The Many Goals for the Identity Ecosystem & NSTIC Governance
The NSTIC governance NOI articulates many key activities, qualities and goals for a governance system for NSTIC. NSTIC must:
- convene a wide variety of stakeholders to facilitate consensus
- administer the process for policy and standards
- development for the Identity Ecosystem Framework in accordance with the Strategy’s Guiding Principles
- maintain the rules of participating in the Identity Ecosystem
- be private sector-led
- be persistent and sustainable
- foster the evolution of the Identity Ecosystem to match the evolution of cyberspace itself.
Achieving these goals will require high-performance collaboration amongst the steering group and all self-identified stakeholder groups. It will also require earning the legitimacy from the public at large and using methods that surface their experience of the Identity Ecosystem Framework as it evolves.
Its a Wicked Problem
The problem of planning, catalyzing the emergence of and then governing an Identity Ecosystem is a “wicked problem”, characterized by the following:
- The solution depends on how the problem is framed and vice-versa (i.e. the problem definition depends on the solution framing).
- Stakeholders have radically different world views and different frames for understanding the problem.
- The constraints the problem is subject to and the resources needed to solve it change over time.
- Every implemented solution is consequential, it will leave a trace and can not be undone.
It follows that ecosystem problems are so complex they never can be solved definitively. This is true for “identity” one example being. Is it (identity) fully defined by the individual? Or defined by the social context the individuals finds themselves? Well, it’s both.
To achieve the goals above alignment around how to achieve all of these goals needs to be cultivated amongst stakeholder groups and shared language and understanding is key for that to happen.
Alignment is congruence of intention, whereas agreement is congruence of opinion.
Alignment as congruence of intention is congruence of resolution for the attainment of a particular aim. An aim being in and of the future, unknown or unpredicted variables inevitably enter the generative equations for its achievement. Inherent in alignment, therefore, is the spirit of quest.
The spirit of quest generates open and evolving dialogue-in-action. Participants of a quest bring in diverse points of view while remaining united in the same quest. When they jointly choose a course of action, they know that the choice is a tentative mutual agreement, to be modified, altered, or even discarded along the way. The question is not “who is right” but “what is best” for the fulfillment of the intention.
In an alignment-based organization or movement, disagreement among participants does not diminish but rather enhances the power of the alignment and its synergetic impact. Plurality and diversity of ideas and views, united in a shared intention, mutually enrich one another toward the achievement of an end. In an agreement-based organization or movement, on the other hand, disagreement among participants often leads to internal strife, divisive politics, splitting into cliques, or eventual demise.
An agreement-based organization can transform itself to an alignment-based organization by shifting its value focus from agreement to alignment, from opinion to intention. Alignment is not a static state; it is a dynamic process of constant aligning and realigning in the continual movement of time through the timeless commitment to an intention.
People who differ in their opinions can align in their intentions. No more do we need the usual politics of opinion-domination…What we need instead is a new politics of intention-alignment… beyond agreement or disagreement.
A set of critical challenges that face humanity today includes the challenge of whether or not we can shift our value focus from opinion to intention, whether or not we can affirm common intentions, whether or not we can transcend differences of opinion and unite in common intentions, whether or not we can forge a planetary alignment for the achievement of our common intentions, and whether or not we can reconcile seemingly conflicting or misaligned intentions.
From: Alignment Beyond Agreement
By Yasuhiko Genku Kimura
Shared understanding arises from shared language. When groups collaborate effectively together, a recognizable pattern emerges for shared understanding. This means unifying a goal/mission/vision so that the question “what are we trying to do” doesn’t continually to come up. Within this pattern collaborators aren’t in group think but agree about their disagreements and understand what they are trying to do together.
Eugene Kim, along with some colleagues, created The Squirm Test to measure the level of shared understanding in a group:
The Squirm Test is performed on a group of people collaborating on something together. You get all of the people in a room, seated in a circle, and sitting on their hands.
The first person then stands up and spends a few minutes describing what the group is working on and why. No one is allowed to respond except to ask a clarifying question.
When the first person is done, the second person stands up and does the same thing, articulating the group’s goals and motivations in his or her own words.
Everyone in the circle speaks in turns.
You can measure the amount of shared understanding in the group by observing the amount of squirming that happens during the process.
The squirm test is qualitative as a repeatable, measurable and visible to the whole group that does it.
Is there currently shared understanding and alignment amongst the identified NSTIC stakeholders?
No. I often find myself squirming while listening to fellow NSTIC stakeholders articulate their ideas about what we are doing with NSTIC. I imagine with all the comments I have made from a user-advocacy perspective that others have squirmed when I have spoken. Because I feel myself squirming often and I see others squirming too, I know there is limited shared understanding amongst NSTIC stakeholders.
This post is from pages 17-19 of Kaliya’s NSTIC Response – please see this page for the overview and links to the rest of the posts. Here is a link to the PDF.
This is the section before: Proactive Development of Shared Language by NSTIC Stakeholders
This is the section after: The Trouble with Trust