Missioning your visioning

Just a repost; hardly anything but the footnotes had to change from that post from over two years ago..:

I was triggered recently[1] about some very common mix-up, and suddenly saw a spark of insight. Since the seeing concerned me, it was at a distance of course (not), so I’ll share it with you to see whether you recognise the somewhat local phenomenon and its ramifications and cures.

This all being about the top-level structure for any organisation, i.e., vision, mission, strategy.

So often mixed up qua priorities and order.
Where a great many do think one starts with the mission, thinking endlessly wrongly that one determines the mission first, then … oh vision how can we define that, then, to cover the actual second step, and strategy oh we will not be able to define that.
Because of the mix-up you can’t. Because vision comes first. First define what and how you think the world will look like in somesomewhat more distant future. ONLY THEN [skipping the boldface] one defines whether and where one’s (organisation’s) place is thought to be within that; mission. Only then does one define how to get from the paltry Today’s position, to where the bright future is, and which path to follow; strategy.
When you begin with the mission, you utterly falsely assume there’s a place for you in the first place which, when you think that way, there is ever more certainly not.
When you start with the vision (which can be grand, being without you in the picture will help to that end…), you would also need to think about what your raison d’être in that world view would be. You have no right to existence [note that we’re discussing organisational rights, not natural persons’ rights for which the opposite does hold; ed.] other than making the future better – than any of your competitors can. If there’s competitors that can, in principle given their today’s capabilities, in fact do better than you, you’ll have to find something else to do as the world, by Pareto’s comparative advantage reasoning [which is one of the few economists’ reasonings of any value at all when without the ‘ceteris paribus’ totalitarian destructive lies; ed.], is better off when you leave it to others – the world better off being your purpose or you have no place on this planet. Anything related to profitability has no, zero, rien du tout, nul, nada, place in a mission statement since it’s a derivative requirement (sic) only, towards some specific but not therefore important, stakeholders known as shareholders or investors that, if your mission is true and virtuous, should be utterly grateful for the opportunity to be allowed to invest in your strategy and would even have to pay rent, not receive it. For organisations, it is only a requirement in as far as reserves are built, for hard times and even there one could insert some evolutionary theory that sometimes extremely improving mutations are wiped out by some unfortunate accident (act of nature) before becoming a species-wide improvement — same, for organisations that are set to become most beneficial to the world already on the road towards fulfilling their mission but fail halfway due to adverse but insufficiently bendable market conditions. Bad luck. Move over. Machiavelli’s Fortuna again. Read his Original to see how sobering he meant that and that you can be (Aristotelian-)virtuous all the way through.

So, first vision, then mission. And only then, strategy of course. Being the course. You need to take; roughly. Bending and shaping as you go along; sailing to an up-wind buoy. Setting the boundary conditions – including the boundaries of means you’ll allow as not all means are allowed for just any ends, no end may be enough for some means, most ends are not worth pursuing in the first place. You get the drift; if the means are not ethical, virtuous, the ends will never be. Excepting only a handful of situations like war/genocide, large-scale natural disaster, et al. where one may have to shoot the bad guys to prevent them shooting the good guys.[2]

But hey, this was just the spark. About the wrong-order its cause(s). The rest … good for PowerPoint presentations on the subject I’d say.
[Edited to add: Next try to understand the utter ridiculousness of the Dutch ‘beleid’ as translation of ‘policy’. Meaning (in both languages, creepingly) not what it has meant over the past decades, centuries, but more like ‘petty micromanagement ruleset’. No more general picket post placement in the distance but rails, shackles…]
Leaving you with:

[The lands you defends, into the fuzziness; (from) Salzburg Castle]

[1] Yes, in a conversation to establish whether I’d want to work somewhere, and they’d have me. Both ways, the result was Unsure But Let’s Keep On Talking. They had a Mission on their glass door, and a Vision, and Values – you understand that Mission and Vision were a jumble of Calimero-aspirational buzz, and Values were a big fat Mehhh. If you have to post them on your door in the hall to remind any employee coming to work day in, day out, you’re .. well, not quite living them, are you ..?
[2] Tell-tale, this [1] club had Values there, not Strategy. The latter, didn’t even surface in a second conversation at all. As if one bumped into a fluffy ceiling when trying to raise the level, before being pulled back to mundane hire-warm-body work descriptions. Some sparks of want to move forward and some slight claim of record there but hardly any self-volunteered methodology hints or so…

Lagging, nagging ‘Coin feeling

Somehow, the many (?) Cassandra’s messages of late about Bitcoin being a hyped-up bubble about to burst and how it’s the laggerds (only) that now want to jump in, drive up prices but will be the Greater Fools in the game, sounds a bit … false bottom.
[Unsure what the exchange rate is, today. Has the bubble burst already, or ..?]

I’d say, how many countries, and moreover how great a many financial organisations (private or public, or regulatory or inter/supranational) may have an interest to blow up Bitcoin, as a demonstrator that all that blockchain stuff isn’t any good after all ..? Because the promise of blockchain was, and is, that it will not need any, traditionally somehow still geography-bound, standing governing body avalanched-under by politics, gross misunderstanding of the core concepts ruled over, etc. In short, power struggles.
And that, of course, may be a future that some will not allow. And fight to their deaths – inevitably, not by nature but by cause and earlier. But still they simply won’t have it, that blockchain/Bitcoin/smart-contract/whatevva shazam. With the only way to get rid of it in an inconspicuous manner, is to … inflate it till it goes borsht. Risk, but possibly profit hugely during the trip ..? Case in point: this one [hope the link is still valid, and it’s in Dutch which may mix semantic levels to be tauto]

Plus:
[You get a golden bullet-like thing on your pillow. With compliments and filled with chocolate, that is… In Salzburg of course]

Eternal Life

Remember Castranova’s Synthetic Worlds? You should. If only because this, is, still, in The Atlantic [edited to add: with an intelligent comment/reply here] – because that is still around, it allows for comparison of origins, and the utopical futures as described in the book, with-or-to the current state of the world. Where we have both the ‘hardly any change noticeable in current-state affairs when compared with the moonshot promises of yesterday’ and the ‘look what already has changed; the whole Mobile world change wasn’t even in those rosy pictures’ and ‘hey don’t critique yet we may only be halfway through any major tectonic humanity shifts’.
Where the latter of course ties in with the revitalised [well there‘s a question mark attached like, what do you mean by that; is it ‘life’ and would we even want that] version in ‘singularity’ the extreme nirvana of uploaded, eternal minds. As if the concept of ‘mind’ or ‘intelligence’ would make any sense, in that scenario. And also, since this (pronounced ‘Glick’ one guru told me lately; the importance of continued education), where the distinction between ‘eternal’ and ‘forever in time’ clearly plays up as in this (same), against …

In circles, or Minkovsky‘s / Penrose‘s doodles [wormholing their value], the issue comes back to flatlander (i.e., screen) reality, if there is such a thing…
Oh well; leaving you with:
[Warping perspectives, in ‘meaning’, too; Salzburg]

‘tuurlijk.

Als je een macrobiotischdynamische überkapitalistische-schaamlap neerzet en een bezoeker met een paraplu wordt, om de houten vloer te beschermen (what’s next? klompen ‘tegen’ dames op naaldhakken ..?), geacht deze in een plastic zak mee te dragen…

Armoe, stervens-armoe. Van geest. That’s what.

The dullness of infosec ..?

And you thought fraud detection was about bank transactions or even counterfeiting physical stuff. Boh-ring, when you read this. Takes it to another level, eh?
Which brings me to an important issue: Are we not still studying and practising infosec from the wrong angle, doing a middle-out sort of development in many directions but starting at a very mundane ‘CIA’ sort of point. Which is of course core, but there is so much to cover that some outside-onto view(point) might be beneficial. We’re in the thick of the fight, and no matter in which direction you go, when you wade through the thicket with your control measures machete, you achieve little – when you then turn around to try to clear some area in another direction, all has grown dense with state-of-the-art arms’ race bush again already.
And yes, of course one can educate, etc. in some form of hierarchical approach, top-down. But that leaves us with many, all too many that float comfortably on the canopy where the view … isn’t that great as one’s very certainly in thick fog of the monsoon rain. And nothing is being directed (ugch) deeper down. Or controlled (?). Just more, most partial world views unconnected and behaving erratically.

