Friday, March 25, 2011


Go, move, stop, quit that job, write that exam, run, fly, start, reverse, retry, resist, recover, replace, change over, get out, leave the comfort of home,……..whatever……..Just Do Something! 


These are POWERFUL ACTION words. You are not young and you are not old. All that matters is that you are alive. Those who know half of what we know are DOING twice as much as we are. The instruction for the NOW is clear. Yes I know we don’t have enough information. We don’t have enough money. There is nobody to help us. We don’t know where to start from! There is no infrastructure! Security is lacking! Guess what? These are all excuses! This is a different season. We’ve moved beyond dissertation. This is beyond talk. You know talk is cheap. In this season, we have a mandate to do a lot with almost nothing, create forests in deserts, defeat ancient foes and recover lost ground! In this season, even if we are making a mistake, then let's make it with passion! All that matters is the heart. Jesus loves both good and bad people and He is particularly attracted to imperfect people. It’s indifferent folks that He hates! There's no room for indecision.

There’s no excuse. Yesterday is gone and wehaven’t yet received an invitation into tomorrow! In the words of Dr. Mike Murdock, "Hope is what you sell when you don't have answers". The time for hopeless hoping is past. What you do NOW determines whether you get an invitation into tomorrow. People who are 10 times better than us in all respects died today. The reason you are reading this is because someone up there is giving you yet another chance. That person is trusting (not hoping) that you will get the message this time. There is no guarantee you will have another chance. Let me share this deep revelation with you. If you think your future is awaiting you, you’ve missed it completely! Actually, there is no “future”. It’s all a lie. The future doesn’t exist. It’s an optical illusion. Jesus always talked about "TODAY". Infact, He dismissed "Tomorrow" by saying it would take care of itself. Tomorrow is merely an extension of today. All you have is today. No more, no less! Today is what connects you to tomorrow. Throw today away, and tomorrow goes with it!

So my question to you is: What have you been postponing? What have you been hiding from? It's clear they’ve been lying to us to wait for the “right” time. Remember they said the same thing last year, and the year before the last. You can’t claim to not know the truth. The choice is yours. You can go back to the waiting chamber, or you can choose to seize the moment.

The time is NOW. We are already late. We need to work twice as fast with half the resources. The ball is in your court. This time tomorrow morning, that ball would be long gone. By then, we may have missed it and another opportunity may not come in our life time.

Be a Bitz’uist. This was the word used to describe David Ben-Gurion. He was Israel’s first Prime Minister, a founder of the modern state of Israel and a member of Time Magazine’s 100 most important people of the 20th CenturyBitz’uist is someone who just gets things done no matter the challenge!

David Ben-Gurion was also a KibbutzKibbutz is the name of a community in Israel. Kibbutzniks constitute less than 2% of Israel’s population, but they produce 12% of Israel’s exports! At a time, they constituted 15% of Israel’s entire parliament. They led an innovation that turned a barren wasteland country classified as being 95% semi-arid into a nation with over 240 million trees. Israel is the ONLY country in the world where desert land is being turned into forests. They dug a well as deep as the length of 10 football fields, brought out warm water and reared fish right inside a desert. They took it to another level by harnessing waste water from fish plantations to irrigate farmland in a desert.
The forests in Israel today started with one tree.

At age 85, Caleb said “Give me this Mountain”. He was just as strong and competent as he was 40 years earlier. I’m certain he thought within himself “I’m not gonna let these clowns talk me out of my destiny a second time”. Will we respond like Caleb?

Enough said!


In the transcendental words of my friend and leading Apostle of Change – Amenze Iyamu, JUST BE!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

This is different!

All achievement is the product of an idea set in motion. In the real sense, ideas do not originate from men. Since all things have already been created (Gen 1:1), there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl 1:9). Man only enjoys the privilege of searching out secrets (Prov 25:2). To “catch” an idea is to have an insight into the blue-print of creation. Since there is a season for everything, and a time to every purpose under heaven, we recognize that ideas explode when there is a synchronization of time and space.

There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come! Fight all you want against it, it will prove to be an exercise in futility. The world since the beginning of time has been ruled by ideas and ideologies. Like a little leaven that leavens the whole lump, ideas that have managed to collide space with time have historically spread like a virus destroying all that stood in their path. They have consistently left the world a permanently changed place, creating irreversible transitions and shifts similar to an egg that has undergone a chemical and state change induced by exposure to heat. 

There are highly potent ideas that have been propounded by many in the past, but they did not attain global relevance because they showed up prematurely. Wise men (a.k.a. opportunistic intellectual entities) rehashed and rebranded these same ideas a few moments later at the appointed season and ended up taking almost all the credit, simply because they understood how the alignment of time and space unleashes the full potential of ideas.

For example, the works of fore-runners such as Peter Waldo, John Hus and John Wycliffe ultimately led to “The Reformation”, but The Reformation is largely credited to Martin Luther for his bravery in defiantly sticking his 95 Thesis upon the door of the University church at Wittenberg, Germany. An idea (a spiritual one in this case) that had been seeking room for full expression over centuries finally collided space with time during Martin Luther’s day. The new invention of Gutenberg (printing press) provided the space and platform upon which this idea travelled far and wide, destroying the hold of the Papacy and it’s doctrine of indulgences (some sort of stock exchange where earthly financial instruments and securities were traded for divine securities such as forgiveness and eternal life). “Justification by faith” finally prevailed! Martin Luther struck the tipping point for this very old idea and took all the credit! Imagine what Martin Luther would have missed if he had written off this idea on the basis of its previous track record and results?

When communicating and selling ideas, innovation or new technology (particularly those we feel strongly about), we often find ourselves using precursors such as “This is different!” or “Please hear me out!”. A critical look at this pattern reveals that these phrases were intended as fortification against expected attacks triggered by the declaration of new ideas or demonstration of unconventional thinking. While many do lay claim to loving change and dynamism, in reality, they are perpetual and permanent bedfellows of the status quo. Whenever there is push for change or an overhaul of an existing system, such persons balk and resist albeit subtly. However, we cannot always blame people for such faithless behavior especially when we understand that they have become victims of that phenomenon called “experience”.
Observation has revealed that there are three kinds of crowds.

The NO crowd, the YES crowd and the Observers.

Interestingly, the NO crowd is usually filled with the most “experienced” people. You see, the thing about experience is that it has a great ability to deceive. Experience can make you think you understand something you know nothing about. Because you tried out an idea that failed miserably 5 years ago, whenever someone proposes a similar idea, you discountenance it quickly based on your “experience”. You forget to factor and objectively consider the wide range of internal and external variables that have since changed.

Let’s consider a few interesting self explanatory expressions:
  • Analytical Productive Thinking
  • Ultra-High Frequency Thinking
  • Border-less Mind Mapping
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Contingency Planning
  • Innovative Improvisation

All the above are simply methods of utilizing the brain!

What is wisdom? Dr. Mike Murdock provided one of the most insightful and unconventional definitions when he defined wisdom as the study of difference! Wisdom is the ability to recognize and capitalize on differences and variations, no matter how subtle.

Let’s carefully analyze the dynamics of Two Space Exploration Missions and how their study and interpretation of difference meant the difference between life and death.

Apollo 13

The Apollo 13 crisis occurred on April 15, 1970 after the Space Ship had travelled 75% of its journey to the moon.  Two days into its mission and traveling at 2000 mph, one of its primary oxygen tanks exploded. The Flight and Crisis Director, Gene Kranz was presented with an enormous challenge. The survival of astronauts onboard Apollo 13 hung on his decisions and he had only single digit minutes to decide and execute changes to a project that took years to plan and implement. He had to figure out a way to stretch oxygen and electricity that was barely sufficient for 2 men over 2 days, in order to support 3 men for 4 days. Fortunately, Kranz had built a high performance team with advanced levels of interaction and collaboration. They had been taken through excruciating drills and were mentally prepared for contingencies of this nature. Expectedly, they successfully crafted creative solutions that saved the mission and the lives of the astronauts. A New York Times editorial reported that the crisis would have been fatal had it not been for the NASA network whose teams of experts performed miracles of emergency improvisation. In order words, they recognized and responded excellently well to unanticipated change.

Columbia Mission

On Feb 1 2003, 16 days into the Columbia Mission, the space shuttle exploded into fragments as the shuttle re-entered the earth’s atmosphere. Investigations revealed that a piece of insulating foam weighing 1.67 pounds broke off the external fuel tank during take-off and struck the tip of the shuttle’s left wing, creating a hole that would later allow super-heated gasses to rip through the wing’s interior. There was a two week period between the damage to the wing and the fatal explosion. Could NASA have averted this disaster? Absolutely YES! Mid level engineers repeatedly recommended that repair work be carried out on the wing after a post-launch review but NASA management overruled their recommendation. Management thought “this is isn’t different from similar foam dislodgements that had occurred in previous successful missions”. They thought “This is NOT different!”
NASA has lived to regret this unforgivable faux-pas that cost the lives of several astronauts including that of the first Israeli astronaut.

An HBS study went on to reveal that organizations belong to one of two models:

1.      A standardized model where standards and routines govern everything, including strict compliance with timelines and budget. 

2. An experimental model where each day, every exercise and every piece of new information is evaluated and debated (in a culture that resembles that of an R&D laboratory)

In this age, everyone alive has no excuse for keeping a state of mind that visualizes change and fast paced development as unnecessary. If Tsunamis (orchestrated by subsea earthquakes that the most advanced early warning systems are still incapable of predicting) can be let loose in a matter of minutes, then we must accept that the world we live in demands the greatest possible affinity for improvisation and on-the-spot thinking. Every experience and exercise must be treated as a source of data. Each attempt, whether space travel, a startup or a development project is fundamentally an experimental endeavor and should be managed as such.

In the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), each day is treated as an experiment. Daily debriefs are held where each day is critically deconstructed. Explaining a bad situation away is unacceptable. The path of honor is to accept responsibility and enumerate the lessons learnt. There are only two ways to describe a soldier – rosh gaddol or rosh kattan!

Rosh gaddol (translated big-head thinking) refers to a responsible can-do attitude that assesses a multiple scenario of applicability and options in executing an instruction. It means following orders in the best possible way using personal judgment and required effort. It emphasizes improvisation over disciplined rigidity. In other words, it places high premium on initiative and innovation.

Rosh kattan (translated little head thinking) narrowly accepts orders, works like a robot, shuns extra work and detests personal evaluation and responsibility.

When we shoehorn every new piece of data or experience into an inflexible system, we become dinosaurs. Isn’t it foolish to judge new ideas on the basis of recommendations from pattern recognition systems and neural networks that use yesterday to judge today and the future, knowing we live in a world undergoing convulsive change on a per second basis? Every idea, proposal, opportunity or venture must be analyzed and judged within its current context and future potential rather than being subjected to historical prejudice. There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose season is now! Break free from stubborn attachments to existing beliefs.

The old is gone. The new is here. This is different! We thank God for inexperience taking us on to the next level!