The therapist was a tiny woman with dark, closely cropped hair, magnetic eyes and a ready, inviting smile. Her name was Insoo Kim Berg. She was born in Korea, came to the U.S. in 1957 to study and stayed.
The person closest to her was her husband, a jazz-musician-turned-psychotherapist named Steve de Shazer. She persuaded the tall, gangly, Sherlock-Holmes-loving de Shazer to follow her to Wisconsin from California and join her in her life passion: equipping psychotherapists to help people heal quickly, without years of expensive, slower-than-molasses Freudian-styled talk therapy.
The mainstay ideas in the therapeutic techniques developed by Berg (she was the primary creator) and de Shazer (he observed Berg, then wrote the books and training materials) address numerous critical themes about thinking that are central to dolphin thinking. (Berg and de Shazer both died unexpectedly a few years apart in the 2000s.) Among these idées puissantes:
• If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
• If it works, go with the flow.
• If it isn’t working, do something different.
• The solution to an issue—any issue—is almost never that closely related to the problem.
• This explains why the way people think and talk about problems is almost guaranteed to be different than the way they think and talk about solutions.
• The first place to look for solutions is to exceptions: ask yourself what has been working that you really hadn’t noticed all that much.
• The next best place to look for solutions is to what makes sense, now that you’ve thought a little more about it.
• What usually matters most are small, right, smart, good (that is, moral) next steps that may put you on the path to big changes.
• People need to be reminded (and none of us ever wants to forget) that the future is both created and negotiable.
• Not all change is a problem, and problems do not happen all the time. But change is inevitable.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Berg warned about that. Because thinking this way looks and sounds simple, people expect it to be easy. But she said it wasn’t. She said thinking this way is hard. The reason is that it isn’t enough simply to read somebody’s book, even if that book is called Strategy of the Dolphin, The Mother of All Minds or LEAP!, or take grad-school classes and grow familiar with using various techniques for guiding and dealing with change. Such accomplishments, while commendable, are often inadequate to the task at hand because they leave out, as Berg phrased it, “the art part.” She added, “The art part is about what to do when.”
Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer (photo courtesy of Psiholozi.com)
So it is “the art part” that is hardest of all. The reason for this has to do with the way the universe is set up. The art part is what gets you through and beyond the complexity, and the way the universe works, the simplicity that harbors the solution nearly always lies on the other side of complexity. It’s like crocheting. You are most likely to get there, if you get there at all, if you have the kind of mind that can get you there one small, right, smart stitch—one right thing, one right move—at a time.
All our books and models and tools at Brain Technologies are about hastening and equipping that kind of a mind.
In the Twenty-First Century, anytime any of us leave home without this mind, we are asking for trouble. If we have it along, then the spirit is usually with us—the spirit of Insoo Kim Berg and all the others who, in the past half-century or so, have helped our species discover a tenacious new way to think about its challenges and an audacious new mindset with which to do the thinking.
It probably isn’t a subject that graduate business students arriving at the Hua Mak Campus of Bangkok’s Assumption University normally expect to tackle. But when their experiences using Brain Technologies’ change tools and models are complete, few other aspects of their studies are likely to have a more lasting influence on their lives and careers.
Thus far, more than a thousand students at Assumption have been introduced to BTC’s dolphin-thinking self-assessment instruments and concepts. This is because Assumption’s B-school has been using BTC’s “greater positive sum” models and four primary assessment tools based on them since 1997.
Most of these individuals have been organizational development majors in Assumption’s masters of business program or businesspeople involved in the university’s mini-organization development program. Many of the degree-seeking students at Assumption come from outside Thailand—from China, India, Russia, Uganda, Pakistan and the numerous other countries that provide students for Thailand’s first international university.
Dr. Perla Tayko
The BTC “dolphin philosophy” materials are meant to help students and businesspersons examine life assumptions and reinvent aspects of their valuing and decision-making skills that they wish to transform. This approach is guided by longtime BTC associate Dr. Perla Rizilina M. Tayko (photo above), supported by Dean Dr. Kitti Photikitti and organized by Associate Dean Dr. Kitikorn Dowpiset.
“Our program seeks to ensure that every participant has a chance to unlearn, re-learn and learn anew—systemically and systematically—the strengths and possibilities of the self at the center of the individual,” Dr. Dowpiset (photo below) told me recently in an e-mail.
“We’ve found Brain Technologies’ concepts and tools to be timelessly relevant for all learners regardless of nationality, age or professional interest. The dolphin strategy and BTC’s other approaches help an individual overcome personal ego issues and fear as they seek to reassess and transform their own self-valuing systems and thinking skills.”
I have hard evidence that the dean isn’t just blowing eloquent smoke rings with these laudatory words.
In September of 2004, one of Assumption’s B-school grad students showed up at a seminar we were staging in Texas. There was no question of our participant’s Thai roots—his name, Sirichai Preudhikulpradab, confirmed that. His demeanor was also very Thai: polite, relaxed, deferential. Before arriving, he had told us that he was a supply planning manager and organizational development diagnostician for American multinational sneaker manufacturer NIKE Inc.’s Liaison Office in Bangkok. He had also spent a couple of years working in NIKE’s Oregon world headquarters in vendor assessment and product development and sourcing.
That’s a very well-known company to work for. And those are very solid jobs. But little that I observed in the three days Sirichai spent with us offered me serviceable clues to what was coming.
Within a year, Sirichai’s emails began to reveal that his views of his workplace responsibilities at Nike were changing. “I am seeing my job, team members, bosses, peers and company differently after your seminar,” he wrote. “I have begun to focus on what I really like and love to do in the long run.”
Dr. Sirichai Preudhikulpradab
Looking outside his work, he was planning to open a school to teach Thai classical music. (As a undergraduate, he’d majored in eastern and western music for education at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University.) Also, he began to spend a few days each year in retreat at a Buddhist monastery. And in addition to his duties at Nike, he was now a part-time lecturer-instructor at Assumption University, teaching self- and organizational-development skills using the BTC models and tools.
But the biggest thrill for me was the news that arrived in 2009. He was now “Dr. Preudhikulpradab.” He had received his Ph.D. degree from the Southeast Asia Interdisciplinary Development Institute School of Organization in The Philippines.
Even more surprising was the subject of his Ph.D. research. So surprising, in fact, that I had to do some research of my own before taking him seriously. Organizational spirituality? Was he joking?
My Internet inquiries quickly made it clear that this field of study is viewed seriously in OD (organizational development) circles. The idea isn’t about turning a company into a church or religious organization. Rather, it’s about helping organizations develop a better workplace and workforce by encouraging their people to transform themselves first at a personal level and then at an organizational one.
For his Ph.D. studies, Sirichai had researched how organizational spirituality was perceived and practiced by the management and staff at each level of a Thai software and professional services company.
He then developed a model for organizations to use to develop organizational spirituality. He called it the “CARE” Model. To get a company to where he wants it to be, Sirichai decided it requires Commitment, Awareness, Readiness and Engagement. To make it more personal, he described the steps a person needs to take to get from his or her first blush with organizational spirituality principles to serious engagement as these: I-Am, I-Care, I-Can, I-Agree and I-Do.
Dr. Preudhikulpradab continues to use his expanding knowledge of organizational behavior at workaday practical levels while working at NIKE, where he is now director, product integrity, at NIKE Thailand Ltd, overseeing the South East Asia Pacific region. But he’s also now an associate program director for the Master of Management and Organization Development program at the Assumption B-school.
Both Dr. Dowsipet and Dr. Preudhikulpradab are moving ahead with expansionary plans for the dolphin strategy and the BTC thinking-skills-development tools. “We apply the BTC tools to some courses but not all,” said Dean Dowsipet. “I want to apply the BTC materials more in MBA studies. Mostly, we apply them in our Master of Management and Ph.D in Organization Development programs. And in the MiniOD and MiniMBA programs that we do for our alumni/business partners in Thai.”
Among their most ambitious plans is translating the BTC models, tools and perhaps even key books like Strategy of the Dolphin, The Mother of All Minds and LEAP! How to Think Like a Dolphin & Do the Next Right, Smart Thing into Thai. This way, the benefits can be made available to non-graduate-school users, such as Thailand’s business managers, executives and business owners.
And Dr. Preudhikulpradab’s interest in Buddhism?
Sirichai tells me he meditates daily as a way to keep his complex lifestyle sorted out. He explains:
“I can better focus on my work and personal life. I don’t overly commit. I dare to say the truth when it comes to what I want to do. I am more mindful and won’t say words that could harm someone’s feelings. In Buddhism, bad words lead us to the creation of ‘karma’ with those we hurt.
“This [meditating] has become my personal habit as if it were my gym workout. My mind can quickly shut down after 20:00 so I don’t allow my busy schedule to consume and take over my evening time. I still take care of my physics/body/health wisely. I eat only two meals (breakfast and lunch) a day so I can have time for my daily meditation.”
Call it “organizational spirituality” or “neuromanagement practices” or “the dolphin strategy”—whatever you wish. I just think all our efforts—in Gainesville, Bangkok, the Philippines—have a primary goal of getting business students and participants to pay more attention to how the brain works and how to get the best outcomes from this knowledge.
In a business world flooded with “best practices”-oriented “change management” models and techniques (OpEx, Agile, WCM, Lean, Six Sigma, BSC, CPD, etc., etc.), there has been very little attention paid traditionally to the consequences that neuroscientific and “biopsychosocial” processes have on our business results. In fact, it almost seems as if most of our so-called leadership and organizing practices have been designed specifically to thwart how the brain best innovates and creates and figures things out.
As carefully designed and executed as Assumption University’s experiment with neuromanagement-based techniques and tools has been, we expect its influence to spread far beyond Thailand’s borders. Because AU has clearly become a unique model for enriching the business school educational experience and in producing customized training to upgrade the thinking skills of participants in the general business community.
So we at Brain Technologies count ourselves exceedingly fortunate to be in the company of experimentally minded spirits and intellects like those of the Doctors Photikitti, Dowsipet, Preudhikulpradab and Tayko at Assumption University. It gives us great satisfaction to have been able to contribute to their cutting-edge educational practices and innovative wave-making in how business people learn about themselves and how they can “grow” their personal and organizational capabilities.
Occasionally, characters appear amongst us. We nearly always stop and drink in the scenes and story lines they create because of their very oddnesses. And we may even come to treasure these individuals because they help us see the world in useful and/or intriguing ways outside the boundaries of normality. Or we may not. We may simply adopt the habit of moving to the other side of the street when we see them coming because we know in advance this isn’t going to lead anywhere we have much interest in going.
We’ve learned at Brain Technologies that we can expect this kind of persona to appear on our radar scope several times a year. One just did. I’m sharing that information because I sense that there is probably something to be learned here. I’m just not sure yet what it might be. So let me introduce you to Jim Duffy of Lavonia, Michigan, and maybe you can help me figure it out.
Some of what I can tell you is in full view on his profile on LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals. Reading what you find there brings more than a few “ouch” moments. Like where he sums up his high school activities and societies as “hanging out.” He does the same thing for his three years at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle Campus, where he says he was finally asked to leave.
My name shows up—at least I assume it is a reference to me although it uses only my first name—in a strange note under “Experience.” The note reads in full:
Successful ventures are generated from engagement.
I have been given a dead line of March 31, 2014 for the completion of my dissertation. Send me an email if you can be a supporter. I need engagement and a group of supporters would be epic. I’ll keep you posted as the momentum grows.
Coach engagement. Always and forever..
So much more to follow.
You are welcome to draw the same conclusions I’ve drawn. Jim has read my book, LEAP! How to Think Like a Dolphin & Do the Next Right, Smart Thing Come Hell or High Water. He liked it.
Jim Duffy . . . character
In fact, it motivated him to check with Capella University to see if he still had time to finish his doctoral dissertation before the deadline passed. He apparently has until March 31, 2014 to do so. He’s decided to go for it, but like Adam Richman in Man V. Food
he wants a cheering squad to urge him on. Apparently, anyone can sign on.
I had happened to look up Jim’s profile on LinkedIn because I received a terse e-mail from him out of the blue the other day. He told me that he’d decided to make the leap toward finishing his Ph.D. The e-mail read in part:
I leaped. It happened early this morning. I find myself calm and excited and clear. I have no great vision or dream but I was going to make one up but decided not too.
I had planed to leap on 12/31 while on vacation in Florida but that was planning and planning is not always the path.
I received an email stating that my time was up as of 12/31. Than another stating that the email was a mistake and we are sorry. But, I thought my time was near; so. I asked for my end date. My end date is 03/31/2014. At first I was shocked but that was a lie because I generality push things to the end. But I was scarred.
All of my time and money would be lost. I failed again just like every time in the past. I’ve been very good at failure.
But. no – I leaped.
In that same e-mail, he also told me about a frustrating ordeal that involved purchasing a new refrigerator. Apparently, this also had something to do with his decision to make the leap and finish his dissertation before the deadline. But since I can’t figure out what the connection was, I won’t take up your time by relating that anecdote.
I’m introducing you to Jim to begin with because, as characters go, I’m beginning to suspect that Jim Duffy is one of the keepers. At the very least, I invite you to join his leap-cheering squad. If not that, then maybe we both could say “Jim Duffy, Ph.D.” three times before we go to sleep every night between now and March 31.
If that also makes us both of us characters, too, then so be it.
P.S. That’s the photo above of himself that Jim has posted on LinkedIn. As you probably already know, characters often don’t wear socks when they pose for formal portraits.
In my dolphinthinker-themed writings, I’ve sought to place a premium on taking care of the needs of our bodies, minds and spirits. Of taking care of our close-in communities and being good stewards of our shared world overall.
It’s a pretty tall order. That’s why the principles of dolphinthinking are intended to help equip those who practice them to eat right, play right, work right and sleep right. To spend time with their families and friends. To take care of the poor and care for the sick. To also relax and take time for themselves.
It is an assumed for dolphinthinkers that they care more for things that are green and alive than things that are gray and dead. They like fresh air and clean water and healthy soil. They prefer trees to deserts and gentle rain to cracked soil and mudslides, and they prefer their rain without acid, thank you very much.
HOW THE BOOK WOULD LOOK AS A MIXTAPE WITH YOU, THE READER, PROVIDING ALL THE MUSIC!
They like grass more than cement and laughing children more than the sound of traffic. And they like economic policies, economic systems, economic participants and economic outcomes that promote life and an economic vitality that doesn’t tear down individuals and families and communities and societies or mete out death and destruction or promote policies, decision-making and decision-makers who do.
WE ARE BIOLOGICAL “CREATURES OF THE LEAP!”
As we promote an allegiance to life, we must never forget (1) whatever else we might be on our way to becoming, that we have evolved as biological beings. And (2), as philosopher Manuel DeLanda has reminded us, that “biological evolution has no foresight, and it must grope in the dark, climbing from one attractor to another, from one engineering stable strategy to another.” And (3) we dolphinthinkers are “gropees” of the first order. As DeLanda also observes, we humans may be on the threshold of developing the tools that will permit us to “map the attractors and bifurcations” that for three billion or so years have tugged us first one way and then another. When that happens, DeLanda is hopeful of charting “a better destiny for humanity.” But until it happens, it may very well come down to the activities of the pod and its adeptness at discovering and using what’s possible, what makes sense, what works—what will lead to “the next right, smart good thing or move.”
Thus, the huge importance of staying pragmatic!
It is an arduous assignment, this ever-vigilant pragmatism.
Unlike any generation before us, we are being called on to juggle an unprecedented combination of organizing waves and users of them—from the iGeneration to the Millennials to the Baby Boomers to the Greatest Generation with several other varieties in between. There are the old waves, which still inundate much of the planet, ponderous and aimless and insufficient. The current waves, of which there are many, and which are often wasteful and myopic and terribly self-absorbed. And the incoming waves, which are strange and unpredictable, bringing who knows what next. And we must do it all simultaneously. More good reasons to stay pragmatic!
THE “PHILICS” AND THE “PHOBIAS”
In much of the world, our world citizenry continues to be dangerously necrophilic—death-loving. This is because bad policy-making, bad governance and the consequences of the pure greed that leads to bad choices are continuing to cause far too many to turn away from biophilic, or life-loving, choices.
As they retreat from the uncertainties and complexities of living, too many of our planetary neighbors are seeking scapegoats, dead-end solutions and false assurances of security or else are closing down or giving up—in short, becoming both biophobic (life-fearing) and necrophobic (death-fearing). If new correctives and remedies aren’t initiated, and very soon, it is almost assuredly a lethal combination if not for all of us, for too many of us.
It’s a sobering thought for all free peoples and those wishing to be free. Which is another reason I have absolutely no qualms about championing a serious-as-a-heart-attack substitution of the assessments and values of the dolphinthinker for those of other varieties of thinkers. For the sake of current and future generations and the sake of the entire planet, the dolphinthinker’s “benchmarks for improving the world” need to be recognized and heeded on a global scale as never before.
That’s why it sometimes seems like I’ve had only one book to write and I keep writing it! Whether that is true or not, it certainly goes to the heart of why my commentaries and suggestions are never far removed from what enables any of us to say genuinely and wholeheartedly: “To the best of my abilities, I’ve chosen to devote my energies, my passion, my resources, my skills and my time—the whole of my dolphinthinker tool chest and resource closet—to encouraging a good, just, freeing, decent, accountable and resilient world.”
Dateline: Charlotte, North Carolina
Our longtime associate, Carlos Salum, is adding to his reputation in Europe as a high-profile coach of top-echelon executives. He’s just returned from his latest triumph in Zurich, in fact.
The invitation-only event he pulled together was attended by 18 CEOs of multinational organizations, NGO leaders, professors and managing directors/partners of top-tier leadership consulting companies. This included such organizations as UBS, Swiss Re, Zurich University of Applied Science, Gitronica iGuzzini, Danube Foods Group, Right Livelihood Award Foundation, Innatura, Stariade, UPS Zdrowie, Swiss Management Association, ATKearney, Manres, Gentinetta-Scholten, Vendbridge and the Julius Baer Foundation. Also attending was Walter Kohl, son of the former Chancellor of Germany, who is an expert in dialogue and reconciliation.
Carlos calls his undertaking for top-level executives and consultants in Switzerland “The Zurich International Sircle.” That’s a clever spinoff from the acronym for Carlos’ company, Salum International Resources, or SIR (it also stands for “Stories + Ideas + Relationships”). The theme Carlos chose for his most recent European event was “Transformational Leadership and Its Influence on Corporate Citizenship.” In retrospect, he says such a theme was spot-on because his influential guests “are truly in the soup of transformational leadership and corporate citizenship.”
He promoted the event as intended to create personal disclosure, flowing dialogue and voluntary commitment. When the breakthrough moments he was hoping for were slow in arriving, he fell back on his instincts and turned to key elements of the dolphin strategy.
“I went into the Change Wave and the Old Brain versus New Brain struggle (Shark, Carp, Dolphin). To my surprise and satisfaction—and I trust yours—that completely changed the tone of the meeting,” Carlos wrote us after his return to the U.S.
Carlos Salum and Gabriela Sabatini
“When I finished, the CEO who had invited my views said, ‘That was the most interesting part of this event!’ The Dolphin metaphor is immediate, congruent and relevant, because they all know well the dynamic between the enemy: the Shark and the whipped dog: the Carp.”
Carlos says the Zurich International Sircle will be an annual event. He’s also planning to expand it to the Balkans and hopefully other cities in the U.S., Europe, Latin American and, circumstances permitting, Asia and the Middle East.
