U-Netted Nations™

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

Archive for the ‘social capital’ Category

That’s Life…

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– managing the consequences of our latest decision. And, that’s it –  simple… right?

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.

—————–

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

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

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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.

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Reframing Our Insights – Transforming Our Efforts

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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?)

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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

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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.

 

 

An ear to the ground… (or ground up?)

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How does your business improvement process “stack up” against your competition…?

– is it starting to teeter, tilt, and topple..?

In technology, the “stack” refers to the operating components that ride on top of and then depend on the lower layer for their own functionality. In business that “stack” may be the hierarchical model often depicted in org charts (as if that inversely-stacked allegiance is really honored in actual business relationships). But that said, there is certainly an interdependence and certain components do support and empower the successive ones – as stated here:

Values should underpin Vision, which dictates Mission, which determines Strategy, which surfaces Goals, that frame Objectives, which in turn drives the Tactics that tell an organization what Resources, Infrastructure and Processes are needed to support a certainty of execution. – (Mike Myatt 1988)

Having the right framework, foundation, and functionality can make all the difference. That is what has been studied and proven over the years, regardless of whatever name is given to the current business theology. Designing for change is one of those concepts offered by Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management. Each theory echoes some similar constructs and suggests at least the following practical considerations.

FRAMEWORK

The overall environment in which a company operates can define it – and enhance or limit its ultimate impact. It turns out that it is not just the course of action that is planned and executed but also the ability to change course in route to the intended destination, dynamically. All the work put into a business plan to sail toward success will only be as effective as the response of those who make dynamic adjustments as circumstances demand. That is why published plans are more likely to fail than online tools that provide a ‘live-in’ framework in which to “adjust the sails as the wind changes, and reach the shore, safely”.

FOUNDATION

There are only two things that stop a company in its tracks on the path toward success: People and People. The people that want (pull) whatever it is that you intend to provide are the primary foundation of your business. Until one person wants and buys your offering, there is no business, only a theory about the demand. The people that provide what you offer (push) are the other half of the foundation to your enterprise. That supply chain must be integrated to respond appropriately in terms of timing, quantity, and quality. If there are any broken links, those other people (customers) can and will go elsewhere to meet their needs, needs that change daily!

FUNCTIONALITY

Defining a value proposition that meets the need of THOSE people (customers) and implementing the processes undertaken by YOUR people (suppliers) to meet those needs is done within the framework of your operations. Putting the entire chain together and making sure it doesn’t break is accomplished within the framework of the whole market dynamic. But that is often not what is carried out – or done well – and that integrated ‘dynamic’ (pull-push) often results in broken ‘links’.

The only things that can interfere with successfully creating that value chain are two things: people and people. If THOSE people who want something decide that they want something else (that you don’t or won’t offer) then your offer is immediately unacceptable. The only thing you need to know is what they want – today and tomorrow (not yesterday).

The only thing that keeps YOUR people from providing what is requested is the process by which your people respond to that request – along that supply chain (process), immediately!

So, the most important question about your approach comes down to this –

“Is it immediate?”

Imagine filling your gas tank as you take a cross-county trip by only using the miles-per gallon report from an earlier trip. You would likely find yourself out of gas somewhere along the interstate. Yet that is similar to how we use actuarial evidence of past performance, even if it is done within what-if analysis or other business ‘projections’. Imagine driving in a manner or at a rate of speed based on the average air pressure in your tires last year. A small nail in the road can alter your course or bring you to a complete stop, immediately.

Neither of these analogies is likely true in your business, right? That being said, what are you doing that is NOT based on feedback from the entire chain – IMMEDIATELY?

How long is the delay before you hear from THOSE people – or YOUR people?

Perhaps more importantly, what do you hear from them and how much ‘filtering’ occurs before you hear it? Is whatever you hear filtered by:

  • timing (out of date or after the impact)
  • relevance (lacking in broader or related details)
  • politics (flavored by vested interest or self-preservation)

You can forget what the competition is planning – if you don’t find out what your customers want. You can forget what mid-managers report after ‘sanitizing’ it if you don’t get in direct touch with everyone that touches your supply process. Your success depends on the unbroken and effective linkage of these PEOPLE, and knowing what they know about you and your business.

Very likely you are not immediately aware of what is REALLY happening

with THOSE people – or with YOUR people.

The only way a business can respond and improve and survive is by using a real-time ‘dashboard‘. You need to know how all components are re-ACTING. You need

  • an integrated view of the entire framework of your market environment
  • as heard from the voices of Those people and Your people who are the foundation
  • for adjusting the current functionality that you use to keep the entire chain intact

and you need it dynamically – immediately and continuously.

If your business plan is published, it is also out of date, immediately. If you aren’t hearing from everyone in YOUR organization, be assured that some recruiter or placement firm is. If you aren’t hearing from THOSE people, be assured that your competition already has.

And don’t overlook what has become ‘the last mile’ in that chain. THEY are also already connected and discussing you and your business information around the globe/24/7/365. Even if you choose not to actively participate in ‘social networking’, you are already being (mis?)represented there. Your challenge is to keep an ear to the ground and gain equitable representation and equitable remuneration within this new relationship economy.

If your business results aren’t stacking up to suit you (or to suit your customers), that ‘information’ is already putting you and your company at risk of being “ground up” in the continuous process of competition, improvement, and survival – and immediately.

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

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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.

Embedded Innovation

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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

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