Startup PDCA
This page describes the organizational forces that limit change.  It explains how to overcome them when necessary. 

Power& tradition holding back progress
This page uses an example to illustrate how:
  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
  • Business planning activities performed by the whole organization can build awareness, empowerment and coherence. 
  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
Be responsive to market dynamics
This page uses the example of HP's printer organization freeing itself from its organizational constraints to sell a printer targeted at the IBM pc user. 
The constraints are described. 
The techniques to overcome them are implied. 
Overcome reactionaries
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Startup PDCA

Summary
John Doerr argues that company leaders aims to develop plans and strategies which ensure effective coordination to improve the common good of the in-group.  John Adair developed a leadership methodology based on the three-circles model. 
and their organizations, hugely benefit from Andy Grove's OKR is objectives and key results, Intel CEO Andy Grove's methodology for leveraging goals and strategies.  Key results are: specific, time-bound, measurable & verifiable.  They are expected to change as the actions proceed.  The OKR framework is a main subject of John Doerr's book Measure What Matters. 
s. 

He promotes strategies that help OKR success: Focus, Align, Track, Stretch; replaces yearly performance reviews, and provides illustrative success stories

Doerr stresses Dov Seidman's view that employees are adaptive in evolutionary biology is a trait that increased the number of surviving offspring in an organism's ancestral lineage.  In Deacon's conception of evolution an adaptation is the realization of a set of constraints on candidate mechanisms, and so long as these constraints are maintained, other features are arbitrary.   and will respond to what they see being measured.  He asserts culturally supported OKRs/CFR is the Code of Federal Regulations or in OKR terminology it is Conversations: about optimizing performance, Feedback: in all directions to evaluate progress and guide improvement, Recognition of individuals for their contributions.   processes will be transformative

Following our summary of his arguments, RSS is Rob's Strategy Studio comments on them framed by complex adaptive system (CAS)
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
theory
.  Doerr's architecture is tailored for the startups KPCB invests in.  It is a subset of the general case of
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
schematic plans
,
Plans change in complex adaptive systems (CAS) due to the action of genetic operations such as mutation, splitting and recombination.  The nature of the operations is described. 
genetic operators
and
Walter Shewhart's iterative development process is found in many complex adaptive systems (CAS).  The mechanism is reviewed and its value in coping with random events is explained. 
Shewhart cycles
that drive all CAS.  Doerr's approach limits support of
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
learning
and deemphasizes the association to planning. 

Measure What Matters
In John Doerr's book 'Measure What Matters' he argues that company leaders aims to develop plans and strategies which ensure effective coordination to improve the common good of the in-group.  John Adair developed a leadership methodology based on the three-circles model. 
hugely benefit from OKR is objectives and key results, Intel CEO Andy Grove's methodology for leveraging goals and strategies.  Key results are: specific, time-bound, measurable & verifiable.  They are expected to change as the actions proceed.  The OKR framework is a main subject of John Doerr's book Measure What Matters. 
s: a sharp edged tool for generating world class
This page introduces some problems that make it hard for a business to execute effectively. 
It then presents a theory of execution. 
It describes what the theory says must be done to execute effectively. 
It reviews General Electric's use of adaptive planning to support effective execution. 
Then it details the execution requirements. 
execution
.  They encourage the leaders to make tough choices, unify the organization's direction and keep teams on track and motivated. 

Like any tool it needs skills to get results.  Doerr notes Edwin Locke's conclusion that: Hard goals drive performance, Specific hard goals induce a higher level of output; 

Doerr highlights the need for companies to effectively adopt such a tool as OKRs.  Two thirds of companies are currently struggling with an employee engagement crisis. 

Doerr stresses the influence of Intel's Andy Grove on him and OKRs.  Grove:
OKRs are architected to help VC is venture capital, venture companies invest in startups with intangable assets
funded, focused startups: Intel, KPCB's Google, and Amazon; to deliver exceptional results and returns to their investors.  Doerr writes OKRs act as:
  • A yardstick for investors
  • Language for execution
  • Alignment for employees 
Doerr promotes the use of strategies that empower OKRs:
  • Less is more -- use a few well-chosen objectives 
  • Set goals from the bottom up - teams should set half their own OKRs
  • Don't dictate -- develop a cooperative social context
  • Stay flexible -- modify OKRs to match the shifting situation
  • Stretch, but expect some failure.  He offers the examples of:
    • Google's Gmail launched offering a near infinite in-tray, by finding a way to cost effectively provide each user with a terabyte of storage, 
    • Google's Chrome browser, and
    • YouTube achieving 1 billion hours.  
  • Keep OKRs and bonuses separate -- OKRs are a tool not a weapon. 
OKR Amplifiers:
  1. Focus and commit to priorities 
  2. Align and connect for teamwork 
  3. Track for accountability 
  4. Stretch for amazing
Doerr argues for the removal of inhibitors to OKR is objectives and key results, Intel CEO Andy Grove's methodology for leveraging goals and strategies.  Key results are: specific, time-bound, measurable & verifiable.  They are expected to change as the actions proceed.  The OKR framework is a main subject of John Doerr's book Measure What Matters. 
This page introduces some problems that make it hard for a business to execute effectively. 
It then presents a theory of execution. 
It describes what the theory says must be done to execute effectively. 
It reviews General Electric's use of adaptive planning to support effective execution. 
Then it details the execution requirements. 
execution
.  His continuous performance management:

Doerr sees culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
as the facility for speeding up decision making and alignment.  He concludes:

Doerr views OKRs & CFRs as a launchpad for improved: GDP is:
  • Gross domestic product which measures the total of goods and services produced in a given year within the borders of a given country (output) according to Piketty.  Gordon argues to include products produced in the home & market-purchased goods and services, following Becker's theory of time use.  Gordon stresses innovation is the ultimate source of all growth in output per worker-hour.  GDP growth per person is equal to the growth in labor productivity + growth in hours worked per person.  GDP has many problems.  Gordon concludes that between 1870 and 1940 all available measures GDP is hugely understated because:
    • GDP is a poor measure of:
      • Value & wealth
      • Who gets what
      • Global supply chains
    • GDP excludes:
      • Reduction in infant mortality between 1890 (22%) and 1950 (1%)
      • Brightness & safety of electric light,
      • Increased variety of food including refrigeration transported fresh meat and processed food
      • Convenience and economies of scale of the department store and mail order catalog and resulting product price reductions
      • Services by house makers
        • Time & health gains from having flush toilets, integrated sewer networks; rather than having to physically remove effluent and cope with fecal-oral transmission
      • Leisure
      • Costs & benefits of different length work weeks
      • Speed and flexibility of motor vehicles - which were not included in the CPI until 1935, after the transformation had occurred.  And competition from improved foreign vehicles, while it provides purchaser/user with improved standard of living (less breakdowns, repairs, etc.) is measured as reduced domestic manufacture
      • Coercion and corruption to obtain resources 
      • Consumption impact of finite resources: coal, oil;
      • Destruction impact of loss of entire irreplaceable species
    • GDP includes items that should be excluded:
      • Cost of waste - cleaning up pollution (single use indestructible plastic bags), building prisons, commuting to work, and cars left parked most of the time; should be subtracted
  • Guanine-di-phosphate is a nucleotide base. 
Robert Gordon argues that the inventions of the second industrial revolution were the foundation for American economic growth.  Gordon shows how flows of people into difficult rural America built a population base which then took the opportunity to move on to urban settings: Houses, Food in supermarkets, Clothes in department stores; that supported increasing productivity and standard of living.  The deployment of nationwide networks: Rail, Road, Utilities; terminating in the urban housing and work places allowing the workers to leverage time saving goods and services, which helped grow the economy. 

Gordon describes the concomitant transformation of:
  • Communications and advertising
  • Credit and finance
  • Public health and the health care network 
  • Health insurance
  • Education
  • Social and welfare services

Counter intuitively the constraints introduced before and in the Great Depression and the demands of World War 2 provide the amplifiers that drive the inventions deeply and fully into every aspect of the economy between 1940 and 1970 creating the exceptional growth and standard of living of post war America. 

