top of page

THE ISPI™: How We Put The Best Of Ourselves To Work, Together


by Robert Rosenfeld and Dana Paxson © Robert Rosenfeld and Dana Paxson 2022

(ISPI™: Innovation Strengths Preference Indicator® )




Table of Contents Introduction Why This? Why Now? What If We See Things Differently? The ISPI™ What is the ISPI™? Why Us? Who Benefits from Using the ISPI™? What’s the Big Picture? How the ISPI™ Works Examples? What is Morality? How Does the ISPI™ Work? How Does This Team-Building Work? How Far Does This Process Reach? What Can It Do For Us? Summary Invitation Passages Passages on Morality Passages on Love Passage on Virtue

Introduction


Why This?

Working together in partnerships and teams can be a challenge. Everyone has a story or two about the misfits in every group. But a misfit stays in the group because he or she brings value to the group that serves the group’s purpose very well. Unfortunately, the friction and tension brought by a poor fit between people can lead to misunderstandings, setbacks, and even failure of the group to meet its needs and objectives. We’ve all been there.


Why Now?

We can do better. When we know our own strengths and weaknesses, we can find others whose strengths and weaknesses complement our own, and with those others we can find a good fit. Right now we need to find good fits, because right now everything is changing, and there isn’t room for friction and tension among us. That’s why you’re taking this in.


What If We See Things Differently?

No two people agree on everything. What you see here may or may not make sense to you at first. So what do we do? We explore it all together. We gain perspective from each other. We learn each other’s language, ideas, feelings. We find a good fit with each other. We become able to go forward together. The ISPI™ - the Innovation Strengths Preference Indicator® – is a vital element of this process.



The ISPI™


What is the ISPI™?

The ISPI™ begins with a simple, guided self-reflection. It offers a convenient, trustworthy, accurate way to get better awareness of oneself and of one’s partners. It also gives insight into one’s team and the process of selection and formation of that team for a common purpose. It asks us to look at our own preferences and strengths to see where they might fit best with those of others different from ourselves. It has been tested. Those using it have been surprised by its effectiveness in forming lasting, trustworthy bonds between different kinds of people.


Why Us? Who Benefits from Using the ISPI™?

The benefits are universal. Everyone can benefit, whether in businesses, schools, families, governments, armies, charities, or clubs and other private groups. Essentially, the ISPI™ is an inviting doorway to harmony and progress in our efforts to build lasting partnerships that can develop and sustain a healthy, prosperous, shared human future.


What’s the Big Picture?

All humanity comes from the same source. No matter what group one is in, all groups are people. Every group is made up of members from one human species. We come together to make families and groups anywhere in the world, with anyone. We bind our families and groups together with common purpose and love.

Molecules bind together. The binding comes from the invisible electric charge that fits their outer surfaces together. The molecules can be very different, but the better they fit together, the tighter they hold each other. It’s just the way lovers fit together.

These bound-together molecules make something with new properties, the way four wheels and two axles and a box can make a wagon. The pieces fit together in just the right way, and the result does something the parts can’t do by themselves.


How the ISPI™ Works

Examples?


Figure 1 Romeo and Juliet, by Berrocal


Put all the pieces of a puzzle together, and a new, complete picture appears. Works of art have this same character. Miguel Ortiz Berrocal was a gifted Spanish sculptor and architect who conceived and produced “puzzle sculptures”. The viewer could take apart and reassemble these works. Here is his sculpture titled “Romeo and Juliet”. It comes apart into many small pieces. The individual pieces can be reassembled into the complete form you see here, At lower right in the image, there seem to be four fingers holding the curved parts above. The metal forms and shapes might look soft, embracing tightly together. It might remind us of how lovers cling to each other. Or for some of us, it might look like teeth! These differences of seeing, when we share them, offer us more understanding of the work.


You can watch Berrocal’s puzzle pieces come together to make the whole sculpture. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwCiP_s4x78 ).


Figure 2 Tiger Beetle Pupa, by Mother Nature


Life itself is even more amazing. The Creator generates these beautiful, dynamic patterns at every scale, constantly, throughout our universe. Change is always – that is the one constant of our entire universe. We witness the gestation of living creatures, from the simple virus to the amazingly-complex human being. This tiger beetle pupa seems entangled in itself, but it is in the midst of living change.


Is human society like this? Yes! People bind together to make marriage partnerships, families, communities, and countries. The binding among people comes from love. Berrocal shows us the complex bindings that produced his “Romeo and Juliet”. Their love produced a whole series of events we call a “tragedy”. Love and relationships can be even more baffling than abstract art!


What about those complex created things that harm and destroy? Viruses. Poisonous chemicals. Armies. Weapons.


What is Morality?

Nature is neutral. It has no morality, no sense of ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Humanity alone has that awareness. We can choose between harm and benefit. Morality is essential for making the best choices. Morality is established through spirituality. (see Passages on Morality, below)


“… the soul-stirring call of God, Whose spiritual teachings are safeguards of the everlasting glory, the eternal happiness and illumination of the world of humanity, and cause attributes of mercy to be revealed in the human world and the life beyond.

“ This … call is founded upon the instructions and exhortations of the Lord and the admonitions and altruistic emotions belonging to the realm of morality which, like unto a brilliant light, brighten and illumine the lamp of the realities of mankind. Its penetrative power is the Word of God.”


(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 283)


“… until material achievements, physical accomplishments and human virtues are reinforced by spiritual perfections, luminous qualities and characteristics of mercy, no fruit or result shall issue therefrom, nor will the happiness of the world of humanity, which is the ultimate aim, be attained. For although, on the one hand, material achievements and the development of the physical world produce prosperity, which exquisitely manifests its intended aims, on the other hand dangers, severe calamities and violent afflictions are imminent.”


(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 283)


Without each other, without society, nothing happens. There isn’t any series of events, whether it’s tragedy, comedy, destruction, or construction. A lot of the same molecules put together don’t produce any change. It’s the same when people are all alike. But when we combine different people, love does for people what electric charge does for molecules. It creates new life. It creates families. It creates communities and nations. It creates the whole world.


Fitting humanity together only works when we understand how to do it properly. Some societies embrace material things and ignore the human spirit, while others embrace spiritual things and ignore basic human needs. We need bread on the table every day, but we need love in our hearts all the time.


What if we can learn to make our bread and our love – our sciences and our spirituality – fit together, work together, and stay together? If different molecules can do it, why can’t we?



What if we can see that science and spirituality fit perfectly together the way molecules combine, to produce new and more-complex realities?


What if we ourselves learn to fit together and work together, to pair up and team up so well that even our differences become the sources of ideas, plans, and achievements that none of us could do alone?


We are learning, right now, how to do all these things. The ISPI™ serves this learning process.


How Does the ISPI™ Work?

Everyone has seen these diagrams with overlapping circles where some things are shared in the overlap, and others are separate. The first one here is supposed to be about how artists combine different qualities. Notice how we’re told being an artist combines all three extreme qualities into doing art! As you can see, combining any two but not the third does not give the best outcomes!



That’s an amusing psychological example. With the ISPI™, we want to bring different people together in the best ways. This diagram puts the artist or any innovator together with people who can make the art or innovation much more accessible.

In this example, if all three major roles are not present, there are shortcomings, The results don’t get out there to take effect. Without a marketing role, the results of innovation go nowhere. Without a selection or arrangement role, the results are disorganized. Without the innovator, there is nothing to offer.


What does ISPI™ do? It offers insight into oneself and one’s counterparts. It catalyzes the best relationships among the parties involved. We’ll look at this same diagram now with the ISPI™ role highlighted. You see three connecting arrows.


Following the example just above, these three double-ended arrows connect individuals in different roles. The ISPI™ helps find the best matches for each pair of participants, improving the relationship by letting each know the other’s invisible elements. By making the invisible human elements in each one visible both to oneself and to the other, these matches will be strong, enduring, and emotionally and intellectually satisfying. (see the book Invisible Element: A Practical Guide for the Human Dynamics of Innovation)


The ISPI™ process starts with the basic engagement of two people. The process nurtures improvement and strengthening of the engagement, giving each person better access to the other, progressively advancing it into a much more satisfying and dynamic connection.


The result of making the one-on-one matchups work well is a true team, one that generates and sustains an ideal flow of results from their beginnings to their application in the wider world. When ISPI™ finds the best pairings, the grouping into a team arises out of these pairings. Pairings using the ISPI™ draw together different roles, thinking patterns, and practices to synthesize effective, harmonious, and creative teams.


How Does This Team-Building Work?

The building of teams is another tier of the ISPI™ process that deserves treatment on its own. We will provide a separate discussion of the details of that part of the process.


How Far Does This Process Reach? What Can It Do For Us?

No team-building process worth its salt is going to be limited to comfortable, easy-to-build relationships among team members. The human world is tremendously rich and varied, to the point that many of us try to stay within our own more-comfortable limits. But what if we could reach beyond those limits and discover how to engage productively, harmoniously, and creatively with those outside them? What if we could discover that these out-of-OUR-box people can sometimes reveal and validate some hidden capabilities of our own – capabilities that we never thought worthy of exploring?

We see shows that portray people with supernatural or unearthly powers, and we wonder whether or not anyone might actually have unusual abilities. But we already know that some people do. Some have photographic memory: they can recall every detail of what their eyes have seen, long after the image has changed. Some with this talent can also draw the image to exact detail (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsJbApZ5GF0 ).


Some people can calculate much faster than most of us can, taking only a few seconds to perform thousands of arithmetic operations that would take most people days.


Some people, mostly women, are born with an added kind of photopigment, letting them see colors that no one else can (See https://www.healthline.com/health/tetrachromacy ).


Sometimes these special abilities come with a price. There is some correlation between poor socialization ability and superior calculation ability. We’ve all heard terms like ‘autistic’, ‘Aspergers’, ‘Attention Deficit’, ‘Dyslexic’, and others used to separate out people whose mental, emotional, and interpersonal abilities lack features in common with our own or have features we lack. This separation has impaired our society, because many of these people come with special abilities that would be great strengths on teams built to accommodate them.


And to what extent have terms such as ‘race’, ‘language’, ‘culture’, and others been used to separate out and wall off so many people? Many of those shut out bring gifts of perception, cognition, culture, and behavior. Couldn’t these gifts benefit any team one builds with them in it?


Now those limiting terms are being downplayed and discarded as we learn more. People formerly classified with limiting terms can enter into highly-creative, highly-productive teams with others. One new term describing people with one or more of the many significant, diverse cognitive, social, and behavioral variations is ‘neurodivergent'. The ISPI™ process embraces team-building with a great range of people who would not fit at all conveniently into the everyday boxes our society builds for the workplace. The results can be greatly beneficial to all of us.


Summary

The ISPI™ shows us where we bind together best. When we bind together one-on-one, manifesting and harmonizing our best inner qualities, we form partnerships. When we put partnerships together, we build groups and communities.


As we scale up, first to partnerships, then to groups, and then to communities, these bindings produce greater and greater possibilities and results. With the bindings of love and shared purpose, we change our world. It all begins with healthy, productive, trusted pairings.


The ISPI™ shows you not what’s wrong with you, but what’s right with you. It finds your love. It puts your love to work. (see Passage on Love, below)


“Love manifests its reality in deeds, not only in words -- these alone are without effect. In order that love may manifest its power there must be an object, an instrument, a motive.


“There are many ways of expressing the love principle; there is love for the family, for the country, … there is political enthusiasm, there is also the love of community of interest in service. These are all ways and means of showing the power of love. Without any such means, love would be unseen, unheard, unfelt -- altogether unexpressed, unmanifested! Water shows its power in various ways, in quenching thirst, causing seed to grow, etc. … So, it is necessary to have an instrument, a motive for love's manifestation, an object, a mode of expression.


“We must find a way of spreading love among the sons of humanity.”


(Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 35)


We benefit greatly by our science and arts. With our artists, we produce beautiful art works, like those of Miguel Berrocal, that mirror the beauty and the secrets of the Creation. With our lovers of spirit, we generate true human community. With our scientists, we advance our understanding to innovate beneficial technologies, defend ourselves against disease, build habitats, explore worlds. (see Passage on Virtue, below)


“Man possesses two types of virtues: One is material, and the other ideal in character. For example, the body of man expresses certain material virtues, but the spirit of man manifests virtues that are ideal. The sense of sight in man is a physical virtue; but insight, the power of inner perception, is ideal in its nature. The sense of hearing is a physical endowment, whereas memory in man is ideal. Among other human forces the power of ideation, or faculty of intellection, is material, but the power of love is spiritual. The acquisition of the realities of phenomena is an ideal virtue; likewise, the emotions of man and his ability to prove the existence of God. Realization of moral standards and the world of discovery involve virtues essentially ideal.”


(Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 325)


Another way to see how wonderful group results emerge comes with music. A great modern example is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s song in the film Encanto, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvWRMAU6V-c ). Combined with animation, the song weaves multiple themes, serially and in counterpoint, showing us some Colombian dances, weaving a story of family dysfunctions and challenges. It combines themes and stories into a delightful masterpiece that seizes our imaginations and our hearts – an outcome that the parts alone could not convey. Creating all this as one organic, living whole required building teams of people – innovators, organizers, presenters – working in teams, in harmony: the very purpose of the ISPI™.


We are one species. One beautifully-rich and variable species. All that we strive for is for our children, and for the system we need, that we dream of, and that we hope for. The transformative process we want is like the one where the caterpillar becomes the butterfly. The ISPI™ is a doorway to that transformative process. Let’s get started.


Invitation

If you would like to explore how we find the surprising capacities in good relationships, come and explore the ISPI™. Take fifteen minutes that can open your personal perspectives to the possible. Please write to us. We’ll send you a link, and if you’d like, we’ll take you through the ISPI™ process and review the resulting report with you.

rrosenfeld@innovating.com



Passages


Passages on Morality

“… the soul-stirring call of God, Whose spiritual teachings are safeguards of the everlasting glory, the eternal happiness and illumination of the world of humanity, and cause attributes of mercy to be revealed in the human world and the life beyond.


This … call is founded upon the instructions and exhortations of the Lord and the admonitions and altruistic emotions belonging to the realm of morality which, like unto a brilliant light, brighten and illumine the lamp of the realities of mankind. Its penetrative power is the Word of God.”


(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 283)


“… until material achievements, physical accomplishments and human virtues are reinforced by spiritual perfections, luminous qualities and characteristics of mercy, no fruit or result shall issue therefrom, nor will the happiness of the world of humanity, which is the ultimate aim, be attained. For although, on the one hand, material achievements and the development of the physical world produce prosperity, which exquisitely manifests its intended aims, on the other hand dangers, severe calamities and violent afflictions are imminent.”


(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 283)


Passages on Love

Love manifests its reality in deeds, not only in words -- these alone are without effect. In order that love may manifest its power there must be an object, an instrument, a motive.

There are many ways of expressing the love principle; there is love for the family, for the country, … there is political enthusiasm, there is also the love of community of interest in service. These are all ways and means of showing the power of love. Without any such means, love would be unseen, unheard, unfelt -- altogether unexpressed, unmanifested! Water shows its power in various ways, in quenching thirst, causing seed to grow, etc. … So, it is necessary to have an instrument, a motive for love's manifestation, an object, a mode of expression.

We must find a way of spreading love among the sons of humanity.”


(Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 35)

The first sign of faith is love. The message of the holy, divine Manifestations is love; the phenomena of creation are based upon love; the radiance of the world is due to love; the well-being and happiness of the world depend upon it. Therefore, I admonish you that you must strive throughout the human world to diffuse the light of love. The people of this world are thinking of warfare; you must be peacemakers. The nations are self-centered; you must be thoughtful of others rather than yourselves. They are neglectful; you must be mindful. They are asleep; you should be awake and alert. May each one of you be as a shining star in the horizon of eternal glory. This is my wish for you and my highest hope. I have come long distances that you may attain these attributes and divine favors. Praise be to God! I have attended this meeting which has for its purpose the commemoration of God.”


(Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, www.bahai.org/r/604539638 )


Passage on Virtue

Man possesses two types of virtues: One is material, and the other ideal in character. For example, the body of man expresses certain material virtues, but the spirit of man manifests virtues that are ideal. The sense of sight in man is a physical virtue; but insight, the power of inner perception, is ideal in its nature. The sense of hearing is a physical endowment, whereas memory in man is ideal. Among other human forces the power of ideation, or faculty of intellection, is material, but the power of love is spiritual. The acquisition of the realities of phenomena is an ideal virtue; likewise, the emotions of man and his ability to prove the existence of God. Realization of moral standards and the world of discovery involve virtues essentially ideal.”


(Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 325)

0 comments
bottom of page