For the sake of simplicity we have classified different type of systems, which are the following: –Simple System -> Wrist Watch: It has many parts but not very diverse, very interdependent and connected but it is very predictable with great accuracy of a few seconds over a year. Nothing funny happens on and off. Complicated Systems -> Computer: Has many parts that are diverse. They are also interconnected and interdependent. Highly predictable with great accuracy. But since the computer is also connected to the environment (for e.g. the net) it can suddenly get affected, corrupted, spammed and some unpredictable things might happen. But it is mostly under control. Complex Systems –> Chess game. There are diverse pieces. These are interconnected and also interdependent. There are few rules – say about 10 and those rules generate a great variety of responses which can’t be predicted. This appearance of new situations is called ‘emergence’. The situations completely change with every turn. And we are forced to take action (a sort of adaptation) to continue the game till it ends. Complex Adaptive Systems -> Our human body. Diverse pieces. Interconnected and Interdependent. Few rules produce infinite variety of responses (emergence). And we can adapt by balancing, action and also inaction.
Chaotic Systems -> Our heart. More than a pump it is a vortex that sucks in blood imparts it with some additional energy and drains it out into the system. In this case very small changes trigger massive changes to the system.
Though it is very interesting to classify systems in this manner for academic reasons (helps to formulate theories) it is really very difficult for such definite classes of systems to independently exist in reality. This is because all systems ranging from the simplest ones to the most chaotic exist in interconnected and interdependent ways. In that case one is not more important or less important than another. Everyone plays the game together.
Hence if we take the right view, such classification is only good for our initial understanding of different systems. Theories spun out of such ‘abstracted individual systems entities’ are simply meaningless to say the least.
Once different types of systems are interconnected, two basic things happen.
First, they are no longer isolated (equilibrium and predictable conditions) by becoming a part of a larger system that is in a non-equilibrium and therefore highly unpredictable state.
Second, the combined effect of such a networked relationship between different systems is ‘non-linearity’. This essentially means the effect can’t be predicted with a high degree of certainty. In such a situation most of our static theories would fail.
When we combine the two conditions what we get is something called ‘bifurcation’. In simpler terms it is the source of creativity. Something new emerges from the mix.
a) Knowledge would no longer be static. It would become ‘dynamic’, i.e. more fluid and changing where meaning would arise from interconnecting different parts and not lie in the interpretation of any singular part. In such a situation specific attributes of any parts would become insignificant to the behavior of the whole. All parts would enfold within it the whole as much the whole would contain the unfolding of the interactions of the diverse parts and systems. Once we perceive this view the design of our present education system might change.
b) Such turbulent mixing of various systems generating ‘dynamic knowledge’ would help us to live more humane lives away from the prey predator model of the animal world, which we are practicing right to this moment only amplified and sustained through so called national or organizational interests created only in the minds to boost national or organizational supremacy of one nation or organization over the other.c) It would help the 7 billion odd people on the earth to reduce the income disparity which the majority suffers from and is being crushed by its cruelty. d) It would enable free play of imagination and creativity to live more humanely with the hope of living in a liberated state of Non-Fear, where Fear presently shrouds the lives of most.
Herein is the crux of future leadership since ‘leadership’ as we know of it today is a stale and sick replay of understanding of parts based on the infamous ‘prey-predator’ model of the animal world – a world where the possibility of conscious evolved living is simply non-existent.
#Nemetics is concerned about study and evolution of such Leadership through education and action research.
