More on Antifragile and some on Scientology

I shared a video on Facebook yesterday that stired more than 50 comments in a very short time.

I posted this: “And we cling to our orderly rules and safe precautions. Who said we need traffic lights and stop signs.

The video is pertinent to the book I’m reading, “Antifragile”. Let me know what you think.

On another note – Scientology: I have written many times that I believe anything can help a person – anything the person believes can help him. It is a matter of coercing the person into trusting a method or scheme or person or thing and he will admit that it helps him. And thus it does. The person is actually coerced into believing in his own powers to change his life on a via. It seems easier to coerce the person into trusting some via – some other, outer thing – than directly trusting his own abilities. Trusting his own requires more of that very scarce commodity called responsibility.

Now to my point: Scientology is a product of its times. Just as Hubbard was a man of his. The 50′s, 60′s and the 70′s. It is a new age religion that focus on the dangers of the cold war era, the imminent dangers of atomic war, the energy crisis, the us versus them of the US versus the Communists. The focus on Taylorism, whipping people into production, the worshiping of systems, of machine organizations, efficiency at any cost. All in the name of saving the world because the world is in such a dire need.

But not anymore. Scientology posed solutions to a different era. It is much harder to sell 40-year old solutions in today’s society. Especially when they are sold as fixed, permanent and timeless solutions to any problem imaginable. Thus it becomes harder by the year to coerce a person into unleashing his inner powers via Scientology. Other, more modern coercions is emerging and more will come.

Impress the customer – screw mediocrity

Do we settle for “just good enough” and “meeting expectations”? Or do we outperform ourselves and amaze the customer?

There are indeed rational arguments why we should merely meet the customer’s expectations and not go the extra mile. It is more costly to give awesome service. It puts an unnecessary pressure on the service delivery organization.

And while advocates of such rationale keep praising mediocrity, the amazing suppliers keep impressing customers and gaining market share.

Delivery contacts or Service Level Agreements should represent a worst case scenario, while the supplier should always strive for better, faster, more amazing. Or someone else will.

And if it seems too hard to keep up with the spoiled customer’s ever increasing expectations, then it is better to talk to the customer about this than forcing them to become less spoiled by delivering mediocre service.

Aim for “just enough” and you’ll miss half the time. Aim for amazing and you may just reach it.

Wassup?

Been busy lately. With moving into our new home, with interesting new projects, with coaching some amazing people. And so it has been quiet here on the blog. But I’ve got a new idea – what about writing a short blog post every day? Unfiltered thoughts, relating my everyday experiences or whatever pops to my mind. I will try it and see what happens.

The view from our new home - great for my telescope :-)

The view from our new place – great for my telescope :-)

Brendan suggested I read the book “Antifragile“. A life-changer. What’s the opposite of “fragile”? Most people replies “robust” or some synonym. But no, that’s not the opposite of “fragile”. If you think of a scale from -1 (fragile) to +1, the “robust would be zero. On the minus side of the scale we find the stuff that is harmed by shock or sudden change – like a fragile vase accelerating toward the floor. Stuff that are not harmed are in the middel of the scale, while stuff that benefit from shock or sudden change is on the plus side. While the story of Hercules beheading Hydra only to see two heads replace the former head neatly illustrated the plus side, there are more common-day examples. Like your body. Exercising your body breaks down muscle fibre resulting in a better body. Stuff that adapts, adopts, learn from getting hurt are “antifragile”. And that is far above something “robust”. And people can be fragile. Or robust. Or antifragile. I aim for the latter and have been for a few years.

It actually got me thinking about how I could benefit from the ultimate harm. Got me thinking about death. And I find myself not fearing death. Rather, I am intrigued by it. I really wonder what it will bring. I’m almost excited about that change, whenever it will come. A friend of mine, Egil Möller once said that he believed the purpose of life was to come to peace with death. Interesting.

Apart from my recent personal philosophical explorations, I have been doing some interesting projects in Å. Currently, I am involved in a few projects at Bærum Kommune (one of Norway’s major municipalities) where I am facilitating a cultural change toward 100% responsibility and focus on Deliverables rather than Tasks (ref. my article “Processes, Automation and Human Potential“). I have also been writing their IT strategy for the next 6 years and proposing a steering and financial model. I also concluded a three month project with Altinn (Norway’s governmental digital data hub) last week. Apparently I moved some people in that organization – one person started crying as he stood up during the dinner to thank me for the project. He’s a great guy and I think he finally understood what a great guy he is.

On the coaching side, I have been working with a dozen people simultaneously for a few months with several concluding during the past weeks. One guy, a 16-year old was suicidal when we first met half a year ago. We established a scale from -3 to +3, reporting every day how the day was. A score of -3 would be “I want to kill myself”, a -2 would be a really bad day, -1 a shitty day, zero would be a “who cares”-day, a +1 equals a good day, a +2 a really good day and a +3 would be a spectacular day. We quickly got up from -3/-2 to an average of -0.5. Now he is regularly reporting +2 and very seldom as low as zero. So, it can be done.

Also, Anette and I met with Dan Koon yesterday. That was fun. Dan is an amazing person. I am hoping to do some fun stuff with him in the near future.

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I will probably write shorter posts than this on a daily basis. While on vacation during the next few days, I will write short posts from my mobile phone. Wonder how that will turn out. Up into the mountain we go – stay tuned for pictures :-)