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Enforced Change, emerges from The Moscow Rules
by Linda Lane
2008-09-17 08:25:28
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For your consideration in terms of solving information management problems I refer you to the film "Ronin" staring Robert DeNiro, written by John David Zeik and David Mamet. If you consider it from the point of view of a capable information manager, and think about how to resolve related problems, this film provided me with some ideas.

1. Maintain a full toolkit
2. Survey the situation/ recon
3. Identify the problem and refine it iteratively
4. Don't put yourself at risk, have a clear exit strategy
5. Identify incapable/immoral individuals or orgs and minimize their responsibility and/or capacity to enforce decisions
6. Trust yourself
7. Be quiet
8. Be bold

So that's something I've been excited thinking about. This is related to enthusiasm for transitional processes - strategies for enforced change. In other words how to effectively get people to pivot their belief systems, or invoke belief systems to solve sticky human and technical problems.

grave_400Here's four strategies to effect human change:

1. The Anointed:
The Deity of your choice anoints you as the one to solve "the unsolvable" - the unsolvable is of course an illusion.(Religions)

2. The Qualified: (changed to 'The Elite')
You are the best on the planet chosen as the elite to solve this problem (Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, lifted by Microsoft)

3. Special Forces:
Your training is that of the special forces, a spy/warrior who arrives unannounced to resolve the unsolvable. (Ronin)

4. Death:
You will solve this problem now or you will die. Solving technical problems in the midst of survival to earn survival. (US Naval Underwater Warfare Command, Navy Seals, CDC / disease and most small businesses). This is the ultimate in enforced change.

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Sand2008-09-17 08:35:57
Another pervasive one is mere passage through time which evokes novel situations and renders past strategies ineffective forcing a revision of thinking.

Linda Lane2008-09-17 10:25:42
Some of the Moscow Rules are:

Assume nothing.
Never go against your gut; it is your operational antenna.
Don't look back; you are never completely alone.
Everyone is potentially under opposition control.
Go with the flow, blend in.
Vary your pattern and stay within your cover.
Any operation can be aborted. If it feels wrong, it is wrong.
Maintain a natural pace.
Lull them into a sense of complacency.
Build in opportunity, but use it sparingly.
Don't harass the opposition.
Technology will always let you down.
Pick the time and place for action.
Keep your options open.
Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.

Linda Lane2008-09-17 10:26:12

I like your introduction of the element of time.

Key Rule2008-09-17 10:28:03
Don't harass the opposition.

Clearly so2008-09-17 10:32:04
Technology will always let you down.

Who are Ronin?2008-09-17 10:44:19
A ronin (浪人, rōnin) was a samurai with no lord or master during the feudal period (1185–1868) of Japan. A samurai became masterless from the ruin or fall of his master (as in the case of death in a war), or after the loss of his master's favor or privilege. The word rōnin literally means "drifting person". The term originated in the Nara and Heian periods, when it referred to a serf who had fled or deserted his master's land. It then came to be used for a samurai who had lost his master. Among the most famous ronin are Miyamoto Musashi, the famed swordsman, and the Forty-seven Ronin.

revenge of the Forty-seve2008-09-17 10:46:08

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-17 14:11:23
Linda, in the light of what is happening on Wall stree as we speak, how do we resolve the information management problems related to the market, so called? There are all kinds of wonderful “scientific” formulas related to market management. Those who sing its praises usually make sure to leave out one crucial human element: greed. I refer you to the movie “Wall Street” written and directed by Oliver Stone, starring Charlie and Martin Sheen and Michael Douglas.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-17 14:20:28
Here is a short excerpt from the script of the movie. The peroration to greed at the stock-holders' meeting is too long to include here but it bears the greatest reflection.

Carl Fox: "I came into Egypt a Pharoah who did not know."
Gordon Gekko: I beg your pardon, is that a proverb.
Carl Fox: No, a prophecy. The rich been doing it to the poor since the beginning of time. The only difference between the Pyramids and the Empire State Building is the Egyptians didn't allow unions. I know what this guy is all about, greed. He don't give a damn about Bluestar or the unions. He's in and out for the buck and he don't take prisoners.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-17 14:53:30
More directly related to your piece above, it seems to me that indeed n. 4 is the final solution to all management problem and that Socrates had it on target in reminding us that quite often people die the way they live...So, it is not a matter of passage of time but one of quality of life or what the Greeks dubbed "the good life."

Sand2008-09-17 16:23:20
Whatever Socrates might have said, very often indeed, people do not die the way they lived. A bullet in the head or a child disturbing an unexploded mine has nothing to do with the way they lived.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-17 18:28:55
Indeed, as Edwin A. Robinson put it: "And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head."

Linda Lane2008-09-17 18:52:37
So Emanuel and Jan you have brought up two more dimensions relative to enforced change - that of time and of greed. Time appears to be a constant, and greed appears to be a human condition. Please tell me more...

Linda Lane2008-09-17 18:54:37
Jan, Emanuel<
These two rules appear to have the strongest relationship to the issues at hand of the collapsing US market - it's how the world makes a no-confidence vote -
4. Don't put yourself at risk, have a clear exit strategy
5. Identify incapable/immoral individuals or orgs and minimize their responsibility and/or capacity to enforce decisions

Sand2008-09-17 19:22:06
It's obviously ironic that greed, which is the backbone of the capitalist economy, should be indicated as something to be eliminated. Unwise investment is, of course, not defensible but it seems even the experts have no key to determining that. The financial innovation that permitted maximizing profits also not only ripped off small investors who trusted in the evaluations of supposedly trustworthy advisers but is rapidly destroying the foundations on which the capitalist economy in the USA is based while permitting those responsible to get away with amazing wealth. Assumedly these were the brightest of the bright in charge and look at the shambles they are creating. What does that say about rule 2.? And rule 5, what do you do if all those in charge are immoral?

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-17 20:19:11
It seems to me Linda, that the attitude toward human nature is crucial in even a mere attempt at a solution. If one considers greed as an undesirable flaw of human nature (what the ancient Greeks called a vice in their ethics, as opposed to what they called virtue) then it stands to reason that a so called “laissez faire” attitude toward economic development a la Stuart Mill is flawed in principle and from the word go, exactly because it does not take in consideration that flaw of human nature. To mitigate the undesirable effects of such a negative existential situation some kind of robust corrective and regulating principle is needed and it is usually exercised by a government which has the common good as a the very raison d’etre of government. On the other hand, if the law of jungle is predominant, that is to say, the strong survives and the weak perish in a dog-eat-dog world, and one accepts vices as part of the human package about little if anything can be done, then one can at best accept victimhood or become an epicurean tending one’s own garden or simply become stoic about the present situation and take the advice of Senator McCain’s economic advisor: stop the whining. The latter is by far preferable since at least it acknowledges that greed is a vice and an aberration, not integral part of human nature. For further elaboration on this stoic notion of virtue and vices within human nature, stay tuned; I have sent Ovi an article which ought to be coming out shortly.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-17 20:28:25
P,S. What we have in place nowadays is "laissez faire" for the poor and socialism for the rich who get bailed out at the tune of billions of dollars by the taxpayer. Stuart Mill must be turning in his grave together with Marx.

Sand2008-09-17 20:51:59
One must, of course, praise the total poverty of the Vatican that has expelled greed entirely from its motivations.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-17 20:54:22
The voices again have returned to counsel more bashing and trashing and slandering. Even readers are getting a bit bored by it all...or do you think you can still characterize your antics as the Punch and Judy show?

Sand2008-09-17 21:03:48
Goodness, professor, that post has been worn out ages ago from over use. Surely you can try better than that! Or can you????

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-17 21:16:35
Good question. It seems that you cannot help yourself when it comes to thrashing the Catholic Church. What makes it despicable is that it parades as historically accurate information and the whole picture. Intriguing that using of professor as an insult of sort...Time to burn the books?

Sand2008-09-17 21:51:57
Now, now, Mr.P you seem to be claiming I was fibbing and that the Catholic Church is one of the wealthiest organizations on Earth. That doesn't seem to be something you would want to spread around. Whatever are you thinking?

Linda Lane2008-09-17 21:52:24
Ha, ha, I had forgotten about Senator McCain’s economic advisor telling us to stop whining.

Who is whining now? Then whole country staring at the peak of stock dropping straight down its record face - see this chart - move the date indicator at the top along to see stock trade indicators under every president from Truman on: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/storysupplement/investor_special/2008/index.html

Linda Lane2008-09-17 21:57:48
So this is the face of "socialism for the rich" I wondered what it would look like.

This "correction" is also the face of enforced change. It appears having friends in high places can make things go alot smoother for your gigantic financial institution as it tanks.

Linda Lane2008-09-17 22:03:14
As Jan said, "Assumedly these were the brightest of the bright in charge and look at the shambles they are creating.

What does that say about rule 2.? And rule 5, what do you do if all those in charge are immoral?"

Well one of my very wealthy friends divested himself of his palatial estate claiming there would be a rapid slide in land prices when the economy plummeted. (He got out a little too early a couple of years ago but at least he was not stuck with the payments).

So many of the best and brightest are incharge and perhaps that is why it is not worse!

Linda Lane2008-09-17 22:04:12
Maybe that is the problem we are all immoral. I know what greed is. I know greed.

Linda Schulz2008-09-18 00:03:59
This writer knows her stuff and isn't afraid to voice it. I suggest someone reading this should contact her about employment. Opportunity, like lightning does not come along every day. Kudos to you ms.Lane.

Sand2008-09-18 06:37:20
What is noteworthy about the cautions cited in this article is the general perception that they are rules for the individual. And what is basically lacking is the understanding that human society is based on the good intentions for society as a whole. The demise of the financial community and the very wealthy sector of the USA will be realized when the integrated social structure is so weakened by the withdrawal of wealth from the totality for the benefit of the few well off that the whole structure is collapsing. The rules laid out are for the unattached individual and unfortunately we are all in this together.

Linda Lane2008-09-18 08:00:43
Great point Sand. These are for the individual.

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