. The internet now echoes or amplifies our insecurity around the world in a matter of seconds, affecting everyone within global earshot.

The mechanics of that web are also changing from 1.0 to 2.0 to 3.0 and beyond. “We’re moving from documents to data, from pages to triples, from HTML to RDF, from keyword to context.”

Our  new means of communication has now made everything more relevant to everyone else – everywhere – and instantly.

For us to be able to turn all that relevance into something other than chaos, a consistent frame of reference must be established through which any issue can be viewed and analyzed by anyone, anywhere. Within that frame of reference, the constructs of the data that is being processed must also be normalized to its lowest structural elements so that it can be aggregated, filtered, and then disbursed to any interested participant or impacted party,  across a global scale.

Simplification must come first in order to enable a subsequent expansion of scale. A primary example of that basic data structure is RDF – at the core of all things web:

RDF is a W3C standard for modeling and sharing distributed knowledge based on a decentralized open-world assumption. Any knowledge about anything can be decomposed into triples (3-tuples) consisting of subject, predicate, and object; essentially, RDF is the lowest common denominator for exchanging data between systems.

Beyond each basic web principle are the more complex technical functions that are being added daily to increase the benefits of improved information and to expand the community of knowledge users.  I certainly am unqualified to build in or on that current technology.  My limited coding ability now qualifies for the museum of almost forgotten computer languages.

But I would offer a reflection from past data management principles, and a minimalist structure for this new “frame of relevance“.  It is also a simple  ‘triple ‘, and while perhaps not worthy of a patent, it is patently obvious and will be useful to frame our ongoing discussions within the capacity afforded by the layer upon layer of new technology.  Perhaps such a concept can be thought of as:

Semantics 001” – for modeling and sharing distributed RELEVANCE based on a decentralized open-world viewpoint, wherein any SITUATION can be decomposed into triples, essentially the lowest common denominator for exchanging IDEAS between HUMANS so they discover the mutual benefits of sustainable solutions.

What if any situation we face could be considered through this logical lens and then processed through its objective framework (aka “ASK4”)?.  What if we could each have equitable representation in its discourse and equitable remuneration from its results?  Who would not want to be a part of that “syndication” of knowledge?  Who would not want to enjoy the “interoperability” of  true cooperation ?

One simple way to frame our issues and create new shared opportunity is that we must:

  • first examine what we HAVE (documents/information)
  • then compare that against what we WANT (meaning/insight)
  • and discover what we all truly NEED (relevance/sustainability)

As we move from the web of words (documents) to the web of meaning (relevance), the structure of information has also evolved to first become normalized toward each new structure and then become consistently conformed to that new structure. That evolution is expected and necessary for us to benefit from what each revision of technology has to offer and what we all desire as the eventual outcome. Unless we also amend to each new version, we would have no added capacity to move toward interpolation (between diverse languages and contexts) and toward needed interoperability (the cooperative results of our convergent collaboration).

The mechanics of our evolution toward this desired technical interoperability may offer a parallel insight into the human interaction layer that gets represented across this expanded neural network. We may have finally arrived at the threshold to a quantum leap in our ability to make sense of so much nonsense. Perhaps we can finally gain the mutual benefits so long desired by all humanity, but scarcely realized – until now.

If and when and however we get the technology to work for us, we must also all find a way to work in it, to our mutual benefit. That will only occur if we are able to:

  • honestly complain about what we individually don’t want (or already have)
  • have the equitable representation of our individual desires (what we really want)
  • objectively and cooperatively discover sustainable solutions (what we truly need)

so that we can consistently enjoy a win-win result.

Unless this new technology gives us the democratic access to expression and equitable access to benefits, it will have done us all a great dis-service. Unless we can use it to converge toward consensus, we will certainly digress toward insecurity, separatism, and even more conflict.

So as we layer in the operating elements of this new technology stack,  perhaps our first layer of context will reflect that socially-important “triple” (have-want-need) so that our search for solutions is always relevant personally and equally relevant to other seekers (globally).

Not only is the democratization of information important,

but so is the information of democracy.

The right of free speech, our representative shared governance,

and a sustainable peace are also at stake.

Perhaps the technology has finally evolved to the point that we can co-manage our path forward toward mutual success instead of abandoning the weakest of our human efforts as if our own accidental survival were a reason for independent celebration.

Perhaps our ability to reason has enabled us to create a reasoning technology by which we all can finally interact reasonably – cooperatively – and globally.

What’s NEXT – with YOU? – care to comment?

– dare to COOPERATE?

Let us know what part you want …to enjoy – with us!!

Bookmark and Share

I’ve entered this article in Blogging Innovation’s October Innovation Contest – To show your support for this article, please follow the link and add a 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.

