A few months ago, I learned “military reasoning with 4 letters: ISSO!”.
Another meaning for ISSO is also working in German and English: “I shout otherwise!” – OK, precisely it is “ISO” in English 😉
(German: “Ich schrei’ sonst!”)

Recently, I realized, “ISSO” has a mother and a father, also.
And they want something better for “ISSO”.

What does it take to come to an “ISSO”-statement?
And, might there be options to do better?

/father: ?

The father of ISSO is doubt. You face a situation, You cannot cope the way You are used to.

Something is different. In the beginning, You have no idea what that could be. You begin to search. Ask questions and all that stuff. You get something, but You cannot align to the world the way it should be.

You need a home, where You can reference to.

/mother: ⌂

This home is provided by a mother, usually. There You feel comfortable, hopefully.

Everything is familiar, well-known and of complexity reduced to complicacy. The longer it is established unchanged, the more familiar it is.

But maybe, it is not “Yours”, yet or anymore. You need the feel for something different. Something must change.
That’s why You carry on, insisting on the need to change.

Now, You are facing alternatives in methods of solution:
Love it – change it – leave it.

“Love it” is already sorted out.
“Leave it” is a commonly observed pattern, but quite final in its result. May be not the best idea.

“Change it” could be the way to go – as long as You use “best of breed” techniques.

/how can You change?

What are the options for establishing change?

/ “natural solution”

In nature, lions, wolfs and other mammals organize their “home” as packs. What does not fit will be removed.
Fredric Laloux assigns that development stage of culture in organizations the red color.

/human solution: military

Humans are mammals that distinct from others by the ability to change their environment, intendedly. We can imagine a purpose to which we can group around.

In Laloux’s model the next stage above red is amber. It is very well known from military. That’s the home of the clear announcement.

That works fine for large numbers of people targeting towards large impacts.
Just because of sheer firepower.
Worked fine at Waterloo and Trafalgar. Did not work at Verdun, anymore.
Comeback attempts at Stalingrad also failed.
It needed a little more abstraction and a lot more firepower to succeed in the end. And it needed to be a lot more precision in there.
This precision was created by briefings where pilots learned to understand their targets and the reason why bombing exactly that sector.

That was the end of the clear announcement and the beginning of the age of understanding.

/the one reason

Next step is grouping around one reason. There is this one reason that tops all the other.

“We will build a car!”
“We will fly to the moon!”
“We will dominate the world!”

As You build the car and flew to the moon, You will realize that after fulfilment, there is a hole in Your soul.
And by the way, world domination is bullshit, also.

/family solution

So, You come to sharing. You share properties, You share resources and You share visions. That’s what feels like “home”.

If someone operates at home with a clear announcement, this person might wonder, why it does not work the way intended.
It is, because lack of understanding. You need others participating in working out a solution.

That works even with small children.

I demonstrated it with children of four and seven.
Their mother wondered why “nobody” appreciates her hard work to determine the best destinations for summer vacation.
It is just because, nobody was really involved. We were all just informed.
So, we repeated the solution finding. Now, everybody was involved.

identifying criteria for summer destination

We collected all the criteria that need to be fulfilled for a decision.
Playground, TV-set, WiFi-internet, nature and civilization accessible in one hour maximum.

In the end, it was just the same criteria she worked out, discretely.
But now, kids cheered and were keen to travel there.

Just, alignment of the vision. Stupid.

/the next step

The family solution bases on consensus. This needs complete agreement between all parties. That is a lot more work to achieve than clear announcement.

But concensus it is more sustainable. You need not to worry about fulfilment. It will be done. Just because, it is everybody’s own decision that will be realized.

That works great with small numbers of people. Five to nine will be maximum from my perspective. For every number beyond this, You need a different approach.

This stage we call “tealness” due to lack of a better word. At this stage, some values and principles are still shared. But, You do not need to align the whole pack, anymore. It is enough to share a common ground where just enough similarity exist to start something together.

I call this “just enough similarity” the “Diversity of Equals”.

At the beginning You need more similarity than diversity (60/30) and as Your venture or product gets more mature, You can reduce similarity and intense diversity (30/60).
How to do that is another story …


There are great tools to operate in green and teal. They were already collected and published in the last decade and called “Software for Your Head: The Core Protocols”.
The regarding book is sold out and will not be republished from my knowledge.

But, there are good news. There is a more recent publishing (2015) that is based on the original copy.

And You will find the most useful tools described just here.

/famous last words

Life runs in circles. Some are smaller, some are bigger.
In the end, there is no end – only another beginning.

“Enjoy, and share if You like.”
“Feel free to make life great!”

“Likes” are welcome. Comments are appreciated.

One response to “ISSO!”

  1. […] Es bedarf dann einer Person, die alle anderen Parteien anweist (command without control). Diese ‚militärische Begründung mit vier Buchstaben’ reduziert dann die Komplexität und erlöst die Betroffenen aus ihrer […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: