Posts Tagged ‘will mcwhinney’

About the Human Measure

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

A few years ago (2003) somebody asked me to address the Dutch IT Architecture Congress. The subject was the Human Measure. To understand the Human Measure you have understand the relationship between the Human Being and The Human Measure System, The Emotions.

At that time I was already highly influenced by Will McWhinney so I used his model of the Four Worldviews to describe the Human. Later I discovered a Fifth Worldview (Consciousness) that was hidden in his teachings.

The consciousness is the monitor of the Whole of the Human Being. It reflects about the behavior of the parts and takes action when the Whole is not in Balance (Stressed).

According to Will McWhinney the Human can be described by The Emotions (Values), The Imagination (Ideas), The Senses (Desire, Facts) and the Expectation (Control, Rules).

The Four parts can be combined in six (or twelve = 4x3x2) Games. A Game is a strategy to solve the Conflict between the Four Independent Parts.

To me it is very clear that IT is focused on the combination Expectation/Senses. This combination is called the Analytical Game. It solves the Conflict between Facts and Rules. Will showed that this game was the dominating game in Western Culture.

In the Analytical Game the Emotions, the Consciousness and the Imagination are not important. In the Analytical Game you want to find the Absolute Truth, The Rules of the Game, by Analyzing the Facts sensed by the Eyes.

When you want to understand the Emotions you have to look at “emotional” Psychology. When you start to study “emotional” psychology the “box of Pandora” of Psychology opens up. Psychology is not a science like Mathematics or Physics. Everybody has his own theory about Emotions and everybody is defending his own “territory”. Psychology is simply a scientific mess.

One of the most helpful scientists (a friend of Will) was Rodney Cotterill. Cotteril analyzed the evolution of the Sensory-Motor System of every Organism on Earth. The Sensory-Motor System is an Interaction between the Emotions, the Motor, and the Senses.

The bacteria is drifting around, explores an inhomogeneous environment that contains all kinds of chemical structures. Some of these structures are destructive, some of them are neutral and some of them are attractive (food). When the bacteria finds (senses) food his rotator (the flagellum) moves the bacteria in a circular motion. The circular motion of the bacteria is preserved for a short time and this preservation could be called memory

The emotions are aimed at the survival of the human being. They Explore environments to find something that helps them to survive and Avoid destructive environments. When Humans have found an Attractive environment they Stay there and Store the data about the environment in their Memory. Humans are Moving Memories (E-motion means movement!).

According to Rodney Cotterill the Emotions are the basic structure, the infrastructure, of an organism. All the other structures are specializations of one of the parts (the Sensors, the Calculator (Imagination, Expectation)) of the Emotional Infrastructure.

IT is highly focused on Sensors and Calculators (the Senses and the Expectation). IT has no idea what to do with the Emotions, the E-Value-ator, the basic Measurement System of the Human Being. The main objective of the Evaluator is to find Food and to stay Alive.

The Human Imagination has created many “abstractions” of Food and Secure Environments. They are all stored in the Memory as Symbols and Metaphors but it is not difficult to define what Humans don’t like. They don’t like the same thing IT-experts don’t like. IT-experts want to be Valued. They don’t want to be Dominated. They demand the freedom to Express their Creativity. They don’t want to play a role in a Play that was Designed by somebody else.

IT-experts love to play the Analytical Game. In this Game the Humans, called the Users play the role of the Object, the reusable Module, that has to do its Job. In the Analytic Game Users don’t have Emotions and Imagination. They have to Eat the Food that grew out of The Seeds of the Imagination of the Architect.

What is the Human Measure?

The basic measure of the Human Being is related to everything that gives him or her a feeling, an Emotion, of Security. The Human Value-System, the Emotions, is always looking for Shelter, Protection and Love. Humans Beings need other Human Beings to tell and show them that they are Value-able.

If the Human Being has an Expectation this Expectation has to be realized in the near Future.

When the Emotions of the Human Being are Dominated it wants to move away from his environment because a dominating environment could be Destructive. When something or somebody is Dominating a Human Being he/she feels worthless.

If the Imagination of the Human Being experiences No Change, (Highly Repeating Actions) it wants to Explore a new Environment.

If the Senses experience Too Much Change the Human Being becomes Confused. When you are Confused your Expectation fails and the Human starts to drift around just like the bacteria.

If the Human Being is not Conscious (Aware, Focused) it is unable to Reflect. If the Human Being is not Aware he is unable to Balance the Emotions, the Imagination, The Expectation and the Senses. If there is no balance the Body becomes Stressed. A Stressed Body slowly kills the Immune System. An Unbalanced Immune System is the Cause of many Diseases.

What is IT Doing?

IT is still creating Dominating, Always Changing, Insecure and Confusing Software.

IT is not automating the repeating activities Humans don’t like. IT is producing highly disconnected software-systems.

IT is not helping the Humans to makes senses of the complexity of the Outside World. IT is increasing the Complexity of the Environment.

IT is not supporting the Human to explore its environment. IT is shielding the outside environment and is creating an artificial outside environment. Many people believe the Imaginary World is the Real World. The most destructive artificial worlds are the Destructive Computer Games. They give the Player the Believe that Killing People is no problem at all. The destructive Games are the Games of the Military. They kill people by looking at simulators and pushing buttons.

IT is Playing the Same Game using Different Terminology all the time. If you understand the transformation of the terminology the Game is Boring. If you don’t understand the terminology the Game is Confusing. If you Mix the Terminology the Game is too Complex to Play. Almost nobody knows the Rules so many People make mistakes, believe they win the Game but in reality lose the Game.

What to do?

Perhaps somebody is able to Invent a New Game.

I have an Idea.

Why don’t we create a Game that Creates Games? According to the Theory of Will this Game is called the Game of Culture. It solves the conflict between The Imagination (The Creator) and the Emotions (The Mover). When the Mover is Inspired by the Creator the Sensory/Motor-System starts to Act with Spirit (Imagination) and Soul (Emotions). In terms of Emotional Psychology: The Human becomes Highly Moti-vated!

If we look at the theory of Will we now can see that the Analytical Game is the Complement of the Game of Culture.

If we Unite the two Games, the Games of the West and the Games of the East, we are able to connect all the parts of the Human Being in a Cycle, the Cycle of Human Innovation.

About The Industrial Revolution

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

industrial revolutionThe Industrial Revolution started with the mechanization of the textile-industry (1740-1790) in England.

A new collaboration concept the Mill, later translated in the Factory, is invented. The Industrial Revolution is preceded by the Renaissance.

The Renaissance is a Creative Phase.

The Industrial Revolution is a Social phase. A Social phase changes the way people cooperate.

Small scale cooperation structures were destroyed and replaced by large-scale cooperation structures.

The Industrial Revolution not only changed the way people cooperated in labour. It also changed the way Cities and Countries cooperated.

At the end of this phase (the Second World War) Europe and the World (UN, China, and India) started to Unite. Cooperation on the Level of the World became possible but was finally not realized.

The French Revolution (1789) breaks the power of the Aristocracy. The Bourgeois (the merchants, the entrepreneurs, the middle class) use the Mill to produce cheap standardized products on a large scale. They became the new Rulers of Society.

The mill and later the factory not only destroyed the Aristocracy.

It also destroyed the Small Scale Collaboration Structure of the Guilds. The Guilds, operating on the level of the City, took care of almost everything at that time.

They operated hospitals, educational facilities and insurance. When the mills turned into factories many people lost their job. The big cities were populated with very poor and hungry people.

Nobody took care of the sick and the old. They became the Prolitariat, the Under-Class. The existence of the Prolitariat produced a huge tension in society.

russian revolution2This tension was resolved when many pressure groups or movements (Conservatives, Liberals, Socialists, and Communists) finally agreed upon new large scale institutions.  

The State, Parliament, Democracy, Voting, and The Union came into existence.

The Social Welfare State was constructed. Government took care of almost everybody.

The first Cotton Mill was opened in 1742. In 1762 Hargreaves invents the spinning jenny. It was operated by hand.

With the invention of the steam-machine (1769, Watt) manual labour was not needed anymore.

In 1785 the first mill was opened that used a steam-machine (the power loom).

The Steam Machine became a Major Paradigm. It highly influenced Physics (ThermoDynamics, Entropy) and Psychology (Freud).

steam_engineIn 1781 Kant wrote his book Kritik der reinen vernunft. He excluded the Imagination (illusions) and the Emotions (love, care, values, quantity) out of reasoning and introduced the concept of mechanized thinking (Logic). Kant excluded Art (Imagination) and Religion (the Emotions) and invented Science.

Mechanized (Scientific) Thinking was used to Optimize the Mill. Slowly it grew into a (big) factory. At the end of the Industrial Revolution Logical reasoning produced its most briljant artefact, the All Purpose Computer. The Computer became a major Paradigm.

The-Railroads-Of-The-World-124Between 1790 and 1840 the world was covered with Railroads. They facilitated the spread of the Industrial Revolution.

Cities flourished and died according to the distance to a railroad station (A node). Many infrastructures were created in this period (Telephone, Sewers, Water, Gas, and Electricity). Later the concept of the railroad was implemented in Traffic (Highway) and Computers (networks, hubs, servers). The Railroad Network became a major Paradigm.

Mechanic thinking resulted in Standardization. Between 1890 and 1940 Mass-production, Mass-consumption and Mass-media dominated society.

