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Re: The $2.10 Game -- Continuing the Learning

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  • Dale Emery
    Hi all, Another unfortunate aspect of my timing -- in addition to starting the discussion on a Friday night -- is that my schedule is overstuffed for the next
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 30, 2008
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      Hi all,

      Another unfortunate aspect of my timing -- in addition to starting the
      discussion on a Friday night -- is that my schedule is overstuffed for the
      next seven days or so, and I'll likely be too busy to write much.

      I'll be reading, though, so I do hope all of you will continue the
      conversation.

      I invite you and encourage you to keep referring the conversation back to
      "the real world." If something interesting or contentious or personal or
      surprising pops up in the data or in the conversation, ask yourself, "How
      might this relate to leading change in organizations?" Then add your answer
      to the conversation.

      Dale

      --
      Dale Emery, Consultant
      Inspiring Leadership for Software People
      Web: http://www.dhemery.com
      Weblog: http://www.dhemery.com/cwd


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • John Carter
      ... An excellent book on the many failings of out predictive ability is The Black Swan by Nicolas Taleb. Possibly the most applicable failing when trying to
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 31, 2008
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        On Sun, 30 Mar 2008, Dale Emery wrote:

        > I invite you and encourage you to keep referring the conversation back to
        > "the real world." If something interesting or contentious or personal or
        > surprising pops up in the data or in the conversation, ask yourself, "How
        > might this relate to leading change in organizations?" Then add your answer
        > to the conversation.

        An excellent book on the many failings of out predictive ability is
        "The Black Swan" by Nicolas Taleb.

        Possibly the most applicable failing when trying to relate the $2.10
        game to XP is what Taleb calls the Ludic Fallacy.

        We mistake life, contracts, customers, markets as being a "Game" with
        "Fixed Rules" and "Fair Play" having tractable probability distributions.

        In reality life isn't nearly so kind.

        Beyond the laws of Physics, there are no Rules.

        There are "Laws" as promulgated by governments etc....

        But they can be and often are broken. They may be enforced
        later....but still your prediction your models have failed unless you
        included that eventuality.

        Your game has a neat tractable probability distribution.... having a
        complete supply of finite moments.

        Many real life distributions are power law / pareto / strange nasty
        things that do not necessarily have a mean and often don't have a
        finite variance.

        More often we do not really know what the distribution is, more often
        than not several mechanisms and several distributions are involved at
        once.

        Yet we're obsessed with Gaussian / Binomial mathematics.

        Why? Because we can do the maths.

        Does this mean life is constrained to behave that way?

        Just ask your local subprime mortgage investor....

        Taleb argues that extreme events are more probable than we'd expect
        and often determine what we regard as "The Status Quo"... at least
        until the next extreme event comes along and rips our cheese clean out
        of grasp.

        What has this to do with change in organizations?

        ....well for your daily dose of paranoia, try Naomi Klein.... (just
        remember, just because you are paranoid, it doesn't mean they aren't
        really out to get you....)

        http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine

        Her argument is based on the observation that when an extreme event
        comes along you _can_ shift the attitudes and behaviour of a large
        body of people.

        Her belief and fear is that various entities are using this tactic.

        Both in the form of leveraging natural occurring events (like Hurricane
        Katrina), and worse, instigating events (like currency meltdowns) to
        perform large scale change in populations.

        Paranoia? Maybe.

        What has this to do with "Leading Change in Organizations"...

        I have seen some company size organizations undergo "near death
        experiences" requiring huge layoffs and restructuring.....

        ....and then briskly arise from the invalid bed and gallop off in a
        premeditated direction.

        ie. the whole event was stage managed to shed a loyal workforce which
        didn't fit the "New Plan".

        Yet change is inevitable and a prerequisite for a profitable
        business. So what's the problem?

        I always get the chuckles when people whinge about "Conspiracy
        Nutters"....

        Because I know I can instanter pull their chain....

        "What?", I say, "Do you mean we don't live a whelter of conspiracy? Do
        you seriously believe we are not surrounded by secret plotting by
        clusters of self interested people that don't have my best interests
        at heart?"

        Of course they ridicule the notion.

        "Aha!", I say, "So I can publish the minutes of your Monday morning
        meeting on the web then...."

        Splutter - splutter - splutter.

        I love it.

        Yet it is the answer to leading change in organizations....

        Transparency and honesty.

        How do you make people trustworthy?

        By trusting them.


        John Carter Phone : (64)(3) 358 6639
        Tait Electronics Fax : (64)(3) 359 4632
        PO Box 1645 Christchurch Email : john.carter@...
        New Zealand
      • Ron Jeffries
        ... Or, perhaps, by making them transparent against their wishes? Hmmm? Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com If you don t have the courage to say what you think,
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 1, 2008
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          Hello, John. On Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at 1:11:49 AM, you wrote:

          > "Aha!", I say, "So I can publish the minutes of your Monday morning
          > meeting on the web then...."

          > Splutter - splutter - splutter.

          > I love it.

          > Yet it is the answer to leading change in organizations....

          > Transparency and honesty.

          > How do you make people trustworthy?

          > By trusting them.

          Or, perhaps, by making them transparent against their wishes? Hmmm?

          Ron Jeffries
          www.XProgramming.com
          If you don't have the courage to say what you think,
          there isn't much use in thinking it, is there?
          --Thomas Jay Peckish II
        • Brad Stiles
          ... Do you find that this approach actually works, or were you making a comment about John s implementation of that approach? I ask because whenever I ve seen
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 1, 2008
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            Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:

            > Hello, John. On Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at 1:11:49 AM, you wrote:
            >
            >> "Aha!", I say, "So I can publish the minutes of your Monday morning
            >> meeting on the web then...."


            ...

            >> How do you make people trustworthy?

            >> By trusting them.
            >
            > Or, perhaps, by making them transparent against their wishes? Hmmm?

            Do you find that this approach actually works, or were you making a
            comment about John's implementation of that approach? I ask because
            whenever I've seen this tried, I've generally seen two outcomes. One is
            that it works, sort of, with some major back-pedaling on the whole
            "transparency" front. The other is that people become more adept at
            *appearing* transparent, while actually becoming more opaque.

            Brad
          • Ron Jeffries
            ... I have no reason to believe that this works. On the other hand, the kind of secrecy we are seeing today in the US government isn t working all that well
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 1, 2008
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              Hello, Brad. On Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at 8:23:28 AM, you wrote:

              >> Or, perhaps, by making them transparent against their wishes? Hmmm?

              > Do you find that this approach actually works, or were you making a
              > comment about John's implementation of that approach? I ask because
              > whenever I've seen this tried, I've generally seen two outcomes. One is
              > that it works, sort of, with some major back-pedaling on the whole
              > "transparency" front. The other is that people become more adept at
              > *appearing* transparent, while actually becoming more opaque.

              I have no reason to believe that this works. On the other hand, the
              kind of secrecy we are seeing today in the US government isn't
              working all that well either.

              In his book /The Transparent Society/, David Brin makes the point
              that all kinds of information about us all will be collected, and
              that the best treatment for it may not be to leave it in the hands
              of a "few" who will "protect" it.

              Ron Jeffries
              www.XProgramming.com
              Perhaps this Silver Bullet will tell you who I am ...
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