From time immemorial to this day, minute and second, there is One Lesson in Life that each and every single human being born into this world has learned since birth (and quickly made to forget through indoctrination and mind manipulation) which is: Don't go by what people say, go by what people do (or any variation thereof).
If you are familiar with my writing style, I am sure you're wondering where I am going with this in terms of its relevance to "virtual organizations" or the "virtual organization management" discipline. That being said, please stay still and bear with me awhile :: just pretend that you're sitting in a barbershop getting a close shave.
When I made the decision in April of 1997 to found the "virtual organization management" discipline, it was, and still is to this day, out of a firm belief that the Internet has now made it possible for all of us to move away or, at the very least, slowly begin to make a transition from our current and very primitive, antiquated and barbaric model of governance to a more enlightened model.
A current governance model based on Master-Slave, Exploitation-Plundered, Deception-Gullible, Treachery-Violated, Illusion-Pacification, Human Compromise-Bought and Sold, Indifference-Catastrophe, Blindness-Misery, Oppressor-Oppressed, Bully-Meek, Aggressive-Passive, Parent-Child, Savior-Downtrodden, Predator-Prey, Caregiver-Feeble, Aid Giver-Aid Recipient, Abuser-Victim, Royalty-Subjects, Alpha Male or Female-The Pack, Sheppard-Sheep, Employer-Employee, Provider-Entitled, Influencer-Follower, and Leader-Follower relationships.
I've always believed that, within each and every single one of us, there is a small seed buried deep down in there which embodies a Luminous Light of Reason and Freedom and, given the right time, place and circumstance, will eventually dare to emerge out of obscurity and make its presence felt in the form of an "Intelligent Being."
This Luminous Light of Reason and Freedom is manifested in-and forms the philosophical core of-the "Virtual Organization Management" discipline that I describe as The Holy Grail :: with Virtual Organization Management Institute (VOMI) as the standard-bearer of this Luminous Light (The Holy Grail).
Furthermore, I've always believed that the probability of having these "Intelligent Beings" on our planet is more like one in a million; which means that, theoretically speaking, out of a population of 7 billion on this planet, we should be able to have close to 7000 such "Intelligent Beings" scattered or dispersed throughout the globe.
Thus the reason for my quixotic quest over the past 19 years: to be able to locate just 12 of these "Intelligent Beings" (referred to as "Guardians of The Holy Grail"). Intelligent Beings who will understand, see through, and reject the current model of governance :: and yearn to guard and carry this Luminous Light of Reason and Freedom - the Luminous Light of VOMI - to every single individual in every corner of the globe (and universe).
Time to Play the Devil's Advocate
Well, I can imagine the very first remark that came to your mind: "Well Pierre, good luck with that. I don't know what you've been smoking or what kind of planet you think you're living on, I got a feeling you're going to be waiting for a very long time for this Guardian of The Holy Grail. So a little word of advice: Just don't hold your breath while you're waiting."
And I can also imagine the very first question that came to your mind: "I am curious, Pierre. How many of these Guardians have you already found?"
Well, your remark and question are legitimate and appropriate. The truth is, I would be very disappointed if you didn't feel that way. That would have meant that I am completely off the mark, if not dead wrong, when it comes to my assertion about the human race and the current state that we're in (and have always been in since time immemorial). I would have to go back to the drawing board and try to figure out how I could have possibly been so misguided.
To Address the First Remark
So, let me go ahead and address the first remark: You are correct about my (and VOMI) having to wait for a very long time and we have no illusion about that. But the good news is: Time is NOT a factor. We've been looking for 19 years to find a total of 12 such Guardians and we can continue to look for as long as it takes until we've reached the magic number 12 - even if that means way after I have already crossed over into the next world.
The point being, just because you can't find "the right medicine" doesn't mean that you have to swallow something which you already know is "poison." The current system of governance in place throughout the world IS poison and the right medicine for that is "the virtual organization management discipline."
Therefore, what good does it do us to bring on board someone who doesn't believe in the medicine that we are prescribing and only cares about administering the very poison that we are seeking to remove or combat?
To Address the First Question
With respect to the first question, here is my answer: With respect to Guardian data and information, I can only disclose information about the 13th Guardian: Pierre Coupet. All other information about Guardians of The Holy Grail is highly sensitive and Above Top Secret information which can never be disclosed to the public. Even though we are unable to prevent a Guardian from secretly disclosing his or her own identity, outside of the 13th Guardian, no one Guardian will know the identity of the other 11 Guardians.
What's the Big Deal?
Now that I've gained your attention, I am sure you're wondering why the identity of these Guardians is such a mystery. What's the Big Deal? So let me proceed with providing everyone with some historical information about the Guardian of the Holy Grail designation; some basic information about the Guardian of The Holy Grail anointment process; what we expect from each Guardian; and why we view this title as the most coveted title and honor in corporate history.
Historical Information About the Guardian of The Holy Grail
Although the original concept behind the phrase "Guardian of The Holy Grail" dates back to April of 1997, the first use of that term came about in 2007 (10 years after founding the virtual organization management discipline).
It was first used in an ad to describe the 12 members of the Executive Leadership Team we were recruiting for the scheduled launch of Virtual Organization Management Institute as a separate entity in 2009. Other than the fact that we considered this new entity "The Holy Grail" in terms of its social significance and future economic potential, we really never did attach much significance to the job title appendage itself. It was simply a great recruitment marketing tool (e.g., Chief Financial Officer, Guardian of The Holy Grail).
However, that being said, something really strange happened along the way. As time went by, and out of necessity, the virtual organization management discipline started to rapidly evolve from a process-oriented discipline to a core-philosophy and process-oriented discipline. In other words, the development of a core philosophy for the discipline became just as important as the process part, if not much more so, and thus each part became a side of one whole "virtual organization management discipline" coin. The result of this merger of process with philosophy then brought about a whole new dimension to the term "The Holy Grail." The discipline truly became The Holy Grail in every possible aspect.
It then became extremely critical for us to emphasize in our recruitment ads that we really meant what the title appendage of each position stated, Guardian of The Holy Grail. This was no longer a recruitment marketing tool. We became dead serious about each one of these 12 members of the Executive Leadership Team taking on the role of Guardian of The Holy Grail.
For us at VOMI, this was the equivalent of taking off a horse's blinders. All of a sudden, we could see an entire universe ahead of and around us and saw an unlimited number of possibilities in terms of not only where we stood but also of vast distances where we could travel to. The sky (no, the universe) became the limit!
But to our dismay and chagrin (very short-lived, of course) this merger brought about a full revolt from current members of, as well as those we sought to recruit for, the Executive Leadership Team due to our insistence that they strictly adhere to the totality of the discipline instead of just the process part. The philosophical part brought about a tremendous amount of uneasiness and distress on their part:: and they believed that the injection of our "holier than thou" philosophy into the discipline itself was in stark contrast to "the realities of the world," went against every fiber of human nature, and thus a recipe for failure.
Thus setting the stage for VOMI to find some sort of middle ground without having to compromise on the mission of VOMI and the implementation of the virtual organization management discipline itself.
Finding the Middle Ground
Anyone who knows me will tell you right off hand that I don't negotiate, as in "really don't negotiate." Therefore, how can you find a middle ground if you are not willing to negotiate?
For us at VOMI, finding the middle ground meant that we can't have our cake and eat it too. Sometimes, you have to be willing to let go of whatever it is that is getting in the way or holding you back, and take whatever amount of time you need, in order to "do the right thing." You cannot allow a sense of panic and desperation to set in and guide your actions. In fact, that would go against the grain and essence of the virtual organization management discipline.
For starters, what this means is that, I had to let go of nearly the entire Executive Leadership Team.
Second, I also had to let go of the requirement that each member of the Executive Leadership Team be a "bona fide" Guardian of The Holy Grail. In other words, as long as a candidate meets all the requirements of the position and, upon hire, performs as required, and faithfully adheres to the virtual organization management discipline, that's good enough for us.
As far as becoming a Guardian of The Holy Grail, this is no longer a requirement; nor is that designation officially appended to the title of a member of the Executive Leadership Team. In fact, we have made the decision that, being a Guardian of The Holy Grail should NOT be an automatic award but rather an "honor" bestowed upon someone who is deserving of such designation due to their significant deeds and contribution to VOMI over a consistent period of time.
In other words, to use a wedding analogy, we don't mind getting married to each other, however, that part of the wedding vow which states, "to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part," can be omitted. After all, it's unrealistic to expect anyone to make that sort of commitment to each other at the beginning of a relationship. That is NOT something that you can obligate anyone to perform via words or a piece of paper. This is something which can only be expressed in DEEDS over a period of time.
Which takes us back to the beginning of this article about something that ALL of us have learned since birth: Don't go by what people say, go by what people do.
In a real way, the end result is this: The roles have been reversed. Now we're saying that we don't want you to tell us that you are committed to be a Guardian and, even if you did tell us, we wouldn't believe you; and that we will believe it when we see it - in deeds and not words.
What Does It Mean to Be a Guardian?
In a nutshell: It means being the equivalent of VOMI's Guardian Angel. (We all know the fairy tale version of what it means to have a Guardian Angel.) You are one of only 13 living Guardians. Only a current member of VOMI's Executive Leadership Team can be anointed a Guardian. Once anointed, you remain a Guardian for Life. It does not matter if you are officially retired or have moved on to other activities and are no longer working for VOMI on either a permanent, full-time or part-time basis. Only the 13th Guardian knows of your existence as a Guardian. There will be no official record in the archives of VOMI to confirm such existence, except after you have crossed over into the next world. Once you are deceased or become mentally incapacitated, then and only then will a vacancy open for your coveted title.
This is the unofficial version of what it means to be a Guardian. The official version is highly Confidential.
Sequel of this article:: Imagine This: The Life of a Guardian of The Holy Grail ::
About Author: Pierre Coupet, CEO & Q of Virtual Organization Management is the founder of Virtual Organization Management Institute (VOMI), VOMI Virtual Organization Academy, and Virtual Organization Recruiter:: founder of the modern virtual organization management and virtual organization recruitment disciplines pioneered since 1997:: founder of League of Extraordinary Virtual Organization Executives:: and Architect of THE NEW VIRTUAL ORGANIZATION WORLD Collection. Contact directly at firstname.lastname@example.org; or via CHAT.
Stock Photo: courtesy of Pixabay
Copyright 2007-2016. Pierre Coupet. VOMI. Virtual Organization Management Institute. VOMI Virtual Organization Academy. Virtual Organization Recruiter. All rights reserved. Cannot be reproduced without permission.