Raise your hand if you have struggled with perfectionism?
Specifically, if you have battled your own self-perfection? Or hesitated to launch a product or service because it is not perfect yet? Maybe dismissed someone because some part of their being didn’t match your perfection requirements?
One of the key components of a Syntropic Enterprise is its forever emergent characteristic. We call this Forever Beta.
Our business-as-usual world asks for the budget, strategic plan, and the exact form the business will be expressed in in ‘x’ time. We might claim to like change, but not too fast and definitely not too big. Certainly, we dislike change that we cannot control or dictate.
Our personal lives typically aim for a steady state. Too much disruption throws our neurobiology into stress.
A Steward Leader of a Syntropic Enterprise trains themselves to be fluent with emergence and change, discerning what needs to be fast-changing, and what we might build to keep a steady-state, for we do need both to co-exist.
The key elements of a Syntropic Enterprise that enable a Forever Beta state are:
(1) a clear purpose for being – we exist to do this future thing and we will know specifically we have done this when we see the following events or changes.
(2) bringing to life the Pattern Integrity of the Source Idea towards that purpose. (The Pattern Integrity is the unique values and particularities that clearly define what the idea is or is not.)
(3) Clarity around what is the very next step – small or big – to be taken towards that purpose through the expression of the Pattern Integrity.
(4) Identifying key indicators – physical, emotional, cold and warm data – that demonstrate we are on or off the path.
(5) Steward Leadership comfortable and fluent with emergence and Forever Beta.
The moment we become attached to our enterprise being expressed in a very specific form on our imposed timeline, we are not allowing what needs to emerge, rather we are expressing what we want to see.
And you might well ask, “What is wrong with doing this?” Nothing if you are in the business of business-as-usual.
However, if you embrace the role of Steward Leader of a Source Idea then, like parenting, or gardening, your job is to create the ecology in which the child or garden can become the best expression of its Pattern Integrity. Not the expression that you want it to have.
To live Forever Beta means to embrace emergence. Or, in Syntropic language, to embrace life and Syntropy.
Give up the thought of creating a product that is fixed in time and therefore perfect. In a world of Forever Beta there is constant emergence, constant improvement, and constant change.
The speed of change matters.
In Syntropic World we teach that if we want to speed up we might first slow down. There are times fast is necessary. Knowing the difference is important.
Just imagine if you lived as if Forever Beta were true all the time, in everything you do?
Fast Forever Beta…technology, software, AI, babies, young children, a small group of people who embrace change and thrive living on the threshold of emergence.
Medium Forever Beta…older children, some people who seek change consciously, most global multinational companies, the pharmaceuticals, weapons systems, entertainment. Climate change – probably moving from, if not already moved from medium to fast Forever Beta.
Slo..o..o..w Forever Beta…most people, most relationships, most businesses, housing, our economic system, our governance and legal system, our transport system, our energy systems, our education systems, politics, most countries, our health systems, democracy, justice.
Some things need to be in slow Forever Beta to maintain health and stability. For example, the rotation of our planets, the movement of the earth’s crust.
Most of our human systems are in Slow Forever Beta at the cost of our comprehensive health. We are experiencing this now as our economy blows up – the rich 1% getting richer at an exponential rate while the rest of the world is going backwards – poverty, food insecurity and cost of living shifting from the margins to the mainstream. Democracy falling apart, our health systems are actually sickness care, and our reluctance to embrace renewable energy now reaching a crisis point.
A Few Forever Beta Key Points to Consider
When you put a Fast Forever Beta person or element together with a Slow Forever Beta person or element the dissonance can be too great and the ensuing chaos could well result in breakdown or break apart.
Two people in a relationship going at different speeds for long periods of time do not generally have a strong relational dynamic. Speed of growth (emotional, spiritual, intellectual, innovative, technological) must be well matched to sustain a long-term partnership.
Communities and tribes going at different speeds are likely to blow apart or collapse. The speeds can be evidenced in worldviews, mindsets, age and mobility, technological embrace or denial, and cultural influences. Women, the Taliban and Afghanistan are an example of different speeds of change. (You might say the same about many other countries, even those supposed developed countries.)
When we are designing the architecture to hold people and relationships together being mindful of the different speeds of change needed in the different areas and the people who are comfortable at those speeds is a design feature that many fail to account for.
If we do not embrace faster Forever Beta into many significant aspects of our lives we become dinosaurs. We will be left behind.
In a healthy ecology, we balance the Fast Forever Beta with the Slow Forever Beta. We do this with a thoughtful consideration of context, pace, ecology, timing, purpose and relevance.
For example, the accelerated acceleration of our technological pace of change requires an accelerated acceleration of our human biological systems to keep up.
This also means that we need to factor in requisite recovery time as a priority or our biological systems will collapse.
Forever Beta as Normal Operations
Imagine if we truly accepted that we are in Forever Beta in our personal and business relationships. Each and every day we are different. Therefore, each and every day our relational dynamic is different. Do you look forward to the changes, the uncertainty?
I find it strange that we seem to accept Fast Forever Beta with young children, knowing that they change and grow so quickly. Yet at some point we expect our children to reach a place where they stay the same, becoming predictable. We get mad when our children or our partners do not conform to our expectations and be the same as they were yesterday.
Our technological world has led the way in Forever Beta. Version #1.0 is released, and the minute before the release version #1.1 is in progress. We often like this about technology. We like it when things get better and better, or easier and faster.
However, when our partner comes home and says he has a new version of himself, fear grips us. Will we like the new version? Will the new version like us? Will we think that the new version is better and better? How will we relate? Is our partner changing when we are not? Is their change in a direction or at a coherent speed with us?
There in lies the dilemma! We have to learn to live in constant feedback of Forever Beta in order to keep up with each other and ourselves. The ”who are you?” syndrome arises when we do not. This might include waking one day and wondering who we are and how we lost or forgot ourselves.
We are all addicted to the predictable in places in our lives. I do like to know that I can go to my bedroom at night and sleep in a warm bed. However, I know that when I do travel, the experience of the unpredictable is what makes travel so exciting. The Forever Beta of travel gets me out of any rut I might be in. The rut is like slow sleeping sickness. I don’t know I am in it until I am thrown out of the rut by the change. While I may not like the change, or find it comfortable, it keeps me alive and in motion.
Forever Beta is just that. Alive! Moving, responding, adapting, learning.
Our world is heaving under the constraints of stuck systems. The ones that need emergency work are the ones that take forever to change. These stuck systems are the places we are focused on changing in our work at Syntropic World. We are not attempting to change them from within. Rather we are building new systems that hopefully will make the old stuck ones obsolete.
This is bold work with a very long-term focus. To go fast we are slowing down.
Put aside your love affair with perfection. More often than not it is keeping you, your business and your life so safe you are going backwards. Instead, practise Forever Beta. Become comfortable and alive in the emergent.