The Insights

  • It is the intangibles that drive the tangibles
  • Humanity evolves via the core human intangible – our culture – culture is the lens by which we understand our ourselves and the world – culture is what shapes our beliefs and hence our reality
  • Culture is made up of a pattern of values
  • All relationships in nature both intangible, gravity etc – and tangible – have patterns. All these patterns have only a few rules and parts that fractally interact to offer great complexity. On their own the rules or parts are simple and they are few. DNA the foundation of all life is made up of only 4. The minimum for any complex system is 3.
  • It is likely that human culture is made up of more than 3 and likely less than 5 rules/parts that can interact to offer massive complexity – most of visible light can can be made from 3 primary colours.
  • We can see a starting position of 3 primary archetypes of values for people with perhaps a governing element (p53 in DNA) Like visible light all the shades of meaning can be derived from this 3


  • These are the 3 Values that we think make up human culture. Of course there are a billion shades. But as in light, we can strip it all back to 3 archetypes. Nurturers – Providers – Pioneers.
  • Nurturing – Primary Role = Safe. Humans are primates. Core to our being are relationships and nurturing. The essence of Nurturing is that it offers safety – all emotional and physical growth demands a safe place. Safe in human terms means not only physically safe but emotionally safe. Not being judged is the essence of this. Knowing that the nurturer can be depended on on is safe. Allowing the other to become their true self is safe. Knowing when to let go is the ultimate in nurturing. Nurturing is all about presence and is in the present. It is not about acquiring resources nor is it about change.
  • Providers – Primary Role = Win. They are all about winning. They bring home the game. They win the championship. For them 2nd place is losing. It is all win or lose. The world is divided up between the winners and the losers. They make wealth and things happen. They are all about focus. They too live in the present. They screen out all that is not essential. Without them, we would not have the resources that we need for life.
  • Pioneers – Primary Role = See. They are all about “Seeing” the new. For them ideas are everything. They care little for today. They live in an eternal past and future. They are all about change. Their challenge is to get what they see seen and accepted by the others. For without the new there can be no growth or renewal.
  • This mix is fractal. It works for society. It works at the level of organization and most importantly it works for each of us. We are all made up of this trinity. But we favor one of the three. Ideally each organization also favors one of these roles.
  • Ideally we are best when we are aligned to the ideal role for us and the group. Then we can grow in a healthy way to our potential
  • Growth is an essential part of life – all things, living and not, people, plants, mountains suns,  have a life cycle and an ideal optimum. Growth to the ideal potential demands the ideal environment for that cycle. Unhealthy growth, such as cancer, is unbalanced by its nature.
  • So for humans to grow as individuals or groups or societies to their potential – they too need an ideal environment. This means at first, an ideal culture. This in turns suggests that that the mix of values that makes up an ideal human culture would include all 3 of the key parts in some ideal arrangement.

Our hypothesis is this arrangement is “ideal”. A large society should ideally look like this to be healthy. Individuals and groups of course do not need to be the ideal. best if they are not – for that is the ideal diversity.

  • Using these simple insights, you can assess yourself or any organization large or small. The starting point is the Role
  • Safe – Take Public Transit – Ideally this should be a Nurturing Role – We pay fares but it is the public good that is the bias. So the Primary Role is Safe – it is there for us. But it has to be efficient – so its secondary role must be Win.  Finally it must be depended on – Safe- Finally it is a mainstream brand so it must offer belonging – Safe.
  • Win – Here is how Starbucks may have got it wrong. It starts with Win – then it must be Safe – Dependable – But it is a elite brand so the last value should have been Win – losers don’t drink Starbucks. This is how it started but its expansion damaged the 2nd value of Safe/Dependable – with so many outlets and with a decline in the quality of the offering – it violated the 3rd value of Win.
  • See – John Cleese is a true innovator for comedy. He Sees things in a unique way. But he has to ensure that his shows are really well pulled off – Safe. He does this because he wants to earn a living Win

Using this simple matrix, we can see what should be and what is. So we can see gaps and hence we can make plans that have a chance of offering outcomes that we might predict. Nothing can be assured. But we can assign probabilities.

After all this is what casinos do and they don’t do too badly.


One response to “The Insights

  1. Pingback: The Intangibles are not soft – they drive everything « Power Up Project

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