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Blogs list

The following is a list of blogs made in the years up to 2015.

Announcing "Discovery Leadership and Management (TM")
Announcing "quantum co-creativity (TM)"
Announcing "Rapid Synchronous Process Change (TM)"
A super auditor for extraordinary times
Achieve win-win with value networks
Big Society Programme - The MakeItZone
Christmas Greetings - the Trinity / Triune value network
City firm adds value networks to portfolio

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Moral Sentiments

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, said in an address in St Paul's Catheral, London on Tuesday, 31st March:-

"Markets need morals.

The reason I have been long fascinated by Adam Smith, who came from my home town of Kirkcaldy, is that he recognised that the invisible hand of the market had to be accompanied by the helping hand of society, that he argued the flourishing of moral sentiments comes before and is the foundation of the wealth of nations.

So the challenge for our generation is now clear: whether or not we can formulate global rules for our global financial and economic systems; global rules that are grounded in our shared values."

Adam Smith also referred to the "stupidity of mind" induced by being over mechanistic. We should be careful not to over regulate.

















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Announcing "quantum co-creativity (TM)"

The world and its people are currently in a mess!

Solutions must incorporate systemic understanding and stakeholder interest and influence, preferably with transparency.

19 th century management principles are gradually being adapted to incorporate practice that is found in a new generation of inhabitants that know how to use social media and global networks to good effect.

In parallel, there are traditions that believe that we are co-creators not just with one another but with a Divine Creator to ensure the care of a groaning earth and its restoration for being fit for purpose for future generations. Currently, there are almost 35,000 references to co-creativity on the web,

At this point I acknowledge the influence of David Welbourn, co-author of "The spirit at work phenomenon," Dr Charles Savage, author of 5th Generation Management - Co-creating through Virtual Enterprising, Dynamic Teaming, and Knowledge Networking," (still fresh after 13 years), George Por for his insights on "Collective Intelligence," and Verna Allee, the main original contributor and developer of the value network approach.

Building on the shoulders of giants in their fields attention is now drawn to the work of Hubert Saint-Onge, an originator of the knowledge management movement and his new co-authored book with Jay Chatzkel, "Beyond the Deal," which outlines an approach to achieve quantum leaps in corporate performance.

So, now is the time for me to introduce the phrase "quantum co-creativity" quietly before the full fanfare heralds in this new force for transformation between people.

This is not the place to describe its effects and meaning, but you can see the context for the phrase in the diagram following which traces connections from our origins as single cells to the complex organisations of the present. The value network approach is used as a framework to connect the parts, including the combination and interaction of both formal workflow AND informal networks that generate value in organisations. In the words of Joan Bird, "Uniquely, VNA (value networks and analysis) maps intangibles, allowing better understanding and directional intervention and transformation."

A movement is under way to assimilate the significance of Quantum Co-Creativity, so join the group here for further guidance.

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A journey along a spiritual path....


The life coach said: “Set your troubled heart at rest. Trust in my methods and spiritual science. There are many Universal Laws that you can use to create the life you want. If that were not so, I would not have told you so, for I am going to be your guide. And if I go and replenish the secrets of success that worked in my life, I shall come back to you and take you under my wing, so that you may also connect through Universal Consciousness and know the internal processes to apply.

The client said, “Master, I do not understand Universal Consciousness and why the Universal Laws work.”

The life coach replied, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one achieves true Prosperity except by me. Peace, light and love is my parting gift to you, such as you will find nowhere else. Set your troubled heart at rest, and banish your fears.”

Written AD 70 ish, attributed to one called John

“Set your troubled hearts at rest. Trust in God always; trust also in me. There are many dwelling-place in my Father’s house; if it were not so I should not have told you; for I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I shall come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also; and you know the way I am taking.”

Thomas said, “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus replied, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except by me.
“Peace is my parting gift to you, my own peace, such as the world cannot give. Set your troubled hearts at rest, and banish your fears.”

(The Holy Bible, New Testament, John 14:verses1-6 & verse 27)

Exercise in the "Art of Allowing"
(Adapted from the words of the His Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth Palace, on 9th April, 2009, at a private funeral service of a friend).

Allow the Grace of God to be with ourselves, so that we can be at home with ourselves and so welcome others. Be at home with our values and vision and at home with God, and relationships will be built up. If we trust in God always, we can believe in being welcome wherever we are, whatever steps we take.

“Be with me,” said Jesus, “be in my company along your way.”



Is there sufficient and adequate evidence for the message from the AD 70 "coach" to supplement or replace the first version offered by many modern day coaches?

What is the nature of authority?

What is the relationship between faith and scientific reality?

Is a win - win combination available in the 21st century? Should one aspire to one?


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Swine Flu - impressions of the virus

How can CEOs benefit from a knowledge of viruses?

Maybe they can point to the flu strain's apparent capacity for both incremental innovation (genetic drift) and disruptive innovation (genetic shift) as an exemplar of good practice for use in an organisational setting. Its capacity to adapt and survive against threats to its existence is only marred by its propensity to kill off its hosts / customers too early in the relationship before infection can spread!

So, how does the human body adapts to survive without our even thinking about it? The following description shows how.

The immune system’s role is to identify the enemies that are attacking the body and then to destroy them. These enemies include foreign agents such as bacteria and viruses as well as our own cells that become defective.

You can see how in the diagram following. Follow the sequence 1 to 7. Note the potentially supporting role of "nutrients." You never hear that from the UK NHS; just the role of drugs, unfortunately.

Source F:\energy4living\Swine flu material\Immune System

There are four levels to our defences: some of the main components are shown here.

Apart from our skin, the first level contains the digestive tract which lets in food, and the lungs, which let in air.

Within the digestive tract is the “gut-asssociated immune system”, which is programmed to prevent incompletely digested foods from entering the bloodstream and causing immune reactions and eventually allergies.

The nasal passages help to prevent unwanted agents from entering the lungs. Healthy, strong mucous membranes in the respiratory and digestive tract are the first line of defence against invaders.

Once inside the body, the immune system has an army of special cells to deal with invaders. These defenders differ in their function and territory. For example, some cells operate in the blood, keeping an eye out for invaders. The three main types of immune cells found in the blood, collectively called white cells, are B-cells, T-cells and macrophages.

B-cells or B-lymphocytes are produced in an antibody for each specific invader or antigen. When a B-cell comes into contact with an antigen it grows larger and divides into several cells which secrete specific antibodies that latch on to the invader. Antibodies cannot destroy bacteria or viruses, but they do give them a hard time. They stop bacteria producing toxins, and they prevent viruses from entering body cells. Since a virus cannot reproduce unless it enters a body cell and takes over the cell’s control centre, reprogramming it to produce more viruses, antibodies are a major nuisance for viruses. Antibodies also whistle up other, more belligerent members of the immune army, such as T-cells.

T-cells or T- lymphocytes are derived from the thymus gland at the top of the chest. There are three kinds: T-helpers, T-suppressors and NK (natural killers). NK cells produce toxins that can destroy the invader. T-helpers help to activate B-cells to produce antigens, while T-suppressors turn off the reactions once the battle is won. Normally, there are roughly twice as many T-helpers as T-suppressors. In AIDS the HIV virus selectively destroys T-helpers, resulting in too many T-suppressors which depress the immune system, leaving the sufferer susceptible to other infections.

At any time there are a small number of immune cells roaming the body. Many of the have only a short life: T-cells, for example, live for about four days. When an invader is identified, new troops are produced in the bone marrow and thymus and posted to other areas such as lymph nodes, the tonsils, appendix, spleen and Peyer’s patches. Lymphatic vessels drain into these areas, bringing in invaders to be destroyed. That is why lymph nodes, for example in the neck, armpits and groin, become inflamed during an infection. This means they are doing their job. Since the lymphatic system does not have a pump, lymphatic fluid is moved along by muscle movement – so physical exercise is important for lymphatic

Since anti viral drugs inhibit replication of viruses, there is no point in taking them until infected.

On the other hand, a vaccine stimulates antibodies to fight a specific strain - the body is given a memory of something it must fight. Get the strain wrong, or be behind a virus' mutation, it may become less effective, or even useless.

So, maybe a little bit of thought, using value networks, can reveal how an organisation of people can reconfigure for both incremental and disruptive innovation.

Please note the form of diagram shown above is not the same as a value network. Spot the difference.
There will be no prize for the answer. Knowing is enough.

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Get into the flow!

Value networks; THE way to organise.

Thinking and acting with a "value network" perspective presents participants with a unique opportunity for getting into the flow. It helps you to achieve win-win outcomes in most situations, particularly in business, and guides you in the adoption of new mind sets to become fit for purpose in challenging environments.

There are three steps.

1) Seek out the formal processes that cross functional silos and other hierarchical boundaries. Identify what each participating group is designed to contribute as tangible deliverables.

2) Ask, "How do we really do the work around here?" Identify the informal social networks that provided the basis for relationship building and sharing of information, co-creating knowledge and the transmission of other favours without expecting immediate payback.

3) Be still, reflect, meditate/pray and be open to the energy that transforms disorder into order. Judge whether it is energy that destroys or builds for the future. ( See, for example, how to relate this to credit crunch issues here)

With this trinity of flows, be ready to transform your relationships and effectiveness with others whether in community, enterprises, regions, globally.

Optionally, inject some spirit into affairs, using whatever source inspires you or you are open to.

Note how your capabilities are enhanced and how behaviour changes.

Notes: Acknowledgement is given to the Verna Allee and Oliver Schwabe for the ideas behind the NetMat TM approach to visualising value networks, and Joan Bird for many conversations about energy in networks.

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There was once a CEO of RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland, UK) who was pilloried for refusing to return a portion of his huge pension provision in the light of the subsequent disasterous performance of the group. Apparently he was legally justified in retaining what he was awarded when he left in disgrace. There has been talk of the Government enacting legislation to shred this award to a more fitting level.

Consider also the call of the Prime Minister for "global rules grounded in our shared values," plus a list of tests. The first test was "we must clean up the banking system." The last test was "we must never, ever, forget our obligations to the poor."

So a question arises, "is it good to make shedloads of money?" If not, how much is it appropriate to make? What should we expect of our organisations, and what should we contribute?

While many say Big Ideas-meganarratives- are out, that post-modern society is diverse and fragmented, and can't be reduced to any one organising concept, there are those who disagree.

Over the next few weeks, I will be addressing relevant material, some of it normally held to be off limits, in the search for a worldview or paradigm that can be considered in conversations as people in organisations envision a new future together.

I am indebted to Dr Charles Savage for his encouragement and ongoing dialogue when a year ago we started the quest for such a paradigm.

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Dimensions of organisational existence

Life in organisations can be complicated and complex! Here's one viewpoint.

The diagram below is my most complicated one yet to capture some of life's challenges in organisations. This is for consumption by engineers and blatently breaks all the rules of good presentation by ignoring the benefits of "chunking." You can obtain a larger image by clicking on the jpg at the foot of the blog.

The blue blocks show how intangible assets are conceived and grouped, using the descriptions found in the value network approach. The intangibles are:

>>> Foreground intangible assets (Human competence, business relationships, internal structure)
>>> Background intangible assets (Corporate identity, social citizenship, environmental health)

Tangible Assets are show in red as facilities and trading, for want of better headings.

