SEAM Consulting to Dynamic Routines of the Small Business

David M. Boje, August 4 2018

In small business consulting, SEAM intervenes in an ecology of routines by listening to and observing ensembles of difference and repetition, multiplicities from the surface of Illusion to the depth of Being. The first thing to understand about SEAM is a 4-leaf clover is an ensemble of multiplicities. The second thing is there are many kinds of multiplicity of a 4-leaf Clover Field. The third thing to understand is the 4-leaf Clover Field is rhizomatic relations, connections of movement between the many 4-leaf clovers. Finally, please understand that a 4-leaf Clover Field is planted in the soil, in the ground, and when looking from a standing position, you cannot really or actually see what is going below the ground, or deep underground.

To be a SEAM Consultant, Listen to and Observe the 'living stories', and Directly Participating in the Clover Field. Then you will understand what the ensemble of multiplicities is all about, caring for the entire Clover Field.

Some routines are habits, in a taken for granted way. Your job is to bring dysfunctional habits into self-awareness. Humans perform routines, that get to be habits (Sele & Grand, 2017), and the human routines are often called into play (mediated) byt 'Actants.' Actants can be a 'software' calling forth order taking, inventory orders, and customer service online survey, a spreadsheet that says then something will be implmented, etc. Actants can be teh six SEAM tools. Actants can also be material configurations of a building, such as in TAMARA-land (Boje, 1995).

Tamara-Land Boje 1995 AMJ article

Figure 1: The ACTANCT can be the Layout of the SMALL BUSINESS BUILDING or above a MANSION called TAMARA (Boje, 1995)

Figure 2: ACTANTS can be the 6 SEAM Tools because they MEDIATE the HUMAN ROUTINES of a SMALL BUSINESS

In SEAM 'Problems" are dysfunctions 'constitute by the facts of Being, but the Ideas are Representations, Illusions, Covering Over the 'multiplicity' of what Gilles Deleuze (1968/1993) calls 'Difference and Repetition.

"Problem-Ideas are positive multiplicities, full and differentiated positivities described by the process of complete and reciprocal determination which relates problems to their conditions: (Deleuze, 1993: 267).

The positivity of Problems, is that multiplicities of SEAM-dysfunctions are related to their situation-conditions, to their context-conditions, to what SEAM calls 'working conditions' and 'work organization'. This all has to do with the narratives a small business narrates being inversely related to the living stories of people living the work life. Uncovering the dysfunctions points positive multiplicities to cases of solution by listening to, observing, and directly participating in the living story web, the ensemble of multiplicites because that is where the dysfunctions live and can be uncovered. The narrative, its Idea-Illusion of Representationalism covers up the Clover Field, and you cannot see the Problems or Dysfunctions.

The Ideas of 'Problems-Ideas' (or Dysfunctions-Ideas) is caught in Representational narratives, in propositions, concepts, theory and abstraction, and all this retrospective sensemaking narration amplifies Illusion. Specifying the Situation, Context in positive multiplicity lets us see "the positivity of problems understood as differential positing; multiple affirmations is produced by problematic multiplicity"(Deleuze, 1968/1993: 267), and SEAM is affirmation produced by solving the problems of a multiplicity of dysfunctions, uncovering Hidden Costs, discerning deeper Financial Consequences. This is because the SEAM 4-leaf clover is a Rhizome, a Rhizomatic Ensemble of Multiplicities. A 4-leaf clover field (Clover Colony) is a rhizome, a rhizomatic multiplicity of underground roots, above ground vines, and generative buds (new rhizomes sprouting).

Figure 3: Rhizomatic Multiplicity of SEAM's 4-Leaf Clover Field

Above ground are Daughter Tillers, and Stolon (vines) connecting the Rhizome Crown. You cannot be a SEAM consultant without understanding the Science of Rhizome Multiplicities. 4-Leaf clovers are never alone because the are mart of the Positive Multiplicity of the Clover Field, which has many Rhizome Crowns, many underground Rhizome connections, and many above ground Stolon Vines and Daughter Tillers of a 4-Leaf plant trying to plant a new Rhizome Crown. Rhizome Crowns can also sprout form the Rhizome underground connectors. I learned all this form Grandma Catherine Boje, who used to tend clover flowers called Bearded Iris, an entire field of them (Boje, 2018a book).

My grandmother taught me about Daughter Tillers and the Old Mother Rhizome.

"You will find five hearts’ with a B-concept, and a Fore-concept: Forecaring (becoming a gardener of Mother rhizomes), forehaving (before narrative & story), forestructure (between narrative & story), foreconception (beneath narrative & story), and foresight (making good bets, choosing the future of your garden, and bringing it about). Can you find the three flower blossoms? Notice how each is more than just a narrative and its counternarrative" (Boje, 2018a, Globalization book).

Narrative and Counternarrative are in a dialectical relationship, but the multiplicity of Living Stories are what Bakhtin (1981) calls polyphonically dialogical (Boje, 2008).The Antenarratives are their own multiplicity processes (Before, Between, Becoming, Beneath, and Bets).

Rhizomatic Cloverfield Boje 2018 Globalization BookFigure 4: Caring in Advance for ‘Mother’ and ‘Daughter rhizomes in my Grandmother’s Bearded Iris Garden

SEAM-Consulting is the competence to discern the difference between the cover-up of Narrative-Counternarrative Dialectics (negation of the negation thought to be Illusion by Deleuze and by Savall) and the Positivity of Living Story Multiplicity, positively connected and grounded to the Situation and Context. And deeper still are the Antenarrative Processes (the 5 B's in the Figure). All this I learned from Grandma Boje's Iris, her caring for the Old Mother Rhizome, and pruning the Daughter Rhizome, so they would engage in Repetition, plantings again, and again, until they became Old Mother Rhizomes, and could not generate more Daughter Rhizome. I don't think you can be a SEAM Consultant without understanding Rhizomatics, the Ensemble of Multiplicites.

This way you as a consultant help the small business people to rework the all the repetitions of dysfunctions that make up the ecologies of routines and obtain Human Potential by self-empowerment instead of Micro-managing. Habits can repeat dysfunctions, including the TFW virus (Taylorism, Fayolism & Weberian) that disempowers workers own capacity for empowerment, makes hierarchy and signatures an end unto itself that micro-managing subverts agility, and turns everyone into bystanders, without the active engagement of moral answerability to intervene ('I will have to ask the boss before I can do anything'),uncovering the TFW dysfunctions, solving those Problems make the small business better and better. Routines are also dynamic ensembles of multiplicities, when they become agile ensembles of several kinds of multiplicities meditating (in 3C's communicating-cooperating-coordinating). The ways of mediating a variety of routines is related to agile-multiplicity. By contrast, TFW virus is more and more hierarchy, disempowerment, and illusion. There are mediations and intermediations of the routines that enact 3C's in positivity ways or solving problems, dealing with dysfunctions, mining them to unleash human potential and new revenue streams.

Figure 5: The 4-Leaf Clover has Stem Roots of Financial Consequences and Root Causes sprouting into Hidden Costs (leaf) and Dysfunctions (leaf) and Structures (leaf) and the Behaviors (leaf).

When you listen to, observe, and participate in Dysfunctions, you gain access to Hidden Costs, and can go deep Underground to the Rhizome of the Clover Field, and find those Crown Rhizomes in Figure One.

SEAM is all about diagnosing the 4-leaf clover and stem-roots of 6 Financial consequences. A successful small business has routines of actions that are without dysfunction. Dysfunctions have HIDDEN COSTS that have become ROUTINE (absenteeism, occupational injuries, staff turnover, non-quality, and productivity gap. Dysfunction is the repetition of a habit that needs active reflection on what could be different in the routines as improvement. A small business has to rely on the repetition of routines that does not repeat FINANCIAL CONSEQUENCES of excess salary, overtime, over-consumption, non-production, non-creation of human potential, risks to survival.

Diagnose the 6 Dysfunctions as ROUTINES

1. Working Conditions routines: Actively listen to living stories of working conditions for the routines of their life world. Listen for the particulars of everyday working conditions for all the Problems, Dysfunctions everywhere, every place, every time. For example in Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) the working conditions 23 years ago included Dysfunctions: enslavement, sexual abuse, wage theft, etc. The Idea that modern day slavery does not exist was an Illusion of Representation, a Stereotype that had to be overcome before the Working Conditions of tomato-farm and field-work could be problem solved. The illusion of 'good sense' of retrospective sensemaking narratives cover over the raw material of multiplicities, and the "power of affirming differences: (Deleuze, 1968/1993: 266). Working Conditions are covered over by the illusion of Representation, by the sameness of Platonic-Idea, by Image management. To be able to listen to and see by observation the 'ground' of the rhizomatic Working Conditions, the Clover Field of 4-Leaf Clovers dispels the FIRST Illusion (remove fears, doubts, and false ideas, usually by proving them wrong or unnecessary). The SECOND Illusion comes from narrative "subordination of difference to resemblance" to "illusion" (Deleuze, 1969/1993: 266). Narrative sensemaking distributes representations and illusion in the copy and model and theory of resemblance, and each narrative lacks specification of context (& Situation) you get from listening to, directly observing, and actually experiencing Living Stories in Webs of More and More Living Stories, the qualitative 'Intensive multiplicity' of that Living Web of Life World does not cover up or cancel out Difference with Narrative Illusion. Living Story Webs of mouth-mouth communication of experienced conditions and Situation is the raw material of Life World (Benjamin, 1936 The Storyteller). This is way it is important to listen to Narrative for its Representational-Illusion and to Living Story Webs for the Rhizomatic Clover Field of Qualitative-Multiplicity. The THIRD Illusion concerns the negative, that subordinates difference to itself, all surface, instead of the living depth of multiplicity of the Life World of Working Conditions Beneath the Ideas as such. Narrative Illusion-Idea-Resemblace-by-Retrospection covers over the depth of Working Conditions, relations the problematic depths. Deleuze does not abide the "negative 'not'" nor the negation of the nutation. Rather, let me repeat this passage (Deleuze, 1968/1993" 267):

"Problems-Ideas are positive multiplicities, full and differentiated positivities described by the process of complete and reciprocal determination which relates problems to their conditions."

2. Work Organization routines are often so disempowering, nothing by sign offs, the imprisonment of micromanagement, the bars of hierarchy, the enslavement of TFW virus in the small business creeps along. The TFW virus can become the routine of repetition that disempowers the power of positive multiplicities, and the affirmations of releasing human potential. For example, coyotes collect thousands of dollars to get migrants across the border, promising good jobs in construction, restaurants, hotels, and other small business in Texas, New Mexico, or California. When the migrant has paid out all their money to the coyote, they often sell the migrant to another coyote, who takes them to Florida to work in the tomato industry. One of the virtual work organization routines is the TFW virus that displaces and substitutes for a work organization routine called ensemble leadership theory ( Rosile, Grace Ann; Boje, D. M.; Claw, N. (2016). Ensemble Leadership Theory: Collectivist, Relational, and Heterarchical Roots from Indigenous Contexts.” Leadership journal).The ensemble work organization is an assemblage of several different kinds of multiplicities (extensive, intensive, and virtual, as explained below). The 'affirmations of differences' is the multiplicity of positivity, the "problematic multiplicity" to affirm difference in all those dysfunctions people are often powerless to solve, (Deleuze, 1968/1993: 267) until SEAM introduces agility (Worley, Zardet, Bonnet, & Savall, 2015). Deleuze says "negation appears alongside affirmation like a powerless double, albeit one which testified to the existence of another power, that of the effective and persistent problem" (Deleuze, 1968/1993: 267). Savall and Zardet (2011 Qualimetrics) also, like Deleuze, do not abide the 'negation of the negation' dialectic, finding it too negative, and lacking positivity of multiplicity understood as a transformation of what Deleuze calls 'problematic multiplicities' because in those dysfunctions, once identified as Work Organization dysfunctions, become differences and affirmative ways of Releasing Human Potential (Savall, Zardet, Bonnet, 2008).

3. 3 C's (Communication, cooperation, coordination) routines This is where storytelling comes in as an ensemble of backward-looking narratives that generalize about a 'pure past' that never existed, living stories about unfolding life in the 'here-and-now', and what I call 'antenarratives' that are forward-looking, and prepare-in-advance for alternative potential futures. Narratives and living stories are inversely related. Narratives generalize and virtualized into culture world, and living stories contextualize into 'life world'. Narratives are different in kind from living story webs, and the antenarrative processes constitutive of both narrative and living story webs. Antenarratives come before (ante) to narratives and stories. Narratives are retrospective reminiscences, incomplete memories that stand in as the whole (but are not), or illusions of pure past that never existed (and therefore are virtual). Narratives generalize, turn events of the 'pure pats' (that never was) into theoretic/virtual/abstraction, and are always a reduction, a selectivity, and a distortion of the past. Living stories are lived experiences, still unfolding here-and-now, in-the-middle, in emergent life space (in places), and in the intensity (of times), and in mattering of material things (production, services, material configurations of small business building layout). Not only people tell stories, "things tell a story" (William James, 1907: 98). In 1928 Walter Benjamin's book, One-Way Street, came out in German. No one had ever seen a book quite like it. It lacked the usual narrative plot. There was no beginning-middle-end structure to its contents. Rather it was a series of 60 fragments, seemingly disconnected. Yet, too me this was the most creative of research methods, and the basis of antenarrative research method. Antenarrative is a project I have been working on since the 2001 narrative methods book, and continued it in the antenarrative handbook, 2011Gertrude Stein (1935) said that narrative as a way of telling is displacing the living stories, and news papers and information were replacing them. Walter Benjamin (1936) said ;storytelling is coming to an end. The ability of workers (seaman, silversmiths, blacksmiths, carpenters, and so on) to communicate 'experience' mouth-to-mouth was being replaced by narrative, by information, by newspaper printing, by the novel. Stein and Benjamin wrote before the invention of the Internet, the laptop, and the Wifi. Today the virtual corporation and the virtual narrative has taken over from living story life, and mouth-to-mouth, which are now, less and less present in our everyday life. When you hear and read the discourses of 3C's, narratives are few, and living stories are actually quite rare. Antenarratives constitute what narratives and living stories remain in modern day culture and life of small business. The good news is the mattering of things, are still 'telling' stories. Mikhail Bakhtin (1993, writing in notebooks between 1919-1921) says that says that culture (where narrative resides) and life (where living story is contextualized) do not have some other plane in which to communicate to one another. Culture has the 'special answerability; of the bystander who judges, evaluates, by does not intervene to make life better. Life has 'moral answerability' is a conscience of intervention, in the once-occurrent eventness of Being. Bakhtin (1981) says narratives virtualized and always are monologic (one logic, one voice of a plot that is linear time), whereas living story webs are polyphonic (many voices, each relative to the other), each in a place, a time, and context awareness, that is not linear time, but rather a generative time. In sum, narrative as 3C's is disembodied, the bystander in 'special answerability; of judgment, aesthetic, virtualizing, theoretic, abstract, linear, and monological. Living story web, by contrast is the 3C's that are grounded in context of 'moral answerability', embodied socially and communally, expressed in orality more than in writing, polyphonic (many-voiced), and non-linear temporality.

4. Training routines in most small business are on-the-job, learning-by-doing. Often the people getting training are not the ones most in need of training routines. The consultant's job is to train the small business owner, manager, staff, and so on, in the socioeconomic approach to management (SEAM) and especially the SEAM tools, and training in DPIEs so the client can become self-determining, self-empowering to diagnose dysfunctions, design projects, implement them, and evaluate the qualitative, quantitative, and financial outcomes.

5. Time Management routines A small business perfectly enacts its time routines to get the results it is getting. Usually the small business owner is too busy putting out fires, filling in for a late or absent person, and can not find the time to meet with their consultant, or time to do value-added strategic planning or time to facilitate or participate actively in DPIE's. Time spent on dysfunction habits, oftentimes does not become routines of controlling and preventing dysfunctions is typical. Often the owner does not delegate, and this means they have little or now time for strategic integration routines.

6. Strategic Integration routines Strategy is a 'narrative' either written down, or articulated in espoused strategy narrative, or the strategy-in-practice routines of a small business. The espoused strategy narrative can differ remarkably from the strategy-in-practice in the present. The gap between espoused strategic narrative and narrative strategy-in-practice is a key to socioeconomic diagnosis in your consulting. Retrospective narrative sensemaking is backward looking, then attempting to imitate some naive 'pure past' into a vision of the 'future.' Narrative looks to the past as a way to anticipate the future by a repetition. This means the strategy narrative lets in the virtual, the resemblance in both (1) the difference between 'pure past' and 'living present, and (2) the gap between imagined future strategic path and the living present. Both gaps are dysfunctions that can be remedied by listening for and observing more particulars that fill in Virtual Real and make up the Actual/Real in the repetitions of the day-to-day everyday life world of the small business. Replace virtual representation and resemblance with historical specifics. Observe what future is arriving for this small business and its situational context. There are many ways of antenarrative foretelling, but my favorite is Walter Benjamin’s (1928/2016) One-Way Street. Benjamin notices sixty signs and events that catch his eye. He is walking about a city in Germany after WWI, and his question is an antenarrative one: ‘What future of modernity is arriving?’ His method is the first and original antenarrative method I am aware of. Each antenarrative fragment is a potentiality, some future arriving, and the fragments Benjamin notices, together do not constitute a linear narrative. Benjamin is looking forward as the city reveals its future in the fragments.

Antenarrative is forecaring in advance, preparing in advance, and foretelling in advance. Antenarrative is a way to leave the fake news, fake storytelling behind. I am working with Jens Larsen and Lena Bruun to develop a ‘true storytelling’ ( The good news about Donald J. Trump is he shines pencils of light on ‘true storytelling’.  We get to notice the fake, and from that, hopeful pick out rays of light that are signals of many possible futures arriving, coming present, leaving marks and signs to decipher.

As Benjamin strolled through the city, wrote his essays, in the aftermath of WWI, he was, I believe charting the future course of modernity, in all the antenarrative fragments. We would have to shrink the footprint of the high-income nations. This means ethical traceability of our consumption, production, and distribution practices in each society.
Walter Benjamin (1972/2016: 40) put it like this.

“Poverty disgraces no man… but this deprivation into which millions are born and hundreds of thousands are dragged by impoverishment, does indeed bring disgrace Filth and misery grow up around them lake walls, the work of invisible hands.” “If society has so denatured itself through necessity and greed that it can now receive the gift of nature only rapaciously—that it snatches the fruit unripe from the trees in order to sell it most profitably, and is compelled to empty each dish in its determination to have enough—the earth will be impoverished and the land will yield bad harvests”.

A small business is an ensemble of several multiplicities:

  1. Extensive Multiplicity (spatializes) in repetition of routines
  2. Intensive Multiplicity (temporalizes) in repetition of routines differing time to time
  3. Virtual Multiplicity of the Real(Virtual/Real) ROUTINES are the opposite of Actual Multiplicity (Actual/Real) ROUTINES

“Multiplicity is arguably Deleuze’s most import concept “, and is the basis of other Deleuzian concepts: rhizome, assemblage, and ‘concept’ itself (Roffe, 2010: 181). Any situation is composed of three multiplicities that “form a kind of patchwork or ensemble without becoming a unitary or whole” (Roffe, 2010: 181).

Deleuze gets at this notion in Difference and Repetition, as the repetition of thousands of habits that we constitute without active reflection, that become reputations of routines, that can engage difference in the ensemble of three multiplicities (extensive, intensive, & virtual) without becoming totalizing or unity.

Besides Gilles Deleuze, Jean Paul Sartre (1986) writes about ensembles of multiplicities.

In Sartre’s (1986) ontological point of view, the ensemble is a patchwork of multiplicities in the negation of negation approach to dialectics. Ensembles can be set into antagonism with each other. By contrast, Deleuze is against the dialectic of negation of the negation.

In consulting method, we are situating ourself in realign to the ensembles under consideration (Sartre, 1986: 51). The consultation is objectifying the being of the life world of work and management, totalizing it, in the world of Others (p. 51). The individual workers, their living story life disappears from the historical categories: “alienation, the practice-inert, series, groups, classes, the components of History, labour, individual and command praxis” (Sartre, 1986: 51).

To grant the content of the living story life of workers and work, the struggles against other classes is for Sartre (19; 52) to “establish the Truth of History” as each person “should re-live his membership of human ensembles with different structures and determine the reality of these ensembles through the bonds which constitute them and practices which define them” (p. 52). The living mediation between these different kinds of ensembles, needs critical investigation of the mediating role of actants (e.g. software, apps, material layouts, etc.) so the worker becomes the experimenter in his or her own life as “the Whole and the Part,” and the” bond between the Parts and the Whole” and the “practical negation of the negation which defines his [or her] life” (Sartre’s, 1986: 52, bracketed addition, mine).

The human and sociomaterial life gets “diluted in the pluridimensional human ensemble which temporalizes its totalization and totalized its temporality” (Sartre, 1968: 56). Deleuze makes a similar point, how the social and material in ensembles of of ‘intensive multiplicities’ are temporalizing. The difference is Deleuze rejects negation of the negation dialectic in favor of the affirmation of the positive, and the solving of problems in relations to multiplicities. Further Deleuze questions the reflective life, its ability to constitute ‘pure past’ in relation to ‘living present.’

Like Bakhtin (1993, 1981), Sartre treats culture as “unreflected content of critical reflexion” (Sartre, 1986: 55). For Bakhtin (1993) culture and life are diametrically opposed without a plane for communication between them. Culture breeds passive special answerability of the bystander making judgments, while life prompts moral answerability in the once-occurrent event-ness of Being, intervening by active reflexion on our complicity in each Situation. This is relatable to what Deleuze call passive reflection on our habits and active reflection on our lived present.

For example, in CIW we find applications of ensembles of multiplicities. CIW has constituted its movement in an accumulation of ensembles and on active answerability, and what Sartre (1968: 60) calls “the transparence of praxis.” There is an indissoluble connection between negation in the CIW situation of agricultural work, the enslavement, sexual abuse, wage theft, and so on, it negates. CIW appears to have reorganize the negated situation of enslavement, changing the basis of the future which conditions it in the very act of negating, creating ensembles of multiplicities in particularization of each negation, in each dialectical moment, changing the result of prior totalized field of relations between coyotes, growers, brand corporations, supply chains, and consumer groups. CIW’s movement and the integration of ensembles grows proportionately stronger as “movement from the future” “towards the past” by changing something, grasping a temporal abstract into practical unity “as the future state to be reconstituted” (Sartre, 1986: 61). This is what I have written about as antenarrative, preparing the future in advance, making different bets on the future, caring for becoming (Boje, 2014, 2016).

CIW is able to form alliances between “various forms of human ensembles” and in each case change the relations structures of the ensembles, and finally their “totalizing action” which formed them (Sartre, 1986: 65). Actors are produced by the ensembles which they compose and the transformations organized as praxis, that “become praxis-process” (Sartre, 1986: 65). CIW enters into ensembles of very different kinds (migrant agricultural work on grower’s farms, alliances with faith groups, alliances with student groups, contract negotiations with brand-corporations, and so on). Each of these ensembles in interplay, producing the other ones, making “the practical ground of an ensemble and the ensemble as producing the individual in his reality as historical agent … lead us to a dialectical circularity” of Hegel as well as Engels (Sartre, 1968: 68). That is, “reversible circularity is in contradiction with the irreversibility of History” (p. 68). In an abstract narrative-counternarrative CIW and brand-corporation supply chain can produce each other, but a given “serial ensemble” or “a new group originated in the serial assemble…) “would be irreducible to the serial ensemble” (p. 68). The conflicts that come into play between ensembles reveals their underlying structures and intelligibility, without necessarily revealing their dialectical relations between groups and series (ensembles) and between different groups. For Deleuze the motor of change is not dialectic at all, its the unfolding historical relation of several kinds of multiplicities that constitutes patchwork ensembles.

Furthermore, the material being of humans, and the material ensemble of which” humans are a part need investigation (Sartre, 1986: 80). If there is a “negation of the negation in so far as it expresses itself as a lack within the organisms” then does it does it also “appear in matter”? For Deleuze, it is not negation of the negation, nor lack, but rather the forces of desire in multiplicities.

In Tomato-land, a material environment is in interplay with migrant actor, and growers’ routines. The desire for food reconfigures the processes of agricultural work, petrochemicals used in tomato production in Florida and Mexico., etc. Here the adverse reactions include birth defects from exposure to toxic chemicals that have influenced the formation of “directed ensemble” of lawyers, the courts, growers, chemical industry, and migrant workers seeking settlements for unsafe working conditions. The mediation of the natural organic tomato with the material chemical university that envelops agricultural production, which can negate the mother’s and child’s health, is part of the dialectical logic of negation in a field of forces, in which the “the negation of a negation becomes an affirmation” of human rights (Sartre, 1968: 86). Conversely, CIW is a partial ensemble within the detotalized ensemble of migrant farm work in petrochemical agriculture, and the Virtual Corporation which remains outside the zone of partial integration. That is to say, not everything about Was-Mart is transformed by joining CIW’s Fair Food Program or submitting to worker-driven corporate social responsibility or socially responsible capitalism.

