1935 words

The Art of the Possible?

The Art of the Possible?

Without exception, all political parties are engaged in mutually destructive campaigns desperately trying to deliver warped interpretations of the Big Possible. It is hugely embarrassing to witness the relentless yet fruitless pleadings and cant of failing politicians trying to out do each other with facile promises to voters. Fanciful hope will never prevail, for if any party is to win they must give themselves a good talking to and change their game. Fragile perfect identical arguments will never win and are NOT THE WAY NOW and never will be

To secure committed supporters , who are the only people who matter and the only true asset politicians have, parties need to understand that people are often positively motivated by identifiable BENEFITS (a) and negatively influenced by known LIABILTIES(b)

Potential supporters would arguably be more supportive if

(a) they benefitted from and were more engaged with "politicians at their door" and felt they could trust them - and
(b) could avoid liabilities by ensuring that they chose the right person for prime minister

Take Away "If you are unable to effectively mobilise and deploy your assets you will never prevail"

"Do you think us stupid?"


Matt Hancock REDUX - the dire attempts of politicians to 'sell snake oil' and facile promises to the electorate is naive in the extreme. People will be won over by the trust they have in"the person on t he doorstep" (a BENEFIT) or the BURDEN they believe they they will face if they vote into power the wrong PRIME MINISTER - nothing more
nothing less


THIMK It Through..Take time to re-evaluate what you are saying, thinking on, and about to do

THIMK is an interesting take on logic, the day t oday logic of “doing” becomes defined by the action of "THIMKING"

Back in 1977 at the Gray Tool Company. TEXAS I was a mainframe computer operator

On the top of the mainframe (IBM 370/135 DOS VS/Power) was a sign that came from IBM .


The sign used a peculiar font that make the word stand out, and at first glance you would think that it said “THINK”.

For several weeks I would glance at it and think that it was telling me to think about my next action while at the console. After awhile I begin to look at the word closely and it actually said “THIMK” which in the IBM lexicon meant "think about it correctly".

If there was something I could share with you is that it is VERY IMPORTANT to spend time T H I M K I N G things through. You can practice, train and rehearse so much better when you’re mind is focused.

(But there comes a time when you have to take all that thimking and put it to use.)

"Seek first to understand"

Extracted thoughts from Tim Olivers paper (LSE) "Theory and Brexit: - can theoretical approaches help us understand Brexit?" whose thinking is acknowledged


Cognitivist approaches look more at the mindsets – the psychology – of the individual decision makers as well as those who might " influence" those EU decision makers - by example the influence of powerful national EU politicians

The beliefs and personalities of each EU decision maker means that they will react differently to the same situation. This means that if we want to understand the EU approach to Brexit then we need to look into the minds of the key individuals involved to understand how their perceptions were shaped, have continued to evolve, morph and re-appear.

We MUST know and exhaustively understand the approach of their side. BEFORE WE CONSTRUCT OUR CASE

Looking at the world through the eyes of such decision makers is a necessary condition

What might Merkel think? Juncker?Barnier?Macron etc etc.. allows us to understand what mental shortcuts they take in terms of analogies.

It also allows us to take into account the bigger political calculations weighing on their minds such as forthcoming elections or political legacy.

Worst or Least - matters of choice

The Troublous Paradox of Brexit Choices

I assert that the multiple Brexit choices we have to make present us with unknowable outcomes - and the most potentially dangerous outcome will be to leave the EU without a deal - Thus our single choice rests in us backing the contender for PM who is least likely to commit us to the suicide option of no deal - no amount of dissembling will change that.


  • TO BE overcome with choices and fail to act - or- TO DO what is necessary and sufficient ? - that is the question


To be unable to make an informed choice , being overcome with choices

Too much choice causes feelings of less happiness, less satisfaction and leads to paralysis. The paradox of choice is recognized as one of the major sources of mass confusion - with the nature of available options being critical. It is mostly the lack of meaningful choice that develops feelings of decreased happiness, less satisfaction and fatally constrains decision making.

Since we are not able to explicitly define what constitutes a meaningful choice, the Brexit decision task we collectively face presents us with an overload of ill-defined '"wicked problems". We are dealing with inherently unknown ambulant matters, offering us little more than uncertainty and often unfathomable complexity (Rittel - wicked problems defined)

Practical solutions do NOT lie in limiting the scope of multiple choices (Johnson or Corbyn or Barnier or?) but in providing decision makers with single topical matter choices, that are relevant to them all (Schwartz ) - and help them "cofound" mutually acceptable, perhaps even initially unwished for, solutions that will just satisy ENOUGH ( the satisficer concept)

" The best determinant of future performance is past performance projected and adjusted in accordance with a realistic plan"


THE DONKEY IN 'LA LA LAND' - The brexit conundrum REDUX
Why Boris must play his cards very close to his chest

(1) Donald Tusk @eucopresident recently tweeted " The backstop is an insurance to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland unless and until an alternative is found, those against the backstop and not proposing realistic alternatives in fact support restablishing a border. Even if they do not admit it"

(2) Subsequently M. BARNIER was reported as stating that ' no change will be considered to the "Withdrawal Agreement''

(2.1) Barnier was followed by TUSK ( again by tweet) and MACRON ( verbally with Johnson) who both stated that consideration would be given by the EU to backstop strictures within the UK "Withdrawal Agreement" if a "viable alternative" to backstop conditionality were to be submitted by Boris Johnson

(3) HOWEVER, neither Barnier nor, Tusk, nor Macron, nor Merkell have suggested quite what such a "viable alternative" would ' look like' nor how it might work

(4) Thus, Boris Johnson has been enticed into playing a game of " pin the tail on the donkey" worse yet the donkey lives a life of constant movement in "La La Land". Anything at all that Boris proposed could be thrown out without any rational explanation

[5] in such circumstances the problem of the 'backstop' would not have gone away- for Barnier Tusk,Macron, Merkell et al would have merely avoided the problem

[6] the only solution to the backstop problem? is for both sides to commit to a common conviction that the problem CAN be solved and to jointly thrash out a "viable alternative" between them, in a solution that works for all

There is no time left for bluffing or sending smoke signals - this needs to happen NOW

POST SCRIPT (Arie de Geus)
" By the sea of opportunity on the beach of potential lie the bones of countless thousands who on reaching that place waited"

"Are we there yet?"

Hopefully, in the context of a Brexit deal , MAYBE we are?

We appear to have signals from Europe that - subject to a non trivial proposition - a proposition that presents a "viable alternative" to the current

To get there however negotiators suggest that " creative options" must be invented. To do so (a) the acts of invention should be separated from the act ofimmediately judging any merits (b) both sides should look to broaden the " created options" on the table rather than look for a single answer (c) FOCUS UPON SEARCHING FOR MUTUAL GAINS (d) invent the easiest way to make commonly agreed decisions acceptable to both sides (FIsher & Ury 1982)

With truthful and honest discussion - we will be able to answer the question of "are we there yet" - with a resounding Y E S !

Change - Tim Brown

Change By Design
May 28, 2015 — 4 minute read
A rare look into how design thinking looks and functions, and displays how it can be utilized to drive innovation.

A review of Tim Brown’s book, Change By Design
a 'listed' blog first publish attempt

To give some background of the author, Tim Brown is the president and CEO of IDEO—a design and innovation consulting firm. IDEO works on a highly diverse range of projects from the Elmo Calls iPhone app all of the way to the development of Bank of America’s Keep the Change savings program. At their heart, IDEO embodies and defines design thinking which is best described by Tim as “a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”

How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation
Change by Design is a rare look into how design thinking looks and functions, and displays how it can be utilized to drive innovation. Tim explains the danger of only pursuing incremental innovation which most organizations do, and then outlines how organizations can develop a structure and dynamic in which risk, experimentation, creativity, and ultimately, revolutionary ideas can flourish.

“Those who went to business school were taught many effective techniques for what I would call convergent thinking, which is taking the set of available choices, analyzing those choices, and making the best one that then gets implemented. Now, that’s great for taking an existing world and optimizing it. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to create new innovations, there’s another piece you need to put in front of that. And that is the creation of those choices themselves because if you’re just looking at the same set of choices as everybody else is looking at, you’re likely to get to the same innovations that they are. However, if you can create new choices, choices that nobody else is looking at—that nobody else is seeing—there’s a pretty strong chance you can get to an innovation that nobody else has gotten to.”
— Tim Brown

Throughout the book there are many graphs which visually depict Tim’s concepts, below is one of my favorites which shows the three types of innovation: Incremental, evolutionary, and revolutionary as they relate to an organization’s market and offerings.

With Change by Design, Tim is trying to create a dialog around design, one which gives design thinking to the world and makes the design and creative process accessible to anyone. What I absolutely love about this book is that it takes the pretentiousness and the elitist attitude out of design as an artform, and instead treats design as a verb—creating the opportunity to address and solve world problems.