The horizontal brown bands represent interventions or concepts that interweave at four levels:

>>> Personal
>>> Interpersonal
>>> Organisational
>>> Societal

A recent book " Long-Range Futures Research - An application of complexity science" by a former colleague at Planning Research Corporation (PRC), Robert H. Samet, provides rich new insights on alternative ways in which to reconfigure these levels, as well as extending the horizon to 2150 with a tracing of an evolutionary trajectory to 2250.

The "Focus of Conversation" blocks are based upon a theoretical construct of aspects of knowledge devised by former colleague Verna Allee in her book"The Knowledge Evolution - Expanding organizational intelligence," itself based on the prior work of Karl-Eric Sveiby and Leif Edvinsson.

Usefully, these aspects can be directly linked to the time horizons of CEO's as they wrestle with the sometimes conflicting demands of short term action and longer term issues and worldviews. Although the brown topics above are not linked to the planning horizons, their significance seems eternal.

A question for Remuneration Committees: - How should a CEO's remuneration be linked to the Planning Horizons?

Dimensions of Organisational Existence.jpg

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Four people gathered at the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK) for three hours on 7th January 2009 to co-create a simple way of visualizing how the current financial system could be tweaked to fund needed action to help combat climate change effects and causes.

The brainchild of Ian Greenwood, with supporting analyses and input from Jamie Walton, Ian assembled information from the UK Treasury, the Bank of England and other authorities to formulate options for restructuring the funding of sustainable energy production and energy conservation/usage in buildings. Concurrently, he conceived how both commercial property and householders could benefit from the proceeds of a range of new taxes that re routed conventional commercial banking money flows along new channels to help offset the tax needed for the restructure.

Following probing questioning from Beverley Daley, a Value Exchange Systems (VES) diagram was developed with facilitation from David Meggitt. A first cut at the current situation was co-created by first identifying two broad groupings of participant as follows:

The banking ecosystem, consisting of commercial, banks, the money market, the UK Treasury, the Bank of England

A UK development ecosystem, consisting of a) designers, builders / installers, product manufacturers, raw material suppliers and customers for insulation products b) more general investment by Government in infrastructure and services provided by a network of other contributors

We identified some key transactions that flowed between the participants by asking a simple question, “What are the deliverables that a Participant creates and launches to be received by another Participant?” The following diagram was prepared to show how these flows fit together. The Participants are shown as ovals and the transactions as lines with a description of the deliverable on the line. The activities needed to create, launch and receive the deliverables are contained within the ovals. These activities include the formal procedures and processes required for that purpose. The receipt of rules enforced by regulation and legislation is omitted for clarity.

The following VES diagrams are provided as examples only and subject to continual refinement.

The transactions, shown as solid lines, are associated with contracted and expected agreements, albeit, at a low level of detail at this stage.

We then asked ourselves whether this represented the real way in which the overall “system” worked. Had we acknowledged the informal networks that oil the wheels of the machine? Recognizing this omission, we then added a representative sample of informal flows of information that normally fell outside the auditable standard processes, shown as dotted lines in the diagram following.

The next step was to consider new possibilities, termed scenarios, in which the quantity of interest paid by customers to commercial banks for loans was reduced and a portion diverted via a Credit Money Banking Adjustment (CMBA) which is passed straight to the Treasury. Similarly, an Environmental Tax on Imports (ET) raised from customers is redirected to the Treasury using the existing VAT system but clearly indicated on receipts to fund further activities in the development grouping that will help combat climate change (ET%).

We then added these new flows to the VES diagram, below, and in so doing identified a new group that we wished to add:

Overseas programmes beneficiaries,

The tentative suggestion flagged up here depends upon whether banks are able to fulfill their new roles in return for leaving the principal payments untouched and flowing to the programmes. A funding stream is definitely needed to accomplish climate mitigation and adaptation for the poorer producer nations.






We now have a first cut / draft of the value exchange system for the existing situation and one for a possible future scenario. Subsequent work, as below, would show the sequence in which the activities and deliverables took place. Additionally, for those who prefer lists and tables to diagrams, spreadsheets are available which also show additional detail needed for analysis of costs, risks, perceived values et al.

