My Effort to Be a Positive Influence

My work has been focused on how I could help the world be better for everyone and everything – I was trying to promote selfish (good for me), selfless (good for others) synergy (better together). In 2012 I started making blog posts, only 3 that year. I posted about my attempts to generate comprehensive improvements and how others were doing the same. #SelfishSelflessSynergy

Over time I started using it as a scratch board for my ideas to let others know about what seemed to be interesting information I was learning and working through. Academic work takes years to get published, has been published in not readily accessed journals, and often it is dated by the time others see it. I therefore used this blog to let readers know about what I thought were interesting developments and issues.

My repeated theme is about how to generate comprehensive benefits. COVID-19 has made abundantly clear that we are interconnected and interdependent. Now, more than ever, we must work together to generate what we all want: comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions – Everyone and Everything can benefit.

It would be great to get more interaction, and more benefits. Please contact me, share posts, and let me know your thoughts.

To help initiate some interaction, I have provided this list as an easy way access past posts/information. Please share how you generate comprehensive improvements. Also if you want me to address anything special or have questions, please contact me at Thank you.

Use this list to access ALL posts.

Most recent Posts are listed first:


Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me:




A Happier Story…For Difficult Times

Yesterday afternoon I was able to help my neighbors pack up their moving van. They left this morning for Alabama. They will be missed. My wife and I were able to help in the afternoon and some other neighbors helped earlier. During the packing we learned that while the other neighbors were helping, someone had walked into their garage and stole 2 new bicycles. #SelfishSelflessSynergy Although this is not a great start to a happy story, it gets better…

Later that evening, after we had finished packing their truck to move, my wife and I and took our dogs on their nightly walk. As we passed another neighbors house, we saw what  appeared to be a nice bike sitting by a tree outside. Concerned, thinking they may have mistakenly left their bike outside, I rang the doorbell. When they answered, I shared my concern about their bike because we just learned that another neighbors bike had been stolen. In this conversation they explained the bike was not theirs. They said the bike was on their lawn in a heap. They said it looked like someone had crashed on it and left it on their lawn.

The thoughtful neighbor picked up the bike, repaired the damage, and put it by a tree in front of their house. They thought someone may have been hurt and the owner would come back. They put the fixed bike in front of their house by a tree so the rider would be able to see the bike and retrieve it when they came back. After the discussion, thinking this may be related, they suggested I walk down the street to the neighbors whose bike was stolen. As it turns out, it was one of the stolen bikes. The boy was very happy to get his bike back.

In addition to getting the bike back, we all got to know each other better then we had previously. This incident helped us see our similarities. We all wanted the bike returned and each of us, though my part was minor, helped make it possible. Everybody, though a bit disappointed by the theft, was able to leave feeling a bit better knowing that we all are looking after each other. And yes it was a mix of people, young, old, middle aged, male, female, brown, black and white.

All in all, we were able to experience a net positive by taking actions to generate comprehensive improvements. We now have a better, more caring neighborhood, by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. We all feel more secure knowing others care. 

It was fun to realize that we were able to Practice Paneugenesis and generate comprehensive improvements. I look forward to hearing how you do the same. Please share…

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!


Please share your thoughts and questions below.
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Tom Hanks Agrees: Masks Generate Comprehensive Improvements

Wearing masks is a way to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Tom Hanks explains this perspective:

Wearing masks, in other words is a way to Practice Paneugenesis to create all good.

… it generate comprehensive improvements.

Pervasive = it sends out a positive example that may encourage more to do the same

Reciprocal = others are more likely to do the same, we mirror others

Selfish = the protected wearer can live a more varied and active life that does not endanger others or self. It is an example of how to create more good, not Just less bad during this difficult times.

Selfless = enables wearer to do enjoyable, health promoting activities with others while alsolimiting risk to self and others. More good, not just less bad.

Synergistic = engaging in society while also not risking self and others can benefit our economy enabling others to work. In this way the whole is more than the sum of the parts

FastCompany article supported this with their article, “Masks don’t just save lives. They boost the economy: Researchers find that wearing masks can help avoid devastating economic shutdowns.”

Very prophetically W. Edwards Deming declared:

Defend your rights, you lose…

By this he was saying that if one just fights to make their part of the system better without understanding how it negatively effects the whole system, we all lose.

As John Muir, the first elected president of the Sierra Club, explained:

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.

Wearing a mask acknowledges that you are part of an interconnected and interdependent system and that you want to make a contribution toward improving the system upon which we all depend.

People have a right to not wear a mask, however that right takes away from everyone else. As Paul Collier noted in the The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties, reciprocal obligations are what builds a better society. Obligations help improve because they yield more revenue and more positive feelings for generating contributions.

And: Fast Company’s Article: The 21 best arguments for wearing a mask

If you are interested, I discuss these ideas from a different perspective  in A Way Forward Provided in “The Future of Capitalism”. I also discussed it in MLK Day FOR Everyone’s Benefit and in Gender Equality is about Making Things Better.

I encourage you to wear a mask so you can Practice Paneugenesis and generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish selfless interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Make it a Great Day & Week!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me:



For Complex, Oblique(Obliquity) is More Effective

We are so smart, we overcomplicate things. Making it more complex can help us understand, however for action, simplicity is necessary. Most goals or desires we have in life have more complexity than readily apparent. We are physical, social, emotional, spiritual dynamic, interrelated beings. Things continually change because as anything changes, everything changes. For this reason, and many others, John Kay Convincingly explains why the interactive, oblique process, what he calls obliquity, is a more effective method. Obliquity is  being deliberately indirect.

John Kay discusses it in his book of the same name and the TED Talk, Obliquity: How Complex Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly below.

Oblique approaches are regularly used. Effective methods focus on building a better process so the product will take care of itself. For example, rather than going directly at health, which is complex, Antonovsky demonstrated with his salutogenesis model the focus should be on building meaning, manageability and comprehensibility and then health will be the subsequent consequence.

This approach also supports the paneugenesis process because working to develop  Precursors are indirect factors necessary to realize Idealized Outcomes. In other words, the paneugenesis process is an example of using indirect methods to achieve complex goals.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me:

Making a Better (+3) New Normal

John Oliver convincingly suggests getting back to normal after the pandemic…

         …is just not going to cut it. And honestly, it shouldn’t have taken  pandemic to expose the need for a better system.

He is saying we can’t just make it Less Bad, we must Make it More Good! I encourage you to listen and share your thoughts.

The ideas discussed by John Oliver, an imagined better world, is the type of thinking I promote and ask of my students and myself. I continually suggest we stop focusing on the problem and imagine a better future. A better future will of course eliminate the problem, or it wouldn’t be better, but more importantly it must be better than it would have been had no problem happened. If we prepare for a disaster, the world should be better from those preparations even if the disaster doesn’t happen. To do this this better future must be clearly understood so we can figure out how to create it.

To guide this thought process I use the Paneugenesis Process that starts with an imagined picture of a better future that would be the Idealized Outcome, or what I call a new +3 reality. (video clarifies)

This +3 future would Exceed Expectations by incorporating the concepts discussed by John Oliver that should become our new normal. The new normal must include basic human right Precursors like education, healthcare, retirement, income, and safety nets as Global Public Goods – FOR EVERYONE.

Global Public Goods can create an even better world because it means Maslow’s Hierarchy basic Physiological and Safety needs are met and humans can improve and move toward self-actualization. Really this is something you have heard every time you get on an airplane.

When you fly on an airplane, the flight attendant instructs you to “put your oxygen mask on first,” before helping others. This an important rule because if you run out of oxygen yourself, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask.

If you die, you can’t help anyone else.  If people are fighting get their basic needs and just survive, this means they do not have the ability to contribute to society and thrive. Putting your oxygen mask on first is practicing paneugenesis by being selfish, selfless & synergistic.  It is Selfish – take care of self so you can be Selfless – take care of others, which creates Synergy – because all are better.


Making the basic needs of education, healthcare, retirement, income, and safety nets global public goods will improve man and society because they can.  It also will give us the to create a bette world  This “New Normal” could also enable the development of what Robert Green Ingersoll called the “Improved Man”. In his words…

The Improved Man will be satisfied that the supernatural does not exist – that behind every fact, every thought and dream is an efficient cause. He will know that every human action is a necessary product, and he will also know that men cannot be reformed by punishment, by degradation or by revenge. He will regard those who violate the laws of nature and the laws of States as victims of conditions, of circumstances, and he will do what he can for the well-being of his fellow-men.

The Improved Man will not give his life to the accumulation of wealth. He will find no happiness in exciting the envy of his neighbors. He will not care to live in a palace while others who are good, industrious and kind are compelled to huddle in huts and dens. He will know that great wealth is a great burden, and that to accumulate beyond the actual needs of a reasonable human being is to increase not wealth, but responsibility and trouble.

The Improved Man will find his greatest joy in the happiness of others and he will know that the home is the real temple. He will believe in the democracy of the fireside, and will reap his greatest reward in being loved by those whose lives he has enriched.

The Improved Man will be self-poised, independent, candid and free. He will be a scientist. He will observe, investigate, experiment and demonstrate. He will use his sense and his senses. He will keep his mind open as the day to the hints and suggestions of nature. He will always be a student, a learner and a listener – a believer in intellectual hospitality. In the world of his brain there will be continuous summer, perpetual seed-time and harvest. Facts will be the foundation of his faith. In one hand he will carry the torch of truth, and with the other raise the fallen.


Be strong, be smart and be safe as you work to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone you can safely interact so everyone and everything benefits.

Thank you for reading, please comment below and contact me:

Creating a Positive Ripple from a COVID-19 Response

If we look at most of our actions, doesn’t seem like we spend a lot of time fixing what we broke? Accidents happen, however we should learn from them and do better next time. Issues like the environment, however, is something we know about. Instead of finding ways to make it better, we stop at fixing what we broke in the hopes it get back to how it was. As noted in, “Best Practices are Contraindicated for Improvement”, Dr. W. Edwards Deming explains that fixing what we broke is like putting out fires.

This approach of fixing things to make it like it was is also unrealistic because it assumes things are static, they are not. Our world is dynamic and when anything changes, everything changes because as John Muir observed, everything is interconnected:

Understanding our interconnectedness means that when we throw a rock in a body of water and it creates waves and ripples that spread and impact all that surrounds it. COVID-19 has demonstrated, in stark terms, how we are all connected and interdependent. Our interdependence and the interconnectedness of everyone and everything provides a solution that can provide not just a powerful ripple, but a powerful tsunami of future pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions from which everyone and everything can benefit in a way that would exceed expectations.

To exceed expectations, the solution to the COVID crisis should build a better future that as a by-product also treats COVID-19 and prevents future similar events. If the event is not prevented, actions taken should leave us more prepared for anything similar. The actions we take are more than just the interaction, it is all the related ripple effects.

      Sometimes the power of the secondary benefit can change the world.                                                                  –        Colin Vaughan

In other words, we need to aim to  create more good, not just less bad or what I call +3.