Our heartiest congratulations to Carlos on his Swiss success. That wasn’t an easy crowd to educate and entertain, but if anybody could do it, it would be the gentle-spoken, agile-minded expatriate from Argentina who helped turned Gabriela Sabatini’s career around in the early 1990s (see their photo above). That was our dear friend, Carlos, at another time and in another career: professional tennis coach to top-level competitors. He’s still coaching top-level competitors. And in Zurich, it was “game, set, match” to Carlos . . . once again.
Dateline: Kuala Lumpur
Our newest Brain Technologies Associate—Lim Si Pin of Selangor, Malaysia—joins us just as a five-year engagement as a councilor for the City Hall of Kuala Lumpur is ending. Si Pin describes the job he is leaving as a non-political public administration post where he was able to combine his interest in public policy and social transformation with “improving the well-being of the Malaysian capital.”
That’s not to say he doesn’t know his way around Malaysian politics. He ran for a seat in the Malaysian parliament in 2008 though he was unsuccessful. He then headed the youth wing of the Gerakan party for three years. “Even though I lost in my bid to become a Member of Parliament, the bright side that came out of my campaign trail was that I was being thrown into the deep blue sea and had a crash course in public-speaking . . . an experience which I still cherish today,” he wrote to me.
His interest in the dolphin strategy and the Brain Technologies thinking skills tools is longstanding. He explains, “In 1988, by happenstance, I bought a copy of Strategy of the Dolphin while in the U.K. for university training. I have read that entire book more than five times and continuously refer to it for inspiration.”
In the mid-1990s, he attended a two-day seminar in the dolphin strategy in Kuala Lumpur offered by one of BTC’s earliest associates, David Rogers. David had moved to Malaysia to marry the hospital nurse who had cared for him in Taiwan during a serious illness.
“David was a ‘tall poppy,’ as the Australians would have called him,” Si Pin recalls. “He had a brilliant mind and his worldview was unique. I guess it’s all because he lived the dolphin strategy principles in life and in work. It’s sad that he suffered ill-health towards the later part of his life.”
(Si Pin isn’t sure what happened to David, and neither am I. The last e-mails I had from him were in mid-2004. He was living in Dayton, Ohio, and informed me that a few months earlier he had become the 1052nd person to receive a heart transplant at Ohio’s renowned Cleveland Clinic. Neither the Internet nor the clinic has proved helpful in tracing what happened to David. My assumption is that, sadly, the transplant was a failure and the severe heart attack he had in Malaysia in 1998 finally claimed him.)
Si Pin is using an existing corporation, Korinian Sdn Bhd., as the base for his new training and consulting consultancy. He writes:
“I intend to use the BTC materials to steer clients towards long-term sustainable profitability/survival. In view of the massive competition that we are facing in South East Asian countries, especially with the advent of cheap labour and economies of scale from emerging markets like China, Vietnam and Indonesia, we are poised to face a huge uphill battle against these giants who have a combined population of 2.5 billion, that is, if we don’t change the way we work and perceive the world.
“I strongly believe the SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in my country still stand a chance if we continue to innovate and add value based on our knowledge incubation and language advantage (most Chinese, Vietnamese and Indonesians don’t speak English). We still have a bright future ahead if we take hold of the opportunity NOW . . . to think beyond the limitations . . . and think powerfully.”
Our new colleague is exceptionally well-equipped to be an effective leadership consultant to business. He received a double honors degree in law and economics from the University of Wales (Aberystwyth) in 1992 and a masters degree in banking and finance from the University of Wales (Cardiff) in 1993. He sat for the Malaysian bar exams in 1994.
For the next eleven years, he worked in investment banking. His experiences ranged from designing and launching IPOs to heading portfolio management and micro crediting lending for a large Malaysian insurance company to serving as a corporate finance manager. In 2005, he began three-year stints on the boards of an ecological biomass recycling company and a software technology company.
He is a certified practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), has been certified by the American National Guild of Hypnotists as a hypnotherapist and has certificates from an impressive number of seminars based on the theories and techniques of such cutting-edge business “thought luminaries” as Buckminster Fuller, W. Edwards Deming and Robert Axelrod.
As his photo (above) seems to suggest, he’s not your typical Malaysian businessperson, much less one trained as a lawyer and banker.
It’s a great joy to welcome Si Pin to our growing stable of associates in the Southeast Asian countries. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not since the early 1990s and the original release of Strategy of the Dolphin in French have dolphin waters in Montreal been stirring with roll-out activity as much as they have been the past few weeks.
The triggering event was the release in August of the French language version of LEAP! How to Think Like a Dolphin & Do the Next Right, Smart Thing Come Hell or High Waters. That was quickly followed in September by the publication of the third French language edition of Strategy of the Dolphin. Both books were published by Éditions de l’Homme.
Our longstanding Francophone licensees, Michèle Carrier and Charles Boulos, have adroitly seized on the book launchings to promote both L’élan du dauphin and La stratégie du dauphin and several upcoming seminars staged by their company, Groupe Metafor International.
First, Michèle was interviewed by Canal Argent TVA’s François Gagnon on his Questions d’argent (“Money Matters”) cable television show. Then in late September, L’élan du dauphin was featured by columnist Martine Letarte in La Presse, a newspaper distributed through French Canada. The (translated) headline was “Are You a Dolphin?”
Madam Carrier was her usual skilled interpreter of the dolphin philosophy. At one point, a translation of the piece finds her saying:
“The dolphin is not superman. We live in an uncertain and unpredictable World. We must constantly remember to take the World as it is while preparing for the next leap. . . . A dolphin has a pragmatic and functional mind. He quickly adopts new values and new ways of seeing the world to better cope with the complexity of reality and the speed with which events unfold.”
What’s not to like about crisp, evocative descriptions like that?!
Michèle and Charles have two “La Stratégie du Dauphin !” seminars scheduled in November, one in Montreal (6-8) and one in Paris (27-29). They are also planning two new workshop formats. The first is a one-day seminar concept focusing on the four Brain Technologies assessment instruments (The BrainMap, etc.) one at a time and a two-day “dolphinthinkers” design for persons who have taken at least two of the instrument-theme workshops. Details will be forthcoming shortly.
Here’s to our committed Francophone pod of dolphin strategists and its new stirrings!
Dateline: Gainesville, Florida
Strategy of the Dolphin, the new-paradigm-oriented work that Paul Kordis and I wrote a quarter-century ago, is now available as an eBook. Putting the work on line marked the finale to our summer-long (plus a few weeks) project at BTC to publish as eBooks all three of our works exploring the late Clare W. Graves’ extraordinary “biopsychosocial” model of human sense-making systems. (LEAP! can be ordered as an eBook here, and The Mother of All Minds here.)
Later this week, we will be posting the email promo you see below to our clients and friends. It pictures 12 of the 13 book covers (the Turkish cover is not pictured) for the various editions of Strategy of the Dolphin that have appeared through the years.
As I noted in the blog post that preceded this one, until this undertaking, I’d not read the entire book since it was published—or actually done much reading in it at all. Mostly, I’ve been creating other things. But sorting out the mangled OCR (optional character recognition) files and formatting the 286 pages of text and assorted material for the eBook converter required reading the work anew, word for word. Closely.
—While the contents of the world around us have often changed drastically since 1988 and 1989, when we were creating the book, the context is remarkably the same. The pace is change, change, change—and most of our suggestions for dealing with it continue as actionable as ever. In reading it again, I saw anew why Strategy of the Dolphin literally helped to invent the life-coaching profession. And why stealing our metaphors and models became something of a cottage industry worldwide. (Sometimes, we were credited; frequently we were not.) The book is about getting real in every day existence and about common realities in the human condition. And that need and those realities are still pretty much the same everywhere.
—In one way or another, readers by the dozens have told us for years that “this book changed my life.” As I gathered the endorsements placed at the front of the eBook version, I realized just how profound are the feelings of readers from all points of the globe about the book on this point.
—There is something uncanny about effect that the aquatic metaphors, the model of the wave, the dilemma-resolution instructions and other features of the book can have on a reader’s deeper sensibilities. One young (teenaged, I would guess) reviewer for one of the online book review services said it this way: “It’s like it [the book content] went right into my subconscious.” However that works, it seems to leave the reader with a sense of new personal empowerment sometimes not available from many how-to-books on personal growth and preparing for change.
In the past few weeks, we’ve put two of our three most high-profile print-issued books dealing with the brain and thinking skills online as eBooks and are getting close to uploading the third.
If you didn’t see our e-mail announcements of this activity, we’ve made it easy to arrange for purchase on any of the major eBook services.
For the appropriate links for LEAP!, our latest book project, go here:
For the links for The Mother of All Minds, our early 2000s book on the late Dr. Clare Graves’ “biopsychosocial” theory of how the human mind matures, go here.
Our bestselling but out-of-print work, Strategy of the Dolphin: Scoring a Win in a Chaotic World, is coming shortly. If you’d like direct links for ordering the online version, go here and enter your e-mail address in the box in the top right corner.
I could have done the eBook thing for SOD sooner. But then, as my dentist once pointed out, I could have scheduled my one and only root canal procedure sooner, too.
I can hear the tut-tuts beginning already: “But why didn’t you hire somebody to do this.”
Well, I tried. But the one eBook conversion person I’ve come to trust emphatically demurred, at least at first.
The reason was that the diskettes containing the text for Strategy of the Dolphin are nowhere to be found. Even after two decades, I think they may be around somewhere. But even if I open the lid to the right storage box tomorrow, I’m going to find floppies requiring a drive and a word processing system I no longer own. My ebook techie said I’d need to have the book copied by a scanning service using optical character recognition, or OCR, software. But when he looked at the variety of typefaces and sizes in the print version of SOD, he essentially said, “Good luck with that.”
And now I know why.
I located a book scanning service in upstate New York. Their price seemed reasonable, and the online critiques of their services looked decent. Within three days of mailing them the book, their Word file arrived in my e-mail box. And was totally useless. Page after page of exploded type that looked like it had run over an IED, not been passed over by an OCR. So the scanning service did a do-over. This time, the result actually looked like it contained a readable 99.6 percent of the book once I managed to open the text boxes that contained it all. Now all I had to do was resize and reformat every last character in a 284-page print work.
It took about two weeks.
I mention the ordeal here only because of a most interesting side effect: doing all this forced me to pay careful attention to what Paul Kordis and I actually wrote in the fall and early winter of 1988 for the first time in about twenty years. And also to what has been written over the years about what we wrote in various endorsements culled from the hundreds of hits that the title of the book turns up on Google and Bing.
I’ll have more to say about my reaction to all this once the eBook version is available. It explains, or at least suggests a plausible argument for, why one admirer of the work recently called it a “cult classic” that is more than withstanding the test of time. (And thus why anyone who has read it might be justified in doing so again, now that the book is going to again be in print, even if as an eBook.) Many of those comments are going to be listed in the front of the upcoming eBook version.
Meanwhile, if you missed our e-mail promo for The Mother of All Minds, that’s what it looked like above. As you can see, the promo features photos not only of the book’s author (the “emissary” mentioned in the headline) but also of two masters. There’s a photograph of the great American poet Walt Whitman. A stanza in one of his poems (also quoted in the promo) sounds tantalizingly like it was predicting the dolphin belief system. And there’s a photo of the late Clare Graves, who a hundred years after Whitman confirmed that this psychological belief system is for real.
So all this has produced a lot of buzz lately for the dolphin strategy. We appreciate “all the cards and letters” coming in from old fans and friends and new ones. There’s also been gratifying media interest in the two new French language versions of LEAP! and Strategy of the Dolphin (see BTC’s longtime Montreal licensee Michèle Carrier on Montreal cable TV here).
Happily, our efforts to use more and more of the tools of the digital publishing world to get the dolphin philosophy and strategy on the radar of a new generation of readers and users are sailing right along.
A big leap is taking place this month for our latest book-length work, LEAP! How to Think Like a Dolphin & Do the Next Right, Smart Thing Come Hell or High Water.
A little more than a year after it was published in English, the book is making its first appearance in another language—French. Officially, the “pub date” was August 14, when Les Éditions de l’Homme, our Montreal publisher, released its version of the work to bookstores in Québec and France and began offering it online. As you can tell from the cover at left, the title chosen for the Francophone edition was L’élan du dauphin: Profitez du changement et relevez de nouveaux défis. I’m told this translates as The dolphin impulse: Enjoy change and take on new challenges.
But there’s more.
Next month, L’élan du dauphin will be joined in French-language bookstores and online by La stratégie du dauphin: Appliquez la stratégie du dauphin et récoltez le succes, jour après jour. Again, our personal experts on the French language tell us that this translates as Strategy of the dolphin: Apply the dolphin strategy and reap the benefits, day after day. This is the third time in the past two decades that Les Éditions de l’Homme has issued a French-language version of my and Paul Kordis’ work, Strategy of the Dolphin: Scoring a Win in a Chaotic World.
As I shared with LEAP!psych blogonados a few items back, one of more delicious realities of all this can be ascribed to the book-marketing expertise and élan of the editors and sales staff at Les Éditions de l’Homme. They are releasing these two works as a kind of matched set. Not only are editions of both books appearing within a few days of each other, they also sport look-a-lot-alike covers. (That’s the cover to the new edition of La stratégie du dauphin at right.)
