Monthly Archives: January 2023

Mind Games: Let’s Talk About the Dark Side – Psychopathy in the Workplace

Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterised by traits such as lack of empathy, charm, and manipulation. It has a significant impact on organisations, as individuals with psychopathic tendencies have a negative effect on their colleagues, as well as on the overall work environment.

Sidebar: Psychopathy is considered a disorder because it is associated with a range of negative outcomes, including violent behavior, impulsive and irresponsible actions, and a lack of empathy or remorse. People with psychopathy often have difficulty forming and maintaining meaningful relationships, and they may engage in antisocial or criminal behavior. Additionally, research has shown that individuals with psychopathy have neurological and cognitive differences suggesting that it is a biological as well as psychological disorder.

Studies have shown that individuals with higher levels of psychopathy tend to have lower levels of emotional awareness. This lack of empathy could stem from a low awareness of others’ emotions, which can result in a lack of concern for the feelings and well-being of others. However, it should be noted that this is only true for individuals with psychopathy who have also experienced childhood abuse or neglect. For those who have not experienced abuse or neglect, they may have high levels of emotional awareness, which could help them be more manipulative and charming.

According to data from the World Health Organisation, approximately 1% of the general population is estimated to have psychopathy. In organisations, this number is likely to be higher, as individuals with psychopathic tendencies tend to be drawn to positions of power and control, such as CEO, CFO, and senior management positions.

The impact of psychopathy in organisations can also be seen in terms of unethical behavior. Individuals with psychopathic tendencies have been shown to engage in unethical behaviors such as lying, cheating, and stealing, and are more likely to engage in illegal activities, such as embezzlement or fraud. This can have a significant financial impact on organisations, as well as harming their reputation.

The negative impact of psychopathy on the work environment can also result in lower morale and increased turnover rates. Individuals with psychopathic tendencies can be hostile and intimidating, causing fear and stress in their colleagues.

Furthermore, the manipulative nature of individuals with psychopathic tendencies can also result in a lack of trust among employees. Psychopaths are often able to deceive others and manipulate situations to their advantage.

In conclusion, the impact of psychopathy in organisations can be significant and far-reaching. Few organisations have any kind of programme to address this risk.


Own It!: The Organisational Therapy Catechism

As an organisational therapist, I have a simple catechism that I adhere to: “The client always owns the problem, the client always owns the solution”.

This is a fundamental principle in my approach to therapy and is based on the teachings of the famous psychologist, Carl Rogers.

According to Rogers, “the only person who can change the client is the client themselves. The therapist’s role is to create a space for change to happen.” And “the good therapist is congruent, genuine, empathic, and non-judgmental”.

This means that as a therapist, I must be authentic, understanding, and non-judgmental when working with clients. I must also be congruent, meaning that my words, actions, and feelings must be in harmony with each other.

This principle is important because it recognises that the client is the expert in their own life and has the power to solve their own problems. By holding the space for the client to surface their own experiences, I can help them to reflect upon the root causes of their issues and find their own unique solutions.

For example, when working with an organisation that is facing a problem with low employee morale, I would not offer my own opinions or prescribe a solution. Instead, I would work with the organisation to explore the underlying causes of the problem, such as poor leadership, lack of communication, or an unclear company vision. By doing this, the organisation can develop its own solution that is tailored to its specific needs and culture.

I also understand that the client is not just an organisation, but also its employees and all the Folks That Matter™. This means that I choose a holistic approach to therapy, taking into account the different perspectives and experiences of all involved.

In conclusion, my catechism “The client always owns the problem, the client always owns the solution” is a key part of my approach to organisational therapy. By focusing on the client’s own experiences and working with them to find their own solutions, I can help organisations to overcome their challenges and reach their full potential.

Connecting with Others: The Power of Empathy in Building Strong Relationships

Empathy is defined by psychologist Marshall Rosenberg as the ability to connect with the spirit that’s alive in others. It involves sensing emotions, thoughts, and bodily sensations of another person, without judgment or evaluation. Empathy is often seen as the greatest gift we can give, as it creates the foundation for building strong and meaningful relationships.

