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A New Vision For America
By Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes
Originally published on Huffington Post Voices 11/07/2016. We are very pleased to share this insightful vision for our nation's future.
America’s position in worldwide affairs is not what it used to be. China is rising while America is showing signs of aging behaviorally.
America is the hub of technological innovation, but much of it is generated by non-American- born people. We import a lot of our entrepreneurial spirit. Years ago I worked with Applied Materials, a company that prides itself on being the source of the information revolution. They manufacture the equipment that produces the wafers on which computer chips are made. While there, I realized that the leadership of the company was ninety percent foreign born.
Visit any leading university’s department of engineering or science and look at the student body. Most of the students are Asian. Where are the American students? They are studying music, art, global studies, women’s studies, or maybe business.
America is losing its leadership position in the world. As those we’ve trained and educated go back to their countries, we’ll experience an escalation in competition that will accelerate our loss of leadership. There is no way of going back. We need to go forward, but in the right direction.
What is that direction?
In my judgment, small corrections will not put America back on track. Our situation calls for a comprehensive revision and a holistic redesign of the system. The theory of this remodeling of America is that representative democracy, our system of governance, does not work anymore.
What made sense in Athens, where democracy was born over two thousand years ago, does not make sense now. What made sense during the French Revolution and at the time our constitution was written and signed does not make sense now.
The conditions have changed drastically. We have a mushrooming government bureaucracy. Over two million people are employed by the federal government, and over five million people are employed by state governments.
Government expenses are ballooning, financed by going deeper into debt, and the time of reckoning is coming soon.
What made America great was a culture of mutual trust and respect. This is what allowed for a relatively peaceful civil rights movement, in comparison to other countries. This is what made our dollar strong. People trusted the government. This is no longer true.
The parties fighting for political dominance attack each other with viciousness that resembles an acrimonious divorce. The whole system of governance is becoming dysfunctional. As people lose trust in those that govern them, we will start to resemble a developing country. We are losing our most valuable asset: our culture of fair game, honesty, and of having a civilized discourse. This is serious. This “disease” will not be remedied with cosmetic changes. It is time for a holistic review and redesign of our system.
Will it happen? I doubt it. It is simply not bad enough yet for all of the political forces to agree to cooperate and redesign who we are and how we behave today. Expect further political, economic, and social crises. The time will come that we will have to redesign our vision, and preferably from scratch.
Ichak Kalderon Adizes
Why We Need Mutual Trust and Respect?
Originally published on Medium.
There is need for a culture of mutual trust and respect, a culture of cooperation and collaboration.
I am talking about the introduction of synergy, where two plus three is not five but six. In the interaction of diverse entities, two being different from three, something new is created through cross pollination; it is a value that couldn’t have been created unless there was an interaction among diverse opinions or know- how’s. For collaborative interaction to exist in diversity, there must be mutual respect.
This interaction however must be based on perceived commonality of interests. If the diverse parties do not share interests, do not share in the value they have created, why would they constructively interact? It must be symbiotic. There is, however, a problem: Since over time, as conditions change, commonality of interests get threatened, to endure, mutual trust is required.
But Mutual Trust and Respect (MT&R) seem to be internally incompatible. For mutual respect there must be disagreement, a byproduct of diversity. On the other hand for mutual trust, we should be in agreement. How to resolve this Catch-22?
What should we agree on?
On our common interest.
And what can we disagree on?
On what to do and how to create value for the benefit of us all.
Let me repeat: we should agree on what we are prone to disagree about (what are our common interests) and we can disagree on what we are prone to agree in order to avoid the pain imbedded in arguing (disagree on what and how to do).
MT&R is the foundation of a true socio-democratic system. It is Democratic, which means we learn from each other’s differences of opinion. It is Socio, in the sense, that there is a social consciousness to share obtained added values with everybody, not just a certain part of the society at the expense of other parts of the society.
So, how should we grow as a society, or as a company, or as a family? By growing jointly. By capitalizing on each other’s differences for the benefit of everybody. That is what Adizes Methodology is all about. That is why I call it a Symbergetic™ system. It is Sym from symbiotic, for mutual interest and it is bergetic from synergetic, which means growing.
How do we make that happen? Not just with good intentions. There is a tested well documented program. (I have published more than twenty books about the subject and there are over thousand pages of manuals providing protocols on how to do it.) It takes between one to three years to bring companies to full utilization of the system. The results have been exceptional. It produced exceptional sustainable growth.
If you have the right people who: 1) welcome disagreements because they learn from them, people who have controllable egos; 2) the right collaborative disciplined team decision-making process; 3) the right organizational structure that fosters diversity and not sameness, and 4) have unifying common vision and values, you will create and foster a culture of mutual trust and respect.
It has been proven with evidence, working with thousands of companies in over fifty-two countries, from start up to the largest on earth. It will minimize disintegration and maximize the freed energy from internal destructive conflicts to be devoted to the external market for a competitive advantage. It applies to any system, whether it’s a country, a business, a family, or an individual human being.
Ichak Kalderon Adizes
About Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes
President of the Adizes Institute and is recognized by Leadership Excellence Journal as one of the top thirty thought leaders of America.
Over the course of more than 40 years, Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes has developed and refined a proprietary methodology that bears his name. The Adizes Methodology enables corporations, governments, and complex organizations to achieve exceptional results and manage accelerated change without destructive conflicts. Leadership Excellence Journal named him one of the Top 30 Thought Leaders in the United States, and Executive Excellence Journal put him on their list of the Top 30 Consultants in America. In recognition of his contributions to management theory and practice, Dr. Adizes has received 18 honorary doctorates from Universities in ten countries. He is honorary Chancellor of the University of Fredericton, Canada, received the 2010 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, holds the honorary rank of lieutenant colonel from the military and has been made an honorary citizen of two Eastern European countries. Dr Adizes is a Fellow of the International Academy of Management and has served as a tenured faculty member at UCLA. He was a visiting professor at Stanford, Tel Aviv and Hebrew Universities and taught at the Columbia University Executive Program. He also served as Dean of the Adizes Graduate School for the Study of Leadership and Change, and is currently an academic advisor to the Graduate School of Management of the Academy of National Economy of the Russian Federation. Dr. Adizes is founder and president of the Adizes Institute, based in Santa Barbara, California, an international consulting company that applies the Adizes Methodology for clients in the public and private sectors. The Adizes Institute was ranked as one of the top ten consulting organizations in the United States by Leadership Excellence Journal. In addition to consulting to prime ministers and cabinet-level officers throughout the world, Dr. Adizes has worked with a wide variety of companies ranging from startups to members of the Fortune 500. He lectures in four languages, and has appeared before well over 100,000 executives in more than 50 countries. He has written 24 books that have been published in 26 languages. His book Corporate Lifecycles: How Organizations Grow and Die and What to Do about It (subsequently revised, expanded and republished as Managing Corporate Lifecycles) was named one of the Ten Best Business Books by Library Journal. Dr. Adizes and his wife, Nurit Manne Adizes, live in Santa Barbara County, California, and together have six children. In his leisure time, he enjoys playing the accordion and practicing meditation.