S2 E106 — How We Brainwashed Curmudgeons

We called them curmudgeons.  They couldn’t see how that could work.  They had no experience in their 20 years, except what they were used to doing.  We had to brainwash them.  And we came to find out they were the most valuable champions for the new way we could find.

“5”  Steve Smith, 30: “When change is in the air, you sense it before anyone else. You notice that something feels different before you know exactly what it is. On high alert, you’ll figure it out soon enough.” Gemini

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 106 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 30th day of August in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E105When Cosmic Leads to Decline, Pair Extremes Intentionally; S2 E104Worst Monday Ever. Very, Very Grim …; S2 E103 Confronting Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt, Resistance and Unrelenting Stress

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E106 — Attempts to Upset 9 of My Life Stages Apple Cart; S1 E105Will Fortune Smile on Us Later in the Evening?; S1 E104How Yesterday’s Success Triggers Tomorrow’s Failure; S1 E103Innies and Outies and Other Potential Catastrophes

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In previous episodes we described Start Up, Emerging Growth, Rapid Growth, Sustained Growth, Maturity, Decline and now Reinvention stages.

Consequences for Not Mastering Growth Crises

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

We described a mini-case of a major decline,  Part One, Part Two and Part Three. And, before that we profiled two mini case studies about what it was like working behind the scenes at a mature company in a financial, in a consumer industry and two more in another century-old university system — Part One and Two. Now we turn to a behind the scenes Reinvention mini-case. 

Reinvention Without Decline

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Reinvention Part One

23.  Organizational Development – Technology

Needs Assessment

My Plan A dreamed I’d be working for a high-tech company with very bright engineers that worked on bringing products to market in record time.  

When I was recruited to my first large technology company I followed my own advice and negotiated for a preplanned Maui Vacation first, in a timeshare which sat just on some sort of magical weather curtain.  On one side it rained and rained.  On the other it stayed tropically bright and sunny. “Here I am sitting in the living room of our Maui condominium on vacation, after my first 60-days of coming on board,” I wrote.  

Part of my orientation was to gather hard and soft information to cast a long range vision for “Training and Development” for the position I was hired into from Fluor. 

I saw my role as anticipating how the HR function would change to accommodate our plans, and pitch a communications plan for a branding campaign as an attracting highly sought after engineering and software talent. 

Partnership

Ray acting as 102 Thought Leader needed an 113 Idea Packager.

He introduced me to my HR boss, Dick, told me how Ed, the General Manager and his management team had been working on a strategy that would take the division to the forefront —a model for what the large corporation could become. 

But, I couldn’t cut Ray out of his gig and in return Ray would grease the wheels for the “internal team” to “operationalize and execute”.  Basically, he had the ear of my boss’s boss and could provide “cover” when needed.

So between the lines, my boss represented the old school, a 116 Institutional Traditionalist and a conspiracy was afoot.

Ed represented manufacturing which accounted for 90% of the physical building.  The other 20% was split between engineering and product assurance.  Software engineering worked out of another two-story office in another location about 4 or 5 miles away.

Going in I wanted to focus on strategic issues …

    • How this organization can be fluid and proactive enough to anticipate computer industry changes,
    • the shifting business cycles, and specific changes in broad areas of the US and international economies,
    • to shifting demographics of both customers and employees,
    • social and technological forces (that the Orange County division should respond to driving the state of art) and in a sense become the tail that wags the East Coast dog.

What I wanted to do was to have our division management examine those issues with my facilitation so we’d have a guide for development efforts that Ray and Ed’s team already endorsed.  

Staffing Came Next.  

The year prior to my arrival “training” functioned with a half-time person who would be transitioning to a full-time role with my help.

    • So my immediate goals included maintaining and upgrading the current training offerings for consistency while assessing what else needed to be developed to address unmet “internal operational” issues.  
    • In concert with that I wanted to develop other internal talent for delivering generic classroom and “lower” management level classes. 
    • And then have a successor fill in while Sue, the full time HR representative, develops her own instructional design capabilities.  

Anyway it was a start.  And I was on vacation.  

List of Hard and Soft Needs

I’d fill in more details after returning to the main land.  But, I kept in mind the randomly generated list of hard and soft needs I already collected:

    1. Corporate (in Detroit, Michigan) has no idea how training breaks down today.  SPG-OC (the formal name for our division) doesn’t have a training system in operation.
    2. All the divisions are isolated—not only in the human resources and training functions.
    3. Very little corporate training direction exists aside from printing a catalog of classes and coordinating them.
    4. SDG hasn’t had a professional trainer full time-only model.  The other divisions (Pasadena, BMG, Orange County and Ranch Bernardo) have or will soon have new human resources development folks in position.
    5. The regional meeting showed most of the other divisions are grappling with how to handle career development needs.
    6. Our division doesn’t operate as a high-tech company internally.
    7. PA&S (software developers) specifically believe they need more technology training. Also the group in the City of Industry hasn’t received any in over a year, even though they are customer facing and therefore a priority.
    8. Managers in SDG feel uncomfortable with only a career facilitation class — too much time away from work — no systemic place for them to rely on.
    9. Other divisions in the area (Santa Ana, City of Industry especially, and maybe Lake Forest) feel slighted or not part of “Mission” — in division memos.
    10. 10. Ed and John — manufacturing GM and Software and Engineering VP — have two distinctly different leadership styles.  Ed is ore people supportive.  John is task and time/ results oriented.
    11. SMG (manufacturing) is budget squeezed.  SDG (software and engineering)  has to use up all of their past year’s budget or they won’t get more allocated in the next year.
    12. Not  much hiring is expected as occurred last year — not as much “expansion”.  Many feel a tightening is about to happen.
    13. Software has a technical training coordinator, but engineering hasn’t recognized a need for hardware training.
    14. B-20 operating system doesn’t run PC software, which means off the shelf applications can’t be used for managing human resource, training and development operations. issues and strategy for 1st 90 days and beyond

Those were heady days as we checked off priorities.  

Knew It When He Saw It

Working for a 101 PMBI Breakpoint Inventor was right up my alley.  Ed, the General Manager had a vision for advanced manufacturing in the future.  He subscribed to the “lets-use-our-own-technology” to see what it makes us become.  

So our role was to help Ed communicate in more tangible ways what his vision was so people could begin to participate. This was my first lesson learned from Dave, my communications co-conspirator.  

Ed knew what he wanted if he saw it, but he couldn’t describe it.  The demands on him in the work setting gave the part of his brain no time to bubble up his vision for the division.

Into Nature to Discover the Factory of the Future

So, Dave and I drove him into Trabuco Canyon with the “old California” vibe. 

We drove a few more miles from the winding roads leading to Saddleback Mountain to let nature work its miracle.

    • With a video camera on his shoulder, Dave directed Ed to sit down on a boulder next to a meandering creek and gaze out onto the valley below where our division sat off in the distance.  
    • While he picked up some pebbles to toss into the creek at first I prompted him off camera with open ended questions.
    • I told him not to worry about any kind of logic or succinct description, but just to start painting a picture of what he saw. 
    • After a couple hours, Dave softly said cut.  We had enough to take back to the division’s studio to edit hours into minutes.

He wanted to chunk out unneeded steps in the process, break down manufacturing lines into small groups and cross train everyone.  And he wanted to “pull expertise” from engineers who supported the operations to “up skill” the teams.

This wasn’t a startup and it wasn’t met with open arms by the engineers or the factory supervisors or even the manufacturing teams.

Our Loss is Our Gain

Really at the core the biggest obstacle was how the “rank and file” who were used to being told what, when, and how to “do it” couldn’t grasp his unproven vision of doing things in a new way. 

All they knew was they were losing proven processes for scary new ones.

Instead of keeping the line moving faster and faster, even working overtime and on the weekends, Ed borrowed Japanese techniques by introducing just-in-time focused product lines.

We got called in because the old line manufacturing supervisors resisted as hard as they could.  They never allowed the line to shut down even if a newer solution worked, or if a part wasn’t available.  No Peter. No Paul.

We called them curmudgeons. 

    • They couldn’t see how that could work. 
    • They had no experience in their 20 years, except what they were used to doing. 
    • We had to brainwash them. 

And we came to find out they were the most valuable champions for the new way we could find.

Sorta like AA evangelists.

Dave came up with the idea of blocking off the factory floor section, like the construction tarps you can’t see over on a street undergoing a new building construction.  You could hear stuff going on, you couldn’t see it though.

Dave figured out how to get everyone’s attention.  

We Set Up Contests 

We set up Minimum Viable Product demonstrations on the factory floor and challenged the old timers to compete.  When they couldn’t, they knew it was time to trust where he wanted to take us to the future.

One manufacturing line from the old school way competed with the new way. Seeing is believing.  Or experiencing is believing.  And once they converted, we made them Product Line Managers.

A New Home 4 Miles Away

Our marketing people always wanted a mole in manufacturing. As far as I know they never were successful, but as word got out about our “Factory of the Future” advanced manufacturing facility in Rancho Santa Margarita, Ed and his team insisted on a reservations system.

As a good corporate citizen, Ed knew for every potential enterprise-sized customer who accompanied their sales executive, 90% ordered almost immediately. 

    • We couldn’t keep up the pace, if hordes of sales people popped in with a customer’s representative at the beginning of a sales cycle.
    • We, Dave and our communications team, helped in the design of a walk way balcony on the second level with kiosks at different stations which told the story of what each was about.
    • But, you had to reserve a time, which became more scarce as demand picked up.

Up next:  A wild card merger thrown into the mix.

Evidence

“4”  Steve Zahn, 51:Even though you are not, strictly speaking, a newcomer to a situation, going in with a beginner’s mind will increase your luck exponentially. Innocent and unbiased reception allows you to see and absorb more.” Scorpio

Boy, is this ever true when you have just landed a new position which feels like a new beginning and a clean slate.  Only you are actually entering a fully functioning culture with its own norms and rituals.  The sooner you realize it the better off you will be.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“4” Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: “The novice is proud of and wants full recognition for talents and skills. The wise would rather go unlauded, realizing the strategic advantage in being underestimated.” Taurus 

Oh how zen this TauBit is.  I used to be a novice, but agree there’s a strategic advantage to being underestimated.

“5”  Steve Smith, 30: “When change is in the air, you sense it before anyone else. You notice that something feels different before you know exactly what it is. On high alert, you’ll figure it out soon enough.” Gemini

Once you live though a major restructuring while a corporation experiences a series decline, you adopt a healthy paranoia which signals here we go again and here’s what needs to be done.  

“3”  Steve Howey, 42:There is a beautiful new influence coming into your world, one that seems like it would need to be organized for and around, but that is not the case. It doesn’t need to be arranged, only allowed.” Cancer

At this time in the morning, I can’t for the life of me figure out when that will occur, but I can say maybe this is off by one day, because last night was wonderful.

“5”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: Learning takes place in several modalities. You move your body to learn. You talk your subject out, listen on it, write about it. Trying to learn using only one modality is like trying to walk on only one leg.” Leo

Wow, I’ll say.  This pandemic year and the adjustments required strain learning modalities almost on a daily basis.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61:What were the underlying issues that started your journey to change? It may be hard to remember this, but try because it’s worth noting the differences and similarities between then and now.” Virgo

It was a change from a declining organization to what looked like a high technology company from the outside, establishing solutions to a list of problem areas, and then from out of nowhere the call of the unknown was triggered by a surprise merger.

“5”  Steve Aoki, 41: “Rituals are, essentially, habits with a heightened sense of meaning. You have a fantasy about incorporating certain rituals into your life. Start small, by attaching a small action to an already established habit.” Sagittarius

For today, yes.  But more so for what we called peeling away the layers of an onion.  During the merger right after the regulatory quiet period, we were stuck with two onions with very few rituals in common.  Our goal, though was to find where the two cultures began, identify their separate foundational stories and then build a common one for translating elements into a new enterprise.

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:You’re looking out for others. You’ll focus on risk. You’ll dig with excellent questions. What are the unknown unknowns? Which solutions fare better than the alternatives?” Aquarius 

Maybe not for today, but definitely during the task force initiatives for defining and communicating how the merger would play out.

“4”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): You know your values, and you think often about what you really want. But these things change. The shifts are palpable today. Reassess. You will surprise yourself.” Pisces

Is there ever a bad time not to reassess yourself?  Especially during a merger?

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 4906 to 4990.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E94 — Sustained Growth: Slicing Turnover and Grooming Experts

We cut the time in half, identified the regional gurus who made sense out of clunky technology, turned them into trainers and mentors, and switched face-to-face time from classroom to practice session.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King,72:Study past successes and failures for the keys to victory. To skip the research phase of a project is to waste time, as there is no use in repeating what didn’t work before.” Virgo

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 94 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 9th day of August in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E93Who It Takes to Keep Growth at It’s Peak; S2 E92Herding Cats Towards a Tornado; S2 E91How to Master Rapid Growth Without Gifting Your Competitors

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E94Wasn’t There a Movie about the Tau of Steve?; S1 E93Why is it easier to Hate than to Love the other Half?; S1 E92Shh … Secrets Husbands Keep to Ourselves; S1 E91If that, then this … ? The daily double?

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In previous episodes we described Start Up, Emerging Growth, Rapid Growth and Sustained Growth stages.  But, each with the emphasis on how a specific stage provides another better fit opportunity for one or more of 16 Talent Profiles.

110 Analytical Specialists in the Sustained Growth Stage

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Let’s explore what it’s like behind the scenes working in a Sustained Growth company.  We’ll break it down into two parts. 

Part One describes the trials and tribulations working in an electronic distribution company.  Our next episode focuses on the growing pains and challenges of a disk-drive technology company in Part Two. Both in their own unique ways recruited Analytical Specialists to join their talent cultures.

Third Growth Stage for 110 Analytical Specialists

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Part One

12. Director Electronics Distribution Company 

Professionalize to Stabilize 

They were described as a Wild West sales organization in their early days — as in anything goes as long as you get the sale.  

They grew from a local to a regional player during their emerging and rapid growth stages across the Western United States with ambitions to grow nationally and then internationally.

International Aspirations

They ran into complications with the technology required to translate currencies for product ordering.  Instead the acquirer from Europe already had systems in place. 

I seriously misjudged the “technology” component, because I discovered after the first 90-days it was less about innovating and more about sales.

Maturing Business Model 

Sure they valued affiliation and speed, but they really weren’t creating new knowledge in the sense I craved.  

Their business model placed them in the middle of technology manufacturers which needed to extend their sales volume and technology companies which sourced components from manufacturers that would work,  could be trusted, and then could be bought in volume to match expected market explosions.

As a middle player, they needed to “lock up” exclusive franchise agreements with the best known manufacturers while at the same time add to their capabilities with ties to second tier manufacturers which specialized in emerging new technologies.

Keeping a Pulse on Emerging Markets

It took resourceful 105 EEMA Marketing Athletes in technical sales capacities to meet with their customer technology companies (often Paradoxy-Morons) and offer technology support, feasibility assessments and establish sales distribution channels. 

They provided the missing marketing infrastructure working directly with their (potential) customer’s  103 PMCI Commercial Innovators with limited resources.

It was their job to intimately understand new disruptive innovations of their customers and propose how to take them to market in a way that leapfrogs established industry leaders.  Or, they establish new markets.

Pinch Points

The pinch points showed up between inside and outside sales efforts. In isolated sales offices throughout the region inside sales people fielded calls from customers, from their own technical sales people and from clients wanting to know prices, terms, discounts, availability for parts and components.  

The answers remained buried in manufacturers manuals.  And, of course SKUs didn’t match and the technology conversion hadn’t made things better and easier.  In fact inside sales people turned over at an alarming pace.

Consequences of Not Mastering Growth Crises

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

From High Turnover to Time to Mastery

My initial success happened when my team streamlined what had been a two week training conference for all new hires.

Wyle planned to grow in a cutthroat industry.  

When you’re on the hook to orient new internal sales and external sales people, you need to reference how great the opportunity is now and will be or else you experience high turnover rates.  

Which is what they already had.  If you fly in new hires from the field offices, pay for their hotel and food, while they endure the blah blah blah of their new company’s history over the course of two weeks, the costs keep climbing when those new hires figure enough out to say adios.  

But, that wasn’t the half of it.

We cut the time in half, identified the regional gurus who made sense out of clunky technology, turned them into trainers and mentors, and switched face-to-face time from classroom to practice session.

Experts in the Field, But Not at Each Office

We cut down the two week orientation process in half, we put a lot of nice-to-know stuff online, and focused on practice — sales calls, how to use the computer system, where to find tips and tricks, and we identified the best people in the field offices who knew how to get things done.  They taught and they became ongoing mentors.  

It was so successful that we created a problem when people, who had been hired a year ago, said they didn’t know the stuff the rookies had just learned.  And the mentors loved the recognition.

Professionalizing Human Resources with Specialists

The Vice President of Human Resources, my boss,  and I held several meetings once I signed on. He introduced the other HR people in compensation, recruiting and general administration.  He told me about where the regional offices were located.  How the distribution company operated.  

Kind of the typical onboarding stuff you’d expect.  

But not the one key bit of information — the strategy going forward.  I always determine how much leeway I have when I’m brought in to start up another training and organizational development department.

Neither the CEO nor the Chief Operating Officer told him.  They said he didn’t need to know.  Which meant, the whole Human Resources function he headed up was only transactional.

Closely Held Plans

Wyle planned to not only expand from the western region to become a national player, they figured if they represent the Motorolas and the Intels and all the tech manufacturers who need to grow their sale efforts, why not represent them in Europe?  

But two things operating in the background accounted for their top secret strategy.

The first turned out to be sad.  Our CEO suffered from a moderate form of multiple sclerosis and his symptoms started to show.  

The second resulted in attempts to acquire a European distribution company who also exclusively represented the Motorolas and Intels and all the tech manufacturers on their continent.

Instead we were acquired by Rabb Karcher — the European distributor. It boiled down to technology.  Rabb Karcher solved the language problems and the currency problems and operated at a much higher, what I would call organizational intelligence level.  

They mastered all the challenges Wyle hadn’t as they tried to grow nationally.  Rabb Karcher already had and they operated cross-borders.  So they were able to describe a more compelling case to the manufactures that both companies represented.

After the CEO Stepped Down

Karcher did have a much smaller distribution company with limited “manufacturing franchises” in the US.  It was located in San Diego.

The president moved into our Irvine headquarters.  To tell you the truth I thought he was better than the old regime — younger, and he had survived Raab Karcher’s management pressures in the US.  

Oh, and the inside sales and outside sales representatives loved the fact that he came up through the sales organization.

Sales Suffered from Delayed Marketing Communications

Wyle’s marketing function didn’t inform sales of their discounted offerings.  If they did, it was an afterthought.  

Let’s say one of your current or potential customers — an engineering company — operated at an accelerated pace and needed parts like yesterday.

Their purchasing rep gives you a call.  And, they tell you the specifications they need.  Normally, you’d compare potential manufacturers you represent to give them the best deal, then you give them the quote. 

And they tell you that couldn’t be accurate, because they heard you were running a special price that you didn’t know about.

Corporate Communications 

Even before the acquisition in the rapid growth period people in the field felt under trained and out of the loop.

The COO did the “Joe Show” on video and sent it to the regional offices. I brought in crazy creative Dave, from my Unisys days, who had been consulting in corporate communications.  

We expanded the content to include people we asked the offices to identify for the next edition and we highlighted some of the mentors.  So both things reinforced each other.

Recruiting Overlooked Sales Engineers

The joke told internally was “How do you tell who’s an engineer at a party?  They’re the ones looking at their shoes.  How do you tell who’s the sales engineer? They’re looking at your shoes.”

Let me set the scene — we, mostly they, interviewed successful sales engineers and discovered they weren’t the best and brightest of their classes in engineering schools.

So they were overlooked when all the other recruiters came on campus.  

Actually the campaign focused on socially-adept engineering students.  If they were in a fraternity or sorority, that was good.  If they happened to be the rush chair person that was better.  We simply invited them for pizza and beer when the recruiting team hit campus.  The team passed out a comic-graphic filled story about Wyle and why they could shine as a sales engineer.

We learned  they just had to know enough technical jargon to nod and turn the closing back to the sales people.

The graphic comic didn’t sit well with Wyle’s top dogs, and by then I could see the merger writing on the wall.  In fact, I always wished I recorded the announcement from the CEO circulated over group voicemail.

He announced the Rabb Karcher acquisition and his plans to step down, but also insisted it was all in Wyle’s best interests and nobody would be laid off.

Yeah, right.

Next up, Part Two when I describe how the heavy resistance to transitioning to continuous improvement with its emphasis on statistics was a lot tougher sale than I imagined.

Summary        

Growth Stage Key Success Factor Leading to a Crisis New Success Key
Start Up Loosen  Leadership Tighten
Emerging Tighten Functional Loosen
Rapid Loosen  Autonomy Tighten
Sustained Tighten Repetition Loosen

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Evidence

“4”  Steve Zahn, 51:When you are doing it your way, unselfconsciously and unapologetically yourself, you have no competition. No one can be you better than you can be you. Scorpio

I’m pretty sure this is the definition of being in the flow — peak performing as an athlete or musician or in any creative endeavor.

Random ones that make me want change my sign. 

“4”  Steve Howey, 42:You’ll find yourself mentally weaving an alternate version of things. Not all fantasy is escape. Sometimes it’s a creative way of understanding reality.” Cancer

My mind houses a flaw which causes me to search for the pun in what I read and a humorous alternative of what just came out in conversation.

“3”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: The guitarist can’t play with silk gloves on. Friction is what vibrates those strings. Don’t be afraid to dig into life with your nails. This day is waiting for you to give it a rhythm and sound.” Leo

Sure.  Friction and vibration.  Rhythm and sound, hmm … let me incubate for awhile on this TauBit of Wisdom.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King,72:Study past successes and failures for the keys to victory. To skip the research phase of a project is to waste time, as there is no use in repeating what didn’t work before.” Virgo

Here’s my twist — do the 180 degree opposite as you pass through organizational growth transitions. 

“4”  Steve Kerr, 54:You were not born with a serene air of confidence, rather the aura is well-earned through the extensive planning and preparation you do long before the moment of truth is upon you.” Libra

Thanks for noticing.  Every time I scheduled a workshop to teach Executive MBA students, I finalized my materials days ahead of time, and practiced and practiced and practiced at least 5 times.  What I noticed was how easy it became to add nuance and humor throughout my delivery.

“3”  Steve Harvey, 62:People become associated with that of which they speak. You are drawn to intriguing facts, stories of warmth and kindness and descriptions of beauty. No wonder people feel elevated around you.”  Capricorn

Sure, that’s me alright. But during this pandemic can I really stake this claim for today?

“4”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): You’ll absorb some enthusiasm as you find yourself with bright, curious and passionate people. What you may not realize is how much you are rubbing off on them, too, in a very positive way.” Pisces

Maybe not today, but I’m reminded of positions and consulting assignments during which I had to pinch myself, because how wonderful it was to “play” with others.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 4636 to 4733.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E93 — Who It Takes to Keep Growth at It’s Peak

They’re early adopters of “academic” methods, certifications, standards and proven practices for solving complex problems. So, they open the door to more fact-based approaches critical for Sustained Growth.

“5”  Steve Kerr, 54:Most of the people around you now are making assessments within a narrow scope of understanding. Do not fear their disapproval and neither should you thrill to their approval.” Libra

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 93 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 8th day of August in the summer of 2020.  

 

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E92Herding Cats Towards a Tornado; S2 E91How to Master Rapid Growth Without Gifting Your Competitors; S2 E90How Many Road Warriors Does It Take to Fuel Our Growth?

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E93Why is it easier to Hate than to Love the other Half?; S1 E92Shh … Secrets Husbands Keep to Ourselves; S1 E91If that, then this … ? The daily double?; S1 E90Day 90 of My 1-Year Natural Experiment;

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In a previous episode I summarized everything you need to know about four basic organizations to stack the odds in your favor when shopping around for your next job opportunity.  

Organization Type

16 Talent Profiles by Organization Type

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

As a Sustaining-Associates Organization Type, my military experience (in the “3.  US Army — Worse Fit”) thrived with 111 SAAT Agile Tiger Teams and 112 SALS Loyal Survivalists primarily with 110 SAAS Analytical Specialists in administrative and headquarters functions.

The first two private companies (6. Vocational Rehabilitation Services — Worse Fit) that hired me as a specialist had spun out of insurance companies — filled with 112 SALS Loyal Survivalists and 110 SAAS Analytical Specialists.

Four Talent Profiles Attracted to Sustaining-Associate Organizations

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Growth Stage

Neither organizations could primarily be described as being in their Sustained Growth  phase.  If they were, then they’d entice  110 Analytical Specialists to join 111 SAAT Agile Tiger Teams and 112 SALS Loyal Survivalists from the Rapid Growth Stage which would insure all that hard work from Start Up to Emerging Growth to Rapid Growth continues.  

110 Analytical Specialists in the Sustained Growth Stage

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

You may recall, while their degree of orientation to affiliation is medium, they favor high in degrees of improvement (of past innovations) and of mastery.  They bring with them a professional background — usually with certifications, association standards, or specialized degrees.

You may also remember that a worse fit for them is in Paradoxy-Moron organizations with talent cultures that thrive on disruptive innovation, speed and independence.

Third Growth Stage for 110 Analytical Specialists

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

The 110 Analytical Specialists are more loyal to the organization as a whole rather than to a leader or team. They’re eager to take on promotions that require them to specialize.and inject professional traditions into the organization. 

They’re early adopters of “academic” methods, certifications, standards and proven practices for solving complex problems. So, they open the door to more fact-based approaches. 

But there’s a dark side in some cultures, because 110 Analytical Specialists are often seen as internal enemies by 111 Agile Tiger Teams. 

Why?

Rightly or wrongly they’re seen as wanting to take away the people element and the need to address special situations out of the equation for success.

Which we’ll discuss in our next episode.

Evidence

“3”  Steve Zahn, 51:There is nothing wrong with pleasure or pain but living according to what feels good or bad is a precarious way to go. To live by an ideal is to do what it takes to uphold that ideal regardless of how it feels.” Scorpio

Wow, I feel my limited understanding prevents me from grasping the meaning.  

Random ones that make me want change my sign. 

“3”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: “If you’re still making excuses, then it’s time to ask for real: Do you want it, or do you just want to feel like you want it? Happiness will follow your honest answer to this question.” Taurus 

Am I still making excuses?  I can’t think of any today.  But, if I’m later reminded — seems like this is good advice to follow.

“4”  Steve Smith, 30: “People are often kept on a righteous road by the threat of unhappy consequences associated with straying from the path. It’s fine, but not as ideal as choosing a path because it’s where you want to be.” Gemini

I first read this as “… threat of unhappy consequences associated with straying from the past.”  Of course now after reading it three times it makes better sense.  Anything is one of a million paths.  Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; If you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions.” Carlos Canstenda

“4”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: You are like a candle that can light dozens, or even hundreds, more candles, giving them the gift of fire and light without diminishing anything that is yours.” Leo

I receive this with all humility, especially since today this ain’t no TauBit for me and I swiped it before they had a chance to bask in its glory.

“5”  Steve Kerr, 54:Most of the people around you now are making assessments within a narrow scope of understanding. Do not fear their disapproval and neither should you thrill to their approval.” Libra

Look if my MBTI holds any weight, then I’m an introvert on most days — an innie.  And being a 113 Idea Packager aka INTP equates into about the 5% range of commonality.  In other words 95% of introverts don’t share the same orientation to life and work.  Doesn’t represent a narrow scope of understanding of me?

“4”  Steve Aoki, 41:Things will go undiscussed and maybe this is for the best. Words will have a way of reducing an experience. Besides, it is too soon to define and name all that’s going on.” Sagittarius

Now this one is a little eery. Does this mean stop talking to myself and just experience directly?  Feel don’t categorize?  Pure artistic expression?!

“3”  Steve Nash, 45:You question not only your actions but also your interpretation of those actions, and it is in your honest response to this deeper level of inquiry honesty that you will find freedom.” Aquarius 

Wow, I really didn’t see the ending twist … you will find freedom.  I gotta tell you it feels like a case of analysis-paralysis in the set up,  Just not as relevant for me today.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 4516 to 4636.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

 

S2 E92 — Herding Cats Towards a Tornado

It took several types of engineers to work together on a team.  When you had multiple teams going simultaneously you’d run out of certain kinds of engineers, usually at critical stages which caused delays.

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:You’ll amuse yourself like it was your job, and though it’s not, your professional life will benefit anyhow, as it spurs the relaxed frame of mind you need to come up with brilliant ideas that can be widely applied.” Scorpio

Hi and welcome to Friday’s Episode 92 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 7th day of August in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E91How to Master Rapid Growth Without Gifting Your Competitors; S2 E90How Many Road Warriors Does It Take to Fuel Our Growth?; S2 E89Garage Bonking and Chasm Jumping

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E92Shh … Secrets Husbands Keep to Ourselves; S1 E91If that, then this … ? The daily double?; S1 E90Day 90 of My 1-Year Natural Experiment; S1 E89Because If You Don’t Someone Else Will. It’s Worth It!;

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In a previous episode I summarized everything you need to know about four basic organizations to stack the odds in your favor when shopping around for your next job opportunity.  

Emerging to Rapid Growth

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

26. Emerging Desktop Projector Company 

Part One described Proxima’s early navigation from a Start Up to an Emerging Growth stage.  

Today’s Part Two focuses on its path to Rapid Growth.

Growth Stage from Emerging to Rapid

The purpose of the bowling pin model is to approach niche market expansion in as leveraged a way as possible, to bowl toward the tornado. Each niche, you will recall, requires its own whole product to be fully complete before it can adopt the new paradigm. At the same time, it finds it much easier to buy in if vendors can supply references from an ‘adjacent niche,’ one within which it already has established word-of-mouth relationships.” — Geoffrey Moore, “Inside the Tornado”

Three Market Niches Inching Towards the Tornado

    • I represented an obvious market niche — the classroom trainer. It was a tough sale because underfunded human resources and department budgets would dictate the dollars for replacing what they already had with Proxima projectors.  
    • Maybe a tougher sale was to road warriors who had to be convinced to refrain from stuffing their laptops in the overhead bin for what would eventually become an iPhone years later in your pocket and stuff a smaller foot print projector above your Delta seat. 
    • The toughest sale would be to consultants like me who facilitated product development teams of engineers coupled with an intranet represented a third niche.

Talent Culture

We worked in a technology cluster of buildings in a parking lot shared with a super-computer company. Down a hallway, my office was on the right-hand side just past my boss’, the Vice President of Human Resources.  Frank, who was shorter than me with dark receding hair line and a mustache loved inspirational mottos.

He retired from the Navy having largely been influenced by a chain-of-command demanding allegiance to his boss and orders given him. He didn’t have the fast-paced technology experience, although to be fair he was fair and empathetic and believed in all those people development processes and procedures.

Looking back, he probably figured more structure, procedures would only help this technology company while building out his traditional HR department.

I wanted little to do with recruiting — thankfully Ian originally from Great Britain, who disliked my promotion of the principle of “collaboration” preceded my hiring.  It meant betraying your country to the enemy, as in England with Germany in WWII, he teased.

An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

Why his executive recruiter liked my background  which led to my offer.

    • 10 years experience working for Unisys and Fluor in the Mature Growth Stage
    • Including cross-silo adventures in Engineering, Software and Manufacturing, Shipping
    • Traditional Training and Development with an emphasis on applications at work
    • Organizational Development addressing resistance to change
    • TQM, Just-in-time, Continuous Improvement, Reengineering required to master current and future challenges

What attracted me was my vision of where innovation and technology was headed with that adrenalin rush.

    • It appealed to my build-it-from-scratch department bias 
    • An experiment or knowledge laboratory for discovering things on the cutting edge.
    • I tried to avoid classic supervisory classroom training-only. Proxima didn’t have many supervisors anyway.
    • I wanted to consult and facilitate teams, being more fascinated with the software and hardware engineering and research and development opportunities.
    • Each functional area was led by someone in over their heads, but with VP titles
    • Someone could parachute in from a larger company take a quick look around and tell everyone what to do in a 10th of the time an insider could do.
    • Major immune-system reactions — high change, transition management 

3rd CEO  

The newly recruited CEO didn’t have public company experience.  But, he had written book about how to combine US-style with Japanese-style leadership that Frank read and liked.  However, some of us realized later that he didn’t really follow those practices. 

We looked to him for leadership for building capacity to rapidly grow.

His Japanese contacts in the projector business helped us cheat as we sourced a lot of the components in our  projectors when we met our audacious goal of launching 6 new products into market niches in 6 months. 

My boss described him as someone who always “looked through a 40 foot straw.”  

Stuff that should have been on his CEO radar was missed.  

Product Road Map

Internally, I promoted “just-in-time” training bites, instead or “ just in case education” because trainees forgot 50% as they left the classroom,  and more of a focus on knowledge in circulation.  

My timing couldn’t have been better. A small startup named Tegrity showed how you could capture what was projected on a whiteboard during a presentation and bring edited markups back into your presentation.

Accelerating the Work of Engineering Teams  

We’d place the projector connected to a PC on a conference table and present one of their engineered “drawings” on a whiteboard as a slide. 

An engineer would say, “Look at that the metal case footprint — it is too small to include a fan.”  She’d stand up, walk to the whiteboard, draw a circle around the area, make other notations and I’d click the Tegrity button to add it as an updated slide in the “deck.”

We used to say working with engineers was like herding cats.  

    • In meetings they’d wander all over the tangents landscape.  
    • With Tegrity and a projector and a whiteboard you could focus their attention.  
    • With fewer arguments, misunderstandings, or differing frames of references you could progress must faster — which was the mantra — make it faster, lighter, smaller and brighter. 

And It Solved a Major Time-to-Market Problem

It took several types of engineers to work together on a team. 

    • When you had several teams going simultaneously you’d run out of certain kinds of engineers, usually at critical stages which caused delays.  
    • Small companies couldn’t hire and afford to keep all the technical talent it needed.
    • Like the engineers who were in charge of cooling down the projector while increasing the power required to work in a smaller “box.”  
    • They were in short supply.  

Ian would go to tech parking lots in Silicon Valley and intercept potentials before and after work for meetings dazzling them with San Diego.

One product manager came from Apple and most of us thought he walked on water.

So, if they were on Team A, they weren’t available to Teams B and C.  And, if they finally finished one team, they’d kind of roll from Team A to B.  

That’s when the shit would hit the fan.  

Sorry, but that’s when the team that was 75% of the way to their launch realized they messed up, would have to do some serious work around and miss their deadline.

Using Tegrity and an internal Internet we could capture that team’s oversight and correction and share the schematics almost in real time.  

Rapid Knowledge Circulation 

And, as other team members dispersed to join another team, they took the knowledge of that solution with them, showed it to the next team and in a way they cross trained each other.

So they would know when to check out the cooling and venting requirements earlier in their design

When I first experimented with it in a team meeting I got to the third slide the product manager and I made and an engineer called for a time out.  

I thought, oh no, here we go off on a cat-tangent.  

But, instead, she waved her hand between the bottom of the projector and the top of the conference room table and said the heat from this unit will warp the wood finish if we don’t do something about it.

Summary

Adding Two Sustaining-Associate Profiles

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

They develop the tools and manage the process of multiple new product introductions. They have to optimize the availability of internal and external team members — rolling people on and off projects — as the critical path for each product dictates.

That transition from organic free flowing ways of creating a company turned out to be the opposite of what helped them in the second stage.

Consequences of Not Mastering Growth Crises

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Start Up: Loosen — Leadership Crisis — Tighten

Emerging Growth: Tighten — Functional Crisis — Loosen

Rapid Growth: Loosen — Autonomy Crisis — Tighten

 We’re building on each of the 16 talent profiles so they may find a better fit at, not only in a particular Organization Type, but at a stage of growth as well.

Talent Profile Growth Stage Organization Type
101 Breakpoint Inventors Start Up Paradoxy-Morons
103 Commercial Innovators Start Up Paradoxy-Morons
105 Marketing Athletes Start Up Emerging-Entrepreneurs
107 Resilient Product Teams Emerging Growth Emerging-Entrepreneurs
108 Core Business Group Emerging Growth Emerging-Entrepreneurs
111 Agile Tiger Teams Rapid Growth Sustaining-Associates
112 Loyal Survivalists Rapid Growth Sustaining-Associates

Evidence

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:You’ll amuse yourself like it was your job, and though it’s not, your professional life will benefit anyhow, as it spurs the relaxed frame of mind you need to come up with brilliant ideas that can be widely applied.” Scorpio

Who knows if this turns out to be a “5” day after all, but I’d love it if amusing myself was my job.  Oh, wait it was.

Random ones that make me want change my sign. 

“4”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “The point will be just to show up and see what you discover. If you can lower your expectation or, better yet, go in totally without one, you’ll be primed for a stellar day.” Aries  

Maybe not so much for today, but I invested a significant part of my life doing this and I have to say I encountered more stellar days than I ever expected.  I felt I embarked on an adventure of my life.

“4”  Steve Smith, 30: “When you really think about it, you have some beliefs that the people around you might be surprised by. It’s those rarified ideas that will open new thought processes to you and move you in a fulfilling direction.” Gemini

This could be relevant in two ways.  The first is political in the face of not heeding the science when many voters from across the aisle are dying from this pandemic in overcrowded hospitals.  The second could apply to this original research I’m writing up having grown tired of jigsaw puzzles.

“4”  Steve Howey, 42:Those who think they know are at a disadvantage, as their assumptions put up a barrier between themselves and the truth. It’s the ones who understand their own ignorance who will learn the most.” Cancer

True.  But, but not number one for me today.  Although the day is still early, eh?

“3”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): Those who have had happy hearts feel capable of achieving that state again and will take every opportunity to recreate the status. Those who don’t know what’s possible will take longer to come around if they ever do.” Pisces

I have to admit, this I’d be really stretching this TauBit of Wisdom to what happens if you just don’t know what you’re missing in your career.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 4516 to 4636.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E91 — How to Master Rapid Growth Without Gifting Your Competitors

Rapid Growth is the stage when you need to build out your brand.  And it’s the time when you are most vulnerable to high turnover, which translate into major knowledge leakage.  And something your competitors will thank you for later.

Hi and welcome to Thursday’s Episode 91 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 6th day of August in the summer of 2020.  

 

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E90How Many Road Warriors Does It Take to Fuel Our Growth?; S2 E89Garage Bonking and Chasm Jumping; S2 E88Convincing Family, Friends, Fools and Angels

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E91If that, then this … ? The daily double?; S1 E90Day 90 of My 1-Year Natural Experiment; S1 E89Because If You Don’t Someone Else Will. It’s Worth It!; S1 E88Who’s Marc Maron and What’s da Vinci got to do with him?

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In a previous episode I summarized everything you need to know about four basic organizations to stack the odds in your favor when shopping around for your next job opportunity.  

Oh, what disaster to avoid (unlike me) in your next career move. 

Emerging to Rapid Growth

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Just a quick recap.  To bridge the gap between a Start Up to the next stage the venture has to address its Leadership Crisis, or in reality the lack of leadership. The founder is content to grow organically, until, well the company doesn’t grow any more and angel investors may be ready to pull the plug.

To land in Emerging Growth the venture needs to tighten its operations with good old structure.

Stages of Growth

Start Up: Loosen — Leadership Crisis — Tighten

Emerging Growth: Tighten — Functional Crisis — Loosen

Let’s continue by adding to the first five of  16 talent profiles  we’ve covered so far.

Where to Find Best Fit

Talent Profile Growth Stage Organization Type
101 Breakpoint Inventors Start Up Paradoxy-Morons
103 Commercial Innovators Start Up Paradoxy-Morons
105 Marketing Athletes Start Up Emerging-Entrepreneurs
107 Resilient Product Teams Emerging Growth Emerging-Entrepreneurs
108 Core Business Group Emerging Growth Emerging-Entrepreneurs

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Rapid Growth is the stage when you want to build out your brand.  And it’s the time when you are most vulnerable to high turnover.  Which translate into major knowledge leakage.

Rapid Growth: Loosen — Autonomy Crisis — Tighten

Back to that Yin-Yang cycle thingy.  The good news up until now was how we resolved the loosey-goosey lack of leadership crisis during Start Up by tightening and structuring operations in the Emerging Growth stage.

But, too much of one thing, like an overuse of a strength creates the next crisis.  And the prescription for over-tightening is, you guessed it, loosening by delegating and spreading autonomy around during Rapid Growth.

So if you’re building a “sticky” yet competent talent culture, you want to attract two talent profiles from the third of our organizational types — Sustaining-Associates.  If you recall, they are known for a high to medium mix of affiliation, improvement and mastery.

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

111 Agile Tiger Teams thrive on the challenge of doing whatever it takes in high performing teams more than 50% loyal to their team leader.  They cultivate extraordinary teamwork as their core competency by emphasizing knowledge sharing in a culture of reciprocity, trust and community values.

112 Loyal Survivalists apply their skills as a marketer, in effect extending individual product brands into an organization known for multiple brands you can trust.

At the rapid growth stage one major challenge is how to make certain the organization sustains past innovations while renewing itself without losing sight of its core identity.  

Through their day-to-day behaviors they develop a trust mark that keeps bringing in new and long-term customers back again and again.

So let’s update our career options.

Where to Find the Best Cultural Fit

Talent Profile Growth Stage Organization Type
101 Breakpoint Inventors Start Up Paradoxy-Morons
103 Commercial Innovators Start Up Paradoxy-Morons
105 Marketing Athletes Start Up Emerging-Entrepreneurs
107 Resilient Product Teams Emerging Growth Emerging-Entrepreneurs
108 Core Business Group Emerging Growth Emerging-Entrepreneurs
111 Agile Tiger Teams Rapid Growth Sustaining-Associates
112 Loyal Survivalists Rapid Growth Sustaining-Associates

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

But, wait there’s still more … nine more to be exact.  

Evidence

Move along, nothing to see here. For the first time, no relevant TauBits of Wisdom for today.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 4516 to 4636.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S3 E42 — Greta, Juliette and the Partridge Family at Trestles

Virginia Heffernan evokes the “Gen-X Generation” in her column about how the current baby bust — couples not doing their duty to their ancestors — and probably exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic isolation, will produce another overlooked generation in the grand scheme of things.

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:Knowing that someone will only remember two or three things you talk about, you pick the most important topics and find an artful and memorable way to put those ideas across.  Aquarius

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 42 in Season 3 of  My Paradoxically Normal Year” on this 8th day of May in the spring of 2021 — which is a three-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic year and then in the pandemic year, and now months after.

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Table of Contents

Previously from Season Three, the Paradoxically Normal Year

S3 E41What’s Up with Telluride or Humboldt County or Bodega Bay?; S3 E40How Stealing Your Sign Led Me to a Nobel Prize; S3 E39Ready for Your Big Leap Forward?

Related from Season Two, The Pandemic Year

S2 E42It Was Short and Sweet, but Heart-Felt; S2 E41A Pandemic End to Real Estate and Consulting?; S2 E40The Profound Impact of the Pandemic on Nouns; S2 E39The Best Tau for the Pandemic Year, Don’t You Agree?

Related from Season One, The Normal Year

S1 E42Love on the Run; S1 E41The Dream Was Over, Long Live the Dream; S1 E40Nothing to See Here, Keep Moving On; S1 E39What’s Up with Facebook?

Context

First, the public service announcement — while it may be too late for flowers, don’t forget to call your mother tomorrow.  

Is there a theme for today?  

Virginia Heffernan evokes the “Gen-X Generation” in her column about how the current baby bust — couples not doing their duty to their ancestors — and probably exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic isolation, will produce another overlooked generation in the grand scheme of things.  

But, who can blame them?  

Unless you believe card carrying Baby Boomer Bill Gates has planted chips in COVID-19 arms and single-handedly smeared the fossil fuels industry you might empathize with the teenagers — older than the unborn (in the even grander, Karma kind of scheme) — and agree with their Gen-Z spokesperson, Greta from Finland in her streaming series, ”Greta Thunberg – A Year To Change The World.” 

In a rare moment after visiting with coal miners who actually applaud her message — yes, that’s right — you see a candid Greta when she shares how deflated she feels, like a powerless little girl, compared to Trump’s grade-school bullying before and after they co-headlined a conference of international leaders.

Yet she’s the one acting like the only adult in the room.

Her generation, she reminds us, will still be here when the Baby Boomers are extinct, having done nothing in this critical moment,  leaving them on the wrong side of planetary history, and judged harshly in the future for their inaction.

And finally, Juliette Paskowitz the “beatnik matriarch” of San Onofre surf camp clan dies in a care facility at age 89 in nearby San Clemente, California. From her obituary by Steve Marble in the LA Times:

Juliette Paskowitz and her husband embraced a Jack Kerouac lifestyle: boundless, free-spirited, going where the road took them — most often in the direction of the beach. It was the life any kid could only dream of, bounding across the country in an overstuffed camper — from San Clemente to Pensacola to the shoreline of Venezuela, always searching for the perfect wave. 

With Dorian Paskowitz at the wheel, nine kids jammed in the back and Juliette riding shotgun, the family finally parked the rig on the sand in San Onofre, opened a surf camp and spent their days riding the glassy curls, playing in the whitewash and chasing one another from lifeguard tower to lifeguard tower. 

“If ‘Nomadland’ was a 2, we were at a 10 as far as sheer adventure, uncertainty, homelessness and never knowing what the next day might bring,” said Israel “Izzy” Paskowitz, the fourth-oldest child in the clan. 

“It was wonderful.” Juliette Paskowitz, the matriarch who held “the first family of surfing” all together, often singing arias while listening to opera on a small transistor radio in the camper…. 

Dorian preached the rewards of surfing so relentlessly that it caught the attention of sportswear designer Tommy Hilfiger, who applied the family name to his line. 

A record label, perhaps thinking they’d found the sun-bleached version of “The Partridge Family,” invited the family to cut a record. A filmmaker made a 2008 documentary on the family titled “Surfwise.”

A theme?

Evidence

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Huh? Liberation.  Getting your habits to march along like ducklings following their mother, all in a row? Interesting.  But, it ain’t my birthday.

Today’s Holiday Birthday: 

There’s a liberation taking place. A year from now, you’ll look back and celebrate this moment when you cease to needlessly judge yourself. You’ll opt for new ways of pulling your habits into line. You’ll enjoy what you create because you dared to go in a new direction. Work leads to new interests; new interests pay you.

Knowing when to examine and when to let it go, is that right, Stevie?

“3”  Steve Smith, 30, Stevie Nicks, 72: “A few people will make an initial decision and many others will uncritically accept it. You, however, will push pause and do your own evaluation. You can’t personally examine everything, but this is within your realm.” Gemini

Haha, you two comedians break me up.  And you, Woz seriously your Holiday Tau feels like how you persisted along with that other Steve to build it before knowing they would come, eh?

“4”  Steve Carell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: “Your wisdom shines through your choice of what to get involved with and when. Trust those initial prescient instincts, even when (especially when!) you can’t reason them out.” Leo

How is it that your Holiday Tau feels a cut above the TauBits offered by the other Steves today?  I’m thanking you for you more practical take.

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:Knowing that someone will only remember two or three things you talk about, you pick the most important topics and find an artful and memorable way to put those ideas across.  Aquarius

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @KnowLabs suite of 36 digital magazines jumps from 8003 to 8088 organically grown followers

Foresight

 Quality-of-Life   

Long-Form

    • “Future Shock” by Alvin Toffler, a classic I feel which still holds up. As the pace of change quickens we experience self-doubt, anxiety and fear.  We become tense and tire easily, until we are overwhelmed, face-to-face with a crisis situation. Without a clear grasp of relevant reality or beginning with clearly defined values and priorities, we feel a deepening sense of confusion and uncertainty. Our intellectual bewilderment leads to disorientation at the level of personal values. Decision stress results from acceleration, novelty and diversity conflicts. Acceleration pressures us to make quick decisions. Novelty increases the difficulty and length of time while diversity intensifies the anxiety with an increase in the number of options and the amount of information needed to process.  The result is a slower reaction time.
    • Daniel Kahneman’s, “Thinking Fast and Slow”describes two different ways the brain forms thoughts: “System 1” which is meant as a fictional shorthand — not as a brain system or structure: Fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, unconscious. “System 2”: Slow, effortful, infrequent, logical, calculating, conscious. I’m learning a lot about my energy levels first described from within an introversion frame now, from within differences between System 1 and the harder working, energy depletion System 2.  Self-control, for instance is hard and takes a lot of energy to accomplish.  When I write the concentration requires effort until I can find the “flow.” Implications for True Belief — it’s easy to stay in System 1 vs. critical thinking — System 2.  Set some marketing and working on the business goals — System 2 and then ignore them by following the lateral thinking and associative thinking  which Leo da V invites me to do — System 1.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trips

S3 E39 — Ready for Your Big Leap Forward? 

This morning my knee weather is tight, with a chance of pain, but dull achy in my left hip bone, feeling like a COVID vaccine site, with a slight chance of improving if I wear a sleeve.

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: “It appears that someone took a big leap forward, when, in fact, this was just a series of small but consistent steps over time — doable for anyone with the tenacity. You are most certainly in the category.  Taurus

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 39 in Season 3 of  My Paradoxically Normal Year” on this 2nd day of May in the spring of 2021 — which is a three-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic year and then in the pandemic year, and now months after.

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Table of Contents

Previously from Season Three, the Paradoxically Normal Year

S3 E38Sliding on a Super Slippery Slope to 2nd or 3rd Cousins; S3 E37Tell Me More Lies I Can Believe In; S3 E36Placebo, Meaningful Coincidence or Just Feeling Lucky

Related from Season Two, The Pandemic Year

S2 E39The Best Tau for the Pandemic Year, Don’t You Agree?; S2 E38What Should You Do If You Stumble Across Loaded Information?; S2 E37How Deep is the Chasm? What Do We Do?; S2 E36Turning Lemons into Margaritas

Related from Season One, The Normal Year

S1 E39What’s Up with Facebook?; S1 E38Day 38 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E37Day 37 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E36Day 36 of My 1-Year Experiment

Context

You know when you sprain your ankle sometimes you can walk it off?  And then later when you sit down for any extended period of time the pain sets in with the swelling and stiffness?  

Really?  

Thank your lucky stars, then.  Well, Saturday was that day.  Only I tripped over  a 6 inch sprinkler next to a fading green telephone utility cylinder which brought me unexpectedly to my knees. 

They hyperextended buckling under me until in the same motion I rolled on the cement edge of our driveway.  Luckily releasing the mower handle’s squeeze bar automatically shut it off so I didn’t have to use my feet to push against the mower rolling towards me.  

Ouch. I struggled to stand.  Once I assured myself with Emma the Baroness’ help that I could walk some of it off I hobbled over to our garage and sat in a tan plastic molded chair, rested, drank an energy drink and calculated I’d better walk it off like a sprain.  

I did. 

I finished mowing the lawn. Like an ankle sprain, the swelling ache with occasional sharp pain here and there took over for the rest of the afternoon and into my dreams last night. 

This morning my knee weather is tight, with a chance of pain, but dull achy in my left hip bone, feeling like a COVID vaccine site, with a slight chance of improving if I wear a sleeve.

P.S. The grass looks fabulous. 

Evidence

Will rest and pain pills and positive thinking take me through the upcoming week?  What’s the forecast?

Holiday Forecast for the Week Ahead: 

People cannot talk themselves into happiness, and people who demand smiles from others are unlikely to get real ones. Why? Because feelings speak their own language, a tongue as complex and nuanced as it is raw and verbless. 

Even those who exist inside a feeling state are often at a loss as to the particulars of its communication, let alone how to recreate it. Even though emotions seem to defy spoken command, they are not impossible to conjure. ‘I have’ and an accompanying misconception that possessions are the key to emotional satisfaction. 

The theory has remarkable resilience. No matter how many times it’s disproved, the desire to acquire never seems to abate. But at least our quest to own things tunes us in to our senses and gives us an appreciation for the material world that often ends up aiding our journey to a feeling. While owning things, claiming people or chasing the material cannot create an emotion, the quest makes us aware of how we join the moment. Appreciation, wonder, criticism, frustration, joy and other feelings are conjured not by life but by our choice of response to life.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Yeah, right.  Funny you mention “lend a leg up,” right?  But not to worry.  As you know, this ain’t really my birthday.  I hope it is yours and you find relief from self-regulation.

Today’s Holiday Birthday: 

Your love-hate relationship with self-regulation is about to change into all love. You’ll get into the swing of treating yourself so sweetly and nudging, nay, seducing yourself into the habits that give you the life and look you want. You’ll leverage social vibes skillfully; relationships lend a leg up in the professional world and vice versa.

Boy, for two singers and a comedian your Holiday Tau is especially mean.  I’ve been working with my physical therapist on my left knee to straighten it out, rebuild my muscles around it and master my balance.  So don’t give me “someone took a big leap forward.”  That was probably your idea, right Colbert?

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: “It appears that someone took a big leap forward, when, in fact, this was just a series of small but consistent steps over time — doable for anyone with the tenacity. You are most certainly in the category.  Taurus

What is it about today?  Oh, right two more comedians.  I don’t appreciate your Holiday Tau emphasizing “a break and a distraction” as a benefit.  Luckily it wasn’t a break, more like a hyperextension in both knees.  As far as a distraction, “Emma the Baroness, will you bring me another pain pill, please darling?”

“4”  Steve Carell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: “Once your heart sets a quest in motion, it’s pretty difficult to stop the search. However, since things often show up when you’re not looking for them, you’ll benefit from a break and a distraction.” Leo

At least your Holiday Tau feels a little more reality-based, except for your first part, G&G.  We’d been working on my balance issues, my physical therapist and me (or I?), and you can’t not take chances even though they involve stomach-churning risk, right?  

“3”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61:You’re open to the magical, wonderful happenings, but you’re also aware of the stomach-churning risks involved. One won’t happen without the other, and most likely, the risk comes first.” Virgo

Oh, okay.  First I didn’t expect today’s Holiday Tau to come from someone like you.  And second, being laid up on the couch made me appreciate Emma the Baroness’ interior design talent.  But, pain trumps all else in my internal environment.

“4”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): “Your internal environment is worth addressing since it’s the temperature and lighting scheme you live in all day. Give intentional thought to what would make you feel more comfortable.” Pisces

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @KnowLabs suite of digital magazines jumps from 8003 to 8088 organically grown followers

Foresight

Quality-of-Life  

Long-Form

    • I enjoy any of the Harry Bosch detective books in the series authored by Michael Connelly.  “A Darkness More Than Night,” described “A strange constricting feeling filled his gut. He didn’t believe in coincidences… (It) was a coincidence that even a believer in coincidence would have a difficult time accepting.”So much for detectives, tying up loose ends, relying on their hunches and reordering data, information and witness first hand accounts. 
    • Or, in “Black Box,” Connelly’s latest Harry Bosch adventure he writes, “But Bosch stayed positive.  He’d gotten lucky with Pistol Pete and the serial number.  There was no reason to think it wouldn’t hold.”  Of course, Harry had a run in with his newer Lieutenant a page or two later … “So much for his luck holding… he felt that more than his luck suddenly ebbing away.  His momentum and positive attitude were eroding. It suddenly felt like it was getting dark out.” 
    • “Future Shock” by Alvin Toffler, a classic I feel which still holds up. As the pace of change quickens we experience self-doubt, anxiety and fear.  We become tense and tire easily, until we are overwhelmed, face-to-face with a crisis situation. Without a clear grasp of relevant reality or beginning with clearly defined values and priorities, we feel a deepening sense of confusion and uncertainty. Our intellectual bewilderment leads to disorientation at the level of personal values. Decision stress results from acceleration, novelty and diversity conflicts. Acceleration pressures us to make quick decisions. Novelty increases the difficulty and length of time while diversity intensifies the anxiety with an increase in the number of options and the amount of information needed to process.  The result is a slower reaction time.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trips

S2 E78 — What Do Paradoxy-Morons Want and Need?

Welcome to the pressure-packed nearly no-win world of 103 PMCI Commercial Innovators.  What’s more important — driving revenue or scheduling yet another series of non-productive meetings?

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:When you say what you need to say but no one seems to be listening, take it as a signal to repeat. Many people will not even begin to understand until you’ve said it seven times.” Scorpio

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 78 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 12th day of July in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E77 10 Years of Field Research for Better or WorseS2 E76 — Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Paradoxy-Moron?; S2 E75   Guinea Pig Projections

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E78Drag Me to Obsolescence, Clear the Way to the Future: S1 E77Why This Caper Is Breaking My Mind; S1 E76“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”; S1 E75Dreams and Schemes and Workarounds

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In our last episode we began breaking out talent profiles for each of the 4 Organization Types starting with Paradoxy-Morons. 

At first I couldn’t figure out how I could contribute most to each Paradoxy-Moron-like company for which I worked or later advised. 

But, of course over time patterns emerged. 

Take for instance …

23.  Organizational Development – Technology

Working for a 101 PMBI Breakpoint Inventor was right up my alley.  Ed, the General Manager of a technology division in Southern California had a vision for advanced manufacturing in the future.  He subscribed to the “lets-use-our-own-technology” to see what it makes us become.  

He wanted to chunk out unneeded steps in the process, break down manufacturing lines into small groups and cross train everyone.  And he wanted to “pull expertise” from engineers who supported the operations to “upskill” the teams.

This wasn’t a startup.  It wasn’t met with open arms by the engineers or the factory supervisors or even the manufacturing teams.

Really at the core the biggest obstacle was how the “rank and file” used to being told what, when, and how to “do it” couldn’t grasp his unproven vision of doing things in a new way.  So our role was to help Ed communicate in more tangible ways what his vision was so people could begin to participate. 

We set up Minimum Viable Product demonstrations on the factory floor and challenged the old timers to compete.  When they couldn’t they knew it was time to trust where he wanted to take us to the future.

Climate for Innovation — that’s the theme my team got three local leaders of manufacturing, software engineering and firmware engineering to sponsor in the California division of an east-coast headquartered company.

They were on the hook to finish products on their roadmaps, but to figure out ways to shrink development time before their competitors did. 

We scheduled a communications program that interviewed each leader and gave them an opportunity to describe what was important to their group and how each of the other groups fit together.  

It wasn’t technology or talent as much as it was product team formation, storming, norming and performing that sped progress on the relentless time to market. 

By sailing to Catalina, holing up in a local hotel and hashing product roadmaps teams were literally able to think out of the box away from the mainland and return to their work with a fresh perspective.

If anyone is going to render our technology obsolete, so Paradoxy-Morons believe it better be us.  It’s only a matter of time — faster than they or you may think — before someone else develops the next generation

Easier said than done, but how do you stay one or two steps ahead of the technology and competition?

You enlist an intrepreneurial network of 104 PMRDE R&D Experimenters (people closest to the products) for matching ideas and developing new concepts, for  finding like-minded co-conspirators and influencing decision-makers with budget to invest.

It’s not always about exploring what’s “out there” as it relentlessly pursuing was to re-engineer and leapfrog their own products.  If anyone is going to render our technology obsolete, it better be us.

It’s only a matter of time — faster than they or you may think — before someone else develops the next generation.

Sometimes you literally need to remove yourselves from the internal politics and status quo, like across the street with fewer resources as in a startup to meet your goal of bringing in a much smaller footprint to huge computer, that was faster and easier to program

What makes Paradoxy-Morons tick? Faster, better,  brighter,  smaller, cheaper. 

What are their unique challenges? Willingly and frequently jumping out your habitual ways, accelerating teams to keep pace with the time-to-market demands, and then soaking up “proprietary” processes converting them into best practices and circulating them to whomever needs them as they need them.

25Director Continuous Improvement 

When engineering companies place a premium on time-to-market for handing out bonuses to their product managers, those manager want to pick their own exceptional players they can trust, and shield them from unnecessary activities like attending an endless seeming stream of meeting.

Welcome to the pressure-packed nearly no-win world of 103 PMCI Commercial Innovators.  What’s more important — driving revenue or scheduling yet another series of non-productive meetings? And what’s wrong with flying by the seat of our pants and doing whatever it took to meet new time-to-market product introductions?

26Emerging Desktop Projector Company —

With 200 roughly employees generating revenues of roughly 200 million dollars. Not enough time.  Spread too thin.  Unforeseen obstacles.

Not only isn’t there enough time, but as a 103 PMCI Commercial Innovator when you begin your new product, you only have a smaller set of engineering and technical people at your disposal,  No-one remains idle.  The “good ones” aren’t available until they complete  their current assignments.  If something delays their product launch, your  own kickoff with a full team is in jeopardy.  

103 PMCI Commercial Innovators worked with me to facilitate their teams using their product (multimedia projectors) but in a reverse engineered way.  Instead of lecturing or teaching from a laptop, we connected one to Tegritys’ whiteboard system on the company’s intranet.  Instead of projecting we were co-creating PowerPoint-like output.  We were able to share drawings, schematics, intentions and changes in near realtime and as a “place” for each person who missed a key part — traveling, still on a product-delayed team — and catch up quickly.

104 PMRDE R&D Experimenter and 102 PMTL Thought Leaders collaborated with a small group researching how lasers could project images over great distances hoping for a breakthrough.  A San Diego University’s foundational research partner shared the cost and provided needed resources to launch a minimum viable product as a proof of concept for commercialization.

Summary

What makes Paradoxy-Morons tick?

They notice how limited the traditional, status quo solves the really complex problems and challenges

Disrupting. 

A fast-paced, innovative culture that attracts and retains the best of the best. 

Motto?

“It’s better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.”

What are their unique challenges? 

      • They champion paradigms based on new science discoveries.
      • Once is not enough. From one world beater to several again an again
      • Finding commercial applications of disruptive innovation in the form of new product categories — which haven’t been proven until flawed prototypes and buggy technology work themselves out

What are the takeaways?  

Innovations have to come faster.  Concurrent overlapping talent demands.

In the start up stage they are capable of anticipating something new and act decisively to establish a new market, industry, technology or a new scientific discipline.

Next up Emerging-Entrepreneurs.

Evidence

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:When you say what you need to say but no one seems to be listening, take it as a signal to repeat. Many people will not even begin to understand until you’ve said it seven times.” Scorpio

If you find yourself attracted to 105 EEMA Marketing Athletes, you’ll already know about how nothing happens in a marketing and sales effort until roughly the 7th contact.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“3”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “You know who you are and you tell the world today, mostly by how you move around in it, what you say and the feeling you bring to interactions.”  Aries

OK, so I do know who I am, but in today’s world I gotta tell you there isn’t a whole lot of maskless interactions going on in my daily life.  My message?  Wear your mask or get out of my space. Haha

“4”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: You’re not trying to do a job. You’re trying to turn a job into art. This is why you’ll put more thought into your task than the others do, and this is why you’ll get better results.” Leo

Well, let me stipulate I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I don’t need a job, but I do have a lot of left over “art” from earlier careers to keep me busy.

“3”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:You root for the underdog before you even realize how the odds are stacked. It’s because you see merit where others do not, and you’ll be correct in this too. Your cheerleading will make a difference.” Virgo

While this is true, I’m always amazed that my team can measure up to that team which seems to be flawless compared to mine.  And, at work during my careers, I did side with the underdog, the employees called associates, when it came to maneuvering through their organizations.

“4”  Steve Aoki, 41: The effort you make doesn’t always directly correlate with the results you get, which is what makes today mighty fine. You’ll be able to see how you’re making a difference in real-time.” Sagittarius

So either I’m lazy or I’m barking up the wrong tree.  Squirrel, woof, woof …

“4”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): You’ll engage your life honestly, at least in your head. This is the start of all clarity. The day will bring you many gifts as you move toward your own excuses and faults with love.” Pisces

Wow.  The first two sentences made me grab this TauBit early in the day.  It promised so much, until it lost me in the last two words.

Holiday Forecast for the Week Ahead:  

The battle to change is challenging enough when it’s you you’re trying change, but when it’s someone else, it’s not only hard, it’s also probably futile, possibly selfish and likely impossible. 

Of course, all around us transformations are occurring without mental effort, intention or any willpower at all. 

Tides go out and in and out again. Planets travel; naiads become dragonflies; babies learn to stand and sing and leap. 

When you quiet your mind, breathe easy and do very little of anything at all, you align yourself with the ever-changing nature of nature.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 4341 to 4397.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E77 — 10 Years of Field Research for Better or Worse

In my nearly 10 years of field research I noticed something I should point out.  Let’s take the first, Paradoxy-Moron Organization Type.  Its four talent profiles share variations of higher to medium degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed.

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: You’re so brilliantly inventive now that leaving things in the idea stage, or even in the discussion stage would be a crime. Follow through. Bring things into being.” Taurus

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 77 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 11th day of July in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E76 — Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Paradoxy-Moron?; S2 E75   Guinea Pig Projections; S2 E74Summing Up Your Situation in an Intensely Psychological Game

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E77Why This Caper Is Breaking My Mind; S1 E76“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”; S1 E75Dreams and Schemes and Workarounds ; S1 E74You Know What To Do, Yeah Right!

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

So, the purpose of a scenario exercise is to differentiate among at least four alternatives with easily identified distinctions.  

In our previous episode  the HR Executive team identified organizational talent culture scenarios that describe four different types of work arrangements: “Paradoxy-Morons,” “Emerging-Entrepreneurs,” “Sustaining-Associates” and “Systematic-Professionals.” 

Which is best for you?

Before you answer, let’s drill down into each of those organizational talent cultures.

In my nearly 10 years of field research I noticed something I should point out.  Not everyone who fits a “talent profile” in any of the four, what I am now calling, Organization Types, shares the same higher degree of the three dimensions which shape that organization.  

Let’s take the first, Paradoxy-Moron Organization Type.  

Its four talent profiles share variations of higher to medium degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed.

In the upper left hand corner, you’ll notice the intersection of higher disruption, independence and speed.  We’re calling that talent profile 101 PMBI (Paradoxy-Moron Breakpoint Inventors).

Next in numerical sequence to the right of 101 PMBI you find 102 PMTL  (Paradoxy-Moron Thought Leaders).  Thought Leaders share the need for high degrees of independence, but only medium degrees of speed and disruptive innovation.

103 PMCI (Paradoxy-Moron Commercial Innovators) share high degrees of disruptive innovation and speed with Breakpoint Inventors (found right above them in the graphic), but only a medium degree of independence.

Next in sequence, on the bottom and to the right of Commercial Innovators you find 104 PMRDE (Paradoxy-Moron R&D Experimenters).  They only require medium degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed.  

Each of these talent profiles represent better fits in a Paradoxy-Moron organization for anyone who may be:

    • 101 PMBI Breakpoint Inventors
    • 102 PMTL Thought Leaders
    • 103 PMCI Commercial Innovators
    • 104 R&D Experimenters

Can you guess which Organization Type would probably be a worse fit for these four Paradoxy-Moron talent profiles?

In most cases, pick the “opposite” Organization Type, for example “red” Paradoxy-Morons suffer if they choose to work for “tan” Sustaining-Associates.

Next up, we’ll revisit my list of 33 jobs sorted into worse fits and better fits first, then sorted according to higher degrees of independence and speed and for affiliation and mastery.

Now we’ll sort those lists to a smaller list still of Paradoxy-Moron organizations and clients favoring higher degrees of disruptive innovation, independent identities and accelerated pace dictated by the speed of their markets and industry to see what made them tick.

And, finally we’ll continue in a counter clockwise sequence and dive a little deeper into “green” Emerging-Entrepreneurs Organization Type.  

If we’re on the same wave-length you’ll imagine that its four Talent Profiles will select it if they’re looking for a better fit while avoiding its opposite, the “blue” Systematic-Professionals.

Until then let’s shift gears and see if any of the Holiday Tau feels relevant today.

Evidence

“4”  Steve Zahn, 51:At the heart of love is acts of forgiveness. How many times should you forgive a person? How many times should you forgive yourself? If the love is unconditional, the forgiveness is endless.” Scorpio

Scorpios harbor grudges and seek revenge.  “Beware of the Scorpio sting”  But, both Emma the Baroness and I share the Scorpio sign.  But at the heart of our love is forgiveness, right?

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: You’re so brilliantly inventive now that leaving things in the idea stage, or even in the discussion stage would be a crime. Follow through. Bring things into being.” Taurus 

Oh sure, just as I was about to switch passion projects along comes this.  My struggle lies in the graphics and the tables rendition of my field research and theory.  

“5”  Steve Smith, 30: You used to think that once a certain problem got solved, you would coast on easy street for a while. Alas, there will always be new obstacles, so it’s important that you make each day fun for yourself in some way.” Gemini

Especially when it comes to fitness and being in shape.  As you age the aches and pains add up.  Why can’t I have fun and coast on easy street for a while?

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 4231 to 4341.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S4 E29 — How Much Mo Did He Pay for the Brooklyn Bridge?

What was it my mother always asked me when I told her Billy did it too?  “If they all jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, should you?” I always said sure!  What she should have said was, “If you believe that, then I’ve got a bridge to sell you.”  She didn’t even know Mo Brooks, thank goodness.

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: “Being in the midst of change can feel painful and difficult. On the other hand, having changed feels like life-affirming vitality — something to keep in mind as you’re slogging it out to get to the other side.” Taurus

Hi and welcome to Thursday’s 29th Episode in Season 4 of  Our Disruptively Resilient Year” on this 21st day of April in the spring of 2022.

We concluded the three-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed — during the “normal” pre-pandemic year compared to the pandemic year, and more recently to the paradoxically normal year. 

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season Four continues now within domestic and global chaos.

Previously in Season Four, The Disruptively Resilient Year

S4 E28 — Why Do Those Who Know the Least Talk the Longest?; S4 E27Who Cares If It’s The Right Thing To Do Anymore?; S4 E26What Happens If No One Asks a Question?

Related from Season Three, the Paradoxically Normal Year

S3 E29Why 83.3% of the Time I Swiped Your Tau; S3 E28Why I Stole Your Daily Horoscope for a Year; S3 E27What the World Needs Now Before It’s Too Late; S3 E26Following Alice Down the Rabbit Hole

Related from Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E29Three Months That Changed the World; S2 E28Hosting Norwegian Zooms While Trump Eliminated the Virus in April; S2 E27Why I Have to Keep Leo da V on a Leash and So Should You; S2 E26Rethinking the N-Word

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E29Day 29 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E28Day 28 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E27Day 27 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E26Day 26  of My 1-Year Experiment

Context

After Joe Biden was projected the winner of the 2020 presidential election, House of Representatives Mo Brooks staunchly defended Trump and repeated claims of voter fraud. 

According to published reports summarized in Wikipedia:

    • Brooks argued that most mail-in voting was unconstitutional, and 
    • That “if only lawful votes by eligible American citizens were cast, Donald Trump won the Electoral College by a significant margin”, but 
    • His assertions that the election was stolen by extraordinary voter fraud and election theft measures were unsupported by evidence.

Ever the foot soldier for Trump, on December 10, 2020, Brooks was 

One of 126 Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election. — Wikipedia 

What was it my mother always asked me when I told her Billy did it too?  “If they all jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, should you too?”

What she should have said was, “If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge I can sell you.”

Even stacked with conservatives, The Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

Basically they were asking WTF?  Everyone knows one state can’t challenge another state’s election results.

But, go figure.  

Anything goes in Texas, so why not?  Even though most of the sponsors for the brief were attorneys by former profession and could predict the outcome since the official ruling was they lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.

So it couldn’t have been just that, right?  Something else was going on.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement that called signing the amicus brief an act of election subversion. 

She also reprimanded Brooks and the other House members who supported the lawsuit: 

“The 126 Republican Members that signed onto this lawsuit brought dishonor to the House. Instead of upholding their oath to support and defend the Constitution, they chose to subvert the Constitution and undermine public trust in our sacred democratic institutions”.— Wikipedia

2021 Attack on the Capitol

Well, let’s take matters into our own hands. Brooks was the first member of Congress to announce his objection to the January 6, 2021, certification of the Electoral College results.

But, let’s not jump off the bridge (let someone else) instead let’s sell them a bridge.  

In December he organized a series of White House meetings between Trump and a dozen Republican lawmakers to strategize about how to overturn the election results on January 6. — Wikipedia

First one again.

On January 6th you might remember from streaming coverage, Mo was the first speaker at a pro-Trump rally. 

In the speech he harshly criticized other Republicans in Congress for not aiding him in his efforts to overturn the election and said, 

“Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass”.— Wikipedia

So what else is new?

At the rally Trump gave an hourlong speech claiming that the election had been stolen and urging people to go to the U.S. Capitol to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard” — Wikipedia 

Trump called for his supporters to “walk down to the Capitol” to “cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them.” 

According to streaming video footage and  Wikipedia’s cited sources:

    • He told the crowd that he would be with them, but he ultimately did not go to the Capitol. As to counting Biden’s electoral votes, Trump said, “We can’t let that happen” and suggested Biden would be an “illegitimate president”. 
    • Referring to the day of the elections, Trump said, “most people would stand there at 9:00 in the evening and say, ‘I want to thank you very much,’ and they go off to some other life, but I said, ‘Something’s wrong here. Something’s really wrong. [It] can’t have happened.’ And we fight. 
    • We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore”.
    • He said the protesters would be “going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give [Republicans] the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country”.
    • Trump also said, “you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong. 
    • We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated”.
    • Starting at 11:58, from behind a bulletproof shield, President Trump gave a speech, declaring that he would “never concede” the election, criticized the media, and called for Pence to overturn the election results, something outside Pence’s constitutional power.
    • His speech contained many falsehoods and misrepresentations that inflamed the crowd. 
    • Trump did not overtly call on his supporters to use violence or enter the Capitol, but his speech was filled with violent imagery and Trump suggested that his supporters had the power to prevent Biden from taking office. 

According to Wikipedia, the same afternoon, Pence released a letter to Congress in which he said he could not challenge Biden’s victory.

    • Later that night, Congress reassembled to certify the Electoral College vote; Brooks raised an objection to Nevada’s votes, but it did not succeed because no senator joined him in objecting.
    • Despite cheering on the riot as it happened, Brooks later said the rioters were associated with Antifa, citing a Washington Times report that was later retracted.

On January 11, District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine said that he was looking at whether to charge Brooks, along with Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump Jr., with inciting the violent attack.

Not quite two months later on March 5, 2021, Representative Eric Swalwell filed a civil lawsuit against Brooks and three others (Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Rudy Giuliani), seeking damages for their alleged role in inciting the riot.

    • Brooks tried to claim immunity on the basis that he had given the speech on January 6 in his capacity as a federal employee, but the Justice Department said the speech was not part of his duties as a member of Congress.
    • In a sworn affidavit, Brooks stated that his fiery language in the speech was about the 2022 and 2024 elections. 
    • On March 9, 2022, a federal judge dismissed Swalwell’s lawsuit, saying that Brooks’s speech was protected by the First Amendment.

2022 Senate campaign — Mo Brooks switching from the House

On March 22, 2021, according to Wikipedia Brooks announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Richard Shelby in 2022. 

    • He positioned himself as a staunch ally of Trump, 
    • Repeated Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was stolen, and 
    • Alleged that socialists were taking over the government.

Trump rewarded Brooks loyalty by endorsing him in April 2021, but later rescinded his endorsement in March 2022.

Brooks ascribed that to Brooks having refused to work to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election.

    • In March 2022, one year into Biden’s term, Brooks acknowledged that “the law doesn’t permit” him, as a congressperson, to work to remove Biden and install Trump. 
    • Anyone telling Trump that there are such “mechanisms” for replacing a president, he said, is “misleading” Trump.

For further information: Attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election

Evidence

Holiday Theme for The Day: 

… the down-to-earth … season…, we are reminded that there are lows lower than the lowest valley, but you have to dig to get to them. There are also highs higher than the highest mountaintop, but it takes the effort of flight… accepting the natural parameters of a thing.

The first season felt normal.  The second season felt so disruptive.  Surely by the third season the valley lows would have given way to heights scaled, but … 

“3”  Steve Zahn, 51: “Unresolved feelings can feel very uncomfortable indeed as they rattle around in your body and mind, looking for somewhere to settle. On the bright side, this is the chaotic buzz of enormous creative potential.” Scorpio

Sure, I guess you could say those unresolved feelings about the health of our democracy is what drives these episodes in Season Four.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Today’s Holiday Birthday: 

The reason this will be a shining jewel of a year is well expressed by the words of Abraham Lincoln: “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.” Your spirit of determination will spread to a network who will root for the completion of one goal after another.

Or, Abraham Lincoln may be the first President to govern during a Civil War, but not the last if the Trump party has its way.

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: “Being in the midst of change can feel painful and difficult. On the other hand, having changed feels like life-affirming vitality — something to keep in mind as you’re slogging it out to get to the other side.” Taurus

Okay, okay.  I get it.  Keep my eye on the prize while slogging.

“3”  Steve Smith, 30, Stevie Nicks, 72: “You prize efficiency and gravitate to those who can make things happen cheap, fast and right. Usually, you do not get all three. Typically, two of those qualifications are the most you can hope for at once. But today you’ll get lucky.” Gemini

Sure, cheap and fast and right.  Who could argue with those convenient consumer values? I guess I’ll wait as the remainder of the day plays out.  

“4”  Steve Howey, 42: “You’ve mastered the tasks, ridden the rides and learned the personality quirks of everyone involved. But just when you think you know all there is to know, a surprise will inject some adrenaline into the scene.” Cancer

Wait, is this about the political conspiracy characters before, during and after the January 6th insurrection or just characters in my extended family?

“4”  Steve Carell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: “Even if you have a map and the wind in your sails, forward motion still takes internal fortitude. To make it to the brave new world across the ocean, you must have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Leo

No, Emma the Baroness and I aren’t sailing across the ocean to a brave new world together.  We’re driving from California, first to Prescott, Arizona to revisit Jay and Elle who did travel with us to Italy.  And then we continue on to Sedona, Arizona to check out just how recovered my newish replaced left knee has recovered.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72: “Your success comes from being aware and responsive. While many around you are ignoring or resisting the facts of reality, you are managing them deftly.” Virgo

It’s at the heart at how I earned my money, especially over my more recent careers. I’m a trend curator more so to notice patterns among them driven by technology, politics, economics and demographics.  A lot of where we find ourselves today had been influenced years ago and defines the facts of life in Season Four.

“4”  Steve Harvey, 62; Stephan Patis, 53;  Stephen Hawking (1943 – 2018): “The same challenge you faced last month is coming back in new forms, affording you the chance to test out different responses. Later you’ll count this problem among your finest teachers.” Capricorn 

Sure, this makes a lot of sense.  So there’s something unresolved that keeps recycling and I get to try something new and different to solve it?  I like it.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll

    • @KnowLabs suite of 36 digital magazines, according to my analytics, grew from 12559 this week to 12654 organically grown followers.
    • Orange County Beach Towns 216 viewers stopped by the week before.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • “Here, Right Matters: An American Story” by Alexander Vindman. “We’d long been confused by the president’s policy of accommodation and appeasement of Russia, the United States’ most pressing major adversary. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, seizing the Crimean Peninsula, attacking its industrial heartland, the Donbass, from the capital, Kyiv. By 2019, little had changed, Russian military and security forces and their proxy separatists continued to occupy the Donbass. The biggest change was to Ukraine’s importance as a bulwark against Russian aggression weeks earlier, the White House had abruptly put a hold on nearly four hundred million dollars.” 
    • David Enrich begins his book with a suicide in “Deutsche Bank Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction” and then meticulously details the bank’s Russian money laundering operations. Deutsche’s Russian business surged after revenues had fallen 50% due to the 2008 financial crisis. Putin’s Russia, poured in to Deutsche from deals it did with VTB Bank, linked to the Kremlin’s intelligence apparatus. Deutsche positioned itself as a crucial cog in “The Laundromat” by doing what couldn’t be done — processing cross-border transactions for banks that were too small  and didn’t have offices outside their home countries.
    • “Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy” by Jamie Raskin recalls one tragedy no parent should endure — the suicide of his son — and then a second tragedy at almost the same time — the insurrection on January 6th 2021, that terrified he and his congressional peers who were tasked by the Constitution to routinely oversee the orderly transfer of power from one former president to the duly elected new President. 
    • “A Warning” by Anonymous (Miles Taylor) written prior to the January 6th Insurrection as an insider’s account documenting how frequently the former President’s behavior and rage without any “guard rails” showed just how far he would go to win the next election at any cost while spinning lies and misinformation on top of each other.  
    • “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa provides anecdotes, stories and inside reporting documenting the controversial last days of Donald Trump’s presidency, as well as the presidential transition and early presidency of Joe Biden. 
    • “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Nationalist Uprising,” by Joshua Green tracks the money behind the scenes leading up to the 2016 presidential election and the growing influence of Steve Bannon’s network of extreme nationalists.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

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