November 7, 2007

Over 5 years!!

I was just taking a look at -- it has been over 5 years since I have been blogging in some for or other....


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October 17, 2006

In the Beginning...

It seems looking into the past can give us some perspective on the future. I guess I might be writing this more for myself than for others. Anyway,  might as well get some of the facts and figures out of the way. Born in London, Ontario, Canada, November 4, 1963 (6 weeks premature) to British parents (dad: English, mom: Welsh). Age: 42 (now, not then). Nearly did not make it, etc.

With parents and younger sister in the Anglican mission field (Father was/is ordained Anglican/Episcopal Priest) in Mexico and Central America until about 4 years old. Came to the US (Los Angeles), moved to Indiana (God only knows why).  Lived in Indiana from about 6 years old to 15 years old. Moved quite a bit until I was in my 20s. Moved to Santa Clara while in high school. I have been in SF Bay Area ever since (Santa Clara, San Jose, and then Napa, CA since 2001).

When we moved to Santa Clara, I ended up going to all boy Bellarmine Prep (High School) in San Jose from 10th to 12th grade (1982). I went to Santa Clara University (where my father taught) -- While I was not very thrilled with Bellarmine, both Bellarmine and SCU were outstanding Jesuit schools. While I started at SCU to get a Computer Science degree, I ended up getting a BA in History degree with a lot of computer science courses (1986). After a few years, I ended up going to San Jose State University (1988) for my MS in Cybernetic Systems (1992) (ironically from the Anthropology and Cybernetic Systems department). About  2 years later, I started a Ph.D. at University of Hull in the UK while living in Napa. In retrospect, maybe not the brightest thing I ever did. I defended in November of 1997, and graduated February of 1998 from the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside. Lincoln School of Management for short. My PhD was essentially in Systems Thinking and Human Values.

I got married in September of 1986 (for an update on this, see here). Worked in the tech industry in various roles for a long while (largely until I started on the PhD). Some of the places were: Olivetti ATC, Sun Microsystems, Frame Technology, Verity, Autodesk, IDG (technology writer). I was also starting to do a little OD (organizational development) and that eventually led to me doing the doctorate. My father is an expert in human values, and I worked with him at various times over the years. In 1994, we started Values Technology which has been seriously up and down over the last twelve years (I am not currently working for VT). Since I was technology savvy, and a growing expert in the area of values, I consulted and also steered the technology development. When I was not working on the technology I designed large scale interventions for values-based OD. The last time I left I was considered chief architect (bridging technology and values). I still advise my dad and company. Other than this stuff, I have taught at the post graduate level -- mostly in the area of leadership development.

Systems thinking and values, two areas, that other than history and technology, have fascinated me. I might add document analysis, but that really is an offshoot of the others. Since high school I had been fascinated by the ways in which values and meaning could be pulled from documents. Metaxio is a current attempt to make this more accessible to others.

In 1999 and 2001, my wife and I had a boy and twin girls -- as with most fathers, they are my pride and joy.

Well, that is probably enough for this entry. It sets up the entries to follow ;-). I am hoping there is a point to all of this!

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Can It Really Be a Disease?!?

Health, for the most part, has not been a major problem for me. But there have been some significant markers. The one that I think most people do not understand and for which I am only just figuring out myself is the disease of depression. I do not want to suggest that everyone that has been depressed is suffering from a disease. I think it is a lot like alcoholism, not everyone that drinks is an alcoholic, but there are definitely alcoholics and if they are to function they need to manage the disease. Depression manifests itself in much the same way. From what I understand, clinically if one has at least three major episodes of depression they are considered to have the disease. I certainly qualify on that count.

Treating the disease is not straight forward, either. Taken to the extremes, psychiatrists and other MDs want to prescribe drugs, and psychologists feel that it is more of behavioral thing and that it can be shifted through therapy. Different things work for different people, but to me it seems that it tends to be a combination of both. I find that I can get depressed when things are otherwise OK, but it can increase if there are negative situational factors in the environment.

Depression is in much the same way. I am not sure that all doctors even see depression as a disease. But if you look into the pathology of it, you start to see that it is. Depression is, for many people, the moody teenager that will grow out of it;  the temperamental artist that must suffer for their art, etc. These characterizations can often deflect the insidious nature of the beast. Jeffrey Kramer, in the book, Against Depression, helped me to see this as a disease and the pathology behind it. The funny thing is that as you see it as a disease it becomes a little easier to treat. In some ways it takes away some of the stigma. I probably do not need to go through the litany of problems that plague a person suffering from depression: wrecked marriages, relationships, suicide, problems with jobs (getting and keeping them), drugs and alcohol, on and on. Marriage, job problems, self esteem and to some degree alcohol seem to be my issues. I would say that from an outward perspective that I cope with it reasonably well. It is the profound sense of wanting to hide from the world that really hits me.

It sneaks up on you and those around you. And it comes up in places that you do not understand, or would not expect. You suppress it one place, it comes out another.

I grew up as a PK (Preacher's/Priest's Kid). My father was/is an Episcopal (every where except the US they are considered Anglican) priest. For this and other reasons, we moved quite a bit. Being a PK is a little like being an Army brat, but different. They tend to be wild or quiet, conforming or not. I was kind of the quiet, non-conforming type. Being a little bit of a smart alec did not help either.

It seems that PKs that move around quite a bit, particularly quiet, non-conforming types, fitting in and getting friends did not seem to help much. When I did get friends we would move away. I know that is one of the most painful issues of my separation and impending divorce from my wife is that while we were working on it, we let relationships with good friends atrophy.

It seems that from a fairly young age, I was getting setup for anxiety and depression. In hindsight, I go back and forth on the nature versus nurture. There are definitely some behavioral things that occurred, but I am also of the belief that brain chemistry plays a role. They say that anxiety and depression often have genetic roots. My father is a psychologist, so he essentially does not seem to agree, but I see much of the behavior that I have also in his.

I guess that net issue is that I suffer from depression, and that it is relating to where I am now.

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September 11, 2006

Strands of Understanding or Clarity?!?

As is suggested in my Bio, I am a single father of three kids (Grant, Rachel, Paige), two dogs (Scruffy, Sakima) and a kitten (Simba). I live in Napa, California (USA). I have a girlfriend of two years, Svea. This, I suppose,  is the beginning of one strand.

Maybe it will be the beginning of getting some clarity or meaning in my life. Maybe it will also help me identify what my faith or spiritual journey is or is going to be. A strong "faith" has not been a major or even minor part of my life. I would say that I am not without questions and desire for something as yet undefined. However, I would say that I am a "spiritual" person, but it is difficult to build a community with others in this area if one cannot easily define themselves in relation or context with others.

I find myself looking for and needing a sense of community, and it does not seem to be popping up in other areas. Work, kids, even external family. Exploring faith is a place where people of different backgrounds can come together and explore and hopefully add meaning in their lives. I see my meaning coming from more than a faith focus. But this seems to be one area that is calling to me.

I am trying to be careful not to talk about religion. While that is an obvious subtext to the above, I have had some mixed experiences relative to organized or institutional religion. I find that adding that view just gives me too many reasons to abort exploration. Having a love of history that includes some of the actions taken in the name of religion is enough to make many people do an about face. At the same time, it is difficult for me to deal with people that have unquestioning faith. Faith for me is about a journey. Someone that blindly walks the path is just as easy to veer from it. Checking for directions seems to me to be a good thing.

As is suggested in my Bio, I am a single father of three kids (Grant, Rachel, Paige), two dogs (Scruffy, Sakima) and a kitten (Simba). I live in Napa, California (USA). I have a girlfriend of two years, Svea. This, I suppose,  is the beginning of one strand.

Maybe it will be the beginning of getting some clarity or meaning in my life. Maybe it will also help me identify what my faith or spiritual journey is or is going to be. A strong "faith" has not been a major or even minor part of my life. I would say that I am not without questions and desire for something as yet undefined. However, I would say that I am a "spiritual" person, but it is difficult to build a community with others in this area if one cannot easily define themselves in relation or context with others.

I find myself looking for and needing a sense of community, and it does not seem to be popping up in other areas. Work, kids, even external family. Exploring faith is a place where people of different backgrounds can come together and explore and hopefully add meaning in their lives. I see my meaning coming from more than a faith focus. But this seems to be one area that is calling to me.

I am trying to be careful not to talk about religion. While that is an obvious subtext to the above, I have had some mixed experiences relative to organized or institutional religion. I find that adding that view just gives me too many reasons to abort exploration. Having a love of history that includes some of the actions taken in the name of religion is enough to make many people do an about face. At the same time, it is difficult for me to deal with people that have unquestioning faith. Faith for me is about a journey. Someone that blindly walks the path is just as easy to veer from it. Checking for directions seems to me to be a good thing.

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September 7, 2006

'House' of Meaning

I swear that I usually do not watch that much TV and more importantly, I do not tend to get heavy messages from them. However, I was just watching the season premiere of the TV show, House. The title of this episode was 'Meaning'. I guess the backdrop was how we often get meaning where we want to. Other than being a big part of my professional background (values and meaning), it seems to be a big part of what I am trying to figure out for myself. Many things that I have taken for granted, and assumed that at some level to be a foundation or rock. This foundation, and other stuff is moving -- one might say that it is moving far out of my comfort zone. I find that while a number of my values have stayed the same, that I allowed myself to ignore them. I have gotten to a place where I am not entirely trusting what is important and what is not.

My search for meaning seems to be centered on faith, risk and vision. I have many other values that are part of me, but these seem to be swirling around me at the moment. Belief and philosophy are part of this also. I am not sure where all this is going to land me, but I feel the need to express some of these ideas. I have had many ideas and issues (particularly unresolved ones) on my plate. It is through discernment and striving for some clarity, that I hope to get this. As I said before, I might not be totally making sense, but as I get things out, I hope it will become a little more clear.

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December 1, 2005

Wish I could figure which one of these I was!

Mister Snitch has an interesting take on what is needed for a popular blog. It is a very good analysis. I only wish I knew which one I am...
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November 30, 2005

The Flu is not just Achoo!

A pandemic's second front - Editorials & Commentary - International Herald Tribune

The possibility of an avian flu pandemic is real. In America, President George W. Bush has sensibly proposed a substantial investment to detect, identify and contain the virus, when and where it begins human-to-human spread.

It is mind-blowing to me -- we have the potential of a major disaster (and I do not mean the Tsunani ro Katrina) that has the potential of spreading death over the world, and no one seems to notice. It is the Avian Flu. I talk to friends and they write it off as a product of the government and drug companies. while the above might not be trustworthy -- we only need to the early part of last century that the flu can do real damage (Spanish Flu). the possiblility of devastation is huge. I am not sure of the answer but people should not be passive in this!

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November 4, 2005

Happy Birthday to me....

Today is my birthday. It was today that 42 years ago that I was born in London, Ontario, Canada. No comment at this point other than happy birthday to me. This may be the only one I get!!
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The way of Board Governance?!?

This article in Businessweek by Peter Burrows, talk about how HP is now going to require that Board members to win a majority of shareholder votes. It is interesting almost 'HP way' approach to looking after shareholder interests. However, the board can refuse the resignation. In this post-Enron, Sarbanes-Oxley world it is nice to see this gesture.

It is not quite an earth-shattering move, but it does suggest that there are some leadership moves that are occurring and maybe this will catch to other organizations.

I do not think that this absolves HP of the Compaq merger, but it is at least a start.

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October 25, 2005

Colleges and "American" Values

Top 10 Colleges for American Values-
"Choosing the Right College: The Whole Truth About America's Top Schools," by ISI Books has been published since 1998. It seems a little unnerving that people would choose schools on something as nebulous as "American" values.  I guess what they are speaking to is the idea of tradition and the "ideal" family. As one might guess, most of the top 10 are from some religious background or influence.
I must say that I have not read the book, but I saw nothing in the discussion of it to suggest that there is a clear definition of values. It seems to be a synonym for tradition, conservatism and religion. I believe that anyone should be able to choose an educational direction for themselves or their kids. For me, it is just the seemingly presumptious way in which the books suggests.
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October 19, 2005

Interesting Rumor

Interesting little article from NewsMaxRumor: Cheney to Resign; Rice as V.P.
I could definitely see something like this happening. We will know soon enough. I do not necessarily like her poltics but for some reason, I have always been emamored with her. Maybe part of it is that she is from this area (SF Bay Area -- Stanford), or that she is smart as a whip. For that matter, both she and Hillary seem to be more intelligent than the average politico. She seems to have some leadership ability, however, if this plays out we will now for sure ;-) .
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October 9, 2005

Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible

Hmmm-- very interesting article in the Time of London. The catholic church has begun to say that parts of the bible are inaccurate or untrue. In the article, Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible, go as as far as to suggest passages that are untrue or true. I have always found the book of Genesis to be fascinating. It is here that some of the confilicting accounts are brought up and therefore at least one has to be untrue.
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August 22, 2005


Reading the beginning of an interesting article in the SF Chronicle about Sean Penn and some colleagues spending a few days in Iraq.

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Iraq and Constitution

Now that Iraq is transitioning to their constitution. They are going to need as much help as possible. When you think about it, the American constitution was a tough enough thing to agree on and pull together, with the help of some very bright people in a simpler time. When you consider the factions, etc. It is amzing that they have made it this far. Especially since you have to figure that the U.S. has been keeping itself busy "advising". The thought of all this boggles the mind!

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August 12, 2005


I have been trying out this search engine from the guys that did Kartoo. This new one (or one could argue that it morphed) is called Ujiko. I find it great for doing research on a subject (like leadership!) it is clever in the way that it presents information. It is not so much a search engine as an interface. Worth a look.

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April 9, 2005

Onward and Upward

Our goal was to come together to meet, to see if we might possibly be good friends -- leaving other stuff open; I was just glad to be meeting someone that I already had some much in common. Both being an (I)ntrovert on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator; we both wanted friends. However, online and over the phone we had flirted.

I arrived a little early. And was waiting, a little nervous, after all, whatever the reason -- this was a date. We did not play pool and both had sodas :-) really, I swear. We ended up talking for a couple of hours. For some reason, I had one hell of a time looking her in the eyes. I suppose it could have been anxiousness, the implications of meeting someone, and yes, maybe some guilt. But the feeling for me was like she was looking into my soul. You might say that I was a little self conscious. She kept kind of not letting me off the hook about it. She was good about that. As we left, we talked about meeting again. I shook her hand, and we decided we would. At that point, I began to realize that I was going know her for a long time as a friend. A little over four months from my wife filing for divorce, I was in a relationship to stay.

Next we met at a place for lunch that has tri-tip sandwiches; we had a good time talking. I was getting better at looking at her in the eye. As we finished, we decided to go over to the pool hall and actually played pool this time. For good or for bad, it brought out a competive streak which I had to temper. But it was clear that we liked to do things, and to not hold back (too much).

One of things I began to realize, was that I was different man at 40 than I was in my twenties. It is hard to explain. I realized that I must have friends. This not negotiable. I had some significant breakdowns (will not go into it here at the moment). My wife, showed concern then quickly dropped it (the concern). It was at this point, through a friend (happened to be gay) and my therapist that anyone that would be telling me who my friends could be was not in my best interest. No guys, they might be gay, no women you might be having an affair (I was working at a job where I worked in close quarters with a number of women -- none of which I was involved with.) For that matter, my wife never even visited me at work.

A slight diversion, but might be enlightening, is that friends, counselors (marriage and otherwise) felt we might have switched the "classing" male and female roles. I was the relationship person that needed intimacy with friends and family and particularly a significant other. She was one that worried about details, controlled around money, and did not show much emotion.

It was interesting that one week after she filed it was her 40th birthday. She gets her ears pierced, wearing tighter clothes and jewelry. To be fair, both of us had lost 10-15 pounds due to stress. Clearly she was striking out in a direction, and whether she knew it or not she did not seem to be taking me with her. Like it her or not, she did look good. But it was definitely done for my benefit. 40 can do that to you.

I hate to say it, but the different cloths had been unraveling for a bit. Sitting here, I feel kind of torn, here is a person I was with for half my life, that I loved, and still love in many ways. But for which I know, I cannot be with anymore. and I have moved on from some time ago. When I emotionally let go, that was it. I mourn, but I do not regret.

My new friend invited me to her house for dinner. I told my wife I was going out to dinner with a friend. Which was strictly true, but I was not happy about this white lie. A few months before, I had come to grips with the fact that my father was often not truthful (lying) in order to avoid conflict. I started realizing that I had been doing this. Oh, I could rationalize this away, but I was not telling the truth or at least not the whole truth. So not telling my wife was hurting, I also needed to work on this new friendship.

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Looking Back to Go Forward

It has been over a year since my wife of 17.5 (at the time) years filed for divorce. She claims that it did not mean any thing, that it was to protect her and would help make me change (though it was not clear what she wanted me todo). I beg to differ. We had our ups and downs as most people do. We had many interests, but I guess ultimately we were built from different cloth. It is hard to say for sure, hindsight is 20/20. At some point, I might recount some of the events that led up to this stage in our lives. Let's just say that neither side is perfect. And when I get the nerve up, I might go into it more.

Things had been bad for a few years, having kids (this late -- late thirties) did not help. However, it is easy to think that this is all a waste (so many years of marriage). I sometimes think about this.But then I remember that this is a relationship that produced my children. I have three kids (Grant, and the twins: Rachel and Paige), they are wonderful, and they were produced by my wife and myself (therein lies another issue). We also had some great times. These kids I will always cherish (the good times also that I spent with my wife). For these, I thank my wife (soon to be Ex-). (This is getting harder to wite than I thought, did not think this bring me to tears.) I think this is why we (I) do this, a catharsis, a looking back, in order to move forward.

I am on a plane back from India. Going to and from India, and long flights, has a way of making one thoughtful. Up until shortly after my wife filed, I would not have even imagined that I would not be married (through thick and thin, etc.) Thinking of this as a blip (a serious one), but a blip none the less. I was recounting some of my troubles to a friend and colleague, and I remember her words as clear as the day she said them, "Life's too Short". It did not sink in at first. I am a very relationship driven, emotional person. It hit me, I had not really had intimacy with my wife for more than 2 years. I am not talking about the sex here. She whould would not share anything about her life with me. This lack of sharing really hurt (not realizing it). Even withdrawing from my friends in how it was affecting me. I had some friends that she did not like (they were gay or women, etc.). I needed to take control and make sure that my life was going in a direction that was positive for me.

I needed to get some friends (though later realized I also really needed to reacquaint myself with old friends). I looked online like Yahoo, Tickle, etc). I live in the North Bay in California. I had no friends locally whom I might see on a regular basis. I had a few friends but the were more like acquaintances. Not ones that you would want to be at all share deeply or vulnernable with. I really not had a way to meet people that made sense. I was 40, and pretty lame for someone who cherishes good friends. Since this was not about dating, options seemed very unclear.

I had made been looking around, listing myself online as wanting some good friends, etc. I saw a person online that had done some of the Tickle tests and that on first blush was similar to me. We were talking through e-mail for a bit. And one of us, I do not remember who, connected through Tickle's chat function. We found that was frustrating, and moved to Yahoo IM. I should probably mention at this point, it was a woman. We talked on line for some time -- 3-4 days. We had so much in common that it was scary, both for the coincidence of similarities, and for the potential for a friendship that would be doomed because of too much of seeing the other in them. But it was worth a try.

We spoke once or twice on the phone, and agreed to meet. At a pool hall of all places, we both liked playing pool ;-).

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February 14, 2005

Personal Environment

What is Personal Environment? I have been thinking about this, especially in terms of leadership. If leadership is about havivng an impact on your personal environment. Would this be the people that are directly in contact with, or maybe work with? Or is it wide than this? If you exist in a reality that does not have the kind of management style. Can you have impact on your personal environment such that your own environment plays out as you would like to see it. Treat others as you would like to be treated. If you are in a hierarchical environment, can you create a collaborative reality in your own pesronal environment? Can this work like a virus through out part of the organizaton?

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February 4, 2005

Foundation or Future, War and Peace: Why Current Peace Initiatives are Likely to Fail

Dr. Martin L.W. Hall
Minessence & Systems, Values & Organizations

I have been slow in coming to the realization that the current peace process has a fundamental flaw. Rather than trying to create a unified vision of peace, we end up fighting the idea of war (Iraq, etc) on its terms not ours. The vision for peace is seen only as the absence of war. Peace needs to be a viable alternative. It also must look at practical ways of dealing with the issues that war is now being used to solve.All too often a viable alternative is not proposed that looks at root causes and motivations. The leadership environment that allows for a strong vision of peace takes time to put into action, however it must start with an articulate and actionable vision that the common person can understand. Essentially, we are talking about an expanded and comprehensive New Deal for a global stage.

War is a foundational response to a problem. It comes out of the notion that we are forced to violence as a way of defending and/or protecting ourselves or our interests. A link to the concept of freedom is as close as war gets to a vision. The concept of peace is an energizing notion for most people. We are energized by things, values, ideals, beliefs that give us hope.

The lack of a unified vision simply allows us to become fractured and unclear in our message. We then end up simply trying to displace war by attacking the foundational elements of life. Since we are not linked in a single notion, we give several messages that can often times give mixed messages. (My Son is over there, War is bad., Anything but war., Blood for Oil., etc.) This is then contrasted by the singular message as communicated by those that advocate war they are a threat, we must remove the threat.Most of the reasons to not going to war are valid, but they must be part of a unified vision and message that includes these ideals. We must prevent war by creating a global leadership environment that deals with potentially conflicting issues before war surfaces as a solution.

I do not want to be so bold as to suggest that I have the vision for peace but I think there are some complementary notions. The strongest of these, I believe is sustainability.

· Human dignity
· Basic necessities
· Economic fairness
· Sovereignty

A very actionable plan can rise out values such as those above. A vision with sustainabiltiy as a theme, if defined and promoted properly, covers all the phases of consciousness and human development. What this creates is a vision that people can connect into no matter what stage of live they are in, from single mother to Geroge Soros (progressive global philanthropist). A vision that covers this spectrum creates energy toward a viable vision, and it engages everyone. War, on the otherhand, is speaking to our foundation, so all can understand it, however, it is not promoting a vision (except maybe freedom). However, the means of getting or protecting this freedom is ultimately short-lived.

Here is one value-based or cultural cluster that can be used in promoting sustainability. From basic needs to becoming the best that I can be, and empowering others to do the same.

Security/Basic Needs --> Self Worth --> Self Actualization --> Being Self --> Global Human Dignity

This works in Afghanistan, Iraq , Tsunami-ravaged countries and in the U.S. It allows a person, group, tribe, nation or world to connect to the vision from where ever they are. People cannot expect to dislike and throw out a dictator if they do not have a basic idea of self worth (I am worthy of something better).

Foundation is about Focusing on Basic Needs, Vision must be the way that we energize ourselves and the world. And the Focus is the most effective way to get the work done.

The complete vision can be simple, but the deployment will be tough. Create a vision that is obtainable but also allows for a currently hostile environment.

Harnessing the Evolution of a Global Consciousness

The more that people organize in groups, the more that we have to find new ways to do things. The explosion of travel and world-wide information access is creating a world where the bounds of nations are becoming increasingly murky. While the potential for human development is great, it also creates a tension as nations try to understand what it is to survive in the future. While the gains for humanity could be incredible, turf wars are one of the dangerous components that we need to wrestle with.Our future needs to be adaptable and flexible while maintaining a common vision.

We also need to realize that achieving a globalConsciousness is something that does not happen overnight. We need to think far into the future and try to put into place meaningful steps that can take us along this path. At best we can hope to be a guide. If we complete some baby steps, we might actually make a difference.

Creating Global Sustainability
A majority of the world's population does not have the minimum amount of food to eat. One of the imperative steps is that a majority of the planet musthave the basic needs for survival met. While this maybe quick, we must do this with in twogenerations. This is a tall order but one that really needs to be done if we are to have any hope of seeing ourselves as one planet rather than several nation-states.

The development of human consciousness requires that the minimum elements of survival be met. If these are not met then engaging in even the most basic human interaction is difficult if not impossible. How can you be in a position to demand a minimum of change for the better if you are constantly struggling just to stay alive. Assuming for the moment that we have the capability and the capacity to deliver food, warmth and shelter to those that want and require all over the globe? What would it take to create an environment where this was not just desired by most but a moral requirement. What we are talking about is installing a world-wide meaning system. With subtle, yet conscious shifts in global cultural priorities, this can be achieved. Some places it may be easier than others. But it can be done. Sustainable change takes time.

For this, we need to look at the development of the human being, the group and the planet. And in that order. The levels of consciousness of the human being are going to get mirrored in the way we organize to how we operate as a planet. In some ways, we need to imagine what does the basic sustainable human being look like, what is the meaning system that puts this person in the best place for accessing their potential for fulfillment.

From Survival to Self Worth to (Being) Self
Being is about arriving at a place where a person has the best understanding of how to actualize their own personal fulfillment. Developmentally, this not an easy place to get to. However, there are basic components that must be in place before we can even think about this. A totally evolved planetary consciousnesswould have all the people in the world with the potential of getting access to their own being. But we are still talking about baby steps.

The cornerstones of this journey are Survival, Self Worth and Being (Self). I cannot hope to progress as a human being if I am not getting my basic needs met. But I also cannot progress if I do not feel that I am worthy of this food, or of a better life. This istrue of a starving child in Ethiopia as it is to the drug addict on the streets of New York. It is these two items (survival and self worth) that must be part of the foundation of this planetary consciousness. In human terms, the planet is not meeting its basic needs so there is arrested development.

Creation of a planetary consciousness requires that we build up the self worth of the individual. They must feel that they are worthy of the respect of being provided with basic human necessities. This is easier said than done. Self worth is often expressed culturally. Therefore, their needs to be a common framework for establishing self worth but it should take into account the issues in a given culture.

Awareness is also important. If I know what is going on around me, I can make informed decisions. If I know how friends and peers feel, I will likely not feel alone.

Leadership and Accountability (Mutual)
Awareness is important for the person. But awareness is also about being explicit. When things are no longer hidden, when they are explicit,it is harder for those in power to ignore the needs of the many. Being explicit about the needs and desire of the populace is an important way for leaders to be held accountable. Their actions are measured against the wishes of the people and culture. Leadership without accountability creates a misuse of power. The global consciousness needs to create a leadership environment that focuses on leadership and not on management. There are plenty of people that that are good atdeployment. However, creating an effective, and yet collaborative leadership environment is needed and imperative. Telling others in the world what to do will not work, but creating the environment where the vision can be accomplished is imperative.

This awareness also creates a framework of systemic ethics. When intervening to create new global consciousness, the development of this system needs to provide for the needs of the whole. Awareness is essential to this.

From Clan to Global-State
Throughout history, man has had a tendency to create relationships in order to get more and more complicated things done. One started with the family or the clan (or in more modern terms a team or group). Man had to learn how to best organize this to accomplish goals such as killing a mastodon. As these tribes grew, and people became more specialized, and citiesand towns developed. Each time these occurred, it took time for the man to adapt and work these relationships. These groups would also get a sense of self. A sense of ownership of and for the group. You progressed to the city-state and then to the nation-state. The sense of self at the level of the nation-state is what we call patriotism. It is good for creating a sense of group-self but it can create differences with other such groups. And conflict and war can arise from this.

The evolution to the global-state is going to be key to the development of an evolutionary consciousness. We need to think of ourselves as one planet, and not a planet divided into groups. We must move from Us vs. Them -- to We.
The global state needs to see itself as entity worthy of existing. To do this we need to evolve human development to the evolution and development of the whole. To the planet as the reflection of the holographic image of all its occupants.

Posted by mlwhall at 10:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 31, 2005

Writing on Leadership

I am trying to pull together a book on leadership. I would like it to essentially be a compendium of writings on what might be termed 'collaborative leadership'. I think most of what I talk about on falls under this heading. I think that I have a publisher potentially interested in such a book. What I envision is a book that is academically strong but practically informed. Books like Wiley puts out. Practical examples and case studies would be quite welcome.

A working title is: "The Essence of Collaborative Leadership: Foundation, Focus and Vision"

I envision something like 10- 15 chapters. I would be looking to fill approximately 250 pages. I will the writer/editor of the work, but I may add a co-editor as this project comes together.

What I am asking for here is a few things:
Interest -- is this a project that you would like to work on.
Time -- Do you have time to put out a chapter in about a 2-3 month period (after commitment from publisher)
Focus -- what would you be interested in writing on -- do you have a specific idea, or are you open to suggestions.

The exact components of this will come together as I see all the people that are interested. But what I am thinking about at this point is:
Foundation -- What is Collaborative Leadership? Where does it come from? And how does it differ from the management-centric leadership work that permeates the business world and society in general.
Focus -- How is applied? What are examples? This would include looking at such issues as diversity, multi-culturalism, etc. How does one develop their capabilities in this area. The systems thinking and values implications of this type of leadership.
Vision -- What are the challenges/opportunities for collaborative leadership? How to build meaningful organizations, groups, institutions using collaborative leadership? Leadership and Sustainability

If you can send me a short note on your interest in this project, that would be good for me to get myself organized here.

Posted by mlwhall at 4:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack