2iB: What is Balance?

That the word “Balance” in 2iB is “B” in caps is cheeky. I know. Maybe sometimes we have a license to be cheeky though. And balance can hardly be overemphasized. So, I'm gonna cheekily use the big "B."

Balance is the calm after any storm of intensity. And it is just a good follow-up. It assumes some comfort with contradictions; it assumes memory- that is recalling the integrity and intensity phases. Furthermore, it is a good way to close any action, any transaction. It involves what some call a “hot wash,” an after action report, an attempt to make sense of best practices.

An offshore oil rig looks placid. But underneath the surface, in order to keep all of the drilling equipment aligned, oil rigs deploy sophisticated GPS to ensure that everything stays dynamically aligned. Technical experts put it this way: "in deeper waters, some semis employ dynamic positioning (DP) systems to replace or supplement the mooring system. DP systems employ computer-controlled motor-driven propellers, called "thrusters," to adjust for the action of winds and waves. They respond automatically to satellite GPS signals coordinated with acoustic beacons placed on the sea floor."  A hypotenuse is a bad thing in drilling. Wind can pick up, there could be a gnarly current you suddenly face. The physics are unkind at these depths (at approx. 12,000 ft. the deep drilling happens two Mt. Kilimanjaro's down), in aqueous environments that probably make less intuitive sense to us than outer space. This can lead to dislodgements and damaged gear, wasted time, or much worse, including lives lost. And since you are not resting on the sea floor, as in shallower examples of offshore oil drilling, deeper drilling means proactive, constant adjustments to ensure things line up right. Likewise, the point is to achieve “balance,” some imbalance usually has to be applied. Don't think of balance as 50/50. If the current is coming to your left, you simply need to move right. It is not an easygoing attitude; rather, you are meeting force with force, wrestling and undoing things that would see you unbalanced, meeting them with proportional and opposite force.

If good thinking is dialectical thinking, good doing is “BALANCED” doing. Balance is all about making adjustments. If you are Kobe Bryant knocking down off-balance shots- what is actually happening is you are going from unbalanced to balanced off the ground. Somehow. Some way.

From NBA Today

From NBA Today

It's not that Kobe is great at taking unbalanced shots; it is that he is making all manner of adjustments- he is great at setting his feet in the air, deploying his shooting "guide hand" (Kobe's left hand) and the guide arm and shortening or extending it in certain directions to counteract the source of the unbalance. He is using core control to ensure his torso twists or doesn't twist, just so- so that his shooting posture toward the basket is aligned. He is doing it all. Kobe's execution of "BALANCE" is preceded by muscle memory, and court vision (to know where the basket is for example, or where and how an opponent is likely to foul him, in anticipation of the "AND 1" play), and intensity, of course. 

Every NBA basketball player is intense. Likewise, every offshore drill can bore into the earth. But intensity is not enough to be complete- you have to be constantly fine-tuning, constantly making adjustments. There are intervals to balancing, for example, when Kobe (intensely) drives to the basket, gets fouled and makes a (balanced) off-balance shot. In other words, intensity followed by a quick bout of balancing. But to be complete (to be the whole 2iB package) you must be relentlessly in the pursuit of balance. 24/7 That is the only way Kobe or the oil rig can act so quickly when he/it must.

And that is how I think of 2iB: as a sequence, but also as a unit, where all three elements of integrity, intensity, and Balance need concurrent attention.

Tell me what you think!