I Invite You to Become a Quitter, a Double Quitter

To celebrate the new year, I invite you to become a quitter.  Just quit.  Now.  And make a resolution for this new year to remain a quitter the whole year.  You can do it.

In yet another book with well expressed, great observations, author and entrepreneur Seth Godin starts off his 2007 book The Dip observing that, “Most people quit.  They just don’t quit successfully.  In fact, many professions and many marketplaces profit from quitters–society assumes you’re going to quit.  In fact, business and organizations count on it.  If you learn about the systems that have been put in place that encourage quitting, you’ll be more likely to beat them. And once you understand the common sinkhole that trips up so many people (I call it the Dip), you’ll be one step closer to getting through it.  Extraordinary benefits accrue to the tiny minority of people who are able to push just a tiny bit longer than most.  Extraordinary benefits also accrue to the tiny minority with the guts to quit early and refocus their efforts on something new…Quit the wrong stuff.  Stick with the right stuff.  Have the guts to do one or the other” (pp 3-4).

I invite you to choose, right now, to be a quitter, and to have the guts and stamina to stick with it.  To make it through Godin’s “stop quitting” dip.   Quit what?  As Seth Godin observes above, society expects you to quit, to quit choosing to live life your way.  You know, from your own experience, that you prefer being engaged to being disengaged, being energized to being de-energized, being acknowledged for your efforts to being ignored or overlooked, being supported to undermined.  You know this.  And, you probably accept, consciously or unconsciously, to be disengaged, de-energized, ignored, overlooked, and undermined in many of your daily interactions.  On a continuous basis.  From the research my colleagues and I have done over the past decade, it seems that most people tend to accept these conditions, because they tend to think that this is just how reality is–much of life tends to disengage, de-energize, and disempower people.  That is just how it is.  At least that is what most of us tend to think or accept.

It is not that way.  You know this, because some of the time you experience being engaged, energized, acknowledged, and supported.  If the opposite, the downside, were a fact of reality, then you would never experience the upside.  The only truth here is that you have accepted this reality of being disengaged, de-energized, ignored, overlooked, and undermined.  Quit.  Doubly. I invite you to be a quitter.  To quit accepting that quitting is normal.  It is not normal.  Being human is.  To paraphrase Seth Godin, quit accepting being de-energized, which is quitting on being human, and stick with being engaged.  A double quit–quit quitting on yourself.  Push a tiny bit longer than most, and get through the dip.  Experience the extraordinary benefits that accrue to those with the guts to quit quitting now and refocus your efforts on the other reality, which you also know to be true for you.  Quit.

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Then There Were 10D Glasses — Recommended Reading

Bryanton, Rob. Imagining the Tenth Dimension: A New Way of Thinking About Time and Space. 2006, Oxford, UK: Trafford Publishing.

For thousands of years, we had the rich inner pictures we perceived from elaborate storytelling.  Then there were the 2D images in black-and-white then in color on the big movie screen.  Now we have 3D images popping out at us, from screens big and little.  In Imagining the Tenth Dimension, Bryanton jumps way past 2D and 3D to 10D, inviting us to imagine the 10D reality that physicists tell us we live in, and possible implications of that 10D reality.

For the timid of mind, Bryanton starts by warning the reader that, “anyone wanting to dismiss the levels of detail we are imagining in these pages as ‘too extravagant’ would do well to keep in mind how extraordinarily, inconceivably extravagant we already know the universe to be” (p 5).  “All of these theories [of physics, such as string theory] tell us that it is the harmonics of superstring vibrations happening in the tenth spatial dimension that create the basic laws that define our reality–the strength of gravity, the charge, spin and nature of subatomic particles…It is the energy of these strings’ vibrations which is converted into mass” (p 5).

Bryanton walks us quickly through the initial build up of the dimensions, showing that 0D is a point, 1D is a straight line, 2D is a split, a branch into two lines, creating a plane, and 3D is a fold, which is “what we move through to get from one point to another in the dimension below” (p 11).  Instead of adding a third dimension to space, creating a volume, like most do, Bryanton uses the fold to start us thinking about how we perceive reality differently from different dimensions, a mechanism he uses in the subsequent dimensions.  So, the third dimension is how we can jump from one point to another in the perception of the second dimension.

He now repeats this pattern with the 4D being a line, which connects two points or states of existence of the 3D being.  Two different states of you, for example, connected with a line, as perceived from 4D.  5D is a split, branching into different possible lines.  You know one of those lines, which you live on as time, because that is the one you lived on, in your 3D experience of a 4D reality, branching in 5D.  Which branch you experience is a function of choice and circumstance. 6D is then a fold into different worlds of branches you, as you experience yourself, did not take.  The pattern then repeats, with 7D being a line of all possible timelines for the universe we experience, 8D is a split, and 9D is a fold.  10D consists of the vibrating strings that make up existence, according to string theory.

This is how Bryanton builds up an inner image of the experience of 10D reality.  For the rest of the book, he looks at some implications of this image.  Such as, what or who chooses the path we take at each branch in the 2D, 5D, and 8Ds?  Is it you when you are aware, conditions when you are not, or a higher-order existence?  He then explores the notion of time.  Does time exist as a separate thing, a dimension, or is time what we call the experience of movement through the changing of energy states?  If existence is full of energy everywhere, and energy moves, through power and work, then maybe the higher order dimensions of energy shifting states is what we call time, in our 3D experience of reality.  And we only experience one line of shifts in form–our time–because that is the one we experienced.  Time is what 3Ders, like us, call the experience of 4D.  Bryanton also explores why the speed of light is constant, while Einstein found all other speeds to be relative.  “In the ten dimensions as we’re imagining them, the speed of light is defined by interactions in a higher dimension than the one we live in.  This is how it can be independent of how we move in the fourth dimensions.”

Through these explorations, Bryanton leads us to choice. “As creatures with free will, we are constantly moving through the fifth dimensional paths that are available to us, selecting one of those paths as our personal timeline…a life-changing decision or event that breaks old habits and old patterns will certainly direct a person’s life to a new trajectory, making other future paths more likely to be followed from that point on” (pp 118-119).  Awareness matters.  Choice makes a difference.  And this is the link to ecosynomics, that choice makes a difference in the agreements we consciously enter, and that these agreements change everything.  And, as I explored in an earlier blog, you already know all of this, from your own experience.  The question is whether you use what you know to choose the agreements that influence the interactions that determine the experience and outcomes you achieve every day.  With Bryanton’s enjoyable read, you have 10D glasses with which to perceive the multi-color, multi-possibility universe of choice before you.  It is your choice whether or not you put on the 10D glasses.

e3 (eCubed) = Everyone Everywhere Everyday

Almost every form of wellbeing measured today finds success for some people in some places some of the time.  Income, happiness, health.  Some have it, some of the time, and most do not, most of the time.

In all of our work in the past ten years, my colleagues and I hear over and over again the desire to shift the experience and outcomes in systems for everyone everywhere everyday, throughout whatever system it is.  The energy sovereignty of Vermont, a cancer-free economy in the USA, retrofitting the building stock of Europe, healthy communities in Mexico, generative building in South Africa.  We start with the knowing that we have to figure out how to achieve resilient impact for everyone everywhere in the system everyday.  And, we usually end up settling for most people in most places in the system most of the time.
While mostly successful in these earlier efforts, it is time we take on the bigger challenges of reaching everyone everywhere everyday, where E * E * E = 1.0.  It is time.  This means that to reach 100% overall, we have to reach 100% resilient impact, which requires that we reach everyone (E1 = 100%) everywhere (E2 = 100%) everyday (E3 = 100%).  E^3 or eCubed = 100% = 1.0.
To reach E^3 = 1.0, we have to evolve in our practice and in our understanding of the human being.  We have to learn what works and what does not.  We have to inquire into what it is, what causes it, and what its consequences are.
  • Desired consequences. What are the impacts we desire?  To determine this, we already have tools to explore the impact we want to have and how to achieve resilience in that impact. We can start with: (1) impact resilience measurement; and (2) the Vibrancy Move Process, which uses the reference behavior pattern and O Process tools to determine the gap between what we know is available and what we are currently experiencing.
  • Specification. What is E^3?  How is it different from the current solutions that satisfy many people in many places much of the time?  What does this expanded specification require us to understand?  We already have examples around the globe of people who are beginning to figure out E^3=1.0 solutions.  We are also learning how to learn from their abundance-based solutions.
  • Antecedents. What are the drivers of E^3=1.0?  We have some insights into the differences in agreements fields between solutions that work for some, those that work for many, and those that work for everyone.  Agreements Fields Mapping (pactoecography) helps us describe and understand what resilient impacts we want as humanity, why we want them for everyone everywhere everyday, and how to find the groups that are beginning to figure out the how, how to learn from and with them, and how to see what is next, to achieve E^3 = 1.0.

Figuring this out requires a movement, a global effort to understand how to reach globally local solutions that work for everyone everywhere everyday.  The next frontier. Several efforts are being made with different expressions, from isolated efforts to flocking networks.  Our own efforts in this emerging movement are supported by the Global Pactoecographic Covenant through the Global Initiative to Map Ecosynomic Deviance and Impact Resilience.  As humanity we have the resources, the tools, the knowhow to make the shift, from E^3<<1.0 to E^3=1.0.  We owe it to ourselves and to the resilience of our future.  We owe it to you, and we need you to engage, to bring what you see and what you learn about how to achieve resilient impacts for everyone, everywhere, everyday.  Join our covenant to serve this purpose, to make eCubed = 100%.

4 Steps to Create Inefficient, Ineffective, Obsoleting, Disengaging, De-energizing Groups

It turns out that, as humanity, we have excelled at learning how to create inefficient, ineffective, obsoleting, disengaging, de-energizing human interactions.  We have it down to four simple steps.  First, focus only on outcomes.  Second, git-r-done.  Third, experience life elsewhere.  Fourth, stick with the process in “the book.”  That’s it.

Now, you might think that nobody does this.  Not really.  Evidence seems to indicate otherwise.  See the links above.

And, we have found lots and lots of groups, all around the world, that are doing the opposite.  They are evolving ways to create smart, cool, in-service-to-purpose, witnessing, inviting-engaging, energizing collaborative spaces.

So, it is not a given that we have to do not smart and not cool.  Many normal people have figured that out.  Let’s start doing smart and cool, like them, and stop doing not smart and not cool.

Why We Start With Our Own Experience And Our Deeper Shared Purpose–I Wonder

Over the past two decades, my colleagues and I have found that people engage the most when we start with what they know from their own experience and with what they care about most.  This means that we start all interactions with these questions, in some form: What do you know about this, from your own experience?; and Why do you care so much about this?  With both questions, we have found that we can tap into each individual’s deeper curiosity, which it seems is deeply connected to the will they give to a future they love.

We find that starting with these two questions is infinitely more powerful than starting with answers.  Yet, most people seem to start with answers that they want others to understand and engage in than starting with questions.  You can try this for yourself, and let me know what you see.  What happens when you ask someone what they know about something they are working on with you, from their own experience?  Can you find a way to connect, through further inquiry, their experience to what you are working on?  What happens when you ask someone why they care about what they are working on?  And, why they care about that?

We find that very quickly we discover that people already know many things that they don’t realize they know, from their own experience, so you don’t have to try to convince them.  They just told themselves that they already knew that, consciously or unconsciously.  And when we ask people what they really care about, we find that people in a given situation are usually more deeply aligned than they originally thought.  We have two frameworks for working with these two questions.

In the 37-word diagram, we suggest that people interact, period.  In their interactions, they have an experience and they achieve outcomes.  What happens in these interactions is determined in great part by the agreements underlying how they interact.  From their own experience, they actually know a lot about the experience they are having, the outcomes they are achieving, and the underlying agreements they have consciously chosen or unconsciously accepted.  This framework works with the question of what do you know from your own experience.

In the O Process, we start with the question of what people in a given effort most care about, seeking the deeper shared purpose that pulls them tougher.  With clarity about this deeper shared purpose, we have achieved amazingly resilient impacts: without that clarity, people achieve very little and are usually highly disengaged.

So, on our better days, we start with a deep, “I wonder.”  That opens the space for our own reflections and those of and with others; a powerful place to start.

Guest Post — Co-hosting a National Conference on Healthy Community

Guest post by Annabel Membrillo JimenezGlobal Steward Vibrancy Ins

A group of colleagues and I recently co-hosted a national gathering of Anthroposophical initiatives in Mexico, working directly with the choosing of human agreements, for the individual and the community, deeply informed from the ecosynomic view of social three-folding. This is part of a larger Global Initiative supported by the Institute for Strategic Clarity and its co-investors in universities, communities, and organizations in 12 countries. The gathering was a continuum of the 2016 gathering exploring social three-folding. In the attached 7-page briefing of the gathering (click here), I explore:

  • the story behind the manifestation
  • the inspiration for the design
  • why it was ecosynomics
  • how it was anthroposophical
  • the flow of the experience
  • the organizing team nurturing the experience

 

How Co-hosting Influenced My Leadership Approach — 14 European Leaders Share Their Experiences

My colleagues Ana Claudia, Christoph, and I recently shared, in a series of 4 blogposts, what we at Vibrancy and the Institute for Strategic Clarity learned, as co-investors with BUILD UPON and the European Climate Foundation, about: (1) co-hosting collaboration; (2) realizing the deeper shared purpose; (3) measuring impact resilience; and (4) scaling impact.

In this blogpost we want to share what leaders of the BUILD UPON team, from across Europe, learned on how to effectively ‘co-host’ large-scale cross-sector collaboration,  In the following set of video interviews, we explored how their application of the co-hosting principles over six months in their own specific contexts had changed their leadership approaches.

Watch the 3 – 4 minute videos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqKLcbOXltc&list=UUba8q8uz9c3e1r7Fm5eXc7A

Agreements of Transformation — Research with 22 Leaders Across 18 Countries

This blog highlights insights from research into the agreements of transformation.  This research with 22 people across 18 countries on 3 continents was supported by the Institute for Strategic Clarity and the UBA, the German Environmental Protection Agency.

CONTEXT

Individuals and groups in different cultures face situations of change in fundamental agreements on a daily basis, addressing complex and large-scale social issues, as well as daily dysfunctional interactions.  We wanted to understand and describe why people respond to these issues by taking on societal-scale transformations, and how they do it.

THE RESEARCH

A team of interviewers at the Institute for Strategic Clarity invited 22 professionals from around the globe who met a diverse set of criteria to be interviewed for and engage in this research project.

•We asked them to “Reflect on a situation, of which you have been part, where you experienced a change at a fundamental level and basic assumptions in a group (e.g. institution, organization, network) or your area of impact (field, industry, sector, region etc.)?“

•Transformation is defined as: “Involving structural changes and shifts in systemic as well as underlying assumptions in order to change how the components in a system relate to one another, thus achieving fundamental change in relationships, systems boundaries, governing variables, actions and strategies as well as outcomes and consequences.“

METHOD

The team, led by Christoph Hinske, engaged 22 practitioners in a 60-minute, semi-structured, dialog-based, expert interview.  The interviews were then analyzed with narrative-based agreements evidence map to find agreements in a simple but robust way in the practices, structures and processes described during the interviews.

PRELIMINARY RESULTS

The interviewees indicated that they achieved transformation by starting with an assumption of abundance of resources, creating experiences of higher vibrancy, and organizing in a way that they achieved greater harmony in their interactions with others.

  • “Conversation partners shared that money and other resources were often perceived to be limited, but never as scarce.“
  • “Decisions and enforcements (un)consciously strengthen the primary relationships.“
  • “People are in such processes because they want to exponentially increase what they value most.“
  • “Societal scale transformation is a journey into the unknown, framed by a ‘psychologically safe’ support structure, in which members enable each other to find ways to walk into the future they see together.”

You can find out more about the research and its findings in the following sources: 

Retrospective — We Dramatically Increased Efficiency and then Disengagement

It might be time for a shift.  A move made a century ago, quickly crisscrossing the earth, might have reached its end, and we might be ready to stand on those shoulders of excellence and see quite a bit further.

Here is a story I found recently in a new book by Todd RoseThe End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Value Sameness.  It refers to Frederick Winslow Taylor, one of the founders of the worldwide efficiency movement of the past century.

“Before Taylor set out to develop a new science of work, companies usually hired the most talented workers available, regardless of their particular skill set, and then let these star employees reorganize a company’s processes according to what they believed would help them be most productive.  Taylor insisted this was completely backward.  A business should not conform its system to fit individual employees, no matter how special they were perceived to be. Instead, business should hire Average Men who fit the system. ‘An organization composed of individuals of mediocre ability, working in accordance with policies, plans, and procedures discovered by analysis of the fundamental facts of their situation, [would] in the long run prove more successful and stable than an organization of geniuses each led by inspiration,’ affirmed Taylor…At a 1906 lecture, Taylor explained how he saw the relationship between workers and managers: ‘In our scheme, we do not ask for the initiative of our men.  We do not want any initiative.  All we want of them is to obey the orders we give them, do what we say, and do it quick’…In 1918, Taylor doubled down on these ideas…’The most important idea should be that of serving the man who is over you his way, not yours‘” (pp. 43-47).

Undeniably this efficiency philosophy led to dramatic increases in the productivity of organizations.  And it seems to have led to very high levels of disengaged employees.  And it seems that in the age of the information economy, it matters whether people are engaged or not.  In ecosynomic terms, Taylor describes the experience of the inner circle of vibrancy, where each individual person is a replaceable part of a bigger machine that brings specific capacities to a very specific task, in a very specific way.  We now know that, in this age, that philosophy leads to deeply disengaged people, and that it matters whether people are engaged or not.  While much of work is described today using the same terms Taylor does above, it might be time to build on what we have learned.

Guest Post — Inviting the Co-hosting of a Harmonic

with Conor Ritchie-Dunham, singer songwriter, composer, and lead guitar and vocals in The Contradictions

Many of you who follow this blog lead groups of people taking on deeper levels of collaboration, working through the challenges of experiencing a deeper harmonic while embracing ever-more challenging issues. We know that this harmonic reflects the behavior of a group, and who we are being as leaders. While we talk a lot about this harmonic in our community, I realized that I have direct access to a couple of people who know a lot about generating a harmonic, in music. Having the fortune to experience great amounts of music in my home, created most often by my daughter and son, I was talking with my son Conor this past week about the art and science of generating a harmonic in one’s own music, and what it takes to generate the enlivening experience of a harmonic in music with any audience. Conor shares his experience in inviting the co-hosting of a harmonic in the rest of this blogpost.

In preparation for a performance, it is the artist’s responsibility to generate a space for the harmonic. We cannot create a harmonic, just as we cannot make someone love us. But we can create the conditions in which that harmonic has ample opportunity to arise. In hosting a dinner party, for example, we cannot simply tell our guests to have a good time. We must learn from our past positive dinner-party experiences, replicate those conditions, pay close attention to how the experience goes, and learn from there. In seeking a good experience for our guests, we hope to generate an environment where they have ample opportunity to feel comfortable, satisfied, entertained and included in a sense of companionship.

As musicians we seek many of the same factors in preparing for a performance. We wish for our audience to be comfortable: In a comfortable venue that is suitable for the type of performance at hand, and which promotes the experience we wish the performance to give. (A large stadium for awe and wonder, or an intimate poetry café for trance-like introspection.)

We wish for our audience to be satisfied: Having a performance of appropriate length so that it is long enough that they feel the event was worth their money, yet short enough so as not to bore. Ordering the songs so that there is enough dynamic and emotional variance throughout the performance to keep it interesting. Proper attention paid to the sound equipment and acoustics of the space so that sound quality complements the performance.

We wish for our audience to be entertained: That the music itself is of quality, the performances are impressive, authentic, passionate and tell a story, and that any other factors of the performance such as light show, scenery or choreography do their part to aide the emotional effect of the performances.

We also wish for our audience to feel included in a sense of companionship. Concerts of certain styles are often self selecting in the type of person they attract, but it is the co-host and artist’s job to make them feel welcome. Personal, authentic interaction with the audience, which shows leadership and command, yet gratitude and humbleness is a must.

With experience, the performer, like the co-host, can learn to consistently generate and maintain an environment where a powerful harmonic can thrive, and where it can continue to live in the hearts of those who experienced it long after the final dish is served and the final note is played.

In order to co-host a harmonic, I have learned that I must first authentically feel that harmonic within myself. As a performer, I find it helpful to solidify a pre-show routine that will reliably foster that harmonic in me. After a full-body stretch and a vocal warm-up, I go to a dark corner, close my eyes, and meditate, focusing on releasing nervous energy and connecting to my emotional core. I know the performance begins the moment I step on stage. So these preparations allow me to set the atmosphere of the performance before I even begin the first song. When performing with others, I will extend this pre-show routine to include them. After I have fostered the harmonic in myself, I will bring it to them, perhaps by holding hands and saying a blessing, cheer, or singing a song. When we are connected and ready, we can step on stage and bring that harmonic to the audience.