Many of us has a very simplified and biased view of how the we humans and the world works and operates. We like to label things in simple terms like Black & White. And things we can’t see or are afraid of we label Dark. Because it makes so much “Sense” to our brains. We can change all that! Together we an embark on a journey beyond Darkness & Light. By creating colorful teams of Innovation Rainbow Ninjas, we can go on new type of Quest in the world. A Quest where no-one is the good guy fighting the bad. More like a mission to explore “the known” and “the unknown” Universe by painting it into a multitude of colors. We can tell it in ever evolving stories. We can elevate our understanding of the world that was, the world that is and we can build a better world of tomorrow together. Everything is invented by us and We invent the Future.
 Darkness & Light [The Visible Universe]
This fall has been about Darkness & Light. Darkness was fittingly the theme for the last Pecha Kucha here, in my hometown Varberg, Sweden. As it is now October-November and they days are fast becoming darker here, high up on the northern hemisphere. Some people can’t stand the darkness and others like me love it as a part of life. Now you can cosy up inside or stroll the dark forests at night. Many of the speeches was about finding light in the darkness. Light has always come to represent the Good in us and the Darkness the bad and the Evil.
We Fear the Dark and Love the Light. Why is it so?
The Universe is a Dark place. And we Humans places too much emphasis on light, color and vision. Maybe Rightly so, as it’s our primary sensory system. It’s how we navigate the world. Where there is Darkness the world is not. What we can’t see scares us. And now the scientist tells us that The Universe is full Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Things we can’t see. Unseen things we label dark. Things that exists in the scary world. Out there beyond the light of the campfire.
Fear the fear, feel the fear Most of the things we avoid are avoided because we’re afraid of being afraid. Too meta? — Seth Godin
Those of us who isn’t fearless, fear the Dark. But must we? Can we all become fearless of the Dark? Or should we leave it be? We have come out of the “Dark” ages past “Enlightenment” into this world we now slowly are beginning take form. A world of Sustainability, Collaboration, Transparency, Openness, Empowerment and Community. Yes, there is still much Darkness in the world. Real “Darkness” that we should fear for real. Even in our own so-called “Free Democracies“. The whole world learned this summer, thanks to Edward Snowden, that even the Land of the Free is going in the wrong direction. It’s not a given that everything is going in the right direction.
Dear darkness Dear darkness Won’t you cover, cover Me again? — PJ Harvey
We must bring our torches and shine light into these dark corners. Because they are still everywhere. Just around your own corner, there is Darkness still, in our own neighborhood. No matter how much we light our way there will still be Shadows on the wall. As long as we are aware of the Shadows, we can handle the Darkness. We can live in the Darkness. Embrace it and get to know it. It’s only in the eyes and minds of the living, that Light & Darkness exist. The Universe is neither Light nor Dark. The Worlds of Light & Darkness is where humans lives. We choose the paths that we tread into these worlds. Carrying with us our own inner Light and Darkness. –
Black & White [Stop Demonizing each other]
We humans are very prone to paint reality in Black & White. Some of us knows, that it isn’t so. Yet we struggle with our world view ourselves. We all do. Just when we think the we finally made rational sense of the world we discover that, we too, hold some things sacred. Or worse. We don’t recognize it all, and only see demons in others. This is a “Dark Path” to wander. If we are to live together in the long run on this small spherical spaceship, we can not afford to demonize each others. We must stop painting the world in Black & White.
We must learn to see all the colors there is in each and every one of us. We must recognize that this is our strengths instead. That the best teams are made out of people with different skills and different world views. We just need better team-leaders to manage us. To help us release our inner Light, Darkness and Colors onto the world. So that we can paint it in a rich palette together. We humans paint the Universe with our eyes. We put beauty onto the things we view.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” — Franklin D. Roosevelt –
Annika R Malmberg talked about putting together teams containing individuals with different skills & colors on Webbdagarna here in Sweden. You can view it in Swedish here from Webbdagarna in Gothenburg (See Khoi Thu below for an English Counterpart). Apart from different ways of thinking, a team also need common visions and goals.
A team sets up the basic rules and methods to use when collaborating yo reach their set goals, while traveling in the direction of the Vision.
So many people are talking about it. Yet why don’t we get this: …
Rainbow Innovation Ninjas [Smart Diverse Flexible Teams]
Most teams today are just one color. Black or White. We humans are exceptional good at seeing and mapping the world in color through our advance brain. Why then settle for a one-dimensional — one-color team? Here is great opportunity for small teams of Rainbow Ninjas. Ninjas work in small flexible teams that thinks on their feet. Who can take on a much larger foe or challenge. They can attack a problem from all angles using different skill-sets. Ninja Innovation is a book by Gary Shapiro in with we are given the insight into what it means to be a modern Ninja. Then Rainbow Innovation Ninjas are a team of Ninjas consisting of members of different prominent colors. Usually most small teams are to narrow-minded and subject to strong group think. We can change all that by making better teams like I’ll explain below. Cowabunga!
On the this subject Martin Berg fittingly talked about Intellectual Antimatter. Not just choosing between the Red or the Blue pill like in The Matrix. Give us more options. Give us A Third Pill. The Green Pill. Just like what The Matrix is really about … Choice. The Free Will to make choices between many options. We need to cross-fertilize our society. Then the Magic of a multicolored palette of choice happens. Scientist need to meet Entrepreneurs, and Business Developers need to meet Creative Hippies. And all teams needs Doers, Dreamers and Leaders. It’s the same idea that Khoi Tu gives a great presentation on The RSA called The Secrets of Super-Teams. I also came across this article about The 6 Types of Thinkers to Seek for Your Team. I translated that into the 7 types of Creative Ninjas. A team of Creative Rainbow Ninjas can be but together by all or some of the 7 roles. It’s also possible for a ninja to fill several roles. Here are the 7 roles:
1. Master Green – The Dreamer. The Visionary who always challenges what is possible. They bring the energy to make dreams come true. The think big and never stops asking questions like Why? and What If?
2. Master Yellow – The Debater. The Mindbender who finds problems where others finds none. They test your irrational emotional thinking and preconceived notions if they hold up to science and logic.
3. Master Red – The Disruptor. The Explorer who takes a different path and helps the team to see things in a new light or calls out a groupthink plan. They are excellent at finding new opportunities.
4. Master Violet – The Driver. The Lord Commander who pushes the team forward. The one who communicates with other teams or the receiver and customer of the mission. They motivates the team when the excitement wears of and keeps them focus on a goal in sight. They can also keep conflicts from tearing the team apart.
5. Master Blue – The Detailer. The Engineer who controls facts and keeps the rest from making silly mistakes. They find bugs in the system and relentlessly considers every facet where something can break.
6. Master Orange – The Doer. The Warrior who does all the hard work and is in charge executing tasks at a flying rate. They make things ship.
7. Master Indigo – The Coach. The Ranger is the secret invisible Ninja working outside the team gathering intelligence for the rest of the team. Or inspiration for that matter. Tracking ahead or spying from a distance. Or coaching the team without interfering too much.
I will go more into detail in a later blog how we can create and use Ninja Teams for a future to come. Will you be a Ninja with me? –
We have also discussed the many Fears we have in life that holds us back from our true potential. Seth Godin explains it well in his blog posts: Avoiding Fear by indulging in our fear of fear, Fearlessness is not the same as the absence of fear and Fear the fear, feel the fear.
Life without fear doesn’t last very long – You’ll be run over by a bus (or a boss) before you know it. The fearless person, on the other hand, sees the world as it is (fear included) and then makes smart (and brave) decisions — Seth Godin
Each and every one of us has the ability and potential to become a Linchpin. Someone who resists the fear that the Lizard Brain constantly warns us about. The Lizard Brain is always stronger so we need methods and training to come up with ways to win over the Lizard Brain. But of course we only do this when there isn’t any real danger to be afraid of. The Lizard Brain consist of the Amygdala and it has kept us alive for million of years and it will continue to do so for million of years to come. Our mission is to train ourselves to recognize when not to listen to it and to trick it with our own acting. I will discuss this in a coming blog post. Things that helps are: Deadlines, Iterate & Ship often, Thrash early, Do “Today-lists”, Have fun & play.
“Shared anger destroys trust. It eliminates dialogue. It activates the lizard brain of everyone within earshot, and produces nothing of value.” — Seth Godin
You may have seen Donnie Darko when they talk about the Fear-Love Line. Yet another way to make the world into the same one-dimensional grade as Darkness & Light and Black & White. So wrong and yet it feels so right at the same time.
Donnie: Well, life isn’t that simple. I mean, who cares if Ling Ling returns the wallet and keeps the money? It has nothing to do with either fear or love. Kitty Farmer: Fear and love are the deepest of human emotions. Donnie: Okay. But you’re not listening to me. There are other things that need to be taken into account here, like the whole spectrum of human emotion. You can’t just lump everything into these two categories and then just deny everything else. — Donnie Darko
Should we only try to have a White, Light World full of Love? Is it even possible? OR should we try to abandon this way of thinking? I say we love as much as we can. Although I can imagine that much change has come into the world by people hating the current system with real fear of losing one’s own head. Most of the hate in the world leads to no good. Even a hateful spark that started a rebellion had little chance of success if not planned in a cool-headed manner. That would almost always lead to a new way system no better than the last one. What ever the emotion that started something we must balance our way of thinking when executing and shipping change. We can become Ninja Lords of our own thinking and doing. Masters and Eternal Students of ourselves and the whole of The Universe. This is also a big paradox. We are trapped inside our human minds. Things will always be emotional. We just have to be aware of it and help each others when we become stuck in our thinking. Watch out for oversimplified Mental Models because we can’t stop using them and they often do us no good. There is always at least another version of every story. –
Evil Overlords & Warriors of the Light [Stories will paint our way]
Or should we go the Way of the Dark Elves in Thor 2: The Dark World. By making the Universe a very dark place to live. Maybe even Sauron has something to say about plans to cover the world in Darkness? Why is this the goal of so a many Evil Overlords? What will they do once it is black?
“Fear leads to anger – Anger leads to hate – Hate leads to suffering” — Yoda
Nah. Neither would do. As it’s all in our heads anyway. So by taking all of the above into account it becomes clear that we can choose for ourselves how we would like to perceive the world. Yet in our stories, we like it nothing more than when an underdog fighting for the light defeats a much more powerful foe with bucket of black paint that are trying to paint it black… that is, the Universe. It’s our own human fear of the dark that puts Darkness on the agenda of the so-called Prime Evils. That’s why stories about Evil Overlords are so fascinating. They can embody our own thoughts and apply agency to the Darkest parts of our emotions.
“The alliance… will die. As will your friends. Good, I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!” — The Emperor
I think that it’s necessary to paint & illuminate the world in many colors. Colors that only we can see. That live inside our minds like stories do. As our scientist are continually exploring and painting the Known Universe in color (Even the Dark parts). We should tell Stories about it that only live in our imagination. To continually light the way for how we can see into the future. To keep the passion alive and inspire us to build a new, better and more colorful society. The Eternal Struggle of Heroes vs Villains [Evolve our Quest]
Life isn’t An Eternal Struggle between Light & Darkness. It may be convenient to slap either label on something. Thus reducing our mental map to a one-dimensional one. It’s makes for such a great narrative. But it’s not they way forward for our ever evolving consciousness. Sure we all love stories about underdog heroes and charismatic villains. And this Stories will always have their place in our hearts. As long we recognize that they are just that, Stories. And relate to them and the real world in a thoughtful manner.
OH, YES. A VERY SPECIAL KIND OF STUPIDITY. YOU THINK THE WHOLE UNIVERSE IS INSIDE YOUR HEADS. ’You make us sound mad,’ said Susan. A nice warm bed … NO. YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME? said Death helping her up on Binky. — DEATH and Susan, Hogfather
Now we have the chance to tell ever more and better complex stories. And some have already started. And we like it. That’s why so many of us likes stories like Game of Thrones, Revenge, The Americans, True Blood, The Borgias, Dexter and Continuum. We want life to be more complex. We are all Sinners and Liars without us being evil or bad for that sake. We can all help each other to make life a little more colorful. Stories like Revenge start out by giving us a clear set of Heroes and Villains. But then they change it by giving them all complex emotions and agendas. They even questions the Agenda of Revenge and what it teaches us about ourselves and being good and having Empathy.
“Fear. It’s a fire that burns from birth and even in the coldest heart. It motivates and paralyzes the best of us, or it’s used as a weapon by the worst. But when your path is one of treachery and deception, the greatest fear of all…is that the truth is absolute” — Emily Thorne
“Fear is the most primal of emotions. Can linger as a memory burned into one’s mind of a parent taken to soon. Or burrow into one’s soul as self-doubt over child rejection. But the one fear we all fear the most is the unknown.” — Emily Thorne
Of course we should make it our quest to fight all Evil in this world. We must just be aware that there is no Pure Evil to fight like in the old Fairy Tales (or the new ones for that matter). Life is so much more complex. And fighting Evil & Darkness with the same kind, usually just means we get more of the stuff. We need to upgrade our Mental Maps of the world. Make new complex quests to go on adventure on. Evolve our Visions & Missions to match our ever growing understanding of how we and the world works. Let’s assemble new and better teams of Innovation Rainbow Ninjas. And I say we start by paining the world in color… So that we all can visualize the beauty, we can explore together. Just remember that everything is invented. We Invent our Future.
I say: Paint the
Universe in color!
Invent a better Future and
Tell it in Stories about us.
@LordSillion [Michael Sillion]
Holistic Thinking Ninja