A Good Business Model Builds Barriers Not Fences

People power, Russia style: Small-town lessons about Russian democracy – Yahoo News

“The local amber operators live in the Baltiysk area, they know the place and the people, and in a variety of ways they take the local population’s interests and needs into account. They ran the district council, but nobody claims they were doing a bad job of it,” says Vladimir Abramov, an independent political expert. “They were mostly members of United Russia and big supporters of Putin.”

So the businessmen put the military structure (which had basically dissolved) to work manufacturing a product positioned in the world’s market, and Putin’s culture followed those businessmen back to their town and voted. It voted to make a decision, but not to change a position. In other words, they are still with Putin and the system seems to be working.

But did the businessmen create barriers that controls the velocity between those in the town and those in the global market, or did they try to build a fence around the town and whose gate only opens to the few?

For me a gate, which is what every good fence needs, is no good unless it’s there as an ornament. Those in the know (know how to open gates) seem to build close to the gate, and, in a way, those building close to the gate are in charge of the structure. I am just saying, I think those living close to the gate can become barriers too easily jumped over and too limiting in letting the few move around the barrier that represents, in this case, those voting. On the other hand, the town is dealing with a natural resource similar to oil, so maybe a closed system is not too bad, as long as the gate is well guarded. As we have seen in the Ukraine, if those guarding the gate are weak, the system doesn’t last long.

If including the military culture within a Capitalistic system creates fences or barriers, I don’t know the answer. The system inside the Russian town maybe Communistic or not, but the financial advantage in the world goes (so far) to the Capitalists.

But this business model the Russian businessmen of the town used is very similar in structure as what the Chinese used in Pakistan. In the Chinese system it seemed to be a winning strategy, but since I last looked, I don’t know if the Chinese model built barriers or fences.

In the Chinese model, they hired all ex-military higher-ups to run their manufacturing and the Chinese kept their economy going by keeping their people working. The business model had, what is called, a Cheap Trick. A Cheap Trick is basically a structure-building narrative with an advantage. The advantage in this case was that the military leaders took charge of the Chinese (I am thinking mostly Chinese workers) manufacturing facilities after serving in the Pakistani military as generals. Normally such a thing would raise some eyebrows with thoughts of nationalizing the manufacturing in Pakistan.

But the move in hiring these ex-generals were thought to be on the up and up. There was no pretext to hide this fact locally, nationally, and globally, and the global Capitalist responded favorably.

Perhaps in the successful Chinese model some events could give us clues as to what kind of structure we are dealing with inside the model’s environment. Maybe one event,  The Red Mosque Massacre, could show us either barrier or fence building.

After the inhabitants of The Red Mosque made a violent attack on a Chinese massage parlor (Who knew massage parlors were even available in Pakistan?), the Pakistan Government responded to the Chinese request, to protect Chinese citizens, by making the inhabitants of the mosque, who were mostly the women who perpetrated the attack on the massage parlor, a target to be massacred.

So in that instant, there was mostly fence building going on, as the Pakistani Army, in effect, isolate the Chinese from the people inside the mosque and surrounding environment.

On the other hand, as the article points out, nobody seems to be jumping over the Putin barrier, so maybe the Town’s model will be just as successful, as that used by the Chinese in Pakistan, but at a smaller magnitude per event.

via People power, Russia style: Small-town lessons about Russian democracy – Yahoo News.

Social Business: More Than Just A Definition Or Buzzword

I don’t like to argue definitions and I certainly don’t like to spit out buzzwords just to sound cool (well, sometimes I do). It’s a waste of time, especially when you only have 140 characters to make a point. So if it’s social business, social enterprise, social organization, social this or that, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is what comes out of a business when organizations (employees at all levels) begin to change they way the communicate, lead, behave and work. When I think about various projects that I have worked on both on the agency side, as well as when I worked for the enterprise, I realize that social business enables better business practices.

via Social Business: More Than Just A Definition Or Buzzword.

OK, it’s more that just a definition, but it would have helped if the author had defined Social Business. I am kind of an idiot, so getting into a conversation late, is a little confusing for me. Later he does define Social Business:

Michael Brito is a Senior Vice President of Social Business Planning at Edelman Digital. He helps his clients transform their organizations to be more open, collaborative and socially proficient; with the end result of creating shared value with employees, partners and customers. 

Social Business is business’s sharing the value (if not profit) with its employees, partners and customers. Now that is something I haven’t thought about before, and I am glad to join in the conversation.

A brand has a value, and social business is the sharing of that value through collaboration, good enough!

While profit-sharing was a way of controlling the employees, by enabling self-control, Social Business pulls people into the business by sharing the force of command of the enterprise.

The outcome, like profit-sharing’s self-control, will be self-command.

As the command and control, of an operation, builds the structure of the business model, Social Business works inside the vertical component of that model, instead of profit-sharing’s horizontal position.

As a consumer economy is mostly vertical, Social Business has the potential (or is the potential) of transforming the economy of the U.S.A., through its use of force instead of the velocity used in the horizontal control of the work force.

As with most things in the virtual world, business is several years behind what is happening in the present. By the time Social Business reaches…well business, work-a-rounds will be in place, so, like profit sharing, it will be mostly lip-service to an uniformed public, and the command, like the control, will mostly go to those at the top of the organization.

Where, I might add, command has always  been.

Pro-democracy army officer joins Chinese military top brass

“‘The secret of the United States’ success is neither due to Wall Street nor Silicon Valley, but its long-surviving rule of law and the system behind it. A bad system makes a good person behave badly, while a good system makes a bad person behave well. Democracy is the most urgent thing; without it there can be no sustainable growth.’”

via Pro-democracy army officer joins Chinese military top brass « China Daily Mail.

So China just needs to see how Wall Street and Silicon Valley are acting good (all wealth going towards the center centralized 1%), and, like cell phones vs land-lines, jump a technology generation and build their own form of Democracy which gives 100% of control to the 99% voters.

Less than 25% will vote anyway (mostly against their own interest) and the 1% at the center will write the laws, so its not like the central committee will lose any power.

First Drucker Now Gamers?

Twitter / @larrydunbar/ooda.

I have read some of the report Michael Gerald Moore is outlining in his tweets here. It could be that Japan has found a way to harness the power (OODA loop) of the Next Generation Gamers.

Gamers are deep rooted experts that have little culture, but know how to tear down structure until it’s theirs. Gamers are good a learning the rules of the game and taking advantage of the rules to the dis-advantage of the designer of the game, until they own the game more than the designer.

In this case, it is the customer’s game, and corporate culture be damned, and the gamers play to win.

I could be wrong, but I think managers at Toyota are giving these people (Gamers) time to learn the rules, before crossing the gap between Decision and Action. Perhaps in another way, Toyota is py-passing orientation and pouncing between Observation and Decision, because Orientation is where much of the culture forms.

These Gamers would not be as suseptiable to integration of Toyota’s corporate culture and freer of bias, but they would eventually “own” the game.

I think there is more going on here, or I should say there at Toyota, but I have been wrong before, at least not mostly right.

Of course if I am mostly right, this could mean a big break for Japan, and a possible bounce back to number two, depending on if and where they are going with the meme.

Chart of the day: Why GM and SAIC naturally decided to pair up

Pretty obvious, actually.

Far short of merger, but the same logic holds:  you are weak where I am strong and vice versa.  Why not ally and crush all opposition on global basis.

This would-be globally integrated enterprise as a preview of globalization’s coming attractions.

From an Economist story on Chinese carmakers.

via Thomas P.M. Barnett’s Globlogization – Blog – Chart of the day: Why GM and SAIC naturally decided to pair up.

What Tom is describing is called a  “Cheap Trick” (Tempo, Venkatesh Rao).

Cheap Trick: In the Double Freytag model, the moment when a key insight turns around the trajectory of increasing entropy in a deep story. A cheap trick follows the exploration phase. The notion of cheap trick is essentially identical to Clausewitz’ notion of coup d’oeil (strike of the eye). Cheap tricks provide elegant, organizing insights that allow a decision-maker to make temporary and local sense of a high-entropy mental model. Cheap tricks also provide a window of opportunity for high-leverage decision-making.

The cheap trick in the deep story between GM and the Chinese corporation is defined in these words: “…you are weak where I am strong and vice versa.” In the exploration of the automobile market in both economies (east and west) have become so complex and the increase in what is not known is so great that the relationships in the narrative within the market has begun to spike into a Cheap Trick, to release both complexity and that what is not known.

A Cheap Trick is strategy, and in Tom’s example, the way (logic, of  the strategy) is defined in the words, “Why not ally and crush all opposition on a global basis.”

A cheap trick is strategy, but not the final strategy, so what is known about this Cheap Trick is that it is flawed. As Venkatesh says on page 77 in his book Tempo, “Every such insight is flawed, since it is based on excluding some part of reality as noise.”

What GM is excluding from some part of reality as noise is the fact that China is monopolizing the market around a benevolent leadership that is centralized. The reality is that the east (China) moves to a different tempo than the west (USA).

While the cheap trick and the logic behind it might be the same, GM and China (if one can distingush one as western and the other eastern anymore) have completely different Liminal Passages.

With different liminal passages, but with a need to achieve the same tempo (if harmony is desired between the east and west) the liminal passages have to merge. To merge the liminal passages, the separation event need to need to happen at a time that gives retrospection a chance to reach the same level in the deep story.

Once the same level has been reached in the deep story, the relationship between the east and west can grow deep together, if not close. Otherwise the east and west need to orient themselves within the same OODA loop, which is not easy if the relationship is not close in mind nor deep in heart.

The centralization of an authoritarian benevolent leadership that is represented in the phrase: “Why not ally and crush all opposition on a global basis” seems to be what is dividing most of the customers in the American market, and what both sides divided seem to not want.

The Tea Party (TP) and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) both seem to agree we need less centralization and neither are acting in a benevolent manner. While most Americans are not either TP nor OWS, the logic that binds these two is distintive American, i.e. they want freedom to act and freedom to decide.

It may prove hard to sell cars in such a divided market that is together on this one issue, the decentralization of the market into one deep passage that benefits only themselves.

It could be that the Cheap Trick that GM and China are using isn’t flawed in its logic, it is flawed in the end that both GM and China are equally moving towards, as they combine the means (resources) to that end.

As we are living within the “valley” of that Cheap Trick (we are obviously past the “sense making” of that trick) it may be that GM’s decision to centralize into one monopoly to rule the market together with a  benevolent China, will give the US customers cars that we need (cars that will not destroy the economies of the world) instead of what we want (cars that give us freedom).

However, giving us choices only of what we need has never worked out that well in America. It is going to be hard for GM and China to build cars China needs and the US wants, when considering the resources (means) used.

I Tied My Shoes Today

The title of this post should say that I tied my shoes correctly today. Shoes that are tied correctly not only look good, but resist failure. Failure,in this context, means the the shoe no longer fits snug on the foot and the laces can become tripping hazards if they become untied (the knot fails).

Shoes that are tied correctly look good, because the bow, created by the knot, stays in-line with the shoe openings from both sides of the shoe laces. Shoes that are not tied correctly look less apealing, because the bow turns perpendicular to the shoe laces.

Yesterday, I watched a TED video in which a very smart guy explained that perpendicular forces do knot (sorry about the pun) remain as “tight” when they are aligned perpendicular to each other, as they would, if all the forces in the system were aligned in the same direction, attractive and repulsive.

After watching the video, I had to wonder if any testing has been done that tells us if a shoe that “looks good” has a knot which is more resilient than a shoe whose looks are less than to be desired. Resilience in this context means the knot can “fail”, but the knot that is most resilient resists breakage of the laces when tied.

As societies are created with perpendicular forces to their culture, because of the tempo they function at, perhaps a society that is structured to look like the less desirable knot has an advantage of greater resilience.

Let’s say we are looking at a bow-tie, with the Do’ers in the center and the rich and poor class fanning-out in both directions, along the liminal narrative of the decision making of the society.

It would appear that you would want this society aligned as the knot that looks good, i.e. aligned with “time” (“time” being the shoe laces) goes. But forces aligned that “looks good” might not always be the most resilient. It could be that the “slippage” you are experiencing with shoe laces that are aligned perpendicular with the knot is the resilience of the society.

If the “slippage” is the resilience, (and maybe it’s not), I don’t care if the knot slips or not, I always double-knot my shoelaces, to keep them tight, unless the dog has chewed the laces into halves (and perhaps halves knots).

World Citizen: Will China Challenge U.S. as Global Superpower?

Take, for example, the Anatolian Eagle exercises recently held in Turkey’s Konya province. For nearly a decade, the exercise had brought together NATO allies Turkey and the U.S., along with Israel, for military exercises. This year, instead of Israel and the U.S., the maneuvers included the Chinese air force and its Sukhoi SU-27 and Mig-29 planes. On the way to Konya, the Chinese fighter jets stopped over in Iran for refueling, adding to the starkly non-NATO character of their participation.

via WPR Article | World Citizen: Will China Challenge U.S. as Global Superpower?.

For the structure to be complete, now all China needs are some drones to over-fly Iraq.

So Iraq, how is that, “going it alone” working out?