LeadU presents Change Happens

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Change Happens


A member responded to a query from Mike R. Jay in a discussion about change, timespan, and complexity:

“Tasks that take longer are not inherently more complex. E.g. the pyramids, once they figured out how to raise the blocks 50 feet, they could raise them 200 feet. Or once they figured out how to move one 10-ton block from the quarry they could move 1000 blocks. Etc. And then they just needed to apply the same capability relentlessly for 50-100 years.

Timespan is not what makes a task complex. I would even argue that what makes a task more complex is compression of timespan. Solving a task that normally would take 5 years into 18 months makes the task far more complex (e.g. redesign of a car).”

Mike’s reply: Change happens whether you want it to or not. Self-knowledge is key to growth… “The other part of the picture is understanding what work looks like at different levels. Stratum 1-3 is operational work, where the company makes the cash. Stratum 4 is translating strategy to operations. Stratum 5 works to create and resource the strategy.”

The interesting thing (to me) is that as more complex shifts are made, the amount of density and frequency shifts from "fake it 'til you make it" to laying a foundation for a complex change which then continues to cue, support, and scaffold the change when it occurs.

In weightlifting, which I have very little experience with, but because it is one of our member’s favorite contextual props — that, and rocks — you can't just throw a discontinuous amount of weight onto the bar without expecting a lot of injury in the process. So, it seems you have to "stage" the performance — get your friends around you — and prep for that moment when you let go of the notions that will hold you back.

Along with some failures in the process which humble you and give you resolve metaphorically, you bounce yourself against your beliefs until they will hold you under duress.

My sense is that when more complex shifts are emerging, the self-examination process allowed by ego flexibility, allows us to try on things that sit opposite our beliefs, without resorting us to HAL-2000 baritones.

Yet I suspect we make these changes once the existential fear subsides and a calmness/acceptance that I felt in Sam's tone conjoins with the tipping point in perspective.

Another member’s comment: This group broadens my perspective. I get frustrated, but I know there’s something for me to learn from [another member’s perspective]. And that there are things I’ll need to let go of to fully get the point. That’s one of the things I value about this group. A relatively high density of perspectives just beyond my reach but close enough to smell. Perspectives that I can only make use of if I loosen up some of my reflexes.

Mike replies: Talking about this can be a point of contention that we have gone through about time span earlier and like ships passing in the KSE [Knowledge, Skills, Experience] night, time span will never be a problem for any of us here regarding 50-year tasks. My guess is some of us here are not even balancing our checkbooks.

But it does create intellectual discourse which causes us to be rooted out, sometimes, of those primitive beliefs that keep us stuck in our thinking, perhaps.

It's also a way of learning about RO [Requisite Organization] as this member graciously and unbudgingly shares the axioms as straight as possible from the main man himself, a man which most of us never met. So that's a true gift to have this member here as a surrogate to bounce things off of — at some point he will tire of repeating himself and just laugh and go fishing, I suspect.

I know from my own experience that my own sense of skills and knowledge about time span have taken another leap into my own soup and thus when I discuss this mentally with others I'm going to keep looking at my own relationship with:

Time horizon

Time span

Relevant time

I wish the USA had a 50-year plan to stake out and use the Pacific.

As I wrote that... the thought occurred to me that the USA is still under BS and would expect "private enterprise" to do that.......

Then I wondered is our paradigm of action as robust as the Chinese or Russian, or European, where individual and collective interests are interwoven through our paradigmatic philosophies...?

We have to be careful with our terminology because time horizon and time span are not the same to me.

You could make a reach that time horizon might be potential and time span might be applied metaphorically but then we are back to the conundrum of time span being a property of a role... yet used by all I can see to define how complex a person is.

In Jaques Triad, time span is not mentioned...

As I look at people around the planet, I would generalize that time span is likely to send false signals emergent from values.

I experience people without cognitive power (horsepower, if you will) showing time spans that do not represent that horsepower — BUT

because of it, do very well on most everything without the horsepower because the time span heals a lot of wounds and allows for a lot of innovation to fill longer gaps...

Which sends a false signal about cognitive capability because the time span is carrying the weight... channeling David White’s allegory about the “pack and the kayak”... allowing the water to carry the weight!

What is becoming more clear is that time span “tends” to win the day, with or without capability.
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Note: Later this year Mike will be releasing his latest book, Dynamic Inquiry.

PS: In June we will continue covering Mike's most recent book @F-L-O-W: FIND, DESIGN,USE TALENT to Emerge Happiness and Success in a Postmodern World.



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You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing... to helping people have lives.

Mike R. Jay
Leadership University


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