I was thinking about W. Edwards Deming quote “No one can enjoy learning if he must constantly be concerned about being graded for his performance”.
I saw some relation with Adi Da Samray’s quote “Relax. Nothing is under control“.
I also saw some relation with Leonard Cohen’s quote “Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.“ It seems the take away in all these messages is that we should stop trying to achieve best of the best performance or try to overly control our processes just because the performance goals dictate it and finally, let in some room for learning mistakes. It will get perfecter this way also, just might take a little longer, but then again, what’s the rush?
I just read “Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking“. The next paragraph triggered me to write this blog because I suddenly saw what it is that makes it so difficult to make generalistic or specialistic decisions at times:
“Expect the experts to be negative. The more expert and specialized a person becomes, the more their mindset becomes narrowed and the more fixated they become on confirming what they believe to be absolute. Consequently, when confronted with new and different ideas, their focus will be on conformity. Does it conform with what I know is right? If not, experts will spend all their time showing and explaining why it can’t be done and why it can’t work. They will not look for ways to make it work or get it done because this might demonstrate that what they regarded as absolute is not absolute at all…”
The way I understand it is that because of how this works in our minds, the net effect on a larger scale can be that things can be working out as a (huge?) change blocker. But I personally believe there must be a hidden drive behind not wanting to adapt one’s own personal expert fueled beliefs. When investigating this with myself, I found out it’s fear or maybe even multiple fears. Probably fear of having to expose myself to my environment as being not 100% competent in my area of expertise or specialism. Fear for showing inconsitent behavior, after all, as an expert I am expected to give an expert advice and therefore by mandate of culture not allowed to make mistakes. It’s a taboo. Fear for group isolation: suppose I know that expert advice I give is far from optimal, but because I don’t want to standout of my social environment, i’m accepting to adjust myself to the culture. Better than being cast out as a non conformist. These are just a few example of fears. But they reamain an assumption, nothing more. I do wonder how our society would look like if we would allow eachother to have a shared learning culture. A culture where we allow (in fact forgive!) each other for making mistakes, showing eachother we can and are allowed to fail, and are thus not infallable. Let’s get out of the fear box and create a learning culture!
Over the years I have trained a few of my dogs using different techniques. I started out with the Carrot & Stick method. It worked great. My dog did exactly what he needed to do when and only if I gave him a command. There was only one little disadvantage: he was constantly frightened and only did things when I asked him to. He had a lot of fear to initiate something himself, so he was constantly waiting for a command. Then I went to another training school where the carrot & stick method was strictly forbidden. Here we had to train our dogs using the Attention method.
And that also worked. It took much longer time to train however. But in the end my dog followed my allmost blindly and had a lot of fun already. The anxiety was gone, but the self initiative wasn’t still there. That was because we never trained our dogs to “think” out complex situations for themselves. We did that for them. So they never had incentive to improve their own capabilities. And so they developed what you could call “learned helplessness”. And then this training school stopped and I decided to look for another school.
There they taught me again a new technique, based on Selfreliance. Here I learned in the beginning to develop “angels” patience, give my dog a lot of attention and guide her exercise by exercise, learning her to think out most parts of the exercices herself. In the beginning it looked as if it was taking ages, but sooner than I thought, I saw my dog having lots of fun. She increasingly started taking inititives herself as soon as she understood the core meaning of an exercise . So now I am at the level that I only need to guide her a little bit. We’re both much happier now and are constantly thinking and practicing newer, complexer exercises. I can recommend this approach to everyone. It worked for me.
Picture source here. Leonard Cohen’s quote “Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” resonates with me. I like it a lot. I can also see a relation with talent management. Earlier I blogged about a new way to organize collective talent, in a way forming some kind of global consciousness. Suppose we would be willing to accept that every person on earth can fail (is not infallible). Nobody’s perfect. Everybody’s got a crack somewhere. This fits well with Deming’s quote ” No one can enjoy learning if he must constantly be concerned about being graded for his performance”. Also suppose we would accept that every person on earth has limited talent, has a basic need to learn and has an open attitude towards letting in knowledge from others (letting in the light?) and share it’s knowledge with the world, what would happen to our world? Wouldn’t we get more societal value from the collective wisdom that is available? Could it help our world prevent coming into new crises? What do you think: is it worth a try? (picture source here)
In an increasingly interconnected world where knowledge is openly shared, being very smart yourself is no longer the only path to succes. You could spend a lifetime learning or developing stuff or theories and getting more and more clever yourself. But since we as humans already have an enormous amount of knowledge together and increasingly share it, why not benefit from that by integrating it? Instead of building up a lot of knowledge yourself, you can also try to connect to the knowledge that others willingly share. And instead of hunting for individual talents, we might better hunt for collective talents (networks). The six degrees of separation in your personal network, enabled by Internet technology can make it possible. You only have to initiate network connections to get it starting, so it starts by personal leadership. Being smart or clever will therefore gradually transform into learning to find peers in your network that can add knowledge to your own knowledge and extending your network so it adds more and more value. To make that kind of a (sourcing?) strategy really work, we should try to make some steps towards globally sharing non-competitive knowledge. You could call this increasing our global consciousness, for which by the way even a project is investigating this for many years already. It requires an open mindset. Good luck in your personal quest for getting “globally” smarter!
Plato already knew how people can be guided by illusions. Plato’s cave illustrates it perfectly. I envision that living in the rational domain is like living inside Plato’s cave of rationality and thinking this way is the only way. In modern society, we learn to behave like this, not knowing any better. It’s our culture. We act and think as we do. But suppose you could get a glimpse at the sunlight coming outside the cave? And suppose you then suddenly realize there’s more than only the rational domain. You see there is a spiritual domain also. Well, that happened to me. Since that time, I can see there are two domains. Each has it’s own specific added value. They cannot exist without eachother. And they can amplify eachother if we would allow it. I have allowed it for myself. It has made me much stronger. Since that time I can better rationalize cases that need rational decisions. I am also getting better in making spiritual decisions when necessary. And I am now learning how to balance the two decision domains. A very nice experience I like to share.
Traditionally, I had a tendency to look at things more often from a pessimistic than an optimistic point of view. You might say I have long time lived inside my own shadow. And there have been many years that I suppressed to investigate that darker side of me. But lately I discovered how you can find light inside your own shadow. It’s very simple. You only need to be self-aware, reflect yourself often and the more and more you do that, the more and more you start seeing your own light. So to confront yourself with your darker sides, you need to open up for the light to come in. And light can reveal the beauties hidden inside your shadow. As soon as you start realizing that light cannot exist without darkness and vice versa, you have an excellent starting point to transform. It happened to me! It can happen to anyone!