August 2013


ImageAs a parent, as a business person but more importantly as a human being I plead with each and every adult of this world to grow-up.  Most of us use years or stature as a means of measuring maturity but as the old saying goes… “actions speak louder than words”.  I admit that I have had those moments of immaturity, driven by the euphoria of the reaction from those around us.  While I didn’t put on a suicide vest, set myself ablaze or started a shooting rampage from the top of a building I am sure that I have none the less caused personal pain on others.  It would be nice to think that it would all stop there but a catalyst creates an ensuing action that can take either a righteous or a disastrous path.   Being the catalyst you aren’t always around to the the result.  But is it worth the energy and the glory to inflict negative possibilities?

Here and Now

I sit as a foreigner in a region where conflict, corruption, natural calamities and thinly veiled irreverent behavior exists.  I’m not sure its a whole lot different in other areas and certainly not the case in my home nation.  The reasons are many:  survival, local custom, a bigger cause and is often the case blind followings.  We look to others to legitimize our action and endorse efforts.   We use this to compel us to act where they would not.  One needs to consider why they aren’t?   Why should they after all YOU are the instrument and thus in a somewhat reckless way you are a disposable experiment.

A World for Children (elders and women)

Actually the world is for everyone but the actions of man, in the general sense of the word, is driven by MAN.  I am not trying to be sexest in using or implying that all acts are don by ‘man’ but you can’t over look the predominance of such.   Maybe you aren’t a parent, but a parent does not mean that you don’t have a parental obligation to society.  Almost any act can be justified but this does not make it right, it only means that it supports YOUR reason for acting upon your motives.

As a parent, of children and the global community, I spend allot of my time trying to change the way we think and the way we react to things.  Whether this is a business issue or one that touches societies it is my obligation to share in a respectful and heartfelt way.  I don’t need to inflict anger, generate chaos or inflict death upon the innocent to share my views.   It is troublesome to think that in today’s world we must be continuously on the defensive.  We must cast aside life enjoyment for safety and survival.  To a much larger extent we must extend this umbrella of protection around our families (related and in the global context). 

Bringing Sanity Back from Insanity

There is not a religion, social norm or legal system that permits killing or legitimizes corruption.  These unsubstantiated acts are the will of man.  Mankind that that has a much larger and personalized self-interest at heart.  It overlooks the future generations, the respect of past generations and pains a somewhat convincing picture that it is for the benefit of all.  I would like to think that this was true but undoubtedly look at where we are today and the level of chaos that exists.  Are your children safe, are your parents (and their peers) better off, and has mankind created a world without chaos?   Can you allow your children to play and enjoy their childhood or are they, even the poorest sense, forced to hide in self-protection? This is a sad testimony on our advancement as civilized societies.  No matter how many technological advances are made they become tools for insane behavior.  Whether it is cell phones to activate a road side bomb, remote controlled aircraft to enact humanless bombing on targets, or the internet to send coded and  oftentimes inaccurate propaganda to the ill informed.  All for what??    A personal agenda, the manipulation of the educated and unsuspecting mercenaries or the misguided belief that world domination will mean peace when in fact that peace cannot even be achieved within the ranks of mission driven regimes?

So GROW

Don’t be insulted by this humble and sincere request.  Our actions speak not to change in a positive way but leads us in a direction where our children, or parents and those around us in a global context are at risk of peril!  Its time that we started to use our energies and our time to transform the world into a better place.   Casting aside the ill fated direction of ‘labeled leaders’ and start acting in such as a way where our faith and our families become the reasons why we act in positive and responsible non-destructive fashion.   Our first steps will set us free from fear, from living an unfilled life, and from the shackles of poverty and ignorance.  Today can be the start and if this touches but one soul will have become  a positive start for all of mankind.

FREELY DISTRIBUTE AND MAKE IT VIRAL!

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imagesWhat is ‘chaos theory’?  According to Wikipedia (and other sources) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory its a branch of mathematics that has application in such fields as meteorology, engineering, economics and biology.  Using a series of complex formulas it attempts to bring order from chaos, or rather help to understand what is happening in order to predict what is possibly going to happen.  It is a non-linear, relationship based model that illustrates how the multifaceted factors interact.   Sounds complex but in the upcoming sections we will simplify and provide guidance on its essential application.

I believe that those who have used, understood and applied the concept of Chaos Theory have not considered its possible implication on life as it exists today.  We live in a world of chaos whether it be personal or in business.  As I pondered the subject I could help reflect on my early involvement with fractals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractals).  At the time a colleague of my, Bill Silver, was fervent about fractals as it related to software quality and testing.  Sound, appropriate and applicable its failed to take flight amongst companies who could have truly brought understanding and order to the particular situations.  Chaos theory is best illustrated as a fractal, a multi-branched illustration of the many elements surrounding a particular situation (which can be good or bad).  It is not the simple linear Ishikawa (Fishbone) diagram that is easy to understand, but forces a serial string of event line of thought.  Fractals consider the timeline but truly try to establish the lay of the land and how these various elements interplay.

Today (2013) we live by advise and parables, we use these to attempt a short cut to a particular outcome.  Two people having a disagreement over remuneration, a company and government in the throws of regulatory compliance, or a company attempting to gain a foothold in a market are driven by an environment of fractals but conceptually are a working example of chaos theory.  As humans we are driven by experiences, education and intuition.  Have we considered that when resolution or outcomes struggle to gain a positive direction that its possibly the chaos theory model is a bit larger than what we have extracted from those human virtues we hold as most important?

Let’s admit a few things,

  • the complexities of our world creates a much more complex degree of chaos,
  • understanding as much as possible about the chaos will help us to more accurately craft and implement a durable/working outcome,
  • history, axioms, experience and education are valuable but when applied in a random fashion they contribute to chaos,
  • there is no such thing as a commodity solution (eg. if this happens do this).  Few things in life are binary and there are always some factors that can and will occur at random and
  • chaos will always be with us.  We need to employ ways to minimize chaos effect, take chaotic situations and fully understand the interplay before solutioning and solution(s) are always the result of understanding and not a random choice of options.

The ‘Human’ Tendency

imagesWe often to rely upon on ourselves and our instincts.  These are legitimize through the use of collaboration with others who are also using their talents and instincts.  One could argue that there is nothing wrong with this but then lets look at the outcomes.  Do we go from one problem to another and do solutions work but later fail?  Are these excused away as simply a common occurrence taking place?  If chaos theory is the answer then in and of itself does it also have a limited life therefore is it any better?  To answer this question its a matter of understanding the concept of chaos theory in a simply way.  Chaos theory as was previously mentioned is a complex model (fractal) of interrelationships.  The more complete the model the better we are at understanding the issue(s) and their conflicts.  The sticky part is on how conflicts get resolved, and usually this entails both compromise as well as balance.  This is achieved through objective awareness.  I had a very interesting discussion with the United Nations over the peace process in the Middle East.  It seems we bounce from promise to doom with each passing press release.  Nothing really changes, the solutions become more and more complex and yet no attempt has been made to chart the chaos that exist.  Energized by passion, resentment and hatred simple mention the names like Israel, Palestine, settlement or even arbitrators (like the US) bring immediate negative reactions.  This condition immediate generates opposition to proposals and a legitimizing of our personal agendas.  The chaos model with all of its power to generate durable solution cannot reach those until the higher order chaos issues are resolved.  In this particular case hatred coming from both sides (… it takes two to tango).  For this reason we proposed a ‘blind’ arbitration system where the issues could be fleshed out with total anonymity.  An Israelite would not know that something was submitted from a Palestinian and vice versa.  It would remove identities and even the mere sight of each other.  It would provide a means to get the all of the issues on the table and these could then be brought forward into the chaos model to create an sterile understanding for peace solutions to be considered (but again in a totally blind fashion).  Some of you might wonder whether this is being considered by the U.N. and that I don’t know.  Maybe they are still thinking about it or possibly they have already written it off as unneeded since reliance on persons, skills, education and abilities are hardened favored items.  But ideas have a profound way of becoming possible when the level of pain and desperation reach a critical level (so time will tell).

Trickle Down Effect

imagesPeople and organizations operate from the top down.  Innovative thinking leads to Strategies that then lead to Tactics, and Tactics lead to operation delivery.  Innovative creativity is an unrestrained and open field of curiosity, reaction and free thinking.  Reality comes in to play when these free range thoughts are then considered to be strategically important.  Jumping forward means careful analytic examination whether it be predictions supported by analytic studies or possible a survey of some sort.  The question always becomes whether the studies and surveys are sound enough to give fair answers vs. justification?  Almost all of the ones we have seen over the last 40 odd  years have been more in favor of justification rather than to legitimize a move forward.  In fact most aren’t even scientifically sound enough to take any action at all.  Don’t get me wrong… there are exceptions to this.  I too have fallen prey, for the sake of expediency, to act on an idea only to realize that while the idea itself is sound the understanding of the full reasonable extent of chaos theory overlooked critical elements that reduce plausibility.  So as some would say… misery love company is true, but true in this case doesn’t mean that success was achieved.  There are also those who would say I didn’t do any chaos theory like thinking and I was lucky.  In this case the key word is ‘lucky’ and I guess if I had nothing to lose and everything to gain I think their choice to venture forward is extremely important.  But for most companies and organizations luck, while accepted graciously, is not what we should become totally reliant upon.

So Where From HERE????

imagesReaders and those that pass this on to others are most likely going to read, digest, take-in and utilize to varying degrees.  Its often so so easy to continue as is despite the keen interest of today being ‘change’.  We are stuck and our chaos continues to grow.  As a serial entrepreneur we are pursuing new ventures to guide the development of strategies, tactics and operational solutions.  An instrumental part of this is chaos solutions.  Some might view this as arbitrators but the usual arbitrators simply sit between two opposing parties and make a decision based on what they hear and know.  Seldom does arbitration dig deep into the chaos landscape to fully understand the landscape.  This is essential to stem the growth in the chaos we live in, the unproductive energy we exert (most managers say their job is dealing with problems/chaos) and the string of failed attempts in regaining control.  We see this all the time that people are replaced with new people who then lead to similar (or worse) outcomes.  Its not their are bad people, its not that a known is being replaced with an unknown.  It is a matter that we have failed to understand chaos and to enact a solution based on credible sound chaos fractal understanding.

SHARE FREELY… MAKE IT VIRAL!

ImageSo how well is the world doing?  Are we in a state of chaos or emerging from it?  These are all valid and vitally important pieces of information because our feelings and impressions have been conditioned to take in lots and lots of information.  At one time the news could be viewed as a reliable source.  Based upon facts and not opinions.  Credible sources were the order of the day, the mandate of management in order to provide credibility to viewers, listeners and readers.  Today I’m not so sure.  Obviously I suffer from the opinion that anything and everything you get exposed to must be filtered, studied, measured and analyzed against what you know, feel or have knowledge about.  For that reason one cannot being accepting but it also means that you are responsible none the less to use this information in a proper way.

Predictions are the last thing we need in business.  While it might give us promise that we are on track (possibly because we are the track to which the predictions are being made) we have to consider it in the much large category of ‘information’.  To the extreme this might be used to promote and elevate our agenda, but certainly it should never be used to justify the commitment.  We need definitive and concrete information that can then examined and evaluate for the possibilities that it contains.  Even then we adopt an element of risk because we are conjecturing about what might happen.  If we are able to leverage the ‘happen’ element then we are more apt to have information that can be used to lay strategy groundwork.   Be cautious however, the best laid plans do not always materialize size your range of control is limited to what you do and not that of the consuming public.

A fundamental rule is the order of control.  Control over analytics should follow the Prevention, Detection and Correction paradigm.  I would that only after these steps have been followed Predictions can occur.  We must,

  • Prevent predictive analytics being used beyond their level of authentication.  Will useful in making public announcements and sparking curiosity that can be examined further they simply too unreliable to bet your entire business on.  If you think I’m blowing smoke on this take any if not all of the analytic company predictions and see for yourself what the reliability factor has been based on actual historical outcomes.   then predict with improved reliability.
  • Detect the level of use and the need for added study or possibly collaborative comparisons.  Blind acceptance is again not an option for rational things.  You are risking allot to possible gain allot but don’t be fool hearty.  Don’t bet on a high pair in your hand if you haven’t seen what cards get shown on the table.
  • Correction is probably the most time consuming aspect.  Correction is about making change to the predictions but adapting the conclusions drawn into a strategic approach to follow in a ‘guarded’ way.  Never go all in when there remains some significant unknowns that make all of your ambitions a waste.
  • The preceding three points can then lead you to a point where predictive predictions can occur.  Taking what you have, what you know, what actions might be taken and melding them all together you arrive at actions plans and adaptive predictions that serve to guide your business.  These provide the necessary bullet proof protection necessary to make ‘right’ movements in ‘right’ directions with ‘right’ measures of control.

Predictions are guesses.  Like the news they were to be based on facts.  But as we have seen the complexity and the number of factors grow we have seen a similar response in limiting the sources for analytic purposes.  Some would ask why do this in the age of technology?  Couldn’t we just amalgamate this all and come up with more accurate results?  The answer is yes… we could, however we face the economics of analytics.  I am tempted to call it as a lean approach but would prefer to call it brand leverage lean.  Companies rely upon their name to care the information, absent of sufficient analytic depth but opportunistic enough to sell for a hearty sum.   I’m not really certain how long the charade will last.  The economic reason for it retains popularity is that its sold at the top of organizations whereby the analytics can be used for the purpose supporting a public campaign they cannot not, should not and must not be relied upon at face value.  Reckless abandonment puts business at risk.  You might have nothing to loose professionally, maybe the golden parachute will do you just fine but my gosh give consideration to the role that you have and the impact of your decisions on others.  When I look at real leaders their righteous role is defined by the consideration of the entire community that surrounds them.  They often place themselves well down on who gets pleased,  As leaders I plead with you to be responsible (some of you may blow this off or quickly discount this request because you feel  you are… but please-please-please reflect for just a moment as to whether you or not).  Behavioral redemption is possible even at the late hour in your career.

Predictive power is driven by the means/methods, data, source, age/timing and motives.  We  have all heard of creative statistics the permit just the right pieces to shine through to achieve a purpose.  Real truth based analytics are near real-time (event based and is current as possible), defined by appropriate methods including both mathematical and population selection, and must articulate the limitations.  If these steps are not being followed then the numbers are just the numbers.  They are unreliable and essentially unusable in any form.   What would you say that 99 out of 100 CEOs wore socks would you agree?  Would  you ask what was the 1 that didn’t, what country or region was this information taken from?   But more importantly would  you go about making socks for CEOs without understanding that the climate in which they live or even travel to.  This will and should impact the way you use analytics.  On the predictive side of the house, if I was to say that 3 million out of 25 million graduates will not have a job upon graduation in 2017 would this compel you to create jobs or would you see this as an opportunity to serve this unemployed population with career entry preparation before reaching graduation (to drive the 3 million jobless down)?   These are examples that help to illustrate the power of numbers but also the risk when blindly using them.

Their precision is grounded upon the means/methods, data, sources, age and motives.  We have all heard of creative statistics.  These can and often create suggestive answers that pander to goals but fail to sufficiently reflect complete truth.  Applied to strategic and tactical missions they run a deplorable high risk of failure.