What’s My New Startup, “AInklings”, All About?

We at AInklings are thrilled to have embarked on a journey to revolutionise the world of books and learning. We’ve set out to craft immersive and interactive books that transform reading into a truly captivating adventure​​. Our mission extends beyond just delivering information; we’re creating a whole new realm of learning that’s a journey of discovery. The books we offer are uniquely designed to adapt to each reader, providing personalised insights that nurture curiosity and comprehension​​.

Our team is a lively mix of authors, innovators, and dreamers, all dedicated to pushing the boundaries of the published word​​. We extend a warm invitation to you – authors, publishers, developers, marketers, and readers – to join our revolutionary adventure. We believe there’s a place for everyone in this thrilling experience we’re creating​​.

We’re also keen to keep our community informed and engaged. Through our LinkedIn group, we share exciting updates about our company and the broader world of literature. We’re standing on the brink of a major shift in the publishing industry, and we’re thrilled to welcome you to this exciting journey into the future of learning through reading​​.

What is Normative Learning?

Imagine waking up one day, only to realise that the world isn’t as you’ve always perceived it. Your beliefs, assumptions, even your understanding of yourself and your group(s) are challenged, inviting y’all into an enlightening journey of self-discovery and adaptation. Welcome to the fascinating realm of normative learning – an odyssey towards personal and community transformation, and broadened horizons.

Normative learning is a process of reevaluation and adaptation, where we reassess our understanding of the world and our place within it. This iterative process can be triggered when we encounter situations or information that contradict our preexisting beliefs, assumptions or expectations. Such moments force us to confront the fallibility of our understanding, prompting us to say, “Hmm… it now appears that the world does not work the way I/we thought it does.”

This kind of learning goes beyond simple knowledge acquisition. It’s a complex negotiation of personal and societal belief systems, often challenging the status quo, questioning ingrained habits, and promoting growth. It is not always an easy process, but it’s an essential one for both personal and societal development. The revision of assumptions and beliefs broadens our perspectives, enabling us to be more open, empathetic, and adaptable.

Moreover, this learning journey can also lead to a profound reevaluation of self. By reframing our worldview, we inherently alter our self-image and self-knowledge. As we understand more about the world, we understand more about ourselves, making normative learning not just a cognitive exercise but a path to personal and collective transformation and enlightenment. This complex relationship between knowledge, self-discovery, and societal norms is what makes normative learning a fascinating area of exploration.

The Hidden Power of Shared Assumptions

Imagine a business where every decision, every strategy, every daily task is infused with a collective belief, a shared understanding that goes beyond the surface. Welcome to the heart of a business as a community, a place where shared assumptions and beliefs drive success and create an bond that fuels growth and innovation.

Businesses aren’t just about profit and loss; they’re also about people. They’re communities of belief, bound together by shared assumptions. It’s these assumptions that inform how a business runs, from the big strategic decisions right down to the day-to-day tasks.

When we talk about ‘shared assumptions’, we’re talking about the underlying beliefs that shape the way we see the world. For instance, in a tech start-up, there might be a shared assumption that constant innovation is key. In a charity, the assumption might be that every person has a right to basic necessities.

It’s not about everyone agreeing on everything. It’s about having a common understanding that informs the way the business operates. When these shared assumptions align, that’s when a business truly becomes a community of belief.

The Meaning Of Fellowship

Fellowship – what does it truly mean in practice? Is it merely a group of individuals working in harmony like a well-tuned orchestra, or does it go deeper than that? Can we compare it to a swarm of bees, working tirelessly for the greater good of the hive? What is the secret sauce that transforms a group of individuals into a cohesive unit, bound by a shared purpose?

In practice, fellowship is the art of collaboration, where each person contributes their unique skills and expertise towards a common goal. Picture a jigsaw puzzle – each piece, although different, fits together perfectly to create a beautiful image. Similarly, members of a group bring their individual strengths and abilities to create a collective masterpiece.

Fellowship is also akin to a tapestry, weaving together diverse threads to create a strong, unified fabric. Each thread represents a team member’s background, perspective, and experience. When interwoven, these threads create a more robust and resilient fabric than if each strand stood alone.

But how does one foster such an environment? Communication, trust, and empathy are essential ingredients. Imagine a sports team – it’s not enough for each player to excel in their position. They must communicate effectively, trust in their teammates’ abilities, and empathise with one another to truly succeed.

In the workplace, fellowship might manifest in group conversations where everyone’s ideas are heard and valued, or in a supportive environment where colleagues offer assistance to one another without hesitation, even at the expense of their own personal goals and wellbeing. Fellowship is the alchemy of individual talent and collaborative spirit that propels a group towards success.

So, what does #fellowship mean in practice? It’s the orchestra playing in harmony, the bees working for the hive, the jigsaw puzzle pieces fitting together, and the threads of a tapestry woven into a unified whole. It’s the magic that transforms a group of individuals into a powerful force for change and innovation.

Ten Examples of Fellowship in Action

Fellowship enhances success across a broad range of industries, as it fosters innovation, growth, and effectiveness through collaboration and open communication. Notable examples of fellowship include:

1. Google: Encourages innovation through fellowship by fostering cross-functional collaboration and an open environment for idea sharing.
2. Pixar: Builds a culture of fellowship by promoting open communication and active participation in the creative process.
3. Southwest Airlines: Puts fellowship at the heart of customer service, ensuring its people work together for the best customer experience.
4. The New York Times: Reinvents journalism through embracing fellowship, which enables adaptation to digital transformation.
5. NASA: Harnesses the power of fellowship to achieve success in space exploration, relying on extensive collaboration among numerous professionals.
6. Apple: Utilises fellowship in creating iconic products by valuing input from various teams and promoting collaboration.
7. Starbucks: Embraces fellowship for delivering a consistent customer experience, fostering a strong sense of teamwork among its people.
8. Tesla: Drives innovation through fellowship by promoting collaborative problem-solving and breaking down departmental silos.
9. Netflix: Utilises fellowship in collaborative decision-making for strategic success, valuing diverse perspectives and ideas.
10. Zappos: Builds a culture of empowerment and fellowship, focusing on exceptional customer service through collaboration.

By implementing the principles of effective #fellowship, organisations can thrive in a competitive landscape.

Software Development: It’s Not Even Slightly About Tech Skills and Coding Practices

💡 What’s the undervalued secret sauce of software success? You’re in for a wake-up call as we reveal the overlooked ingredients that make or break software success in the business world.

➡ Blimey, it’s no surprise that most execs – those few that are even slightly interested in software development – reckon it’s all about tech skills and coding practices. But I’ll tell you, there’s more to this picture than meets the eye. Sure, being a dab hand at coding is somewhat useful, but in the context of business operations, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

You see, the nitty-gritty of software development, especially in a business setting, also involves top-notch communication, teamwork, and adaptability.

And let’s not forget, building strong interpersonal relationships is a piece of cake for no one, but it’s a skill developers need to master to keep things from going pear-shaped.

A good understanding of the customer’s needs and the company’s goals is also crucial. After all, you can’t score a winner if you don’t know where the goalposts are. So, execs might choose to realise that there’s more to software development than just cranking code. And much more to hiring than the recruitment of code toads.

A successful software development team is the whole package. It’s not just about having a bunch of coding whizzes; it’s also about fostering a culture where everyone’s on the same page, working together as a community to bring work to fruition. Otherwise, businesses might find themselves up a creek without a paddle.

Girls Who Don’t Code

Girls and women are ideally placed to become real developers (by my definition*) and yet they want to CODE?

*My definition:

A real solutions developer is not so much someone who possesses technical expertise, but rather has the ability to connect with people and truly understand their needs.This requires a high level of emotional intelligence and empathy, as well as excellent communication and interpersonal skills. A real solutions developer builds relationships with clients, collaborates with team members, and creates solutions that meet the unique needs of each individual and group. By putting people first and prioritising human connections, a real solutions developer is able to deliver truly transformative solutions that make a difference in people’s lives.

See also: #NoSoftware

Fellowship As Protest

Relationship-building is an undervalued but vital tool in the arsenal of the modern-day employee. It is not enough to simply march in the streets or hold a sign aloft; building connections with like-minded individuals and fostering a sense of community is essential to creating lasting change. However, many businesses today actively work to undermine relationship-building in the workplace, promoting division and competition among employees at the expense of cooperation and collaboration.

This insidiousness can take many forms, from pitting employees against each other for promotions to encouraging a toxic work culture that values individual achievement over teamwork. But through active relationship-building, we protest against these destructive practices and create a workplace that values fellowship, cooperation and solidarity.

By forging connections with our fellow employees and working to create a sense of community, we challenge the dominant narrative of competition and individualism. This is not just a matter of improving our own working conditions; it is a powerful form of protest that strikes at the very heart of the capitalist system that pits workers against each other for the benefit of the few.

So let us not underestimate the power of fellowship as a form of protest. By standing together and fostering a sense of community in the workplace, we can create a better world for ourselves and for future generations.

In Favour of Wokeism at Work

Wokeism has become a buzzword in recent years, and it refers to a movement that seeks to raise awareness about social justice issues, including racial, gender, and LGBTQ+ equality. In the workplace, wokeism means creating an inclusive and diverse environment that values all employees’ unique experiences and perspectives. Here are some reasons why embracing wokeism can benefit workplaces:

Firstly, wokeism promotes a workplace culture that is sensitive to different groups’ needs and experiences. This means creating an environment where people feel comfortable expressing their opinions and experiences without fear of discrimination or ridicule. When employees feel heard and valued, they are more likely to be productive, engaged, and committed to their work.

Secondly, embracing wokeism can help companies attract and retain talent from diverse backgrounds. In today’s globalized world, companies that embrace diversity and inclusion have a competitive advantage. Studies have shown that diverse teams are more innovative, creative, and effective at problem-solving. When companies promote a culture of inclusivity, they can attract talent from a wider pool of candidates, leading to a more dynamic and productive workforce.

Thirdly, wokeism can help companies avoid legal risks associated with discrimination and harassment. Discrimination and harassment in the workplace can lead to lawsuits, negative publicity, and damage to a company’s reputation. Embracing wokeism can help companies prevent these issues by promoting a culture of respect and inclusivity, which reduces the risk of legal liabilities.

Get the Inside Scoop: Is Organisational Psychotherapy the Career Move You Need?

Listen up folks, I’m here to give you some straight talking about a career choice you may have heard of: Organisational Psychotherapy.

Let’s start with what it is: Organisational Psychotherapy is a type of therapy that helps organisations improve their culture. It’s essentially a type of therapy for the collective psyche.

Now, is it a good career move? Well, that depends on a few things.

First, do you have what it takes? To work as an Organisational Psychotherapist, you’ll not need any kind of certificates, degrees, or licenses. You WILL need to be a people-person, adept at seeing what’s happening and at building a therapeutic alliance with the client organisation as a whole.

Second, do you have the right personality for the job? This is a demanding and emotionally taxing career, so you need to be able to handle stress and maintain your composure in difficult situations.

Third, is there a demand for this type of work? This field is still relatively new, so there may not be as much demand for Organisational Psychotherapists as there is for other types of therapists. However, as more and more organisations realize the benefits of this type of therapy, demand is bound to increase.

So, what are the benefits of a career in Organisational Psychotherapy?

First, you’ll be helping organisations surface and reflect on their collective assumptions and beliefs. Which leads to collective introspection on culture and means to success.

Second, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of people and organisations, which can be both challenging and rewarding.

And finally, you’ll be able to make a real difference in people’s lives and have a positive impact on the world of work.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Organisational Psychotherapy may not be for everyone. But, if you have the temperament, the personality, and the drive to succeed, it can be a very fulfilling and lucrative career choice.

So, there you have it folks. Is Organisational Psychotherapy a good career move? It’s up to you to decide. But remember, if you’re going to make a career change, make sure you have all the facts, weigh the pros and cons, and choose wisely.

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

Power To Effect Change

We are all powerless to effect change, excepting together.

Deming emphasised that organisational tranformation and change must start with individuals changing their own personal assumptions and beliefs.

Yes, change starts with ourselves, but we may see little impact outside of ourselves until we get together to support one another and build a movement to action, to changing our group or community’s collective assumptions and beliefs.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

~ Margaret Mead

OTOH folks not needing to see change can carry on in isolation, ploughing their own furrrows, with no need for cooperation, community, or messy human interactions.

– Bob

Further Reading

Kahane, A. and Barnum, J. (2017). Collaborating With The Enemy: How To Work With People You Don’t Agree With Or Like Or Trust. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

I’m back on Twitter. Kinda.

Yes I said years ago I wouldn’t be returning. And I have not exactly returned. Judge me as you will.

I’m now one of the folks tweeting on behalf of The Quintessential Group. Twitter handle: @AlienTechGroup

Tweeting about The Group and all things Alien Tech and Quintessential.

BTW Also on LinkedIn – in person and as The Quintessential Group.

Maybe we’ll see you out there?


Particular structures for communities and groups are pretty much irrelevant. For example, teams.

It’s the relationships within communities or groups that matter.

Although, certain kinds of structure are more friendly towards enabling relationships to emerge and grow.

More On Sea Change

Do you need to see a Sea Change in the software industry, or does the status quo suit you and your needs just fine and dandy, thank you very much?

As the inventor of Agile software development circa 1994, I feel uniquely placed to suggest the need for such a sea change,and what that sea change might look like.

It’s all laid out in my most excellent book “Quintessence“, along with its companion volumes “Hearts Over Diamonds” and “Memeology“.

How often have you discussed the subject with your peers, friends, colleagues, higher-ups, etc.?

Without your active support and involvement, a sea change ain’t never likely to happen. Until then, status quo FTW.

– Bob

Further Reading

Marshall, R.W. (2021). Quintessence: An Acme for Software Development Organisations. [online] Falling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at:[Accessed 08 Jun 2022].
Marshall, R.W. (2021). Memeology: Surfacing And Reflecting On The Organisation’s Collective Assumptions And Beliefs. [online] Falling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at: [Accessed 08 Jun 2022].
Marshall, R.W. (2018). Hearts over Diamonds: Serving Business and Society Through Organisational Psychotherapy. [online] leanpub.comFalling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at: [Accessed08 Jun 2022].

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