Workshop: The 7 Moves and 1 Way of Super Agility
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
The Ninja emerged approximately in the 14th century and were particularly effective during the 15th to 17th century during a great period of unrest in Japan. There was a need for asymmetric warfare which required sabotage, infiltration, deception, secrecy, espionage and assassination. The Samurai’s code of honor in combat would prevent them from participating covert and dishonorable activities. The vacuum of willing insurgents gave rise to this group of Ninja warriors who offered their combat skill and services to the highest bidder. Unlike the Samurai, they were typically from the lower-class of Japanese society; they were minimalists, clad in simple formfitting all-black attire as opposed to the ceremonial costumes of the Samurai. Their movements were of high-efficiency, agility and stealth quality. They embraced the darkness and had no interest in purposefully facing their opponents straight-on in a fight. While they were seen primarily as “murderous assassins” they were able to strip combat-as-an-art down to its bare essentials, and they created their own ethos of survival and success in a very turbulent environment.
Samurai were the noble, honorable and soft side of warfare while Ninja were the rule-breakers and the hard side. Samurai were clothed in tradition while Ninja were cloaked in the garb-of–the-moment. Paradoxically, both were brutal killers and problem-solvers albeit their methods were vastly different. The Samurai were immutable while the Ninja were disruptive.
What do feudal Japanese practices have to do with the present Super VUCA corporate or business environment? We need to embrace the paradox: be both immutable and disruptive at the same time…be both the particle and the wave. A Super Agile company must have the ability to fight both in the daylight as well as the night time, remain principled with focus and Servant Leadership but not be so bound by such principles as to get blown away by the winds of change and perhaps win a battle but lose the war.
Super Agility blends the force multiplier of Agility with the True North of Superperformance. While Agility transforms speed, flexibility, and innovation Superperformance maximizes long-term value – based on a shockingly simple, fractal pattern. Merging the two creates something powerful, unprecedented, and refreshingly simple.
SEVEN MOVES AND ONE WAY
The Seven Moves are all two-sided moves and the “one way” is the way of humbly serving.
“Any practitioner of martial art should therefore consider both the softness and firmness as equals in importance and unavoidably interdependent of one another. The rejection of either gentleness or firmness will lead to separation and separation runs to extreme. Understand the fact that firmness and gentleness are not isolated, but coalescent, they are complementary as well as contrastive, and in their inter-fusion make up the oneness. The idea of opposition results when we single out firmness and treat it as distinct from gentleness. Tall for example, once distinguished, suggests its opposite: short. However, to distinguish tallness, shortness is necessary for the comparison, and tallness cannot exist without shortness. Remember, gentleness versus firmness is not the situation, but gentleness/firmness as a oneness is the Tao.” Bruce Lee
- Sensing and Responding – to the market, a changing environment, the battlefield, or winds of change in life in a proportional manner; continuously improving and adjusting based on input and feedback, allowing for “fast failure” but also “fast learning” and useful iteration.
- Self-Knowing and Transcending – develop and attain the former and create the latter through the power of imagination.
- Focusing and Self-Controlling – develop the ability to see through the “fog of war” and concentrate, tune out distractions while control and adherence to a structure, which may need to be adapted/modified based on new information—comes from repetition and honing of skills in the furnace of the mind/will.
- Willing and Skilling – Skill is “tools based” but will is to have the ability to be “intentional” or to execute and when and where necessary to adjust or change your culture to enable this.
- Creating and Simplifying – do not be “rigid” or operationally-fixed. Rather be flexible and use this foundation and knowledge to create new and unprecedented solutions. Follow the swiftest, simplest, most reliable path, that emerges paradoxically as control is relinquished.
- Adapting and Detaching – embrace the paradox of being both immutable and disruptive at the same time; stay flexible and change as needed, move with little waste through the chaos and volatility.
- Calming and Opening – stay vigilant, mind your surroundings and flow, twist, and bend with what happens; slow down the mental chatter and do not let the VUCA demons infect your judgement; use and apply what makes sense and throw the rest overboard.
- Humbly Serving – the 1 Way of Super Agile is the intangible polar-complement of all the moves. It is the single force that penetrates and enlivens individuals and relationships. The One-Way of Super Agile is Spirit force. The Super Agile individual is fundamentally servant to the cause.
Through examples of Super Agile in action, this highly interactive event will not only explore Super Agile as a new discipline, but also draw from participants themselves to discover Super Agility in action.