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Philosophies of the ‘Lose Friends’ series
At Logictivity, we help clients to achieve phenomenal results by assisting them to implement some of the many personal, management, and leadership programs that are outlined in Jonar’s books, including How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People.
Since the launch of this book, we have been inundated with requests for assistance to implement the strategies that Jonar outlines in his controversial bestseller, and in the other titles that followed.
We assist both individuals who need personal attention, and large organisations with turnovers in the billions of dollars.
For example, our training programs and strategy work include the planning and roll-out phases for Fluid Shares — our most talked-about corporate innovation. When implemented properly, we have had phenomenal results. For example, one of our clients had been in business for twenty years and was suffering high-staff turnover, high client turn-over, diminishing sales, and evaporating profits amidst fierce competition in a changing industry. After implementing the Fluid Shares program (which took a lot of bravery and audacity on the part of the CEO), the company achieved record sales, month-on-month for 13 months non-stop. Thirteen records broken in such a short period of time shows the power of Fluid Shares.
For individuals, Logictivity can provide consulting and training to assist clients to achieve a life-balance through our coaching, training, and mentoring programs. This can address areas of self-discipline, self-control, personal motivation, and thinking skills such as those outlined in Jonar’s books.
In the areas of group dynamics, we can help organisations to implement powerful programs in the areas of leadership, teamwork, sales excellence, and staff empowerment.
Clients who are plagued by the terrors of matrix management seek our assistance to unravel the complexities of this destructive management process. We help them to implement stable systems that lead to prosperity and corporate sanity.
We offer one-on-one training programs for senior managers in the areas of hiring and firing, as outlined in Chapter 15, ‘Ready… aim… now what? — How to hire; when to fire; and what to do in between.’ This is not a step-by-step hiring program. Rather, it describes how senior managers can go about forming policy so that they can create the appropriate atmosphere and attitude.
In Part Three of How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People, the emphasis is on understanding and surviving the networked world. In this area, we help clients to plan for success by showing them how to pre-empt the future challenges.
We make the point that executive coaching is not like sports coaching.
The training industry is offering a vast selection of coaching programs. It promotes the fact by saying something like, ‘Executives need to be coached, just like sports stars need to be coached.’ We disagree with this sentiment. Jonar says, ‘In organisational terms, sporting analogies are farcical because if they are to mean anything on the corporate or organisational front, sport would have had to endure the same changes and challenges with which a typical business has had to cope. This would translate to a typical football team having to: function without a coach; halve the number of players; and, play twice as many games per season with each game lasting double the original duration. Many more meetings would be required mid-game, as well as the introduction of robots or some mechanisation to replace players. How would a football team cope with industrial action mid-game, or with having to answer e-mails at half time, or breaking the team into smaller divisions from which they would have to negotiate services?’
We provide confidential and extensive coaching programs for some of the biggest names in business, entertainment, and government. Some of our clients are household identities. However, their names would never appear on any prospectus or client-list because we offer complete confidentiality.
We assist with general business and personal coaching, as well as intensive learning programs in the areas of presentation skills, deportment and social skills, and project-driven coaching and counselling. We also have consultants who specialise in crossing cultural boundaries.
It might be necessary to provide more than one coach per client. This would depend on the nature of the task. For example, some of our clients specifically need assistance with the legal aspects of their business, and they also need assistance with their marketing projects. We team them up with two experts who can assist them with their specific technical requirements, and have them work with a third coach who can keep them on track in terms of life-balance and personal-success.
Success is not something that happens by accident. Our clients appreciate the highly-specialised attention they receive. They feel that it is better to invest time with a coach, than sit in a classroom or lecture theatre and take notes about broad-based subjects — all in the name of obtaining a qualification.
Our clients are people who want to take charge of their life, and those who enjoy the fast lane to success. They are sensible enough to know that they need help and support in certain areas. Sometimes, all they need is someone with whom to bounce ideas, and to have a chat about their projects just so that they can test their theories and challenge their thinking.
There are differences between coaching and mentoring.
A coach is someone who can guide you through practical aspects of your job or your craft, whereas a mentor is concerned with your overall personal strategies.
Mentors in the workplace are rarer than coaches, despite the trendy so-called ‘mentoring programs’ being implemented by organisations whose high staff-turnover is an indication of the lack of communication between the ranks.
A good mentor is akin to a tormentor — someone who shakes you out of your comfort zone and asks you perplexing questions that cause you to sigh at the overwhelming challenges that are being put before you.
By asking Jonar to torment you, you will be assisted to empty your knowledge-base so that you can reset your system and refresh your attitudes.
The hallmark of a good mentor is the ability to answer your questions with even better questions. The role of the mentor is to prepare you to think for yourself; not to give you the answers. Through Jonar’s confidential mentoring programs, you will be challenged for your own good, while being given clues to help you to find a better way.
Business people debate the merits of pro-activity versus re-activity. However, Jonar says that a business can prosper if it implements a system that calls upon chain-reactivity.
Scientifically speaking, a chain reaction refers to a nuclear or chemical process that, once started, continuously releases energy. This means that after only one trigger, a process will continue to occur without any further need for input.
In the context of this chapter, a chain reaction refers to a series of events that occur automatically (and unaided) as a result of the preceding action.
If the ‘root need’ is to engineer an environment in which staff members can act according to the best interests of the organisation, nothing beats the chain reactive process. However, can one rely on all the players to do the right thing? How can managers trust that staff members are acting with the company’s best interest in mind? Before answering these questions, first consider that most people do have the intelligence to make the right decisions. Most employees have the skills and experience to assess a situation and to come up with reasonable solutions. If you believe that this is the case, ask not what can be done to promote a sensible attitude to the business. Ask instead why is it that intelligent members of the workforce are discouraged from making the right decisions. Ask why is it that normal people find themselves engaged in activities that are not in the best interest of the whole organisation. Why is it that, despite the most elaborate of incentives, corporate results are still lacklustre? Why is wastage so severe in organisations? Furthermore, ask not what staff members can do to improve the situation, rather look at what it is that causes rivalry and hatred within and among divisions. What circumstances turn ambitious or conscientious people into irrational, ineffective opponents? The solution to these problems has nothing to do with ‘empowerment’.
If you work in an organisation where managers and staff find it normal and acceptable to embark upon a spending spree at the end of the financial year in order to spend all the budget in fear of a reduction in the forthcoming allocation, your team is in desperate need of a chain-reactive process.
If you have seen people waste money by undertaking projects and campaigns simply because it is important to ‘spend the money’ lest their rivals accuse them of inactivity, you can confidently prescribe a chain-reactive process.
If you have seen storerooms full of products, brochures, and other tools and resources that are only to be discarded in due course, such wastage can be cured with a chain-reactive process.
The worst scenario of all is if you have witnessed experts arguing about headcount, advertising budgets, marketing expenses, and capital expenditure, while employing schoolyard bully tactics as a result of conflict arising from incentives, bonuses, and commission schemes, nothing will resolve the difficulties better than a chain-reactive process.
What is a chain-reactive process?
Jonar coined the term ‘chain reactive’ to describe a process that puts into place systems that work not upon computerised schemes and spreadsheets, but upon emotional, logical, and measurable systems that automatically cause everyone in the organisation to act with one vision and one voice. A chain-reactive process will silence anyone who works against the betterment of the team, removing the need for divisions to compete with each other, thus diminishing the desire for employees to outdo each other. Chain-reactive processes will enable the whole organisation to realise that there is no need for the notion of an ‘internal’ customer. Only external customers count. The concept of internal customers suits the organisation headed by a person who tries to appease everyone and satisfy no-one. And finally, chain-reactive processes will remove the focus from internal competition to a healthy pre-occupation with the external competitor.
It is vital to understand that the construction of a chain-reactive process is unsuitable for the faint-hearted. It does not tolerate compromise. It cannot be politically fine-tuned. A leader must either embrace it completely, or stay clear of it. If you believe that you need the promises outlined in the previous paragraphs, consider that the purpose of implementing a chain-reactive process is to make everyone automatically care about the things that count. With that in mind consider that the root causes of the problems outlined above are two in number. The first is the conflicting, contradictory, and sometimes-paradoxical incentives set by the leader. The second is the lack of unwavering standards that ought to be applied to all people and in all situations.
Many would agree that it is a noble maxim that ‘no-one in the organisation is to steal’. Anyone, no matter the rank, who steals, ought to be treated in the same way. However, this level of fairness (standards) is not applied universally to other situations such as the maxim that says no manager is to exceed the allocated budget. Yet many do. Those who do not spend their entire budget are asked to relinquish the surplus and donate it to the incompetent manager who decided to break the rule and hope for the best. This example illustrates destructive behaviour. It would signal to the careful manager that careless colleagues will be bailed out, and that those who plan carefully and do not spend their funds all at once are likely to be penalised by being asked to surrender their funds that were set aside for agreed programs.
Note that chain-reactive processes ought not to be confused with reward systems. A mouse ringing a bell and being rewarded with food is not a chain-reactive process. To implement a chain-reactive process, everyone in the organisation needs to become involved in the loop. Everyone either wins together or loses together.
The power of the chain-reactive process
Managers and staff who have had to endure the ‘them and us’ syndrome can demolish it if all the people in the chain are made part of the chain by being rewarded in the same way. If everyone either wins or loses together, it becomes everyone’s business if one staff member decides to steal. It becomes everyone’s business if stock is damaged. Everyone becomes a custodian of the corporate assets. No longer would security guards outnumber the staff because all staff members take responsibility for security. Wouldn’t it be desirable if everyone assumed the role of quality controller and customer-service specialist? This can be achieved without any manager ever having to speak about it. Diligence, initiative, and care would become so automatic that they would become natural qualities that need not even be mentioned in any job description.
Note that such teamwork is not the kind that emerges after a morale-boosting lecture. We all know that enthusiasm from such hype events is short-lived. Also, note that implementing a chain-reactive process does not detract from authority. It has nothing to do with the notion of communism. Chain-reactive processes, once implemented, have nothing to do with treating everyone equally. Managers remain managers. Those in authority retain their authority. Those who misbehave will still be dismissed.
Teams that work
Many CEOs realise that teamwork does not work when there is a choice – meaning that workers will choose to focus on the things that matter most to their salary, their rank, or their hidden agenda. As a result, CEOs look to ways of forcing individuals and divisions to work together. They make them interdependent, forcing them to co-operate. This is a perverse way of trying to engender teamwork.
The stupidest element to teamwork is the way in which it is espoused amid contradiction and hypocrisy. For a start, sporting analogies must not be used to express organisational desires. There is a great difference among a sporting and governmental or commercial organisation. Also, the structure of a sporting team is vastly different from the structure of a division.
Even in the sporting arena there are crazy behaviours that make a mockery of the principles of teamwork — such as the variances in salaries, and the special recognition given to the ‘player of the match’. How can such recognition be reconciled with the theory of teamwork? A sports group comprises skilled individuals who combine their talent and energy to strive for a common goal. Yet, the rewards are not shared equally.
In organisational terms, sporting analogies are farcical because if they are to mean anything on the corporate or organisational front, sport would have had to endure the same changes and challenges with which a typical business has had to cope. This would translate to a typical baseball team having to function without a coach, halve the number of players, play twice as many games per season, with each game lasting double the original duration. Many more meetings would be required mid-game, as well as the introduction of robots or some mechanisation to replace players.
How would a baseball or soccer team cope with industrial action mid-game, or with having to answer e-mails at half time, or breaking the team into smaller divisions from which they would have to negotiate services?
Do not pin your hopes on teamwork. People are not interested in teamwork when it is forced upon them. No-one wants to be bothered with other people’s projects.
The work environment is full of contradictions. On the one hand, teamwork is espoused, yet on the other hand, groups are formed for the purpose of focusing on specific products or projects. The very act of forming a division says ‘focus’. Yet each division is asked to work with another thereby spelling ‘distraction’.
Never mind ‘teamwork’. This is not possible in modern organisational terms. What one ought to strive for is a ‘team that works’.
A rose by any other name
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but a team that does not have the authority to act independently ceases to be a team. Not any combination of bodies forms a team. Not any structure or group dynamic can be called a team.
A team must have access to vital elements within its domain. Does your marketing department have complete authority for its advertising budget? Or has some bright vice-president decided to create a separate group to handle advertising? And what about public relations? Is this headed by a different manager? Are there now three separate groups that must work together to jockey or beg one another for attention, resources, and permission?
There is no way that a group can be called a team until it has all the autonomy, authority, and capability to operate independently, swiftly, and to its own tune, without any interference or obstruction by another group. One team must not be dependent upon another. Therefore, if your organisation has interdependent divisions then no-one belongs to a team, and no team exists.
CEOs delude themselves with terms like cross-functional teams. There is no such thing. Any group that does not have complete authority to make its own decisions cannot be called a team. Therefore, cross-functional teams cannot be interdependent. If they are, they are merely cross-functional groups that together might comprise one large team (if one leader exists).
Note also that interdependence here refers to the inability to make an independent decision. Obviously no group can exist without another, meaning that an organisation cannot exist without the services of the electricity utility, or without a telephone service. Marketing cannot function without the help of manufacturing. However, one cannot have a marketing team if that team is dependent upon manufacturing. A marketing team can only exist if it can make all the decisions, after receiving all the input. It might mean that the marketing manager might choose to contract the manufacturing process to an external organisation if the internal manufacturing facility cannot meet the current requirement. If that level of authority does not exist at the hands of the marketing manager that manager does not have a marketing team. Rather, only a group of professionals exist, and they work with the group from manufacturing. Together they might make a team if one leader exists. Individually they are only ‘groups’.
A team must be able to perform its function completely, and make its own decisions within the boundaries, ethics, and scope of its charter. Note that autonomy does not mean chaos. One is not advocating the creation of mutinous renegades. Teams must be disciplined. A team must have a strong leader who has the authority to choose team members. Many have argued that the team leader ought not to have the authority to hire and fire because the role of the team leader is that of facilitator or supervisor. The team leader must be responsible for the outcome, and as such must have full control over the project. Naturally, it is a question of placing the right person in the job.
If the objective is to construct a team that works, with the right skilled and disciplined people to do the job, there must not be any ambiguity about the objective and job goals. Each team member must understand what is required. The parameters must be articulated clearly.
Those who speak several languages are invariably asked about their ‘thinking language’. If one can speak Italian, French, and English, others would wonder which of these three is the dominant one. When such a person thinks and speaks to one’s self, which of the three languages does one engage in? What language would that person dream in? No doubt that for most bilingual or multilingual people, a dominant language emerges — just as it is that most people are either right-handed or left-handed, and rarely ambidextrous.
Jonar’s concept of mono-thought is about ‘brain-speak’ — the natural language of the brain. Not English, nor Japanese, nor French, but ‘Brain’. It is a language of the brain that is neither constrained nor restricted by human-made language. Brain-speak is an activity of the brain that manifests into thoughts that describe for oneself how one relates to one’s existence, reality, or environment.
Brain-speak is fast, it is accurate, it is vivid, and sometimes scary because it opens up a part of one’s world that is difficult, if not impossible, to explain in words. English, and the like, are artificial codes. These are nothing more than utterances born of the manipulation of vocal chords. Despite the wonders of oration and literature, the richness of the brain cannot be expressed adequately through vocal expressions.
Brain-speak is not related to intuition. Intuition is about input emanating from external signals and involves guesswork, heuristics (rules of thumb), analysis, and assumption — but not suspicion, or ESP (extra-sensory perception), or telepathy. Intuition leads to conclusions, meaning that after all the inputs have been processed, intuition arrives at an end-thought (that might lead to an action). You cannot engage in intuition without arriving at a conclusion. Intuitive processes can take place in split seconds. One of the experiments that Jonar has used to demonstrate this, requires members of the audience to place their fingers inside a door jamb, near the hinges. If the door were to close, their fingers would be crushed. He asks them to stand still and then he starts to slam the door shut very quickly. Within a split second, everyone pulls their hand away, in fear of a painful encounter. The process they went through to arrive at the decision to remove their finger from the door jam is an example of intuition. No-one could be certain of what he was about to do. No-one knew if he would intentionally hurt them. They calculated that their fingers are placed in a dangerous position, and that my motions seem to point to a painful outcome. They observed, they processed, they made some assumptions, and then made a decision — all within a split second.
Unlike intuition, brain-speak is not about a conclusion. It is about input emanating from internal signals. Its purpose is to communicate with oneself — not necessarily to arrive at conclusions.
Those who argue that their words adequately describe their thoughts might be ignorant of brain-speak — and ignorance is bliss. For example, not knowing how to speak Greek is fine for millions of people. However, imagine how much richer their vocabulary and thought-process might be if they could use that language. It is this kind of logic that best describes the beauty and wonder of brain-speak. Imagine how much richer one’s creativity and logic could be if one were able to speak Brain!
If you are still unsure about what brain-speak means, first consider the nature of feelings. Imagine seeing an attractive person for the first time. You look at that person and within a short period of time you say to yourself, ‘I like that person!’ The thought had never existed in your mind before because you had never seen that person before. When you decided that you liked that person, you expressed that thought to yourself in English. However, where did that thought come from? Before being able to form the words in English, you had that thought. It emanated from your feelings. Many people understand what feelings are, and they can agree that feelings have a language of their own.
The process of constructing music is an example of how the brain can function without the aid of the English language. Like brain-speak, music has a language of its own. Those who understand music, and are able to construct a tune or a symphony in their head, are not using the English language to do so. If you can appreciate that the brain does many things without the aid of the social language, you will start to accept the possibility that brain-speak exists. Like music, brain-speak happens in the privacy of your mind.
Brain-speak is not universal
Brain-speak is the most useful, unconstrained, and liberating form of thinking. However, it is not universal, it cannot be exchanged, and it is different for each person — meaning that it is a private affair that cannot be exchanged with others. This limitation is upon us until we discover a breakthrough that will free us from the shackles of the tongue. If, one day, we are able to communicate with each other through electronic brainwaves (e-brain as it might become known) we would be able to know what each person is thinking. Imagine what a new world that would be.
E-brain would impact society a million times more than all the inventions and discoveries since the beginning of time, combined. Imagine the power of truth. No longer would one need to search awkwardly for the right words. No-one would need to hide personal feelings and thoughts because it would become impossible to disguise them through the tricky vales of words. What would become of court cases? Of saying (or not having to say) ‘I love you’? Of affection and fondness becoming known? How would you feel if your disdain and dislike for others became evident in their presence? No more diplomacy, no more lies, no more hypocrisy, no more assumptions, no more speculation. Can the world survive in its current form? Definitely not! E-brain would do to social structures what a million exploding nuclear bombs would do to physical structures — obliterate them.
Alas, e-brain is not yet with us. However, brain-speak is here. But brain-speak is an individual process that still must battle with the bottleneck of social language — if its revelations and outcomes are to be expressed to another person. One way to communicate brain-speak to another person is through mono-thought. Brain-speak is the most complex of thinking processes, hence it requires the simplest of decoders. Mono-thought is encouraged because it is the simplest way to net complex thoughts down to one single element.
What is mono-thought?
Mono-thought is a term that Jonar coined to describe a mental process that analyses an issue, concept, object, or thought, so that one arrives at the single most important element. It is used to examine an issue and net it down to one element through one word or one phrase so that it eliminates as much doubt as possible. Mono-thought tries to take away ambiguity. Its simplicity is designed to remove misunderstanding and misconception. Mono-thought exposes an issue, so that its intent becomes clear and unequivocal.
Mono-thought demands and forces the communicator to make tough choices. This can be likened to the question, ‘Who would you prefer was killed, your mother or your father?’ Supposing that you love them both equally, you might be tempted to plead with the killer to choose neither. You might even offer your own life as a sacrifice. However, mono-thought is stubborn. It demands an answer, not an alternative. In this scenario, you would be obliged, and forced, to make a choice between one parent or the other. Imagine the difficulty of having to choose which of your loved children would have to suffer brutal torture and death. Although this is an unpleasant analogy, it best describes the single-minded and focused decision process that you will be forced to make when you engage in mono-thought. This decision-tree approach to decision-making cuts through the nonsense. Your thoughts will have to stand naked and away from the clutter.
If used properly, mono-thought offers rich rewards. Like any profound revelation, its manifestation cannot be ignored. For example, you cannot choose to forget your name. You cannot decide to disbelieve in the existence of motor vehicles. Once you become aware of the power of mono-thought, you cannot decide to ignore it. You cannot even decide to disengage from it.
The practical application of mono-thought helps you to get to the bottom of things. You will be able to prioritise your tasks in ways you had not imagined possible. You will be able to arrive at conclusions at similar speeds it takes you to arrive at ‘4’ every time you see 2+2.
Mono-thought demands the answer to complex questions. Why are you choosing to do this or that? What is the real reason that you want to get married, or buy that car, or take a holiday? You must be honest with yourself. Even though people know the truth behind their motives, they rarely admit the situation to themselves, let alone to their friends or colleagues. There is nothing wrong with being a private individual. However, the person you can least afford to lie to is yourself. You need to use mono-thought to really interrogate why you are making a decision. Why do you really want to get married? Is it love, or money, or sex, or security, or do you fancy the idea of moving out of home and leaving your demanding parents? Is it something society expects of you, or are you trying to hide your homosexuality by being seen to wed someone of the opposite sex? Any answer that is right for you is acceptable. The point of this chapter is not to ask you to change your life or your choices. It simply challenges you to confront your real motives so that you know what you are doing, and why you are doing it. You need not confide in anyone, or divulge your thoughts.
In work-related environments, mono-thought does become uncomfortable because, although it does not demand that others divulge their thinking process, it does demand that they make a choice. Why must we advertise this product? Is it to increase awareness, or to increase sales? You cannot say both. If it is to increase sales, by how much do you expect sales to be increased? At which point would you cancel the campaign? All the answers must be explicit, single-minded, and direct. No slippery or wishy-washy responses can be tolerated.
The black-and-white days
Those who engage in mono-though will eventually be accused of being ‘black and white’, despite the fact that mono-thought was born of brain-speak. It is the product of thinking in full colour. Those whom you infuriate might even curse you for being bloody-minded. Part of the infuriation might come from misunderstandings. It could spring from frustration when you expose the truth and possibly stifle someone’s hidden motives. It could also emerge from impatience when others realise that they will have to re-work their proposals.
Examples of mono-thought
Many times we have heard lecturers preface a series of questions with the comforting remark that ‘there are no right or wrong answers’. In mono-thought, there are right and wrong answers. When situations arise that depend on personal issues, the answers will still demand truth, but that truth would be known only to you. For such personal issues, or for issues that relate to your unique environment, your mono-thought will be right for you if you so believe, understand, and accept. These three stages are vital in your comprehension. You need to believe that what you are saying is true for you. You need to understand that what you are saying is true for you. You need to accept that what you are saying is true for you. When you have tested your environment, and processed your situation via another round of observation, memory, and analysis, you will arrive at knowledge. You will then reach the supreme level of mono-thought — where you will know that what you are saying is true.
By all means, mono-thought is difficult. For example, try to determine the single most important organ in the human body. Think about it or discuss it with friends, but do arrive at a conclusion that you believe, understand, and accept; and one that points unequivocally to a single organ. If you are not medically versed to make such a decision, try to determine what, for each of the following, is the single most important element: 1) formula-one motor racing; 2) political elections; 3) business; 4) disease management; 5) religion; 6) the Opposition; and, 7) customer service.
Ask motor-racing experts, and they will tell you that, all things considered, it is excellence in ‘braking’ that determines the winner. Most political elections are won and lost as a result of how well one sells to the ‘marginals’. The single most important element to a successful business is ‘execution’. ‘Prevention’ is the key to disease management, and ‘faith’ is the lynchpin for religion. Your opinion may differ. For example, if ‘fear’ is what you attribute to religion, that is correct if you so believe, understand, and accept. An Opposition party’s single most important mission is to tear the Government down so that it can get into power. It is not there to help make the country a better place. The single most important element in customer service is ‘speed’.
When we talk of leadership, ‘creativity’ is the most important element. As for technology, the most important element is ‘application’, meaning how one applies the technology to solve a problem or to create an opportunity.
If mono-thought is applied to everyday questions, you will see how controversial it becomes. For example, in an organisation, what is the function of staff? Jonar says, ‘To me, staff members are there to execute management’s plans. From execute we arrived at the word executive. Staff members are the executives.’
What is the function of capital? To ‘generate wealth’. The function of industrial labour is to ‘generate capital’. Of course many would argue with these conclusions. However, ask them to arrive at their own mono-thought. See how they cope with having to net the question down to one single thought — not for academic reasons, but for truth. Why do they do what they do?
Jonar adds, ‘For me, the single most important function of management is to pre-empt. As for sales, the single most important function is to sell. This comes as a surprise to many sales folk who had hoped it was something more elaborate than this. However, this does not mean that they are to sell the product or service, but to convince the client to become a loyal friend of the brand.’
