As we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the US and remember him around the world, we are mindful that he had a dream "that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood." Such appreciation and respect for diversity, a way of expressing the concept of variation relative to people, is essential for sitting together and living together, without ranking, whether the focus be ethnicity, skin color, age, religious beliefs, health, thought, or speed of reasoning.
As for working together, appreciation and respect for diversity and variation applies again. Herein, Dr. Deming was fond of reminding us;
"A manager of people needs to understand that all people are different. This is not ranking people. He needs to understand that the performance of anyone is governed largely by the system that he works in, the responsibility of management."
Dr. Deming was a master of leading with better questions, such as, "What is the variation trying to tell us about a process, about the people in the process?" Could such a systemic appreciation of variation serve to unite us, instead of divide us, when we realize life is variation and variation is life, from people to the performance of our products, processes, and business units?
If you're interested in exploring the limitless implications of appreciating and respecting diversity and variation and improving team work in industry, government, and education, through better thinking about thinking, we invite you to join us at the In2:InThinking Network 2012 Forum in Los Angeles, California on April 19th through 24th. This year, our ever timely focus will be;