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Saturday, February 27, 2010

THE POSTILLION: Interviews National Networker Vice Chairman Douglas Castle

The Postillion with Michael Phillips

Insights and thought leadership on the adoption of best practices and emerging technologies.

A tradition established by the Postillion is to grant each column interviewee the privilege of recommending the next personality to be interviewed. The Postillion had the honor of interviewing TNNW Chairman and founder Adam J. Kovitz for the January column. The Postillion thanks Adam for a wonderful interview and for his recommendation to feature Douglas Castle in this month’s column.

Douglas Castle once stood majestically on the hills of Scotland. Its 700 year history congers images of bejeweled, postillion lead horse drawn carriages transporting Scottish royalty to the castle gates. But, as fun as it would be to write about this Douglas Castle……about the romance and swash buckling times of Robert the Bruce…..about the golden age of the original postillions……..about how in the 1930s, Charles Douglas allowed the mining of coal in the adjacent park that ultimately caused a weakening of the castle’s under strata requiring its demolition in 1938……sigh. No……the Postillion thinks that Adam had another Douglas Castle in mind to be interviewed. One who’s under strata is still strong and intact. Douglas Castle, Vice Chairman of TNNW.

The Postillion relentlessly tracked down the correct Douglas Castle……the eponymous Douglas Castle. The search resulted in the discovery of intellectual treasures, many laughs and an interview the Postillion is proud to share with my loyal readers.

Douglas Castle, along side Adam J. Kovitz, completes the Hope and Crosby style management team for TNNW. Douglas says he is the Bob Hope side of the partnership as they continue on their road show, “The Road to a Thriving Social Networking Economy”. The Postillion truly enjoyed discovery discussions with Douglas. This “Renaissance Man” has an insatiable curiosity to learn and a natural drive to lead. His world of intellectual and physical initiatives includes many focuses:

• Strategic Planner

• Visionary

• Accomplished Martial Artist

• Social Networking Solutions Architect

• Physics Scholar

• Hypnotist

• Mental Strength Training Practitioner

• Positive Change Catalyst

• Creator of Innovations

• Keyboardist and Bass Guitarist

While interviewing Douglas one is bombarded with the constant synaptic explosions of creative ideas akin to a fireworks grand finale…..that never ends. (oooooooo……. aaaaaaah…… cooooool…….Wow!....... I can’t believe he’s still going!) The rapid fire, improvisational genius of Robin Williams comes to mind as well. One comes away from speaking with Douglas Castle being sure that they have found the next James Bond. You could imagine hearing the phrase, “Castle…….Douglas Castle”.

Now at this point my readers are thinking that your Postillion is one big suck up. I assure you that the Postillion is not easily impressed. Douglas truly is a mind to be reckoned with. He is a visionary force that will not be denied and is someone worth listening to. My interview with Douglas produced enough material for 5 articles. I am pleased to serve my readers the distilled results………shaken, not stirred.

The Postillion: What do you see the primordial soup of people and ideas amassing through TNNW evolving into?

Douglas Castle: I view the National Networker Companies as a supremely high-stakes investment in the notion of creating a genuinely interactive, interpersonal synergistic form of socio-economic entity. It is my fervent hope that we will become a sort of grassroots conglomerate which will afford our greatest contributors a significant stake in the ownership of the organization and in the income generated thereby.

I believe that we can provide a sovereign environment, much like a nation, in cyberspace where meritocracy and capitalism are not at odds, and where bold and important ideas can be developed collaboratively, without the characteristic barriers to entry and other impediments to innovation which have caused our international society to deteriorate into a state of economic instability unhealthy dependence upon subsidies, a grossly inequitable allocation of wealth and a pervasive cloud of depression which enshrouds us.

We live in a civilization that is disillusioned with its leadership, its flagrant injustices, its capriciously applied laws and its disregard for the people who work their lives away to fuel a badly-flawed system.

From its humble but pure beginnings as a networking newsletter conceived by my dear friend and a genuine Humanitarian, Adam J. Kovitz, The National Networker has now grown, broadened and transcended the limiting beliefs of its early detractors to become a full-service publisher, business services and capital provider, nurturing ideological and technological incubator and a compassionate and rational international community for entrepreneurs, emerging enterprises and people who have become disenchanted with the status quo, with increasing de-personalization, with the casual acceptance of dishonesty and with the rewarding of misconduct.

Our people, our Members are our citizens, our neighbors and our collaborators. Competition may inspire us, but collaboration and cooperation are the elements that breathe life into hypotheses and blueprints and generate synergy.

This synergy is a fascinating phenomenon where a critical mass of minds work in harmony to produce a result which is exponentially greater than anything that could have been achieved in a sterile, hostile, typical corporate environment. In our new nation, synergy will replace the zero-sum game and thievery that have come to characterize the era in which we live.

In simple terms, we have decided to build an ark to bring like-minded people together for an exciting, emotionally and intellectually expanding journey. We are re-structuring ourselves as a GICBC, a Global Interworked Cooperative Business Community, fueled by synergy instead of by theft and domination. We are the next form of social and business entity, and our blueprint is infinitely expandable to accommodate all of those who have something of value to contribute, and are prepared to share.

We want to preserve our most sacred ethical and Human values, provide compelling incentives and become an empire that serves and rewards the people who assume responsibility.

The existing civilization is collapsing into its own hole because the government and large organizations have become increasingly amoral and parasitic, existing to preserve themselves by begging, stealing and borrowing. They have a sense of limitless entitlement. TNNW, through its GICBC and through its aggressive interpersonal orientation, will give people a chance to understand each other, and to find areas of common belief. We need to bond with each other, and to work together.

In my view, we are building a self-sustaining and expandable socio-economic global community which is unfettered by the entrenched paradigms of the past. We refuse to sit idly by and watch as the quality of life and the prospect for self-growth are trampled at the whim of a very powerful minority. We do not want to be puppets in the hands of puppeteers. We seek self-determination, and the opportunity to pursue and realize our greatest potentials.

You’ll want to watch us, and to become a part of us as a Member. We will constantly monitor ourselves to be certain that our development of powerful technologies and methods does not catapult ahead of our social transcendence into an open, sharing and, genuinely Human-centered entity.

The Postillion: How do you see evolving social networking services and products helping emerging enterprises?

Douglas Castle: Emerging enterprises have been the crucible of creation for most of the great innovations which have helped society to advance. They have been both the nursery and the engine room of our productive capacity and have provided employment for many.

These industrious pioneers are no longer being actively supported or served by government agencies, large financial institutions and an increasing complex, convoluted and expensive regulatory environment. They are being shut out of the process of capitalization, operation and growth because of the intricacy and expense of even starting or carrying on the smallest business.

It is lamentable, but true – those individualists and contributors who built the table where decisions are made are no longer allowed a single seat. They are not represented

The deck of destiny is stacked in favor of the less productive but larger enterprises which are inextricably interwoven with the powers of the government. Innovation suffers, while inefficiency is rewarded.

Social networking services, if they lead to qualified personal contacts and productive efforts can provide a conduit through which peer businesses can help each other, share knowledge, pool resources and develop lobbying strength.

Networking holds great promise, but it is becoming too much of a broadcasting pursuit and too little of a partnership and team-building device.

Collecting and distributing business cards accomplishes little.

It still comes down to personal introductions being made by trusted intermediaries in a non-threatening and friendly environment. Social networking services, like those developed and championed by the The National Networker Companies, must become much more interpersonal and interactive.

The social media signal-to-noise ratio must be improved before sensory overload totally desensitizes people and becomes more of a frenetic distraction than a source of information, assistance, and soul-to-soul connection.

We must re-personalize and start making our target markets and prospective clients become more engaged in our developmental processes. They must be more aggressively solicited as a source of product and service input if we want them to be interested in us, our products and our services. When you ask a person for his input, you are showing him attention, respect, and instilling a feeling of “ownership” and partnership in him. This is why TNNWC has become so involved in surveys, polls and market research. We want to engage every Member of our community in the developmental process. Feedback and commentary are precious, and should neither be suppressed nor stifled.

In addition to social networking services is the simplistic sense, these emerging companies need to gain access to actual business planning and building tools. That is why TNNWC had to become a services provider. These enterprises need mentoring, incubation and genuine resources from creative, open-minded and often unconventional sources. That is our calling.

If you enhance interpersonalized networking with quality services and proper guidance, you form strategic and beneficial interdependencies. Your interests merge to maximize synergistic potential and optimization of organizational growth.

If we truly need each other and we grow to trust each other, we will work harmoniously – and we don’t dare wage war with our suppliers or clients. It’s that ages-old threat of Mutually Assured Destruction that can help keep us in check against our more animalistic and less divine proclivities and destructive temptations. In the longer run, earning is always safer and better than stealing.

With our GICBC, we must build far more bridges and fewer fences. I am fascinated by the magical nature of synergy and its intellectual and creative exponentiality.

The Postillion: How do you see social networking creating and supporting coalitions of the creative to reach critical mass for explosive innovation and change?

Douglas Castle: In accord with the laws of physics as I understand them, it takes a critical mass of a reactive substance to produce an exothermic reaction ….one that produces great energy, just as this happens in nuclear reactors. I believe the same holds true for social networking collaboration. I think that author Malcolm Gladwell inadvertently hit upon a wonderful idea when he wrote The Tipping Point. If we stop acting as dyad production units and start increasing our collective mind mass in an openly collaborative environment, we can accelerate the course to achieving tremendously significant breakthroughs.

