Re: Why NOTactually use CG??
John F. Sowa <sowa <at> ...> writes:
> GSC> "Why NOT actually use CG??" In general,
> > graphs are, I believe, NOT being used at all formally to help
> > structure the prose arguments being put forth on this forum.
> > That single step would, indeed, help remove much of the obfuscation
> > and the confusion that too often prevails.
John Sowa> It would be wonderful if we could do that. <snip>
> Conceptual graphs are good for showing the relationships that
> connect concepts in a precisely stated sentence, in which every
> concept and relation has been predefined and stored in a complete
> ontology of every term that is needed for the discussion.
> The hardest part is the analysis, debate, and negotiation
> that leads up to that stage. Nobody has any good tools that
> can magically solve all the problems. If anybody has any tools
> that can help with part of problem, please let us know.
> John Sowa
I agree with most of the contentions you've raised (in particular with those in
the final paragraph).
To practically work with conceptual graphs (rather, with the "structural
graphics" realisation of CG), we really do not need to create anything like 'a
complete ontology' - the ontology (or something very much more sophisticated)
is already there in the minds of the observers. All that we need to do is to
make an enquiry of the minds confronting the problem, take those ideas (as
representative 'elements' of the needed ontology), then use those ideas
(structured into representations of the mental models held) as a basis to start
tackling the problem, step by simple step. We've observed the following to
happen in our practice:
1) Conceptual graphics (particularly in the avatar that John Warfield has
pioneered - "structural graphics") are simply a way of enabling people:
-- to look at their reality;
-- to generate 'elements' reflecting some part of that reality;
-- to integrate those elements to form 'representations' of their mental models
about the reality
-- to compare their representations with the reality and thereby enable them to
change their mental models where those may be mistaken;
-- to change their world in desired ways.
There's no magic tool or bullet there (and none is needed, or recommended, for
that matter); but we do have at hand a practical way to enable individuals and
groups arrive at a significantly enhanced understanding of the part of the real
world in which they may have interest at the moment.
Analysis, debate, and negotiation (A-D-N) will always be there (and agreed that
it is the hardest part). But I have found, in practice, that our abilities to
do this A-D-N can be significantly improved by way of using what I call "prose
+ structural graphics" as our basic communication tool.
Below my signature, I have pasted some of the 'Missions' to which the tools I
write about have been applied, in practice. (Both successes and failures are
included in this listing - we've had a fair number of failures, but they are
becoming fewer all the time, which indicates that some 'learning' is taking
place in our performance).
1. "To achieve a turnover of Rs 2000 crores, with 100 crores PAT, by 2005"
(Main Mission of a workshop for a leading organisation in Hyderabad)
2. "To create templates for effective Workshops in various fields" (All
our workshops are done on basis of such templates)
3. "To create an effective OPMS Facilitator Training Programme FTP " (This
is one of our internal Missions that helped us to create a Facilitator
Training Programme. We have been conducting, from time to time, such FTPs
since mid 2001; thus far, about 12-15 Facilitators have been through such
programmes. These programmes are under continuing modification and
4. "To develop an effective management leadership programme” (Under
5. "To create the OPMS software" (This was originally an individual
Mission belonging to GSC, which later became an organisational Mission for ILW -
through the models developed for this Mission, our prototype software has been
created, and this has helped me to get investors interested in getting the full-
scale version developed)
6. "To launch a company to create the OPMS software" (This Mission led to
formation of Interactive LogicWare Ltd, which in due course has created the
OPMS software to its current level of development).
7. " To become one of the leading consulting organisations in our field”
(This will become one of ILW Missions in due course, when we go into
8. "To complete installation of ERP system within -- months, instead of
the conventional 1 year" (Suggested by an ERP consultant - not yet taken up).
9. "To complete erection of plant within 1 year - which normally might
take 3 years" (Reliance, in particular, has already been achieving this. I
believe most organisational goals of this nature can be effectively compressed
in time to achieve results previously unheard of. The OPMS approach would
enable people involved to see their way clearly to such time-compression - to
give them the needed confidence to accept such a challenge)
10. "To become a world class management education centre by 2005" (A
Mission taken up at a workshop for a government educational institution)
11. "To develop the ---- Library and Documentation Centre as an effective
user- service oriented system”
12. "To manage unpredictable behaviour of the Railways, our single largest
Customer” (Mission taken up at a Workshop conducted for a major private sector
13. "To generate 8000 members, Rs 20 crores transactions and 20 leaders by -
------” (A Mission taken up at a workshop for a ‘services group’ operating from
14. "To prepare a truly creative design for ILW website" (A Mission begun -
still to be completed)
15. "To become a Learning Organisation, exporting technology” (A Mission
for one of our workshops) "To recruit and retain the talent we need for the
organisation" (A Mission taken up for consideration at one of our workshops)
16. "To become a world-beating consulting organisation within 5 years -
growing from the major Indian software organisation it is today" (Just proposed
as a challenge to a major Indian organisation - waiting to hear from it)
B: Individual Missions
17. "To become a leading software designer in my field " (This is a Mission
I present as a challenge to each software person who joins ILW. Out of about 18
software people who have worked with ILW since mid-1999, at least three of them
are still continuing with that Mission and have been progressing continuingly
(though two of them are no longer with ILW). All of the software people who
took up the Mission seriously did significantly enhance their effectiveness as
s/w designers through this OPMS process.
18. "To propagate the OPMS approach in India and abroad" (Started in 1983,
this Mission is still ongoing, and it led, in turn, to the two Missions
immediately below. To an extent, this has now become a part of the ILW
Mission - however, ILW has its own 'strictly corporate' Missions).
19. "To create the OPMS software" (This was originally an individual
Mission, articulated in order to accomplish the above-noted Mission
of "propagating OPMS. This Mission in due course led to the Mission noted
below of launching a company to create the OPMS software. Today, the software
is around 80% ready - the Mission has been transmuted into an 'organisational
20. "To launch a company to create the OPMS software" (This Mission led to
creation of Interactive LogicWare Ltd, which in due course has created the OPMS
software to its current level of development).
21. "To become an effective OPMS Facilitator” (This Mission constitutes the
major exercise given as a challenge to all prospective OPMS Facilitators)
22. "To improve my understanding of Mathematics, and thereby to improve my
results in Math examinations" (An OPMS Mission successfully done, using MANUAL
modeling processes, by a student of mine several years ago, long before the
OPMS software was created)
23. "To get myself a good and satisfying job" (Another Mission successfully
worked on manually, by several students of mine, before development of OPMS
24. "To learn the 'C' language to an adequate level to work on Help Screens
for OPMS software" (Another Mission successfully worked on before development
of OPMS software)
25. "To create a PowerPoint presentation of the OPMS for …" (Has been done
for several presentations – this is an individual Mission ‘within’ the global
26. "To create a PowerPoint presentation of the OPMS approach to TCS" (A
part of the global OPMS Mission).
27. "To find out whether I should base myself in US or in India” (A Mission
started up by an individual)
28. "To enhance my personal competence” (This and the next two Missions are
a couple of GSC's regular monthly exercises within his major OPMS)
29. "To enhance my personal effectiveness”
30. "To enhance my personal productivity and creativity"
31. "To become a successful business analyst" (Started by one of the
people we trained as Facilitators - he informs me that there is continuing and
regular progress on this Mission)
C: Societal Missions
32. "To help develop an effective educational system in Velha Taluka, Pune
District, through self-governance" (Workshop conducted in Pune for an NGO.
This Mission has later been modified on discussion to No. 2 below, which would
in due course be modified to something less than 100% - say 70% or so).
33. "To ensure 100% enrollment, with 100% retention, in Velha schools -
within 3 years" (This Mission was taken up at a Workshop, which has led to a
forthcoming 'Facilitator Training Programme' for the group - thus we feel this
may be reckoned as the fairly successful of our societal Missions tried out
34. "To help create a healthy Civil Society in India" (Workshop conducted
at Pune for a group that had been seriously concerned about the very unhealthy
directions of Indian civil society. This workshop then led to a workshop for
Mission on education in Velha Taluka, noted above - however, we have not yet
been able to proceed adequately with the needed 'Facilitator Training' on this
critically important Mission).
35. Dr Reddy's Foundation: "To rehabilitate child labour in association
with police - and enable those children into mainstream schools" (This is an
ambitious project of Dr Reddy's Foundation, for which purpose we conducted a
workshop and followed up by training their Facilitators - and then, with those
Facilitators, enabled the children in 10 'model rehabilitation schools', along
with their parents and with the teachers in those schools, to work on the
following ambitious Missions immediately below)
36. Mission Statement for 10 Model Schools: "To develop a vision of where
our school will be in 10 years' time and to plan how we will get there". (We
conducted separate workshops for 10 'Model Schools' on this Misison. The
Mission and its action planning was developed by children ranging in age from
11 to 17 years, their parents and the teachers in the schools - subsequently
they presented their plans and their dreams to a major public meeting and to
37. "To Enable Large–Scale Creation of Sustainable Livelihood" (This is a
Mission taken up for consideration at a workshop for a Non-Governmental
38. "To ensure 90% literacy in India in 10 years” (A Mission that India
desperately needs - can we get the 'National Literacy Mission' to take it up,
with a MUCH more rigorous definition of literacy than what is current?)
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