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Every day, a P2P society makes itself more desirable.
Capitalism might be seen as the evil here, but, if we take a perspective of ecological successions, we can see it like a (somehow) deliberate burning of a place: everything disappears in the end, but this releases fertilizers in the ashes for something new to grow.
Do it too often and you spoil the soil.
Do it properly, and you can intervene on the pioneer plants to build something better and more sustainable.
If we see capitalism as a burning of what could have been precious resources, then we might as well consider what could grow on the ashes of the leftovers. We are already seeing these pioneering sprouts in P2P, collaboration, sharing economy. Of course some of the pioneers are just seeds of the previous world (Uber, AirBnb, etc.), but they’re just preparing the soil for the next round of more robust plants/initiatives that will truly change the landscape.
I’m eager to garden in the future!
Here’s an excellent (as usual) article from Harvard Business Value: https://hbr.org/2016/09/the-elements-of-value. It reveals results from a study about customers not being interested just by Quality, Delays and Costs (as simplified in #Lean), but also by much more different criteria (30 in total):
The question raised by Alexis Nicolas is: Why about using these 30 elements to evaluate the perception of a collaborator about his job and the company he works for during periodic assessments?
The hierarchy is reproduced below, but to make a long story short, we could synthesize the levels with the following reading grid:
- at the functional level: this corresponds to the traditional employee assessment where his/her contribution is evaluated. Only with much more details;
- at the emotional level we could assess how the employee feels in his/her job and what are the factors inciting to contributing more than the job description;
- at a life changing level we can start to identify how the job or the organization is helping the employee grow and whether (or not) it gives reasons for him or her to fight for doing the job;
- and at the social impact level we can assess whether the employee feels the job as a way to contribute to something bigger than his life, toward the world: that’s what’s is the more motivating for someone and which has the power to turn a job into a life mission.
Thanks Alexis for the mind-blowing question!
Parlons Sport, c’est d’actualité 🙂
Rien d’autre à ajouter à cette comparaison Holacracy / Foot. Je ne pratique pas le foot, mais la comparaison fait incroyablement mouche. À lire !
This is my contribution to the currently online debate on Reddit/r/ethereum (for instance).
It seems to me that any organization (be it “physical” or virtual or blockchain-based) is founded on trust with the help of some underlying, shared meaning legal stuff.
When you get your contracts wrong in the physical world, you run the risk of clients, contractors or employees, if not bandits to abuse you. That’s the risk any organization face. Only if the law is broken, you act toward changing that law. And because contracts are so difficult to write properly, we resort to lawyers.
Ethereum‘s the law here. A contract has been badly written, TheDAO should bear with the consequences. That is has been audited before (proofed by special blockchain-law firm slock.it as it seems) just prove that the digital world is prone to errors just like the real world.
The blockchain just increase the risk of making these errors unsolvable because it wants to make code immutable.
Yet we’re not supposed change the law just because some contract has been badly written. Or have the state intervene in one contractual problem.
Do people seriously consider having a central authority (Ethereum) intervene in what’s supposed to be the best of breed of P2P technology (blockchain)?! C’mmon!
If trust (even if cryptography and blockchain-based) should continue to be the foundation of contracts, TheDAO has to solve that itself, or, as stated elsewhere, the non-digital part of the blockchain will be seriously undermined.
Hint for later (or maybe just now): make Ethereum a DAO itself where people can take share (hopefully without contractual flaws), and let the crowd run the infrastructure. It would then seems to be a hell lot of issues will appear like “can we trust shareholders to know how to vote/run such a company as Ethereum?”
While I was reading that excellent french introduction to P2P on the P2P Foundation website (it’s old but very interesting nonetheless), I remembered my own thinking around permaculture and efficiency or management.
And so it occurred to me that both permaculture and P2P interactions could work hand in hand. Indeed, as I think people need to be trained or at least showed how P2P interactions are easy, the 12 permaculture principles could well be a list of patterns or a roadmap to foster that Peer Production or at least the development of more recurrent and fruitful P2P interactions.
Indeed, we could even just start with the 3 ethics of Permaculture:
- Earth Care: in the context of P2P, it would be the results of peer production, that is, the Commons. Respect what’s been done previously: it had a reason to exist, and we can only build on top of it. And even if we don’t, it framed people’s current mental models, and so we must bear with the consequences and take these into consideration for our own creation.
- People Care: self explanatory; to better interact with people we have to be as respectful to their ideas as we are keen to promoting ours. In Peter Senge’s book “The Fifth Discipline”, it is explained as Bohm’s Dialog: “balance advocacy and inquiry” and “suspend your beliefs” (both in the sense of 1) refraining from letting your judgement be altered by your preconceptions and 2) exposing your beliefs for others to consider and take into consideration).
- Fair Share: whatever you co-create, use it and share the rest for others to re-use and build upon. That’s how civilizations are created.
That was the easy part, and you can probably only go with these 3. The 12 permaculture principles below are an elaboration of the 3 ethics. More practical principles if you need something more concrete to apply.
IMHO the reason these 12 agricultural principles seem to work so well is because they are precisely just this: principles applying to a system (nature and agriculture as they are). And because systems thinking is transdisciplinary, they can be quite easily transposed into different realms (like I did in management or efficiency – besides, what I propose below is just a generalization of my thinking on efficiency and better social teleogical interactions [social interactions toward a goal] which we’ve packages into the Labso with my peer Alexis Nicolas).
Also, should you need to explain to starting Holacracy or Sociocracy communities how employees should behave with one another for the cultural change to flourish, it might be a good recipe: more emotionally and metaphorically loaded than a bloated constitution (Holacracy) or 4 rough naked principles (Sociocracy).
Here’s my list of the 12 permaculture principles adapted toward fostering flourishing P2P interactions:
- OBSERVE & INTERACT – “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” The best way to accustom yourself to someone else or to a pre-existing group is to observe and interact without trying to actively interfere with the group. Feel the rhythm and get used to the beat before entering the dance floor.
- CATCH & STORE ENERGY – “Make hay while the sun shines.” Don’t spoil your energy, nor that of others. P2P interactions should make the best use of energy and better yet, capture the environmental energy (that out of the Commons as I said above with the 3 ethics) in order to reuse it later. That energy may be in the form of peers wanting to contribute, meaning which can be leveraged to fuel a new project, ideas in the air waiting to coalesce into something bigger and thicker…
- OBTAIN A YIELD – “You can’t work on an empty stomach.” Whatever you want to collaborate on, it needs to produce something, because 1) you need to be able to (at least partly) live on it and 2) that very production is what will motivate your peers to continue. Idealized vision are a must to start, but they evaporate quickly with time unless concrete results can sustain the momentum.
- APPLY SELF-REGULATION & ACCEPT FEEDBACK – “The sins of the fathers are visited on the children of the seventh generation.” P2P is not lonely work. For the collaboration to work, the group must accept internal 1:1 exchanges between its members so they can coordinate among themselves and people self-correct when they feel their interactions aren’t inducing the best results for the other peers as individuals and for the group as a whole. But for that internal balance to exist, people must provide and accept (respectful) feedback.
- USE & VALUE RENEWABLE RESOURCES & SERVICES – “Let nature take its course.” Avoid producing one-off artefacts. Build Commons that can be reused by others. Make them flexible, easy to dismount and remount differently, easy to compose with others’ own artefacts.
- PRODUCE NO WASTE – “Waste not, want not. A stitch in time saves nine.” Waste is that which doesn’t bring value to others. When you create waste, you loose support from others and you work against your own group of peers, because it will go against the energy they’re trying to invest. It will clog your interactions, grind the creative process and eat all your (individual and collective) energy for nothing. Don’t do that.
- DESIGN FROM PATTERNS TO DETAILS – “Can’t see the wood for the trees.” Lay down the general principles, which are more intellectual and high level but also more flexible and around which you can more easily exchange, interact and adapt. It’s easier to mold an idea than to rebuild a physical gizmo. Yet balance that with #3: obtain a yield. The global idea is best tackled with the whole group when the details can be addressed in smaller subgroups or even by individuals acting for the benefit of the whole.
- INTEGRATE RATHER THAN SEGREGATE – “Many hands make light work.” To avoid centrifugal forces, seek to weave links rather than erect barriers. Search for what’s similar and what’s similar inside the differences instead of focusing on the sole differences. Constantly reweave the group together with similarities and connections between ideas and people. Don’t let differences and dissimilarities tear you apart from one another. It’s a natural step for the mind to spot differences (I’ve started to write about that in my book) so you need to pay special attention against it.
- USE SMALL & SLOW SOLUTIONS – “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” Although we’re a lot wanting to change the world, it all starts with small steps. They also are the best way to coordinate with one another and let people enough time to chew on new ideas and adapt to them. Slowly build a robust small foundation rather than a hasty big fragile one that will crumble under pressure later on.
- USE & VALUE DIVERSITY – “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” The best group is composed of diverse people with various perspectives. It ensures resilience, innovation, constant (individual) energy access, etc. Uniformity, just like in Nature, is prone to diseases and thus failure.
- USE EDGES & VALUE THE MARGINAL – “Don’t think you are on the right track just because it is a well-beaten path.” What’s on the border is what’s more likely to be different. It mixes the internal (who the group is) with the external (what the environment needs, calls for, provides…) Edgers are better armed to provide that diversity (see previous point) to the group and allow it to evolve as best as possible along with its environment (provided the group accepts feedback, see #4). Make as many people edgers as you can. Interview them, find what makes them different because of hidden edges they have (untapped potential, skills, talents), then make these edges explicit and weave those with what’s the group is doing. Yes, that would mean a sort of community manager for the real physical world. Or peer-ify that and ensure people regularly do that to one another.
- CREATIVELY USE & RESPOND TO CHANGE – “Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be.” And that’s the corollary of all that preceded: learn to recognize the need for change when you meet it, whether it comes from the outside environment, from the edges or from deeper inside. Be purposeful and stick to your values, but don’t rigidify so as to break when it would have been better to pivot and change gears.
Un article d’introduction très complet sur le peer-2-peer (pair à pair) de la part de la P2P Foundation.
La plupart des lecteurs sont familiers avec le concept de ‘peer to peer’ dans le domaine technologique, et spécifiquement, en tant que technologie de base pour le partage de fichiers, et connaissent les nombreuses controverses suscitées par l’échange (en fait : le ‘partage’) de contenus musicaux et audiovisuels. Notre propre conception du peer to peer, ou ‘pair à pair’ est bien plus large. Il s’agit en fait d’une dynamique intersubjective caractéristique des réseaux distribués. Le but de cet essai est de montrer qu’il s’agit d’une véritable nouvelle forme d’organisation sociale, apte à produire et échanger des biens, à créer de la valeur. Celle-ci est la conséquence d’un nouvel imaginaire social, et possède le potentiel de devenir le pilier d’un nouveau mode d’économie politique, voire d’un nouveau type de civilisation. Pour cela, nous allons d’abord définir le P2P, décrire en bref ces manifestations, et le différencier d’autres modalités d’échange intersubjectif tel que le marché, la hiérarchie, l’économie du don. →
I was thinking about the recent news of renowned scientists and experts warning us against Artificial Intelligence that could surpass us. Unfortunately, I think this happened already without us knowing it, and, what most, it has made us its slaves (or we’ve inadvertently submitted ourselves to it).
- the Why is the purpose of a process or an activity. It’s both the origin of it (what you come from: a problem to be solved) and the end of it (what the customer wants),
- the How is the process itself which turns the initial problem into value for the customer,
- and the What is value that gets created along the process.
All three aspects of value creation are necessary for it to be effective. The Why is necessary for the process to exist in the first place. The How is useful to maximize the throughput and make the most use of the energy to create the value. Leftover energy can be used for other value creation activities. And the What is the result of the process, flowing to the customer, which will pay you for that so you can live from what you do and hopefully what you love to do (the Why, that is).
I love Simon Sinek’s video about his theory of “Start with Why“. And I have no doubt it works.
But once you’ve sold your why-idea to someone, what happens next? I was asking myself this question when thinking about change (in general, not only in organizational context).
I suspect one could sort people out in three categories:
- Why people are those motivated primarily about the purpose or the cause of an action or a change. They’re advocates or public relations people. They find their motivation in trying to make other people see and understand their perspective, or adhere to the same “why”.
- How people are motivated by the process or method by which to reach the Why. If the Why triggers them into motion, the How is what drives their relentless actions: How to communicate? How to best serve the cause?
- What people are finally those who are motivated by the doing. They want to get things done, because, in the end, it’s all that count.
If the selling of an idea “starts with why”, the realization of it clearly needs all three types.
You might know the parable of the man throwing back fishes stranded on the beach. He picks them up one after another and throws them back into the sea. Yet there are thousands left to go. Comes a passerby wondering whether this makes any difference given the huge number to go proceed, some of which will probably die anyway. The guy answers, throwing another fish in the sea: “to this one at least, it does make a difference!”.
The guy throwing fishes back into the sea is a What person. A How person would take some time devising a method to throw more back to the sea at a time and a way to preserve the ones left to throw until their time has come. And finally a Why person would beat drums to gather other people to help in throwing fishes back into the sea.
I’m clearly of the How type. What about you?
Pick a project you’re working on. Who’s in charge of the Why and is it articulated clearly enough? Have you thought of the How in order to best deliver your value or message? And who’s in charge of the doing?