TFordThe first step was set by Henry Ford and Frederick Winslow Taylor with the production of the T-Ford. The theories of Taylor are until now (most of the time not recognized) used in many forms to optimize work-processes.

The end of optimization is reached when everything is turned into a Utility. A Utility is a Network that operates without Human Beings and transports Objects.

When we look at the Industrial Revolution from a higher perspective we can see the elements of the Cycle at work.

A phase of Creativity is followed by a Social Phase. It is the phase of Power Conflicts (Competition) and the construction of new Movements, new Groups and finally of new Institutions (The State, The Corporation).

The Hierarchy was the major control paradigm of this period. Everybody wanted to move to “the Top”. The Race to the Top was also visible in architecture. The SkyScraper with the Management at the Top became the Symbol of Power.

watching tvThe Industrial Revolution gave the Masses, the Slaves of the Middle Ages a better place. They changed from a Slave into a Consumer.

The Slave was dominated by his Owner. A Consumer is dominated by his Senses. On the Macro-level we see a move from the world-view of Control/Social (Master/Slave) to a Sensory/Social-pattern.

Will Mc Whinny called the Game of Sensory/Social The Game of the Market. The Industrial Revolution produced the Game of the Market.

At the end of this period the Masses controlled the Market. We are now in a demand oriented economy. This created a big problem for the mass-producers.

They controlled the masses and are desperatly trying to keep their position by Manipulation of the Media.

What is Going to Happen?

stock marketOn the level of the Kondratiev-cycle (Period 50 years) a phase of Creativity and the Individual was started in 1950.

This phase ended around 2000.

The move to the Individual challenged the structures of Mass-Production. People wanted to be treated as a Unique Human Being.

Industry found a solution to this need. They invented Mass Customization and User Involvement and went on with the Game of the Market.

This phase is now followed by a Social Phase (Start 2000). The Customer (the new Ruler) is organizing itself in Smart Customer Networks.

The Very Long Cycle (Precession, Period 25.000 years) and the Cycle of Culture (Periodicity 1250 year) is also changing its focus.

On the level of Culture we are moving to the Centre. We are converging on a new and unknown level, Earth. During the Social Phase of the Industrial Revolution huge collaboration structures were formed (EG, UN, NATO, China, India, …). These structures are challenged by the Individual in the Next Phase. The solution of this conflict is a network of small local structures that is part of a large global network (“Think Global, Act Local”).

The precession cycle is moving from the Dark Phase into the Light. This is the most interesting and unknown development. Current Human history has never experienced a shift from the Kali Yuga to the Golden Age. The Golden Age is a period of intense spiritual development, a movement to a New Level of Conscioussness.

It shows itself in a move to religion and mysticism but also in a new awareness about what is really happening in the world.  This new awareness is frightening to most of the people. They cannot understand the major changes that are visible. The predictable future is gone. Everything is on the move and the movement is excellerating culminating in Point Omega, the Big Leap into Nothingness.  

Long Term Phases always dominate short term phases. The effect of this will be tremendous and almost unpredictable.  An unpredictable future is a Future without a Perspective.

Some people expect a dramatic negative change. They are waiting for the Apocalyps. Some people expect the Return of Paradise and a jump to a higher consciousness.

I really don’t know what will happen.

If you read my blogs I am constantly trying to find the solution of this very complex conjunction of cycles. I keep you informed. 

How to Create Human Scale Tools: About Movers, Memories and Comparators

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Humans are the most advanced toolmakers in nature. The main reason is that they are the less specialized organisms. They need tools to survive. People are also the most complex organisms in nature. This complexity makes it possible to invent new possibilities and to work with specialized tools and animals (horse, cow, hammer, car, computer).

All the time people have tried to make a better living by inventing new tools. If the basic needs were met (food, housing, health, safety), people got the time to get their emotional system into balance (love, self-esteem) and satisfy their imagination (play, explore, self-actualization).

At this moment, the amount of leisure-time to enjoy family life, relax, play and explore is going down. The number of people with heavy levels of stress is growing. The pressure on the emotions is increased by the current state of technology. The tools have overlapping functionality, take too much of the attention, do not communicate with each other and dominate the human being.  

Tools have to be integrated completely in the cognitive system of the human being. If a tool takes over a part of the sensory-motor system (glasses, hammer, car) the imagination has to learn a new way to create the outside world. In the end, after practicing, people become united with their hammer or their car. They are not aware that they are carrying their glasses. If people have to practice too long or the tool is constantly intervening in their workflow the emotions get involved. They get frustrated and angry.  

Tools were first invented to support basic human activities like talking, moving, looking,  hearing, remembering and learning.

In a later stage of development, the use of the tools generated a new space of exploration. In this space, new tools emerged.

The invention of symbols started the exploration of Mental Space. Program Languages, Telecommunication and especially the Internet has opened up a new space to explore, called Cyberspace. 

  • Advisor or Master

Advisors and masters involve the emotions. An advisor helps to make a choice or to set priorities. A master (e.g. a physician, teacher, manager) makes a choice for a person. The Cyberspace version of the master and the advisor is the Expert System. It uses advanced ways of pattern-recognition (e.g. Neural Networks).

  • Simulator

Simulators stimulate the imagination. Theaters and movies are examples of passive simulators.  Games are actively involving many people. The Cyberspace version of the active simulator is the Collaborative Computer Game. The passive form can be seen in the Movie and the Television-program.

  • Memory

A memory archives the results of an internal or external dialogue. In the beginning, human communication was only verbal. Important issues to remember were incorporated in stories that were told from one generation to the other. When people specialized their activities, they needed a method (bookkeeping) to keep track of all the transfers. People invented symbols and the external memory to do this.  The writing-symbols made it possible to share and exchange memories (letters, books) without talking. Writing enabled the movement of memories. The library was invented to store the external memories and protect them from fading away. Cyberspace is filled with the versions of static and moving memory called the Electronic Message (Email, Transaction) and the Database. 

  • Mover

Movers were the first tools used in human society. A mover is an extension of the muscles. The first generation was invented to help the human move in physical space. Examples are hammers, cows, horses, steam-machines, cars, bicycles and robots. The next generation supported the movement of symbols (e.g. moving numbers) in mental space. The Difference Engine of Charles Babbage was invented to automate the calculation of mathematical tables. The most advance version of the mover, the telecommunication network, enables the movement of external memory’s in cyberspace.

  • Sensor

Sensors transform and filter data. Glasses and hearing aids were invented to support people when they get old.  Humans looked at the stars and invented the telescope. In a later stage very advanced sensors were developed (Radio-telescope, MRI). They use complex statistical calculations to filter and transform the sampled data into pictures or sounds.

  • Comparator

Human survival and learning is based on comparing data and acting on the result. A comparator acts on an exception. To compare data a measurement instrument is needed and a agreement about the object of measure.

Human beings started to measure time and space a long time ago. It was needed to navigate and to predict the movement of the stars. In the first phase, the human body was used as a measure-instrument of space and the cycle of the sun and the moon as a measurement for time. The big problem with this approach was that every person and every place on earth came up with a different measurement and a different time. \

When the human networks started to connect, standardization on a global level became necessary.  The process of standardization of time and space took many ages. It needed numerous inventions in technology to support the process. The measure-instruments changed from mechanical devices (the clock) to software-devices.   

  • Servant (Operating System)

A servant coordinates the activities of sensors, comparators and memories. Servants take over repetitive patterns.  Humans find these activities boring (not imaginative). A servant has to act invisible (a black box).

When the use of a servant is prohibited, humans get frustrated. It has to be there all the time and do its job inconspicuous. With the help of the comparator and the sensor, the servant has to detect events and take appropriate action (coordinated movements, action patterns).

The big problem at this moment is the visibility and the interference of the servant in the human activity. People have to fill in the same form all the time. Processes stop in the middle of a company. The customer has to handover the data to the other processes. 

Humans do not like to be emotional involved in boring activities.  Therefore, the needs (their wishes) have to be defined in a very simple way. It must be possible to imagine the behavior of the complete system without knowing how the system is operating. 

A good example of a perfect servant is the central heating system. People define their needs (a temperature) and everything works. The temperature is a control variable that represents the performance of the total heating system. People are able to imagine the effect of adjusting the thermostat (a comparator) on the environment they live in. They do not need to know how the servant works. His behavior is hidden. The central heating system is a black box, loosely coupled with another invisible servant-system, the utility-system (gas, electricity).

The servant and its associates were in the first era of IT locked into the physical space of the general-purpose computer controlled by its general purpose operating System. The servants had to stay close together because of the speed of communication. The speed and the capacity of the telecommunication network is going up fast.  This makes it possible to distribute, specialize and connect Servants (now called Appliances).

How to Create Cooperative Networks by Playing Complementary Roles

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

People have to cooperate to survive. Children need their parents to nurture and teach them. Parents need the help of their children when they are old. The basic principle behind cooperation is long-term reciprocity. People give something voluntary and sometimes for free to others or help the other trusting they get something of the same value back in the future.

To survive people have to have a long-term perspective. They have to sustain their environment and the supporting infrastructures to make sure that there are enough people and tools to help them when they are old.

The need to survive created the basic level concept of cooperation (the tribe). The tribe transformed into higher and more complex levels of cooperation (town, guild, state, corporation) when human society evolved.

To coordinate the complex structures the mental concept of the many leveled hierarchy was formed. This concept fails when the environment of the organizational structure becomes turbulent.

Hierarchies adapt too slowly to their environment. At this moment, hierarchies are falling apart in cooperating self-sustaining specialized network. The networks are gaining control over many activities that are now taking place at the level of the big corporation and the state.

A specialized network produces activities and products that are consumed by other specialized networks. To realize the output people have to play complementary roles.

When we can distinguish six basic roles:

  • Craftsmen (Senses, Patterns)

A craftsman has acquired experience by practicing. Craftsmen do not like too much change. Change requires new practicing and keeps him from producing.  A craftsman loves to make what he sees. He learns by copying. Examples are carpenters, painters, musicians, technicians and programmers. The craftsmen are the producers in the network. In many cases, programmable machines can replace their activities. Craftsmen use specialized tools. If their processes are standardized a process-model can be used to coordinated their activities.

  • Entrepreneur (Senses, Emotions)

An entrepreneur feels what preferences people have. Examples are retailers and brokers. Entrepreneurs sell the products the network is producing and buy products the network needs. They also are the people that negotiate contracts and make connections to other specialized networks. Entrepreneurs use technologies like relationship-management-tools and procurement-systems.

  • Politicians (Emotions, Patterns)

A politician structures collective emotions by creating consensus. He feels the opinions of the collective, has the gift to influence opinions, and gets people into collaborative action.   A politician looks after the social cohesion in the network. He uses opinion polls and media.

  • Creators (Imagination, Patterns)

A creator visualizes the whole of a structure. A creator can balance variety (his imagination) and predictability (the patterns). Examples are composers, architects and designers. A creator designs the machines and the products the network is producing.

  • Motivator (Emotions, Imagination)

A motivator visualizes what makes people move forward. Motivators develop concepts.  Many of them operate in the media (actors, writers, poets and movie-directors). Motivators cannot live without variety. Other examples are coaches and psychiatrist. A motivator looks after the long-term perspective of the network by creating and implementing a shared vision.

  • Inventors (Senses, Imagination)

An inventor makes sense of his imagination. Inventors generate ideas and create prototypes (R&D). They use brainstorming tools and analyze trends.

The roles are not evenly distributed in the network. The majority of the people play the role of the producer, the craftsman.

In the current situation, the basic roles are concentrated in specialized corporations (e.g. media, retail, production-plants) or   staff-department of big corporations. Many high talented people are already leaving the big corporations and take part of specialized networks. The amount of one-person-companies is increasing.

People can cooperate with persons that share with them one of their basic cognitive components. An entrepreneur can convince a craftsman what products people he has to sell. They are both practical people (the senses). A creator (e.g. an architect) can show a craftsman what to make. They share a focus on structure (patterns).

When complementary roles are working in a cooperative environment, they join their forces in an open dialogue. This dialogue has many stages ranging from brainstorming (inventors take the lead) to realizing material structures (craftsman work together with creators).

Politicians, entrepreneurs and motivators can only perform if they are able to observe and express emotions (visual expressions, gestures). To ensure a successful cooperation they have to meet. New technologies like video-conferencing make it possible to cooperate anytime, any-place and anywhere. 

To collaborate people have to communicate face to face. In a competition patents (legal actions) and secrecy (rules and walls) shield ideas to prevent the competitor to take the lead.  In cooperation, ideas are shared to sustain the network.

The most used model in communication is the sender/receiver-model.  People send and receive content (e.g. email, documents, pictures, plans, designs) Specialized networks need advanced content-management systems to support this model of communication.

The sender/receiver-model supposes that the brain converts ideas directly into words and that another person can easily draw out the meaning of the ideas from the words. It assumes little effort to understand or interpret what is being conveyed.

The sender/receiver-model only works if there is a high level of common conceptual understanding (a shared model) between all the people involved in the communication process.

In reality, this is mostly not the case especially when experts (inventors, craftsman and creators) are communicating with laymen (entrepreneurs, motivators and politicians).

The dialogue between an expert and a layman is often a monologue. The expert confuses the layman with all his knowledge and the layman is not capable of asking the right questions. In the end, the layman stops asking questions and accepts the situation. 

The sender/receiver-model reduces a specialized network to a production-process. The model lowers the social cohesion (politicians), reduces the external cooperation (entrepreneurs) and removes the long-term perspective of the network (motivators).

People have to invest time to understand (ask unsophisticated questions) and explain their ideas (inventions) in many ways. It also takes time to generate trust. Ideas of others have to be tried out (in the imagination or in the real world) to understand them.

People have to have the opportunity to fail and learn from their mistakes. Sometimes they generate personal inventions that can be given back to the others to create reciprocity.

Eventually ideas create new personal patterns that can be shown and praised by others.  Collaboration does not take place instantly but evolves in a cycle where the pleasure of finding things out is the motivator.

When people are pessimistic and afraid the other becomes the enemy. They shield themselves from the outside world by creating fixed boundaries (walls).

To make sure that they get something in return they use a threat (e.g. physical force, the legal system). Before they start, they have to spend time to prevent a possible conflict (making contracts, detailed specifications). When people trust each other, they cannot wait to start.

The fear of losing something (possessions, status, existence) changes a collaborative relationship into a battle.

In a competition, the focus is on winning and selfishness. Fear has a negative impact on the senses (tunnel view), the emotions (stress) and the imagination (creativity block).

In a competition, priority is given to stay in front and to prohibited possible actions of the enemies. To win one has to predict and control by defining strict rules and make sure that people obey the rules. Internal and external competition finally kills a cooperative relationship.

To prevent the move from cooperation to competition people have to sustain a free and open communicate-process.

How to Create the Perfect Need-Machine by Analyzing Personal Activity Patterns

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

In the approach of Taylor and Ford, the employees and customers are treated as programmable machines.  The focus was on a perfect coordination of the senses, the muscles and the production system (the assembly line).  The emotions and the imagination were neglected.

In mass customization, the emotions are involved. In customer innovation, the imagination is imperative. In a demand oriented system all the parts of the human cognitive system have to play a role in a coherent and balanced way.

The human body acts on its environment with messages and action-patterns. The incoming and outgoing messages are observed by the senses and transformed to an internal format. The internal communication system sends the messages to the appropriate place in the body. The emotions are always looking for danger. They want to control the priority of the actions to make it possible for the body to react immediately. The imagination creates an image of the outside world and helps the body to generate scenario’s to improve its action-patterns. 

The senses are the connection to the physical outside world. They shield the human being from the enormous amount of signals that are trying to enter the body. They filter incoming data and transform the data in a standard internal format. When the senses detect an event, it is evaluated by the emotions. If the event is not important, nothing happens. It the event is unusual it becomes aware in the conscious. Events that are highly repeating are not noticed after some time. An internal program (an action-pattern) automates the handling of the event.

The muscles act in physical space. They acquire an enormous amount of reaction-patterns by repeated practicing. Humans learn from their failures. When the senses detect an event, many appropriate patterns are located and enabled. 

When the patterns enter mental space, they change into models. Complicated patterns are compressed into models. Humans use all kinds of compression techniques to make the world compact and therefore more understandable. Static models (e.g. an organization contains employees) compress the world in wholes (nouns) and parts (attributes). They create identities. Dynamic models (the employee sells a product) compress causal chains (event, actor, result). They make it possible to reason.

Models behave the same way as sensors do in physical space. They shield the mental space of the human being from the enormous amount of ideas that the imagination is producing.

The emotions act on hostile and friendly forces. They shield the body from physical injuries (avoiding pain) and take care of the self re-production process of the body (looking for food and a sexual partner).

The emotional system determines the amount of resources that is allocated to the evaluation and the search for adequate action patterns. If an event is dangerous, all resources in the body are used. The body reacts without thinking and uses a biological inherited and fast pattern (fight, flight, freeze, the primary emotions). If there is enough time to react, the emotional system evaluates its preferences and enables the preferred actions-patterns.

If the preferences are related to a long-term perspective, they enter mental space and the human has a choice to make. In the evaluation of long-term preferences, the other plays an important role. People want to take care of the other (family, friends, children), are afraid to get in to a conflict (dominance, status) and want to be praised by the other for what they are accomplishing.

Humans imagine (by creating pictures connected with feelings) what events they like to happen (a wish). When they are pessimistic, they imagine what events they do not want to happen (a fear).  The imagination is the innovative part of the human mental space that generates all kinds of new connections (ideas). The imagination is also the most free to play with new ideas. People can simulate and practice in their imagination without getting into trouble. The imagination produces the idea of the identity.

The imagination uses visual metaphors to create an understandable world. On the lowest level the metaphors are connect to the action patterns. The image of a cup is connected to picking up the cup, holding the cup and moving the cup. New structures are blended with old familiar structures.

Many metaphors make use of the human understanding of technology.  Freud based his theory of the unconsciousness on his understanding of the steam-machine (“I am steamed up with emotions”). Many theories of the mind are based on the metaphor of the computer. People always relate new phenomena to something they already understand. They sometimes do this (in the eyes of others) in very strange ways.  A skilful teacher knows this and tries to find the bridge (the right metaphor, a story) between his world and the world of the student.

In the human body, all the sub-systems (e.g. the services, the organs) are connected by shared communication-channels. There are fast (the nervous system) and slow reacting shared channels (the endocrine system). All the sub-systems use specific messenger-molecules to communicate their actions and act on incoming messengers.  Messengers materialize with every thought we create and with every emotion we feel. When a messenger enters the boundary of a sub-system, (e.g. a cell) it triggers messengers that are specific for that sub-system.

The action patterns make the muscles move according to a movements-plan that is stored in memory. The movement-plans of the muscles enable people to walk, to work (using tools) and to talk. In this last case, people communicate their intentions. The human communication contains a complicated mix of signals that are related to the emotions (e.g. visual expressions, gestures), the patterns (assertions) and the imagination (visual images, ideas).

People resist change. The patterns they have acquired control their behavior and determine their potential. People do not want to change their patterns dramatically. They want to acquire new patterns (by doing) without noticing the change. Only a major event (a critical moment), mostly with negative impact, can have a radical effect. If this event happens it takes a very long time to recover and get into harmony again. When people have to adjust their patterns too often, they experience stress and on the long run get sick.

If people cannot adjust their patterns, they have to involve the other parts of the cognitive system. When they involve the emotions, they have to set priorities and make a choice. People do not like making choices. They are incapable of evaluating all the possibilities. They can also make use of the senses and look at the real opportunities in the outside world. People are almost incapable of doing this because their imagination produces the images it wants to see. If the imagination really faces the facts, the identity is attacked. It feels powerless and unable to control his path of destiny. The last possibility a human has is to adjust the imagination. He has to realize that the possibilities he imagined were just illusions.

If everything stays the same, people get bored. They hope that an event will occur that relates to their wishes. People are the most satisfied if their environment produces just enough change (a challenge) they can cope with. They want a balance between the will (what they want, the imagination, variation) and their capabilities (what they are able to do, predictability, the patterns, their skills).

In a perfect demand oriented economy, a supplier has to provide a challenge to the customer. To provide this challenge the supplier has to understand the wishes and the fears (the imagination) of the customer, his behavior (the patterns) and the balance between the two parts. If the customer is out of balance the supplier has to help the customer to acquire new patterns (learning), help him to make a choice (advice) or show him the real opportunities (scenario’s) taking care of the customers identity.  

It is very difficult for a supplier to get accurate information. Most people are unable to make their behavioral patterns conscious. When people are asked about their opinion (an aspect of the emotions), they often do not want to offend the other and give proper answers. People only want to share their most secret wishes with people they trust (partner, family, friends). Correct information about the customer can only be acquired by carefully observing and analyzing the activities of the customer (what he is doing).  It is completely impossible for a company to observe the activities of all their customers. The only one who can do this is the customer himself.

Customers can observe their activities if they were able to gather personal activity-patterns, get the opportunity to analyze their behavior, and share their activity-patterns with others to get an advice. Most of the needed data is somewhere already available (patient records, buying behavior, payments etc) or can be made available by making connections to the tools the consumer is using in his personal- and work-environment (Emails, Content). The only thing that has to happen is that companies and government agencies make these patterns, which are most of the time privately owned by the customer, available.

It can be envisioned that all personal data is kept in a private space. Only the customer (the owner) can make the data available to others. This approach would prevent many problems in the current situation (e.g. spam).

The last step in a perfect rational demand oriented system is reached when the personal activity-patterns are automatically transformed in standardized need-messages that are sent out to appropriate providers.

About Subsidies

Thursday, March 6th, 2008
Around 1993 I became responsible for Subsidy Management at ABN AMRO. The whole thing started when the bank contracted a specialized company called PNO. I was asked to coordinate their activities in the Bank.
  • First you have to write a proposal (estimate time (including advisor).
  • When you get a subsidy you have to spend time reporting (estimate time).
  • The sum of both multiplied by the price per hour result in the costs.
  • Multiply the sum of subsidy by the chance you get the subsidy. A simple way to do that is to estimate the amount of contenders. This gives you a simple statistical expectation.
  • If the Estimated sum is lower than the costs don’t spend your time and try to get money in a different way. In general when you are a small company stay out of subsidies.

If you really want to become rich start a company like PNO (Pecunia Non Olet, Money Does Not Stink).

When I met them I soon found out that I was there when the company was created. They started their activities at the same place (Hengelo) and the same building as the company of a friend of mine. This company (Utopics) developed the expert-system they use to track subsidy opportunities.

Until 1993 I did not realize that it was possible to acquire a huge amount of money when you play the game the right way.

The Subsidy Game is played the right way when you combine two things. You have to align your strategy and related projects with the vision of government and you have to create the right level of contacts.

When the local or international government defines a policy they look for instruments to support this policy. One of the instruments they use is subsidies. They pay you to do what they want you to do.

When you want to get a lot of money you have to align your policy with the policy of the government.

It is very important to understand that aligning your policy is a virtual act. You have to show that the policy is written down on paper. If you are clever you don’t have to adjust your plans. In reality you play the same game government is playing. They also act very differently at the inside.

They play the Game of Politics. The game of politics is a combination between the Unity (Plan, Model) and the Social (Emotions, Network) World-View. The game is about persuading people to accept a model or plan or asking an opinion about a plan.

The simple trick is to relate all the projects you are doing to the policies of the Government and translate the project-plan into a proposal for subsidy.

The next step is much more important. You have to influence the network of decision makers. I hope you are not a naive person who believes in an objective government.

Everybody in government can be influenced to do what you want. The only thing that counts is the price you have to pay. Please understand that bribing is possible but this is a very stupid way to get influence because it only influences one person.

To get an optimal result you have become an “important person” in the network of decision makers itself.

To do this you have practice the art of Public Relations (PR). When you are practicing PR you have to know WHO is WHO, visit meetings and parties and give something to receive something.

When the Subsidy-project grew I became involved in PR at a large scale. PR is really fun. You talk a lot, travel a lot, you eat (and drink) a lot and sometimes you make a beautiful deal.

Soon I found out that the power of the Dutch Government was gone. The power was moved to Brussels. I made a proposal the create a special lobby-office in Brussels and to my surprise top-management agreed.

This started a new level of sophisticated manipulation. Getting things done in Brussels is much more difficult that getting things done in the Hague.

Brussels can be compared with Washington and the European Union acts the same as the USA. Many things are decided behind close doors and the most important influencers are the rich companies.

To get some instant experience I visited a few lobby offices and talked with the managers to find out how they were doing “it”.

My most spectacular experience was with IBM. IBM seemed to me the perfect lobby machine. The manager of the Lobby Office was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of IBM and he also had the power to act.

Influencing EG Policy was a very important issue at IBM. You have to understand that the EG is deciding about many standards and the standards have to be built in the products of IBM.

When I got acquainted with the practices of Brussels I discovered many “bribing patterns”. Later they were also detected and many scandals appeared. Yes, High Level Officials of the EG asked for money and they were also payed.

When you are not a high level player in the Subsidy Business I advice you to make use of an advisor. Even if you use an advisor the changes are low. Because of the low changes you are able to make a simple calculation to find out if subsidies are something you have pursue.

About Learning Styles or Why Inventors are Always Bothering an Organization

Saturday, February 16th, 2008
At ABN AMRO I was responsible for one of the biggest training projects ever started. The complete IT-Staff and their customers had to be trained in “the ABN AMRO-way-of-working” after the merger took place.
 
We were able to use the most advanced people and tools to accomplish this aim. It made it possible to meet “the best minds on earth” and to learn about their vision and experience. Later we used this knowledge in every part of the bank.

One of the major targets we wanted to accomplish was to minimize training. People with IT-Skills are very expensive and every day they spend at a training costs a lot of money.

Minimizing training was translated into “Training on the Job”.

To minimize training we started to investigate where and why people were trained and we found many “hidden costs”.

People (mis-)used other people to learn. One of them was an Expert and the others phoned or mailed the expert to ask questions. The expert loved to do this but by “helping others” he (or she) was unable to their “real job”.

We gave them “time to help” but we started to investigate why (and how) one person became an expert and why the others did not spend much time to “learn the trade themselves”.

Experts are people who Explore everything in their own way. They have an internal priority to find out for themselves “how-it-works”. Experts are Explorers.

The others needed to be programmed (or a better term Instructed) and the best way to do this was (of course) Programmed Instruction. The funny thing is that “programmed instruction” can be programmed in a program.

When you create software you are able to create a kind of “meta-layer” that helps (it is called Help) the user. Creating a user-friendly help-system is very difficult to do. You have to balance between compact (Do This) and Extended Information (Why?).

When you develop a software-system the best way to do is to design the “help-software” first and the “real software” later.

Another category of “users” are the Inventors. They are sending a new Idea or Enhancement every day. Inventors are a burden to the organization because they are “way ahead” of the others and the “others” are a majority.

Most of the Inventors are “technology-watchers” and want “new gadgets” build into the System. With Inventors you have to apply the 80/20-rule. Skip 20% of their specification and the essence appears.

If you read this blog I have showed something called “Learning Styles”. Some people have to be Programmed to learn others Invent or Explore.

Learning Styles are created by combining the “Internal Organs” of the Human Being.

These organs are the Imagination, the Emotions, the Sensory-Motor System and the Cognition (“Thinking”). The fifth organ, Consciousness, monitors the balance between the other organs. It acts as the Observer.

When you combine the Four Organs you are able to create six (or twelve) combinations. When you want to put your Ideas in Practice you are an Inventor and when you want Apply the Rules you want to be Programmed.

The six combinations can be combined in a pattern (a triangle, a square) and if you arrange the people with different learning styles in the right pattern they can Help the others to learn.
 
If you arrange this pattern in the “wrong way” your Organ-ization will stagnate and Innovation will stop.
 
Perhaps the best way is to “let it go the way is goes” (the flow) but this is something Managers, People who want to Instruct, don’t like at all.