Tag Archives: Fair – Justice

Justice, we should attempt it, but not expect it.

Business Politics is for the Good

The teachings of Aristotle by Michael Sanders via Harvardjustice.org cite the absolute neccesity of being involved in politics in a journey which persues virtue. Thirteen minutes into the video below we learn that in this regard practice is all important. Big business is entrenched in Politics. Many years ago I got out of big business because I believed that the politics wasn’t for good, and that I wasn’t in a position to change that fact.

Aristotle believed to live outside the politics you either had to be a god or a beast, I’m neither. But how do you turn business politics back to their original purpose? For the Good.

In aquiring any skill, albiet the skill is the art of virtue, requires practice.
Take swimming for instance. The first practice lesson could be throwing a toddler into a swimming pool and pulling them out if they looked like they are about to drown. That’s one way to get them to practice. Another way may be to encourage them to play in the shallows, building their confidence, practise water skills, play successively more swimming like games. Finally the child learns to swim.
Why is Business Politics so much like being thrown in a swimming pool as a toddler?

The Game of Life

I’ve not posted a new Blog for a while because I’ve been playing an online game called UrgentEvoke. I came across it through following a Linkedin group called Social Impact Games. The objective of the Game was to “Save the World” although I note from their latest Home page they are now purporting to only “Change the World”. Never-the-less the essence of the game is to make positive change by crowd-sourcing support for ideas that impact on issues identified through crowd-sourcing. Ultimately the game wants to inspire its participants to act in the real world by taking action based on ideas. It is run by the World Bank and directed by Jane McGonigal who designed the game.

Given that their were prizes of mentorships and seed capital I thought I would give it a go. Another opportunity to further consolidate and document my thoughts about Kahatika.

I have long since realised that the design of Kahatika could be interpreted as a never-ending slow moving game.  In today’s real time communication environment you may observe that the attraction of something that moved slowly might have limited appeal. Like only appeal to those that engage in postal chess.  Kahatika has elements in it’s design to ensure engagement and to retain interest between rounds of participation.

I have contributed multiple items related and unrelated to Kahatika over the last Month or so to UrgentEvoke, some of which contain circular references back to this blog.  My Profile on UrgentEvoke is the access point for all of this content and can be found here.

As I finale of the game and a mechanism to make yourself eligible for prizes there is a process of submitting a final blog to say what you would do if you were successful in attracting seed capital from the World Bank. Combined with a private email to the game administrators my final submission can be found here.

The content I submitted which relates to Kahatika is as follows:-























Accelerating Innovation

The following TED talk delivered by Bill Gates speaks of his one wish to halve the cost of energy while simultaneously reducing carbon output from the production of energy to zero. He speaks of energy miracles and explains his preference for a particular miracle he favours.

I started to wipe the sweat from my brow. I don’t have to do this “Save the World” thing. Someone else is about to do it. Not only that, it’s  Bill Gates. He has a track record of performing miracles.  He has more resources at his disposal than any other individual on the planet. This will get done.

Then again, if you take note of what Bill has to say 15:20 -> 17:00 into his talk about the 2020 report card. He realises his punt on a miracle may be wrong. To reduce risk, others must also take a punt. We must accelerate innovation in all realms and even he doesn’t have the resources to back all of it.

His releasing fireflies into the audience indicated that we need to think about all ideas as it’s ideas where innovation comes from.

Only a small proportion of the global population regard their individual role as one of Research and Development, yet it’s Research and Development that we hold responsible for innovation. Bill Gates pleads for Government direct investment and incentives for R & D and yet delivery mechanisms will only deliver investment to a small portion of potential innovators.  This is conventional wisdom and doesn’t look outside the box.

Perhaps changing the system of innovation to increase individual participation is the way of meeting our new world goals. Not surprisingly, this smacks of Open Source Philosophy and hence not mentioned in his speech.  What is mentioned in the Question and Answer session at he end of the Talk with Chris Anderson is Bills inability to share detail due to the conventional wisdom of non-disclosure agreements.

At this point I remember that Kahatika is a way of having your cake and eating it too.

More Video Talks I like

As I pick up links offered through people I follow on twitter I find more and more stuff related to what I’m trying to do with Kahatika and my efforts to “Save the World”.  I busily place talks in my favourites list on TED, Youtube and the likes to try and stay organised. Am I going to remember why they are related to Kahatika?  I had better put them in my Blog and write what struck me as interesting before I forget.

Jonathan Zittrain offers a bunch of questions on the start of a problem in the video talk above. It caused me to ponder on the changing nature of trust relationships. I ran all concepts of Kahatika through the questions he raises and was content that in one way or another I had addressed them all. Perhaps crowd sourced problem solving techniques are more appropriate in closed networks where trust regarding true purpose can be verified and earned.

The following talk by Dr. Robert Sapolsky on, the Uniqueness of Humans, reinforced concepts within Kahatika on reward mechanisms. From a neurological perspective, it dovetails nicely into Edwards Deming’s ideas on the failings of compensation methods of western industry. Kahatika was born from ideas I gleaned from attending workshops on Deming principles. The last minute of Sapolsky’s talk provides inspiration to act. Whilst geared towards a group of successful academics, we all can take heart from his words.

The Festive Season

It’s an interesting time of year to observe human behaviour. All the monotheistic religions are having or recently have had a major event in their calendar. That seems to put a perceivable buzz in the air that effects us all, regardless of whether we have a faith or not. It manifests in lots of ways, not all good. Stress, violence, suicide all go up at a time when we practice rituals designed for us to engage in positive things like Love and Compassion. Both reason and faith in a benevolent higher power has us wonder at the irony of these strange statistics.
Is there only so much love in this world to go around? Do some people experience the joy of the festive season at the expense of those who experience negative feelings?
Is it something to do with the ways we are executing our rituals? Has social evolution of rituals over thousands of years improved the system?
Is this part of some Darwinian evolution model where the way we act at a given time of year, strengthens those in society where its to our species advantage for them to survive and weakens those detrimental to our species?

What is it that we do at this time of year?
A lot of time is spent in and around the act of giving. Obviously when there is a lot of giving happening there is a whole bunch of receiving also happening. The process itself generates expectation, and leads to contemplation on fairness and justice.
Does this contemplation on fairness and justice cause our stress, violence and suicide rates to go up? Is anger and despair generated as a consequence of additional time to make a comparative analysis on our lot in society? Some of us count our good fortune and it just doesn’t stack up with our expectations?

Perhaps our ritual of giving needs to be reassessed? Maybe a small tweak to the system to de-emphasize cause and effect in the giving process would be in order?

A return to anonymous giving?

How Dangerous is being Wise?

  • Wisdom – the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight. ~ Dictionary.com
  • Insight -an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, esp. through intuitive understanding ~ Dictionary.com

If I create a tool that gives us practice at exhibiting wisdom how dangerous could this be?

  • Dan Ariely in the following talk exposed the possible danger of using our intuition. I found this talk very interesting and his work on cheating 4 and a half minutes in caused me to tweak some practical aspects of my design for Kahatika.
  • It is well worth watching in it’s entirety but if you are running short of time he tells of his personal pain due to intuition in his opening statements and sums up on the danger of using intuition 14 minutes into the talk.
  • We have a Crisis of Trust.

    Despite all the complicated Systems and Mechanisms our society institutes to reduce the need for trust, our day to day lives are manageable only because we do trust.

    We trust that the oncoming traffic will stay on their side of the road, we trust that the money we give to the banks will be available to us when ask for it. We trust that we will be paid, things will arrive on time, that basically agreements written and implied will be kept. It’s not because of our laws and systems that enable us to do this. Most of us couldn’t afford the time nor expense of seeking formal justice in every instance where trust is involved.

    If we didn’t trust, we would be in a paralyzing state of indecision, leaving our lives impotent. Inaction would be the norm. Societal evolution of humans is fundamentally down to trust.

    In what environment do we feel most comfortable with trust? The answer to that is, when we feel the most loved.

    In what environment do we feel most uncomfortable with trust? The answer to that is, when we are afraid; in a state of fear.

    This link gives rise to the definition I heard at a course I went on called Money and You  “The opposite of Love is Fear”

    Having also learned Deming’s 8th point of his 14 point philosophy; “Drive out fear where ever it exists in your organisation” was perhaps couched that way because he simply didn’t believe he could sell the idea “Exhibit Love everywhere within your organisation”

    Economists the world over would agree that the Global Financial Crisis is essentially a crisis of trust. The collapse of Lehman Brothers, an organisation the global financial institutions trusted, was found to be not trustworthy. If Lehman Brothers could collapse, who else could go the same way.  The flow of money, which was primarily based on trust, between these powerful organisations stopped. This had a knock on effect, falling business confidence, foreclosures, unemployment, bankruptcy. Recession.

    In summary the world has just had a whole hunk of love ripped out of it and had it replaced with fear.

    The solution; put back the Love.


    In the early 1980’s I climbed out of my teens, I entered the workforce and started to learn how business worked. As part of a company following the flavour of the month management philosophy I was put through W. Edwards Deming Institute’s training program. Being young and impressionable I thought the philosophy was excellent. I still do. I was tasked as a lower middle management employee to champion the new philosophy through the company.

    I knew these sorts of things needed to be championed from the top. I thought that upper management were all committed. I found to the subsequent demise of my employment how wrong I was. A lesson learned. Don’t challenge the boss by pointing out where they aren’t following the philosophy they are committed to following.

    There were two things that particularly stuck in my mind from my Deming Training.

    • Firstly, that “Fear” was an impediment to good business.
    • Secondly, that random remuneration was infinitely more motivating than the current systems of remuneration.

    Like all good business management philosophies the relevance of their wisdom extends beyond the business context.

    Many systems have stemmed from Deming’s teaching; Kaizen (Tony Robbins calls it Cani), Just in time, Six Sigma and many more have tweaked and branded their way to successful consultancy service models. Almost without exception they all tended to avoid what Deming had to say about remuneration.

    It wasn’t that they avoided the question of Money and how to dish it out. It’s just that of all Deming’s wisdom, this was the piece that was most consistently ignored.

    I came to realise over the years that the reason for that was probably “Fear”.

    The following video is old but still true. It is worth watching in it’s entirety but if you don’t have time skip through to the 3 and a half minutes starting at 5 minutes in.

    This part is what Deming regards at his third Deadly Sin and what I remember most vividly from my training.  As with many people who have been trained along these lines I have come to realise, it applies not only in business but in every day life. Life just isn’t fair


    Save the World
    The Venn Diagram - What system impacts the most fundamentally on our World?

    “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.” ~ Mayer Anselm Rothschild (Banker)

    What do we reform to give best bang for our buck?

    Financial independence is something we all covet but very few enjoy. Money, however much we wish it not to be so, dictates much of our enjoyment of life. We wish to eat, it requires money. We want new clothes, it requires money. We’d like to travel, more money, and so on. Hence those who have control over the supply of money, are deemed by most individuals to have power and control. Banks, Governments and Companies are the groups which wield this power. Within these organisations, individuals make the day to day decisions which ultimately give or take away money from other individuals. Traditionally, these organisations tend to be organised in a hierarchy where the individuals at the top have the ability to make decisions over the supply of money to those individuals beneath them. The ability to hire and fire is the ultimate example of control of the money supply. As society’s requirement for access to money increases so, an individual’s feeling of control over their own lives diminishes. Entrenched fear of losing money supply is still the most dominant management system in play. There are many management systems which have been implemented to redress the control of money, and hence control over our own lives issue. Within business, Piecework Pay, Production Bonuses, Profit sharing, Gain sharing are all systems, with varying degrees of merit, which, whether by chance or design, promise to pass back a degree of control to an individual. Most of these systems attempt to design in fairness of compensation through the use of empirical data, manipulated by some algorithm. Generally the algorithm consists of logic that some form of consensus has deemed to be fair. More often than not, individuals within an organisation will know of, or perceive of, examples where the system has not produced a fair result, whatever the system.

    What if we accepted that systems were sometimes not fair and created a compensation system that didn’t use “fair”, as a guide but instead relied on faith in group, and individual humanity?

    What if we created a system which enhanced communication, exchanged ideas, and gauged feelings?

    What if this system empowered all individuals within an organisation not just those who excel?

    Wouldn’t that be “Good”?

    • I’m a Communist?
    • I’m a Greenie Wack job?
    • I’m a conspiracy theory Nut?
    • I want to bring down the free market?

    I’m none of those, just a bloke with a plan to save the world.