Appreciating Systems

Appreciating Systems for Genuine Efficiency
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My GTD documents on SlideShare

I just uploaded my GTD documents (mostly in french, sorry) on Slideshare here: My GTD documents on SlideShare.

You’ll be able to find:

  • presentations (slides)
  • coaching questions (excerpted from online sources, referenced)
  • Job Breakdown Sheets for those willing to coach or train others (à la TWI)
  • summary leaflets
  • etc.



Reblog: Seth Godin’s Blog: The Acute Heptagram of Impact – a #systemsthinking view (#stwg)

Seth Godin recently published an interesting article about how one’s can achieve high impact: Seths Blog: The Acute Heptagram of Impact (click to open in a new windows to follow my thinking below).

Upon rapid staring on that 7 headed star, it occurred to me that it might provide more insights than initially advocated in Seth’s article. Let me show you my own wandering around this star… using some naive systems thinking on it.

Following edges

The first wandering follows the edges. Let’s see:

Strategy is what allows good tactics, which fuels one’s desire for more. This allows to overcome fear which surely enough is good foundation for reputation. The latter is the one that once fed back to you maintains your persistence which allows for steady execution of your initial strategy.

Ok, this one was easy. Let’s try another.

Round the clock

This time I’m reading the vertices in order:

A good strategy will fuels your persistence which is what will allow you to overcome fear, clearing the way for sound tactics which you will be able to bring to bright execution, surely enough building up your reputation, which will fed back to yourself and further reinforce your desire to continue on your strategy.

Not bad, eh? What about embracing opposites? Let’s go…

Head and two opposites

Here I’m looking at the two opposite vertices from each point, clock wise:

  • Strategy is tactics with a good execution.
  • Persistence is fueled from steady execution coated in your own reputation.
  • Fear are easily overcome by your desire for more along with your own reputation fed back to you, since it usually believe more in you than yourself.
  • Tactics grow out of your desire to pursue some strategy.
  • Execution only is possible by giving persistence to one’s own strategy.
  • Reputation surely is grown out of your persistence and your overcome of fear.
  • Lastly, desire is fueled by your successful tactics and your repeated successes over fear.


What about considering each vertex with its two neighbours? Here we go:

  • Strategy is sustained by your persistence in your desire.
  • Persistence grows out of a strategy to overcome fear.
  • Fear is defeated by persistent application of well sounded tactics.
  • Tactics succeed by diligent execution of plans to overcome fear.
  • Execution is possible through sound tactics fueled daily by your own reputation fed back from others.
  • Reputation grows of steady execution of plans to make your desire a reality.
  • Desire for more grows out of your reputation for achieving successful strategy.

Where unrelated concepts show danger

Now my last part. Each vertex faces a barring line, whose perpendicular leads to itself. For instance, the Reputation-Fear line has a perpendicular that passes through Strategy. Let’s see how this works out:

  • Strategy can be defeated by lack of reputation and too much fear.
  • Persistence is void when desire is absent of tactics fail.
  • Fear grows out of a lack of strategy and derailing execution.
  • Tactics are hindered by bad reputation or lack of persistence.
  • Execution isn’t just possible without desire and is paralyzed by fear.
  • There is no Reputation without perfect strategy and tactics.
  • Desire can’t exist without persistence and successful execution.

As a final note, I need to say that I see all these relationships taking place at the same time, and the resulting emerging consequence is that of IMPACT, as set out by Seth Godin.

Very good job, @SethGodin!!!

(The clever reader might want to have a look at Constructivism and Hermeneutics on Wikipedia 😉 I might have just invented blog hermeneutics, here…

Setting the world on fire with respect to #appreciativeinquiry or #strength ideas! A @linkedin discussion


There’s that discussion that seems to be really promising (or at least energizing) about what we could do to disseminate Appreciative Inquiry ideas to the whole Planet Earth.

I just extended the ideas to strength approaches.

What else?

Please join in and participate here!


Reblog: The Chairman’s Blog: Gallup Expands StrengthsFinder Offerings

August 20th, 2012 Posted in Personal Development Tags: , ,

This is great news! Gallup, one of the world reknown Strengths assessment company is now offering people the opportunity to buy a code to assess their strengths. Before that, people had to buy the book first.

Of course, this is not up to par with VIA character strengths which offer their assessment for free, but still, it’s better that way!

Read more below.

The Chairman’s Blog: Gallup Expands StrengthsFinder Offerings.

Dark Matter, Dark Energy & #Contructivism (#stwg #systemsthinking)

Someone sent this link in another social network: Dark Matter, Dark Energy And The Shadow Universe.

According to recent research, it seems that 95% of the universe accounts for something which we can’t sense, yet know (for, as constructivism tells us, the nervous system is a closed system and we can only build knowledge from what we experience through our senses).

What gives hope for the future, yet, is that we inferred the existence of that Dark side of the universe through its consequences in the reality-out-there-we’re-able-to-sense.

How does it relates to constructivism? Well, all of our knowledge is initially rooted in what we once felt through our senses as primitive humans. That means that what we can’t sense, we can’t know about. Yet, some systemic trick inside our mind is at play here, meaning that there’s a reverse to the medal: what we don’t know about, we most often can’t sense. Thomas the Apostle might complain here, but if he was to only believe in what he saw, the facts are that we only see what we believe in first. Moreover, this has been proven biologically by great researchers such as Humberto Maturana at least that studied some nervous systems: the external stimuli to nervous systems are really not up to par with the electrical activity constantly going on internally – it only barely account for changes in the nervous system.

The reason for our brain discounting what he doesn’t know from the sense is probably because it’s a way to filter the vast amount of information that comes constantly from the senses to the brain. Some abstractions and simplifications are done that allow it to more quickly react to potential dangers.

And yet, we, as humans, are sometimes capable of “discovering” new facts for which we didn’t know about. Of this, we must thank our time-binding capability, as Alfred Korzybski taught us (that mean we don’t start from scratch at each generation, but we build our knowledge on top of that of the preceding generations). And thanks to our high-level cortex, we’re able to make some mental analysis and infer things for which we might not have any sensory experience before. Indeed, that what some great thinkers do all the time, as for instance Einstein when he “discovered” the Theory of Relativity.

So, what’s the point of this article? Well, it depends on you, dear reader 🙂

On some basic account, it’s a tremendous message for the future to come about possible new discoveries regarding the Universe.

On some more pragmatic level, the next time you don’t understand your manager, your employee or any of these humans you encounters all day long, rather than discounting them as idiots:

  • ask yourself what dark side of them you might not be knowing?
  • ask yourself what side of you is a dark side from their point of view?
  • finally, ask them about what might be the reasons for their acting as they do that you don’t know about which explains the behaviors you witnessed. Because chances you assigned  meaning to those behaviors that are different from their intent or that you didn’t saw other part of their behaviors that would have explained everything, should you have known before.

Have a nice week-end!


Serve. Aspire. Transcend. @JonathanFields

January 13th, 2012 Posted in Change, GTD, Personal Development Tags: , , , ,

I read few reviews of people on blogs or Internet at large. I can barely, if at all, identify with those. Indeed, that’s not what they’re for anyway (why the hell are they published at all is something I still wonder…)

But the 2011 annual review by Jonathan Fields is of a different, mind-blowing, kind.

Although giving personal insight views of how he managed his life and businesses (yes, plural!) last year, it’s also full of suggestions and comments that give you a thrill. Because you know you can be part of that too.

Just the title of his review is thrusting: Serve. Aspire. Transcend.

Isn’t this in itself a summary of all positive psychology, strength-based, psychotherapy, life coaching books you had seen in the past few years?

Serve others, Aspire to more and Transcend yourself...

To best serve yourself, serve others first.

Give first to be given.

And aim at excellence. Not just big.

Wouldn’t it make for a powerful driving force if adopted as an organizational vision?

Would you like your company to just beat its competitors or Transcend and Inspire its market?

I know what I’d choose.

That too works on a personal level. Do review your personal vision (from a 50,000 feet perspective as advocated by GTD). It should be a vision, but is it a BHAG (Big Hairy and Audacious Goal)? If not, think bigger. And Bigger. And BIGGER. Until you get to that “woah” moment: there you are: aim for this!


Reblog: The change sparsity principle in #solutionfocus organizational change (also #Lean)

Here’s another excellent blog article from Coert Visser about Solution FocusDoing What Works: Forward in Solution-Focused Change: The change sparsity principle in solution-focused organizational change.

It reminds us that “continuous improvement” really must be “continuous”. Small steps, and not always big bang kaizen or kaikaku workshops!

Also, Lean already knows that: a work standard is the best way to do a job at a certain time. It’s deemed to be changed and improved as soon as someone finds a new better way (a solution!) to do it. When that’s been found, the standard is updated.

How could have we made Lean and Kaizen threatening for people (despite advocating a “respect for people”)?!

This question is deficit-based because I try to dig a problem. A better question would probably be “when had we experienced non-threatening change that was welcomed by people?

I think my experience of Lean until now may have been too fast with respect to these I was supposed to coach. Of course, I had to deal with management eager to see results. But isn’t it a situation where “to move slowly is to advance faster”?

I need to try this!

(I’m whining here, but I need to admit that I’ve already tried a coaching stance of not pushing forward, like the one in Motivational Interviewing (see my SFMI Lean series) and had quite some success).

I know from a long time that I’m the one that need to change with respect to Lean coaching. Boy is this difficult sometimes! 🙂


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