CCCC uses its personality profile methodology (PAVF) to predict, not only the behavior of individuals, but also of departments and of corporations themselves – as a way to rationalize their behaviors, status, and their locations on the Evolution Pyramid1. Applying these same techniques to the world political scene allows us to form some comprehension of political states, especially the examples of the United States, Russia and Canada. In this newsletter we apply the PAVF approach to gain an understanding where the U.S. presently lies and, predict, where it may be going.
The Basic Premise
When we understand the PAVF of individuals [Reference 1] we can predict their behaviors, even more readily if they are under stress. For example, P individuals tend to be no-nonsense people who are in a hurry. Under stress, they take charge and might grab the task they have assigned to someone else and do it themselves.
A individuals tend to be detail-oriented people who are careful, thorough and conservative. Under stress, they often withdraw into an inaction paralysis, retreating from people and arguments, while the wheels in their brain are churning away, carefully analyzing the situation and the other people.
V individuals tend to be outgoing, optimistic and full of ideas. Under stress, they may sulk at the realization that they and their ideas are not being recognized as unique. They may even lash out and humiliate others.
F individuals tend to be gregarious and genuinely concerned about other people. Under stress, the Fs may worry excessively about not being accepted. Thus their decisions will be delayed as they vacillate from one position to the other trying to please all sides at once, often confusing those around them.
Naturally people are not pure P or A, etc. but some combination of all four, with, usually, a dominance in two. But any combination is possible.
If we understand the PAVF of a group we can predict the nature of their decision-making because of the relationship of PAVF to the basic decision-making elements, as follows:
P results in a focus on ‘what’.
A results in a focus on ‘how’
V results in a focus on ‘why’ and a future (‘when’)
F results in a focus on ‘who’.
Thus, a P-dominated group will create decisions with a long list of ‘what’ must be done but will probably lack the details of ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘who’ and ‘when’ (other than as-soon-as-possible).
Whereas, an A-dominated group will probably create decisions with great details of ‘how’ it must be done but will probably lack focus on the ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘when’ and ‘who’…… and so on.
If the group is a composite of PV, for example, it will make decisions with great attention on ‘what’ (P), and a long list of ideas generated by its focus on ‘why’ and ‘why not’ (V). But the group decisions will probably lack the details of ‘how’ (A) and ‘who’ (F).
PAVF and Evolution
Reference 2 details each of the ten stages of the Evolution Pyramid that every company must pass through over its lifetime. They are, going up the Pyramid: Wooing, Baby, Toddler and Teenager. Excellence, at the peak is the ideal operating level. On the downward slide are: Contentment, Nobility, Scapegoat, Sluggishness and Death. Each of the ten stages has a composite PAVF trait different from other stages, along with the correspondingly different behaviors of those traits.
For example, the Baby stage is about keeping a rather helpless entity alive with careful nurturing. Just as with a human infant, it demands constant attention and action (P) without time for the organizing details typical of A; if the baby is hungry it is fed right away without concern for the niceties of the meal – no layout of table-setting, no rearranging of the dining area; it’s all about feeding the infant as quickly as possible to arrest its scream for attention. There is no time for V, fantasies, ideas or abstracting about the college that baby will attend but only the reality of satisfying the baby’s immediate hunger needs. F is gone too; mother stops socializing with other adults, gets immediately off the phone if baby cries as she concentrates and focuses on the needed task. The profile for a mother in the baby stage is PAVF; that is, it is mostly P.
With the enterprise at the Baby stage, the profile is also PAVF, that is, mostly P. It is also about keeping a rather helpless entity alive with careful nurturing – usually of getting enough contracts in the door and managing its delicate hunger for cash. Just as with a human infant, it demands constant attention (cash flow) and action – sales (P) without time for the organizing details typical of A. When the Baby is hungry for money (payroll will not be met), it is fed right away without concern for the niceties of the P & L – no complex financial analyses, no arranging of a long list of priorities; it’s all about the immediate feeding the infant enterprise as quickly as possible to arrest its scream for attention (cash). There is little time for V, fantasies, ideas or abstracting about the great plans for the corporation’s future but only the reality of satisfying the Baby’s immediate sales or cash needs. F is gone too; the founder is demanding of others in the enterprise and is not as careful about talking or listening to associates other than barking out orders to ensure the urgent feeding task is achieved.
What about the United States?
We begin this discussion on the assumption that the reader has an understanding of PAVF and the Evolution Pyramid (please see References 1, 2, 3 and 6). The United States has, over the past decades, achieved Excellence, a balance of PAVF, manifested by its leading roles in the world. But more recently it appears to have moved through the Contentment stage, pleased with, and dependent on, its past successes, and now seems to be resting firmly in Nobility with some tendencies toward Scapegoat.
In Contentment (PAVF) the U.S. appears to have fallen victim to the characteristics of that stage, namely the twin demons of complacency and arrogance. Its V has declined somewhat as it stopped listening (listening and asking why or why not are strong characteristics of V). It moved forward with its plan for an invasion of Iraq arrogantly ignoring (not listening to) many of its trusted friends and advisor nations – Canada, France, Germany and Japan.
Now firmly placed in the Nobility stage (PAVF), the United States’ V (listening and inquisitively exploring new avenues) has declined even more. Its aggressive P has also declined with Japan, Taiwan, China, Canada, etc. taking bigger and bigger pieces of world markets. For example, this year Toyota will replace General Motors as the largest carmaker in the world. The United States reacts with punitive and illegal (as identified by the WTO) duties and judgments (NTP in the U.S. wins $600 million from Canada-based RIM) as the U.S. recognizes that Canada is making substantive inroads into the lumber, movie entertainment, telecom and other North American industry sectors that were once the unique or dominant privilege of the U. S.
A prime Nobility characteristic is to project a false face or mask, to ignore signals from within that suggest there are problems. It is often accompanied by dismissing dissenting voices from within, not recognizing them as harbingers of cause for alarm but as troublemakers. A clear signal is the recent decline of the U.S. dollar. Another example is the growing gap between rich and poor (the top 1% in the U.S. earn as much as the bottom 40%). As well, we can see each day on our news reports that an increasingly greater part of U.S. society feels disenfranchised. Is anyone listening? When we learn that the health of U.S. citizens is actually measured as declining  – serious signals are showing. Any outsider can see that these things need to be listened to and properly addressed. But usually the entity in Nobility has no interest in listening and is, in fact, incapable of listening as often it has purged itself of its warning bells (e.g. U.S. scientists on global warming and other scientific advisory panels have been dismissed  by the President). And what about the signal arriving out of Congress and the media of the U.S. increasing debt?
Another characteristic of Nobility is the replacement of its own internal innovation programs with the acquisition of smaller entities’ innovation from outside. Being cash-rich, the Nobility enterprise can afford the price. Could the invasive support of Kuwait, the interest in Iraq and Iran be likened to acquisitions – in this case, of oil resources?
Reaching into the Scapegoat stage, (PAVF), the F decline is characterized by blaming of both outsiders and peers. Are other nations blamed for some of the U.S. issues? It appears so – as are North American peers, which is manifested by restrictions on Mexican immigrants to and in the U.S. not to mention increases in Canadian beef and softwood lumber duties as well as dispersions cast upon Democrats, themselves.
What lies ahead for the U.S.?
In the normal evolutionary process, the slippery slide down the slope of the Evolution Pyramid to the stage called Death is inevitable unless changes are made. While no country is going to ‘die’, it is in jeopardy of losing its leading position as exampled in the past by the decline of the Roman and the British empires. Fortunately, with a democratic society and a limited term for any President, changes in the U.S. are possible. What has to be done?
The answer is simple: get back to Excellence, to a balanced PAVF.
Nobility at PAVF or Scapegoat at PAVF indicate that to get to a balanced PAVF, first V, the most-damaged and now lowest characteristic on the scale has to be lifted by opening up the channels to listening to critics, especially internal ones – and doing something about it. This should be easy for a nation that prides itself on its pioneering spirit. Pioneering is about asking why, why not and taking the risk to discover why.
Second, A, a crushing bureaucracy has to be broken up. How? The initial step is to decentralize decision-making wherever possible and delegate it to the various states, as well as to other political and organizational bodies. Another step, although more difficult to implement, is to balance the voice of A with a stronger voice of V. Give the artists, the scientists, the innovators – the creative people – a stronger voice. Lastly, have some means to keep A in check otherwise it will continue to grow.
Reinstating P and F are less difficult. For P, it involves being more productive, measuring that productivity and doing something about it (if it starts to lag) by means of increased innovation (V) which is already on the new agenda, anyway.
Increasing F is done by showing more concern for the population as a whole, while avoiding special privileges, even if they tend to evolve naturally. An example of such an evolution is associated with the medicare system. The absence of universal medicare develops to a health-care privilege for higher income people who can afford medical insurance premiums. Recognizing this tendency towards imbalance, almost all Western nations, except the U.S. have some sort of universal heath care in place.
What about Russia and Canada?
A similar analysis for Russia and Canada, also cause for alarm, makes the length of this newsletter unwieldy. Future CCCC Newsletters will explore the situations of these two other modern nations in detail.
a) There are dangerous signals emanating from leading world nations that should be attended to.
b) One means of arriving at answers is through an understanding of PAVF and applying its indicated remedies to the political situation.
c) Solutions to resurrect a nation on a downward slide are quite possible to effect. But it will take a leader who is willing to cast aside personal biases for the betterment of the country. That person must take advantage of having been given the good fortune to govern and to initiate change.
Best of luck to everyone.