February 4th, 2002

I had a good first meeting with my prospective Ortegrity client on Saturday. We spend 3+ hours in a friendly exchange of information. The owner of the company and 4 of his primary associates attended. I was fortunate in that they had all read my paper on Organizational Tensegrity, so had some familiarity with the ideas being presented. At first I answered questions, and then led them through the start up scenario. They seemed to accept synergic relationship as nothing very new. They said as a small company they were already quite synergic. When I suggested that using the concept of synergic consensus and synergic veto in a more formal setting might be more powerful than they imagined, they were open to that but wanted some practical examples. I then suggested they tell me about some of the real problems concerning them, and I would guide them through a practice Ortegrity process.
The meeting got much more interesting as they began discussing real issues and concerns. They all grew more animated and finally, one member began by stating a problem of great concern for him. I noticed some hesitation on the part of the owner as the discussion turned to this particular problem so reassured the group that this was just a practice session and that the decisions made here were not binding. Simply, lets try the process and see what happens.
I then asked for comments from the group as to better define the problem. After a some more discussion, modifications were made. Once defined, I asked for a proposed solution.
One member ventured a proposed solution. I then asked for admendments or suggestions for how to make the proposed solution better. After a few minutes of vigorous discussion the suggested proposal was amended and finalized. In turned out that this problem had been aggravating the organization for sometime, but the owner had not felt comfortable taking action.
I then called for synergic veto. I asked if anyone saw anyway the proposal would cause loss for anyone in the organization, they were required to veto. After, a moment of reflection. Each member stated they had no veto. I then explained that all motions not vetoed were passed. The owner spoke up at this point. He said he was genuinely suprised by how he felt. He said he had always been uncomfortable when asked to solve this particular problem in the past, but felt very much in support of the groups decision to solve it.
Their decision made, I next asked for a volunteer to take the lead in implementing their agreed upon solution. One member quickly volunteered to accept reponsibility for implementation. I explained the process of negotiated action teams. We talked about Leader — Follower, sometimes I lead, sometimes I follow. The necessity of sometimes using hierarchy when time contraints occur. They seemed confortable with this concept as well.
However, what really excited them was proprietary compensation. Andrew J. Galambos’ developed an Expanded Concept of Property which includes Life itself, the first derivatives of man’s life which are his thoughts and ideas. Ideas and actions produce further, or secondary, derivatives. These include the utilization, enjoyment, and disposal of material, tangible goods of all kinds from ash trays to television sets, from log cabins to skyscrapers, from oxcarts to jet planes. Proprietary compensation means you are entitled to get paid proportionately to your contribution to the organization — compensation for your time, effort and ideas — compensation that is reflective or your true value to the company — proportional compensation reflective of the value of your property contributed to the organization.
We discussed briefly the principles of synergic royalty compensation based on the investment of action and leverage on behalf of the organization. But, they wanted more than principles, they wanted a method to calculate proprietary compensation. At the request of the owner I agreed to develop an example spreadsheet based on the financial data on his business of what proprietary compensation might look like for his circumstance. This should be a good intellectual exercise for me. I guess I will have to put my money where my mouth is! ;>)
All in all very worthwhile. I learned alot. The things that concerned them were not what I expected. I will be meeting with them again next week. It was a great learning experience.
Yesterday, I  announced we are shifting from theory to application. This is the next phase of the synergic evolution.  In a synergic future how does a group of humans desiring to work together make decisions?

Synergic Consensus

Timothy Wilken, MD

Synergy means working together—operating together as in Co-Operation—laboring together as in Co-Laboration—acting together as in Co-Action. The goal of synergic union is to accomplish a larger or more difficult task than can be accomplished by individuals working separately.

However true synergy, which gives us humans the opportunity to accomplish more together than we can accomplish separately, also requires more from us. It requires synergic consensus. For any group of humans, synergic consensus can provide a much more powerful mechanism of decision making than even the best majority rule democracy carefully following Roberts Rules of Order.

All decisions within a truly synergic group are made within decision heterarchy. A decision heterarchy is made up of a group of humans with common purpose. The minimum number is 2 the maximum number is presently unknown. I believe the ideal size may be ~six or seven individuals. The group is organized horizontally with all individuals sharing equal authority and equal responsibility.

Most Western humans are familiar with the democratic committee system. It is very different from the decision heterarchy. While both are methods of organizing human individuals to make decisions for group action. Committees are filled with conflict and highly ineffective. In a committee no individual is held responsible for the actions taken by the group. And decision is made by majority ultimatum. A dissenting minority member is forced to support the action he voted against or leave the committee. Heterarchy within a synergic group, in contrast organizes individuals to have equal authority to decide on joint action with equal responsibility for the resultant that is produced by that joint action.

Synergic consensus occurs when a group of humans sitting in heterarchy negotiate to reach a decision in which they all win and in which no one loses. In a synergic heterarchy, all members sit on the same level as “equals”. No one has more authority than anyone else. Every one has equal responsibility and equal authority within the heterarchy. The assignment for the heterarchy is to find a plan of action so that all members win. It is the collective responsibility of the entire heterarchy to find this “best” solution. Anyone can propose a plan to accomplish the needs of the group. All problems related to accomplishing the needs would be discussed at length in the heterarchy.

The proposed plan of action for solving a problem is examined by all members of the heterarchy. Anyone can suggest a modification, or even an alternative action to solve the problem. All members of the heterarchy serve as information sources for each other. The heterarchy continues in discussion until a plan of action is found that will work for everyone. When all are in agreement and only then can the plan be implemented. The plan insures that all members of the synergic heterarchy win. All members are required to veto any plan where they or anyone else would lose. But all vetoes are immediately followed by renegotiation to modify the plan of action so that loss can be eliminated.

Most humans are surprised to learn of veto power. It seems very strange in the world of “directed” management. How can the boss allow employee’s to veto his orders and get anything done?

Members of an Organizational Tensegrity (Ortegrity) are not employees. They stand equal with the organizer. A major secret of life is that self-directed organization is much more efficient than other-directed organization. The secret is to transcend directing anyone. The Ortegrity creates the ideal environment for self-organization. In an environment of self-organization, human potential blossoms. Humans operate at a more powerful level. Those in an Ortegrity soon realize that their well being depends on the success of their organizations. They realize that if they wish to be well paid their organization must be successful. They have high interest in successful solutions to their tasks. They desire to be successful, and they want their organizations to be successful as well.

Now once the members of a heterarchy have decided on a plan of action. They then renegotiate among themselves to divide the plan of action into subtasks. Recall that all members sit on the same level as “equals”. No one has more authority than anyone else. Every one has equal responsibility and equal authority within the heterarchy. The assignment for the heterarchy is to find the best plan to accomplish the task so all members will win. It is the collective responsibility of the entire heterarchy to find this “best” solution. Anyone can propose a plan to accomplish the task. All problems related to accomplishing the task would be discussed at length in the heterarchy.

The proposed plan for accomplishing the task would be examined by all members of the heterarchy. Anyone could suggest a modification, or even a completely different alternative plan to accomplish the task-always seeking to maximize the win. All individuals would serve as information sources for each other. The heterarchy would continue in discussion until a plan could be found that worked well for everyone. The goal of the heterarchy is to find that course of action that maximizes the win for everyone, if that is not possible and the group must lose, then the goal becomes to find that action which minimizes loss for everyone. And when loss occurs it is shared equally by all.

Because all loss positions are vetoed, all relationships become win-win. The power of synergic consensus rests on finding the third alternative. A major fact about human performance mental or physical is that it is greatest when the individual is winning. Examine our Olympic athletes or our Nobel laureates. An environment that allows only win-win relationships will produce major increases in efficiency, productivity, and quality of work-life.

We humans are presently conditioned to expect our relationships to be win/lose. We view most situations from that either/or point of view. Either I win or I lose. It has to be one or the other. Synergy science reveals the third alternative. It may be harder to find, but there almost always exists a third way of doing things so no one loses. Or at worst you are assured that the loss has been minimized and equally shared. This distributes the loss so it has the least negative effect on the individual. This is the win-win way-this is synergy.

When all were in agreement and only then would the plan be implemented. The plan must insure that all members of the group win. Any member can veto a losing plan. Taking the time in decision making to discover the win-win way means that action will be many times more efficient.

Synergic consensus is unanimous consensus. Unanimous consensus is protected by the judicious use of the synergic veto. Synergic relationship requires that when any party within a group is losing, the action causing the loss must stop. But again all vetoes are immediately followed by renegotiation to modify the plan of action so that loss can be eliminated, and action can continue.


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