Posts Tagged ‘company’

About Time Wave Zero

Monday, April 7th, 2008

The amount of Ideas (Novelty) is increasing exponential. This is predicted by Timewave Zero of Terrence McKenna. The model predicts a singularity at December 21, 2012. At that moment we will jump to a completely new level of Consciousness.

The most interesting prediction of McKenna is that in 2012 we will be able to Travel Space/Time. This will make it possible to move back in Time and travel the many Time Loops.

We will also be able to leave Earth and Travel to the Seven Parallel Universes that are until now veiled for most of the people on Earth. Only the Shaman (the Mystics) were able to do this until now. They knew how to move through the Void into Space/Time.

To do this they have to Cheat the Raven (or the Eagle or the Demiurg), the Creator of the Matrix that generates the current state of Linear Causal Time.

A new Phase of Time Wave Zero will start at 2010. At that time we will move into a very high state of acceleration.

Perhaps you think Time Wave Zero is barely nonsense but you have to admit innovation is speeding up in an incredible way.

When you are an employee you don’t know what is happening. Perhaps  you suppose that your boss or the management will take care of you. Suppose they are also completely in the Dark about the Future.

When you are completely in the Dark about the Future you are reacting on impuls to everything that is treatening your company. This is called “muddling through“.

The effect of “muddling through” is that many projects fail or are stopped before they are finished. To muddle you need a lot of money. When your company is in trouble the money is gone and the only impulse that is left is to fire people. This starts a downward spiral.

Imagine the next four years innovation will speed up with a speed nobody has seen in the history of the world. If this happens your company will move into a State of Chaos.

Not only your company will end in a State of Chaos you will also get stressed to a level that your body will get out of balance. You will get sick.

What can you do to survive the last four years of history?

To find balance you have to become an Observer. Watch the outside but don’t react on impulse. Reflect about what is happening. Use your analytic capabilities and face the facts.

Many people wan’t see a pattern.  When you don’t see a pattern you get overloaded.

Your intuition knows the pattern but is unable to explain the pattern. You feel something is going on but don’t know what it is but it is getting stronger. When you use your intuition you know how to react to a situation. It feels good or it feels bad.

Always follow the good feeling and have the guts to trust this feeling. It will lead you to to right path. When you are on the path, the path will take you.

You will be in the Tao. The path you will find will be the path of your heart and the path of your talent. Use your talent it will be needed because you are on this world to learn and to grow.

When you feel the Spirit you will receive the right ideas and you will meet the right people at the right time. They are your soul-brothers and soul-sisters. Respect them and value their talents. We will only survive the Singularity when we Cooperate.

Use all the resource that are available but don’t exceed the limits. Take time to enjoy your friends, your wife or husband and enjoy nature.

Nature is a place where you will find rest. Listen to and make music. Music will bring you in a state of Harmony.

When the time comes don’t be afraid to Jump To the Next level. The next phase will not be a disaster. It will be a phase were we will be able to Co-Create with the Spirit, the Creative Force of Life.


About Time Wave Zero

What Terrence McKenna did not See

About 2012

About the Business Cycle

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

A business starts when an isolated craftsman makes a unique product with his unique tools for his unique customers. To find out what the customer needs the craftsman and the customer start a dialogue. They are inventing new possibilities. Out of the process of invention new tools and new approaches emerge.

In the next stage craftsmen share their trade and move to the next level, a company. They sell and share experience to and with their clients. In a company specialization takes place. People are selling or taking care of infrastructure. To make specialization work a dialogue is needed. Specialists create their own language and don’t understand that their colleagues and their customers are doing the same. If the mapping of all the language does not take place the company will look like the Tower of Babel. It will end its activity in a conflict caused by mis-understanding.

If the dialogue is successful the company standardizes its services and creates a product. It moves to a new level, the factory. In a factory not only the processes are standardized but also the language. Specialists are replaced by software, machines and cheap labor. The employees are not users of tools but are controlled by tools. The replacement does not happen without conflicts. It causes a battlefield between two opposing powers, the employers and the employees.

By carefully analyzing all the processes, getting rid of all the waste, the employees are finally totally replaced by programmed machines. The factory moves to the level of the Utility. It becomes an invisible repeatable process. The process only shows itself to the human when it is out of order. Humans are totally dependent of utilities and a fatal error simply stops society. This generates an extreme level of collective stress.

In the next stage new craftsman emerge. They use of the new invisible, hidden, infrastructure to create new products. The cycle starts again.

Many companies are now transformed into factories and utilities. Cheap labor is provided by the new economic powers China and India. The standardization of the processes is accomplished by the implementation of packages. When the dialogue in the company is disturbed the implementation of the package results in a financial and social disaster.

The jump to the level of the factory generates a conflict and the shock of the conflict lowers the performance of the company. The transition to a factory is hard to sell to the employees and the middle managers. The reduction of the performance is not appreciated by the customers also. The customers want a predictable and gradual improvement of the performance.

Many companies are not suited to move to the level of the factory. They are providing a service. The specialists, knowledge-workers, are constantly innovating their processes.

The specialists are not helped by a standardized process, a method. Methods are not a mechanism to control. They are an educational instrument. When people learn a method they acquire experience. They make mistakes, learn and adapt the method. A dominating not adaptable toolset stops the innovation in a company.

Innovation cannot be stopped at the human level. Users start to look for an alternative to move on and abandon the dominating central infrastructure. They create work-environments of their own and connect them. The effect is a highly unbalanced infrastructue.

This has happened when the PC was introduced and will happen all the time when a new user-friendly toolset appears. At this moment many new collaborative toolsets appear on the Internet. They support the new craftsman, the knowledge-workers, in the service industry.

Many toolsets are available on the market. They are dominating, highly specialized and disconnected. The toolsets support different types of craftsman, different types of companies, different types of factories and different types of utilities.

They don’t support the dialogue to reach mutual understanding, collaboration and innovation. This causes unnecessary conflicts, stress and finally a total blockage of every activity an employee wants to start. The result is de-motivation and finally apathy. The employee just does what he is told to do. He is transformed into a machine.

We need a toolset that supports the gradual movement from the level of the craftsman to the level of the utility. This will create the harmony so many people are looking for.

How the Baby Boomers stopped their own Revolution

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007
The Baby Boomers when they were Young

The Baby Boomers when they were Young

When I started to work in 1976 I never heard of something called HRM. My boss hired me.

He discussed my salary and gave me the assignments.

The salary of my colleagues was a secret. I also did not know why my salary was raised. It just happened.

Three years later I was promoted to manager (group leader). I was very surprised this happened.

My new manager (called a section leader) handed me the files of my employees. I had to take care of them.

They contained many secret documents about what the former managers thought about the employee. At that time the managers talked about the employees in complete secrecy.

We, the New Managers, did not like that. We opened up the secret files, destroyed the ”not-objective” data, standardized the data and put the data in a Database later called a HRM-System.

Suddenly I was the one who was responsible for hiring and firing. Every group-leader was different. I was always very open to my employees. We worked as a team to create and maintain software-systems.

I loved to program and design and I never felt the need to stop this. Managing my group was simple. It took about 1 day a week. In this day I had to attend meetings with other managers.

Other group-leaders (mostly much older) were spending all of their time managing their group. I soon found out that they were really managed by their group. They were unable to resist the informal power of some of their employees. When the new salaries were fixed some of them got a lot of money. This became known in my group and I got into trouble.

Why is he paid more than I am paid? He is really doing nothing!

I went to talk with my colleague but he did not want to talk. I talked with my section-leader and I found out that my colleague was his personal friend. He “covered his ass“.

At that time there was a big difference between an employee and a manager. When you became a Manager you became part of an Elite with its own Privileges and Culture. The most important Rule was that people of this Elite always covered the ass of the other members. We, the New Managers, did not like that and we started to destroy the Old Management Culture.

The other group-leaders experienced the same situation. We started to talk about this issue at our Section-meeting. After many discussions we went to talk one level higher (the director). The end result of all our actions was a revolution. We removed all the old powers and took over.

This also happened when I was a student. I was part of the baby-boom-generation that reorganized society. We were the revolutionaries that wanted to create a better society based on the principles of the new age of Aquarius.

Now almost 30 years later my old colleagues and I have created a System that is blocking everything they stood for. Just like my section-leader they want to stay in power.

The Baby Boomers when they were Young

The Baby Boomers when they were Young

The big difference between 30 years ago and now is that the New Revolutionaries have to change a (Software) System. It is impossible to detect the Human Cause of all Evil.

We,  the Baby-Boom Managers have standardized almost everything. The Systems have taken over Control and the Sad Thing is that almost nobody knows what the Systems are really doing. They live a Life of their Own.

It is almost impossible to reach consencus because many many specialized managers are involved and they all defend their own territory. The Sad Thing is that almost nobody knows what their Territory really is about.

Everything is Magically connected to Everything Else by the PatchWork of Overlapping Systems. A Problem in One Area suddenly comes back in a completely different Area.

The only way to accomplish something is to play the Game of Politics. To play the Game of Politics you need to make friends and you have to stay in the right coalition.

