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Open Source Mode STRATEGIC INCLUSIVITY SERIES

The next level of Strategic Inclusivity involves the reconfiguring of standard organizational structures.

Along with our instinct to exclude, there’s a genetic trait that we’ve been fine-tuning simultaneously and to such a high degree that, like gravity, we take it for granted. Altruism — and more specifically, Inclusivity. As mentioned, the need to belong is a psychological need rooted in our desire to survive. But this is different. Altruistic acts, like including someone in a group, ignites the same primitive region of the brain that sex and food do. It’s deeper than the need to belong or the instinct to exclude.

In the context of sociobiology, the Inclusive Fitness Theory states that “An organism can improve its overall genetic success by inclusive social behavior."

So, while Fear-Based and Exclusive Males are pounding their chests at the edge of a territory — or on AM radio — the more inclusive Males are hanging back with the females — improving their overall genetic success so to speak. So, if survival of the fittest is the game — and those with more inclusive behavior have more genetic success, then why is our species still locked into this Exclusivity Ethos that celebrates elitist attitudes and hierarchical structure? Habit? Whatever the reason, the model is obsolete and we need to rise against it and replace it. And fast.

The Rebel gathers everyone together, the Monk is patient…Brainstorming anecdote (Mass) Closed Door Brainstorming Session Here’s an idea! If the goal is a good idea that helps everyone, letting everyone help is a really good idea.

OSA1: All Access Sessions

[See TEDx Talk Above]

If a group of company needs to come up with new, even groundbreaking ideas, don’t limit participation. Invite everyone in on the initial call or meeting. From the receptionist to the CEO — having a bigger title doesn’t increase your creative ability. Make these sessions Title-Free Zones.

OSA2: Concentric Enhancement

We live in a time of tremendous attention deficit and an increasingly sophisticated public. When someone is excelling at anything in this environment — sales, design, construction, whatever — it’s because they are doing something iconoclastic . Like a Rebel, they’re overthrowing traditional methods that are no longer enough to meet goals or to get attention.

Our current model is a Vertical Promotion — we reward this person by promoting them above their peers and out of their sweet spot.

We give them a raise, a bigger title and a job description that includes overseeing and developing their peers so their results can be multiplied. It’s a terrific idea.

There’s a snag though. We’re talking about human beings.

The more likely scenario is that the peers left back will resent the recently promoted and form a quiet thiefdom against them. Conversely, the person promoted may retreat to the Executive Washroom and begin the political plotting toward the next station. In the current Exclusivity Ethos, someone who excels gets placed in perfect balance between their expertise and their incompetence. How many are familiar with the Basil King quote,

“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid”?

When I first heard that I was quite literally emboldened. The idea that taking the risk of putting a bold idea or piece of work out there will summon unseen forces was…is still thrilling. I consider this quote a touchstone for a New Model of rewarding excellence. I call it the Concentric Enhancement Model.

A Promotion raises someone position or rank while an Enhancement increase and improves in value and quality. Instead of lifting these people out of their expertise and above others, an Inclusivity Ethos Manager will surround them with the others in concentric circles to aid them, enhance their resources and learn what’s working on the same level. Of course this person should get the raise, but there should be an extra stipend for those peers who aid the most and strive to duplicate the best practices.

These people are being bold and we should bring mighty forces to their aid.

OSA3: Bliss Assessment

While following the protocols and customs of your workplace like a Monk, be sure that you resisting conventions that obstruct you or your group from inclusive productivity. Regularly ask yourself and your colleagues, “What skill or talent do I have that I wish more people recognized?” This will unveil what it is you wish you were doing. The harder it gets to answer that question, the closer you are to your bliss. Some of us tend to subdue our true passions — either because the pleasure they bring makes us feel guilty or we simply want to keep them for ourselves alone. Whichever it is, whether we share them or not, identifying gets us closer. This conference challenges us to “Commit to Something Bigger”. With these principles of inclusivity, I’m hoping you will commit yourself to something wider as well. The rebel spreds the word like Thomas paine via digital pamphlet The monk is patient

Since we have a little more time, I want to share with you a personal practice I call the Lawndala Dharma. You probably know what a Mandala is — a symbolic pattern created with colored sand or other media as a meditation. Dharma, in this instance, means conformity to one’s duty and nature — in other word using mundane tasks or chores as meditations. By Lawndala, I means…well…Lawn (as in Grass) Whenever I need to mow the lawn, I first plot out a new pattern and, even though it can make the chore take longer, the practice of seeing it through makes it a Dharma for me.

My lawn managed its own Facebook page for a time.

