Radiolab is fantastic. In this podcast, From Tree to Shining Tree, they explain that previously tree canopies were pretty much completely ignored by science. Mother Nature continues to amaze. As they described, “It was as if researchers said collectively, ‘It’s just going to be empty up there, and we’ve got our hands full studying the trees down here! So why bother?!’ But then, around the mid-1980s, a few ecologists around the world got curious and started making their way up into the treetops using any means necessary (ropes, cranes, hot air dirigibles) to document all they could find. It didn’t take long for them to realize not only was the forest canopy not empty, it was absolutely filled to the brim with life. You’ve heard of treehouses? How about tree gardens?!” In other words, all of life on earth exists to make life more livable.
This RadioLab podcast explains about the secret powers of these sky gardens from ecologist Korena Mafune, and we follow Nalini Nadkarni as she makes a ground-breaking discovery that changes how we understand not just what is below in the forest, but also what is up.
They acknowledge that they learned about the magical world of the canopy from this beautiful video from Michael Werner, Joe Hanson, and the PBS Overview team. It features Korena Mafune’s research up in the treetops, as well as the people who have dedicated their lives to saving what’s left of the old growth forests. I highly recommend checking it out!
Thoughout the podcast they referred to Dr. Simard’s wonderful work and the previous podcast they had done about her work, From Tree to Shining Tree. I strongly encourage you listen to their podcast done with Dr. Simard in 2016. Their Radiolab podcast was before her 2021 book, Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest and it is a great stand alone presentation and also an excellent complement to her book because it seemed to hightlight additional areas of information that were not stressed in her book.
Overall, I continue to be amazed at how well nature, by default, generates comprehensive improvements to make life more livable for all by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. We are part of nature, meaning we should have living styles that also make life more livable for everyone and everything. Please share how you create all good by practicing paneugenesis with selfish, selfless, synergy.
My wife an I attended a presentation by Frank Hyman, the Liberated Gardner that was sponsored by the Pitt County Agriculture Center in Greenville, NC. It was very good. He had many helpful ideas about how to garden for good, organically and by using what you have. He discussed ideas about how to collect water in barrels to use, even how to collect extra water from your air conditioner, the benefits of using soaker hoses, and how to get better use of mulch.
An interesting mulching idea we learned was that growing herbs, such as rosemary, from the Mediterranean should not use normal compost, as we had, but gravel compost because they evolved in a dry environment. Normal compost keeps them too damp and explains why we had not been able to grow herbs very well. Gravel compost keeps the herbs from being moist or being overwatered. Using gravel compost also means watering can be done monthly.
He also explained how to use 2 inches of mulch from leftover leaves and other materials we normally send the landfill. This saves us money and improves the planet by not sending excess garbage to the landfill where it will rot and produce methane, besides the fossil fuels burned to transport to the landfill.
All of his ideas were ways to generate comprehensive improvements because they created net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions with the environment from which everyone and everything will benefit.
One of his most interesting ideas was how he used leftover wine corks as a compost (as explained in the video and picture below.
His presentation beneficial things that are easy to do and good for everyone and everything. He said he was a “lazy” gardener, but not really lazy it was his way of describing that he did not want to spend too much time working and more time enjoying his garden and the food it produces. I encourage you to review his material and attend one of his sessions if you can, it was very helpful.
Please share any gardening tips you have so we all can benefit! Thank you.
“We live at a time when emotions and feelings count more than the truth and there is a vast ignorance of science.”
James Lovelock (in Revenge of the Gaia)
For some reason, I did not think I wanted to read Grants book, however, I am now glad was able to “think again”and read it. As we all aware, sometimes we become stuck in our beliefs and are hesitant to rethink because we are afraid it can make us look bad.
The book helped me learn to embrace confusion and to be excited when I found contradictory information. It also helped me rethink about “Rethinking” and it enabled me to realize that when I discover thoughts could be better, it was a good to change my thoughts. This was one of the best things I got from the book.
The ideas in this book also resonated with me because I remember I had heard about how one of my hero’s, the management guru Dr. W. Edwards Deming would regularly “think again” about his successful ideas. Even though he was highly successful, he never wavered from rethinking his ideas and update them so was able to continually improve.
The podcast,“I Make No Apologies for Learning” by Ron Moen and Cliff Norman for the Deming Institute document and demonstrate how Deming would continually think again about his work. The podcast is based on the response he would provide when people noticed his message had changed and evolved after he would “Think again” and learn. He wanted all to yearn to learn so they could think better. I encourage you to listen to this podcast.
In the podcast they explained that Deming was not always easily accepted because he challenged peoples core beliefs and inspired them to think again. However, as they explained, thinking again took a lot of effort and many were not willing to make that effort. For me, it has been significantly beneficial to “think again”.
While it is impossible to list all the wonderful ways Grant inspired me to rethink with this book, I will mention a few that were helpful to me, please see if any may help you:
Doubt is helpful because you question your methods
Task conflict helps find better ways, no conflict means apathy
Question how, rather than why which also makes it less controversial
When not able to entertain different ideas, “What evidence would change your mind?”
To many facts will dilute their impact and audience gets defensive
Ask, can we debate about the ideas, not emotions
Acknowledge common ground in any debates, it can invite rethinking
Confidence is the result of progress, not just its cause
Work to IMPROVE, not prove oneself
Seek to evolve ideas rather than confirm tehm
We need to rethink because of the accelerating pace of change in the world
A debate is not a war but a dance where you don’t always lead
Use curiosity and ask questions
Asking questions helps people rethink
Uncertainty signals confident humility and can increase your credibility
Contested views leave people with blurred vision and guards to be set
The act of resistance fortifies our psychologic defense system
Good communicators make their audience, not themselves feel smart
Acknowledging complexity disrupts overconfidence and spurs rethinking
Our beliefs are shaped by our motivations and desires of what we want to believe
Skeptics are scientific and can entertain new ideas
Deniers are dismissive and often twist facts to fit beliefs
Limitations are holes in the research but portals to future discoveries
Emotion should be in conversations, restricting them stymies rethinking
Inspiring messages are scrutinized less and often forgotten, need to invite rethinking
Respond to confusion with curiosity and interest
Confusion is a cue that there is new territory to explore
Happiness is more about frequency of emotions than its intensity
Meaning is healthier than happiness
Often people overemphasize pleasure at the expense of purpose
Enjoyment wanes, meaning tends to last
Passions are developed more so than discovered
Happiness depends on what we do, not where we are
Interest doesn’t always lead to effort and skill, sometimes it follows
Aiming at something or someone else to improve often leads to happiness as a side effect
Questions to ask ourselves about our ideas:What leads to that assumption?
Why do you think that is correct?
What might happen if it is wrong?
What are the uncertainties in your analysis?
What are the advantages to the idea?
What are the disadvantages to the idea?
Thinking again can help us generate comprehensive improvements through the creation of net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or by practicing paneugenesis. I look forward to hearing about the how you thought again and were able to generate benefits for everyone and everything.
Please share what you learned when you thought again so we all can benefit! Thank you.
James Lovelock is over 100 years old now and wrote this book at 100. As I posted on Google Books and Good reads for a review, I was fascinated by the fresh ideas and the overwhelming logic and science provided in this book.
Lovelocks book, Novacene: The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence, provided a fresh look at everything. While I already had agreed with his Gaia Hypothesis, that earth is a self-regulating organism, he provided more evidence about the Gaia Hypothesis and also what comes next. The book helped me rethink many things, including what I assumed was an accepted fact, that the anthropocene period, where man is the driving force, was bad. He instead helped me think that his may be the stumbling steps of evolution. He also introduced what should seem like a crazy idea, that we can evolve to cyborgs, as a non-controversial logical next step. This book is more hopeful than most and helped me see his hypothesized future as not just logical, but exciting.
While this book supported ideas of how we can move forward, it also supported the ideas espoused by Jane Benyus that we should live in ways that make life more livable for everyone and everything. James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis proponents of the Gaia Hypothesis explained the conditions necessary for life are created and maintained by life itself in a self-sustaining process of dynamical feedback. We do this and improve our living conditions by living in ways that make life more livable for everyone and everything.
We are part of the natural system and as a part, it is imperative we live in ways that improve the system, rather than destroy it from our use. This was also was promoted by Russell Ackoff who I highlighted in my Moving Toward Better in 2022 post.
As posted previously, this 10 minute presentation , “Beyond Continual Improvement” was posted as, ‘If Russ Ackoff had given a TED Talk. In thishe clearly explains why we should only build better parts if those parts also improve the whole.
Please share how you improve parts that can help generate comprehensive improvements through the creation of net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, which means the whole system benefits. Thank you.
My former Ph.D.mentor and and dissertation chair at Arizona State, Dr. Bill Arnold, recently sent me this NBC News article, “Employees are tired, stressed and burned out. That’s why I give mine ‘wellness days” with the header, “Your Point”. The article makes the point I promote that employers should treat employees as adults and give them freedom to use their days as desired. If employees are misusing the policy, attention should be directed toward a better culture. Work should be rewarding, as Dr. W. Edwards Deming often explained:
To enable people to have a better work experience, to enable joy, employees should be provided “general leave” days, rather than sick days, to use. If people are sick, then those general leave days are used for sickness and cannot be used for desired activities. This policy therefore rewards people who are healthy by giving them the opportunity to have days off with pay to use as desired. This type of “Wellness Day” Policy can generate more good, not just less bad or fewer sick days (see Beyond Order and Status Quo). This policy will also encourage people to strive for higher levels of health, which will also benefit productivity and research shows also results in less sick days, as a by-product.
In other words, give employees wellness days so they can use those days to fulfill their potential. After all:
Are we living in Orwellian’s world? Why should we only paid for a day off if we are sick? Doesn’t this policy reward sickness?
Of course providing for sick days is important, which a General Leave Policy also accomplishes, but more is needed. People need days outside of work for importantthings in life such as attending a child’s performance, a child’s graduation (personal experience), or going to see a fantastic exhibit. All these things are important to help the employees have a better life. Keeping employees from doing what they want will negatively impact their productivity and attitude about work. This policy also means when they will miss work, it won’t be a surprise. With his policy employees will plan for the days missed which will also boost productivity when they miss without preparation. The policy highlighted in the article described their wellness days as:
The idea of Wellness Days is similar to the famed Google 20% time rule that encourages employees to spend 20% of their time on whatever they want. They trust the employees to do the right things and the payoff has been powerful (as noted in the linked article below).
The idea is pretty simple: It’s that you, or a team, or a company–anyone, really–should divide your time working, so that at least 20 percent is spent exploring or working on projects that show no promise of paying immediate dividends but that might reveal big opportunities down the road.
“We encourage our employees, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20 percent of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google,” co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wrote in 2004, before the company’s IPO. “This empowers them to be more creative and innovative. Many of our significant advances have happened in this manner.”
A Wellness Day policy that provides paid time off work for general leave, rather than sick days, is a way practice paneugenesis because it is likely to generate more good, not JUST less bad. Wellness Days are more likely to enable employees and their organizations to generate comprehensive improvements because they will now have the capacity to create net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please share wellness days policies that work and also let us know how they have helped. Thank you.
Last week I posted about the need to improve individual parts in ways that benefit the whole (see Moving Toward Better in 2022). I provided the example of composting as a way to do this because it grows healthy soil, eliminates waste, benefits future plants, can provide jobs and healthy food while also providing other ecological benefits.
In all I do, I try to improve the whole, or generate comprehensive improvements by creating parts or interactions that are net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless and synergistic so everyone and everything, the system, benefits.
A Simple Example
As an example, my wife purchased a water bottle that is carbon negative in production. It works great. I have attached pictures. I like this example because it shows how we can contribute to a better system by how we live daily, not by doing something extra. Engaging this in acts like this is a way to practice paneugenesis because it can benefit everyone and everything as we can feel good for being part of the solution. Please share how you improve the system with your parts.
