Buddhism is good for business

“If you want eggs, take care of the hen,” Inamori said in an interview on Oct. 23. “If you bully or kill the hen, it’s not going to work.”

“From Kyocera’s headquarters overlooking the hills and temples of the ancient capital of Kyoto, Inamori expresses doubts about western capitalist ways. His views are a reminder that many bastions of Japanese business don’t buy into Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plans to make companies more devoted to shareholders.”

“The secret, as Inamori tells it, was to change employees’ mentality. After taking the CEO role without pay, he printed a small book for each staff member on his philosophies, which declared that the company was devoted to their growth. He also explained the social significance of their work and outlined Buddhist-inspired principles for how employees should live, such as being humble and doing the right thing. This made them proud of the airline and ready to work harder for its success, Inamori has said.”



“Increasingly, I find myself bristling when I hear folks talk about “risky play,” even when it’s framed positively. From my experience, this sort of play is objectively not risky, in the sense that those activities like swinging or climbing or playing with long sticks, those things that tend to wear the label of “risky” are more properly viewed as “safety play,” because that’s exactly what the kids are doing: practicing keeping themselves and others safe. It’s almost as if they are engaging in their own, self-correcting safety drills.”

I’ve recently been trying, futilely, to promote the term ‘CHALLENGING’ rather than ‘risky’. You’ll appreciate that the the c-word has a double meaning, children are challenging themselves, and adult frettiness is being challenged.

They ARE engaging in their own self correcting activity. I teach playworkers about the ‘edge-of-chaos’ I’ve taken to using hyphens because people confuse it with ‘nearly chaos’. It’s not: edge-of-chaos is an entirely different thing. When I used to do mountain biking it was about finding my personal edge-of-chaos, my ‘flow state’. We tune to it. Too much and it’s scary, not enough and its boring.

Edge-of-chaos exists in all complex systems, like a group of kids on a playground for example, both as a group and for each child.

I loved “catastrophic imaginations.”

Spot on.

Jessica Garner in Alberta said, brilliantly: “”a sense that the world is full of unperceived dangers that only the all-knowing adults can see”

Are you familiar with the His Dark Materials series? This reminds me of the spectres… creatures of fear that only adults can see. Children are completely unaware and unaffected. They only perceive the danger of spectres if adults are around.””


“creatures of fear that only adults can see“.


Coydogs&pizzlies: the librarians are worried

You see, the thing is, shit happens. All over the woods. Bears shit in the woods, both polar bears heading south and grizzlies heading north, and they also have sex in the bushes. Hence Pizzlies (rubbish name, why not Grey bears?)

“Hybridization is one of the overlooked but clearly very, very important causes of species’ going extinct,” says Stuart Pimm, professor of conservation ecology at Duke University. “Hybridization is a major problem. It comes from our moving species around, it comes from our changing habitat.” 

Or not. This is the librarians approach to ecology. Conserve everything. Why? Even smallpox?

I’d rather accept that we aren’t in control and trust that “life will find a way”.

Many of the species that went extinct were a bit crap. Best example is pandas. Useless beasts. Any creature that decides to live entirely off one stupid tree with almost no nutrient value is basically committing very slow suicide. Millions have between wasted on these cuddly vegetarian idiots when there are other less cute, much more deserving, downright ugly critters that don’t convert easily to soft toys, so they get ignored.

It’s all part of the lackwit treehugging view of cuddly nature. Watch The Grey, starring Liam Neeson. This time it was the very big and seriously bad wulluff that had the unusual set of special skills that, even though it didn’t know what he wanted, enabled it to find him and kill him. And the ending wouldn’t have been any different if he was wearing a David Attenborough fan club hoodie and carrying his lifetime Friends of the Earth membership card.


Order. Complexity. Chaos.


Order… Complexity… Chaos …Complexity …Order… Complexity…

We all have our own personal ‘edge-of-chaos’. I prefer to write it like that because people get awfully confused. It’s not the same as ‘nearly chaos’, it’s something new, in between order and chaos. It’s also known as the zone of complexity. As this gloriously simple and complex cartoon Illustrates, it’s different.

PS: I wrote a book about this stuff: ‘Navigating Complexity: the essential guide to complexity theory in business and management’.

Robert Moses Vs. Jane Jacobs: we’ve had the book, now the opera, I want the movie!

We’ve had the book:

Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took On New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City by Anthony Flint

“The rivalry of Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses, a struggle for the soul of a city, is one of the most dramatic and consequential in modern American history. To a young Jane Jacobs, Greenwich Village, with its winding cobblestone streets and diverse makeup, was everything a city neighborhood should be. But consummate power broker Robert Moses, the father of many of New York’s most monumental development projects, thought neighborhoods like Greenwich Village were badly in need of “urban renewal.” Standing up against government plans for the city, Jacobs marshaled popular support and…”


and now, the Robert Moses Vs. Jane Jacobs Opera Is Almost Here

It’s a love triangle—with both figures “vying for the love of the city.”


I want the movie!

They’ll rename it, obviously, to not offend the bible belt and Jewish people and the noble wrestling and allied martial arts community. Probably something like “The Heart of the City” so everybody will think its a romcom and avoid it. I want to see Sigourney Weaver as older Jane and Ed Harris (not Tom Hanks please) as Bob Moses. Or, Cate Blanchett and Saoirse* Ronan who were both brilliant in Hanna and are looky-likey. Knowing Hollywood it’ll be Seth Rogen and Cameron Diaz. To direct, please not Roland Emmerich, or Michael Bay (famed for bulldozing city blocks, could appeal to 13 year old boys), maybe Ridley? Or even Mr Harris himself.

But I digress. This one has to already be in development. I want to see this movie!

  • *pron. Sirsha

If you want to ‘support beneficial change’ or ‘help humans’, you need to watch and listen…

Penny Wilson, unsung playwork genius, flaneur, urbanist, author and soon to be celebrity cook,


found and ‘facebook shared’ this wonderful film, essential watching for both management consultants’ (OD folk and the like), and anyone (like playworkers), who works with humans.

Wikipedia informed me that the film is by…

“William Hollingsworth “Holly” Whyte (October 1, 1917 — January 12, 1999) was an American urbanist, organizational analyst, journalist and people-watcher. After his book about corporate culture The Organization Man (1956) which sold over two million copies, Whyte turned his attention to the study of human behaviour in urban settings. He published several books on the topic, including The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces (1980).[1]


Children, right? Children’s rights and the paradoxical fear of the vulnerable

“The concept of childhood is changed by altering the concept of the street. We now have a deficit model of childhood which sees children as essentially vulnerable in the public realm.”

How the kids of Melbourne fought for their playgrounds

via How the kids of Melbourne fought for their playgrounds – By Design – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).


No time to write the essay that I can feel brewing in response to this superb piece.

Quick points:

  • no mention of children’s rights, so these events are presented as quaint history rather than a call to action right now. Rights now!
  • Isn’t it odd that we oscillate between a fear of chaotic kids on the street, causing trouble, damaging our cars and gardens and houses and
  • “…a deficit model of childhood which sees children as essentially vulnerable in the public realm.”

In almost all the debates about children, politically looming menace or poor little mites, this point is missed: children have rights, enshrined in the UN Charter, Article 31. (Google it.) We keep laying responsibilities on them, but never rights.

Let’s have a discussion about the rights and responsibilities of all humans in our public realm. Not just the rights of car drivers to drive too fast down my street.