My first introduction to building vexilla was through my teacher and friend Rupert Lay. He closely accompanied my learning and my development for far more than ten years.
Through him, I made the acquaintance of quite a number of the important managers and entrepreneurs who were active in the German economy in the 1970s and 1980s. I also learned to appreciate them and they taught me a lot.
It was also where I learned how many fundamentally important things were achieved in his seminars. In these seminars, you practice the ancient Greek dialectics based on the construction and analysis of syllogisms (Syllogismen) and on the dialectic technology of building vexilla (Fahnenbildung).
In the Projektmagazin – which, incidentally, I find quite a stroke of genius – there is also an article (one of them by Elisabeth Wagner) that is very much worth reading. It describes how, through building vexilla, you can develop ideas and solve problems in a very baffling way and very efficiently.
Basically, building vexilla is just a dialectic philosophical method and has been used in this discipline for thousands of years. As we know, philosophy tries to analyse, understand and give meaning to the world and the human existence . In a nutshell, I would say it tries to answer the questions: why, for what reason, to what end, how? And that will also help you when you are looking for new ideas and solutions.
The combination of “agile” and “classic dialectics” is a stroke of genius – in almost all cases, it will render excellent results. This is how you can actually achieve “empowering of the people“.
Again and again, that was my experience when moderating start-ups. Especially for an agile team where the individuals work at eye-level, building vexilla is a fantastic tool for gaining new insights in a creative way. Once on a while, you will even mange to get rid of wrong (and often deeply rooted) prejudices.
Here is how you want to proceed in eight steps if you build a vexillum. I like applying them.
- Formulate the desired theory and define the central terms of the theory.
- Collect requirements that need to be met at first sight if you want agreement with a certain and exactly defined event or project. You want a list that is as finite as possible.
- Definition of the terms you used and common agreement.
- Evaluation of the requirements following the criteria: useful, necessary, sufficient.
- In case of different opinions with respect to the quality or applicability of requirements, you need to look for alternatives until all the requirements get a consensus. It is permitted to delete requirements that turn out to be unnecessary.
- Test if all requirements belong to one language game and determine the end function. Example for an enterprise: regulative – keep the common good out of danger; ethically – realize biophily, economical – improve the results
- Test if all the requirements are met or if they can be met with acceptable cost. You want to keep in mind that only the actual realization of a project will show if your assumptions have been correct. Consequently, the vexillum can also contain requirements that make a later correction or omission of an earlier decision necessary.
- In the ideal case, you will find a sufficient requirement as the result of building a vexillum. You will not always manage that. But the sum of necessary requirements that, taken together, will qualify as “sufficient” is also a satisfactory result.
If you wish to try the technology of building vexilla and need assistance, I will gladly help you.
(Translated by EG)
For more articles of my entrepreneur’s diary, click here: Drehscheibe!