Creating more good, not just less bad also means we can be what Rory Vaden calls a time multiplier. This means we do things that create more time. Rory Vaden explains this in his powerful TED Talk “How to Multiply Your Time”(for more see Be Fruitful and Multiply – Time That is…).

Creating a Greener Future for a better tomorrow that also ends COVID means we are time multipliers. Taking this type of actions means we complete tasks in ways that gives us more time in the future because our time what be spent fixing things that we break.

Rhiana Gunn-Wright’s, Director of climate policy at the Roosevelt Institute, (@rgunns) April 15, 2020 New York Times Opinion piece,”Think This Pandemic Is Bad? We Have Another Crisis Coming: addressing climate change is a big-enough idea to revive the economy” explains how we can be time a time multiplier by addressing COVID-19  and Climate Change together. She explains…

Addressing climate change doesn’t have to slow down the economic recovery…it can push it forward. No one knows the depth of the recession, (and)….rebounding from an economic disruption this large requires an equally large spike in demand and production.

Understanding this, she sugggests…

Now is the time to create policies that provide immediate relief to communities, such as federal assistance to transition homes and businesses to renewable energy; give “green” fiscal aid to states; and fuel economic recovery with the creation of federally funded green jobs.

We are already spending the money – lets use it wisely by creating a better, more sustainable world. It would be idiotic to put things back the way they were. Focusing on Climate Change and COVID-19 lets us use the funds in ways that helps us now with jobs and meaning as we builds a better future for all. This can happen by making the solution a…

…climate-focused economic recovery 

As most will agree, we don’t want to just survive to struggle, we want to thrive! The Green New Deal, provides a framework for actions that can provide useful and productive jobs that also help all of earth’s inhabitants live and do better.

Of course, for us to thrive we need to get past this pandemic. However to not just jump from the frying pan to the fryer, we must build for a better tomorrow. A thoughtful COVID response will begin to restore and revitalize our natural world while we overcome this pandemic. A climate focused recovery’s beneficial by-product should also leave us more protected against future problems.

Be strong, be smart and be safe as you work to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone you can safely interact so everyone and everything benefits.

Thank you for reading, please comment below and contact me:

We Need to Use the 3rd Alternative

Umair Haque is one of my favorite authors. He wrote Betterness and The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business. He now writes thought provoking essays on Medium and Eudaimonia & Co. On March 23, 2020 he wrote, “Why We Need to Rethink Economics for the 21st Century, Now“. He ended his essay be explaining,

We are all in it together. I am better off when you are healthy, not ill. Intelligent, not ignorant. Educated, not uneducated. Well fed, not starved. Happy, not anxious and desperate. Full of meaning and grace and purpose and worth — not beaten into submission and despair and hatred.

We get a better life, when every body has a better life. Earlier, on February 18, 2020 he wrote the essay, “Are Our Societies Dying?: What if This Isn’t a Phase — But a Permanent Change?” .

I was disappointed because the tone was so much different than his previous work. I encourage you to read his essay. The response I wrote, posted below, focusing on the need for a better alternative, builds on many of my posts, including: Honoring Justice Scalia – Dare to DisagreeConcept: Create More Good, Not Just Less BadCreate More Good, Not Just Less Bad.

I encourage you to read Umair Haque’s work, it is thought provoking and I believe offers the third alternative we need.  Here was my response to his essay, “Are Our Societies Dying?: What if This Isn’t a Phase — But a Permanent Change?”

My response to “Are Our Societies Dying?”, by Umair Haque, Feb 18:

As always, be safe doing what you can to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone you can safely interact with benefits.

Thank you for reading, please comment below and contact me:

A Great Way to Improve While in Self-Quarantine

Tony Robbins sent this message about dealing with this difficult time. “…We will spring back to normal life, like we always do, like we’ve done for centuries. And when we do, will you be prepared? Are you trained for future challenges? I always say: The meeting of preparation and opportunity generates the offspring we call luck.” This post provides you with a great opportunity to help you be more prepared.

In all my posts, I end by asking the reader to share how they “… generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits”. You can LEARN HOW  to do this by actively learning from Dr. Henry Neave’s FREE interactive  “12 Days to Deming” course.

Dr. Henry Neave worked with Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the quality management expert, that changed the world and my life. Henry also wrote a great book, “The Deming Dimension“.

Henry has now created a Virtual Way for you to experience the famous, life altering, Deming 4-Day Seminar with his FREE Course, “12 Days to Deming“. This is a great activity to engage with during our shared time in self-quarantine. You can FREELY access and learn from this powerful, educational interactive learning course at 2 sites: (1) the UIC site at and (2) the SPC Press site at .

The “12 Days to Deming course helps the learner understand how begin to apply this breakthrough approach. The “12 Days to Deming program provides newcomers with a great introduction to a better style of manage­ment. It has also been able to fill in gaps in the understanding of well-seasoned Deming prac­ti­tioners.

Henry had the rare pleasure of working directly with Dr. Deming during the final and most pro­ductive few years of Deming’s fortunately long life. He says that he has laid out his course in the form of 12 days of study and activity because it took him personally three of Dr. Deming’s four-day seminars for the latter’s wisdom to begin to sink in!  

The “12 Days to Deming files (ordered by their initial alphabetic identifiers A­–S) are exactly the same on the two websites and are immediately downloadable from both.  The downloading takes only a few seconds at most.  Once downloaded, each file can then be viewed on-screen and/or printed out, irrespective of which of the two websites you are using. 

I encourage you to access these sites to get the course and learn the profound knowledge of Dr. Deming. It will change your life for the better. It is not another way to understand what you already know. After actively participating and learning his teaching you will be transformed because you will experience a very positive dramatic change. I encourage you to start right away, if you do, this quarantine time will help you become the positively productive person you want to be!

I encourage you to use this quarantine time to learn Deming’s teachings by accessing and actively engaging with Dr. Neave’s course, “12 Days to Deming. If you are interested, I share some information below about some ways learning Dr. Deming’s quality methods impacted me, my life and my career.

My life was changed, dramatically, when I was a junior in college (1988).  In my organizational behavior class at Purdue l learned about the quality management methods espoused by W. Edwards Deming for an assignment. I learned a lot about it from my dad who was implementing these methods at his Bethlehem Steel Mill. He shared some materials that I read and it inspired me to learn more.

After reading the only book out at that time, “Quality, Productivity, and Competitive Position“, the methods he discussed were so obvious, my thought was, “How could any other methods be used?” Later I also read his other books, “The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education” and “Out of the Crisis“. The New Economics is a great quick read.

After learning his methods and getting my degree, I entered my career in the working world. I was shocked when I learned that despite the proven success of these methods by the Japanese in the 1980’s and many others, most in America were still not using these methods. The dysfunctional, confrontational “prevailing style of management” was and, even today, is still being used. Many attempted to partially adopt his methods after the TV show NBC White Paper, “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?“, but partial adoption was insufficient. A transformation was needed. Those that did the transformation, such as Ford in the late ’80’s, had remarkable success.

Although I did not realize it at the time, Dr. Deming’s teachings changed my life. Everything I have done since learning Dr. Deming’s methods attempts to implement his methods. For example, I am applying quality management methods to health and my Paneugenesis concept, of selfish, selfless, synergy that generates comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits is my way of operationalizing Demings Methods.

I had actually forgotten the dramatic impact Deming had on my work until I attended a Deming Conference at Purdue in 2008. At that conference I realized all my work was my attempt to implement the teachings of Dr. Deming so I could have a positive impact on the world by promoting positive health just as Deming promoted quality.

To continue my learning, I read books about Deming written by his colleagues. I also attend and present at Deming Conferences ongoing around the world. In addition to my reading, I regularly listen to Deming PodCasts available through the Deming Institute and also access their resources. In addition to actively engaging in Dr. Neave’s 12 Days to Deming“, if you are interested in learning more, I encourage you to do the same.

In my work I emphasize that we must “Do More Good, Not Just Less Bad“. This was one of my main takeaways from his teachings. As most of us now know, just fixing problems is insufficient, we must revitalize and restore to create a better, sustainable future.

The sustainability concept doesn’t mean keeping things as they are because that is not enough, we must do better. I attempted to describe this idea in the “Create More Good Not Just Less Bad” presentation I did for the sustainability committee at my university. I also address this concept in many other posts on this site.

Dr. Deming’s impact on our world was powerful and there are now many opportunities to learn about Deming’s methods. Without a doubt, one of the best ways to learn about this life changing information is by actively engaging with Dr. Neave’s 12 Days to Deming“. The effort you put in learning Deming will have a profound positive impact on your life. The Deming Institute also offers multiple resources that I encourage you to investigate.

I am promoting this course because engaging with Dr. Neave’s 12 Days to Demingis a great way to practice paneugenesis so you will be able to generate comprehensive improvements by creating of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. After you learn from this course, please share your insights below and encourage everyone you know to engage with this course so you can help add a surge to the positive ripple Dr. Deming started. Thank you.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Please share your thoughts below. If you have questions or ideas to share, please contact me:

A More Effective Way to Flatten the COVID-19 Curve

We need to flatten the COVID-19 curve to improve our quality of life.

I am lucky to work with very smart people. I learn so much from them. My smart colleague, Karen Vail-Smith today, asked why we are doing what we are doing for the coronavirus? She says why don’t we use “Universal Precautions” like was done when HIV first appeared.

Testing doesn’t treat anyone, it just identify’s who has it.

Her recommendation:

  1. Act as if all are contagious. Use social distancing. If you have symptoms stay away from others and get treated. Use “Universal Precautions”.
  2. Use resources to treat people that are sick. Build more ventilators, pay more health care providers, and expand capacity to treat and care for the sick.
  3. Money time and effort are being wasted finding a better test because tests don’t treat and they are slow and imperfect.
  4. Focus on everybody doing what they should do to keep from getting infected and spend resources on treating and eradicating the problem.

Wouldn’t this be a more effective way to flatten the COVID-19 curve?

Engage in things that will increase your abilities and skills for the future while you are keeping yourself and others from being infected.

As always, be safe doing what you can to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone you can safely interact with benefits.


Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Thank you for reading, please comment below and contact me:

Logic of Ending Pandemic Response Team

Breaking News:

Did Trump Administration Fire the US Pandemic Response Team?

I ran the White House pandemic office. Trump closed it.

According to® regarding plans to defund public health agencies prior to the coronavirus outbreak, they stipulate (see Fact Check.Org for more detail):

Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts: It’s true that the president’s proposed budgets have included funding cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — but Congress hasn’t enacted those cuts.

In other words, it is not clear what exactly happened.

This is not a democratic or republican issue. Logically, why should we fund an agency and people only to respond to an emergency? From an efficiency standpoint, it would be a waste money. After all, since capable people are working, we could just mount a defense if something happens. Calling on them only when needed keeps them working on other matters until necessary. That is logical.

This the paradigm or current way of thinking for our “acute”, fix it when its broken, health care system. This thinking also dominates much of our lives. Regular Harvard Business Review contributor and author Umair Haque makes this clear in his multiple publications. By default, the fix it when it is broken or pathogenesis, problem origin thinking, has captured our thought and action process. This seems to be how things are done and how the system is designed.

