The media

It’s interesting that everyone seems to be unhappy with the “mainstream media”. Those “on the left” tend to feel that the pursuit of “unbiased” reporting is lending credibility to candidates and stories that simply aren’t credible. Meanwhile, those “on the right” tend to believe that the pursuit of “the facts” is at best a distraction from what they care about, and at worst an elaborate scheme to cover up elitist conspiracies.

Is it possible for the media to address these concerns without going out of business or fragmenting into the “echo chambers” we are now seeing of special-interest news feeds that are not helping anyone to understand each other better?

  • Can journalists acknowledge that everyone is biased, and therefore that pretending to be truly unbiased is inauthentic?
  • Can scientists acknowledge that all facts are human creations, and as such are inherently prone to some uncertainty?
  • Can religious leaders acknowledge that all scripture requires human interpretation, and as such is also inherently prone to some uncertainty?
  • Can laypeople acknowledge that some important truths are difficult or impossible to understand without years of training and effort?
  • Can politicians acknowledge that they, like all people, have made devastating mistakes?

In short, how do we present the news of the day authentically, humbly, and realistically? (How would Jesus, or the Buddha, report the news?)

 

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Meditation on the “Four Immeasurables”

“Begin by drawing on the warmth of friendship that you know exists potentially in your mind and direct it to yourself. Notice how much peace, happiness, and benevolence you possess already. Make yourself aware of how much you need and long for loving friendship.

“Next, become conscious of your anger, fear, and anxiety. Look deeply into the seeds of rage within yourself. Bring to mind some of your past suffering. You long to be free of this pain, so try gently to put aside your current irritations, frustrations, and worries and feel compassion for your conflicted, struggling self.

“Then bring your capacity for joy to the surface and take conscious pleasure in things we all tend to take for granted: good health, family, friends, work, and life’s tiny pleasures.

“Finally, look at yourself with upeksha (“even-mindedness, non-attachment“). You have failings, but so does everybody else. You also have talents and, like every other being on the planet, you deserve compassion, joy, and friendship.”

-Karen Armstrong, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life (p. 85-86)

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A definition of meditation

“Meditation… is a discipline that helps us to take greater control of our minds and channel our destructive impulses creatively.”

-Karen Armstrong, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life (p.84)

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How does a manager abolish managers?

I’m deeply excited about the future of self-managed organizations, but I’m uneasy about the way some of these organizations are undergoing the transition. Perhaps this is captured in the opening paragraph of an article from The Atlantic: “This spring, by order of the CEO, Tony Hsieh, the company abolished managers, eliminated job titles, denounced its own organizational hierarchy, and vested all authority in a 10,000-word constitution….”

There’s clearly something ironic about abolishing managers “by order of the CEO.” In the old system, of course, the CEO did have the power to declare such a change. But to begin a glorious new era of empowered employees by commanding it? That feels to me like a dangerous precedent, and a recipe for all the sorts of problems that self-management is intended to solve.

I realize that this sort of transition is going to be difficult no matter what, and I don’t claim to have any magic solutions. But I do wonder what alternatives might be explored that are more in the spirit of empowerment, wholeness, and purpose. Could the CEO invite teams to experiment with self-management, and support their efforts if and when they proceed? Could the CEO begin to practice self-management, at least within her own team of executives? Could the CEO share with the rest of the company his own authentic hopes and fears about a potential transition?

And what is a CEO to do if the company as a whole does not want the freedom, responsibility, uncertainty, and pain that comes with such a transition? Wouldn’t it be against the spirit of a compassionate community to force such a change? And anyway, wouldn’t such force merely arouse suspicion, resentment, and resistance from those who it is forced upon?

In Zappos’ case, anyone who did not want to transition were invited to leave the company with generous severance pay. I like the individual freedom in this, but again I worry about the precedent: not everyone is welcome in this community.

I suspect there is still a lot of opportunity for creativity and experimentation in helping organizations transition to self-management more gradually, organically, and compassionately.

 

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Change

“To be alive is by definition messy, always leaning towards disorder and surprise. How we open or close to the reality that we never arrive at safe enduring stasis is the matter, the raw material, of wisdom.”

-Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise (p. 67)

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5-hour workday

“When I tell people my team only works five hours a day, their response is always, ‘That’s nice, but it won’t work for me.’ The 9-to-5 is so ingrained in their minds that they can’t imagine anything else. But you can reduce your hours by 30% and maintain the same level of productivity.”

-Stephan Aarstol, The Five Hour Workday

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What is true?

The classic Zen koan goes: “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”

Today I ask: “If there exists a fact but no one believes it, is it true?”

Science seeks to uncover objective truths — facts that exist independently of any given person’s beliefs. But scientists are still human, and humans make mistakes (logical and otherwise), so you can never be absolutely certain about any given scientific truth, no matter how many experiments we run. (As a scientist or science-minded person, it’s easy to overlook this depressing fact.)

Meanwhile, if someone believes something, then the fact that they believe it is, in and of itself, true. This is why journalists report on what people believe, even if there may be compelling evidence that the belief is faulty. As Simon Sinek puts it in his classic TED talk: “People will do the things that prove what they believe.” If you believe that global warming is a hoax, or that immigrants are responsible for economic decline, you will vote for a candidate who appears consistent with those beliefs. So in determining the outcome of the election, the belief carries far more weight than what happens to be objectively true (which no one can be absolutely certain about anyway).

A belief is our own subjective experience of what is true. It’s what’s real to us. It’s internally certain. And as such it often carries far more power than what may or may not be externally factual.

In this sense, you could argue that beliefs are more true than facts. Beliefs are the truest thing there is for the person that believes them. Moreover, if you are interested in taking action in the world, and inspiring others to act, then knowing what people believe is usually at least as important as knowing the facts.

So if there exists a fact but no one believes it, is it true?

And if it’s true, does it matter?

 

 

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Designs do not imply truth

“Often, what we have conjured [in the past] assumes the sheen of inevitability, as if its results were inalienable facts in the world rather than the product of someone’s ideas and actions. In other words, design solidifies, and naturalizes, things that start off as opinions, stories and traditions, supplying form to the fictions by which we live. We rarely stop to consider the faith-based proposition represented by our paper money or the imagined national narratives engendered by borders. Unlike words, the meaning of which can be debated, the objective materiality of designed objects exudes a unique power. Once established, it’s difficult to think outside the systems and structures these objects represent.”

-Michael Rock, “The Accidental Power of Design” (NY Times)

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Not Knowing

“The vulnerability of not knowing is in fact the only portal through which breakthroughs occur.”

-Amy Whitaker, Art Thinking (2016)

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Many ways to meditate

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Learning takes time

I recently found a sticky note from around 2004 on which I had written: “In the future, artificial intelligence may obviate the need for certain skills, but the act of learning is a very human process that proceeds at human pace.”

Since then I’ve been puzzling over what exactly I meant by that. (It’s a classic example of obvious or profound?) Here’s what I think I meant: The rate at which humans learn is essentially limited. Of course, the pace of learning does vary somewhat in different situations, but this variation tends to be within, say, an order of magnitude and there is no known way to get around these limits.

Whether by impatience or optimism, I frequently forget this. As soon as I learn something useful or exciting, I start trying to rapidly explain it to others, expecting them to learn it using far less time and effort than it took me. While in some sense it’s generous to assume that others are such fast learners, it’s also a form of hubris for me to believe that my explanation is somehow orders of magnitude better than the explanation given to me. It would be as if I somehow found a magical shortcut that makes teaching and learning easy.

None of this is to say that great teaching doesn’t exist — it does, and in every domain teachers have worked tirelessly towards making learning more efficient and more fun. Motivation, support, curriculum, collaboration, and many other factors help optimize human learning. The point is simply that these optimizations have diminishing returns. That is, there’s a theoretical maximum implying that it’s impossible to learn all of calculus in one week. (On the other hand, it is possible to teach in a way that is arbitrarily ineffective — say, by putting a student in a room with no supplies and yelling at them all day.)

If all of this is true, then we would not expect any educational technology to dramatically improve student outcomes, unless we were replacing dramatically ineffective prior teaching methods. In other words, to claim that a dramatic improvement is possible is to state that the current methods are dramatically poor — in which case, there are probably plenty of alternative improvements which do not require advanced technology.

The only way technology can dramatically “speed up learning” is by making certain skills obsolete, so that it is no longer necessary to learn them at all. For example, humans in the developed world can get along fine without knowing how to grow food or survive in the wilderness (or do long division). Modern technologies have obviated the need for those skills. Some people might still want to learn them, but for those who don’t, the learning time has been effectively reduced to zero — a dramatic advance! That in turn leaves time and energy for learning other things that have become more important (say, computer skills).

This is why my focus within educational technology has always been toward obviating the need for a skill rather than tweaking the learning process or transferring existing lessons to tablets and smart boards. This is why I’m so interested in Bret Victor’s work on graphical tools for math and programming that could obviate the need to learn traditional, difficult methods for algebra, calculus, and debugging. It’s why I’ve spent so much time working on tools that make it possible to do data analysis safely without learning all of the details of statistics and visualization techniques.

But perhaps my sticky note was simply a reminder to have patience for learning. Wisdom is prized precisely because it cannot be short-circuited.

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Change by replacement

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Posted in UXPA Seattle

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The middle manager predicament

“Landing in the middle of the status hierarchy actually makes us less original. When [psychology researchers] asked people to generate ideas, their output was 34 percent less original after being randomly assigned a middle-manager role than a president or assistant role. In another experiment, merely thinking about a time that they were in a middle-status role caused participants to generate 20-25 percent fewer ideas […] than thinking about being in a high-status or low-status role.”

-Adam Grant, Originals (p. 84)

I suppose “death by middle management” is basically cliché at this point. But normally I just hear people joking about it. It occurs to me now that middle managers are a good case study for examining the problems with traditional management hierarchies, because middle managers are subject to the stresses both of trying to please those above and trying to be responsible for those below. (To put it another way, the system gives them less than one-person’s-worth of power, yet more than one-person’s-worth of responsibility.)

The way I interpret the experiment’s results above is that being in a power hierarchy at any level stifles creativity, but middle managers receive a double dose.

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The fat hypothesis

“The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, in a 2008 analysis of all studies of the low-fat diet, found “no probable or convincing evidence” that a high level of dietary fat causes heart disease or cancer. Another landmark review […] stated “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of [coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease]”.

“In the last 10 years, a theory that had somehow held up unsupported for nearly half a century has been rejected by several comprehensive evidence reviews, even as it staggers on, zombie-like, in our dietary guidelines and medical advice.”

-Ian Leslie, The Sugar Conspiracy (The Guardian)

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Manager approvals

Adam Grant, Originals (p. 40):

When managers vet novel ideas, they’re in an evaluative mindset. To protect themselves against the risks of a bad bet, they compare the new notion on the table to templates of ideas that have succeeded in the past. When publishing executives passed on Harry Potter, they said it was too long for a children’s book; when [the division president] saw the Seinfeld pilot, he felt it was “too Jewish” and “too New York” to appeal to a wide audience.

The book goes on to cite studies which found that managers, test audiences, and the creator of a given work all had poor track records when predicting the creative work’s real-world success. Instead, the most accurate predictions were made by creative peers evaluating one another.

It makes you wonder why today’s companies still make most of their decisions via manager approvals. Which also makes you wonder if there might exist a more effective approach

 

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Scarcity vs. Mutual Benefit

A core thesis of Nonviolent Communication (Rosenberg) is that there is no such thing as right and wrong or good and evil. Rather, everyone simply has needs which may be met or unmet. “Moralistic thinking” judges an action or person that meets your needs as “good” and one that does not meet your needs as “bad”. Rosenberg argues that all violence is caused by such judgements and offers techniques for interpreting the world more compassionately.

Robert Wright, in his book Nonzero, chronicles the history of the world as the progress of biological and then social organisms to unleash new ways of collaborating in order to achieve mutual gains. This includes everything from the mutual advantage of organelles joining together inside a cell to the mutual advantages of paying taxes for shared services like roads and armies. It helps to explain the evolutionary development of human brains able to cooperate with ever larger social groups, as well as the emergence of human traits such as kindness and altruism.

Wright also makes it clear that there have always been plenty of situations where collaboration does not lead to mutual gains. When there is a fixed scarcity of food, water, control, or some other resource, violence and war have been the logical strategy to claim the limited spoils. (And the two situations are intertwined: competition for limited resources created the evolutionary pressure that favored human groups that were better at cooperating internally.)

I believe these authors offer two perspectives on a single phenomenon. Namely, we humans are flexibly equipped to deal with two distinct types of situations: those where collaboration results in mutual gain; and those where it does not.

When we act out of fear (including its variants, guilt and shame), we are using the part of our psyche that is adapted to scarcity and competition for limited resources. Scarcity calls for violence, and so our action will necessarily be violent. Nonviolent Communication describes a wide range of violent actions — not just physical but also relational and emotional violence, as well as violence to our own internal sense of worthiness.

When we act from a feeling of compassion (i.e. caring and love), we are using an altogether different part of our psyche that is adapted to the possibility of mutual gain. Such situations call for empathy — an understanding of others’ needs as well as our own — so that we can work together to ensure that everyone’s needs are met. Our action is likely to be creative, searching out opportunities for new forms of mutual gain.

Among other things, this helps to explain why people meet the expectations of their environment. If you approach someone with violence or by wielding power, they are likely to assume they are in a scarcity situation and will probably respond using their fear pathway. If you approach someone with compassion, they are likely to assume they are in a mutual gain situation and will probably respond using their cooperation pathway.

Mindfulness meditation and other spiritual traditions (with their practices covering gratitude, compassion, patience, etc.) can be seen as a way to train the mind to react to as many situations as possible with the cooperation pathway rather than the scarcity pathway. This goal follows from the understanding that cooperation creates abundance, whereas violence only leads to more scarcity.

It may be that when we talk about “angels and demons of our nature”, we are really referring to our compassion and fear pathways. However, calling one of these pathways “good” and the other “bad” is itself a judgement that inevitably leads to more violence. The Zen of Fear is to nurture compassion for that part of us that is designed to face scarcity.

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Causality of Success

“Most people assume the following formula: If you work hard, you will become successful, and once you become successful, then you’ll be happy. Success first, happiness second. The only problem is that this formula is broken. The formula is broken because it is backward. More than a decade of groundbreaking research in the fields of positive psychology and neuroscience has proven in no uncertain terms that the relationship between success and happiness works the other way around. Happiness and optimism actually fuel performance and achievement.”

-Shawn Achor (TED talk, via Corporate Rebels)

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Listening to hearts

“I’ve learned that I enjoy human beings more if I don’t hear what they think. […] I’ve learned to savor life much more by only hearing what’s going on in their hearts and not getting caught up with the stuff in their heads. [When I focus on their] feelings and needs, I see the universality of our experience.”

-Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication (p. 151)

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Violence

“All violence is the result of people tricking themselves into believing that their pain derives from other people and that consequently those people deserve to be punished.”

-Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication (p. 147)

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Judgement

Marshall Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication, p. 16):

“Long before I reached adulthood, I learned to communicate in an impersonal way that did not require me to reveal what was going on inside myself. When I encountered people or behaviors I either didn’t like or didn’t understand, I would react in terms of their wrongness. If my teachers assigned a task I didn’t want to do, they were “mean” or “unreasonable.” If someone pulled out in front of me in traffic, my reaction would be, “You idiot!” When we speak this language, we think and communicate in terms of what’s wrong with others for behaving in certain ways or, occasionally, what’s wrong with ourselves for not understanding or responding as we would like. Our attention is focused on classifying, analyzing, and determining levels of wrongness rather than on what we and others need and are not getting. Thus […] if my colleague is more concerned about details than I am, he is “picky and compulsive.” On the other hand, if I am more concerned about details than he is, he is “sloppy and disorganized.”

“It is my belief that all such analyses of other human beings are tragic expressions of our own values and needs. They are tragic because when we express our values and needs in this form, we increase defensiveness and resistance among the very people whose behaviors are of concern to us. Or, if people do agree to act in harmony with our values, they will likely do so out of fear, guilt, or shame because they concur with our analysis of their wrongness.”

For me, the most difficult part in learning to communicate nonviolently has been unlearning this widespread cultural practice of judging, classifying, and criticizing. I knew from my liberal arts background that there are two sides to any argument. But I did not really understand how taking a side, no matter which one, leads to violence and alienation. And I did not understand the depth of the notion that all judgement is self-judgement. (By far the greatest casualty in my past taking of sides was myself, as I heaped blame and judgement on what I saw as my own shortcomings.)

Note a crucial subtlety here: it does not follow that judging and criticizing are wrong. Such a statement would be a paradox, because wrongness is a form of judgement. Instead, I merely choose to avoid engaging in such activities as judging and criticizing, now that I see how they can lead to shame and violence. (Unfortunately, even that last sentence will imply judgement to anyone who is steeped in the prevailing culture of “should”.)

The subtitle of my blog used to be: “Because interesting thoughts deserve to be written down.” I’m now concerned that the word “deserve” implies rightness, which is a form of judgment. So I updated the subtitle accordingly: “Ideas I wanted to remember and share.”

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User interfaces all the way down

When we think of user interfaces, we normally think of what’s provided to “end users” of software or devices. But programming languages are also user interfaces, because programmers are people. In this regard, textual programming has been the overwhelmingly dominant user interface for creating software.

We know that different user interface techniques are better and worse for different tasks. For example, text editing is an efficient user interface for writing email. Graphical drag-and-drop interfaces are efficient for creating graphics and illustration. Spreadsheets are efficient for calculating many rows of numbers.

It’s not at all clear that text editing is the best imaginable user interface for creating software. It may be optimal for some of the aspects or tasks that are involved in software creation, but probably not all or even most. For example, it’s relatively clumsy to design, debug, and iterate on graphical front-ends using a textual representation. That’s why Apple and others provide tools like Interface Builder to help with some of these tasks in a more visual way. But even more abstract tasks such as algorithm design may be significantly improved with visual tools for designing, debugging, iterating, and testing. Which specific user interface is most useful depends on the details and purpose of the component being built.

In traditional programming, each component has a purposefully-limited “application programming interface” (API) that defines what the component can do. To a programmer, a component’s application programming interface is also its user interface. That is, the tools that a component provides to a programmer consist of the component’s API plus any accompanying documentation (typically, all in text format).

What if such components — intended for software engineers — also came with purpose-built user interfaces? For example, a component that performs statistical computations could come with user interfaces for inputting data sets, tweaking parameters, and testing outputs. A networking component could come with user interfaces that simulate network performance over a range of conditions and help programmers choose appropriate settings. A component that provides a front-end widget such as a button or slider could provide convenient user interfaces so that engineers can easily customize the widget’s behavior and appearance.

Today’s software is built with one graphical interface for end users and many layers of textual programming below. The vision here is for an alternate programming environment that consists of arbitrary many layers of rich user interfaces — each interface intended for those who are using that component. Lower-level interfaces (e.g. memory allocation or signal processing) would be designed for engineers who are dealing with those layers; higher-level interfaces (e.g. graphics or widget libraries) would be designed for engineers dealing with those components; and finally, the top-most interface would be the traditional one that end users of the software product actually see and use.

What prevents this vision from unfolding? Perhaps the most significant factor is the difficulty and cost of building rich user interfaces. This is a chicken-and-egg problem: building rich user interfaces is hard, in part, because we are using text editors to do it! So the first steps forward would be slow and clumsy, as we start building richer components without good tools to do so. However, over time, as we use the tool to build the tool, we would expect to start receiving dividends. (This is analogous to how the C language was built by repeatedly compiling with earlier, less capable versions of C.)

Of course, there is also no guarantee that this richer programming system would actually make software more cost-effective, high quality, fun, or other desirable qualities. It’s easy to imagine that software engineers steeped in the current system may never be as efficient in a less text-heavy environment. Perhaps this whole idea has already been tried and failed.

Yet improving the user interface of each component clearly makes the whole system more humane. It provides an opportunity to augment the logical-verbal-dominated software engineering process with a fuller range of human visual, kinesthetic, social, and emotional skills. Who knows where that might lead?

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A brief history of this blog post

(As I currently understand it.)

The universe exploded into being and some billions of years later the Sun and Earth formed. Through a series of highly improbable events, molecules coalesced into simple replicating life forms, which later coalesced into a mitochondria-powered cell and began to evolve in many directions. Asteroid impacts, global climate fluctuations, and the yearly and daily cycles of Earth influenced evolution by repeatedly creating and destroying ecological niches, thereby creating selective pressure for evolutionary inventiveness and adaptivity. The resulting inventiveness mechanisms such as DNA and sexual reproduction and the increasing competition between species colluded to speed up the evolution process exponentially over time.

Eventually, tool-building emerged as an inventiveness method that could evolve more rapidly than biological traits. Projectile weapons and fire were discovered as particularly effective tools for obtaining food energy. That extra energy made it possible to power much larger brains. Those brains were capable of keeping track of ever larger social networks so that ever larger groups could coordinate mutually beneficial activities such as large-game hunting and reciprocally helping others during times of scarcity. As humans exercised their skills in cooperation and creativity, they began to harness new forms of energy such as wind and oil and to tackle ever more complex activities such as industrial manufacturing and global trade.

As human communities reached billions of members, they began to grapple for the first time with the problems of excess rather than scarcity. The small planet’s climate and ecosystems began straining to support the ever-expanding human species. A few people held inordinate power over many. Obesity became a leading disease. Amid all this wealth, the continuing existence of poverty and inequality became increasingly uncomfortable. And those whose basic needs had now been met began to search for their purpose and calling in life.

Some found that the meaning in their lives was increasingly at odds with cultural habits that originated in times of scarcity, such as physical and emotional violence, race and gender stereotyping, and striving for career advancement. They began to believe that right and wrong are simplistic concepts and they began to practice new ways of living that are driven by the quest for authenticity and compassion rather than the avoidance of blame and judgement. Some of these practices, such as meditation, gratitude, and forgiveness, had ancient roots but experienced a resurgence as their efficacy was demonstrated separate from mythology and religion.

As more people engaged in such practices and collaborated with ever wider social circles via global information technologies, communities began to find new ways to tackle the extremely complex problems facing the human race. Using techniques such as self-management and a focus on deeper purpose, some organizations began to reach unprecedented levels of effectiveness and adaptivity, evolving in much the same way (but orders of magnitude faster) as tool technology and biological organisms evolved before them.

At that point, one such person engaged in some such pursuits read some books and decided that it might bring joy to write a blog post about it.

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When ego meets enlightenment

“One of the great dangers of transformational work is that the ego attempts to sidestep deep psychological work by leaping into the transcendent too soon. This is because the ego always fancies itself much more ‘advanced’ than it actually is. How many first-year novices have persuaded themselves that they are just about ready for sainthood? How many meditation students have been certain that they attained enlightenment in record-breaking time?”

-Riso & Hudson, The Wisdom of the Enneagram (p. 10)

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Full circle leadership

I thought this was a nice way of organizing strengths relevant to leadership: Beyond “Dreamers vs Doers” — Full Circle Leadership

My strengths are firmly on the “visionary” side and I need collaborators who are strong in “operational” leadership.

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Human nature

I’m still processing many of the extraordinary findings discussed in Reinventing Organizations (Laloux 2014), but for now I want to address a single foundational topic that has come up repeatedly: assumptions about human nature. Are human beings fundamentally lazy, egocentric, and antagonistic, or are we fundamentally compassionate, self-motivated and trustworthy? As Laloux points out, “people can debate this topic endlessly.” There is plenty of evidence for both points of view — it’s easy to find examples of both bitter conflicts and inspiring selflessness, shattered trust and stalwart dependability, stubborn resistance to change and pursuit of lofty dreams, and everything in-between. So which is true?

All of it! Specifically: People meet the expectations of their environment. This has been known scientifically for decades and validated repeatedly. “This comes down to the fundamental spiritual truth that we reap what we sow… If you view people with mistrust and subject them to all sorts of controls, rules, and punishments, they will try to game the system, and you will feel your thinking is validated. Meet people with practices based on trust, and they will return your trust with responsible behavior. Again, you will feel your assumptions were validated.” (Laloux, chapter 2.3) Once you understand the essential flexibility of human nature, you can avoid the fate of getting stuck in one camp or the other, debating endlessly, unable to get out or lead others out.

The idea of self-management is a direct corollary of the fact that all humans are trustworthy, intelligent, and responsible, but only if we treat them that way. Conversely, the idea behind traditional management is that employees need to be directed and protected. No matter how much “empowerment” you try to inject into the system, employees operating in a power hierarchy will act as if they need to be directed and protected. The only known way to fully unleash the creative, intelligent, and trustworthy potential of humans is to practice some form of self-management.

There are many reasons why self-management is attractive, and Reinventing Organizations discusses all of these in depth. But to me, the chain of reasoning above is the most compelling. It underlies my belief that self-management is not a radical idea at all. It’s surprising at first — but seems obvious in retrospect.

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