One of the projects which we are working on with our GICBC is the Accelerated Breakthrough Program. Minds link exponentially, not arithmetically. The potential for breakthroughs is virtually limitless with the right group of minds in an atmosphere of open and non-threatening communication. We constantly speak about critical mind mass. It is not just a theory – it is a result of applied physics, Human physiology, and behavioral psychology.

The Postillion: What overarching principles and ethics should drive the potential for exponential change that will result from these creative collaborations of change creators?

Douglas Castle: I am not an ethicist or an expert at ethics, but I have a rudimentary understanding of The Golden Rule, fair exchange through reciprocity, and not abusing power or capriciously applying laws. The ethical parameters within which we as a GICBC will successfully function must incorporate these basic concepts. In the words of Hippocrates, “first do no harm.”

The most pragmatic ethical position is one where: mutually beneficial exchanges take place instead of thievery; resources are replaced or replenished, advancement (reward) is based upon contribution or merit, and no one group is asked to sacrifice while another becomes unjustly engorged or enriched. No one should benefit at the suffering of another.

We need to rekindle the notion, spirit and practice of compassion, and of sharing. We will have evolved to a higher, more stable practice of ethics when we start to feel the suffering of others as our own, and when we realize that when one member suffers, we all lose. As a point of reference, I am reminded of a profoundly beautiful sermon by John Donne, which starts with the famous words, “No man is an island unto himself…”

We can and should be individuals, but we should also be part of a “neural net” where we feel each other’s pains as our own, and where we celebrate each individual victory as a triumph for every member of the GICBC.

The Postillion: The world visions you speak of imply a network of holistic, symbiotic organisms ….. living connections of intelligensia….. committed to the creation of principled and ethically based solutions for positive change. Is this just an intellectual’s theory for world peace……or do you believe that such a vision can really happen?

Douglas Castle: I believe that it can happen, and that it must, lest we resign ourselves to the plight of so many other great civilizations which have vanished from the Earth, leaving behind the rubble of rebellion and stain of slaughter, and taking with them the secrets of their greatest advances and achievements.

I don’t waste time on far-fetched theories. I prefer to invest my time in creating solutions and solving problems. If we are proactive and expedient at refining and organizing this new socio-economic entity, we stand a chance of surviving and thriving…of evolving to a higher level of socialization, interaction and innovation.

The Postillion: You have many exciting projects in your mix. Where and why does TNNW fit in with your portfolio of innovations?

Douglas Castle: TNNWC, as well as the people and greater purpose that it will serve are at the very center of all of my personal and professional efforts. It is the laboratory, the factory, the staging platform and will be the ultimate beneficiary of anything positive that I can produce.

Your question has a slightly faulty premise. TNNWC does not “fit in” with my portfolio of innovations – it is the very container which holds all of them.

The Postillion: You often speak of the precious 1% of society that represents the true creators of innovation, invention and change. These are the same people who are often feared and reviled for their revolutionary visions and ideas. Do you have ideas on how to create a safe haven for these positive change catalysts to survive and thrive?

Douglas Castle: We have a terrible history of shunning, shaming, persecuting, burning and crucifying our greatest people, and then appreciating them posthumously. We like to tell their stories. They become legends. It’s a fascinating but very predictable cycle: We destroy them, we promote those people who persecuted and prosecuted them, and then we write books and produce movies about them. The 1% must unite, despite their very independent inclinations, if they are to survive, and enjoy the fruits of their labors in this lifetime.

I hope that our GICBC can provide a safe harbor and a protective environment to foster better communication and understanding amongst the 1%, and between the 1% and the greater 99%. The 1% are all too often sacrificed because the other 99% feel threatened. Ignorance and fear, even more than avarice, are the demons which must be addressed if our species is to break this pattern of self-destructive conduct.

The Postillion: You are a proven visionary. What do you envision your lasting legacy will be for the world?

Douglas Castle: I would wish to be remembered as a friend to many, and as a friend of Humankind.

The Postillion wishes to thank Douglas Castle for taking the time to provide his insights and in depth responses to my questions. He represents a positive movement for socialtal change. I am honored to now call him friend and am sure this will not be the last time the Postillion will feature Douglas and his visions for the future.

Michael Phillips, A.K.A. the Postillion, lives and works in Tampa Florida and has over 30 years of experience in leading innovative development and trends within the information technology industry. Comments and suggestions for future interview personalities can be emailed to

For more information, please visit Michael's TNNW Bio.


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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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