Monthly Archives: February 2015

Working with the wisdom of people

This synthesis is a foundation and justification of why, when dealing with strategic or conceptual aspects of work, it is necessary to work with the wisdom those that are participating have, in order to upgrade solutions to generate value. Everyone has some aspect in which s/he is wise, and this wisdom generates the context in which her/his behavior is adaptive.

Unicist Ontology of Doers

Almost 40 years ago I had the opportunity to develop an organizational process in a midsize organization which drove me to meet the people who drove the operation of their open salt mine.

These people demonstrated, without needing to demonstrate, that their leaders, even though they had hardly completed their elementary school, had the wisdom that is reserved for the “chosen ones”.

It was an extremely productive work, which was just the demonstration that there is no necessary relation between scholarship and wisdom. Scholarship might provide erudition, but wisdom needs to be earned step by step and brick by brick.

I never forgot this experience, which led me to the decision to always work with the wise part every individual has when dealing with the conceptual or strategic aspects of businesses.

Wisdom is a pathway with many masters

WisdomWisdom can be defined as the capacity of an individual to integrate idealism and realism with value adding actions.

Wisdom is a state that requires focusing on specific aspects of reality using questions to apprehend their nature and having the necessary knowledge of the environment in order to generate value.

Wisdom cannot be overcome because the nature of some aspect of reality has been understood and can be influenced.

But it has to be considered that wise people do not compete with others to have a place in the world. They earned their place in the world. That is why they remain masters in the field in which they are wise.

The characteristic of individuals who achieved wisdom is that they had multiple masters that had an authoritative role in their lives. These roles are still in force and the masters are still admired.

Admiration and functional envy are the concepts that allow achieving wisdom. Individuals who admire others’ achievements and deeds have the opportunity to achieve wisdom, but only if they pursue the objective of adding value in an environment. The functional envy drives individuals to achieve goals.

Individuals with conflictive relations with authority can never achieve wisdom. They might be extremely erudite, extremely efficient workers but they will never be able to integrate idealism and realism with a value-adding attitude in their environment.

The apparent paradox of wisdom is the need of multiple masters. It is said that disciples are those learners who overcome their teachers. But wisdom, defined as the space where an individual has been able to integrate idealism and realism with value adding actions, cannot be overcome.

Competing with an authority in a field where she/he is wise is a demonstration that the need to gain supersedes the need to add value. The existence of multiple masters make wisdom possible.

Achieving wisdom cannot be a goal for a wise person; wisdom is the consequence of the action of an individual but does not cause it. It is unwise to try to achieve wisdom.

That is why wisdom is a pathway with multiple masters. Masters are ordinary or extraordinary people who have achieved wisdom in some field. Look for them while you continue adding value.

To achieve wisdom you need to abandon your modesty and expand your humbleness.  Wise people do not need to be right, they just have to be functional.

What is the difference between Wisdom and Erudition?


EruditionErudition is not analogous to wisdom; it is fallacious version of wisdom. Wisdom implies action while erudition does not.

Erudition is an addiction that drives people to build a parallel hypothetical reality where they consider themselves wise. It is a frequent addiction of rationally gifted individuals.

They are driven by envy which makes them accumulate data they use to judge the originators of the data while they try to demonstrate to others that they are wise.

This allows them confronting with others in their hypothetical reality and feel that their judgments make them wise.

They manipulate in order to ensure that their hypothetical reality prevails over actual facts.

Opinators: The pseudo-erudites

Opinators are individuals whose goal is to impose their opinions in their area of influence in order to obtain full recognition for their personal opinions.

OpinatorsThey use their pre-concepts to deal with reality and blame others for all what becomes dysfunctional when failure follows their groundless opinions.

Erudites are their implicit role model, although they do not have the energy to acquire the knowledge in order to have the rational information.

They suffer from innovation blindness, therefore they disregard any information that endangers the validity of their pre-concepts. That is why they cannot deal with the fundamental knowledge of things and always build an hypothetical solutions under the motto “why not”.

Opinators are fundamentalists in their field of influence who install “suspicion and doubt” on any action that endangers their subjective dominant position.

When they are very smart, they are notorious manipulators.


If you need to develop solutions in adaptive environments, you will need to work with the wisdom of people, and be aware of “Erudites and Opinators” who will try to foster hypothetical solutions in order to leave things the way they were before, while blaming others for what they cannot do.

Peter Belohlavek

NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute was the pioneer in using the unicist logical approach in complexity science research and became a private global decentralized leading research organization in the field of human adaptive systems. It has an academic arm and a business arm.