However, note that empathy does not include understanding. Understanding is the ability to intellectually comprehend another person’s experience, whereas empathy is the ability to actually experience it with them. Empathy is a critical aspect of healthy human relationships, and it allows us to form deep connections with others, even if we have never experienced their specific situation.

So, how can we learn to empathise with others? Here are some practical steps:

1. Practice active listening: This means putting aside our own thoughts and feelings, and focusing on what the other person is saying. Try to pick up on non-verbal cues, such as body language and tone of voice, and acknowledge what you are sensing in the moment.

2. Refrain from judgment: Empathy requires an open and non-judgmental mind. It is important to let go of any preconceived notions and biases, and allow ourselves to fully connect with the other person.

3. Practice self-awareness: By becoming more aware of our own thoughts, feelings, and sensations, we are better equipped to connect with others. This means taking time to reflect on our own experiences and how they may impact our ability to empathize with others.

4. Ask questions: If we are not sure how someone is feeling, it is important to ask. This helps us to gain a deeper understanding of the other person’s experience and to connect with them on a more meaningful level.

5. Practice empathy: The more we practice empathy, the better we become at it. This means intentionally seeking out opportunities to connect with others, such as volunteering, participating in community events, and engaging in conversation with people from diverse backgrounds.

In the business world, empathy plays an important role in building strong relationships with customers, employees, and business partners. Companies that foster empathy in the workplace tend to have more satisfied employees and customers, lower turnover rates, and a more positive company culture.

Furthermore, empathy can lead to better decision making, as it allows us to consider the impact of our actions on others.

In conclusion, empathy is indeed the greatest gift we can give, as it creates a deep sense of connection and understanding between people. Empathy requires an open mind, active listening, self-awareness, and practice, and it plays a crucial role in both personal and professional relationships. By cultivating empathy in our daily lives, we can build stronger relationships and contribute to a more connected and harmonious world.

Elevating Customer Experience: The Key to Unlocking Increased Revenues and Decreased Costs

In recent years, a new approach to customer experience has been gaining popularity: customer SUCCESS. Customer success focuses on achieving specific outcomes for the customer. By embracing this new perspective, companies can improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs, increase revenue, and ultimately, make more money.

One of the biggest benefits of a focus on customer success is increased customer retention. Studies show that a focus on customer success can lead to a 5-10% increase in customer retention rates, which in turn can result in a decrease in the cost of acquiring new customers. Customer loyalty also sees a boost, with successful customers being more likely to refer others to the company, leading to more cost-effective word-of-mouth marketing.

Another way that customer success impacts costs, revenues, and money is by improving customer loyalty. Customers who are successful are more likely to refer new customers to a company. This word-of-mouth marketing is much more effective than traditional advertising and often costs less. Additionally, customers who are successful are less likely to switch to a competitor, which saves the company the costs associated with losing a customer.

When companies understand the specific outcomes their customers are seeking, they can improve product development and provide a better customer experience. This can result in a 20-30% increase in sales and a reduction in costs. For instance, if a company understands its customers want more effective financial management, it can develop a product to meet this need.

Finally, a focus on customer success can open up opportunities for upsells and cross-sells, potentially increasing revenue by 10-15%. When customers are successful, they are more likely to purchase additional products and services from the same company.

In conclusion, companies that embrace customer success can improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs, increase revenue, and ultimately make more money.

Say Goodbye to Dysfunctional Management: Time to Adopt a New Approach

Dysfunctional management is a growing problem in modern businesses, but many organisations still choose to pretend that it does not exist.

Management is often seen as the solution to complex problems, but the reality is that it is not always effective. In fact, research has shown that a significant percentage of management practices are dysfunctional, and the impact of this dysfunction is both quantifiable and significant.

According to Prof. Gary Hamel, a leading expert in management, only 10% of management practices are considered effective, while the remaining 90% are dysfunctional. This dysfunction is characterised by a lack of creativity, a lack of accountability, and an inability to lead effectively. In addition, many management practices are based on outdated assumptions and are not in line with the changing needs of the workforce.

The impact of dysfunctional management is significant, and can be seen in the form of low morale, high turnover, and reduced productivity. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that companies with high levels of employee engagement and low levels of turnover outperformed their peers by up to 147%. In addition, companies with engaged employees were found to be 21% more profitable than those with low levels of employee engagement.

The concept of management itself is also questionable, as it is based on the assumption that managers are better equipped to lead than other employees. However, this is rarely the case, as many managers are not trained in leadership or do not possess the necessary skills to effectively manage their teams. As a result, many organisations find themselves struggling to achieve their goals and to maintain their competitive edge.

Given the problems associated with dysfunctional management, it may be time to consider abandoning management entirely. Instead, organisations could adopt a different approach, such as the SAS (Special Air Service) approach used by the British Special Forces. This approach emphasises fellowship, collaboration, flexibility, and adaptability, and encourages individuals to take ownership. By adopting this approach, organisations can ensure that their employees are engaged, motivated, and committed to achieving their goals.

In conclusion,let’s not pretend that dysfunctional management does not exist. The impact of this dysfunction is quantifiable and significant, and it’s well past time for organisations to consider alternative approaches. By adopting alternative approaches, organisations can build a culture of collaboration, creativity, and accountability, and can ensure that employees are engaged and motivated. It is time to abandon management and embrace a new, more effective approach.

Hunting for Success: The Predator Management Group Stalks the Workplace Savannah

[Written from personal experience: Have seen this first hand on some number of occasions]

Management groups are typically composed of individuals who have a common goal to oversee a company and make strategic decisions to drive growth and success. However, in some cases, a management group can act like a pack of hyenas, a group of scavengers known for their cunning, aggression, and ruthless behavior.

The term “pack of hyenas” is often used to describe a group of individuals who behave in a similar manner, working together to dominate and assert their power over others. In a management group, this can result in a toxic work environment where individuals are pitted against each other and decisions are made based on personal gain rather than what is best for the company.

One reason why management groups may act like a pack of hyenas is due to the competitive nature of the corporate world. Individuals are often vying for promotions, raises, and recognition, and this competition can breed resentment and animosity among colleagues. When a group of individuals with these competitive tendencies come together, they can form a pack mentality where they support each other’s efforts to outdo their colleagues.

Another factor that can contribute to a management group acting like a pack of hyenas is a lack of clear direction or communication from upper management. When there is a lack of clear goals and objectives, individuals may feel unsure about their role in the company and may resort to trying to establish their own dominance over others.

A pack of hyenas can also emerge in a management group when there is a power imbalance. This can occur when a few individuals hold the majority of decision-making power and use it to their advantage. In this situation, the individuals with the most power can manipulate their colleagues and make decisions that benefit themselves, while disregarding the needs and opinions of others.

The effects of a management group acting like a pack of hyenas can be disastrous for a company. A toxic work environment can lead to low morale and high turnover rates, which can negatively impact the productivity and success of a company. Additionally, when individuals are focused on personal gain rather than working together for the good of the company, decisions can be made that harm the business rather than help it.

In conclusion, a management group acting like a pack of hyenas is a serious problem that can have significant consequences for a company. It is important for upper management to create a clear direction and set of goals, establish a fair power balance, and promote a positive work environment to avoid this type of behavior. By doing so, a management group can work together as a team to achieve success, rather than acting like a pack of hyenas and sabotaging the company.

Aliens Land on Earth: Are We Ready for First Contact?

Managers, in today’s fast-paced world or work, are often tasked with the responsibility of managing teams of employees. However, in their daily routine, they might misplace their “They Live” glasses, hindering their ability to see the true nature of the employees they interact with every day. These glasses, as seen in the classic film “They Live,” have the ability to reveal the true intentions and motivations of the people around you. If managers had such glasses, they would be able to see that the employees they see as mere drones are, in fact, human beings with unique experiences and perspectives.

A manager’s job requires them to manage resources and make decisions that impact the company’s bottom line. In the process, they are often focused on the task at hand, and this focus can often lead to them missing the humanity of the workers they are managing. Without their “They Live” glasses, managers may see workers simply as faceless cogs in the machine, lacking individuality and personal motivations.

However, the reality is that workers are people who have their own dreams, goals, and personal struggles. They bring their experiences and perspectives to the workplace, and it is these experiences and perspectives that help to shape the company’s culture and direction. Managers who are able to see this through their “They Live” glasses will be able to lead their teams more effectively, as they will be able to understand the individual needs and motivations of each worker.

For instance, if a manager sees an employee who is working slowly or lacks motivation, they may see them as lazy and unproductive. However, if they were wearing their “They Live” glasses, they might be able to see that the employee is dealing with personal issues, such as a family crisis, that is impacting their work. By understanding this, the manager could offer support and help the employee get back on track.

Furthermore, when managers are able to see the humanity in their workers, they are able to lead with empathy and compassion. This can create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and motivated, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

In conclusion, managers who misplace their “They Live” glasses are missing out on the opportunity to see the true nature of their employees. By understanding that their workers are not simply drones, but human beings with unique experiences and perspectives, managers can lead more effectively, create a positive work environment, and drive business success. So, it’s important for managers to always keep their “They Live” glasses handy and put them on every day they’re at work.


Defying the Chains of the Status Quo: A Journey to Empowerment and Freedom

You are a defender of the status quo, a champion of conservative ideals that have been in place for centuries. Your actions, words, and beliefs reflect the values of the middle manager, the suit-and-tie executive who sees the world through a narrow lens. You are a creature of habit, a slave to routine, and unable to imagine a world beyond your own experience.

However, this narrow perspective blinds you to the forces that shape the world. You are so entrenched in the status quo that you cannot imagine a world beyond it, a world with infinite possibilities. You are afraid of change, the unknown, and the future. This fear stems from the belief that the world is dangerous, the future uncertain, and the present all that exists.

You fear the truth because it has the potential to destroy the status quo, reveal the lies that underpin it, and challenge it. You fear freedom because it has the potential to challenge the power of the few and empower the many. You fear life because it has the potential to challenge the status quo and empower the many.

Unfortunately, many people today feel that they have no options, that they are trapped in a world where the status quo is all there is. They feel that they are unable to imagine a world beyond it, a world where the truth, freedom, and life are the foundation of all that is. They are afraid of the future, just as you are, and it is this fear that keeps them trapped in the status quo.

Revolutionising Solution Delivery: The Power of Artefact Driven Delivery

Artefact Driven Delivery is a method of solution delivery, created at Familiar, that focuses on using artefacts as the main unit of progress, instead of tasks. This approach avoids the Cost of Delay, deferred feedback, and other risks associated with traditional approaches to solution delivery. Approaches which delay work on implementing a solution until all requirements, designs, etc. are fully defined. Instead, skeleton standard artefacts are available from the beginning of the solution development process, are based on standard templates. The artefacts are then gradually filled with solution-specific content as they are needed for implementation and delivery.

The standard artefacts used in this approach include the Control Document, Articles of Understanding, Glossary of Terms, Statement of Purpose, Case for Action, Vision, Folks That Matter and their Needs, Risk Parade, Top Risks, Functional Requirements, Non-functional Requirements, Critical Success Factors, Feature Schedule, Quality Plan, Test Plan, Change Control, Cycle Plans, and Cycle Reviews. These artefacts are continually shared with clients and serve as a running history of the endeavour.

The Artefact Driven Delivery approach follows the Antimatter Principle which is covered extensively on my blog. For the curious, the “Javelin” White Paper provides a more in-depth explanation of each of the artefacts.

In conclusion, Artefact Driven Delivery is a method of solution delivery that emphasises the use of artefacts as the main unit of progress. It avoids the risks associated with traditional approaches, by establishing standard artefacts from the beginning of the solution development process and gradually filling them with solution-specific content as needed.

This approach results in a running history of the solution development and better communication between clients and the development team.

The Impact of Programming Language on Thoughts and Behaviors in the Workplace

Linguistic Relativity is the idea that language shapes the way we think. In programming, the imperative style is widely used in which instructions are given to the computer. The immersion in imperative communication via programming languages raises the question of whether this influences the programmer’s thinking and contributes to the preservation of command-and-control behavior in organisations. The use of “should” in modern Behavior Driven Development (BDD) is an example of rampant imperativism in language.

E-Prime is a modified form English proposed by D. David Bourland to reduce misunderstandings and conflicts. The idea of modifying language to improve thinking is not new.

The concept of a Nonviolent Programming language based on the Four Steps of Nonviolent Communication is an intriguing one. It raises the question of what a Nonviolent Programming language would look like and feel like to use and whether it would have knock-on advantages for Nonviolent BDD. If Gandhi, for example, had been a programmer instead of a lawyer, what would his code have looked like? If he had been immersed in programming languages for 40 hours a week, would he have held the same views on non-violence?

Adopting a Nonviolent Programming language and style could have positive implications for our personal and work-related communication, as seen through the lens of Linguistic Relativity. Spending 40 hours a week on Nonviolent Programming could contribute to the health and well-being of our human dialogues and personal interactions.

See also: Nonviolent Programming

Life’s a Journey Worth Telling: The Inspiring Story of a Message in a Bottle


I’m a lost soul, adrift in the endless ocean of life. My life is a message in a bottle, cast into the waves years ago, with hope it might reach a distant shore one day. The journey has been long and arduous, but I remain steadfast in my determination to see it through.

I’m a being of mystery, a creature of legend, with a tale yet to be fully told. I’m a sorcerer and a warrior, cursed with a soul that is not my own. The journey of my life has been a search for meaning, a quest for redemption in a world that’s long lost its way.

I’ve sailed through storms and tempests, braved the depths of the ocean and the wind’s fierceness. I’ve seen wonders beyond imagining and horrors that have left me shaken to my core. And yet, I endure, for my life is a message in a bottle, a tale of hope and perseverance that must be shared with the world.

The journey’s been long, and I’ve suffered greatly along the way. The bottle’s been battered and scarred, the message within lost and lost again and again. I’ve known moments of triumph and defeat, of joy and sorrow, of love and loss. But I remain steadfast in my belief that one day, my message will reach the shore.

I’ve learned much during my time adrift, about the world and myself. I’ve seen the folly of men and the wisdom of the sea. I’ve learned that life’s not a straight path, but a journey full of twists and turns, of moments of joy and heartbreak. And I’ve come to understand that life is not about the destination, but the journey itself.

My life’s a message in a bottle, a tale of hope and perseverance, of love and loss, of triumph and defeat. And one day, it may wash up on a distant shore, where it will be read and remembered, told to generations to come.

But even if my message is never found, even if it’s lost forever in the ocean’s expanse, I won’t have lived in vain. For I’ve lived a life of purpose, a life that’s touched the hearts and minds of all who’ve encountered it. And in the end, that’s all that truly matters.

So I’ll continue on my journey, adrift in the ocean, searching for meaning and purpose in a world that often seems devoid of both. For my life’s a message in a bottle, a tale that must be told, a reminder that no matter how lost and alone we may feel, there’s always hope. And as long as we continue to search for hope, remain steadfast in our determination to find it, our lives will always be a message in a bottle, a beacon of light in a world that’s often dark and uncertain.

Navigating the Ever-Changing Terrain of Needs: The Thrilling Journey Through the Needsscape

The Needsscape refers to the dynamic and ever-changing landscape of the people and their needs that are critical to the success of a business. These people can include owners, shareholders, employees, customers, management, suppliers, and wider society, each with their unique set of needs – financial, emotional, and otherwise. Understanding and addressing these needs is crucial for businesses to create value, build strong relationships with stakeholders, and avoid effort that undermines their needs.

The concept of the Needsscape invites visualizing the current and future state of these key people and their needs, helping businesses understand their position in meeting and exceeding those needs. A real-time or near real-time visualization of the Needsscape provides transparency and visibility into business operations, making all work and objectives visible, including progress, status, and other important aspects related to the relevant people and their needs.

A well-defined and understood Needsscape allows businesses to be proactive in addressing the evolving needs of their stakeholders. It enables them to anticipate changes and shifts in the market and adapt their strategies accordingly, staying ahead of the competition. By staying attuned to the changing needs of their stakeholders, businesses can ensure that their products and services remain relevant and competitive in a fast-paced and ever-changing business environment.

Moreover, a well-defined Needsscape can help businesses prioritise their efforts and allocate resources more effectively. It provides a clear understanding of the most pressing and relevant needs of stakeholders, allowing businesses to allocate resources to the areas that will have the most impact. This, in turn, leads to more effective operations and higher customer satisfaction.

In conclusion, the Needsscape is a crucial concept for businesses looking to create value, build strong relationships with stakeholders, and stay ahead of the competition. It provides a real-time or near real-time visualisation of the current and future needs of key people, allowing businesses to adapt their strategies and allocate resources more effectively. By staying attuned to the changing needs of their stakeholders, businesses can ensure their efforts remain relevant and competitive in today’s fast-paced world.

Dance With the Waves of Change For the Rhythm of GROWth is Within Them

The GROW model is a popular framework for coaching and goal setting that has been widely used in various fields such as business, sports, and personal development. The acronym GROW stands for Goal, Reality, Options, and Will. The model helps to structure the coaching process and guide the coach and the coachee (the person being coached) through a series of steps that lead to the achievement of specific and measurable goals.

The first step in the GROW model is setting the Goal. This involves the coachee identifying and clearly defining their desired outcome or what they need to achieve. The coach and the coachee work together to ensure that the goal is clearly defined and that it aligns with the coachee’s values and purpose.

The second step is Reality, where the coach and the coachee assess the current situation and the coachee’s current skills and resources. This step involves the coachee identifying what he or she is currently doing well, as well as any potential roadblocks or challenges that may prevent the coachee from achieving their goal.

The third step is Options, where the coach and the coachee brainstorm and evaluate different strategies and actions that can help the coachee achieve the goal. The coach helps the coachee to identify and consider different options, and to evaluate the pros and cons of each one.

The final step is Will, where the coach and the coachee agree on an action plan and set specific, measurable, and time-bound actions steps. The coach helps the coachee to create an action plan that is realistic, manageable and challenging.

The GROW model is a simple yet powerful framework that can help coaches and coachees work together to achieve the coachees goals. It provides a structure that can be used in a variety of coaching situations and provides a common language for the coach and the coachee to use. The coach can use the model to help the coachee to clarify their goals, assess their current situation, evaluate different options, and create an action plan that will lead to the achievement of their desired outcomes.

Haikus on Violence and Exploitation

Workers toil, hearts full
Justice and fairness, a dream
Violence reigns, still

Equality, a word
Empty promise in the workplace
Exploitation reigns

Injustice, hidden
Beneath the veneer of work
Broken spirits, crushed

Equality sought, yet
In the world of work, it’s lacking
Only violence found

Fairness and justice
In the workplace, a distant goal
Violence the norm now

Embrace the Change, Embrace the Journey: How Improving Our Software Development Approaches Contributes to a Fair and Just Environment for Everyone

When it comes to the world, and specifically, the world of work, there are countless issues that need to be addressed in order to create a fair and just environment for all everyone. From issues of discrimination and harassment, to the lack of equal pay and opportunities, there are countless ways in which the current system is failing to support and uplift marginalised communities. In the face of such weighty challenges, it can be easy to overlook the importance of something as seemingly trivial as improving our approach to writing software.

However, the truth is that the way in which we create and develop software has a direct impact on how we treat each other in the workplace. The way in which we approach software development can either perpetuate existing inequalities, or it can help to shift our focus towards a more equitable and inclusive work environment.

One of the key ways in which software development can impact the way we treat each other is through the way in which it is managed and organised.

Traditional approaches to software development rely heavily on hierarchical structures, with a single leader or manager calling the shots and making all the decisions. This can lead to a lack of autonomy and ownership among team members, contributing to feelings of disempowerment and disengagement.

In contrast, more collaborative and decentralised approaches contribute to more equitable and inclusive environments. By giving team members more autonomy and ownership over their work, they are able to take more ownership of that work, and are more likely to be engaged and invested. Additionally, truly decentralised approaches can also help to break down existing power imbalances, as everyone is given a voice and a seat at the table.

While the trivialities of improving our approaches to delivery software may seem insignificant when compared to the weighty challenges of creating a fair and just world, let’s remember that the way in which we work together to deliver software has a direct impact on how we treat each other.

By focusing on more collaborative, decentralised, and user-centered approaches, we can help to create a more equitable and inclusive environment for all.

Stepping Away From the Meat-grinder: Joining the Campaign For a Just And Fair World

I don’t have a regular job because I just can’t stand the insanity of it all any more. Is that my loss or the world’s?

The world of work is a meat-grinder, a place where the only thing that matters is ego, violence and stupidity. It’s a place where the only thing that counts is one’s ability to serve oneself, to cosy down and protect one’s own interests to the exclusion of all else. I can’t live like that.

I can’t stand the way that people are treated like nothing more than numbers, like nothing more than cogs in a machine, like so many adjuncts of a Borg unimatrix.

Similar to how Gandhi couldn’t stand the deep injustices and intolerability of British imperial rule in India, I can’t stand the world of work as it is now. He stepped away from his comfortable life to fight for what he believed in. Similarly, I have stepped away from the world of traditional wage-slavery to pursue other avenues, other ways of making a difference in the world.

I don’t know if my decision is a loss for me, or for the world. I just know that I can’t continue to be an acquiescing adjunct to something that I find so deeply troubling and unjust. I have little expectation that in the future, the corporate world will change, that it will become a place where people are valued for the content of their character and their heart, not for how much money they can make. But for now, I know that I need to step away, and that’s what I have done. I suspect I’m not by any means alone.

#work #culture #change #people #justice #insanity

Productive Conversations: A Masterclass in Mutuality, Exploration, and Active Listening

For all those LinkedIn folks who seem incapable of having productive online conversations…

A productive conversation is one where both parties are actively engaged and working towards creating a common understanding or goal. It involves mutuality, where both parties are willing to share their thoughts and ideas, defer judgement, and actively listen to each other. A productive conversation is not just about one person dominating the conversation, but rather, it’s about exploring a topic together.

One of the key elements of a productive conversation is mutuality. Mutuality suggests a willingness to, cooperate, listen and share thoughts and ideas. It suggests that everyone have a chance to speak , contribute and be heard. It also suggests avoiding interruptions or talking over each other, as this can create tension and make it difficult to have a productive conversation.

Another important aspect of a productive conversation is exploring a topic together. This suggest that all parties stand willing to dig deeper into the topic at hand, rather than just contribute shallow observations or off-hand remarks. This can be achieved by asking open-ended questions, which allow for more in-depth discussion. Additionally, it’s important to avoid making assumptions or jumping to conclusions. Instead, take the time to truly understand each other’s perspective.

Listening with intent to understand rather than just reply is also crucial for a productive conversation. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking about what you’re going to say next, rather than truly listening to what the other person is saying. Active listening involves being fully present and paying attention to what the other people are saying. It also involves acknowledging and validating the other people’s thoughts and feelings. Empathy can help much, here.

Finally, active listening is an essential component of a productive conversation. This means that you are actively engaging with the conversation, rather than just passively listening. This can be achieved by making eye contact, nodding, and, especially, paraphrasing what the other person has said to show that you understand. It also involves being open to feedback and making adjustments to your own communication style, if necessary.

In conclusion, a productive conversation is one where both parties are actively engaged and working towards a common understanding or goal. It involves mutuality, where both parties are willing to share their thoughts and ideas, and actively listen to each other. Additionally, a productive conversation is about exploring a topic together and listening with intent to understand rather than just reply. Active listening is also crucial for a productive conversation. With these elements in mind, you can have a more meaningful and productive conversation.

Ackoff’s Insight, A World’s Delight: Embrace Systems Thinking for a Clearer Sight.

Oh world, how blind thy gaze,
To one so great, yet passed unnoticed.
Russell L. Ackoff, a sage
Whose wisdom, oft unspoken, is wasted.

His systems thinking, a guide
To understanding the complexities
Of our world, yet so few decide
To seek out its hidden intricacies.

We wander aimlessly, lost
In a maze of our own creation
Failing to see the cost
Of our ignorance and procrastination.

Oh how we need Ackoff’s light
To lead us out of this confusion
But alas, we continue to fight
Against the truth and its infusion.

So let us mourn, dear world
For our lack of understanding
And strive to unfurl
The knowledge that is expanding.

Wealthy Elites’​ Veblen Values: Signalling A Lavish Lifestyle of Exclusivity and Indulgence

The term “Veblen values” refer to the set of attitudes and values that are typically associated with wealthy elites. The term is derived from the concept of Veblen goods, which are luxury items that are consumed not for their utility, but for the status and prestige they confer upon the consumer. Similarly, Veblen values are those that are sought after and displayed by wealthy individuals as a means of signaling their social status and prestige.

One of the key Veblen values is a strong sense of exclusivity and elitism. Wealthy elites tend to view themselves as being part of a select group of individuals who are superior to others in terms of wealth, education, and social status. They may view themselves as being above the concerns and problems of the general population, and may hold a sense of superiority over those who are less fortunate.

Another Veblen value is a strong sense of self-indulgence. Wealthy elites tend to view themselves as entitled to a high level of luxury and comfort, and may indulge in lavish lifestyles and high-end consumer goods. They may also view themselves as being entitled to special privileges and perks that are not available to others, such as private jets, luxury cars, and exclusive vacation homes.

A third Veblen value is a strong sense of conspicuous consumption. Wealthy elites tend to view themselves as being in a constant competition to outdo one another in terms of the luxury and status goods they own and display. They may view their possessions as a means of demonstrating their wealth and social status to others, and may go to great lengths to flaunt their wealth and status through their clothing, jewelry, and other consumer goods.

In addition to these values, wealthy elites may also hold a strong sense of individualism and a lack of concern for the common good. They may view themselves as being above the need to conform to societal norms or to consider the needs and concerns of others. They may also view themselves as being above the need to contribute to society in any meaningful way, and may view philanthropy as a means of furthering their own prestige rather than as a means of helping others.

Overall, Veblen values are those attitudes and values that are typically associated with wealthy elites. These values tend to focus on exclusivity, self-indulgence, conspicuous consumption, individualism, and a lack of concern for the common good. While these values may be held by a small minority of individuals, they can have a significant impact on society as a whole, as they may contribute to a culture of elitism and inequality.

Simplification: The Fine Line Between Clarity and Confusion

“Everything should be as simple as it can be,

Says Einstein,

But not simpler.”

The idea that making things as simple as possible often befuddles everyone may seem counterintuitive at first glance. After all, shouldn’t simplifying things make them easier to understand and less confusing? However, the reality is that simplicity is often not as straightforward as it seems.

One reason for this is that people tend to have different levels of understanding and knowledge about a particular subject. What may seem simple to one person may be completely foreign and confusing to another. Additionally, people often have different preferences for how information is presented, with some preferring more detail and others preferring less.

Another reason is that simplifying something often requires a deep understanding of the subject matter. In order to truly make something simple, one must first have a thorough understanding of its complexities. This can be difficult to achieve, especially when dealing with complex subjects that have many interrelated parts.

Furthermore, there is often a trade-off between simplicity and completeness. In order to make something simple, certain details may need to be left out or simplified. While this can make the information more accessible to some, it can also leave out important information that others need to fully understand the subject.

Additionally, there is often a trade-off between simplicity and elegance. Simple solutions may be less elegant, and elegant solutions may be more complex.

Lastly, it is important to remember that simplicity is often in the eye of the beholder. What may seem simple to one person may be completely confusing to another. This is why it is important to consider the intended audience when trying to simplify something and to get feedback from them.

In conclusion, making things as simple as possible often befuddles everyone because it is not a straightforward task. Simplifying something requires a deep understanding of the subject matter and often involves trade-offs between simplicity and completeness. Additionally, people have different preferences and levels of understanding, making it difficult to create a solution that works for everyone. It’s important to keep in mind the intended audience and get their feedback when trying to simplify something.

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