The e.g. in this is that link above. A tiny subset of situational scenario. Not solved pervasively, once and for all. Now think about the hugely, vastly, enormously wider scope of ‘all’ of infosec that would need to be covered to a. arrive at sub-universes of control, b. overview.

The latter remains Open.
Me not happy.

Solutions, anyone ..?

Oh, plus:
[Ah! The days when this sort of ‘defence’ was enough to conquer! Alésie of course]

Trust ⊻ Verify

You get that. Since Verify → ¬Trust. When you verify, you engender the loss of trust. And since Trust is a two-way street (either both sides trust each other, or one will loose initial trust and both will end up in distrust), verification leads to distrust all around – linked to individualism and experience [we’re on the slope to less-than-formal-logic semantics here] this will result in fear all around. And Michael Porter’s two books, not to mention Ulrich Beck in his important one. So, if you’d still come across any type that hoots ‘Trust, but verify’, you know you’ve met him.

Since the above is so dense I’ll lighten up a bit with:
Part of the $10 million I spent on gambling, part on booze and part on women. The rest I spent foolishly. (George Raft)

Which is exactly the sort of response we need against the totalitarian bureaucracy (i.e., complete dehumanisation of totalitarian control – which approaches a pleonasm) that the world is sliding into. Where previously, humanity had escapes, like emigrating to lands far far away, but that option is no more. Hopefully, ASI will come in time to not be coopted by the One Superpower but then, two avenues remain: a. ASI itself is worse, and undoes humanity for its stubborn stupidity and malevolence (the latter two being a fact); b. ASI will bring the eternal Elyseum.
Why would it b. ..?
And if it doesn’t arrive in time, a. will prevail since the inner circle will shrink asymptotically which is unsustainable biologically.

Anyway, on this bleak note I’ll leave you with:

[Escape from the bureacrats; you-know-where]

Nation(state)s No More / Not Yet

Recently, Jamie Bartlett posted an excellent analysis of the probability of the return of the nation state of the future of the planet. If only to have so many ‘of the’s in a row.
Yes another one on the future of nation-states, now not from a bottom-up perspective but from an overall view.

The case is strong in that piece. But then, I had been having recurring … thoughts, about the evaporation of the legitimacy of the nation-state as well. Where my subconscious hinted, it was no clearer, that there was, and certainly is, a place in the discussions for on the one hand, Bruce Schneier’s ideas about sizes of societies and the rules one would need to organise them (which may read like a circular argument, I know), and on the other, various well-received (e.g., this) and hardly rejectable works on how we still roam the savannahs of today – at least in mind when operating in myriads of Sloterdijk’ian spheres (op.cit. in particular pp. 408–). And how e.g., cosmo- and anthropogenesis in religious books can be interpreted both as a coming of age of the well-developed human and ditto mind(s), indeed including the formation of societies and their rationale(s).

By which I mean that somehow, we indeed still have many traces of hunter-gatherer ethics deep down in our systems, now with a varnish of ‘development’ (quod non) into farmer/city-centered civilians, currently being thrusted in (evolutionary) asymptotically zero time past neoliberal capitalist/consumerist ego-only’ism into the frenzy of ‘tomorrow’ i.e., the post-singularity ASI age.
Shouldn’t we try to figure out some model of societal organisation that takes into account our heritage, and now that “we” have become sophisticated enough thinkers to finally see (macro-mass introspection-like) how we meddled along in the past from attempt to attempt, we now are also sophisticated enough to design our own macro-history future ..?

OK, that’s deep. In a way. In another:
[Whatever. This is what society wants … bread and circuses (squares?); NY]

Modern democracies – are they party-less ..?

It seems that we’re in Transition times… When there hardly is a country’s election anywhere (where they’re relatively Free), where the parties of old still hold. Sway, that is, as in determining unchallenged the outcome of the elections and party lines to follow. Even when the result is a failed-from-the-start dangerous president, or just a continuation of bland (colourless) neutrality in ‘policy’ pursued.
Despite the previous fears of breakthroughs of ultra-right parties and ‘strongmen’ (not so much; it’s rather pathetic (mix of embarressingly silly and punishing for loudness)) – and notice that those parties have gained in strength and depth of followership, maybe not ‘won’ but there to dominate from the shady (!) backgrounds in many situations – everywhere what we see more, is that ‘traditional’ parties have crumbled, qua lead over the others, qua dominance in cabinet formations, et al., and/or are prone to in-fighting and scism tendencies (because of that, or were on the path to anyway; cause and effect running in circles).

What is left, is countries with impotent mixes of parties, party fractions and -factions, when these countries are affluent to an over-the-hill kind of rapid collapse in some near future. Or countries that weren’t affluent / aren’t-affluent-because-of, being lead by strong men with suppressed expression of political fracticide. The vast majority of presidents around the world are the perfect example of why republics collapse, and are at best equal but often worse off than kingdoms with their long-term views (when the king/majesty represents the nation, accidentally also in one person).

We digress.
When party politics (internal/external) are thus rendered impotent by their own doings, and parliamentary representative democracy is through that dragged down (in)to the muddy levels of shamefulness, what chance would blockchain-based societies, notion-of-nation-unhinged geographic regions, etc., have to be reconsidered as alternatives, e.g., the Heineken Map ..?

Deviate for Resilience

Well there’s an imperative. Deviate for resilience. Which goes waaay beyond mere ITCM or its linkage into BCM. What I mean here, though, is a reflection from the B side into the IT side.
Once encountered when it was still supposedly somewhat ‘cool’ (as it was called in the grandpa’s days) or so to work on … can you believe it, $AAPL infra. Where the Infosec staff had carved a corner for themselves: That they’d actually need to deviate from corp policies (the devolved kind) of using M$ stuff for alibi reasons of needing in ITsec par excellence, a fall-back that would actually work when all of the M$ infra would’ve collapsed due to some class breaking glitch exploit. Yeah. That meant that you did need a substantial budget to your own discretion without much transparency towards effectiveness of spend and no gadget and toys buying, right?
Nowadays, the coolness if ever it truly was (stupid sheeple), has worn off totally and is a tell for no comprendre qua cost/benefits analysis, sufficient tech-savviness to cut it in today’s world, and forward compatibility even to the cable mess (costing you tons). Predicting which unicorns will succeed, or fail, is easy; the former are on M$, the latter on … you guessed correctly. Nevertheless, the resilience argument still holds.

Which goes beyond the mere platform choice. It goes for global/local deviations as well. IF yes that’s a big if, if done right, not for NIH purposes (both ways ..!) but for resilience purposes. It’s not efficient to the max, but if you strive for that, you’ve done so much wrong already it might be irrecoverable. E.g., mission, organisational culture, risk management (incl analysis), control choices and implementations (case in point: multiple malware scanners), etc.

But remember: When done right, you very probably do need to deviate all over the place for resilience…

Just remember that to defend yourself, OK? And:

[If telecom fails due to clock synchro errors, it’s still a sun dial (really it is); Barça]

Tech-brittle society

Anyone already studied the brittleness of society re technology ..? Of course, we all do know there’s a lot of ‘critical infrastructure’ out there. But do we realise enough, that it’s not only those somewhat-well-defined (not) industries that might suffer from any form of e-attack (incl EMP; what was it with those old low-band radars that the Russian had stacked behind the Ural and were found to be very effective in picking up F-117s because the latter had never been back-tested so far ..? Same, here ..?), and society as a whole might be blown into disfunctionality when some, not critical-industry-confined but ‘class break’-like attack were to be attempted ..?
I’d think not. The more complex society becomes and (hence !) the more interdependencies there are that already work with ever slimming margins, the more brittle our society becomes, the more it is like a giant house of cards, ever more critically stable before one wind collapses the whole shazam. And the less people there will be, that remember from long times ago how one would run a society in a much less complex way… If anyone still uses ‘shazam’.

Plus:

[Even those were, are complex machines to operate. And what if your coal is delivered just-in-time by some networked drone delivery in the ‘chain cloud or so and none of that still exists ..? Utrecht]