The function of marketing is not ‘to market’. There is no such thing. Those who speak of the four-Ps are showing their ignorance and their rigid textbook thinking. There is no such verb as ‘to market’ despite messy thinkers who say things like, ‘we must market this product to children’. There are many functions to marketing, as with everything in life, but the single most important function of marketing is to ‘engineer the future’.
The function of technology is to ‘create an advantage’, meaning that if you are using technology, and you are not doing so for the purpose of creating an advantage, you are either a victim of the ‘law of saturation’ or you are an ignorant sucker.
When you can train your staff to think in mono-thought, they will become sharp thinkers who can cut through the clutter and get on with the job.
Logictivity is the name of the parent company of Jonar Nader’s organisation. The word ‘logictivity’ was invented to describe a system of thinking.
For more information, please refer to the chapter called ‘Achieving intellectual simpatico’ in the book ‘How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People’.
In providing a brief explanation, Jonar says, ‘The “logic of creativity” and the “creativity of logic” is a study I call “Logictivity”. It is a term I’ve coined to describe a very complex discipline that requires a book all its own. Those who wish to develop their leadership skills need to develop both their logic and their creativity — in equal doses and to equal proportions. Although each is powerful on its own, a lot of synergy can be created when both logic and creativity are used simultaneously. Synergy comes via the creation of a new substance. When logictivity is in play, it is altogether a different substance to its component parts.
‘A person who is 100 per cent creative, is only operating at a capacity of 50 per cent. A person who is 100 per cent logical, is only half as effective as is otherwise possible. A person who boasts to be one and not the other does not realise the synergy that both can bring. It is like having a television without a signal, or signals without a television. Claiming to be supremely creative may seem to be a colourful way to describe oneself, but it admits to a supreme ignorance of logic. And vice versa. To one who knows better, such a display of ignorance is greeted with as much contempt as the notion that reading is superior to writing, as if it were true that reading and writing can be mutually exclusive!
‘Logic says, “I’ll believe it after I see it.” Whereas creativity says, ”I’ll believe it then I’ll see it.”
‘Logic asks, “What if?” Whereas creativity asks, “Wouldn’t it be great if?”
‘Logic keeps your life on track, while creativity fuels it.
‘Logic and creativity are systems of learning. They are as important as learning to speak, or learning to walk. Some people possess very little creative or logical energy. Others tend to lean to one side or the other while many boast to be one and not the other.
‘The important thing to realise about logic and creativity is that both skills can be acquired.
‘Intellectual simpatico goes beyond “left brain and right brain” to recognise and use the brain as a whole — not as an instrument comprising two halves.
‘The agonising and liberating aspect to logictivity is that it neither seeks to support nor oppose your existing assumptions. It does raise new thoughts and ideas that might go against your existing assumptions. It is this dilemma that you must be ready to accept if you wish to engage in logictivity. However, be warned that once you practise the processes of thinking ‘logictively’ you will be unable to return to the old method of thinking.’
Logic and creativity are systems of learning. They are as important as learning to speak, or learning to walk. Some people possess very little creative or logical energy. Others tend to lean to one side or the other, while many boast to be one and not the other. The important thing to realise about logic and creativity is that both skills can be acquired. This argument is about as true as the one that says that anyone can learn to ride a bicycle. The person who cannot yet ride a bicycle will not find it easy to learn, and might fall off several times during training. In the same way, a person learning the skills of logic and creativity might find it difficult at first, or might make mistakes that bruise emotionally, intellectually, or even physically.
Those who possess an over-abundance of creativity will find it just as difficult to learn about the structure of logic because people are not born ‘logical’ or ‘illogical’, nor are they born to be ‘creative’ or ‘uncreative’. You will never learn to ride a bicycle until you first have the desire to do so. A decision to take action must then be made. Third, the determination to ride is necessary to see you through. These three attributes alone are insufficient to give you the skills to ride a bicycle. However, they will prepare you for your development. Cycling requires special muscles, special co-ordination, hours of training and practice, balance, an understanding of the road rules, and a place to ride from and to. Learning to be logical or creative also requires the desire, decision, determination, and development. In the same way that a skill is never complete or whole, being logical or creative is a never-ending development. It is exciting that the more creative you become, the more you enjoy being creative; and the more logical you become, the more you enjoy being logical. But such enjoyment cannot reach a sustained level until the energy of both logic and creativity balance. That balance is what I call ‘logictivity’. Remember that logic and creativity are extremes. The mind swings between them. On the one side, logic acts as the science of reasoning, processing everything in binary — meaning that something is either true or false, up or down, possible or impossible. Computers are powerful logic machines because they work using binary systems. Logic is our understanding of what is possible and what is impossible. It relies on previous knowledge (hindsight). Logic starts to work against creativity when we introduce fear, confusion, and irrationality.
On the other side, creativity is about creating, making, inventing, crystallising, and going beyond the status quo; it brings into being that which was not there. This applies to our thoughts, ideas, actions, behaviours, attitudes, and imagination. The limits to creativity are lack of vision, lack of foresight, lack of understanding (or an imperfect understanding), and lack of knowledge (or an imperfect knowledge). In addition, logic itself can be a barrier to creativity, just as creativity can be a barrier to logic! Once you have developed both your logic and creativity, you can engage in logictivity — the ability to use both skills simultaneously (and at lightning speed) without having to be conscious of the rapid swing from one to the other. In fact, once you practise logictivity, you no longer need to swing from one to the other. A trapeze artist fights against gravity by swaying left and right. Eventually, a balance is found. Balance is calm, it does not fight against other forces. It is a new force. When you find the balance of logictivity, you also find a whole new thinking process. At first, logictivity requires a conscious effort. This is like asking you to tap your head with your left hand while rubbing your stomach with your right hand. Many people find this difficult at first. If they are able to control this motion, they can eventually do it without any conscious effort. The same applies to people learning to play the piano. At first, they find it a challenge to use both hands simultaneously to play a different set of notes. After much practice, the desired dexterity is achieved.
A new dimension to brain power Logictivity is definitely a complex (and worthwhile) skill to have. It adds a new dimension to your processing skills. It also makes you realise that those who are preoccupied with left-brain/right-brain development have far to go. Logictivity requires an open mind. An open mind hints at the possibility of changing one’s mind about certain issues. Changing one’s mind is the hardest thing to do in life. By listening with an open mind, we stand to learn something contrary to our long-held notions (assumptions). In general terms, we tend to go in search of what confirms our own position. We rarely volunteer to go in search of what might expose us to ideas that go against our own beliefs. Those who love tennis do not go in search of reasoning that opposes tennis. Instead, they seek new ways to attain new pleasures from tennis. Intellectual simpatico goes beyond ‘left brain and right brain’ to recognise and use the brain as a whole — not as an instrument comprising two halves. The agonising and liberating aspect to logictivity is that it seeks neither to support nor oppose your existing assumptions. It does raise new thoughts and ideas that might go against your existing assumptions. It is this dilemma that you must be ready to accept if you wish to engage in logictivity. However, be warned that once you practise the processes of thinking ‘logictively’ you will be unable to return to the old method of thinking.
Triple top line
For many people, success is like happiness — it is always somewhere else, but never here. Yet, for those who do know how to engineer their success, the process seems simple — despite the frustrations that come from obstructionists, non-believers, incompetent operators, unreliable hangers-on, and unethical colleagues. For entrepreneurs, disappointment comes not from the frailty of others, nor from their own shortcomings, but from ignoring their own intuition. Their greatest remorse comes from knowing that their decrease in velocity was their own doing: they hesitated, skipped a beat, or allowed someone or something to distract them against their better judgement. For a genius at work, there is no greater regret than self-inflicted stupidity. Jonar says that stupidity is ‘knowing something, but not acting on that knowledge’. On the other hand, he describes fools as ‘those who truly desire one thing, but do something that can never get them there’, because their real desire and their real action are in conflict.
This training module will assist you to engineer your future by answering the question, ‘What is more important than the bottom line?’ Those whose current bottom line seems satisfactory might ignore this question. Alas, this would be history repeating itself, whereby zealots hang on to a sinking ship — smug that they have a ship to hang on to.
The triple somersault
Over the years, experts have touted the need for organisations to pay attention to their ‘triple bottom line’ — referring to traditional economic profitability, plus an organisation’s social contribution, and its environmental impact and responsibility. The measure of these three (profit, society, environment) is called ‘the triple bottom line’, and it is considered to be the future indicator of successful organisations. However, the triple bottom line is not the answer that a futurist would give. In the networked world, we walk a wobbly tightrope. We are torn between good and evil. We are forced to embrace complexity in the face of uninvited complication. We are challenged to understand speed in the whirlwind of acceleration. We have to grasp the meaning of a linked society amid the push for a connected world. All these demands are taking place within tangible and intangible forces. By understanding the characteristics of the networked world, you would realise that reverence for the bottom line is futile. Everyone knows that a ‘bottom line’ is sometimes nothing more than a ‘bottom lie’. Managers can manipulate corporate results to the extent that their ethics will stretch. Smart operators understand that focusing on the end result is nowhere near as powerful as focusing on the inputs. Contrary to traditional methods and beliefs, it is what ‘comes in’ that matters most. Hence, the only thing more important than the bottom line is the ‘top line’. The funnels that contribute to the top line are staff, quality, and customers. These three aspects construct the ‘triple top line’.
The golden goose
It would be naïve to assume that achievement relates to bottom-line results. There is no gallantry in flogging the goose to deliver one last golden egg. Managers ought to be rewarded for the seeds they plant, not the crops they harvest. In the networked world, the vital measure will be wealth-creation, not wealth-depletion. Successful managers will be those who can add value, not extract it. Their reputation will be measured by the overall health and well-being of the company, not by how many golden eggs they score per month. The real measure of someone’s success could take years to determine. Therefore, in the networked world, bonuses and rewards will be calculated several years after an initiative, not immediately after a short-term gain.
When it comes to staff, ask if the people you employ are those whom you could trust (beyond a shadow of a doubt) to be dependable, ethical people. If your sycophantic subordinates have planted seeds of doubt in your mind about another employee, then I would wonder what they are trying to hide. If they can spread doubt in your mind, what kind of a manipulative game are they playing?
The question of quality is a simple one. You are at liberty to produce any product to any specification you like. Your responsibility is to ensure that what you deliver is in line with what you promise. Anything less would be theft.
Finally, customers are vital to top-line results because most organisations could not exist without them. Do you treat your customers like they matter to the health of your organisation, or do you treat them like they matter to the bottom line? There’s a big difference! The triple top line will be the starting point for successful, healthy, and profitable organisations. Several volumes can be written about the triple top line. However, here is Jonar’s challenge to any organisation that desires future success: undertake an audit to determine the number of hours that senior executives spend focusing on bottom-line issues, then be sure to inject just as much energy and time into top-line issues. If executives were to spend the same amount of time on staff, quality, and customers, the results would be so dynamic that market domination would be a foregone conclusion.
There is a disease in life called ‘too much’. Often we hear of someone drinking too much, spending too much, or thinking too much. Some of us are said to be too clever for our own good. Alas, some of us even love too much. Those who fall from a great height are sometimes branded as too ambitious — which makes one wonder just how much is too much? Is ambition something that needs to be moderated? Why is it a dirty word when it is essential for success? If ambition is so important, why is too much ambition a bad thing? Evidently, ambition is fraught with danger. It is one of those personal ingredients that often lead to theft, dishonesty, selfishness, and short-sightedness.
What is ambition?
Ambition is nothing more than fuel that we can use to help us get to where we want to go. It drives us to improve the tangible things in life, such as where we live, what we drive, and the work we do. We can use it to enact change that is material. It helps us to take practical action to learn and develop.
As with many fuels, it needs to be mixed with other oils. The two oils that mix well with ambition are perseverance and greed. Ambition mixed with perseverance leads to devotion. Ambition mixed with greed leads to insatiability.
Used properly, ambition can help people to reach their target so long as they know when to switch the engines off. If they do not slow down at the right time (usually well before they reach their destination), they are likely to overshoot the mark. Some people do not recognise their target as they approach it because it looks different upon closer inspection. Others bypass it when a more alluring jewel distracts them. Consequently, their target is always distant because it is like a horizon at sea — ever present yet far away.
The desire to climb higher and travel further can become so distracting, that one becomes enamoured by the lure of the distant dream, thereby losing sight of the surrounding riches. As a result, people will lack contentment and peace; they will never feel a sense of belonging. Whatever their situation, they are dissatisfied with it. Their material wealth never seems to be enough. They do not value their self-worth. If you do not understand your self-worth, it is like having a box full of trinkets — you throw out all the diamonds in search of a penny. At this point, ambition is used to fuel an insatiable appetite. Those within the grip of insatiability seldom correct their ways until they hit a brick wall — physically or emotionally. They can’t stop until something stops them. That sudden shock will either destroy them, or help them to reset their values and become enthusiastic for life. However, life is not a balance between ‘realities and dreams’, but between ‘addiction and grace’. Paradoxes such as these keep us alert to the meaning of life.
Addiction to bigger and better ideals generates hope, which in turn provides purpose. Addiction becomes destructive when it no longer seeks ‘bigger and better’ but hunts for ‘more, more often’.
Grace fosters satisfaction and brings charm to modesty. It dignifies the status quo and greets each waking moment as one would greet a dear friend. Its only shortcoming is its propensity to be complacent. So what’s wrong with too much ambition?
While ambition can take us to new and unfamiliar territories, too much ambition can take us to places that are beyond our capabilities. The reason that we do not acknowledge the latter is that we tend to harbour two diseases — pride and denial. The main function of pride is to convince us that we possess certain things that in fact we do not. The main function of denial is to convince us that we do not possess certain things that in fact we do. At the crossroads of life we have to greet ‘addiction and grace’ and ‘pride and denial’. The complexity of this balancing act will determine how and when we use our fuel to reach our desired destination. Perfect balance is best reached after we learn about these necessary (but potentially lethal) paradoxes. We can only master them after making mistakes and refining our judgement.
In the same way that it is impossible to teach children how to ride a bicycle merely by describing the process, it is impossible to teach people how to balance these paradoxes until they each experience the process for themselves. When addiction and grace fuse, we arrive at gratitude. When pride and denial fuse, we arrive at consciousness. If we are mature, we will be able to fuse the blessings of gratitude and consciousness to enjoy a zestful life. When we understand the function of ambition, we can see that there is no shame in being ambitious for a zestful life.
Organisations used to promote ambitions people. Now they are frightened by go-getters. Our training programs and consulting services can assist organisations to see the value nurturing mature ambitious employees who can infect the organisations with focus and excitement — two desperately needed ingredients in today’s workforce.
Logictivity is always creating new business solutions to emerging business solutions. This sounds like a typographical error, but in fact, we do notice that modern business solutions do cause problems, and for this reason, we are called upon to assist clients to climb out of the quagmire in which they find themselves as a result of jumping onto trendy bandwagons.
Our consultants, led by Jonar, can help you to untangle the mess created by matrix management, teamwork, total quality management, and similar worldwide ideals that do more damage than good.
If you have read any of Jonar’s books, and you would like workshops, consultations, or advice about the philosophies contained therein, we would be happy to assist you and your managers.