It was reported that former President Barack Obama would often say, “Better is good…” . It seems he was suggesting progress was important. What does that mean? Is better, actually better, or does it depend? From what I am learning, the phrase “Better is good…” is incomplete. Are the parts better or is it a better system? Better parts generally result in short (acute) and not long-term (chronic) improvements. To make 2022 truly better, the parts must be made better ONLY in ways that improve the whole system. Isn’t that Selfish, Selfless, Synergy so everyone and everything benefits? Our actions in 2022 must not just make the part better, that better part needs to make the system better. #SelfishSelflessSynergy
As Peter Senge explained, we do not perceive reality, we only see the world based on what we know how to perceive. This means we don’t perceive the reality of things we do not already know. This idea is made clear by the joke about the blind men and the elephant. We understand our part without always understanding what it means to the whole. Systemic thinking can help us work to be better in 2022.
As Russell Ackoff explained, we have spent most of our time finding deficits or problems with parts and improving parts, as we see it, without improving the system. As Deming and Ackoff have shown us, optimizing parts without improving the system can destroy the system. So what can we do?
Dr. Russell Ackoff explained that we need to stop just solving problems and instead disSOLVE problems by creating a better system. Composting represents a simple example I have written about often. In this situation, instead of focusing on decreasing food waste, I think about “growing soil” by using food scraps as an input to healthier soil. Of course, this action eliminates food waste or “disSOLVES” the problem with a better system as recommended by Russell Ackoff.
As I posted before, Will Allen did this and didn’t just fix the parts, he created a whole system of growing soil, providing jobs, offering healthy food, building community and more from which everyone and everything benefits (see Growing Healthier Food, People and Communities). In other words, it is really it’s all about the ripple (see It is All about the Ripple) of the interactions within the system. The question for 2022 is how we can apply this to all that we do.
Although I knew of Russell Ackoff and read a couple of his books I now am realizing the depth of his genius. For me, this means I will learn more from Dr. Ackoff from his many books, articles and presentations so I can better understand how to generate comprehensive improvements.
To wet your appetite, I posted a 10 minute presentation of his entitled, “Beyond Continual Improvement” and someone posted as, ‘If Russ Ackoff had given a TED Talk. I thought it was excellent. Please share what you will do to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions in 2022.
One of my main professional accomplishments has been the development, validation and use of the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). I developed this tool to measure the presence of health and its active creation. As has been shown in this research, those who are doing the most to actively promote their health in multiple dimensions, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational, physical, and environmental on this scale, score highest. Results document that those doing the most to promote health, have the highest health and higher life satisfaction.
I developed the SWPS because my review and that of many professionals agreed that health measurements were inaccurate because they were measuring and assessing for the absence of disease and risk factors, rather than the presence of health. This scale measures actions to promote health, which also can be referred to as salutogenic, or health causing actions.
The research with this scale also supported the idea that health was multidimensional, that is, many factors cumulatively contribute to an overall status of health rather than the traditional unidimensional attempt to measure health. The traditional measurement of health is unidimensional because it measures if people are engaging in risky behaviors or actions that cause disease. Traditional scales assume if you are not engaging in risky actions, you are healthy. As most of us know, just because we are not doing a specific wrong thing, does not mean we are doing the right things.
The SWPS uses the salutogenic or health origins paradigm rather than the traditional pathogenic, or disease causing paradigm. The video below explains more about pathogenesis and salutogenesis, specifically how pathogenesis is designed for acute, or short-term care, while salutogenesis focuses on regular lifestyle actions.
The scale I developed, tested, and validated with many helpful colleagues beaome the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). The SWPS assessed for health promoting actions in the physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational, and environmental areas. The research has shown that the more people engage in the health promoting actions measured, the better their health and the higher their life satisfaction. I also validated it for young adults, working adults and with an Arabic population. An older adult version has shown to be helpful but has not been validated yet.
Background: Shorter validated health assessment tools are needed. The validated 25-item Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS) measures health status through assessment of engagement in multidimensional health behaviors.
Purpose: To do an initial assessment of the Short Form Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS-SF).
Methods: A convenience sample of 91 college students completed an online survey that included, the SWPS, the SWLS (Satisfaction with Life Survey) and the PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire 9). Correlation analyses among these scales were completed. In addition, a chi-square test was performed to examine the characteristics of SWPS-SF including sensitivity and specificity in predicting GPA.
Results: There were significant relationships between SWPS-SF and the SWPS and the SWLS. The association between the SWPS-SF and PHQ-9 was not significant (r = −.20, p = .052). Analysis indicated that participants scoring over the 20.5 cutoff on the SWPS-SF were four times more likely to have GPAs of 3.0 or greater.
Discussion: The SWPS-SF is reasonably representative of the full SWPS, suggesting it offers a helpful method to do quick, accurate assessments of health behavior engagement and health status, more research is recommended.
Translation to Health Education Practice: The SWPS-SF enables employers, universities, hospitals and schools to perform quick, accurate complementary health status assessments.
Overall, the SWPS measures engagement in net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions that generate comprehensive improvements for everyone and everything. I look forward to hearing how you engage in interactions to generate comprehensive improvements for everyone and everything.
If you are interested, below are a few of the articles related to some of the research related to the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS).
Becker, C. M., Glascoff, M. A., Mitchell, T., Durham, T., & Arnold, W. (2007). Assessing Perceived Health and Associated Health Promoting Behaviors: An Investigation of Methods used to Assess Health Status. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37(2), 227–242.
Becker, C. M., Dolbier, C. L., Durham, T., Glascoff, M. A., & Adams, T. B. (2008). Development and Preliminary Evaluation of the Validity and Reliability of a Positive Health Scale. American Journal of Health Education, 39(1), 34–41.
Becker, C. M., Whetstone, L., Glasscoff, M., & Moore, J. (2008). Evaluation of the Reliability and Validity of an Adult Version of the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). American Journal of Health Education, 39(6), 322–328.
Becker, C. M., Cooper, N., Atkins, K., & Martin, S. (2009). What Helps Students Thrive? An Investigation of Student Engagement and Student Performance. Recreational Sports Journal, 33, 139–149.
Becker, C. M., Moore, J., Whetstone, L., Glascoff, M., & Chaney, E. (2009). Validity Evidence for the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). American Journal of Health Behavior, 33(4), 455–465.
Al, H., Becker, C. M., Mansour-Hamdan, A., Al-Shuaibi, J., & Tharwat, H. (2013). Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale: Validation of the Arabic Version. American Journal of Health Education, 44(4), 229–234.
Anderson, L. M., Moore, J. B., Hayden, B. M., & Becker, C. M. (2014). Test-retest reliability of the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). Health Education Research, 73(1), 101–108.
Becker, C. M., Chaney, E., Shores, K., & Glascoff, M. (2015). The Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale for Older Adults (SWPS-OA). American Journal of Health Education, 46, 293–300.
Dr. Hoglund explained how and why using a salutogenic approach would be more effective for public health efforts at generating comprehensive improvements by focusing on creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless synergistic interactions through their activities to promote health. If you agree and like it, I encourage you to share this with everyone and especially all the health professionals you know.
We wall want a better world – for that to be we will need to dream big. Idealized Outcome are dreaming big because they are things that are not possible right now, but could be with work and effort. We need nature to do what it does. Chris Redmond shares his Idealized Outcome.
What is he talking about? He is talking about turning deserts into gardens. After all, since we have turned gardens into deserts, we should also be able to turn deserts into gardens.
This dream idea is ongoing in the Sinai desert in Egypt. Below is one example of creating a garden, or trees, in a desert.
Here is the Science – More Undoing
So how could this happen. It can happen by using good science. As Allan Savory came to realize, ideas he was taught and were the prevailing style of knowledge, was wrong. He discovered good science enables nature to do what it does best, make life more livable. When nature works, it generates comprehensive benefits and makes life more livable for everyone and everything. In his TED presentation, Allan Savory explains how we can make life more livable…..
Summary & a Way to Generate All Good
Sir David Attenborough the famous natural historian from England has created for Netflix a wonderful documentary, “David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet“. This amazing show highlights an even more comprehensive picture of what has happened and how we can generate all good. I strongly encourage you to watch his documentary if you have Netflix, if not, see with someone who does. It is good. Here is a trailer.
If you are interested in learning more, below is the segment 60 Minutes did with Sir David Attenborough that is quite interesting.
What is your dream? What Idealized Outcome are you working toward developing? My projects are focused on helping or “nudging” people toward developing regenerative lifestyles. Regeneration is creating all good and is a way to practice paneugenesis. I encourage you to learn more about Regeneration from Paul Hawken’s 2021book, Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation and his complementary Regeneration website.
A recent post by Doc Siedman at the How Institute (see “HOW” Leadership Findings for Universal Benefits) highlighted the value of giving people a positive goal. This also supports why we enable the paneugensis process with an Idealized Outcome, or a positive goal. To clarify the point, in a “How” institute, “How” Conversation Admiral James Stavridis shared why he believes people need to be for something and how positive goals help.
As a guide, I recommend using the Paneugenesis Process to identify a positive goal and to move toward its achievement.
Practice Paneugenesis using this 4 Step to Process
Operationalize a Desired Idealized Outcome
Determine an Idealized outcome that is better or improved from what is possible or able to happen now
Must incorporate Systems Thinking so the outcome benefits are on multiple levels without any seen harm to other levels
Discover and Develop Necessary Precursors to make Desired Outcome Possible
Research to discover what must come before idealized outcome, what must be true for desired outcome to occur
Assess current process to discover and learn current processes used or must be created to manifest ideal outcomes
These Precursors are goals that must be achieve before an Idealized Outcome can be realized.
Optimize the Process to Develop Skills and abilities that make Precursors possible (this is Green Grass philosophy, its designing a process to help grass grow)
Develop good practices (append existing or start new processes)
Update unneeded, outdated or inappropriate actions to ones that created idealized vision,
Focus on what causes more and more blades of grass to grow, and…
Plot Progress to document, demonstrate, and celebrate Improvement
Measure and document progress forward toward idealized outcome
Plan and develop next steps to enable continual improvement
Please share your positive goals and how they help. Make it a great day by generating comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic, net-positive, interactions so everyone and everything can benefit from this positive goal achievement.
Is showing to be even more powerful than we had thought with climate change. A more enlightened perspective would enable us to get more by giving more. MASS is selfishly doing good, that selflessly helps others so we all will synergistically have a better opportunity to flourish #SelfishSelflessSynergy.
I continue to learn about how I can work to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. MASS provides a great learning example, please share your thoughts about their wonderful work and how we can get more by giving more . They are a good example of how giving more means getting more.
The 2021 Halloween Message is about getting things done. To get things done you have to do it. It cannot get much simpler than that. Often we think we have to believe it or understand it to do it, however recent research confirms, we think or believe it after we do it. In other words, according Andrew Huberman’s work
The simple message, if you want to get something done – do it. Can it be that simple? I am sure there is more to it, however I know when I implement the 10 Minute rule, which means to just commit to doing something for 10 minutes, I get things done and feel better for it (see Jerry, James & Kelly Help Us Get Things Done).
As I note often, doing things is good for you, selfish and they can be good for others, selfless, and if done right, help everyone and everything. Try it out, engage in pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions to generate comprehensive benefits. Those actions will provide information to support the belief that you are a good person and part of the solution.
Thank you for what you do and please share the beneficial actions you take so we can learn from your successes.
The idea that we can learn from nature was best explained and brought to light most clearly by Jane Benyus with Biomimicry (see Parallel NOT Linear Means Create Positive AND Prevent Negative and many other posts). She explained how nature works and all we ever wanted to know can be discovered in nature. Nature evolved over the last 3.8billion years by learning how to make life more livable. While some things in nature go extinct, it is generally because it evolved into a more effective entity that worked better with the system. Everything is connected, which means it is vital we get along. It would be to our benefit to get along, or live in a way that helps the whole system do and be better. A concept I am attempting to promote and make more likely.
Promoting Selfish, Selfless, Synergy is how it seems to work and has been the focus of my work. This means I try to empower all to be their best (see Paneugenesis or creating all good here). In all I learn, I see others that were successful by using this concept. I therefore have built my career by standing on the shoulders of others who have done great work. Upon further reflection, I see that those that were successful used the genius of nature meaning they stood on natures shoulders. I hope my work expands the work of those I promote and that others will build on my efforts and work. Thomas Johnson is another example who was able to help organizations know how to do better by treating organizations as living systems in his book, “Profit Beyond Measure” (reviewed here at Deming.org).
Using what Benyus learned from nature, it suggests positive contributions must also improve the whole system. Therefore, the leaders I am attempting to build upon did not just shift a problem, which would mean they could cause a gain for one group and hurt another or the environment, they helped all advance. An example where we learned we did not really advance, but just shifted problems, can be seen with CFC’s. While CFC’s enabled refrigeration, a big benefit, it also put a whole in the ozone layer and its continued use would have been damaging. We have to do better than that.
The work I try to build upon didn’t just fix what was wrong, it gave us a whole new ways to do things. Nature helps us learn how we can do better. My mentors have done this. Dr. W. Edwards Deming generated what came to be called Total Quality Management. His aim was to help all win – the organization, the workers, the customers and the community. It was from this idea the #SelfishSelflessSynergy way that is also referred to as practicing paneugenesis evolved. To practice paneugenesis means to create all good.
Ray Anderson, another mentor, is someone who decided he must work in a whole new way with his company “Interface”. He changed his company to work in ways that benefitted nature. It also enabled the company to earn more profits and not make a living by “…stealing my grandchildren’s future” as he indicated. His company now works to regenerate rather than damage the environment upon which all depends.
A simple example of creating an entirely new way do do things, rather than just fixing what we have, can be seen in how Al Vernacchio suggests we teach sex education. I shared his work before here A Better Way to Talk about Sex?. Rather than adjusting the prevailing or existing baseball model often used as an analogy for sex, he offered a better model. As he explains, the existing Baseball model cannot or at least is highly unlikely to generate healthy relationships, and relationships are everything. He therefore suggests a new way to do things and explains why it is better for everyone and everything. If you have not heard this before, encourage you to listen and share your thoughts.
Al provides just one example. There are many others beyond what I shared that have provided a better ways to do things. We can all do this and must do this if we want a better tomorrow. I am working to do this and I strongly encourage you to do the same. Please tell us about your mentors who have benefited everyone and everything.
I will be learning from Paul Hawken how we can live in ways to regenerate life. I am trying to live a regenerative life by generating comprehensive improvements through the creation of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits = the Practice of Paneugenesis. Please share how you are living a regeneratively to make it a great day, week, year, and life.
This captures all I am trying to do and what needs to happen. We need to create a new reality. Yes there are multiple problems, however solving those problems isn’t enough, we must create a better reality. Nature means living in ways that make life more livable for everyone and everything. We must be led by our dreams, not pushed by our problems. Below is Coach Williams message.
I also feel this saying was expressed by Chris Stapleton in his song, “Starting Over” when he sang, “…Nobody wins afraid of losing…” We need to do better, not just avoid doing bad. We must “Start Over”, better.
These thoughts were also expressed by Greta Thunberg. She Connects Climate, Ecological, and Health Crises in this short video. While she does highlight problems, moving toward, or being led by our dreams of a better life for all will crowd out the problems:
Start over by being led by your dreams – make a better reality. I am interested in hearing how you generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please share how you make it a great day, week, year, life.