U-Netted Nations™

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

Posts Tagged ‘innovation

It All Stacks Up..

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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 !

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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.

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!!

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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

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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!!

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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.

Gas Shortage Over!!

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…But Excess ‘Bureaucracy’ Continues

To even the casual observer, the issue appears to be:

– the need for more petroleum

– the need to replace foreign oil sources

– the need to develop our own oil resources

– and the related list goes on, and on, and on…

But after a moment of ‘root cause’ analysis, another key issue is visible:

– dependence on petroleum – as energy

THE PROBLEM:

We were not focused on the core issue…

but on the symptoms related to our current approach.

THE ANSWER:

We must question prior answers…

to identify the new questions, and options

WHY NOT ASK “WHY”…?

The reasons are many, but we often continue the practice of coddling our emotions (feelings), ignoring the ‘800 pound gorilla’ (facts), and chasing ‘symptoms’ instead of the root cause. That approach will perpetuate much wasted effort leading to other wastes of time and resources (dare I say: endless bureaucracy, meaningless Senate investigations, failed initiatives, etc).

‘Political correctness’ requests that we politely overlook the reality and instead superimpose a misplaced ‘forgiveness’ or perpetual excuse, rather than “digging in” to the real problem. We need to start looking past the ‘joker’ in our logic and going for the ‘ace’, and (dare I say?) calling a “spade a spade”.

WHAT’s NEXT?

Focus on each and every issue, as John Wu explains, because they make up the ‘enterprise’ viewpoint – (‘eat the elephant bite at a time‘). In a recent post, Tim Bryce refers to it as ‘Stepwise Refinement‘ – the approach of taking the smallest logical portion and resolving that, and ultimately resolving all such issues at the successively smaller levels of systems, sub-systems, and procedures, etc. When complete, that collection of solved issues is reflected in a new system-wide approach – that functions correctly – at all levels.

It may seem at first like wasted motion, analysis paralysis, or other ‘feelings’ that urge us to rush more quickly to erroneous conclusions (wrong). But with the right approach, and perhaps even without the help of others, we might individually uncover the newest means to realize:

3200 MPG (Miles Per Gallon) – on WATER!!

With the help of others, in well structured conversations (‘Collaboration on Purpose‘), our laser focus (ASK4™) analysis and cooperative effort (U-Netted Nations), CAN matter immensely. We CAN sort out the real issues and collect the real answers to all global problems, in time.

Profitable NPO?

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(shhhhhh!, you can’t say that!!)

Perhaps, but you better at least ‘break even’ and do so efficiently. The contributors expect that and even your volunteers won’t long support an ineffective effort.

Each non-profit community is under extreme scrutiny to clarify, execute, evaluate, and defend:

  • its purpose and practices (improved productivity toward mission)
  • its benevolent impact to the population it serves (perceived value)
  • its measured success in meeting its charter (ROI or appropriate metric)

To do so requires a change-management approach that:

  • Is transparent in terms of interruption to current operations
  • Is a way of thinking and acting rather than a one-time “initiative”
  • Involves and empowers all classes of participants
  • Creates incremental in-stride improvements at all levels
  • Provides appropriate ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’
  • Enhances esprit de corps, improves morale and productivity

To confirm results, they should utilize a measurement approach that:

  • Provides standardized and appropriate metrics for the value delivered by NPO
  • Incorporates existing rating schemes where necessary or appropriate
  • Provides a non-biased third-party measurement/reporting entity
  • Empowers their public relations and fundraising efforts
  • Establishes a formative evaluation process to minimize summative ‘blame’

That’s a big challenge for a single organization. It can be more easily solved by cooperation, and the social web has now made that entirely possible. It will take more than the casual structure of ‘threaded’ discussions – that go nowhere. It will take ‘Collaboration on Purpose’!

ASK4™ is much like a think-tank – that identifies priority needs, creates appropriate consensus, initiates and tracks cooperative actions, that produce sustainable results, and does so transparently (online) 24/7/365.

For NPOs, ASK4™, offers a measurable increase in Capacity – Effectiveness – Public Confidence – Funding and “Business Results from Charitable Purpose”

What ‘busy-ness’ is your NPO engaged in – and Who will support that?

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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.

Today-Tomorrow

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What we formerly did only in real life is now being replicated online, 24/7/365. We were barely adept at actual social behavior when virtual interaction displaced it. Once again, the pioneers have launched out, beyond the current ‘edge’ of the known universe, with all humanity soon to follow, online. The question is, how humane is this ‘world’, and can we cooperate?

TODAY, my own experience is that each individual will strive to at least do what is best for them-selves. And that is not selfishness. TOMORROW, given a viable approach, they will also consider others in that decision so long as their own needs are equitably met in tandem.

However, for that to realistically occur online, the ‘new’ approach (and that envisioned here) must be co-managed by its participants, have a minimal set of convergent features, and that system must:

1- Endear and then acknowledge all stakeholder viewpoints
2- Identify current impacts and desired alternates
3- Uncover root cause by objective consensus
4- Enable corrective action by priority and through cooperation

That may seem complex, but it can be accomplished – and it’s already TOMORROW, somewhere!

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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.

What IF?

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What if people in communities were ALL better served by agencies, businesses, and NPOs?

What if YOU got to say what you thought wasn’t working?

What if YOU got to ask for what you wanted instead?

What if WE got to objectively consider each other’s opinions and desires?

What if OUR approach led us to equitable consensus?

What if WE could contribute to and benefit from that shared decision?

What if WE could accomplish that – simply – with four ubiquitous and familiar QUESTIONS?

What if WE could return to this same process and ‘upgrade’ or improve our prior decisions?

What if we could unravel the value now hidden in disconnected ‘threaded’ discussions?

What if each GROUP, via their website, used this same collaboration approach?

What if that ‘widget’ made ALL their efforts (and websites) INTEROPERABLE?

What if their interoperability, created a one-world KNOWLEDGE-BASE?

What if (issues and their) answers were readily available, and easily accessible?

Would you be willing to “ASK for” it – with me?
To realize that: I Need + You Have = WE Win!

In his post “Why is Enterprise 2.0 a good idea?” on Social Media Today, Mark Masterson says:

I don’t know about you, but I’d sure like to hear the answers to questions like those as applied to, say, Friendfeed, or Twitter. For the architects of such systems, Burt’s theory provides them with the tools to determine how to best add and create value with their software. For enterprise architects like me, it provides a framework to help me make choices, evaluate alternatives, and develop a strategy that is not a shot in the dark, but a targeted attempt at increasing value within my organisation. What’s not to like?

He wasn’t referring to the questions above (- or was he?).

ASK4™, is a simple four-question process improvement engine

– provides individual influence to equitable control of the international relationship economy

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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.
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