Embedded Innovation

with one comment

Once upon  a time, a long time ago, some forward-thinking person suggested the ‘suggestion box’.

Equitable Representation?

Equitable Representation?

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.

Your C-Level Team?

Is Your C-Level In the Bed Race?

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?

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.

ASK4™ CAN BE…

(THE QUESTIONS THAT FIND…)

THE ANSWERS YOU NEED

Past – Present – Future – – –

leave a comment »

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?
learn from past?

learn from past?

“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”…

repeated mis-steps?

What’s NEXT with YOU – care to comment…?
– dare to COOPERATE?

Let us know what part you want to enjoy – with us!!

Bookmark and Share

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.

Blueprint – Roadmap – GPS

leave a comment »

picture-25Where 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.picture-27

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?

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.

ASK4™ CAN BE…

(THE QUESTIONS THAT FIND…)

THE ANSWERS YOU NEED

“Change-its” (lil’ bits of progress)

with one comment

Who Me?

Who Me?

‘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.quest_mark 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)?

So far, it looks like a ‘SIMPLE SIX’ might work. Perhaps that’s still too complicated – but then that’s the ‘final’ question? – Or Is It..?

Want real cooperation, progress, CHANGE ? – Dare to ASK4™ it…?

What’s about YOU?

– care to comment?

– dare to COOPERATE?

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.

ASK4™ CAN BE…

(THE QUESTIONS THAT FIND…)

THE ANSWERS YOU NEED

A Valentine for America

with 2 comments

The recent Presidential election reminded all of us (in the U.S.) of the common desire to succeed – as a nation. While the discourse continues on how that is to be done picture-5– one common tie binds us together:

We are ALL equal citizens and

are promised equal privileges

under one common

Bill of Rights.

Our forefathers framed this country to ensure that those inalienable rights, under God, were never again taken away (by non-religious or even religious zealots) – or buried with the last champion who fought against such tyranny. These truths ALONE have sustained us when other hopes were faltering. Even now as politicians (formerly known as statesmen) wrestle with the latest crisis (that they also helped to create)

WE the PEOPLE

are the answer!

There was meant to be no such thing as “government” over the people

– there were only to be chosen SERVANTS of the PEOPLE!

There is no such thing as ‘government bailout money’ –

– because THAT money WAS yours in the first place!

There is no crisis that doesn’t belong to ALL of us

– and EACH of us must respond(here)…

otherwise, whenever tyranny rules

none dare call it treason!

Until your passion for YOUR own self-preservation and the good of YOUR country exceeds whatever selfish interests are being siphoned away into loans YOU are making to your SERVANTS – THEY can and THEY may also water down your rights by placing themselves in a position of power OVER you!

Only our passion for freedom

can protect our freedom for passion

and each of ‘us’ – needs to be reborn

to that patriotism that can unite all of ‘US’.

If my passion is starting to show even a little more in these words it is certainly because of a song that now plays in my mind and rings in my ears, called –

BornAgain American

It was forwarded to me and I encourage you to make that same effort

– as your next stand for freedom.

Because if we each do nothing – someone will have to go to fight the battles that defend us. Then, as on this Valentines Day and many yet to come, the hearts that take prominence may be the medallions that represent those who put their heart and soul into service – and for some who gave even their life – for ME . Then the heartbreak will be borne again on the hearts of mothers across the heartland of this great country. purpleheartinhand

So on this Valentine’s Day I am compelled to openly express my undying gratitude for those who put it all on the line for me – perhaps somewhere in a country whose name I may not know.

I am compelled to rekindle that anxious ‘crush’ I once held for my country. I want to feel again the bravery that has led many a soldier to valor and ignited the adoration of those who loved them and yearned for their safe return. I am compelled to give my heart – not to a fantasy of just hope or blind patriotism, but to the true honor of honest, transparent, and accountable action.

So until the next legislative “bill” that comes from Washington represents the Bill of Rights being equitably applied to you and me – I pledge to sound the alarm that it may be just another ‘spin’ of words – or another ‘scam’ of OUR money. I don’t need another “half-empty box of chocolates” from Washington – and I’m not going to pass any around either – since I’m not running for anything…

but I won’t run from anything…

– if you will stand with me(?).

…and may we always share freedom on Valentines Day –

and our love – with those who have brought freedom to us!

God Bless America

My Home…Sweet Home!

What’s about YOU? – care to comment?

– dare to COOPERATE?

Want real cooperation, progress, CHANGE ? – Dare to ASK4™ it…?
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.

ASK4™ CAN BE…

(THE QUESTIONS THAT FIND…)

THE ANSWERS YOU NEED

%d bloggers like this: