(Pic - Thanks to Cyberbarf)
All around us we see large organizations floundering. They cannot cope with the complexity of modern life. We learn that the one room school house had better literacy results than our current schools. Small firms drive all the best innovation. Large firms such as Ford and GM seem incapable of coping. Newspapers are in trouble. FEMA cannot met its mandate and so on.
Why do we see all this failure? Is it because people are bad or stupid? I don't think so. I think that our problem is one of metaphor or design. We have fallen in love with a mechanical metaphor that worked quite well in a more simple world. But we seem to have reached a level of complexity where an approach that demands mainly knowns cannot cope.
In the natural world there are limits to scaling a mechanical design. Over a certain size the laws of diminishing returns set in. The largest dinosaurs were the largest body shapes to be seen on Earth. In historic times, only whales, supported in water have bothered to come close to the largest dinosaurs. Really big animals seem to have been a failed experiment. Really large mechanical designs do poorly in a complex world. Nature has tossed them aside as a failed experiment.
The same is surely true with organizations. As schools based on a mechanical model become larger, their social friction reduces their effectiveness. My daughter is struggling to get care in a very large mechanical urban hospital but cannot get their attention. You cannot get the phone company's attention if you have a problem. Why? Again is it because everyone who is a teacher, a doctor or in customer service is a bad person? No!
There is a design problem. There is too much social noise! Merely scaling mechanically drives the noise to signal ratio so high that nothing gets through and the organization becomes too stupid to act intelligently.
I think it is clear that mechanical models cannot scale and remain competent in a complex world.
So what do we see in nature as a shape that does scale in complex surroundings?
This is the largest force we see in our local system on Earth.
This is the largest force that we see in the universe.
This - the Mandelbrot Set - is one of the most fractal of all shapes - it can exist at all scales.
So where am I going with this?
Nature has perfected over 14 billion years the most effective design for relationships. Phi drives all the best relationships to be found anywhere in the universe. Linked into Phi are the Fibonnacci Numbers which express Phi as a curve.
If this is so - then maybe PHI and Fibonacci will be at the heart of all organizational designs for space for humans that wish to reach their full development potential.Magic Numbers that are the ideal groupings for human groups and relationships.
It is my conjecture that PHI and Fibbonacci will become the metaphor that will enable us to break free from the constraints of a mechanical metaphor and that it will become the core idea that will propel humanity forward and hopefully give us a chance of avoiding the fate of the dinosaurs.
In 1905 Einstein put out an idea. He concluded that Time and Space - fixtures of a mechanical universe - were variables and that only certain key relationships were constant. Until now it was felt that this established view of the universe only worked in the very large scale of the universe itself and that the Newtonian world applied to the life of man.
It is my conjecture that the web has eliminated the costs of time and space for man. We now live in the same universe as galaxies and stars where time and space are variables. I therefore conjecture that relationships are the only constant. So what then are the best relationships? Is there a "Best"?
It is clear that nature has provided us with its "Best Design" for relationships. It is PHI/Fibonacci.
If I am right in making this connection then exploring PHI will offer us a framework of design that has the potential to improve the health, effectiveness and potential of the individual, the family, the community, the organization and our intersection as a species with the rest of the natural world
In the next few weeks I intend to share with you my thoughts about how we can see PHI as -
- The pathway for the development of all new things - people and ideas
- How the shape of the PHI curve shows us the nature of Trusted Space and how it is needed to set any living being or any idea onto the track for reaching its full potential
- How PHI links into Chaos Theory and its observation that it is Initial Conditions that determine the success or failure of any project, journey or life
- How PHI tells all those that have leadership roles - as parents, as organizational leaders - what to focus on to be successful
- How PHI tells us how pathways for learning and health are set up to do well or badly