MG Taylor
Mission Statement
1983 to Present
Taylor Associates
Boulder, Colorado

“Our world is going through its biggest transition in known history;


“Some call this the Post Industrial Society - others, the shift from the industrial to the information era - still others call it The New Age.


“From 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.


“We call these individuals Transition Managers.


“The Mission of Taylor Management Centers is to educate, train - facilitate and support the Transition Manager.


“We do this by:


“Creating 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.


“Facilitating 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.


“Developing and implementing in client environments project management methods and management centers that amplify their ability to bring their visions into reality.

“Our goal: A global network of Management Centers, user owned and operated, supporting transition managers in their quest for excellence.

“The result: The rebuilding of planet Earth as a work of art, created and enjoyed by all people.”

We 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.


By 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.


I 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.

The 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 three others.

Each of these transformations propelled us to a new level of growth and capability. Everyone has been both exciting and in many respects painful.


We, like every other organization in the last 25 years have been subject to the same forces of increasing change and complexity.


Our Mission, and the essential ideas that drove the formation of our Enterprise, have not changed.


If 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.


Instead 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.


I 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.


Yes, 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.


The 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.


MG 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.

What 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.
“Taylor Associates ...”

To start, we called ourselves Taylor Associates in those days even though we were, structurally - then as now - a corporation.


There 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 and again.


Today, 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 is being “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 network idea to a ValueWeb Model to (now) our first serious attempt at building a true ValueWeb organizational structure [link: valueweb architecture].


In 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.


The 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 world.


There 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 our mission.

As 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.
“Our World is going Through...”

By 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).


Our goal is ubiquity of what we do. Our intent is to adapt our methods to function in all cultures, all places - applied to all circumstances (applications).

GOING 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 flash.
“...its biggest transition
in known history;”

There are two points being made here. One is the unprecedented scope 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.


What 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 controlled. Management of the factors brought to specific transitions is possible and this cuts to the heart of our methodology.


The 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.


Now 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.


We 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.

If 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.
“Some call this the...”

“...Post Industrial Society - others, the shift from 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 Economy 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 are clear.


It will involve extensive use of network structures from neural nets, to computer architecture to organizational strategies.


It will be knowledge-based and design focused and will involve an entirely new sense of what is value-added work.


It will employ both local and global economies.


It will experience wave after wave of disruptive technologies.


Systemic issues will be preeminent and it will involve operating complex networks of organizations with myriad, shifting interdependencies.


It will result in a profound shift in power, access and social structure.


Dichotomies like ecology versus economy will disappear.

These 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.
“From the ranks of...”

It 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.

This 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, 1961 “Ad-Hocracy”).
“We call these...”
The 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 across “the abyss.”
“The Mission of
MG Taylor is to...”

“...educate, train - facilitate and support the Transition Manager.”


We 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 term solutions.


It is through this experience that we transfer a new way of working to the Transition Manager and their organization(s) and ValueWeb.

Our 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.
“We do this by...”

Creating 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].


Making these environments, using them, transferring them to their ultimate users... This is our WORK.


These 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 creative process not just the “frond-end” as was the habit in the past.

These environments perform Weak Signal Research and solve real-world problems. they are wired into the society of which they are a part. They facilitate Appropriate Responses to the challenges before their users. They are places of integrity - they exemplify the kind of future they seek to bring into reality.
“Our Goal...”

The goal has been and remains: UBIQUITY.


We 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 transition management.


They house and support Transition Managers and their projects. They facilitate Transition manger’s QUEST and Right Livelihood. They help them achieve their ART. By doing this, the Centers (nodes) become active agents in global transformation.


A 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.”


We 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.

However, 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.
“The Result ...”

“...the rebuilding of planet Earth as a work of art created and enjoyed by all people.”


This, 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.


The 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 of intentional design and heuristic evolution.


Today, 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 by default.


I do see this process as a REBUILDING [link]. This is because we have destroyed so much. A great deal of restoring is necessary, however, this is not an advocacy for “going back.” 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 planet Earth.


It 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, prototype 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.


This 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 is becoming.


How 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 years out of 10 for a total accumulated deficit of five million about 50% of which we own to ourselves in the form of loans and deferred salaries. We have done this with under 300 thousand invested capital. We have bootstrapped our entire capability. We have client organizations who have made millions - and in two cases billions - in profit by the application of 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.


It 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.


As 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 CRITICAL.


The 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.


Personally, In this venture as in my architecture and other interests, I want to succeed at what I set our to do not just succeed by some arbitrary social standard of what success is. The ubiquity of the model that today defines social success is, perhaps, the most destructive meme on the planet. It must be reexamined. This planet cannot take another 25 years of it [link].

The implications of our Mission to our business model, policies and organization will be discussed in Part 2 of this document.

Matt Taylor
Palo Alto
September 7, 2002



SolutionBox voice of this document:


click on graphic for explanation of SolutionBox

posted: September 7, 2002

revised: March 16, 2010
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• 2005 • •

(note: this document is about 98% finished)

Matt Taylor 650 814 1192

Copyright© Matt Taylor 2002, 2005, 2010