The current diagrams can be used as a “Discovery Dialogue” with interested parties prior to establishing a project to move to the next stages. This can be formulated to develop a “Discovery Map” of a desired arrangement, leading to a “Business Model,”Strategy Blueprint,“Business Process Prototypes, and Deployment.”

Further questions can now be raised. Where is the energy or passion in this ecosystem and how is it raised or lowered? Is greed a shared passion? Is enabling a sustainable cause a motivation? How does that affect behaviour of the whole or part of the ecosystem? How is synchronous leadership cultivated? Techniques that complement the VES approach can be used. For example, we can begin to visualise the possibilities of energy flow quite easily: see here.

Additional notes from Ian Greenwood

1. Revenue must be directed as part of the system towards insulating the “hard to treat” buildings - it is no good having:
• difficulties/time lag in applying for adequate funds/subsidy
• long delays or stop-start of funding,
• immense staff or bureaucracy costs

2. The message from STEERglobal is that an equal dollar return must be made to the producer nation for their sustainability & energy efficiency. This can be achieved via an Environmental Tax on Imports (ETI) or ET. Credit money re-directed - the Credit Money Banking Adjustment – (CMBA) at the level of the base rate can then enable offsetting of ETI Tax. Such an adjustment would be about 50% of so-called “free” commercial bank money.

The key point about CMBA is that it diverts a portion of the large amount of so called FREE MONEY that currently accrues to Banking and Finance. This FREE MONEY has significantly contributed to the CREDIT CRUNCH through build up over preceeding years. With a target 5% base rate, CMBA would divert about half and be adjustable.

3. Additionally, now that the other proposal, the Credit Money Banking Adjustment (CMBA) has been devised, the revenue can flow from where it has been inflationary (or held back in the credit crunch) to where it is necessary to achieve energy and resource sustainability, directly to projects investing in a sustainable future. Allowing these investments in a balanced way across the world would also create more stable finances and benefits socially, environmentally and politically. Confidence can then return.

4. Notes on conversation Ian/David 21-04-2009v2: Possibly change red arrow to black from customer to Commercial bank. In due course maybe suggest that in return for retaining the principal on “free” money, C.banks administer the system at no extra charge: i.e. the diversion to the treasury can be an un-necessary task. The banks in receiving the principal merely return some of it direct to the customer – i.e it is healthy to SHOW the interest on the statements, but maybe not necessary to collect part or all of the principal/interest. No doubt there are further “takes” on this. IG

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Put your spirit into your value networks

Value network methods help us visualise the relationships between people, what they contribute and the roles they play, whether as individuals or in groups. The blog here illustrated the place of "spirit" in guiding human activity in organisations.

So what could the title of this blog mean?

Based upon definitions in the Concise Oxford Dictionary, the following is today's contribution.

To "Put your spirit into your value networks" is to release your vital animating essence (courage, energy, vivacity, dash) into the collaborative work you do with others. This involves being sympathetic to the mental or moral conditions or attitudes prevailing at the which I will add, beliefs.

So where to begin? For initial inspiration, a recently rediscovered set of articles originally published in the Spring 2000 edition of Faith in Business Quarterly (FiBQ) may be helpful. Now out of print, I am indebted to Dr Richard Higginson Director of Studies at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, a member of the Editorial Team, for permission to reproduce articles from this edition of FiBQ entitled "Spirituality at Work Issue".

The first is a review of the book "SQ: the ultimate intelligence" by Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall. At the time, Zohar taught in the Oxford Strategic Leadership programme at Oxford University and was a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield School of Management where she led a one day course to launch SQ in February, 2000.

The reviewer, Bob Cumber, was a retail banker, and in 2000 an independent management consultant.