This really helps me get over creative humps too. I’ve had neighbors comment that the art is not lost on them. And to make it even more inclusive and social, I did what any normal person would do… “People don’t know that I’m good at…” While obeying the laws of the world and the customs of the workplace, are you breaking enough rules and casting off enough conventions that bring You Closer to Your bliss? Just as every group has a mix of cognitive style, so does our own brain. Every decision we make is the end result of a debate between the billions of neurons firing between centers of or brain and readings from our heart. If you have a linear problem, draw a picture. A spatial problem, write it out. Both? Do what I do. Mow the lawn. Bliss Assessment Take advantage of having your people together and in a cooperative, inclusive frame of mind. At the end of each Opens Source Session, invite everyone to answer one question: “What skill or talent do I have that I wish more people recognized?” The answer unveils our bliss path, if you will. It’s what we wish were doing instead or doing more of. And the harder it gets to answer this question, the closer we are, and the group is to bliss. Invite but don’t require participants to share it with the group. Then pose the problem or challenge for the next Open Source Session. But ask the group to bear in mind their answer to the Bliss Question while developing their ideas. Whether or not they shared their answer, coming at a problem from this angle will inspire a new set of ideas from a deeper place. Whichever it is, whether shared or not, identifying what we wish others recognized in us more gets us back on the path…closer to bliss. And that’s the point, right. Death bed regrets are not about profit margins or stock prices. Those things follow when companies authentically tap into bliss. This Open Source Session is just one tactic of Strategic Inclusivity. And, knowing a TED crowd, there are at least 200 more tactics waiting to be unleashed on the world outside this hall. But while we’re out there challenging obsolete powers of exclusivity, look around for things that do accentuate our better angels of Inclusivity…. Radio for instance. Thanks to Nikola Tesla, Radio has been a fixture in our culture for over 100 years. Why? It’s the epitome of Inclusiveness. It’s our collective consciousness communicating with itself… in real time. Whenever we here a song that transports us back in time or moves us to sing out loud in traffic, we’re are sharing that experience with thousands, even millions of people at the same time. At the same time. That is collective consciousness. That is pure connection on a quantum level. That is Radio. They said Radio was over with the advent of LP…then the Cassette Tape… then the 8-Track… then the Compact Disc All of which gave consumers exclusivity and control over when and where they got their entertainment. Which is great. But those devices are all obsolete. And Radio is stronger than ever. But now we have mp3 players and iPods. Now have the technology to access thousands of songs in Dolby Isolation and on the go…and it’s marketed to be very cool. [MEAN PEOPLE SUCK] There are many brilliant TED Talks about Happy. What it is, how to get it and myriad fact-based opinions on its positive affects in the workplace and on society. But, like ignoring our limits and despite the overwhelming data we are locked into an Exclusive Ethos And there are those of us who — for whatever reason — childhood trauma, bad role models or just damaged souls — who will attack Happy as weak. Gandhi employed non-violence in his resistance against Great Britain. Although he would not physically fight the British, he was anything but passive. The simplest explanation of why non-violence works is that allowing your oppressor to continually strike at you without striking back makes them self-conscious. It strips away the collective fear that produces their ferocity…in other words, after a while the person hitting you feels like an idiot and it causes them to reassess the act. There are thousands of brilliant, thought-provoking quotes by people like Gandhi, Dr. King and others about dealing with oppressors or seeing enemies as damaged. But it can all be distilled down to three words in the modern vernacular. MEAN PEOPLE SUCK And while non-violence is an essential weapon against oppressive governments, it’s not really relevant in the workplace or the classroom. And it’s not enough anymore to simply ignore mean people. There are far too many of them. They’re internet trolls spewing hateful comments on YouTube, they have “News” shows and syndicated radio programs that broadcast their fear-based exclusive instincts en masse. We can’t exclude them from the tribe anymore. But we are equipped with a more powerful survival trait than their fear will allow them to develop… NEW BLISS [ALTRUISM] But there’s another survival trait that we humans have developed simultaneously and to such a high degree that, like gravity, we take it for granted. And most of us have come to regard this trait, like gravity, as a weak force in our nature. I’m speaking of altruism. It’s defined as the practice of unselfish concern for the welfare of others. But I contend that there is nothing unselfish about altruism. In fact, it’s probably the most self-serving aspect about us. [Reciprocal altruism] And — again, just like gravity — it’s the most subtle and dominant force in our nature. But we ignore it. At best we consider it a seasonal state — donating a turkey to a homeless shelter at Thanksgiving, or a check to a veterans’ charity on Memorial Day. At worst we see it as a weakness of a bleeding hearts. But research now shoes that Altruism is a high survival trait. Altruistic brain cells have been identified and experiments conducted that prove that animals express unselfish behavior. And it’s that trait, and those members of the herd that reproduce more often and evolve toward a more sophisticated state of social being. When we were an agriculturally-based society, Inclusivity was the MO. Communities worked together to sow and reap and share crops. The beet farmer needed to deal fairly with the corn farmer and bean farmer or their meals would be very monotonous. But the Industrial Age accentuated our Exclusive natures. Corporations competing for market share left no room for altruism except where it was good for Public Relations. In fact, the father of public relations was the