Multiple promising alternatives seem to provide a better way. Umair Haque outlines a better way with better processes and outcomes in his many publications such as, Betterness: Economics for Humans, The Betterness Manifesto – Harvard Business Review, The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business and on Harvard Business Review: The Awesomeness Manifesto.

Based on these works, my work and that of many others, evidence suggests a better way exists. On December 7, 2014 I also suggested a better way when I commented that team to respond to emergencies seemed inefficient in my post, Evolve Maintenance to Improvement to Create +3’s. In this post I noted,

Maintenance means to maintain what we have. Of course that is good and better than making things worse and may be needed when something doesn’t work. From another perspective, it may be valuable to not see this as a problem but as an opportunity. These situations are an opportunity to create better if the focus is on true improvement and the aim is to create a +3 so everyone and everything benefits. Recall +3 relates to Exceeding Expectations.

A way to put this idea into practice is to evolve maintenance programs, groups or people to Continuous Improvers. As I have often discussed, the paneugenesis concept and model’s basic aim is to produce gains and make things better than they could be otherwise.

To put this into practice, I have my students do projects aim is a thriving, better than possible now outcome. I explain, the outcome should mean things are better than they could be even if nothing unforeseen happens. This challenges them because topical issues in their chapters include Disaster Preparedness, Violence Prevention, Smoking Cessation, Physical Activity, Sexual Health, Eating Well, Substance Safety, Injury Prevention, Oral Health and Organizational Wellness. Some topics that are health promoting such as physical activity, eating well and sexual health seem direct, but others related to injury, violence, or cessation are not.

All however pose a challenge because just because we are physically active or eat well – they must develop a process and desired outcome that would document a thriving organization. In our rich society, positive outcomes are expectations. Everybody knows health promoting actions should be done. They therefore have to design a project such that everyone and everything benefits and the by-product is the topic they are assigned.

Great results included bringing construction management, interior design, and public health students along with many others to develop unused spaces in dorms that were on the basement level. Creating a basement area through student driven projects would provide great learning experiences for the students as it developed a network or professionals on campus. This process would create a study area for students not available previously that they could use on a daily basis. Then, as a by-product, these basements provided a place to go if a disaster happens. The process also created networked group of professionals ready and able to respond to a disaster, as a by-product. If in the future a disaster did not occur, these actions have still made it better for all.

Another project proposed transforming unused space on campus into an eSports arena. Computer programmers, interior designers, construction management, marketing students, and business students all could be involved to develop skills while creating a state of the art eSports program. This eSports program however would utilize active programs to increase physical activity as it also made social interaction more likely thus generating physical activity and social interaction as a by-product as it created and built a better campus.

For other topical areas, a caring community’s by-product would be violence prevention, a more walkable campus would increase interaction and physical activity whose by-product would be injury prevention. The ideas are endless, the difference is that the starting point is the idealized outcome of a better community than is possible now, not the problem hoping to be avoided. Thinking of the problem to eliminate may not make things better unless it is the aim.

Other examples created a desirable community through the development of skills necessary to enable a better life with a by-product of less problems and the by-product capability to handle problems that do occur. As noted by Steven Pinker, reason overcomes violence.

The processes that result in “Betterness” and “Awesomeness” as described by Umair Haque is what I call Paneugenesis because it generates comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. In other words, ending the Pandemic Response team makes sense if we use the prevailing style of management. Unfortunately that method focuses on what to after it breaks so it is not as effective as focusing on how to make things better than before by using the Paneugenesis Process whose by-product also leaves us more prepared.

The Netherlands used this approach in the 1950’s after a flooding. Please see the 60 Minutes story and others of how they created a better community that as a by-product, also prevented flooding.


Please share your thoughts below about how you will create improvement, not just maintenance. Thank you.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Thank you for reading, please comment below and contact me:

Will AI or Man be the Last Standing?

Many rightly have feared the coming of technology, especially AI or Artificial Intelligence. Data is the new oil and overwhelming amounts of data are being collected. Some insist we need AI  to effectively use all this information. Sylvain Duranton’s TED Talk, “How humans and AI can work together to create better businesses” gives us a fresh perspective.

Technology and automation have already taken away many jobs and it is predicted it will take away millions more in the near future. However, based on what I am learning, there seems to be some misunderstanding. I am currently working to use AI as an assistant or coach to help people live better.

These misunderstandings are explained very well in Sylvain’s TED Talk below. As he explains, companies are mistakenly using AI with the belief it will eliminate bureaucracy. This however is mistaken, like a bureaucracy, AI depends on rules and protocols even more than humans. He calls it “Algocracy”. Many are using AI to take out human bias and mistakes. This however is an even bigger mistake. Machines are good, but limited. Man is good, but bias. Man + Machine has the potential to do bette than either by themselves.

My current efforts are focused on using AI to help us generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or by practicing paneugenesis.  Are you using AI? Please share your experiences below. I look forward to hearing how you generate comprehensive improvements.


Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Thank you for reading, please comment below and contact me:

A Way Forward Provided in “The Future of Capitalism”

In a very interesting book, The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties, Paul Collier addresses capitalism and explains how it can work better.  Bill Gates provides an interesting review in his GatesNotes Blog, Is there a crisis in capitalism?, as does Bloomberg news in The Future of Capitalism, and the New York Times review, Saving Local Communities in a Globalized World.

To me, it provided many good ways to move forward so we are more likely to generate comprehensive benefits from pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. In the book he indicated that Social Democratic approaches worked from 1945-1970 because this was a time where these societies created policies for health care, pensions, education and unemployment. He suggested these methods moved society forward but it does not work anymore because our thinking became overrun by oppositional ideologies. In other words, as I noted in the post MLK Day FOR Everyone’s Benefit, people were more concerned about individual rights than benefiting the whole. He connected this with how many had adopted Milton Friedman’s proclamation that the only goal of an organization was profit. As we all now know, this type of thinking is incomplete and harmful.

He repeatedly emphasized how pragmatism, the practice of determining the best way to get things done, had been overtaken by the ideologies of “utilitarianism”, “populism”, and “Rawlsian”. From my understanding, utilitarianism is about maximizing individual parts without regard the whole and therefore does not account for system effects. “Populism” presents the people  as a morally good force and contrasts them against the elite who are portrayed as corrupt and self-serving. And “Rawlsian”, something I do not fully understand, sees fairness as equal basic rights, equality of opportunity and promoting the interests of the less advantaged members of society. He suggested that a problem with ideologies is that they often create an enemy and an us vs. them mentality. These ideologies make it difficult to find beneficial approaches.

He explained that ideologies are problematic because they are often blind and do not change course when reality does not match what the ideology predicted. For instance, although it has become abundantly clear that “trickle down” economics is ineffective, some ideologies still promote it as a solution. He explained, ideologies were incomplete because they generally offer either an incomplete headless heart or a heartless head solution. We are all in this together and nobody will make it alone so we must develop better ways to cooperate so we all benefit.

He cited that we must create a society that generates belongingness and esteem because these are our basic hardwired human drives. He also suggested we develop better narratives because it is stories, thus emotions, not facts, that move people because stories become the new facts. He also convincingly documented the need and benefit from government. We need regulations. Just as Dov Siedman analogized, we could not move on our streets without regulation. Governing signs and rules of road that we have all agreed to follow allow traffic to move much quicker and better than if there were no rules of the road.

With regard to his recommendations, he emphasized the need to reinstate reciprocal obligations. As he explained, obligations are to rights what taxation is to public spending. Obligations yield more revenue and more rights yield more spending. As W. Edwards Deming dictated,

Defend your rights, you lose

Reciprocal obligations, after all, help us feel that we are a part of society because we contributed. Fulfilling these obligations generates both belongingness and esteem, our basic drives. He even demonstrated how obligations, and the need to fulfill obligations, are more important than our wants. In many ways this parallels how workers now have greater and greater specialization. Paradoxically, specialization makes people more, not less, dependent on the complementary skills of others.

He helped me better understand our current big divide in people. He showed how the divide is now between the educated and the non-educated and how this then leads to higher and or lower paying jobs. These jobs also, because of automation, relate to the amount of contributions that they can make from their job which then impacts belongingness. When people are able to contribute to society, they feel more ownership in society. This also supports esteem. It also supports the need to protect what we have because of innate “loss aversion”.

Through the book he explains the need and value of an Ethical Family, Firms, State, and the World. Although many may disagree, he explains the current world is more ethical than the world of 1945. Even though it is better, to improve on our current state, he has many good suggestions.

To improve he suggests building commitment and putting more taxes on activities, such as financial transactions, that are zero sum interactions. With this he is suggesting when funds or assets are just changing hands to enrich the winner, these activities should have higher taxes than transactions that benefit society. To help close the divide, he also suggests we should work to build capacities of inequality more than address income inequality because if capacities are improved, the situation can right itself.

He supports capitalism because it is the only economic system that has been able to produce mass prosperity. Despite the value of capitalism, he says it needs to be put right again with more pragmatism and less ideology. Overall he suggests building relationships because relationships mean reciprocal obligations and reciprocal obligations can generate belongingness and esteem. To help make this happen, laws and regulations that had changed to favor the individual over the family and the “economic man” led to weakened employer/employee obligations. These laws can and should be shifted to support the use of reciprocal obligations. Along with these, he suggested it would be vital for leaders to share better narratives to build a shared identity. He cites a shared identity as the foundation for far sighted reciprocity.

His analysis indicates building belongingness and esteem with better laws and regulations will help people be more engaged and fulfilled.  Fulfilling these obligations can help generate comprehensive improvements from the creation of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. The by-product…a Happier Society.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Please share your thoughts below. If you have questions or ideas to share, please contact me:

MLK Day FOR Everyone’s Benefit

I was in an MLK march today. I am all FOR equality for all because then everyone benefits. Being for things that improve the system benefits everyone. Justice for all!

We are all one system and we all must work together to create the best outcome. If one part attempts to take the most, it hurts us all. What is most important is how we all support each other and help each other so we can all be better. It all about how we build, maintain and continually improve relationships. Relationship with each other, with organizations, between organizations, with nature, and so much more.

If one part is not doing their best and not contributing what it can, it hurts everyone. For that reasons we should all work at helping all do all they can, help all reach their potential. MLK Day helps us realize what we can do to enable all of us to work together better. Making sure we all have the ability, capacity and potential to achieve our potential helps all of us do better so the whole system works better.

For instance, higher wages are good, however they must be earned. Pride can only be felt by people when they know the money was earned. Money follows, it cannot lead. Money given that was not earned does not create a better outcome for the worker or society, overall its just shifts issues. We all should work toward making life meaningful and valuable.

As Paul Collier explains in his excellent book, The Future of Capitalism, our basic drives are for belongingness and esteem. Building a better world where we all care and help each other and do jobs that improve our world can help everyone thrive by increasing both belongingness and esteem.

Very prophetically W. Edwards Deming declared:

Defend your rights, you lose

By this he was saying that if one just fights to make their part of the system better without understanding how it effects the whole system will be short sighted. I am trying to explain how this relates and this Deming Institute Podcast may help. I encourage you to listen.

The W. Edwards Deming Institute® Podcast
Deming Speaks – Episode #22 – 1991  00:21:13
This motivates me even more to Practice Paneugenesis because, at its core, paneugenesis helps us build stronger relationships with everyone and everything. I look forward to hearing about how you generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions from which everyone and everything benefits. Make it a Great Week!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Please share your thoughts below. If you have questions or ideas to share, please contact me:

Friday Bonus Post: Thank You Dr. Greger

I have noted often, I eat more plants and encourage others to do the same because it will help everyone and everything. It is good for us, good for animals good, good for workers, good for the air, good for the land, good for the water, good for…Dr. Greger summarizes it well here. Enjoy and make it a great weekend by generating comprehensive benefits through the creation of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Please share your thoughts below. If you have questions or ideas to share, please contact me:

Make 2020 Your Best Decade Yet…

This post provides my wishes for a Happy New Year and ideas to make this a great Decade for everyone and everything!  Like most of humanity, I desire a better tomorrow. While our specific visions may differ, at core we want a world with more Love, Well-Being, Capacity and Potential. Scientific evidence has demonstrated that this type of future is not only possible, it is already on-going. Most things have gotten better in many ways.

We often miss the improvement because progress erases its tracks. Instead of complimenting our progress, society looks forward toward where we want to go next and forgets to take pride in the progress that has been made. Knowing our tendency to look past achievements, it is helpful to remember to Plot Progress so we can feel good about what has been accomplished.

On December 28, 2019, Nicholas Kristof‘s NYT’s column proclaimed, “This Has Been the Best Year Ever For humanity over all, life just keeps getting better” and “…In the long arc of human history, 2019 has been the best year ever.” Another good summary of our improvements was made by Steven Pinker in Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. I described this at Things are Great – And They are Getting Better… and also explained the importance of noticing and documenting our progress at Record Progress To Feel Good or Evidence Disappears. See more in Steven Pinkers Washington Post Interview: “A Harvard professor explains why the world is actually becoming a much better place“. Overall Steve Pinker describes how and why we have,

More Abundance, less poverty; More Peace, less wars; 

More Health, less sickness; More Sustenance, less hunger; 

More Productivity, less barrenness; More Freedom, less tyranny;

More equal rights, less bigotry & discrimination; 

More intelligence, less dull wittedness;More literacy, less illiteracy

More knowledge , less ignorance; More happiness, less misery, meaning…

Overall: We have More opportunities to enjoy family, friends and nature,

less drudgery and monotony

Of course bad things are also happening. Unfortunately, only stopping the bad things cannot make it better, science has provided a preponderance of evidence and examples that documents we must Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad.

Creating Habits

As we all know, if we want to make this a great new year and our best decade ever, we will need to take action. Our actions often turn into habits. This can be good because it frees our brain to do more, however it can also cause unthinking actions and we just do what always did. Understanding this suggests we should remember what Charles Kettering said,

We continually form habits, often without trying. To create the future we want, we should consciously create habits to our liking. Norman Doidge uses an analogy about sledding on a hill with soft snow to describe behaviors and habits.

As we have all experienced, after taking a few trips down a hill with soft snow, the repeated route becomes cleared and easiest to use. In time the path becomes somewhat hardened. Because it is a formed path, it becomes the path that is most likely used again. That path, like things we do in life can become a habit. The other areas of soft snow, like other options available to us in life, are still available. Taking those unused or lightly used paths will force us to develop new behaviors and learn new things.

Choosing to take a new path will likely take more effort because it is a different, unknown route. Although it takes more effort, if we are thinking as we take the new route and believe it is the best course of action, it can be worth the effort. Not only will we be engaged in an exciting and novel activity, we will be learning because we will have to expand our capacity and skills to design this new path. As noted by Robert Frost in “The Road Not Taken”, …taking the road less traveled has made all the difference.

Brain Plasticity

Norman Doidge‘s analogy about habits was in his book “The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science“. A short synopsis of this good book is provided in the video below.

Doidge’s powerful book made clear, through multiple examples, that we are able to continually improve our capacity and abilities because of our innate Brain Plasticity or Neuroplasticity. Brain plasticity is the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections. It is the ability of the brain to change continuously throughout an individual’s life in response to thoughts and actions.

Doidge drives home the message, outlined by others, such as Gladwell in Outliers, Clear in Atomic Habits and many others that mass, dedicated practice can help us become and be who we want to be. The book also drove home the point that everything is connected. Over and over it was emphasized that as one thing changes in the brain, the whole brain reorganizes. Thus as anything changes, everything changes. As Deming also explained, everything becomes reorganized because if it did not, the parts could not work together. It is a great book that I recommend. Enjoy.

Now back to the brain. Along with Doidge’s book, “Soft-Wired: How the Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life” by Dr. Michael Merzenich was very powerful. It probably impacted me more because my dad recently passed away and had suffered from dementia and Alzheimers. Dementia is brain plasticity in the wrong direction. It is a horrible disease.

Soft-Wired was consistent with Doidge. That is, although plastic brain changes happen automatically when we are young when our brain is developing and forming, the brain still changes throughout our life. From cradle to grave. The less rapid adult changes that happen in adulthood, unlike what happens in childhood, is that to a greater extent we can direct how our brain changes and thus create the brain we want. Multiple examples and my own recovery from a car accident where I suffered a severe brain contusion, makes clear, despite difficulties, the brain can reorganize and improve with directed effort.

Make 2020 a Great Start

Understanding this means we should use the “fresh snow” in 2020 to design our actions into habits we want. We should do this because evidence suggests doing so can help us generate the outcomes we desire. To start the decade right we should dream and focus on what we want to happen. Not just for ourselves but for society so we can live in a place that nurtures, encourages, supports and promotes chronic wellness. We defined chronic wellness as a persistent positive conditions enabled through engagement in health-causing actions.

The long term dream should be exciting, motivating and inspiring, so the desired outcome is more than just not bad. Of course we also need multiple short aims to document progress. For all these desires, they must be something that requires the development new abilities, connections and skills to make it so.

It also must be understood, actions should be about more than simply turning a negative into a positive. It needs to be more because it is impossible to practice paneugenesis if you start from a negative. Like salutogenesis, a health creating method or the study of the origins of health and a method to practice paneugenesis in health, you must start with the positive to create, not a negative to eliminate. To understand more, this idea is explained in the video that provides a comparison of Salutogenesis & Pathogenesis.

Eliminating a negative is like putting out a fire.

We cannot turn a negative into a positive. The best we can do is learn from a bad event and make things better in the future. For example, my Dad passed away last year and he had Alzheimers. It is a terrible disease because it turned him into a person we could not even recognize and everyone suffered. After seeing the terrible event, I have learned a lot more about brain disease and brain potential (see links and video’s by Merzenich and Doidge below). This does not make his death a positive, it will always be sad. I am however using that event to inspire me to learn more so I can design a better future for everyone and everything. This future will also make Alzheimers less likely as a by-product.

Being More Effective

Related to this and what has been frustrating to me is what seems to be a perception that there needs to be a problem before action is started. This is the same as attempting to turn a negative into a positive.  Fixing a problem is not necessary for improvement. Actually, if improvement is desired Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant! because Fixing Problems is Inefficient, Ineffective & Insufficient. Each link explains more about these ideas.

From that perspective, to illustrate this point, we all know the story “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”.

We learned from this fable that he was ignored because he said there was a wolf when one was not there killing his sheep. He did this because he was bored. Then when a wolf did show up and he called for help, nobody came to help. The moral of the story, “Nobody believes a liar” or “the habit of lying is dangerous”.

The story can relate to prevention because if prevention works, nothing happens. Yea! Thus the benefit is less bad, not more good.  If however we focus on creating more good, we can experience benefits which make it more likely we will take action and as a by-product, of generating more good, we will also be better able to avoid and prevent problems. Additionally, if problems happen, which they will, more good will enable a faster or more capable recovery.

For these reasons and many more, to make 2020 our best decade yet, a focus on creating more good, not just less bad is our best option. To understand more about this you can see this presentation I made to a sustainability committee, “Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad“.

Our Shared Desire for Improvement

Our shared desire is for improvement. Besides, attempting to turn a negative into a positive requires us to look back at how to fix something rather than how to create something better. No matter what we do in the future the negative still happened. In other words, as noted, putting out a fire keeps us at 0, or our status quo. If we want better, we must create better, or what I call +3.

Our shared goal should be to create a better future for everyone and everything that also makes it less likely for the negative event to happen – as a by-product. For this to happen, we need to take action so we can build on the wonderful progress we have made.  To continue progress we must go on offense to make it happen. I described how it can work for health promotion at Article: Going on Offense to Enable Health Gains Published.

A way to generate a desired future can be accomplished by using the first step of practicing paneugenesis. The first step is to dream about the future you want and create an Idealized Outcome. The Idealized Outcome must be something that could not happen otherwise, it has to be something we must cause to happen and it must be better than what would happen even if everything went well, the status quo. In other words, practicing paneugenesis can help you contribute to making 2020 the best decade for you and everyone and everything.

Practice Paneugenesis using this 4 Step to Process

  1. Operationalize Desired Idealized Outcome
    • Determine an Idealized outcome that is better or improved from what is possible or able to happen now
    • Must incorporate Systems Thinking so the outcome benefits are on multiple levels without any seen harm to other levels
  2. Discover and Develop Necessary Precursors to make Desired Outcome Possible
    • Research to discover what must come before idealized outcome, what must be true for desired outcome to occur
    • Assess current process to discover and learn current processes used or must be created to manifest ideal outcomes
    • These Precursors are goals that must be achieve before an Idealized Outcome can be realized.
  3. Optimize the Process to Develop Skills and abilities that make Precursors possible (this is Green Grass philosophy, its designing a process to help grass grow)
    • Develop good practices (append existing or start new processes)
    • Update unneeded, outdated or inappropriate actions to ones that created idealized vision,
    • Focus on what causes more and more blades of grass to grow, and…
  4. Plot Progress to document, demonstrate, and celebrate Improvement
    • Measure and document progress forward toward idealized outcome
    • Plan and develop next steps to enable continual improvement

This video explains the concept of Paneugenesis.


Please share your progress and what you do to help make 2020 our Best Decade Yet.

If you are interested, below are some good presentations about Brain Plasticity.

This video is an interview with Norman Doidge about brain plasticity.


In this presentation Dr. Merzenich outlines some of his findings to help us generate the brain we want.

These are more videos that evolved from Norman Doidge’s book, “The Brain that Changes Itself”.

I look forward to working with all of you to make 2020 the best decade yet for everyone and everything by generating comprehensive improvements through the creation of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or by practicing paneugenesis.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Please share your thoughts below.                                                                                                                                If you have questions or ideas to share, please contact me:

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