Subsequently the rate of growth was limited until the shift of women into the workplace and the full networking of voice and data supported the Internet and World Wide Web completed the third industrial revolution, but the effects were muted by the narrow reach of the technologies. 

The development of Big Data, Robots, and Artificial Intelligence may support additional growth, but Gordon is unconvinced because of the collapse of the middle class. 

Following our summary of Gordon's book RSS frames his arguments from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory. 

growth
,
The complexity and problems of the US Health network is described in terms of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory. 

The network:
  • Is deeply embedded in the US nation state. It reflects the conflict between two opposing visions for the US.  The emergence of a parasitic elite further constrains the choices available to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the network.  
    • The US is optimized to sell its citizens dangerous levels of: salt, sugar, guns, light, cell phones, opioids, global travel, antibacterials, formula, foods including endocrine disrupters;
    • Accepting the US supply chains offered goods & services results in: debt, stress, amplified consumption and toxic excess, leading to obesity, addiction, driving instead of walking, microbiome collapse;
  • Is incented to focus on localized competition generating massive & costly duplication of services within physician based health care operations instead of proven public health strategies.  This process drives increasing research & treatment complexity and promotes hope for each new technological breakthrough. 
  • Is amplified by the legislatively structured separation and indirection of service development, provision, reimbursement and payment. 
  • Is impacted by the different political strategies for managing the increasing cost of health care for the demographic bulge of retirees.  
  • Is presented with acute and chronic problems to respond to.  As currently setup the network is tuned to handle acute problems.  The interactions with patients tend to be transactional. 
  • Includes a legislated health insurance infrastructure which is:
    • Costly and inefficient
    • Structured around yearly contracts which undermine long-term health goals and strategies.  
  • Is supported by increasingly regulated HCIT which offers to improve data sharing and quality but has entrenched commercial EHR products deep within the hospital systems. 
health care
outcomes, school
Salman Khan argues that the evolved global education system is inefficient and organized around constraining and corralling students into accepting dubious ratings that lead to mundane roles.  He highlights a radical and already proven alternative which offers effective self-paced deep learning processes supported by technology and freed up attention of teams of teachers.  Building on his personal experience of helping overcome the unjustified failing grade of a relative Khan:
  • Iteratively learns how to teach: Starting with Nadia, Leveraging short videos focused on content, Converging on mastery, With the help of neuroscience, and filling in dependent gaps; resulting in a different approach to the mainstream method. 
  • Assesses the broken US education system: Set in its ways, Designed for the 1800s, Inducing holes that are hidden by tests, Tests which ignore creativity.  The resulting teaching process is so inefficient it needs to be supplemented with homework.  Instead teachers were encouraging their pupils to use his tools at home so they could mentor them while they attended school, an inversion that significantly improves the economics. 
  • Enters the real world: Builds a scalable service, Working with a real classroom, Trying stealth learning, At Khan Academy full time,  In the curriculum at Los Altos, Supporting life-long learning. 
  • Develops The One World Schoolhouse: Back to the future with a one room school, a robust teaching team, and creativity enabled; so with some catalysis even the poorest can become educated and earn credentials for current jobs. 
  • Wishes he could also correct: Summer holidays, Transcript based assessments, College education;
  • Concludes it is now possible to provide the infrastructure for creativity to emerge and to support risk taking. 

Following our summary of his arguments RSS frames them from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  Disruption is a powerful force for change but if its force is used to support the current teachers to adopt new processes can it overcome the extended phenotypic alignment and evolutionary amplifiers sustaining the current educational network? 

success
: Khan lab school's Orly Friedman introduces OKRs to five year olds; government performance, business results, and social progress.  His stretch OKR is to:

Doerr introduces leaders aims to develop plans and strategies which ensure effective coordination to improve the common good of the in-group.  John Adair developed a leadership methodology based on the three-circles model. 
& founders who have benefited from OKRs:


This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS theory
views OKR is objectives and key results, Intel CEO Andy Grove's methodology for leveraging goals and strategies.  Key results are: specific, time-bound, measurable & verifiable.  They are expected to change as the actions proceed.  The OKR framework is a main subject of John Doerr's book Measure What Matters. 
s as
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Key research is reviewed. 
emergent
This page discusses the tagging of signals in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Tagged signals can be used to control filtering of an event stream.  Examples of CAS filters are reviewed. 
tagged
bundles of
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
schematic
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
action
Agents use sensors to detect events in their environment.  This page reviews how these events become signals associated with beneficial responses in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  CAS signals emerge from the Darwinian information model.  Signals can indicate decision summaries and level of uncertainty. 
signals
and
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
models
, utilized within a
Walter Shewhart's iterative development process is found in many complex adaptive systems (CAS).  The mechanism is reviewed and its value in coping with random events is explained. 
PDCA cycle
.  Framed in this way, the
Terrence Deacon explores how constraints on dynamic flows can induce emergent phenomena which can do real work.  He shows how these phenomena are sustained.  The mechanism enables the development of Darwinian competition. 
constraints
on, and generalized architecture underpinning Doerr's framework can provide context:


He distinguishes between positive and negative goals, and general and specific goals.  Unless a goal is specific it is hard to tell if it has been achieved.  Specific goals can also constrain how a goal is achieved.  When results are not immediate goal degeneration can occur.  For CAS, contradictory goals are the norm.  Dorner gives typical examples: minimizing costs conflicts with maximizing benefits;
H. A. Hayek compares and contrasts collectivism and libertarianism. 
liberty to benefit from success undermines equality of opportunity


The linked nature of complex systems can create problems for goal setting.  If a positive and a negative goal are linked then when they are executed they will undermine each other.  Long term and implicit goals can lose focus to short term explicit goals.  Dorner observes that intermediate goals can be used to support the achievement of long term goals increasing the specificity. 
Dorner argues that labeling a set of problems with a conceptual label obscures the multi-faceted nature.  To organize the set Dorner suggests:
  • Finding interdependencies can highlight central problems which affect a number of peripheral ones.  Obtaining money or energy are typically central issues. 
  • Rank problems in importance and urgency, with rational assessments of which must be solved first depending on the current situation. 
  • Delegating relatively independent problems to other agents.  Dorner stresses the difference between delegation & just dumping responsibility on others.  
Dorner describes another problematic strategy using intermediate goals - 'repair service' behavior where complaints drive the priorities.  A series of easy intermediate goals becomes the focus of attention.  This allows the agents to achieve a result, with little uncertainty or risk of failure.  However, the hard goals may be being ignored. 

Dorner notes contradictory goals are difficult to cope with, generating strategies including Newspeak, from 1984, and developing conspiracy theories which insidiously support self-protection during a period of environmental confusion. 



John Doerr's book champions involved leadership aims to develop plans and strategies which ensure effective coordination to improve the common good of the in-group.  John Adair developed a leadership methodology based on the three-circles model. 
, including the use of: goals,
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
models of progress
, checking; building a Shewhart cycle is the Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) cycle developed at Bell Labs by Walter Shewhart.  Each activity that an organization identifies it will 'do' is formally described in a 'plan' including a model of the expected outcomes of the act if it successfully achieves its goals.  If a subsequent 'check' of the results of the action relative to the predicted model is unsatisfactory the initial plan is modified to correct for identified problems and the cycle is re-executed.  The cycle allows learning to become represented in the improved plan.  Following the process institutionalizes the learning. 
.  Leveraging his insights should help ensure companies achieve high levels of productivity is the efficiency with which an agent's selected strategy converts the inputs to an action into the resulting outputs.  It is a complex capability of agents.  It will depend on the agent having: time, motivation, focus, appropriate skills; the coherence of the participating collaborators, and a beneficial environment including the contribution of: standardization of inputs and outputs, infrastructure and evolutionary amplifiers. 
& enable them to move towards a fully
This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
schematic approach
, supporting strategy and
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
learning
































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This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
Strategy
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This page uses an example to illustrate how:
  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
  • Business planning activities performed by the whole organization can build awareness, empowerment and coherence. 
  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
Program Management
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