Due to increasing problems in keeping my different web domains up and running on the home server, I have decided to move to a hosting arrangement. In the past days this move was done. There may still be some things that don’t work as they should but I will correct them over time.
In concurrence with my earlier post where I mentioned bringing more of my own expertise to this blog, I thought it might be a good idea to apply a way of balancing different aspects that come to play in managing change to the question of energy regime change.
In my work with Proven Partners we often use an adapted version of the 7S model, proposed by Peters and Waterman in the early eighties. Talking about change in organisations usually is about ‘hard stuff’ like strategy, structures and systems. And often much less about ’softer’ stuff like management styles, culture, and people. However, to create change in a meaningfull and effective way you have to take all those aspects into account.
I think using this model to look at energy regime change also helps to untangle the jungle of discussions and debates where a lot of arguments and positions, based on one of the six aspects, gets attacked by others who predominantly use other aspects of the six as arguments. Those discussions are not getting anywhere as both parties are not able to understand the other’s position, as it is framed in a language that isn’t theirs, and at the most works as a red flag.
So let’s list them, and add them to my list of categories as well. In that way I can order both the information I share here from elsewhere, as well as signal where my own writing is ‘coming from’ at that point.
The six aspects to balance are:
All these six aspects are subordinate to the mission and objectives the change is supposed to support and help achieve. In this case the objective would be my own reasons for being interested in energy regime change: empowering everybody by literally empowering them through self generated energy, from natural renewable resources.
So from now on I will try to sort the contributions along the lines of this model.
Photo credits: Chess by hans s, Dome Structure by DoctaBu, Coal Power Plant by Bruno Rodrigues, People Walking by Botasdeagua, Lincoln Memorial by Kathy Dodd, Native by JP Puerta, all under Creative Commons license.
As you can see by the frequency of writing here, this weblog on energy regime change is not my main topic of interest, nor is it my core blogging activity. Although there is an enormous amount of material to write about in terms of this blog’s theme, I find it difficult to ‘convert’ this material into entries here.
Some reasons, apart from finding my blogging rhythm in general, while contributing to 8 or more weblogs in some shape or form, seem to be:
1) The confusing and complicated mix of themes that get entangled whenever you start talking about moving away from oil towards possible other energy regimes. Political schools of thought, debates on the truthfulness of data and theories, debates on the scientific solidity of material, throwing multiple agenda’s on one heap (e.g. energy conservation, alternative energy resources, mixed in with wider ‘green’ agenda’s like battling bio-industry and promoting bio-cultures etc.), the liberal-conservative political dichotomies in the UK and especially the US, where every other discussion seems to end in either ‘you’re liberal so you hate the US’ or ‘you’re a greedy capitalist republican that believes everything Bush and his cronies say in return for more tax-cuts’. Anyway I’m ranting…
2) My own undecidedness which part of this discussion is ‘mine’, and my lack of knowledge about all the different subthemes and arena’s. This makes it difficult to both pick a main theme, as well as pick the place to start interacting with others on this.
3) Me not taking my own professional knowledge and experience into account while approaching the subject of energy regime change. I am a change management professional after all, and I have positioned this blog to be about energy regime change, precisely because it is such an intriguing and complex thing to accomplish. I was drawn to it out of both professional and personal interest (which to the largest extent are the same anyway), but seem to have forgotten to bring my own professional baggage to it. Even though doing that, being a Pro-Am in a way, is precisely what I am telling audiences is happening throughout society as well as to me, in my presentations and key notes.
I think this happened because the bewildering chaos of discussion and argument I sketched above has distracted me from my original plan. When I read a discussion I feel the need to take position as well, and in this case most of the time that is just a waste of energy and time. A lot of these discussions are of no real significance and will be overtaken by facts and developments soon enough, while at the same time there is no way to resolve them in the here and now. So I bogged myself down in a quagmire of details and shouting matches that don’t really matter, all told. I allowed myself to get stuck in the mud.
Time to pick ‘my’ storyline in this, and stick to it, so that it gives me energy instead of taking it away from me. And energy is what this blog was meant to be about in the first place, right? Time to free myself from the mud and fly.
Photos: Bog Man by Amonkeykuppa under Creative Commons license, Paraglider by myself.
I had been planning to change the lay-out of this blog for quite some time. But this blog was still powered by the 1.2 version of Wordpress, so an update was seriously needed.
After the update I decided to scrap the earlier design entirely and looked for a suitable design that was already available. I settled on Andreas04, a design created by Andreas Viklund, a web designer from Sweden. It was downloaded from Wordpress in an adaptation by Tara Aukerman. Of course I adapted it some more as well.
Noam Chomsky in his recent posting suggests that peak-oil coming sooner rather than later is actually beneficial to the human species, as it will force us to rethink our ways fast, and will lessen the pollution we create from burning carbonhydrates.
I’d say that he would be right if we knew when peak oil came, or would know it if we were there already: then we probably would align our efforts to a sustainable new energy regime better and more effectively.
One other thing he says is interesting:
Talk about “shrinking our economies” is pretty meaningless. Our economies would shrink substantially if we got rid of huge expenditures for the military, for incarceration, and other highly destructive activities. Sustainable economies might lead to highly improved quality of life.
This sounds like what Martin Roell, Johnnie Moore and I were theorizing over lunch October 2003 in Brussels, when we postulated that in a fully developed knowledge economy GDP would actually go down significantly, compared to our current still largely industrialized economies, because its benefits and value would be outside the scope of our measurement and governance systems.
I have been reading Curt Rosengren’s weblog the Occupational Adventure with pleasure for some time. It turns out that he too is blogging on alternative and renewable energy sources.
Like me and Siert he experiences some difficulty in keeping that blog flowing. My guess is that’s because it lacks the conversational pace that we enjoy in our main blogs. So I added him to the blogroll on the right, in the hope that we are weaving the beginnings of a little network that keeps itself active.
Curt, I’m looking forward to new conversations on this topic!
Thanks for the introduction Ton, you really hooked me into it now. But I’m glad you did. Now it is not only the easy way to talk about things, but also to write on them.
I would like to continue on your statement: “Why isnít there a large awareness in the main stream that our oil is running out, and running out fast?”.
Could it be that in the last couple of centuries politicians have drifted away from the technicians? At present the politicians are taught to do politics, not engineering. Now there is a lack of technicians that have a political involvement. And as the tax money is devided by the politicians, the focus will certainly not be research and development. Besides, politicians are more present in the media, so spreading their focus of interest to a wider public.
I think a lot of people know that we are running out of oil, but they rely on the engineers to come up with a solution, because engineers always came up with a solution in the past. I think this attitude is widely spread in the society and the gap is growing wider and wider. It might become dangerous when everybody has this attitude, as it is the easy way to look at problems?
It is my pleasure to announce that this weblog is now a co-authored weblog. My friend Siert Wijnia, who is also interested in energy and the end of oil, and I will be jointly writing for this blog. By this we hope that conversation will flow between us more strongly, and of course you are welcome to join in as well.
I have been writing a plug-in to enable me to crosspost to the wiki from here.
Whenever I give a posting the category wiki, it will add links to this posting to go see or go edit a page in the wiki of the same name, when generating the index page.
Also I got WP to post to the wiki. I create camel case names, from the title of the blogpost, and then create a new wiki-page with that name.
At first it did not work together with the camelcase plugin, but now it does. So when I now camel case the title of this post here, it will link to the wiki as well: WikifyingTheBlog should do the trick.
The code for the plugin is public domain and available at WikiAdd
Well, after Martin Roell and I talked about WordPress I decided to try it out, and installed it a week ago.
I did not have a real subject to start writing about, but I think it might be worth to blog about (and/or wikify) a subject that has been at the back of my mind for some time now: Hydrogen and weaning our oil-dependent world of the black gold, now that it is running out. This will not be easy of course: we are accustomed to our wealth and life-style so we will probably be not very rational about the sharper edges that an energy-regime change brings about. To further complicate matters large parts of the worlds population, specifically China and India (2 billion people!), are gearing up to attain the level of wealth we have enjoyed in the western world, and the energy consumption that comes with it.
In the past months on several occasions I have talked about these matters with Siert, a friend of mine. He is currently entertaining thoughts about blogging about this himself, but hasn’t come around to it yet. So this blog here might serve as a trigger for him as well. His blog resides at siert.wijnia.com/weblog
We’ll see whether or not this takes off.
About this weblog
This weblog is written by Ton Zijlstra (Enschede, Netherlands). I'm a knowledge management and change management consultant.
Energy regime change seems to be around the corner and constitutes a change process of enormous complexity.
It is at the same time the biggest opportunity as well as biggest threat to our civilization, and it deserves a hard look not only at technology but even more so at the systems and structures needed and how to get there.
- Peak Mammoth? Unlikely!
- G8 Coming To Terms High Oil Price Is Unavoidable
- Renamed This Blog To ‘Ompolen’
- Oil Price Record (Again)
- Applying Change Models to Energy Regime
- MIT’s Technology Review on Facing Global Warning
- How to Move This Blog Forward?
- Solar Panels
- WP Update And New Lay-Out
- July 2008 (1)
- June 2008 (1)
- March 2008 (1)
- September 2007 (2)
- July 2006 (5)
- June 2006 (1)
- February 2006 (2)
- January 2006 (1)
- December 2005 (3)
- June 2005 (1)
- January 2005 (1)
- October 2004 (4)