But I can’t overstate the contributions of another team to the remarkable success enjoyed by “the dolphin strategy,” in book sales and all else, in the Francophone world over the past two decades. That would be the remarkable husband-and-wife team that owns and operates the executive consulting and corporate training company known as Groupe Metafor International (GMI) of Montreal.
Michèle Carrier and Charles Boulos (at left below) have been the only French language licensees we’ve ever had at Brain Technologies. It is a wonderful, productive relationship that stretches over two decades.
For many reasons, I’m over-the-top enthused that Charles and Michèle are taking the lead in promoting the two new French-language editions explaining the dolphin strategy now being made available on both sides of the Atlantic and online in both print and eBook versions.
In the early 1990s, thanks in no small part to our GMI colleagues, La stratégie du dauphin quickly appeared on French language book bestseller lists. In today’s sales-challenged book world, it will take every ounce of their Québécois energy, savoir-faire and savoir-être to help produce a repeat performance for that work and a similar outcome for L’élan du dauphin. The staff at Les Éditions de l’Homme knows how fortunate we all are to have Michèle and Charles available to help the dolphin metaphor and its new book editions make the leap. And so do we at Brain Technologies.
Not only do our esteemed colleagues at Groupe Metafor International understand the lingo of the dolphin strategy, they live it. It’s terrific to again have them on the scene and at the con.
NOTE: The e-mail “shout out” we used to announce to our Brain Technologies clients and friends the developments discussed above is shown below. The extraordinary depiction of the sun-glasses-wearing dolphins is the work of illustrator Royce B. McLure of New Zealand. It is used by permission and is copyrighted, all rights reserved, by Mr. McLure.
When you are using Tit for Tat as a strategy for dealing with people, you always cooperate on the first move. After that, you respond in kind. If your counterpart in an interaction cooperates in the next move or round, then you cooperate too. And hopefully, ever after.
But if the other party defects, you immediately deliver a calculated punishment of some kind as a signal that there is no free punch in interactions where you are involved. Then if the other party resumes cooperation, you forgive and forget and do what you can to get all parties to continue cooperating. Defection leads to defection. Cooperation leads to cooperation.
Excitement over Tit for Tat streaked through academic game theory research circles and out into the general discussion about how to handle mean people at roughly the same time—in the late Twentieth Century—that the dolphin mindset was being energized in more and more people. (Remember that game theory is a kind of analysis frequently used by academicians and other researchers to study human behavior, chiefly by studying the strategies people choose for dealing with each other.) Personally, your blog writer is loath to view this tandem development as coincidence. Tit for Tat as a way of inviting cooperation rather than simply striking a blow for justice is just the kind of idea whose value and utility you would expect dolphinthinkers to grasp faster than many others.
Many researchers grew interested in Tit for Tat during their studies of what in game theory is called the Prisoner’s Dilemma. If you aren’t familiar with Tit for Tat and Prisoner’s Dilemma, you can read up on the subject here. As you’ll note, if you do spend a little time reading the article at the other end of my link, you’ll find that numerous critics insist that Tit for Tat isn’t as valuable or dependable as a strategy for handling conflict and unfairness as it has been made out to be. But even its critics usually agree that it puts the spotlight on some very important decision-making choices.
One of Tit for Tat’s most outspoken admirers is Jonathan Wallace. He is a Harvard Law graduate and former software company executive who continues to write on ethical issues in his retirement in Amagansett, NY. Wallace once explained:
I am a cooperative person—I find a kind of chemical high in good teamwork—and for years it was my unexamined strategy to continue extending cooperation far beyond the point at which it should have been apparent there would be no reciprocity. . . . I always cooperated . . . because I was a naïve optimist. I always believed that if I cooperated long enough, even unilaterally, the other player would come to trust me, and see the value of cooperation. What I refused to see is what the prisoner’s dilemma teaches: anyone who plays the “All Cooperate” strategy is a sucker, and [provides an incentive to] the other to defect on every move. I now believe that the lesson of the prisoner’s dilemma is that a robust ethic succeeds where a weak one fails. Be fair, be strong, reward cooperation and punish defection, and you will have nothing to regret.
I happen to agree pretty much with Wallace, with whom I’ve corresponded on the subject.
‘THE MORNING AFTER’ TEST AND OTHER TIT FOR TAT VARIATIONS
And yet Tit for Tat doesn’t work with everyone every time and indeed with many parties much at all. Here are things to think about when you are thinking of retaliating:
• Consider how your retaliation may impact “innocents” if they are present when you act (for example, delivering strongly worded grievances in the presence of children).
• Try to identify a way of retaliating that stops short of the risk of permanently damaging a relationship (for example, can you leave your defector room to save face or a route back into the relationship if he/she proves to be conciliatory?)
• Be alert to possible ways your defector may counter-retaliate and prejudge as best you can your vulnerabilities to them (for example, if you sue, what is the likelihood that the defector will also sue you?).
• Use “the morning after” test. How important and effective is the act of retaliation you have in mind going to appear to you tomorrow?
• Is there a way to retaliate that essentially moves matters back to “zero,” or where they were when the defection occurred (for example, if it is possible to do so, what if you demanded that the defector restore things to where they were before?).
• Apply the “shadow of the future” rule. The more you’re likely to need someone’s cooperation in the future, the more important it is to do what you can to keep your retaliation from closing that door.
• What are others going to consider appropriate in the circumstances involved? (If others know about it, a retaliation that is appropriate usually enhances your reputation in the circles you move in. A retaliation that doesn’t “fit the crime” can do just the opposite.)
• If the defection has damaged or poses a threat to the community-at-large, then you may want to get others involved in the retaliation (lone voices speaking up in favor of “the commons” can end up being more lonely still if no one else rallies to the cause).
Political scientist Ken Binmore (who is the author of the article I furnished the link to above) argues that Tit for Tat works best when aimed at persons who have grown up within middle class insider (or establishment) groups. In such groups, says Binmore, you quickly learn that reciprocating cooperation is the only way to go or else soon you’ll be an outsider yourself. Then he adds,
Nature has not brought the same sweetness and light . . . to the world at large. The outsiders who lurk in dark alleys with rape and mayhem in their hearts are neither nice nor forgiving. Nor do sharks only cruise in murky waters. They also swim in brightly lit boardrooms and patrol the corridors of power. Such upper-crust sharks show beautiful teeth as they prey on our bank accounts and raid the pension funds of elderly widows. [We] would be the fools they take us for if we returned the smiles with which they try to convince us that they are nice people like ourselves.
So if you can’t depend on Tit for Tat to work with the sharkthinkers you encounter, what do you do?
Learn to spot the sharkthinkers early. Then use extreme caution. In business, insist on good, enforceable contracts. Watch your back. Use good lawyers. Get the best information you possibly can at all times. Be cautious during all the times following when the sharkthinker cooperates; it is quite likely that they cooperated last time only because they needed you or because you held a winning hand that time. Anytime they demonstrate no intention of being nice, make every effort to get out of the pool or at least remain beyond the range of their marauding jaws and unforgiving teeth.
GIVING WHAT YOU GET—WATCHFULLY, STRATEGICALLY, REALISTICALLY
Our actual design as humans brings many good things but it also brings with it the cruel and egocentric capacity to be the cause of others’ suffering and needs or to be indifferent to them. Our genes—our selfish genes—make us capable of becoming skilled, calculated liars, not to mention self-promoters and social climbers. We are preset to deceive ourselves grandly, in part so as to make us more effective at deceiving others. “We are far from the only dishonest species, but we are surely the most dishonest, if only because we do the most talking,” observes Robert Wright in his provokingly thoughtful book, The Moral Animal.
Mix in a sharkthinker or two, and the world becomes a very different and often difficult place. All the more reason to be the most astute, skillful and well-informed Tit for Tat player that you can be.
HOW DO YOU SPELL “FORTUITOUS”? G-A-R-F-I-N-K-E-L
Sometimes, really neat things just fall into your lap. This happy circumstance can happen to writers of books when their material strikes a ready nerve with a reader. That’s pretty much the story line for what I’m about to recount. A San Francisco-based marketing consultant, writing coach and former bureau chief for McGraw-Hill Magazines read my piece on thinking like a dolphin here. That led him to download an ebook copy of LEAP! Soon he was sending me an e-mail that read, “My name is David Garfinkel. When I got your book yesterday as a Kindle, my mind got so energized . . . I keep reading it in exciting sprints! (Leaps?)” The next day I received a second email from David. This one noted, “I love the way you write!” Anyone who tells me that is going to get a request to do me a book view. Within a few days, David had supplied one on Amazon.com that was laudatory and exceptionally creative. I asked his permission to make it the focus of one of our promotional emails for LEAP! You can see what our graphic designer produced above. To read David’s review, go here. (You’ll need to scroll down to “Customer Reviews.”) If the Great Fortuity God is listening, my thanks for sending David Garfinkel our way! And a really grateful “thank you” to David for investing the time, energy and creativity to produce that truly insightful and understanding review.
‘THE MAN FROM LARAMIE’ RODE INTO TOWN THE OTHER DAY
That would be Dr. Frank Galey, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming. That’s him at right with his beloved dog, Hoover (now deceased), and his horse in a photo taken on the Galey family ranch near Sheridan, Wyoming. The dean came to Gainesville last week for a day’s training in the use of our BrainMap® assessment tool. For more than a decade, The BrainMap has been a mainstay in teambuilding and personal skills enhancement activities offered to participants in a remarkable program called Leadership Wyoming. Since graduating its first class in 2001, Leadership Wyoming has annually selected about 40 of Wyoming’s most promising citizens from a variety of professions for a year-long educational program in leadership qualities, skills and techniques. So far, there have been 531 graduates, including Governor Matt Mead, Former First Lady and Federal Judge Nancy Freudenthal, U.S. Senator John Barrasso, Adjutant General Luke Reiner and 15 legislators. BTC is proud of the fact that virtually all of Leadership Wyoming’s participants have taken and spent considerable time discussing The BrainMap to expand their insights into how people think, assign value and forge beliefs. Up to now, these sessions have been mostly led by the highly capable Margaret Benson, BTC’s longtime associate from Casper, Wyoming. And now the torch is about to be passed—to Dean Galey. The dean’s academic specialty is veterinary forensic toxicology, but he is a man of great curiosity and many interests and talents. Among them is developing leadership skills in current and future generations of Wyoming’s best and brightest. The BrainMap and Leadership Wyoming, among many others, are lucky to have him!
IRELAND’S RESILIENT SEAN BROPHY AND HIS LATEST TURNING POINT
My friend and long-time colleague in Ireland, Dr. Sean Brophy (photo below), has a dolphinthinker’s love of life, and that’s remarkable in view of the life he’s been given to love. I’ve referred to Sean’s arduous personal journey before, and to establish a story setting for where I’m going with this, will briefly do so again. He was born with spinal scoliosis—curvature of the spinal. Physically, it has touched almost every moment of his existence. In his school days, his devout Catholic family made frequent pilgrimages to Lourdes, seeking a miracle cure for their boy. In between, there were numerous hospital stays as young Sean fought pneumonia and other grave conditions. But irrepressible Sean, small and bent of stature but huge of heart, always bounced back. His plaster corset was a cause célèbre among classmates, and his joie de vivre was contagious. In spite of his problematic physique, he played football as a high schooler (and, at age 15, lost a kidney because of sports injuries). In adulthood, the frequent hospitalizations continued. In the past 15 years, they’ve sometimes come three or four a year. I soon realized that each e-mail I received from him could be the last, so it was a thrill to get his latest a few days ago. He wrote, in part, “I’ve been quite successful at interrupting the incessant cycle of respiratory infections by eliminating dairy and wheat products and all narcotics from my diet. Now I’m concentrating on detoxing my regulatory organs to provoke an organic process through systematic and controlled fasting where my body consumes its own nonviable scar tissue thereby opening up my airways and giving me more wind power with a reduced dependence on supplementary oxygen. So far I have lost 12Kg in weight, a lot for a little guy, but the upside is that I feel great, with lots of vitality and my brain is sharp as a razor. I’ve concluded that ensuring a good supply of clean blood to my brain is the key.” Sean has just turned 70. He is resuming his executive and personal coaching practice from his home. And he’s just published his eighth book of poetry. It’s called Turning Points (that’s the photo of Sean and his brother and sister from the book cover at left) and on the surface, his poems offer a retrospective of his life in Dublin since 1943. But they are really about life in general and Sean’s love for it. “I’ve realised that unhappy people keep looking inside themselves for a problem to be fixed,” he said in that e-mail the other day. “Happy people keep looking out into the world for something to create. Scientists and theologians will have a different take on this ‘source’ of creation. Frankly I don’t care. Every day is a gift. Carpe Diem-create-be happy!” You can order Sean’s latest work (at €19.50 each, shipping included) here (or order any of his other books, too!). He says the average book of poems in Ireland sells about 180 copies. His Rainsford Press has already sold about 120 copies of Turning Points. A laudatory biographical sketch about Sean, written by a friend, appears here. Understandably, it’s in prose. The life being described supplies its own poetry.
With so much happening in dolphin waters, let’s get right to the news:
SNEAK PEEK AT LEAP!’S UPCOMING FRENCH LOOK
Later this summer, Montreal publisher, Les Éditions de l’Homme, is bringing out a French language edition of my LEAP! book. I’ve just seen the cover design, which looks very sleek, very arty, very inviting . . . and very Québécois, very French! The foreword for the book is being provided by Michèle Carrier and her life-mate and business partner, Charles Boulos (who looks and thinks remarkably like Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot as portrayed by David Suchet when he’s wearing his mustache). This talented pair has been BTC’s French language associates for more than twenty years. By the way, I’m head over heels in love with the French title for LEAP!: L’élan du dauphin. It translates more or less (so I’m told) as “The impulse of the dolphin.” What a wonderful way to describe the dolphinthinker’s penchant for doing “first things now!” L’élan du dauphin will be in bookstores (and up on digital services as an eBook) on August 14, the publisher says.
WHEN DOES AN AUTHOR REALLY LOVE HIS PUBLISHER?
When the greeneye-shade-wearing one has the vision and the cojones to issue a matched set of a writer’s works! The company named above, Les Éditions de l’Homme, is doing just that in planning to issue its third French language edition of my (and Paul Kordis’) Strategy of the Dolphin (La stratégie du dauphin). The eye-catching way that the two covers complement each other makes it clear that the folks at Les Éditions de l’Homme have thought this through very carefully. My hope—theirs, too, obviously—is that there is a new generation of French readers waiting to discover the appeal and usefulness that made “the dolphin strategy” a bestseller in French in a different century. We should know soon! The new edition of La stratégie du dauphin will be in the bookstores on September 18 and on digital services the same day.
TEACHABLE DUST-UP OVER WHEN TO EAT SHARK FOR LUNCH
Before we leave the subject of French-speaking dolphins, I can’t resist telling you about a well-flavored exchange this past week between two members of one of McGill University’s alumni e-mail groups. The exchange was prompted by the posting of a link to my “Thinking Like a Dolphin, Not a Shark” article on the “under30ceo” website.
That led a somewhat peeved alum in the tropics to write, “In the Caribbean sharks get eaten. They are best eaten with lettuce, tomato, coriander, ketchup, tambrand sauce, and other condiments, and in a bake (fried bread). Many North American tourist that are eating shark for the first time this way enjoy it. Businesswise, it is always better to eat your competitor’s lunch than have them eat yours, whether you think like a dolphin or a shark.”
And that led our Montreal colleague, Ms. Carrier (mentioned above), who doesn’t carry a stiletto in her purse for nothing, to post this reply:
Well, [name omitted for privacy], if eating your competitor’s lunch is your only choice and it matters, then have at it. Just hope that there is plenty of lettuce, tomato, coriander, ketchup, tambrand sauce and fried bread available.
A dolphinthinker will first look around to see if there are other, better choices. One of these, possibly:
1. An alliance that makes sense for both parties.
2. A surprise move that expands the playing field for everyone.
3. Something less than a full meal that produces about the same results all around.
4. A better tasting menu elsewhere.
5. A smokescreen that confuses the competition but doesn’t require that anyone be eaten.
6. Moves that reframe the situation so that the competition is confused about what to take a bite out of.
7. Sudden surrender because a longer range strategy suggests avoiding conflict now.
8. Sudden withdrawal because resources are better aimed elsewhere.
9. Sudden withdrawal because you see that you probably can’t win and it’s not worth the cost of losing.
10. Total, all-out war that not only involves eating your competitor’s lunch but his breakfast, dinner and bedtime snack simply because anything less is morally, ethically or rationally unacceptable.
To which I say, “Please pass the ketchup.”
I’M NOT EXACTLY SURE WHAT ALL THIS MEANS YET BUT . . .
The dolphin’s popularity as an aquatic metaphor for desirable new thinking and change skills has always been cyclical. It was an instant smash hit when I first rolled it out in late 1989. The core excitement lasted about two years. Then in the mid-1990s, non-U.S. publishers kept discovering and issuing the work, and there was renewed momentum. After that, I did other things for more than a decade, and interest waned everywhere but Germany, France and Québec. But when the Great Recession of the late 2000s showed no signs of relenting, I felt the time might be right for yet another revival of the dolphin concepts. And the reception given LEAP!, my “sequel” to Strategy of the Dolphin, has been very encouraging.
So is a development that has surfaced in only the past two weeks. Two websites with strong business-oriented readerships have featured articles of mine promoting a shift away from conventional thinking about how to be competitive in business. It pleases me no end that one of these sites is aimed at young managerial minds, this one here. And now a site that makes no apology for its relentless promotion of wealth-building and the pursuit of personal success has just published my article, “Competing At the Next Level and How to Get There.” You can view the piece on “Addicted2Success” here.
Both Cara Murphy, the editor of “under30ceo,” and Joel Brown, the editor of “Addicted2Success,” rushed my pieces into print (one literally overnight), intimating that they felt important new, perhaps even uncharted, waters for their readers were being described. I’d like to think that what I’ve been doing is using an approach that dolphinthinkers are urged to use any time it makes sense in dealing with users of non-dolphin world-views: talk to them in their own idiom to get through the filters of their mindset. Or maybe there are more and more dolphinthinkers and candidates for thinking this way riding today’s turbulent waves. Either way, I’m going to keep offering business- and self-growth-oriented websites a chance to talk the talk in the hope that it will help even more folks walk it.
THERE’S NO QUILL LIKE THAT OF A (SCOTTISH) DOLPHIN SCORNED
You may remember Peter Thomson. He’s one of the dolphinthinkers I profiled in LEAP! Up to now, this is what you’d have found on his highlight reel: risk-taking medic for Her Majesty’s Royal Navy, free-enterprise dentist in the pro-government-medicine U.K., crusader for new dental professionalism in Nepal and outspoken advocate for Scottish independence. And now . . . he’s just become a published, novel-writing satirist. Bitter Together tells (and pokes fun at) the travails of one “Prime Minister Cambourne” [does that remind you of anyone in real life?] who needs a way to sabotage Scottish free-our-country ambitions. A lowly civil servant proposes Operation Cockleshell, and it is no sooner authorized than “the wheels come off.” Bitter Together was being written, says Thomson, about the time of the London Olympics, but since Cockleshell is all about wrecking security at the London Olympics, real events kept interfering with his story telling. One reviewer has characterized Thomson as “a good and powerful writer, with an easy way with words,” and his tale as a “political satire for modern times.” You can order his book here.