About Virtue and Wisdom

When you lend somebody something you assume he (or she) will give the item back in due time. To lend you have to Trust somebody. There are many ways to create a trusted relation. When a long term trusted relationship grows out of a long chain of interactions the Iterated Prisoners Dilemma is at stake. The Chinese are the Masters of Playing this Game.

In some situations it is very clear that a try-out is not necessary. If we look at the cultures of the Earth we can see that the concept of Family or Tribe more or less guaranties a trustful relationship. In a Family it is not needed to create very complicated arrangements like contracts, procedures, laws and judges. The Family uses it own rules.

The consequence of the Concept of the Family and the Tribe is a formalization of relationships based on a Place in a Hierarchy. Everybody has to know its place.

A King has to play the role of the King and a Father has to play the role of the Father. In a Family or an Extended Family (Tribe) you are trained to play the roles you have to play in your life.

Confucius (551-479 BC) saw the universe and all living things in it as a manifestation of a unifying force called the Doe (translated as the Truth, Unity, or the Way). Doe constitutes the very essence, basis, and unit of life that perpetuates order, goodness, and righteousness.

It manifests itself in the harmonious opposition of yin (“feminine, gentle“) and yang (“masculine, strong“), and in humans through duk (“virtue“). Virtue is a gift received from Heaven.

It is through Virtue that a person is able to know the Heavenly Truth and it is the “locus where Heaven and I meet“. Virtue can be realized through self-cultivation. It provides the fundamental source of insight and strength to rule peacefully and harmoniously within oneself, one’s family, one’s nation, and the world.

There are two inter-related aspects of virtue: in (“Human-hearted-ness“) and ui (“Rightness“).

The basis of individual and humanity is the Human-heartedness. Human-heartedness is essentially relational and it involves loving, sacrificing and taking care of others. Individuals are born with Human-heartedness and experience Human-heartedness through the sacrifice and devotion of their parents.

The second concept, ui (“rightness“), notes that an individual is born into a particular family with a particular status. Rightness articulates that individuals must perform and fulfil their duties as defined by their particular status and role.

Confucius considered family and society to be hierarchically ordered, necessitating that everyone fulfil their duties. Fulfilling one’s given role as a father, mother, child, elder, teacher, or politician is considered a moral imperative and not a matter of personal choice.

Confucius considered society to be socially ordered and that each person has beun (“portion or place“) in life. Each beun had attached roles and duties, and each person must fulfil these roles and duties. Duties and obligations of each beun are prescribed by yea (“propriety“).

Propriety articulates expectations, duties, and behavior of each individual according to his or her status and role. For example, chemyon (“social face“) need to be maintained by a person of social stature defined by his or status, regardless of his or her personal preference.

Social order and harmony are preserved when people observe their place in society and fulfil their required obligations and duties.

The fourth concept is ji (“knowledge“). Knowledge allows us to understand the virtues of Human-heartedness and Rightness and to follow these virtues through Propriety. It is the basis of the development of Wisdom.

By the applying the principles of Confucius Chinese Society became a Well Oiled Machine. Every action that was taken was pre-programmed by all levels of education. Every part in the machine knew its role. Life was highly predictable and everybody accepted its place in Society. There was Harmony and Peace in the world.

If there be righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in character,

If there be beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home.

If there be harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.

If there be order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

The big changes of Chinese Society came Out of the West. The English Empire destroyed the Heavenly Order by selling large quantities of Opium. The huge underclass of China was a beautiful target for the people who followed the theories of Lenin.

The Upperclass was destroyed and a new Upperclass, The Communist Party, took over. The culture of China has not changed. People still know their place and the Doe (The Way It Is) is now proclaimed by the Party. The new upperclass knows it has to keep the underclass in harmony.

The Party decided to create a higher standard of living by importing capitalistic principles from the West. It is now moving in high speed to the level of the Consumer Society. The West is paying for this move by buying Chinese products for a very low price.

In this way China has accumulated an enormous amount of money (mostly dollars). They are able to buy what they want. With the enormouss stock of dollars they are able to manipulate US Government. China is able to destroy the US Financial System in one fast move. They certainly will not do that.

The Chinese people are experts in strategy. They know how to acquire power without fighting. They keep a social face and play the game others want them to play. They are experts in applying the Iterated Prisoners Dilemma. They know Confucius and his predecessors were Wise man. They knew how to move with The Cycle, the Tao.

Western Society has lost its cultural foundation. The principles of Confucius don’t sound very strange to us. They are easily translated into Christianity.

When the West lost the basic principle of Christianity, Human-hearted-ness (in) one of the two pillars of Trust was lost. The West rationalized Empathy (Compassion, Emotion). I Think, therefore I Am (Descartes) became the basis of the Self.

When people started to do the “wrong thing” the second pillar of Trust, Integrity (ui, Rightness) dropped. Politicians were not Playing the Role of the Politician and Managers were not Playing the Role of Manager. They lost their Virtue.

Finally the Doe (Unity) of Western Society was gone. Families broke up. Everybody was Left on its Own and started to act on a Short-Term Perspective.

The Interated Prisoners Dilemma changed into a chain of disconnected attempts to leave the Prison. The best way to win such a Game is to defect. You always win but your victory is never a Win-Win. On the long term Everybody changes into a potential Enemy.

The West entered the State of Individualism and even Egoism. In this state it is almost impossible to act out of Unity. Everybody is going its Own Way or is Competing with the Other. This makes it even easier for the Chinese Masters to create a new Machine to support their Extended Family.

The House of Morgan or How the Great Depression was Created

Black Tuesday, October 29 1929 a giant economic implosion took place.

This implosion was the official start of the Great Depression.

The  implosion took place because Something or Somebody was pushing the economy UP while it wanted to go down. An artificial Up-movement of the Economy is called a Bubble.

J.P. Morgan was highly involved with the introduction of Fascism in Europe and the US.

He believed that the major enemy in the World were the Communists.

He was befriended with Mussolini and Hitler and organized a fascists putsch in the US by his own private army, the American Legion.

The putsch failed. The legion was used as a recruiting base for the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan.

Morgan organized the US Communist Party to create an internal external enemy. Morgan used many other dirty tricks to accomplish his goals.

The British Empire was the largest empire in human history. At the time of the Great Depression it controlled a quarter of the world’s population (458 million) and total land area.

The ruling class of the Empire came out of old families and was trained in special institutions like Eton and Cambridge.

The British Empire was based on the ideology of “Free trade”. “Free trade” was necessary to expand the markets of the British Factories. The factories needed raw materials, logistics and markets.

When a country or a person blocked the free trade the British Army removed the obstacles.

Free trade was organized in Trading Companies. They created strategic outposts. When the outposts controlled the region the British Management System (Law, Education) was implemented.

The main goal of the System was to keep the natives under control, and to develop them slowly, and along their own lines.

The British Elite was very practical. They were conservative men with relativistic notions about what forms of government suited peoples (or ‘races’) best. They didn’t go in for ideal systems.

They also knew they did not have the numbers of personnel to try to revolutionize her subjects so they always used local collaborators. They practiced the method of “indirect rule”.

The American Friends of the British Elite shared the commercial attitude of their British friends. They opened up new markets and protected their trade.

They even invented a new tool, Financial Manipulation. In every other aspect they were very different. They were highly ideological and therefore not practical.

They were convinced they were the carriers of the Best Ideology on Earth, Capitalism.Their first priority was to Destroy the Evil Empire and the friends of the Evil Empire, the Soviet Union.

In contrary to their British friends they were not interested in indirect rule. When an enemy was destroyed they left the country and were convinced everybody would embrace their System.

The Power of the House of Morgan was lessened by the New Deal of Eleanor Roosevelt in 1933. Roosevelt organized a Social Contract that gave more influencers the possibility to take part in the US Government.

The Financial Power of Morgan never disappeared. His group is still behind many influential financial companies (Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase) and institutions like the World Bank.

JPMorgan is reincarnated in the person of Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase). He is playing the same game as his predecessor and is behind many of the intelligent tricks that are now performed behind the scenes in Washington.

Is History Repeating Itself??

The Economy was bubbling because the Government was “pumping” a huge amount of money into the economy. Therefore it was very easy to lend, to spend and to gamble with money on the stock-exchange.

Many people gambled enormous amounts of money on the Stock-Market but on Black Tuesday they lost their bet. They lost their bet because suddenly nobody believed the Up-state would continue.

Why was the US Government pumping so much money into the Economy?

The strange thing happened that the major money pumping engine (the FRS) was controlled by the Government of the British Empire. The US Government was not involved. It was totally powerlesss.The British Empire needed money to maintain the backing of the British Pound (The Golden Standard) and the “old boys” network in the Financial Business just made a deal.

The Government of the British Empire was controlled by an Elite. Lord Montagu Norman of the Bank of England and Benjamin Strong of the New York Federal Reserve Bank were of the same club. They arranged the Bubble.

Behind the Elite was one Very Important Person, J.P. Morgan. He was the sole owner of a small company called the House of Morgan. The House of Morgan held effective control of the American government for much of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Morgan used the US central banking system to increase the ability to lend more money than he possessed. US Citizens paid taxes and their money was used to realize the plans of Morgan and his friends.

Morgan helped his friends (including the Bush family(!)) to get rid of their huge debts and to “buy” many important US companies (AT&T, US Steel).

After Black Tuesday the “friends of Morgan” held directorships in 167 industrial concerns, banks, railroads, and utilities. They controlled the most important media in the United States, including the New York Times.

About Fools, Pyramids and Bubbles

During the so called E-Commerce Bubble allmost everybody believed that when you sell something on the Internet you will become an instant multi-biljonair.

I did not believe this at all. The funny thing was that almost nobody believed me. I waited for the Bubble to burst.

To my surprise the E-Commerce Bubble became the biggest bubble I ever experienced. At a certain moment I even started to believe I was wrong and something really special was happening, The New Economy.

Later I discovered the reason why the Bubble was able to grow to an extreme proportion. The Long Term Economic Cycle called the Kondratieff-Cycle was at that time in an UP-mode.

The Economy was expanding and many people were looking for a nice investment opportunity.

When the Bubble exploded the Kondratieff was moving Down and the Exploding Bubble excellarated the downfall.

The Kondratieff will start to rise again around 2020. Until that time we will be in a state of Recession.

The people that promoted E-Commerce believed that Commerce was all about Communication.

Just Tell Everybody You are There and Business will Come. But

When Everybody is telling Everybody that they are selling Something Nobody will Find you.

To find you they have to know what they are looking for.

People used a search-engine to find what they were looking for.

E-Commerce created a new problem.

The problem was “how to Manipulate a Search-Engine”. The problem was solved by the Search-Engine itself.

Just Pay us and we Put You on top of the List.

At that time I did not realize that the biggest money-maker in E-Commerce would be the creation of a “fraudulent” search-engine.

At that time we believed the only type of company that would benifit from E-Commerce was a Mail-Order Company.

Amazon.COM was our favorite example.

I knew that the Old Companies were unable to create a Website with a connection to the Back Office.

Their Legacy Systems would block them.

I reseached Logistics, Languages, Legal and Fiscal Issues and the big Cultural differerences between the many Countries in the World you could reach with one simple Website.

I found out that there are a lot of questions you could ask about Commerce that many people never asked because Normal Commerce was “Just Happening”.

We are immersed in Commerce and take many things for granted.

I got in contact with people in the US that where doing the same research.

We decided to create a European CommerceNet. The EG asked me to participate in a big effort to solve the problems of SME’s in E-Commerce. We identified many issues that had be resolved.

Finally the Bubble exploded.

Economic Bubbles
are happening all the time.

The simplest explanation for the appearance of a Bubble is The Bigger Fool Theory. When you buy something and your investment becomes questionable you believe you will always find a “a bigger fool” who pays the price of your life.

Humans are positive thinkers. They believe they will always make a profit.

The bigger fool theory is an example of a positive feedback mechanism.

Everybody feels things will go up. If this happens they want to become part of the tremendous success. What many people don’t realize is that positive feedback has to be compensated by a negative feedback.

Everything in the Universe is expanding and contracting.

People who are entering in the beginning of the rise make a lot of money. People that join when the decline starts lose everything. A Bubble is a very complicated, unbalanced, unfair and sometimes even fraudulent exchange-mechanism.

A fraudulent exchange mechanism is called a Pyramid-scheme or a Ponzi-Scheme. A Bubble is a Ponzi-Scheme where nobody is playing Mr.Ponzi.

In the E-Commerce Bubble many people used the Ponzi-Scheme to make a lot of money.

I don’t want to offend my collegueas but I am convinced many financial advisors knew the Bubble would burst some day and did not tell this to the people they were advising.

They did not tell the truth for many reasons.

They were completely ignorent about the technology and the effect of the technology on companies but the most important reason was sadly enough the fact that they were making a lot of money themselves.

They became greedy.

Greed is the Fatal Attractor behind all the Ponzi-schemes.

Economic Theorists proved that the Ponzi-Scheme can also be applied to other areas of our society like The Housing Market and the Government Pension System.

All of them will finally end in a Bursting Bubble. The people that will win are always first users. The Housing Market Bubble is already exploding, The Pension Bubble is on its way.


About Entrainment and Bubbles


About Mind Control

Milton Erickson (1901-1980) was “the best therapist that ever lived“. He was an expert in “non-verbal” behaviour. He learned when he was young that people could say “yes” and mean “no” at the same time.

At that time he discovered that body language and tone of voice was telling another story than verbal language. The first part addresses the Unconsciousness. The second addresses the Mind.

Erickson was able to tell two stories at the same time. One story was a fascinating story that had nothing to do with the problem of his patients. Within the first story he emphasized sentences with his tone of voice that contained suggestions that solved the problem.

Later Erickson discovered there were other ways to deceive the Mind. The Mind needs a predictable future. When there is no predictability it searches all the “libraries” of known situations to find an appropriate action-pattern. When the mind is “extremely busy” the door to the unconsciousness of his patients opened and accepted what “nice guy” Milton was telling. Milton started to confuse his patients.

When your Mind is confused you enter a trance-state or a dissociation.  When you’re expectation is extremely violated you enter in a permanent trance-state (a dissociative trance disorder).

Milton always confused his patients a little bit. Without even knowing they went into a trance and the suggestions of Milton always went through the Open Door. Milton used self-induced trance-states (auto-suggestion) to listen better to his patients.

The Mind of some of his patients was very clever. It knew that Milton was using a Confusion-Trick and simply blocked the door. Milton was a genius in finding new tricks. He admired the problematic behaviour of his patients and started to seduce the mind. Later he learned he could also use psychological shocks and ordeals to achieve what his patients asked him to do.

In his practice Erickson discovered that every human being was Unique. Therefore every therapy (therapeia means service) had to be a Unique Service to his Customers.

Each person’s map of the world is as unique as their thumbprint. There are no two people alike…no two people who understand the same sentence the same way…So in dealing with people try not to fit them to your concept of what they should be’.

The Tricks of Erickson and other therapists (Satir, Perls) were investigated by Richard Bandler, John Grinder, Robert Dilts and other Scientists. They transformed the Dedicated Service of Milton Erickson into a Neuro-Linguistic Programming Language (NLP). NLP and other Mind Control techniques like EMDR are now widely used by all kinds of Influencers.

It is not difficult to understand that some of the Influencers really don’t care about the Unique Needs of People. They want to program people to do the things they want them do.

At this moment it is really important to know how you can distance Your Self and your Children (!) from the many Mind Control Techniques that are available. To protect the Mind the first thing we have to do it to protect the Body. The first level of protection against Mind Control is the shared Electro-Magnetic Field.

Michael A. Persinger (The Neuropsychiatry of Paranormal Experiences) “When we applied specific complex magnetic fields many individuals felt a presence interact with their thinking” and “move in space” as they “focused their thoughts” on it”. “Many experiments indicated that the temporal morphology of the applied field, rather than the intensity, was responsible for these experiences“.

You’re body is producing an Electro-Magnetic Field. This field interacts with other Fields. The Fields are created by The Earth, Mobile Phone Networks, TV’s, Electronic Clocks, PC’s and also other Human Beings.

An External Electro Magnetic Field produces a Felt Sense“. This “Felt Sense” generates an Image. Images can be related to Words and Sentences and (by the use of your memory) to Situations in the Past.

Persinger was able to generate “frightfull” images like “the Man in Black“. Others were able to generate an experience of God. Some of the Frightfull Experiences were generated by an Electronic Clock that was situated very close to a Bed where a Girl was sleeping.

It does not matter if the Electro-Magnetic Fields produce real or unreal images what matters is that they can be produced and if they can be produced someone or some thing will produce them. On the lowest level we communicate by producing fields with a certain structure, morphology or geometry.

If you don’t want to be manipulated shield your body, your work-environment and your house for Electro Magnetic Pollution. This Pollution can be created by Systems (TV, The Electric Power System, GSM, …) and Humans who live in your Environment.

When they don’t clean themselves properly (wash your hands with water!) they take the “Pollution” with them. The most important time to be shielded is when you Sleep. This is the moment you are Very Open to External Fields.

The Most Important level of of protection against Mind Control is Language. The main trick of NLP and other Mind Control Techniques is to make use of Illogical reasoning.

Alfred Korzybski (1879-1950) knew that human beings are limited in what they know by the structure of their languages. Human beings cannot experience the world directly, but only through their abstractions (“The MAP is not the territory“).

Korzybski analyzed the Map Erickson was using to influence his patients. He looked for the Territory behind the Map. One of his many discoveries was another type of Logic.  In this Logic Yes and No are not exclusive.

He also investigated Time/Space. He saw that Humans are Time-Binding Structures. Humans are moving memories who pass information and knowledge between generations at an accelerating rate.

Korzybski developed a method called General Semantics. General Semantics is “a Self-Defense Kit against manipulative semantic distortions routinely promulgated by advertisers, politics , religion and your own reasoning(!!!)”. .

Beware of People who use Simple Sentences to explain a very Complex Reality.

They want You to Use Their Map of Reality.

Start Reasoning for Your Self and Develop Your Own Map.

Share this Map with Others.

Understand that the others use a different Map.

Define the Map before you start to Discuss.


The Neuropsychiatry of Paranormal Experiences

About EST, Landmark and Mind Control

Why the Emotions are a Felt Sense

Why Humans are Moving Memories

About Fusion and Con-Fusion

Prepare Yourself for a Spectaculair Change

About A year ago I was writing a strategy for a company. Suddenly I got the idea I was writing something I had already written a long time ago. I got the feeling that “History was repeating itself”.

I started to investigate and suddenly I found a Pattern. The pattern I found was the Kondratiev Cycle.

Behind the Kondratiev Cycle another pattern appeared. Kondratiev related the cycle already to the Seasons. The Seasons where at time also a subject I was investigating.

I was very interested in Acupuncture and Chinese Philosophy. I already found a mapping of the World Views to the Seasons and the theory of narratives of Bahktin. With ease I could translated the themes of the Kondratiev Cycle to Major Narratives. I made a picture and started to calibrate. The dates I found where significant.

Another insight appeared when I started to have a look at the website of The Cycles Research Institute. This Institute has gathered a immense amount of data about cycles.

The most interesting document was a document of the Founder of the Institute (Dewey) where he tried to explain strange relationships between cycles that were “independent”. What he found was something he called Harmonics. Harmonics are created when waves are entangeld. They can be compared to overtones in Music.

The last and most dramatic insight came from Ray Tomes. He found a pattern behind the pattern of the harmonics Dewey discovered. This is his main conclusion “The Universe consists of a standing wave which develops harmonically related standing waves and each of these does the same“.

If you are interested in Religion you will you notice that he is writing a very old “mystical” statement. He is writing about what people in India call The Svara.

The proper translation of the word Svara is the current of life-wave. It is that wavy motion which is the cause of the evolution of cosmic undifferentiated matter into the differentiated universe, and the involution of this into the primary state of non-differentiation, and so on, inand out, for ever and ever. The Svara is the manifestation of the impression on matter of that power which in man is known to us as the power which knows itself“.

The pattern behind “History Repeating itself” was the Current of Life Wave.

What I also found out is that the numbers behind the pattern were related to multiples of 5. I started to calculate “Important dates” and “Major Overtones (Harmonics)” and went back as far as 5000 BC. The pattern fitted. I was completely overwhelmed by the regularity of the clocks and the many levels that were in Motion. The Universe was playing Music, The Music of the Spheres.

The last thing I did was to use the pattern and move forwards in Time. I found a remarkable date (2012). It was the date where many many cycles of history would harmonize (A major conjunction) and “start to swing back“. At that time I did not know about the predictions of the Maya’s and others. I learnt about that a year later.

I can tell you one thing.

Prepare yourself for a very spectaculair time ahead.

Nothing will stay the same.

Using the Cycle to define a Strategy or Don’t Eat Old Meat

I am asked to help to define a Strategy again. Defining a strategy is something I like the most. I will share some experience.

The most important part of a Strategy is to be become aware of your Potential. If you want to drive very fast but you are not able to buy a car the Strategy to drive a car is a bad strategy.

Many people and of course companies are defining unrealistic targets. This creates Stress and when you are stressed you are unable to see the Facts.

A Strategy has to make it possible to get somewhere with ease. This makes it possible to keep something in your backpack when you are getting hungry.

The next step is to define The Road you want to Travel. There are two possibilities. You define the Road or you define your Destiny. If you define your Destiny you are not able to enjoy the view. You are always searching at every signpost to find you Destiny.

When you travel down the road you meet people (Alliances). When you like them you can take another turn and travel to another place. When you want to reach your destiny you only want to travel with people who take the same turn.

When I discovered the Cycle I tried to map my experience in Strategy on the five Stages.

The first thing I did was to find names that were related to the Strategy-domain. Suddenly I found the Five P’s, Potential, Possibility, Plan, Practice and Protection (connected to Potential again).

When I saw the relationship between the stages and life-cycles I understood why a company is sometimes unable to define a Strategy (Plan) or is so busy (Practice) that they don’t think about this. It has to do with the stage the company is in.

Another important point I discovered was the direction of cycling the cycle. When you travel against the clock you are basically digging your own grave. The Chinese call the Counter Clock Cycle the Insulting Cycle. It moves counter to the Seasons. In Mystic Terms this cycle is the Cycle of Death or the Cycle of the Night and the Moon.

The last point is the Jump. When you don’t want to travel full cycle you can always make a quick jump to the other side and skip stages.

A Cycle based Strategy starts somewhere in the Cycle. This is important. You have to determine if you or your company is in the Stage of Practice or in the Stage of Potential.

The most interesting phase is Protection. This is the moment of Balance but it is the balance you reach at the moment you Die. When you are dead you are able to be Re-Born. You are even able to Jump to a Higher Level of another Rhythm.

Companies that are in the Dying Phase have a tendency to start the Insulting Cycle. They want to move back from this moment of fear.

They are fighting against new small competitors that are almost invisible. They have not created these small competitors themselves. This would have been the best solution. When people are Adults they become parents. When companies are in the phase of practice (a comparable phase) they are competing and not marrying (being cooperative).

The hierarchical (Plan) managed company is dying. The small network-oriented (Possibility) company is rising. The hierarchy is fighting the small competitors but is also fighting his colleagues.

They want to kill them but their strength is gone. They want to marry them (merge) but they are unable to get children. The most disgustful step is that they want to eat them (take-over). What they don’t see is that they are eating “old bodies” and the meat is not rejuvenating.

Mergers and take-overs create highly complex companies that are easy to beat by the small ones. To utilize the merger the companies have to get rid of employees (their Potential) and integrate their highly complex systems (Plan). It focuses the big companies at their internal affairs. They lose their external focus and therefore lose their customers.

This creates enormous opportunities (Possibilty) for the new innovative small network-oriented companies. The big companies give away their market (Practise) for almost nothing without even being aware of this fact (Practise).

Why Knowledge Management Advisors are Unable to Manage Their Own Knowlegde

To my surprise many people are still trying to implement Knowledge-Management. I thought everybody was convinced that after almost 12 years of failing people would understand there is something wrong.

I was involved from the beginning. Knowledge Management came out of Data- and Database Management. At that time I believed the human was a Machine. I did not believe that at that time. Later I realized this was the paradigm we were using. When you use the paradigm of the Machine the only thing you can do is Program People.

When you Program people you store DATA in a database and you give them the opportunity to share this data. This can be done by search (unstructured text) or by a SQL-statement. When you do this you are simply automating a process.

Funny enough when I listen to the current generation of Knowledge Managers I hear nothing about the most important thing we did at that time called DATA-ANALYSIS. This Art has vanished for some reason. Data-analysis is the art of finding out the MEANING of what people are communicating. My favorite method to do this was NIAM.

There are special processes where Experts are involved. When you automate these processes you are building EXPERT-SYSTEMS.

This is everything there is to say about Knowledge Management.

But people that are busy with Knowledge Management don’t want to automate a process. They are different. They want to Manage the Sharing of Something called Knowledge (or Experience?).

For some reason people are unable or are not willing to share their experiences (“what they have learnt in Practice”). The first reason could be that they really don’t want to do that because their practice is their income. Many people and companies protect their experience by Law and Patents. If you really want to protect your Experience you have to Organize this process.

The last reason could be that they just don’t know what their experience is. This is very normal. It is the big problem in building Expert Systems. You need an other Expert (an Interviewer) to help the Expert to articulate the experience. This is done by Story-Telling.

Personally I think the best way to organize Experience Management is “to Let it Happen”. In the Cycle of Learning there are moments when people really need to Share (Communion). There are also moments when people need to take Control (Agency). Communion and Agency are the two factors that keep the Wheel of Innovation on the move.

Let’s change the Name of the Game of Knowledge Management and call it Collaborative Learning. Its aim is INNOVATION. This is a link to two documents (Text and Powerpoint) I wrote about this subject.

Collaborative Learning is the process of adaptation to the inside (Mental Space) or the outside environment (Physical Space, Social Space) of the learner.

To adapt to the environment the learner has to see a difference. This difference has to MOTIVATE the learner to perform a short-term (a re-flection, a re-action) or a long-term action (a plan).

A short-term action is controlled by the existing action patterns (Experience). When the environment has changed dramatically a long-term action sometimes needs a change of behavior (paradigm shift strategy).

Why is Knowledge Management failing? I give you a few possibilities.

1. People don’t see the difference. They are “Sleeping”. They are completely emerged in their environment.

2. People react and are not able to reflect. The are following their impulses. They are too busy or are already in a state of Stress (Burn-out).  When you are highly stressed your body is unable to Act anymore.

3. They know they have to adapt their behavior but are afraid to do this. They have postponed a small change and know they have arived at a turning point. They don’t want to look outside anymore and face reality. They are unable to change their Paradigm.

Now we are back to the beginning.

Why did I change my paradigm?

I changed my paradigm because after a few years I found out it was “not working”. Nobody used the Knowledge Management Systems. It was a waste of time and money. At that time we EVALUATED what we were doing. Evaluation is the step in the Collaborative Cycle where the Emotions are involved.

I know why Evaluation is not often practiced!

When People find out that something is not doing what they wanted to do they start to blame the others. They don’t except that people make mistakes and that learning from our mistakes is the essence of INNOVATION.

Most people are advised by Advisors. They are the specialists in Knowledge Management. Many of them know “it is not working” but they HOPE that someday a MIRACLE will happen. Some of them are also very afraid to lose their jobs. If this would happen a Critical Event would take place.


Critical Events are just what you need to Change Your Paradigm.

My advice to the Customers: 

1. Automate the Processes You want to Manage. Use methods that have proven themselves. Go back in history to find them!

2. When you want to hire expensive Advisors. Ask them about their successes and their failures. But also ask them How they Manage their own Knowlegde. You will be surprised. Most of the time they don’t practice what they preach! If this is the case don’t hire them.

3. Involve them in your process of Collaborative Learning. Pay them when you Learn from them and Let them Pay You when they learn from You.

4. Facilitate and Organize Story Telling in your Company. Connect “Old” experienced Experts with young people. The Oldies love to talk about their experience. This the normal way in Society. You learn the experience from your Grandparents.

5. Build a Story Telling Game. Organize this as a Collaborative Learning Cycle. I love to share My Experience.


A Presentation About Collaborative Learning

How the Merger of ABN AMRO and Fortis could change History (Part 3)

Banking is really very simple. It became very complicated when the computer was introduced. What need to be done is to move back to simplicity again. If somebody is able to do this the possibilities are tremendous. If ABN AMRO and Fortis are able to recreate a simple bank again they could Change History.

To keep this blog simple you have to believe the essence of Banking is the Movement of Cash-Flows. A cash-flow is a transaction between two actors.

Every product a Bank is offering at this moment is very complicated construction where cash-flows are manipulated.

A Customer is doing the same thing. He is constantly trying to Balance his Cash-Flows. What a Customer expects from a bank is a Trusted Advisor that is helping him to find Balance.

A Bank could become a Community of Customers who are Helping each other to Balance their Cash-Flows.

For some people it is very easy to balance. They have a nice stable job, good health, friends that are helping them, they are succesful in their business. They have accumulated money. At the other side of the spectrum we can find the opposite. People are without a job, sick, without friends or without a home.

The Cooperative Banks that were created in the beginning of the 20th century tried to find a way to balance the extremes. They got the idea that somewhere in the middle everything was compensated. They believed in Solidarity.

If you want to Keep the Balance you need to do more than “manipulating streams of money”. You need to take care of the sick, you have to provide jobs and provide housing. The Cooperative Movement started to build houses (Woningbouw-vereniging), created collaborative hospitals and insurance companies. They started to educate (Het Volkshuis) and took care of the huge addiction to alcohol. The Collaborative Movement was financed by “Enlightened” Entrepreneurs who created jobs and even build complete cities.

I hope you see “the big picture”. When we see a Bank as the Center of a Community we are able to connect this Center to other Centers (Healthcare, Education, Housing,…).

If we move to the right level of Coordination we are able to Balance the Whole of Centers and Create Harmony.

The Technical Infrastructure to do this is available. It uses the concept of Software-Services and a Kernel based on a Dialogue between these Services (The Software-Bus). The Infrastructure also contains a Monitor who is able to Balance the Centers. Cordys (www.cordys.com) is one of the Providers who has build such an Infrastructure.

A Technical Infrastructure has to be embedded in a Social and an Ecological Infrastructure. The concept of panarchy is one of the beautifull concepts that can be of help. People have to exchange stories and create new myths. Here we can use the Concept of the Chronotope of Bahktin.

When you read my Blogs you will see that I have written many many blogs about this subject. Just take a tour.

Why the Merger of ABN AMRO and Fortis will Fail (Part 2 Culture) if They Don’t Apply The Lessons Learned

In the first blog about the merger of ABN AMRO and Fortis I tried to show that the integration of the technical infrastructure of both banks will be very difficult. In this blog I want to talk about a much more important issue called Culture.

When the merger of ABN and AMRO was starting I was part of a management development course. The person behind the course was a very wise person. He told us what would happen the next years and he was right.

What he explained was that ABN was a very old bank that came out of a very long history. ABN was more or less the succeeder of the Dutch Trading Company VOC that was founded in 1602.

ABN was a deal-making bank. The culture of “deal-making” was very visible in everything we were doing. This was the reason why I could talk and “make a deal” with a senior manager at every level without any problem.

AMRO (Amsterdam Rotterdam Bank) has its history in the big harbors of Rotterdam and Amsterdam. It supported the people who were transporting cargo all over the world. The culture of AMRO was dominated by the Amsterdam culture. The culture of Amsterdam is one of the most difficult cultures to handle. People are always “playing games” and some of them are “dirty” or better “clever games” (practical jokes). Let’s call this culture “political” because politics is the game people of Amsterdam play the best. The political game is hidden behind the façade of the hierarchy.

The very wise person told us that the political game of the AMRO would finally kill the deal-making culture of ABN. This is what sadly enough really happened. It was the main reason why I left ABN AMRO. Many people were playing the finite game. They wanted to win and when you win there are always loosers and losses.

So to make it very clear what Fortis is buying is AMRO and not ABN. The ABN-part (deal making) was preserved in the International Network (bought by Santander) and Corporate Finance (bought by Royal Bank of Scotland). In my opinion Santander has  made the best deal!

The merger will only be a success when the Fortis-culture is able to cope with the “political (Amsterdam) culture” of ABN AMRO.

The Fortis culture is a combination of two Insurance Companies (Belgian and Dutch) and a bank VSB (Verenigde Spaarbanken) that originated out of a Cooperation (just like RABO). A insurance culture, a cooperative culture and a Belgian culture fit. At this moment Fortis can be best seen as a “Belgian Bank”.

Before the merger with ABN AMRO tried to merge with a big Belgian bank. This merger failed. The “Amsterdam culture” and the “Belgian” culture are completely opposite cultures. Belgians play the game of socializing. Everything happens behind closed doors and is arranged in restaurants. Belgian people enjoy food and wine. People in Amsterdam are also making fun but they make fun of each other.

Now let us have a look at what Fortis is really buying.

ABN and AMRO started to operate on the Retail market when the Dutch Companies around 1960 decided to pay the salary of their employees by a bank account. Before that time the employees were paid in cash. Both banks were more or less forced to move into the consumer market. Before that time both banks had really nothing to do with consumers. Consumers (Poor people) were served by the Postal Bank (now ING) and Cooperative banks like VSB.

Because “Consumer banking” was not part of the “essence” of ABN and AMRO were never (!) able to serve those customers. This is still the case. The Services of ABN AMRO are constantly valuated by their clients on the lowest level possible.

What Fortis buying is a part of ABN AMRO that is of a very different culture, operating with a very low service-level and supported by a very complicated technical infrastructure. Many customers of ABN AMRO are already very frustrated. They are not stupid and they know that the merger will not help to improve the service-level. The only thing that is stopping them is the burden of moving their accounts and the extreme low service-level of the competitors on the Dutch Market (ING is has moved to the first place in non-performing, ABN AMRO is now second).

Why the Merger of ABN AMRO and Fortis will Fail (Part 1 Technical Infrastructure) if They Don’t Apply The Lessons Learned

Today it is almost sure that Fortys will buy ABN AMRO. I was involved in the merger between ABN and AMRO in 1991.

AMRO was the most important competitor of ABN. It was a strange idea that we (ABN) were combined to become a “Global Bank”.

Soon I found out that we were in many fields completely different. My part of ABN was not hierarchical. We were a network. The manager at the top and the manager at the bottom were freely talking to each other. We were highly efficient and cost oriented. AMRO was completely different.

They were strictly hierarchical and were (in our eyes) extremely wasting money. The effect was visible. ABN was doing the same work with 1/3 of the amount of people.

The information I give you was not known to us. We did not know anything about them and “they” knew anything about us. Nobody informed us or could inform us. Because we (ABN) came from a very open culture we trusted our colleagues and our colleagues were telling something completely different. In their eyes AMRO was the best. They were telling their way of the truth.

In the culture of AMRO everything was a plan. They were “selling expectations”. A better system meant “We have a plan to improve our system and when we have finished the plan we will be the best”. In the culture of ABN a System was not a plan but a Working System and we were always very hesitant to over-sell. So what we were telling our colleagues was really there. It was operational and it was doing more than we told them. Both of us “believed the other”. We were operating out of our own Worldview.

ABN was a “Sensory-Bank” (Based on Facts). AMRO was “Unity-Bank” (Based on Models). At that time I did not know anything about World-Views.

After some time the big DECISION was made. The Dutch Homemarket would be supported by a combination of the AMRO-Batch Systems and the ABN Branch Systems. The International Systems would be supported by ABN-systems. The last decision was simple. ABN was an International Bank.

The big problem was that the International System proved to be a big problem. Almost nobody knew this because the International System was “almost finished”. Many of us knew that this system was a software-mess.

When you find out something in the FUTURE You always think people knew in the PAST what you know now. This is very big mistake that causes a lot of trouble.

What also caused a big problem was the difference in NUMBERS. We were 1/3 of the whole. There were much more AMRO managers and employees and everybody was give a “position”.

An example will give you an idea what NUMBERS do to you. The Educational Department of ABN aimed at IT consisted of 2 people. Everything was outsourced. The AMRO department consisted of many people. The level of a Educational Manager at ABN was low. Education was a staff activity and Staff was “not important”. What happened was that the two people of ABN just were put in a team and all their knowlegde of doing things “cheap and efficient” disappeared. The “old way of working”, “we do everyhing ourselves” just went on.

Much later we found out that “the DECISION was wrong”. The realization of “the Facts” started a new process. We started to distrust each other. Nobody was aware of the differences in culture. People started to believed “they” had plotted and “they” had given “false information”.

The “distrust” was also caused by the way we worked. The managers of ABN and AMRO kept on working in the old way. The ABN-managers quickly restored the “old boys” network. The managers of the AMRO found out that we were talking with important managers everywhere in the company. They did not like that. They wanted managers to behave like hierarchical managers.

The effect of two very different cultures created a very instable new culture. This instability started to emerge when the great work, the integration, was finished. Until that time we were very busy solving very complex puzzles nobody ever was able to solve. We did not know about these puzzles until they appeared out of the blue.

The next step THE CONVERSION was much more complicated than we thought. When we started the process of conversion we soon found out that we had to support three systems, The ABN SYSTEMS, THE AMRO SYSTEMS and the slowly growing ABN AMRO SYSTEMS.

The first problem was COMPUTER CAPACITY. The mainframes we needed were NOT AVAILABLE on the market!!! Finally IBM helped us out.

The next step was the MAPPING OF DATA. We had to compare every field to find out what ABN field could be mapped on what AMRO-field. Soon we found out that the programmers never took any time to describe the data.

The last step was CONVERTING SOFTWARE (2.300.000 Software Programs!). This time we found out we were really in trouble. Many programs were not documented and worse (!!) many load-modules were without a compile-deck and a source. We could not find out what many programs were doing. When I left the bank in 1997 many of the problems were still not solved. The Year-2000 problem was very helpfull because many software-programs had to be checked and changed.

I don’t know what the current situation is but am convinced the quality of the IT-infrastructure has not improved but has gone down. The main reason is the Outsourcing and the Low Quality of the Current Generation of Programmers. I have written about this earlier.

My advice would be to abandon one of the IT-infrastructures and only convert the Data. This wan’t be easy.

My most important advice. Don’t touch the software! I feel this will open up a box of PANDORA. I have to tell you that this is not only a problem with ABN AMRO. Every company that has developed software from the Beginning of IT History or has Merged will encounter this problem.


Part 2 Culture

Part 3 Cash Management