How to develop the 17 United Nations 'Sustainability Development Goals into ACTUALIZED/REALIZED ROUTINES in the Small Business?

There are nine Earth systems which are now beyond planetary limits. These 9 processes changes have thrust the Globalization theory beyond key boundaries threatening the extinction of most of humanity unless a praxis change is made (Rockström et al., 2009; Boje 2018a in press):
1. Climate Change
2. Biodiversity Loss
3. Biogeochemical – Phosphorous Change
4. Ocean Acidification
5. Land Use Crisis
6. Fresh Water Crisis
7. Ozone Depletion
8. Atmospheric Aerosols
9. Chemical Pollution by Plastics & Heavy Metals

Your SEAM Consulting Picks some of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals to TRANSFORM SMALL BUSINESS

SEAM inside 17 Un SDGs 2018

Figure 6: SEAM 4-Leaf & Roots and the 17 UN SDG's

Your Challenge is to use the SEAM 4-leaf clover to diagnose the opportunities for a small business to implement one or more of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG's).

This can be done with combining True Storytelling and SEAM

UN sustainability development goals and True Storytelling

Figure 7: The 7 Principles of TRUE STORYTELLING and Telling what is True about the 17 UN SDG's

Read more about each goals and subgoals

Here is a project that we could do together. You as Living Story Leaders, Can Help NMSU become a signatory to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Pick a department or college, or whole university and use SEAM to get them to be a signatory of the UN SDG's.

Figure 8: Placing New Mexico State University within the 17 UN SDG's


The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), is a partnership of UN agencies and initiatives that have teamed up to to provide a platform for Higher Education Institutions to engage and contribute to the UN Sustainable

Development Goals, enabling the exchange of best practices and educating future leaders on sustainable development.

All higher education institutions may join the network freely. Higher education institutions part of HESI commit to:

  1. Teach sustainable development across all disciplines of study,
  2. Encourage research and dissemination of sustainable development knowledge,
  3. Green campuses and support local sustainability efforts, and
  4. Engage and share information with international networks.

Join by filling in the online application under “Register Initiative” https:// partnerships/hesi 

There are more than 300 higher education institutions from all over the world that are members of HESI. NMSU could be #301, and #1 in New Mexico.


Bakhtin, M. M. (1993). Toward a Philosophy of the Act. Written as unpublished notebooks written between 1919–1921, first published in the USSR in 1986 with the title K filosofii postupka; 1993 English V. Liapunov, Trans.; V. Liapunov & M. Holquist, Eds.). Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Benjamin, Walter. (1928/2016). One-way Street. Original 1928, this edition with Preface, 2016. Translated by Edmund Jephcott, edited with intro by Michael W. Jennings, and preface by Greil Marcus. Cambridge, MA, London: The Belknam Press of Harvard University Press. Vol. 966. Penguin UK.

Benjamin, Walter. (1936/1968). The Storyteller: Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskov was first published in 1936 (Orien Und Okzident); 1968 is the English translation included in Hannah Arendt (ed.), Walter Benjamin Illuminations (pp. 83-109). In referencing, I use section numbers. See

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Boje, David M. (2001). Narrative Methods for Organization and Communication Research. London: Sage.

Boje, David M. (2008). Storytelling Organizations. London: Sage.

Boje, D. M. (2011). Storytelling and the Future of Organizations: An Antenarrative Handbook (Routledge Studies in Management, Organizations and Society). London: Routledge.

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Boje, David M. (2014). Storytelling Organizational Practices: Managing in the quantum age. London: Routledge.

Boje, D. M. (2016). Organizational Change and Global Standardization: Solutions to the Standards and Norms Overwhelming Organizations. London/NY: Routledge. 


Boje, David M.; Ford, Jeffrey; Oswick, Cliff. (2004). Language and organization: the doing of discourse. Academy of Management Review, 29.4: 571-577.

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