“Leadership in Complexity” maintains a position and a viewpoint that each one of us is a leader of his/her own life not only to change oneself but also to act as agents of change for others through their actions and ideas. For this, one needs the courage to look at his/her own thought process to discover the underlying assumptions, beliefs, perceptions that create the apparent complexity and paradoxes one is engaged with in life.That in short is the essence of social and cultural innovation and entrepreneurship. However, the important thing to be kept in mind is that we are not going to create any purely imagined ‘desired future’ in our minds rooted in idealism and run after that. For example, we are not going to say that ‘let us build a more resilient community’ or let us aim for more ‘structure and order’ realizing that resilience, structure, order are products of self organization. Why is that? This is because ‘complex systems’ would not listen to what we ‘desire’. They produce their own emergence, which take on various forms. For instance ‘failures’, ‘insight’ ‘learning’, ‘wisdom’, ‘strange behavior’, ‘shortfall in attendance’ , ‘bad quality’, ‘low productivity’, ‘obesity’, ‘disease’, ‘epidemics’ and ‘love’ are all cases of ‘emergence’. And these are never fixed or static. They keep changing over time. So, it is indeed stupid to have any fixed plan in the mind and exert our will to achieve the ‘desired mental model’ we have in mind. That of course does not tell us not to have any ‘intention‘ whatsoever. Nor does it ask us to submit to ‘fatality’ of reality. Our path clearly lies in balancing between the two wheels of ‘reality’ and ‘desire’ forged by our will emanating from intention. Such balancing act is fueled by the heady mix of courage to pay attention to our thought process and the deeply felt intention to balance. Our intention in most cases would be to adapt to the ongoing emergent phenomenon by exploring the rules that generate the emergence and then examine the underlying ‘paradoxes’ that shape and sustain such emergence enabling us to adapt through balancing (the Indian concept of jugaard) to give shape to a better collective future. Our aim is not to achieve this or that. Our aim is to simply adapt based on the emergence. It is a delicate balancing act like walking on the sword’s edge and being in the fire at the same time. I believe it makes life simpler, fun to live, helps us ‘survive’ better and also ‘collectively thrive’. The philosophical base that we are going to use is ‘Complex Adaptive Systems’ The process that we would use to do so would be #Nemetics And the tools that we would use would be many but mostly Dialogs, Learning by Doing, Iterations, Improvisations and even employ mathematical tools, if needed, like Time Waveforms, Fourier Transform without losing sight of highly explosive techniques like Meditation and the use of Principles of #nemetics While knowledge lies in selecting the right technique for a given context or situation wisdom lies in balancing and adapting, where both knowledge and wisdom are contextual emergence.
1st Jan 2012. We call it a start of a New Year. But I can’t understand what is so new about it? I can’t feel the coming of a New Year. It is so disconnected from Nature. Nothing much has changed in Nature. I still feel the cold. I don’t see new leaves bursting forth to clothe the naked trees. The sun is still mellow in the northern hemisphere. The days are still shorter than the nights that induce me to sleep more than I do in summer. But the darn clock on the wall would not let me do any of that. I would have to get up and run and rush playing our daily games by the rules that we (my friends and I) have set up. I would have to adapt to the timepiece and all the routines that are entangled with it. I am continually caught out of breath in the vortex of meaningless rituals into which we are desperately trying to breathe life into to create the inauthentic lives we live. I am not allowed to adapt to the rhythm of nature as per my own natural tendencies and inclinations. But still we keep shouting hoarse asking people to follow their hearts and save Nature and adapt to her ways to prolong our continuation of life on earth.
Wonder as to why we have gradually synchronized with thousands of mental concepts and constructs that we formed with impunity and fancy aided by a system called formal education much of which goes against basic human rights that might have otherwise allowed us to live like members of the human race. For whom? For what? For whom the bell tolls? What is so special about the human race that makes us believe that we are separate from nature?
What made us follow thinkers and leaders who till date haven’t been successful to create the ‘desired future’. Are we still continuing our nomadic journey through the heavily inhabited deserts of our unkempt minds in search of the ‘Promised Land’. Where might be this land? Whose land is that? The Capitalist got it wrong. The Communist got it wrong. The religious teachers got it wrong. The scientists got it wrong. The Gurus got it wrong. The Governments got it wrong. The lives of common men and women continue to be crushed and even the thin line that is left behind after their death is mercilessly obliterated by the grinding wheels of our ‘structured civilization’ that takes no cognizance of such events and phenomenon. We are still no where. Our food, clothing, shelter, living, meaning in our lives are all threatened. That surely isn’t civilization.
Where did they all go wrong? I think it is our ritual of honoring the false concept of rise of the ‘individual’ based on the belief of a ‘self identity’. Therefore, we want to improve ourselves. Therefore, we search for definite traits of a creative individual. Therefore, we are madly searching for so called ‘leadership traits’ that make us better leaders. Therefore, we define ourselves, the things that we see around us, the factories, the organizations, our love or sense of belonging, in fact everything around us. And then we define what is good and what is bad and what is desirable and what is not so desirable and what we must do to improve ourselves and what we must do to get richer and better. And how might we teach others the same. We are so concerned with being an individual. All these are simply ‘false’.This is a lie that can never be supported. We simply can’t live alone. We are never ever alone. We live in relationships — with other humans, animals, plants, objects, the energy fields that fill up the cosmos or the universe itself. And as the nature of the relationships change they evolve in terms of strength, quality and complexity. Caught in the web of numerous relationships we are constantly being modulated and changed. Our choice, therefore, lies in the way we pay attention to those various relationships, constantly responding to the pulls and pushes of those relationships, living for those who bring meaning in our lives and learning from those modulations in our relationships. It affects our collective mind, health, learning and living. Death is experienced in the closure of a relationship giving birth to a new one or strengthening an existing one.
These relationships are teeming with thousand possibilities of every kind that we need to care about, provided we learn from the continuing dialectics contained in each relationship. It allows us to see truth in different perspectives and dimensions — all valid but never totally encompassing. It brings in the possibility of the ‘excluded middle’ as the real possibility of creative living or living as a real member of the human race.
Since it is all about relationship in the dialectic mode it is not about improving ourselves and making ourselves better, stronger or richer. It is all about improving one or many relationships that entangle us. We are as good as the web of relationships itself. The individual improves through the dialectic motion exhibited by the relationships one is entangled in.
We can’t live the path unless our web of relationships becomes the path itself. There is no shame, guilt or fear of being such a changing path informed by the nature, quantity and quality of the connected and interdependent relationships. This is because the path is constantly evolving to new states of becoming through its constant movement shaped by dialectics of the relationships. The path goes nowhere in any linear fashion but evolves to the subsequent stages. We can only be the change by remaining open & attentive. There is no manipulation. We don’t play a zero-sum game. There is no need for any personal ambition to excel since all improvements are matter of co-creations. The relationship evolves or gets stuck.
The co-creation would depend upon recognizing reality through detached application of discrimination.
Such co-creation would be creative only when it flows from insights gained from a situation.
Such co-created evolution would be about actions that spring from the depth of choices made by the elements with the web of relationships fuelled by the collective will power of the relationships.
It is about harmony, melody, dancing to the rhythms of nature and enjoying the freedom of flow that comes from being centered in the middle of the dialectic play of energy fields within relationships.
Our collective ability to negotiate increasing complexity of such collective evolution would depend on whether the relationships bounded by space, energy fields and time acquire the –Right Dialectic Mindset of viewing reality
Right Centering, Attention & Intention
Right Will and the power of communications
Right effort to co-create, design and facilitate the higher and complex evolution of relationships
Right Actions to bring forth into reality the lessons learned from living the relationships
I call this “Emergent Nirvana” that has a rhythm of a collective moving through cycles and exhibiting patterns, which gives us the power to design our own lives centered on co-evolving relationships developed through co-operation, collaborations and co-creation.
To be this path of Emergent Nirvana and to live this path we would be our own Gurus where the existing relationships would offer us the necessary lessons of Relevance, Resilience and Reliability to be the change and evolve to increasingly complex planes of a fulfilled existence.
Practical Problem: Pipes vibrate and owing to such vibration the pipe fittings loosen and fluid leaks. For a process plant such leaks are substantial. So insight and understanding are needed to figure out as to how we might stop such unwarranted fluid leakage, which not only adds to the operating cost of the plant but also results in sudden breakdowns that affect productivity and profitability of a plant.We start our investigation by revisiting he concept of Reynold’s number in an effort to gain insights into the underlying phenomenon.
Revisiting Reynold’s Number:As we know Reynold’s number may be described as the ratio of Inertia Forces/Viscous Forces.
We also know that for Reynold’s number (Re) < 2000 the flow in a pipe carrying a fluid (liquid or gas) is laminar and all the fluid travels in a direction parallel to the pipe axis (being careful to neglect Brownian motion, which leads to a slight blurring of the streak lines of flow).This flow would normally create vibration in the pipe since the pipe selects the particular frequency of its choice (its natural frequency) from a range of frequencies imposed on it by the flow to naturally vibrate (high probability exists that the pipe finds its natural frequency from the range of frequencies imposed by flow of fluid).
When Re > 2000 flow disturbances would probably grow, forming turbulent eddies, so that superimposed on the axial flow, there are circulating eddies of many sized with velocities up to about 1/10 of the axial velocity for a smooth pipe (assumption, which in reality might not be found). This is not very insignificant to cause additional vibration in the pipe, in all probability, perpendicular to the flow of the fluid. However, the effect of these turbulent eddies is to mix up the flow and to create a more uniform profile in the pipe.
The importance of flow similarity is that, for two geometrically similar pipes, the flow behavior will be the same for equal values of Re in each pipe. For example, if we specify, therefore for calibration of a flowmeter, a certain value of Re and a certain pipe geometry, then we know, for sure, that this flow will be well defined.
For Laminar flow, Pressure drop is proportional to Velocity (v) and the resulting profile would be Parabolic.
For Turbulent flow, Pressure drop is proportional to square of Velocity (v) and the resulting profile would be flattened by turbulent mixing (higher entropy).
It is now Interesting to compare the similarity of the above two phenomena with the phenomenon of damping force experienced by objects moving in fluids. Where for low speed damping force is proportional to velocity and for high speeds damping force is proportional to the square of velocity. So, there is equivalent relationship between Pressure Drop and Damping Force. Hence we can conclude that higher the pressure drop (due to higher Re) higher would be the damping force that can significantly alter the vibration patterns of pipe vibrations.The pressure drop or loss might then be referred to as the ‘velocity head’ that causes pipes to vibrate since absolutely ideal laminar flow is not found in practical applications. Hence turbulent flow exists as default mechanism of flow in pipes. The pipes subjected to such vibrations (a combination of both low and high frequency vibrations) are stressed at their threaded joints, which automatically loosen up to allow fluid to leak past the open joints,
1. Hangers that support the pipes might be placed in an axisymmetric manner thereby not allowing the resultant vibration wave owing to fluid flow to travel by effectively breaking up the wave at its origin.2. Increase the pipe schedule, if that is practically possible for the given conditions. 3. Change the fluid viscosity (generally increase), if practically possible. 4. Use longer length of threaded pipes (to increase the stiffness of the pipe joint).
5. Combine any of the above solutions in a manner found practical in the field.
The Backdrop:A ductile iron pipe factory operates in Kharagpur, West Bengal, India. It is a joint venture between the famous Tatas and Kobutu Pipes of Japan. This factory is run by Japanese managers and supervisors and even some Japanese operators. They provided the technology, set up the plant, run the operations on a day to day basis and guide the Indian workers, supervisors and managers too.
Ever since the Japanese installed their plant, 3.5 years ago, productivity never went beyond 50% of the rated capacity and quality rejections hovered around 10%, which they wanted to bring down below 5% level.
The approach taken by the Japanese managers:
They took their usual approach to analyze problems one by one. For that they employed all of their famous quality tools plus a mix of TPM and TQM approach. Huge amount of data were collected, to which one executive jokingly commented that data collection has generated so much paper that it could possibly cover the whole of Kharagpur
They tried their methods for the last 3.5 years without any success. Neither productivity nor quality improved by even 1%.
That is when the Chairman of the company invited me over to show him some ‘magic’ (he always jokingly refers to me as a ‘magician’, since he experienced my method 7 years back as a MD of another company)
Application of Rapidinnovation
My approach to the issue, that is application of Rapidinnovation, ran something like this:
Step 1: create an internal team focused on improving reliability and resilience of the organization to face this challenge. The team was a mix of junior, middle and high level executives. Fortunately I found this combination has an advantage of accelerating change.
Step 2: was to initiate them in the new thinking process and solving problems. Taught them my all time favorite method of Improvement through design, named Rapidinnovation — a) make them see the connection between all problems. Obviously, not all problems are to be tackled one by one. Only the critical nodes are to be address to resolve the issue holistically b) Show them the unity of the opposites to take the “creative middle” c) Minimal invasion or change based on the principle that a small change creates the desired change in the system both quantitatively and qualitatively. d) How all processes and phenomena would naturally negate their present existence to go back to the previous one hence developing a method of spotting changes and adapting quickly in a given situation. The focus was to creatively strike a balance between ‘reliability’ and ‘resilience’.
Two significant ideas of the approach were. a) The design changes appeared seemingly insignificant. Extremely small changes (pivot points or lever points — a lesson I learned from Judo). Now I call this Minimalist invasion surgery. b) No specific attention was given either to improve productivity or quality. In fact not a single quality problem was addressed in the entire engagement. The changes had a holistic effect — i.e. small changes had their effect on the whole (principle of interdependence)
Step 3: was to work out a few problems directly for them to believe that the method of problem solving and improvement works. That is what I term as the Non-Process in problem solving i.e. — Examine things in isolation and then see them in their own environment (interdependence, interactions and the ‘struggle’). Objective is to help things continue their ‘struggle’ to be in the ‘creative middle’ of everything. Step 4: was to encourage them to apply the method themselves and gain internal confidence and esteem. Here my role was that of a facilitator and a critic. Step 5: make them think about quickly spotting changes to quickly adapt to improve resilience within the organization. Step 6: walk the creative middle. The Results
The results were astounding: Productivity increased by 100% to reach the 100% of rated capacity and quality rejections reduced and came down below the 5% level (i.e. by 100% from former levels) in just under 5 months and the results are consistent over the past 4 months at the time of writing this event. This innovative intervention left the organization with on going benefits for possibly years (that has been my intention in all my previous engagements, which were so far successfully achieved barring a negligible few, 2 out of 50 to be precise). Appreciation & Comments a) This is what the Chairman of the company commented: “Thanks Dibyendu; I am keeping track of the developments – and the results a lot of confidence that TMKPL would be ranked as one of the best performing cos. in DIP business in the world. Thanks for accepting the challenge and carrying it forward well. I had asked Somenath to get across to you about BF opn. ; did he get across to you? Harsh” (now he wants the magic for another plant focusing on operation)
b) This is what a senior team member had to comment. I loved it since they see the approach as something that changes ‘culture’. (His reference to Reliability Management is the name of my consulting firm RMCPL, solely engaged in problem solving.) Quote …RELIABILITY MANAGEMENT is not a problem solving tool, its more of OBSERVING THE PROBLEMS IN A DIFFERENT FASHION AND TOTALLY A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS. It has changed the mind set and APPROACH towards solving problems amongst the team members. RELIABILITY MANAGEMENT IS A TOOL FOR CULTURAL CHANGE throughout the organization which is reflected not only in availability increase of the equipment but also in reduction in the percentage of Rejection and other improvements. More success will come if we can deploy and involve more people across the organization into this approach. G Dhar, Manager, TMKPL, Kharagpur Unquote. Lesson learned: Organizational Development and Change Management must always be centred around the reality of problems, challenges and threats an organization suffers from. Then only changes to the way people work happen. Similarly, innovation is also centred around unexpected events that happen in an organization.
On the evening of 10th of December 2011, I was suddenly presented with a rather unusual vision just after my regular meditative session that slowly and carefully unfolded before me.
At first it presented me with pictures of the present reality where a human being controls and captures another and everything he/she has by manipulation of minds. Once the captive’s mind is confused and muddled the captor constantly sucks out the life force from the generally helpless captives turned into willing slaves surrendering all they have to offer to serve the ulterior motives of their captors.
The usual attitude that helps such manipulative captors are any of the following:
‘I am holier than thou’
‘I can have you because of who I am and what I can pay’
‘I know more than you do’
‘What I am telling or asking you to do is for your good’
‘God wants this to happen to you’
And many more of such…
Though the words change, the underlying attitude of ‘captors’ remains the same. In some way a captor feels superior enough in some way compared to the captive and therefore reserves the unquestioned right to dominate, control, exploit and manipulate their captives forcing them to live a life of real and imagined ‘fears’.
