The MG Taylor Tool Kit support of a human way of working
and the recreation of
the Human Enterprise
The core of the Taylor Method is the integration of the physical environment, work processes and technology augmentation to facilitate human creativity and GroupGenius®. With this Method, learning, design and productive work are integrated. Work processes are human focused and compatible with the organization which supports them. ValueWeb® architecture is the primary organizational ecology.
click on icon for further reading:
ValueWeb Architecture
Zone of Emergence Model
What follows is an outline of the basic MG Taylor Tool Kit as configured for achieving the MG Taylor Mission. In the 1960s, I did a great deal of research and modeling in systems theory, cybernetics and mind-brain theory. My starting goal was to see how these disciplines could be applied to architecture and building. At first, I applied them as means to reduce cost and time in the execution of projects. Soon, I began to see the larger application of this way of working and out of this was born the Renascence Project in the 1970s and MG Taylor Corporation in 1980. By the time MG Taylor was born, my theoretical base regarding it was well advanced and the vision of the enterprise concrete. Even so, the application of these ideas and designs - given the nature of the enterprise - involved a step by step process based on real experiences with real clients. Everything we do today, and will do over the next several years yet to come, has been a deliberate combination of a specific intent and design, which goes back to the 60s and 70s, integrated with a real time project by project rapid prototyping process.
further reading:
MG Taylor Mission
Creative Augmentation
Renascence Reports 1977-78 - Index
We call this “getting HERE from THERE: Vision driven, iterative, pragmatic implementation. Every environment which TSM Architecture and AI builds is the consequence of specific client-customer requirements - the result of organic design and lean production. Every adoption of augmentation technology is a configuration based on a specific project’s constrains and opportunities - each project adding to the CybeCon capability. Every MG Taylor work process was invented at the moment of application in a real engagement - and this continues to be case today. The results of this work are documented, made systematic, turned into Intellectual Property and Capital and then licensed to the ValueWeb. The work of the ValueWeb is supported and documented - the cycle begins again.
further reading:
THERE to HERE - every day...
10 Step Knowledge Management
20 years of MGT Environments
UVA mediaPOD Final Prototype
It is not possible to follow a description of the MG Taylor System and Method without learning it at least on the familiarity level. Following the familiarity-competency-mastery model, Familiarity is necessary to understand the Taylor Method and to “own” it. Competency is required to do the work well, and Mastery to invent and recreate it.
The concepts of recursion and iteration are key both to understanding and practicing this way-of-working. Every process is designed to be the whole of the method and modular so that it can fit within other processes as building blocks. This issue here is complexity and requisite variety. The complexity of a work task, including the scale, scope and duration of its application, determines its variety. This variety has to be matched by the tool set which is assembled to execute the work.
There are four approaches to “learn”and participate in the practice of the Taylor Method: One, it can be studied as a system along with the various bodies of knowledge which make up its components This is the Theory of the Method. Second, it can be learned experientially - by doing. This is to Practice the Method both as a user of it and a producer-provider in several of the work functions which makes up key aspects of the work. The third window is to grasp the core philosophy of the Method and the patterns which make it what it is and, then, apply this to your own body of knowledge. This requires a level of high competency or mastery in at least one state-of-the-art profession or complex craft. This is to Design with the Method by taking elements of one and two, relating them to your own experience to create new systems, methods and artifacts. The fourth is to combine all of the three ways. In fact, there will always be some level of mixing the three - this is - as a deep response - the full Emersion into the work. To gain general familiarity of the Method, at least one or two - or some combination - is necessary. Familiarity requires 6 months to a year. Competency requires some of all three with a deep study of at least one and requires two to three years. Mastery, requires the fourth way and many years - really a lifetime - of practice.
further reading:
Experience-Based Education Model
Media as Augmentation Tool
22 Aspects of Memory
Familiarity with the Theory means to understand why the Method was developed, its essential philosophical precepts, its language, key processes, rules-of-engagement and how it functions as an enterprise including its economics. Competency is to be able to comprehend the theory in depth, apply it to a broad number of situations and relate it to other systems of knowledge. Mastery is the ability not to be trapped in the the theory and to extend and recreate it.
Familiarity with Practice requires working several functions of a formal application of the Method such as a DesignShop®, navCenter® operations, environment design and building. Competency is to become skillful in several of these functions, be able to work without supervision, and be a full member of the team delivering the work in a way which exemplifies the spirit and intent of the Method. Mastery of Practice is to be able to work across a broad range of applications, have a competency level in most of their work skill sets, and be able to transfer these abilities to other KnowledgeWorkers.