nephew of Sigmund Freud — Edward Bernays — who felt manipulation by PR was necessary in a society he regarded as irrational and dangerous with it’s ‘herd instinct’ So, in essence, in the early 1900s a small group of elites who were overly aggressive and didn’t help forage for food or hunt were excluding the rest of the herd. Now. In the early 2000s, the herd is sophisticated, connected and not easily swayed by PR campaigns. Exclusivity is, once again our new lion. Buckminster Fuller one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century said many things, the one most appropriate for the rest of this sequential, yet colorful Powerpoint is thi, “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Pretty simple really and not necessarily one of his most Earth-shattering quotes but when you consider that he was born in 1895 and was most the notion of shifting paradigms or overturning accepted models was pretty rebellious stuff as were most of his inventions, books and predictions. The reason I said at the top that I’ve been waiting for this moment for 12 years is this… Twelve years ago I was hired by Entercom for my design skills and was given the title of Creative Director comma Visual. In radio, a Creative Director works with copywriters and talent for audio spots. They didn’t quite know where to place me as a visual designer which gave me a lot of leeway to develop my own creative ethos. And since I telecommute, my environment could be that much more personalized and optimized. The traditional model of a Creative Director oversees a staff of Creative People and tells them When to be creative How bad their creative is and Reluctantly presents their creative to a client. If the client doesn’t like it, he or she gets to blame “the creatives” and if they do like it, the Creative Director gets to take the credit. Pretty sweet situation. My issue, however is that I am my own Creative People. There have been moments when a design choice I made was questioned I would say, (to myself in my sound-roof studio) “How dare they question the choices of the Creative Director of the one of the top five media groups in America!” Then I would make whatever edits were requested and move onto the next project. By the way, if you’re ever working with a designer on anything, please don’t ask them to “Make it pop.” You will be teased in the design studio once you leave the room. It’s the “Got Milk” of design critiques. We used to count how many ads co-opted the “Got Milk” slugline …. in 1997. Then there are those days when I’ll watch a TV spot that rendered overnight, and afterward, look at my screen with a condescending smirk and walk out to the studio disappointed. “I had expected so much more from the Creative Director of one of the largest….then, right before I ask my dog if he validates parking I snap back into Designer consciousness and promise to work through the weekend to make it right. But despite my own struggle between my lofty title and my daily tasks, as it turns out, I’ve got perfect situation. I get to tell friends and family that I am a Creative Director for one of the largest broadcasters in American but I get to spend my days doing what I’m best at and still challenged by. I’ve found the sweet spot because I wasn’t promoted above my expertise and below my incompetence. We live in a time of tremendous attention deficit and an increasingly sophisticated public. When someone is excelling at anything — sales, design, construction, whatever — it’s because they are doing something iconoclastic — something that overthrows the traditional method because the traditional method is not enough to meet goals or to garner attention. With our current model — The Vertical Ascent — we reward such ingenuity, skill or talent, by promoting these people up and out of their sweet spot. We give them a raise, and a new title and job description that places them above their peers so that they can both manage and train them what they did and multiply results. Terrific idea. There’s a snag though. We’re talking about human beings. The more likely scenario is that the peers will resent the recently promoted and therefore not incorporate any of their lessons and conversely the recently exalted, assuming the resentment is palpable, will retreat to the Executive Washroom and begin the political dance toward the next rung. A perfect balance between their expertise and their incompetence. How many of you are familiar with the Basil King quote, “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid”? When I first heard that I was quite literally emboldened. The idea that taking a risk, putting an idea or creative work out there will summon unseen forces was…is still thrilling. In fact, my contacting Megan and Fabien about this event was a bold move for me and yes, mighty forces have surrounded me. I believe this quote is a touchstone for a New Model I call the Spiral Ascent Model. Again, we live in a time of tremendous attention deficit and an increasingly sophisticated public. Someone excelling in this environment is doing something iconoclastic — something that overthrows the traditional method that no longer work. In an Ethos of Inclusivity, instead of lifting these people out of their expertise and above others, the others are pulled in closer to surround them to aid them, enhance their approach and learn what’s working on the same level. Sure, they should get the raise and a new title but a title that is new, untraditional and adds impact to their expertise. Account Execuitve become Expert Account Executive… These people are being bold and an Inclusive Ethos Managers would bring mighty forces to their aid. Along with the flattening and widening the Vertical Ascent Model into a Spiral Ascent Model, here are three other simple Open Source Configurations that any business, classroom or group can incorporate to help foster creativity through inclusivity. Closed Brainstorming Sessions don’t work. If your company or group needs to come up with new, even groundbreaking ideas, don’t limit participation. Invite everyone on the call or into the conference room from the receptionist to the Creative Director. Make these sessions Title-Free Zones. If the goal is a good idea that helps everyone, letting everyone help is a really good idea. Having a bigger title doesn’t increase your creative ability. Include all brains and invite all cognitive styles. [TELECOMMUTE]

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