We are also constantly confronted by theories of all kinds framed not only to inform us but guide and rule us even through moments of personal crisis. It happens all the time. Whether it is a decision on where to park your money or your car or what to do after marriage or what to eat or how to work, play, live or die or what to study, take care of one’s health or how to treat women in our society.
We are surrounded by theories, opinions, ideas of someone or a group of people forcing us to join this group or the other or forcing us to believe in this theory or that or forcing us to become capitalist or socialist or forcing us to be this or that. It is as if we have just surrendered our spirit and will to a conqueror. We have no time to feel, reason and experiment with what we are offered with before we accept it to be helpful or good to us. In most cases we are not presented with alternatives. It appears that we aren’t left with any choice of our own. And the truth is nothing has worked well for the majority so far.
In brief, this is the age where a small set of people take on the responsibility to decide for the majority through their usually deft and disguised manipulative moves. People must be free to decide their own lives and how they want to live it in the way they like to live it owning the consequences of their actions themselves.
Why can’t we stay right in the middle of opposing tendencies and opposing currents of thoughts where possibilities of all creative movements unfold?
The vision had more on offer.
It revealed to me that the new age would be the age of the ‘personal educator‘. Learning anything from practical situations would be a matter of personal choice where deep learning that moves from essence to deeper essence would emerge to inform our mindful actions shaping our way of life.
If this is to be so, the teacher and the student would be the same. It means everyone must invoke the spirit of the ‘teacher’ and the ‘student’ in oneself. While such a journey might be helped by other educators or teachers who have walked the path authentically, their help and support would be restricted to sharing the learning process illustrated by their real live examples that incents and initiates similar feeling-thinking-learning process in others.
Understanding and imbibing the process of feeling-thinking-learning and using the process recursively to reach deeper and deeper essence of the interconnected but changing whole in order to find solutions for oneself would be more important than relying on the understanding and wisdom of others however lucrative or brilliant they might seem to be.
Soon this turns into a movement that leverages ones strength, which liberates oneself and others to live a live free of fear. How? The personal power of such ‘self educated’ men and women would attract similar men and women to walk the same path or make the same personal journey. And the process can be passed on from one to the other.
Other than the process no more principles are to shared or information need to be passed on. Everything has to be learned ‘just in time’, ‘in its own environment’ and ‘holistically’. No generalizations. No old formulae. No blazing ideals. No constant guidance of enlightened gurus. That is what a liberated fearless self educator would do. Once done, a liberated non-fearing self educator would not hold anyone captive in his/her influence by any means. No domination by any physical/psychic/sub-conscious devices. Each live by his/her own perceptions along with the responsibility of facing the consequences such perceptions bring about.
It would be a age of infinite collaboration based on mutual respect and trust, self organizing in nature where means of living are self designed based on learning and understanding of one’s own ‘moment to moment’ experience thus enriching the ever changing, connected and interdependent whole of humanity.
However, this would also need a disease free body, a trained mind and a healthy self esteem born out of mindful actions and helped by a learning process to discern the changing reality and acting upon it to live and enjoy a life of ‘non-fear’.
What a life that would be — a life contextually designed (life centric design) by an individual’s learning helping him/her to lead a life free of fears.
This is what the splendid vision was….The Creative Middle — A Life of Non-Fear!!
Is it time for action????
Solution of a problem would depend to a great extent on the way we view or observe the problem and understand it.
For example, glucoma was defined as a ‘pressure build up’ behind the eye ball. So all treatments were geared towards relieving this pressure through cuts to allow the fluids that build up behind the eye to drain. But it did not yield great or desired results.
Only later it was understood that glucoma is a result of eating away of the optic nerve. Hence, two conditions were necessary to precipitate the problem — Pressure + Optic nerve
With the change of view and understanding glucoman could be treated in a better way with more success.
The Approximate distribution of the inherent causes of machinery failures in Industrial Plants.
70% to 90% of the failures –> latent design errors (usually systemic errors)
50% to 75% of the failures –> Operational errors
50% to 70% of the failures –> Maintenance errors
10% to 30% of the failures –> Abnormal environmental stress
1% to 5% of the failures –> Wear Out
Though these figures represent the distribution of causes of machinery failures, I suspect the same distribution holds true for any other system like Organizations.