I have always said that Knowledge is a critical resource for victory at any level. Knowledge is the foundation of intelligence. And intelligence is required for any level of warfare regardless of the kind. Knowledge is more than important. It takes you beyond where you can ever imagine, it reduces your error rate, it keeps you safe and helps you maximize your greatest potential. Knowledge is the take off point of any kind of value. In the 2000s, knowledge is the essential tool for managing complexities. Because when complexities are intensified, there is always a greater and greater demand on knowledge. Equally, the greatest challenge of society is the family institution. And the family institution has suffered consistently all through history simply because the children of yesterday who lacked adequate upbringing are now the adults of today and will create the children of today and the adults of tomorrow, and the vicious cycle continues.
So, ignorance is the common ingredient all through generations. But note that this ignorance is not the ignorance of all things but the ignorance of key things. Just as we do not need a bunch of keys to open a door but the right key, so we do not need the knowledge of all things to organize the society. Instead, we need the knowledge of key things; and the family is key. The crisis of the family is the crisis of the nation and the crisis of the nation is the crisis of the family. And if there is any tool that weakens the potential to build great families, it is the place of correction. If you ask me, what is the one thing that if you can learn, can increase your capacity and potential for success in building a great family? What can increase your success potential by almost 70% as far as building a family is concerned? I believe the answer will be: correction. You see, misbehavior is a constant and error is nature. Perfect behaviour eludes humanity so much that even you as a full blown adult sometimes still misbehaves and makes clear mistakes. Our individual and collective peace must not; I repeat must not be tied to perfect behaviour since none of us can be perfect. If this is true, correction also becomes critical to manage a reality as constant as imperfect behaviour. If you lack the skill to administer correction, you will be miserable, frustrated and depressed.
All through history, families have never been destroyed until they get the correction skill wrong. Now, there is this terrible assumption that punishment is correction. Punishment is never correction. Correction is a skill while punishment is an imbalance in nature in that any fool can punish. You don’t need formal training to know how to punish, you only need to be born; but you need education and training for you to know how to correct; it is not a gift of nature. It is a skill that must be learnt. While everybody can sleep for example and anyone can determinedly wake up at a particular time, to perform surgery, you need more than determination. Determination without skill in the surgery theatre is murder…clean murder and an honest and sincere jail term. Determination to correct without skill in the home is a vice. The goal of punishment is to acknowledge your hurt and to share the pain of your hurt with the offender. It does not by any means transform. On the other hand, the goal of correction is to bring the offender to a human state of acknowledgement of error, remorse, and to govern behaviour in a way that transforms the offender and blesses both his immediate environment and society at large.
Studies have shown that over 90% of parents never correct in their lifetime, they only punish. The reason they don’t correct is simply that they don’t know how.. See, “The plaster should be no wider than the sore.” It’s as simple as that. Punishment never fits the offense and never governs behaviour. To achieve that, actions must be carefully thought out before they are stated or applied, and even then it will be necessary to modify and refine them as they are being used. That’s correction and that takes learning. In the following example, I illustrate how correction and consequences should be selected, applied, and enforced, and describe the principles of behaviour upon which the procedure is based.
Correction demands that we make the decision of whether we want to be right or we want to progress. Punishment underscores how right you are, but correction creates transformation and progress. Now, a 10-year-old boy has been leaving his bike lying in the driveway. His parents frequently have to stop their car, get out and move the bike, then get back in the car and drive into the garage. Not only is this annoying, but a less careful or alert driver might hit or run over the bike. A punisher will give the boy a piece of his mind, a good scolding, a heavy dose of logic, a spanking, and the pronouncement that “If I ever see that bike lying in the driveway again, you won’t see it for a month—if you ever see it again!”. See, this action is obviously worse behaviour than leaving the bike in the driveway.The better way is to decide in advance exactly what the boy is expected to do with his bike. This is correction. It might be as simple as having him put his bike on the lawn, against the house, beside the porch, or out of the way in the garage. This then becomes the expectation of the boy’s behavior. Knowing in advance the expectations of his behavior is fair and is of primary importance.
Next, the parents must decide how to state their expectation to the boy so he fully understands it, and can demonstrate that he understands it! This is best accomplished in a simulation or role playing exercise. But on this altar of punishment, families have been ruined, children wrongly programmed to become malfunctioning adults and society is always the victim. I hope i’ve helped a bit.
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I had mentioned in the first part that I believe our desire to see change and renaissance all over Africa may continue to be a mirage until we are able to make the kind of investments through self-improvements that can make a critical mass of our people to be the kind of person I want to talk about today. I want to introduce you to who you must be if you have to be a critical part of the change we seek. It doesn’t matter what you are trying to do. Whether you an entrepreneur, politician, career mogul, actor, police officer, military personnel, medical practitioner or social worker, no matter what you do, you must be this kind of individual or you will be part of those just mouthing change. Our situation as a people requires another kind of way we must apply ourselves to be able to see the solutions with the bearing to lift our societies and our people. The government can help here by making the right policy investments to ensure our educational system for example is churning out individuals in the 3D-EPSP bracket; but beyond the government, this is one thing that waiting for the government or anyone to do for you is a sincere crime against your personal development, effectiveness and relevance. To pass this buck or discount this responsibility is a self-defining-mediocre effort to keep yourself small and average. Nigeria needs you to be 3D-EPSP. Africa needs you to be 3D-EPSP. 3D-EPSP is an acronym for three dimensional effective problem solving people.
Today, I am dealing with these as thoroughly as I can and show how it works for our socio-economic and political realities both as a continent and as a people. If we can have a little less than 1% of our population across the nation and the larger continent to be able to function in the mold I described on in the first part of this piece, as well as the kind of posture I will describe today, it will not be very long before our genius and transformation will emerge.
See, our country and our continent is filled will problems of all kinds, known and unknown. As much as we think our known problems are, they are extremely few compared to our unknown problems. We cannot adequately cater for the masses of our people if a significant number of our population cannot provide solution to our known and most critically unknown problems, yet prevailing. We need people to function perpetually and simultaneously in three dimensions. In their first dimension, our people must be the kind of persons who through experience, training or talents have a very strong underlining psyche of perpetually expecting to identify loopholes in every existing structure, system, style, project, idea, etc, no matter how successful. No system can exist in its perfect state of existence. There is an incompleteness about everything existing today that allows those coming after to have something to do. The perfection of existence today will eliminate meaning, relevance and continuity tomorrow. If things can be perfect today, tomorrow’s people are unnecessary and the world will end now. It is our imperfections that drive our continuity. Since that is true, what is incomplete should not shock anyone. What is incomplete is a tool that must be engaged to create value about all things that define continuity for those coming after.
Anyone existing in the 1st dimension is the one who through experience, training or talents have a very strong underlining psyche of perpetually expecting to identify loopholes in every existing structure, system, style, project, idea, or what have you. That person will spot the incompleteness in everything. That person will spot the loophole and vacuum in everything. That person will somehow always be the one to spot the next level of everything. We need a significant number of our people in this dimension. Then, in the 2nd dimension, people will be able to function in the 1st dimension spotting loopholes, imperfections and problems both known and unknown, but are also then, by reason of use, sustain a RAPID RESPONSE MENTAL POSTURE (RRMP©) elastic enough to not only understand the problem they find in their 1st dimension but also design, build, and sustain solutions-blue prints to solve those problems. Also, with the RAPID RESPONSE MENTAL POSTURE (RRMP©) of their 2nd dimension, they are also able to solve problems they never saw before or and those never envisaged.
Then, in the third dimension, people have enough talent, skill sets or experience to dwarf problems of the type they have seen and consistently conquered before, between their 1st and 2nd dimensions; and to create templates for those coming after to be able to do the same. That’s legacy. 3D-EPSP will help Nigeria and the continent as a whole to produce the kind of people with the competency to bring to the market and to the world in general, a stream of new and improved, value added solutions, products and services that enable the institutions and organizations achieve higher margins and profits to re-invest in the system. 3D-EPSP is the strength of innovation. Innovation is the successful exploitation of new ideas. Incorporating new technologies, design and best practice is the key nation-building process that enables Asian, American and European organizations and institutions to compete effectively in the global environment. Modernization will require that you initiate methods in contrast to traditional, conventional, customary and established ones.
Our people will have to be believers and promoters of critical advancement and progress. We have to develop the propensity to keep changing something so that it is consistently suitable for modern needs or habits. We will have to learn to adopt and surpass modern ways or ideas. There will have to be a modernization program or culture in our individual and collective operations. This is 3D-EPSP—The ability to try new things, do new things, and find new needs, new knowledge, new solutions…new things! Newness is the strength of innovation and that’s what 3D-EPSP delivers. It helps you to expect, seek embrace and initiate change. It helps you to Alter, Modify, Transform, Revolutionize, Amend, See and Seize opportunities, Experiment. Do something. If one fails, try another. Adjust. Move. Act. A spirited, vigorous, forceful, energetic and hearty response to unexpected opportunities or specific customer problems creates variation and consequently, innovation. That’s 3D-EPSP. And that who you must be. That’s who your family members must be. That’s the people your organization must hire. That’s those we need all over the continent. May our people see. God bless Nigeria. God bless Africa.
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