world is going through its biggest transition
in known history;
call this the Post Industrial Society
- others, the shift from the industrial
to the information era - still others
call it The New Age.
the ranks of business, the professions,
government, education and religion,
a group of workers are emerging who
are taking responsibility for steering
these changes with craft and excellence.
call these individuals Transition
Mission of Taylor Management Centers
is to educate, train - facilitate and
support the Transition Manager.
physical environments conducive to the
creative process, supplied with the
tools necessary to bring forth ideas
into working prototypes that are appropriate
responses to today’s challenge.
the process of individuals and groups
in learning information management and
what to do to accomplish artful design
and decisions; we do this with a special
emphasis on developing the group genius
of multi-disciplinary teams.
and implementing in client environments
project management methods and management
centers that amplify their ability to
bring their visions into reality.
goal: A global network of Management
Centers, user owned and operated, supporting
transition managers in their quest for
result: The rebuilding of planet Earth
as a work of art, created and enjoyed
by all people.”
formed Taylor Associates in late 1979. In
doing so we had a highly focussed intent which
was to introduce a new way of working that
supported people in making decisons and doing
work in ways that promoted systemic
thinking and action.
the end of 1982 we had prototyped our first
Management Center and NavCenter, developed
the DesignShop process and developed a practice
of national scope. We had developed and employed
our basic models and focused the mission of
the enterprise. In other words, we had completed
one entire cycle of the creative process.
am writing this today nearing the end of 2002.
MG Taylor in in the final phases of a year
and a half long restructuring. A great deal
has changed in the 20 years separating our
enterprise of today from what we were in 1982.
Mission Statement at the top of this page is
the version that was drafted for insertion in
our 1983 Strategic Plan and Stockholder Report.
These documents were completed just as we were
in the process of completing our sale to Acacia.
Like now, in 2002, we were experiencing a transition
and reorganization. In between, there have been
of these transformations propelled us to a
new level of growth and capability. Everyone
has been both exciting and in many respects
like every other organization in the last
25 years have been subject to the same forces
of increasing change and complexity.
Mission, and the essential ideas that drove
the formation of our Enterprise,
have not changed.
written today, the wording would be different
in certain respects. As a statement, it is
far reaching and still has power. It shows
the era from which it was birthed and that
is part of it’s charm.
of rewriting it, I am going to explain it
in a way that is both consistent with our
understanding and intent at the time and is
useful to the MG Taylor Corporation and ValueWeb
that is emerging over the months ahead.
am doing this now for two reasons: first,
I am hearing confusion about just what is
our mission now as we go forward. Because
the form of our Enterprise is evolving
there seems to be a growing belief that our
Mission is therefore changing. This is not
so. The form is changing in response to the
changing world and the intent to stay on mission.
Secondly, there are those who see opportunity
that can be actualized by our redirecting
our intent and mission. Good business opportunities.
These may be worthy of development but not
at the cost of our Mission. These opportunities
- if not at the core of the Mission - but if worthy and if practical
belong in our ValueWeb or as ValueWeb connected
spin offs. They must not distract us from the Mission - the core of
why we exist as an organization.
The Mission stays intact until accomplished
or until demonstrated to no longer to be necessary
- or doable.
we are a for profit corporation - there were
specific reasons why we have chosen this structure
and they are as valid today as in 1979. Our
economic goal, however, is not to make profit;
it is to be profitable while doing our Mission and as the natural consequence
of having done it well and efficiently.
Mission is why this corporation and this ValueWeb exists. There are many
many other worthy missions and goals. I, myself
have several that are outside
the scope of MG Taylor. They are important
but not important to MG Taylor.
Taylor has reached a certain maturity in it’s
life-cycle. This simply means that it has
reached a certain fitness with it’s
environment. Our tools are mature, our position
is strong and our market is ready. The scope
of operations we must muster to accomplish
our Mission is now within our reach. The period
of heuristic search and organizational experiment
is over. It is time to act. There may well
be a future time when we will have to reevaluate
ourselves at the core. This is not that time.
What we will be able to accomplish lies immediately
before us. After great effort, this game is
now ours to lose.
follows, then, is a re-stating and explication
of our Mission Statement in contemporary language.
It is true to our origins, true to our history
and true to our future.
start, we called ourselves Taylor Associates
in those days even though we were, structurally
- then as now - a corporation.
was a reason. We were trying to get at the
notion of a network organization. This network
concept was - and remains - a core
concept. The corporate structure, and the
mechanism of employment, has defeated us time
we are scaling the corporation down
even as the Enterprise is growing.
The corporation’s role is migrating
to that of system integrator and
IP manager and developer. Production
“pushed” to the inner clam shell
[link: mgt valueweb clam shell growth] of the ValueWeb - and in some cases beyond.
We have migrated, over the years, from a
idea to a ValueWeb Model
to (now) our first serious attempt at building
a true ValueWeb organizational structure [link: valueweb architecture].
this process, some key people who are vital
to the future of the ENTERPRISE have
been “pushed” out of the corporation.
The corporation is changing it’s focus
and requires a different skill set. The ENTERPRISE
Mission is the same and requires both new
and existing skill sets. We have, in the past,
built the “ENTERPISE”
by scaling the corporation as work required
augmented by a network. Now, we are
building a ValueWeb with the corporation as
system integrator and incubator.
intent remains the same: to be
a network architecture, to demonstrate the
success of this architecture and why and how
it is not only consistent with our purpose,
products and services but the kind of organizational
architecture that is necessary in today’s
is no little measure of trauma associated
with this. In many ways, both internal and
external crises has “forced” these
changes. This is good. No matter how painful
and difficult, reality is pushing us (ever
faster) toward our vision. This is one indication
that our “time” has come. As we
“mainstream” we are accomplishing
we proceed, the focus, organizationally, has
to be less on the central integrating function
of the ValueWeb but on the ValueWeb itself both
as an organization
and a market.
World is going Through...”
WORLD we were not speaking metaphorically.
Our intention from the beginning - and remains
- to change the way of working globally.
This does not mean we have to be a huge corporation.
Far from it if we can make our own processes
work for us as they do for our clients (not
as easy as it sounds).
goal is ubiquity of what we do. Our
intent is to adapt our methods to function
in all cultures, all places - applied to all
THROUGH is a description of the state of
things then and now. This is a protracted
process. It is not about fixing some things
then returning to a happy steady-state. This
is wave on wave of disruptive change. Huge in
scale, total in scope, deep in the character
of the change. This transformation will take
two generations and we are about at the halfway
- and most likely - the point of greatest danger.
To many of us it will seem like a long time.
On the scale of civilizations, it will be a
in known history;”
are two points being made here. One is the
of this change and the other is a reminder
that several such transformations have occurred
in history and I suspect in “pre-history.”
In KNOWN history is a deliberate
choice of words. There are two many indicators
that what we “moderns” think of
as originating civilizations are are in fact
fragments of a prior more sophisticated era.
This is important because we (we, the human
race) should be aware that it is possible
to mess this global transition up big time.
Success is not a given.It is not a given on
the level of an individual enterprise and
it is not a given for enterprise human race
- or Planet earth for that matter.
is happening is a TRANSFORMATION
of not only global society but our global
ecological system. Notice however, the focus
of our Mission Statement is on the transition
from one era to another. Transformations,
by deffinition, are emergent [link].
They cannot be understood, predicted nor
Management of the factors brought
to specific transitions
is possible and this cuts to the heart of
design assumption that we brought to our work
was that if the human race continued to think,
work, govern itself and expand it’s
enterprise as it had in the past that it would
most likey destroy far more than it created
and put itself, most species and the planet
at major risk. I have no reason to change
that point of view today.
there is ample evidence that there is strong
linkage between mind organization, enterprise
organization and planetary outcomes. There
is ample evidence that humans and human organizations
can rapidly change and do far better with
systemic issues than the record of past -
indeed, that they will do so given the tools
to do it. There is ample evidence that there
is a race between how fast we will change
and the damage we are doing. That there are
many potential tipping points that can lead
to dangerous consequences capable of coming
upon us far faster than we can adequately
respond to. This is the danger.
started the Taylor enterprise feeling that
we were very much in a race with the future.
It feels that way today; however, the good
news and the bad news are much better defined
than at our beginning. We know our methods
- just ideas in 1975 - work. We know people
will employ them and that they can be effectively
transferred. If they will be used for the
right scale, scope and kind of projects
remains a question.
we will be configured appropriately when these
significant challenges reach a peak remains
a question and this is why understanding our
Mission, and refocusing our energies to it,
is so critical.
Industrial Society - others, the shift
the industrial to the information era - still
others call it The New Age.” This
does not matter to me. Any definition
- from this
side of transformation - is not going to
be accurate nor complete. The New
has come and gone in a flash (There was little
that was “new” about it [link]). However,
there are a number
of characteristics of this new era
- or at least the transition period to
it - that
will involve extensive use of network
structures from neural nets, to computer
architecture to organizational strategies.
will be knowledge-based and design focused
and will involve an entirely new sense
of what is value-added work.
will employ both local and global economies.
will experience wave after wave of disruptive
issues will be preeminent and it will
involve operating complex networks of
organizations with myriad, shifting
will result in a profound shift in power,
access and social structure.
Dichotomies like ecology versus economy will disappear.
patterns have been apparent for more than
25 years and they are still growing in
strength. There are no surprises here.
What is likely to be surprising is how
these patterns combine and play out -
or fail to.
was the invisible
collage concepts of Boulding (1968) and
Dahl (1972) that stimulated our thinking about
the TRANSITION MANAGER. Our own experience
in the 70s and early 80s convinced us that
this would be a knowledge worker focused social/economy
as defined by Drucker (1967) and that a sub-set
of this new “worker” would specifically
take on the task of managing transitions be
it an organization, a geopolitical region,
a nation or a global, transnational entity
or process. These individuals, acting under
their own authority (Fuller’s anticipatory
design scientist concept) - no matter their
organizational affiliations - are the people
we decided to support. This was, on their
part, a “stepping up ” process
to use our term of art.
means that we could never define our “market”
in the narrow traditional terms such as an industry
category. It means we had to “reach”
a broadly diverse and distributed group. It
means - although we do still fall into the trap
of thinking this way - we do not work
for organizations - we work for individuals
most of whom happen to be affiliated with an
organization for some period of time (Toffler,
Transition Manager is a foundational
concept to our Enterprise Model. As we have
become more a “business” in the
last 7 years, we have tended to lose focus on
this point. This is not good and we need to
reinvest ourselves in this commitment to serving
those who smooth the path of organizational
transformation. We developed a CREED
for the Transition Manager that is intended
to both guide this individual in their own quest
and to act as an ethical framework governing
our own actions. This creed specifically addresses
the special context of social transformation
and the responsibilities of those who choose
to take on the task of facilitating the leap
MG Taylor is to...”
train - facilitate and support the Transition
do this in a non traditional way. We do this
by creating a total environment - physical,
informational, psychological, intellectual,
energetic - around the Transition
Manager and co-workers. We do this while helping
them solve real-world problems in a way that
promotes and leads to improved systemic, long
is through this experience that we
transfer a new way of working to
the Transition Manager and their organization(s)
goal is to increase the capacity of
individuals and organizations to deal with rapid
change and complexity. Our starting premise
was - and it has been confirmed again and again
- that when people have the capability they
will “trade up” in regards how they
define and solve problems. Compromises and narrow,
provincial, dead-end “solutions”
are avoided. Individual and system health is
promoted. This premise has long been the moral
basis of our Enterprise.
Environments... Facilitating processes...
Providing Implementation Methods
and Tools. The integration, synergies
and interoperability between environment,
process and tools is the heart of our System
and Method [link].
these environments, using them, transferring
them to their ultimate users... This is our
environments are neutral
places where people from different organizations
can bring different viewpoints and models
in a non-attribution social system. These
environments are specially designed to promote
creative processes, collaboration, group-genius.
They are equipped to carry ideas though to
the production of objective artifacts and
working prototypes - the complete
process not just the “frond-end”
as was the habit in the past.
goal has been and remains: UBIQUITY.
are building a network - a global “brain/mind.”
An intellectual “replacement economy”
(Jacobs). We called these NODES Management
Centers then. Today, they may be a user
NavCenter like at Borgess,
NASA or Vanderbilt, a knOwhere Store, a CGEY
ASE. The Nodes are part of a ValueWeb [link: ValueWeb mechanics];
they share non-competitive information and
intelligence. They share process improvements
and exchange KnowledgeWorkers. Together, as
competitors, as cooperators, they evolve the
craft of knowledge-work, facilitation and
house and support Transition Managers and
their projects. They facilitate Transition
QUEST and Right
Livelihood. They help them achieve their
By doing this, the Centers (nodes) become
active agents in global transformation.
concept that came out of the Renascence Project
Library (1975 - 1979) was EARTH LIBRARY.
The idea was to have a series of facilities
placed around the globe so that when anyone
became aware of personal/social transformation
they could walk to one to find ideas, information,
tools, support and connections. The NavCenter
is a more sophisticated version of this idea.
In 1982, I mapped the number of Centers it
would take to be within a half a days journey
of 50% of the US population. Now, today, there
is a “Taylor” facility of some
kind that more or less equals this “reach.”
are on the threshold of enough critical mass
of Centers to see if the networking assumptions
behind the strategy in fact will act as intended.
We are close to proof-of-concept.
few of these Centers are focusing their energy
on either large-scale systemic problems and/or
the transfer of a new way of working. Doing
the work of their organization is critical;
however, the network of Centers has a greater
mission. If this mission is not met, the individual
nodes are likely to die in time.
rebuilding of planet Earth as a work
of art created and enjoyed by all people.”
of course reveals the true level of ambition
of the Mission. We really meant this. We still
do. We do not believe that the complex problems
- problems that challenge the survival of
many species including our own - can be met
any other way.
earth is now a human
artifact. There is no changing this. The
question is how it evolves from this point.
If it survives as a viable HABITAT
shared by animals and humans in an equable
way - and a sustainable way - it
will be a product of human/nature co-design.
It will be both system and organic - a product
design and heuristic evolution.
the SUM of human impacts - on humans,
on animals, on GAIA
- is accidental, not-intended and immensely
damaging. There is talk of “trade-offs”
and so on but this is really not the case.
The reality is we are designing our world
do see this process as a REBUILDING [link].
This is because we have destroyed so
A great deal of restoring is necessary, however,
this is not an advocacy for “going
First, we cannot. Second, the idea is to
create something that is more than what
was. We humans
can become creators, not destroyers; collaborators,
not dominators. We can be part of bringing
a new level of life to our existence and
our place which is now
is not necessary to point out that these goals
are audacious. They are more than that. One
thing that can be learned from Bucky, and
the way he lived his life, is that a single
individuals can make a tremendous difference
if they try - and stay on it over a long period
of time. Timing, of course, is everything.
This is the strategy behind ANTISCIPATORY
DESIGN. Do Weak
Signal Research, bracket the interesting
and scope of possible,
tools, products and services in anticipation
of needs so that they can exhibit a significant
degree of maturity when humanity discovers
the need. Track
this process, then, implementation
is possible without the usual lag time required
to go from idea to use. Be ready to scale
the organization in support of each client/user
implementation when, where and how it is required.
is what we took on. We took this on as a for-profit
corporation because we wanted to demonstrate
that that our work and ideas were practical
(can be practiced) in our society.
The Transition Manager has to be competent
in both the world that is and the world that
have we done? Over the years we have billed
revenues of about $50,000,000 and spent about
55. We have been profitable about six
out of 10 for a total accumulated deficit
of five million about 50% of which we
to ourselves in the form of loans and deferred
salaries. We have done this with under
thousand invested capital. We have bootstrapped
our entire capability. We have client
who have made millions - and in two cases
billions - in profit by the application
our work. In financial terms, we have not
yet demonstrated viability. While we have
transferred to clients, we have not yet demonstrated
organizational viability beyond the founders
and a small group of core people. However,
both these goals can be demonstrated within
a year or two at which point we will have
archived full proof of concept.
is even likely that we will earn a reasonable
return on investment (both energy and cash)
for a quarter of century of work which has
been largely uncompensated, financially, to
the principals of the Enterprise.
a social investment, we have done well. As
a business investment - in the usual definition
- we have done poorly. Taking the two together,
which is what what I do, it is a draw with
the Enterprise now on the threshold of success.
We are pioneering a new Enterprise
Model. One that rejects the dichotomy
between social good and business good or the
subordination of one to the other. We are
building a true 21st Century organization,
as well as, developing and applying new tools
and methods that support client’s transitions.
As far as I am concerned, this is MISSSION
MG Taylor Mission has, as a consequence, a
number of implications to how we do business
that are uncommon to “normal”
practice. We have been managing these inherent
dilemmas for a couple of decades. The “dilemmas”
remain because they are integral to the difference
of social economic legal reality we are in
and and reality we are working to bring about.
The actions we take in regards these
have to change, as conditions change, else
they become a self-defeating organizational
habit. The dilemmas themselves will not go
away until the transition itself is accomplished.
Many who come to MG Taylor try to remove the
dilemmas by attempting to change the Enterprise
“back” into a traditional corporation.
They argue that money, legal, contractual,
organizational issues will be better handled.
That risk will be reduced and profits enhanced.
They are probably right. The problem is the
compromises this brings to the Mission. This
cannot be allowed to happen. The business
objective is to be profitable and sustainable
while accomplishing the Mission not to be
“successful” at any sacrifice
to why this Enterprise was created.
In this venture as in my architecture
other interests, I want to succeed at what
I set our to do not just succeed by some
social standard of what success is. The ubiquity
of the model that today defines social
success is, perhaps, the most destructive
the planet. It must be reexamined. This
planet cannot take another 25 years of
implications of our Mission to our business
model, policies and organization will be discussed
2 of this document.
September 7, 2002
voice of this document:
• VISION STRATEGY •
click on graphic for explanation of SolutionBox
September 7, 2002
March 16, 2010
20020911.675519.mt • 20020917.444400.mt •
• 20021113.820011.mt •
• 2005 0307.651212.mt • 20100316.011092.mt •
this document is about 98% finished)
Taylor 650 814 1192
Matt Taylor 2002, 2005, 2010