Familiarity with Design is the ability to participate in and follow the design processes and logic in one or more applications of the Method: DesignShop, technology configuration, making of environments, and so on. Competency of Design is to be able to apply the Method in the design of processes, tools and environments in one or more applications at a level consistent with current market expectations. Mastery is the ability to design across multiple application arenas and integrate them, produce beyond-state-of-the-art work at an implement-able level, to teach the art of design as relevant to the Method, and to bring design thinking to the content domains of the Method’s users.
Full Emersion - Mastery of the Taylor System and Method - is to make this work a life’s work. This will not and need not be the goal of everyone. This is not the best - it is a role like all the others. What is required to do this work well is a balanced team capable of true collaboration. Insight can come from a novice as readily as from a Master. A Master is the keeper of the art, an exemplar of its practice on the broadest scale, and mentor for those who join the tradition. Mastery of Mastery, of course, is to be the perpetual learner. Along this path, for those who choose it, are the steps of Familiarity and Competency. Familiarity is to understand the scope of the journey and to have a map of it. Competency is to be committed to the work long term and to be able to do the work across the entire scope if it. My long held test for this state is that the person thus designated could go to a city s/he had never been before and knew no one, with $100,000 in capital and one year later there would be a functioning navCenter which is economically viable.
It must be emphasized that many KnowledgeWorkers and users will approach this work with different ambitions. These designations of familiarity, competency and mastery are not a ranking nor hierarchical. One is not intrinsically better than another. What is important is that there be a match between the knowledge of, and practical ability to employ the Method, and the task to which it is put. Also, this description applies equally to practitioner and user. Neither involvement is materially different except for some subtle ways which will be pointed out later.
further reading:
Modeling Language - a short review
the 4 Step Recreation Process
Nature of Experience
NavCenters - What, Why, How...
Solution Box Architecture
And finally, before describing the Tool Kit, a word about Tools and Agents. The Taylor System and Method is a social tool - by Fuller’s definition - and should be used with care. The Story of the Monkey’s Paw is a relevant parable in this regard. Tools augment human capacity. They can be used for good or bad. Every tool has a bias - it is an embedded idea, a view of the world and a way of acting upon it. The Taylor Tool Kit is made of ideas, algorithms, physical tooling, environments, processes, knowledge agent and human agents. The Zone of Emergence provides the architecture by which a rigorous process can be employed while supporting an open ended emergent result. This relationship between structure-process and spontaneity-emergence is the critical aspect in regards the facilitation of human creativity both individual and group. To my knowledge, the Taylor Method is the only one which has by deliberate design - in theory and practice - dealt with this relationship as well as the requisite variety issue, radical time compression and the many levels of recursion from the individual to global. The Method was designed to be able to match the level of complexity which we humans have created and now face as our greatest challenge. Technically, everything which makes up the environment in which creative, collaborative human processes are involved - including the Modeling language we employ to describe these processes - is treated by this System and Method as Agents of its process.
further reading:
The Monkey’s Paw
Creative Habits to Embedded Process
22 Aspects of Memory - MGT System
Modeling Language - a short review
A Future By Design - Not Default
Worthy Problems
Weak Signals
With this brief introduction, the Architecture of the Taylor Tool Kit can be addressed. Exploring the many references provided will facilitate this structure-process making sense. On a historical note, the scale, scope, nature and ambition of this venture can only be described as audacious. In the mid-70s, I identified the drivers of change to the 21st Century that would set the stage for this new millennium. My position was - and remains - that Humanity had the means and ability to deal with these factors of the present environment yet was not minding the store - that the missing capacity is the design-decision-governance processes of the human race. Humanity is not requisite with the rate-of-change and complexity it itself is creating. Our intent is to create a Method to facilitate an Appropriate Response, build a successful business around it to demonstrate economic viability, launch a global ValueWeb capable of facilitating and responding to as much change, in a generation, than has occurred in the history of all humanity. This means, in practical terms, a network of navCenters, KnowledgeWorkers, and experienced users able to deal simultaneously with multiple projects of immense scale. The strategy to accomplish this outcome has required a boot-strap start up, free of affiliation, self-funded by revenues, employing rapid-prototyping of work environments, collaborative processes and technolgy configurations, putting in place Worthy Projects as examples of viable solutions - all of these efforts designed to come to maturity at the moment which humanity decides to take a self-aware role in the Human Enterprise. This moment - which recent events in 2008 signal is near - is the moment when the MG Taylor Enterprise dissolves, as entrepreneur and leader, into the global ValueWeb. We call this iteration7 of our development. This is not a government response nor is it a typical business, NGO, foundation, academic, scientific or religious organizational model. To accomplish this task, Philosophy through implementation - ranging across a dozen generally considered to be different fields of work and enterprise - has to be conducted as a single enterprise.
MG Taylor Tool Kit Architecture
more to follow

Matt Taylor
November 8, 2008

SolutionBox voice of this document:
click on graphic for explanation of SolutionBox

posted: November 7, 2008

revised: December 25, 2008
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(note: this document is about 8% finished)