The review is attached, which contains the following comment: "As with many new age thinkers she applies subtly different meanings to conventional spiritual vocabulary and she promulgates a smogasborg of beliefs not dissimilar to many new age thinkers. This includes concepts taken from psychology, eastern philosophy, mysticism, gnosticism and all the worlds' major religions, including Christianity, but very much on a pick-and-mix basis. .... The task which Zohar sets her readers is daunting.......Despite these criticisms, SQ does provide very useful insights to any seeking to gain an understanding of the ways in which many people are thinking about spiritual things at the start of the 21st century.

What Spirit.. SQ Zohar Review.pdf

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Through beliefs to actions

In the workplace, it is increasingly useful to link "beliefs" to actions. According to Joseph O'Connor in his NLP handbook, beliefs are the principles that guide actions - not what we say we believe, but what we act on. Beliefs give meaning to what we do.

Values are why we do what we do, what is important to us - health, wealth, happiness, love.

On an organizational level, businesses have principles they act on and values they hold. They are part of the culture of the business. Beliefs and values direct our lives, acting both as permissions and prohibitors on how we act.

Incorporating other factors that affect our capacity for learning and coping with change is the "model" below developed by Robert Dilts from the work of Gregory Bateson. The factors should be viewed as interconnected levels, not a hierarchy.

It is useful, although considered by some not to be entirely consistent, exhaustive or even logical, but has been widely adopted in NLP thinking.

We will be looking at other models in future blogs.

I am grateful to Jennifer J Stenhouse, a Master Practitioner in NLP and also a participant in the only course with Robert and John Dilts to date on modelling effective entrepreneurship, for introducing me to this approach.

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I have been a member of the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) for two years and enjoyed the dialogue at the meetings immensely.

Invariably held under the gracious chairmanship of the IBE Director, Philippa Foster-Back under the Chatham House Rule, and underpinned by the excellent research unit led by Simon Webley, my own insights and views have been enriched.

It is also amazing what one unearths in the well stocked library. One find was a Papal encyclical with a fascinating critique of socialism tending to mould people into a state machine.

At heart, the thrust of IBE is to cultivate the practice of behaving with integrity, and a current preoccupation is to “embed” public corporate codes of ethics into actual operations.

My own niggle has been to probe an area that has largely been neglected. Whilst much is known about the formal processes and procedures in organisations, scant analysis has so far been directed on the conduct of informal (or social) networks that interweave most healthy organisations.

More research is needed in this key area, which IBE acknowledges. The value networks approach provides a convenient one stop shop for discovering what really goes on in organisations, and for modelling the interaction of both formal and informal activity. Further involvement (and this may need further facilitation to be most effective) can probe the roles people play and value of what they contribute as felt by others as well as identifying the associated costs and risks in doing so.

One of my favourite meetings was addressed by Dr Georgette Bennett, the Director of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. She described the challenges and opportunities arising from religious diversity in the workforce.

In answer to my question: “How does behaviour in an organisation contribute to its long term sustainability (i.e. support its growth and adaptation over time), Dr Bennett replied “Reciprocity is key, it goes straight to the bottom line!”

I’m sure that Chatham House won’t mind my sharing that!

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Personal introduction to value networks

My first introduction to value networks was through the ground breaking book "Digital capital - harnessing the power of business webs" by Don Tapscott, David Ticoll and Alex Lowy, HBS Press, 2000 which I acquired after meeting Don at an event organised by Thomas Power in London, through the business oriented social networking community called Ecademy.

Don is from Toronto in Canada.

The diagrams and approach were the brainchild of Verna Allee who lives on the west coast of USA.

Calgary, between the two locations, is in Canada.

Therefore, in honour of both I am seen sporting below my Calgary Stampede vest and wearing my favourite summer hat bought at the Stampede. I gather my wife's "first cousins removed" were involved with the early Calgary Stampede founders (Graves).

Apart from the sporting events they put on one of the most spectacular open air evening shows available.

Today, with value networks by your side, you can co-create some of the most spectacular shows on earth as well!

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