To do this you sometimes have to abandon your friends to reach the Goal. The effect is that nobody trusts nobody anymore or friends are covering the Ass of their friends. The effect is that many incidents are covered up. The effect of the cover up is that many people don’t know what is really happening or (worse) many people know what is happening but discuss the issues in a secret place.

The effect of this is that many people are not working at all. They are gossiping all the time. The effect is a loss of productivity and the only Solution we can think of is to implement more Systems.

The most important effect is a Change of Focus. The focus is directed inside the Company and not outside the Company. Outside the Company somebody is providing the money to play the Game. He or She is called the Customer.

The Systems have transformed the Customer into a Standardized Object stored into a Computer.

The Systems have completely Blocked the View on the most important Asset of a Company, the Human.

What Happened?

We developed a system that wanted to treat Everybody the Same Way.

How did we do that?

Step 1: Classify what everybody is doing (programming, designing, project-management …).

Question: When somebody is capable of everything (a talent) what do you do?

Answer: Always start with the lowest classification in this way people believe work is moving Up.

Step 2: Define a Career Path.

Step 2.1. Define Low (junior), Normal and High (senior). Take care that this is a normal distribution. If you do that people keep the believe that a Senior is better than a Junior!

Step 2.2. Define importance. A designer is more important than a programmer. Manager is more important than designer.

Question: Why is a something more important than something else?

Answer: Something is more important when we pay a higher salary. If we do that people start to believe that money is the most important motivator.

Effect: Everybody wants to become a manager because a manager is the best! The negative effect is that a manager does not like the employees in his department who are better. They are his competitors.

Step 3: Define a test to prove you are allowed to move to the next level.

Question: What defines a talented programmer?

Answer: He has finished his training.

Effect: Employees have to spend a lot of time to pass exams. Training becomes more important than experience. People start to act out of the book.

Step 4: Create specialized departments (Training, Security, Data Management, ..).

To save money we started to train people outside the company. The teachers did not have any experience. They knew what was written in the books that were written by people that did not have any experience in the field they were teaching.

Later the teachers changed into consultants and started to tell the employees and the managers how to do it. Doing the trick is easy. Inventing new tricks and implementing the new tricks becomes very difficult. You have to convince many managers.

Effect: Innovation is tricky bussiness. You have to take a risk and when you fail you are out of the carreer-race. Old approaches are implemented with a different name.

Step 5: Create departments that are testing if the employees are doing what the trainers told them to do (Quality Management). When they don’t do what the trainers told them to do we just don’t promote them.


Everybody is Equal.

I hope you see what I am trying to show you. By treating everybody the Same Way we finally have created the Same People. The top (talent) and the bottom (sick, problems at home …) are gone.

We have Equalized the Population.

The steps 1 to 5 are not the only steps. The System has improved itself all the time.

Before the division employees took care of other employees. We have designed a special approach to take care of the sick and other causalities. This has given them a negative status. The effect is that some of them deteriorate and others are afraid to tell what the matter is. They go one when they are sick or they ignore the problems at home. The effect is more problems at home and/or stress-related diseases (Burn-Out).

We have divided managers in groups. Some of them manage resources (!) other use the resources. The effect is the loss of the team-mentality.

We have divided resources into internal and external resources. We hire them from a specialized company. The effect is a loss of company-pride a higher level of the team-mentality.

We have automated almost everything to speed up efficiency. The effect is that we have to know the number (the unique identifier) to know about people. We are unable to enter unique information about a person. They are standardized on a higher level.

We have created a special department called HRM. They are managed top-down. The effect is that at every level we are unable to create a unique solution for a unique situation.

The Baby Boomers when they were Young

The Baby Boomers when they were Young

What To Do?

Work in teams.

Start to talk with the employees again. Be honest and open.

When you feel somebody is special give him a special treatment. Explain this to everybody.

Don’t be afraid to take responsibility for what you have done. Admit mistakes.

Don’t store everything in a database. Forgetting something is a positive thing. It makes is possible to start all over again.

Don’t specialize too much. Get rid of all the departments that are too far away from your primary process, servicing the customer.

Rotate. Don’t keep a person too long in a specialized job. Give experienced people a change to teach or to specialize but never keep them in this job for long.

Stop politics. Never allow that people are playing games with people. Fire people who are playing dirty games.

Surprise people. Don’t plan careers. Give everybody the idea that everything is possible.

Stop the gossiping. Give everybody a change to tell what they don’t like and listen.

Demote. When somebody is incapable to do his job give him the job he is capable of and give him the salary of the job. This stops the expectation that everything always has to move up. When somebody gets into trouble when he is demoted make an exception.

Give employees a chance and the time to help other employees.

Don’t hire too much people outside your company. Give priority to teach your own employees to learn the trick of the outside specialists.

Give your own people the time and the tools to innovate.

Hire outside specialists to do the things that are already stable and repeatable or better automate these activities. They are most of the time very boring. This is a very usefull indication to use IT.


About Long Term Cycles

About Vocation

About the Calvinistic Work Ethic

How to Destroy your Company by Implementing Packages

How the Baby Boomers were Educated

About Knowledge Workers

About the Effects of the French Revolution

Why the Industrial Revolution was a Social Revolution

About the Struggle of the Classes

How to Destroy your Company by Building Software

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

I have worked for a long time as a Chief Program Manager and Corporate Architect/Strategist for a very big bank. I was responsible for a cluster of projects with a very big budget.

I managed 120 people in these programs. To manage all the projects a special Program Office was used. It registered and monitored all the data and most important of all, it managed all the Risks.

Later I was part of a smal Strategic Unit of the bank that was responsible for Strategy, Architecture, Alliances and Research. One of our tasks was to do a Risk Analysis of important projects.

One day when I worked at the strategic unit of the bank a huge project was announced. The budget (>500 mio) was very very big. We advised to abandon the whole idea. The Complexity of this project was too big. It would fail for sure. Many years later we proved to be right.

What we adviced was to upgrade the existing infrastructure. Many years later this was the solution that solved the big problem “how to show that not all the money was wasted for nothing“. This example shows a very important and simple rule. Big projects always Fail.

The last ten years when I was a Meta Group Analyst and Consultant I have evaluated many failed projects. All the time I found the same cause. People don’t apply “the lesson that are learned“. Sadly enough we want to “re-invent the wheel” until eternity.

I am still in contact with many highly experienced and talented people in my profession all over the world. All of us have the feeling that the world has turned completely mad.

Big advisory bureaus and important analysts are telling stories that are proven to be wrong for decades. This is not strange. It happens all the time. They have to attract attention, sell the software they have been building and keep the people they employ working.

What is really strange is that people who are working at `the other side`, called Business Believe Them. We did not believe them at that time. We used our experience. What is “going wrong in big projects” is already known for 30 years.

Managers believe packages like SAP will solve every problem. The implementation of a package that is “doing everything” has never been successful. It is a well known disaster. This is also a very important and simple rule.

A Government Agency in the Netherlands is now on a colliding course because of a SAP implementation. The loss is very big (Tax Money). It proves the simple rule.

Managers believe Outsourcing will lower the costs and increase the quality. At this moment the time-to-market in a big bank is more than 3 years, the quality of the software is decreasing and the costs are rising.

The reason is outsourcing. Outsourcing fails when the relationship between the users and the IT-department that is servicing the users is disturbed. When you don’t understand what the other is really doing you are not able to help him. This is also a simple rule everybody will understand.

I will tell you a Worst Case Scenario. The worst case scenario is a combination of all my experiences.

The first step of the scenario is the Selling of the Package. This takes place at the inter-company-network. The inter-company-network consists of executives that are part of many advisory-boards of big companies.

When IBM was in his most powerfull phase it could influence high level executives in Government (even Ministers) and Industry. The executives are trading opportunities. If you buy my packages I will buy your cars. There is nothing wrong with that.

The strange thing is that all of the high-level executives know about the big problems related to packages and outsourcing. They are adviced by low level executives that promise them that this time it will be different.

A new miracle approach is invented that will solve every problem. The current Miracle is called Service Oriented Architectures (SOA).

When the low level executives have reached the top they will be adviced by the same people telling the same stories. The funny thing is that almost nobody remembers that he is hearing the same story he was telling his boss.

The main reason is that the same approaches are given different names and different stories. This is called Marketing.

SAP is a huge software program. It has been build to do `everything`.

To customize this huge software program a software program is developed. A customer has to program this program. This is a very complex activity. The language of the programming program is very special.

Because programming the program is special the specialists are hired from a specialized company. To hire them you have to pay a “special price” (very expensive).

Most of the time the specialists are trained to become a specialist in a few weeks. They learn the trade at the expense of the customer. Hiring young not experienced people is cheap.

Highly experienced people are expensive. Most of them leave the company because they don’t like the culture of “hit and run” anymore. Big companies don’t hire people that are working “on their own“. They believe (for some reason) that big companies are providing quality.

Big companies have to use big companies because of liability. So many projects fail that they need a way of “getting back the money” when “things go wrong“.

When “things go wrong” the problem is so complex that a court is unable to solve the conflict. To “solve the conflict” specialist are hired (mediators). They are also provided by the big companies.

Implementing SAP is big business. The advisors don’t understand anything of the business of their client. This is not needed. The Business People have to tell them “What to do“.

The business people don’t understand the language of the programmers. They are afraid to show they don’t understand the specialists. They never ask questions.

When they ask questions the specialists talk a language they don’t understand. The specialists don’t understand why the customer is not understanding them. The main reason is that they don’t listen at all. They love to talk with the computer.

The most important people called users are never involved in the project. To convince the users communication experts are hired from the specialized companies.

At a certain point in time the managers become very nervous. They feel something is going wrong. They are afraid to admit that. They start to intimidate the people of the big advisory company.

Now another specialist, called an account manager, is used to manage the managers. He is telling a well known fairy tale. The project is almost finished. They need a little bit more time and of course they need more money. The managers agree. The account managers are trained to tell specialized fairy tales.

This starts a new phase. The fairy tale story is coming back all the time and the reaction of the managers is the same. The budget of the project is increasing all the time and the moment of delivery is also moving with the same speed.

At a certain moment in time the manager is replaced or better he leaves the sinking ship just in time. A new manager arrives.

He is not able to stop the project because he is not informed. After some time he knows the terrible truth. The process of telling fairy tales, the increase of budget and the movement of the date of implementation is restored. I was once a witness of a project that staid in this state for almost ten years.

The company is really in trouble when the next phase starts. This phase is `Let’s implement what we have build` because `we have to show we have build something`.

At that moment the users (the victims) are confronted with something they feared for a long time. When they are talking with friends or relatives they hear the same sad story all the time. Because there is no alternative the victims learn to cope with the situation.

When they finally have learned to use the software a new release of the package is created by the vendor and the whole process starts all over again.

Outsourcing is a brilliant trick of the managers. The responsibility for the failing project is moved to an outside vendor. They are now the object of aggression.

The managers wants to manage the Outsourcers. To do this many new managers, Vendor Managers, are created. Bureaucracy is increasing.

What the Vendor Managers don’t see is the different Culture of the Outsourcer. A highly decentralized company starts to work with a highly hierarchical company. This creates confusion.

A comparable problem is the culture of the programmers. So called cheap programmers in India are not accustomed to think for them selves. They just do what they are told to do without questioning anything. The customers expects creative programmers and the programmers expect programmed customers.

The situation is getting worse when the programmers know they are able to earn more money at a different company. They move and disturb the continuity of the project-team.

This is happening in India all the time now. Introducing a new programmer in a project takes a lot of time and disturbs the project. When the amount of changes reaches a certain level the project will always fail. This is also applicable to software-changes.

The real customers don’t talk with the programmers. They talk with the managers that are talking to managers that are talking to managers.

Somewhere in the Chain of Communication all the meaning is lost. The result is something they don’t want, the users don’t want and the customers don’t want.

Last but not least the process took so long that the market has changed. Everything starts all over again.

Do you now understand why there is such a shortage in IT specialist? About 30% of IT-projects is succesfull. This means that 70% of the IT-specialists are working for nothing.

If we add the amount of “succesfull” projects that were delivered too late or the amount of projects were the implementation phase took so long because the software was “not-usable” the percentage is even lower.

I have the strange feeling that about 1% of the projects are really succesfull. These projects are projects were a small amount of programmers (max 15) worked in close cooperation with the users. The project was given a Fixed Budget and a Fixed Time-Frame.

The target was to develop a small “package” that Could be Adapted by the Users Themselves.

My Advice

Get rid of Bureaucracy.

Calculate how many people are really programming in your company and how many people are doing other things. Plot this ratio in history and you will see the “Bureaucracy-index”. This will give you some idea about what you are doing.

Adapt what is working as long as possible.

Keep it Simple.

A team of 15 talented IT-people is capable of doing more than a group of 1000 not-talented IT-People.

Never trust a Hype. Always look what is behind the Marketing Language. If you don’t understand the technological language, ask questions and don’t stop until you understand everything. You are not stupid!

Never believe Everything is Possible with One Package.

Never create software that is able to solve many possible problems. Solve the problems that are known. Nothing more.

Never create a program that needs a program to program the program. This is a trap.

Read About Mapping when you want to know more about a simple way to solve complex problems.

Read Why good programmers have to be Good Listeners when you want to know more about the relation between “meaning” and software.

Have a Look at the Law of Parkinson:  ”A manager wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals“. “Managers make work for each other“.

Have a Look at the Peter Principle : “In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence

Have a Look at the Law of Murphy: Anything that works will be used in progressively more challenging applications until it causes a disaster“.