Structuring Compression Thinking

Compression InstituteJune 30, 2011

Some of the advisory group for the Compression Institute met last weekend. A mission statement has not been hammered out and wordsmith hardened, but it’s something like, “forming learning action groups to make Compression Thinking a common practice.”

The learning groups will focus on operational-sized working organizations. We won’t work big policy issues in political arenas no matter how important they may be.

That leads to structuring Compression Thinking so that it is coachable, and applicable to real organizations in today’s crazy-market economy. The ideal is a set of “principles” that can be adapted to re-thinking the status and strategy of work organizations to transition from “where we are to where we’d like to be” – without going broke, of course. The aim is a framework with some key points that can be measured against a ladder of progress (like the Baldrige criteria or many other auditing systems today). The framework structure still needs a lot of work, but it takes off from four “axioms” or premises of Compression Thinking:

  1. Globally, use and consume far fewer natural resources. In a work organization, just reducing the volume of resources processed reduces the size and scope of other problems no matter how wooly and conflicted they may be. (This is a hypothesis as that term is used scientifically. May not be true, but considerable evidence suggests that it is.)
  2. Globally create an improved quality of life for everyone. This is a desired condition. Quality of life in any situation is a subjective concept. At a minimum it means clothed, warmed, fed, and healthy. As we now think, this conflicts with point 1. The next two points are needed to help resolve the conflict.
  3. Create vigorous learning in active work organizations. We have to understand what we are doing in more breadth and depth to better anticipate future consequences. Ideals are useless without organizations capable of execution with them in mind.
  4. 4. Holistic thinking, or systems thinking. People start toward this from many viewpoints: Quality thinking; lean thinking; sustainability thinking; et al. But the complexity of human limits, conflicts, and motivations impede all such efforts.  We have to find practical ways to overcome our own instincts.

Compression Thinking is so divergent from our expansionary standard that coaches, or mentors, need to be able to guide participants in learning groups. We have interest. We’ve begun to develop method. So stay tuned.

Recent Posts:

The Influence of Neoliberalism Runs Deep

The Influence of Neoliberalism Runs Deep Better known in the United States as Libertarianism, neoliberal dogma began as simplistic assumptions in old quantitative economic models, before computers; later economists were not as constrained. Moneyed people glommed onto...

“Deep” Complexity

A graphic depiction of Gaia from Pixabay, showing that we are connected to each other, to our ecology, and to everything else. That everything in the entire universe, not just earth bound systems, all somehow link together.   Can We Understand Complexity or Only...

Covid-19 Complexity

This is one variation of Ouroboros, a snake eating its own tail -- doesn't recognize its own tail.. Here Ouroboros is also shown in the form of the universal symbol for infinity, signifying deep, hidden feedback connections that we might never be able to fathom with...

A Microbiomic Crisis

The Economy Critically Disrupts the Balance of Nature  Black Lives Matter demonstrations all over the world crowded Covid-19 out of the news, swelling into a pandemic of demonstrations in small towns as well as big cities on six continents. Triggered by the death of...

Planet of the Humans

Planet of the Humans, movie by Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs Moore and Gibbs’ movie appears calculated to incite controversy. If so, they certainly roiled the environmental community. So far, it’s received little mainstream attention, and a few environmental activists...

Finding Our Real Reserves

Finding Our Real Reserves April 7, 2020  Covid-19 and its economic tailspin presage many more crises to come. We must change how we live and how we think. Our economic objectives have set us up for Covid-19, with more debacles on the way. What we have assumed to...

System Fragility

Above: Model of the Corona Virus. At Right: Diagram of our proper priorities: Earth first; us second; profit third. Or, should profit be no more than a systemic convention? Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush First in a Series “Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush” is a stock...

Legal Creep

  Legal Creep Or why we think there is no alternative to economic expansion A better sub-title for this essay with two book reviews might be “can we escape our self-deception that economic expansion is necessary?” Whether economic expansion is labeled capitalist...

Follow Us: