The In2:InThinking Newsletter Team is working to enhance the
newsletter to better serve our members. The format is changing and
you will continue to notice additional changes in the coming
|Thoughts on Measurement and Management|
Contributed by Gordon Hall of the The Deming Learning
Network in Aberdeen, Scotland
"If management sets
quantitative targets and makes people's jobs depend on them -
they will meet the targets - even if they have to destroy the
enterprise to do it" (Deming)
important - but it is in how we use measures that are
This practice of using targets and measures to
ask staff to try harder is still widespread. It comes in many
We can fill
pages on the distortions that arise just from these four
examples. And of course the knock on effect of leaders working
with distorted data.
- The public sector with its targets
- The Offshore Safety function with its incentives etc
- Competitive tendering
- The dominance of traditional accounting information with
its focus on "management by results".
The practice also destroys "the
web of relationships that determines the character of the
enterprise, its capabilities and its capacity to learn and
grow" (Johnson & Broms).
It takes no effort and no
understanding to set a target and pressurise people to achieve
those targets. What does take thought is using measurement to
understand the system in which people are working and then
taking action to re-design the system.
Ten Things to do in a Conceptual
Author/Publisher: International Futures
Length: 31 pages
Steve Byers originally
reviewed this book in August
of 2005. Due to popular demand, we are taking another look at
this powerful little book.
What exactly is a
conceptual emergency? Consider the blind men who, touching
only one part of the elephant, could not envision the whole.
The International Futures Forum (IFF) suggests we live in the
age of the missing elephant. "In today's world the most
advanced among us know little more than one small piece of the
elephant, and there are now so many different pieces, they
change so rapidly and they are all so intimately related one
to another, that even if we had the technology to put them all
together we would still not be able to make sense of the
That is, we find ourselves in a new world that
raises fundamental questions about our competence in key areas
such as governance, the economy, sustainability, and even
consciousness. "We are losing our bearings." This is the
"Conceptual Emergency" and these are TEN Things to
1. Design for a transition to a new world
Give up on the myth of control
3. Trust subjective
4. Take the long view
5. Form and
6. Practice social
7. Sustain networks of hope
Converge ideas and action
9. Re-perceive the
10. Move beyond an Enlightenment
On a daily basis we are inundated with
more and more data, information, ideas, tools, issues and
demands. Facing this growing complexity of life, we may
intuitively struggle for control rather than enjoy the
mystery. The IFF suggests that we "give up on the myth of
While the struggle for control may be a natural
response, this quest for control leads to a cycle demanding
even more control. "An alternative is simply to accept the
complexity and participate in it. Relish diversity and the
unique quality of all things. This engenders a sense of
belonging – and hence reinforces the motivation to
In addition to these ten strategies, the
second part of the book includes applications delivered as
"Emergency Response: stories from practice" about IFF work in
communities, health care, and other circumstances of social
learning. The book would also make a fine textbook for any one
of a number of disciplines - economics, business, organization
development, systems thinking, and even philosophy.
International Futures Forum offers additional resources on
|May Ongoing Discussion|
The Ongoing Discussion (OD) for May will feature futurist
Joel Barker. On Wednesday May 24th and Friday May 26th, Joel
will lead a discussion focused on Strategic
This month's OD announcement will be
released by May 19th. For those readers not already on the OD
mailing list, contact Bill
Bellows to be added to this list.
|Partner Events and Resources|
- PBS Special - Good
News: How Hospitals Heal Themselves
reports the depth of the patient safety problem and how two
large hospital systems have saved lives and reduced errors,
infections and waste by using Toyota Management Principles.
These methods could improve every hospital in America
dramatically and reduce health-care costs by 50%. It does
not require outside help or additional funding. Check your
station for air times.
Deming Forum to be held May 23-25 at the Robinsons
Centre, Wyboston, Bedfordshire
- The 50th Annual Meeting of the International
Society for the Systems Sciences to be held July 9-14 at
Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California
- The 16th Annual Pegasus
Conference, "Leading Beyond the Horizon - Strategies for
Bringing Tomorrow into Today's Choices," to be held November
13-15, Waltham, Massachusetts
|Volunteer with the In2:InThinking Network|
The In2:InThinking Network is run by volunteers. Your help
is needed in a variety of areas from Forum 2007 planning,
newsletter, website, and beyond. If you are interested in
helping out please click on the link to sign up. We will
follow up for more details on where you would like to help.
|Forum 2006 DVD Sales|
Order a set of Forum 2006 DVDs - "Daring to
Explore - Creating Possibilities Together." The DVDs
include all triple track sessions and keynotes; a total
of 12 presentations.
Clicking the "Buy Now"
button will take you to PayPal for order processing.
Price: $150 USD
Buy Now | Learn More
|About The In2:InThinking Network|
The In2:InThinking Network was formed in 2001
by a group of students of the work of W. Edwards Deming
and related theorists.
The aim of our network is
to make thinking about systems, variation, knowledge,
and psychology, and their interaction - which comprises
Deming's system of profound knowledge - more conscious.
We believe that such thinking about thinking,
which we call "inthinking," will allow people to better
perceive relationships and interdependencies in human
endeavors, and consequently act to make those endeavors
more valuable, more satisfying, and more joyful.
Learn More about In2:IN
Welcome to the first article in our new Member Highlight
column. Each month we will interview members of the
In2:InThinking Network. This month we asked Jon Bergstrom to
provide his insights.
retired from Shell Oil Company after 35 years of service.
Since my retirement, I have provided a variety of business
consulting services through the Bergstrom Learning Center.
These services include a variety of leadership and management
courses, workshop development and facilitation, and personal
coaching. For the last seven years, I have taught team skills
at International Space University in Strasbourg, France and
ISU summer sessions at locations around the world. My business
website provides information about many of these activities
and can be accessed here.
I have attended every forum except number
one in 2002.
Why do you attend the Forum?
In2:InThinking Forum is an exciting place to learn and to meet
people who are interested in creating a better world. Each
year I have gained new friends who are important in my
Tell us about a recent "a ha"
I am in a group that practices "Leadership
Action Learning". This practice includes asking four types of
questions - all in ways that assist others in their thinking
without giving advice. My "a ha" is how helpful these
questions are because each of us think so differently. It is very
revealing to find out that you would not have thought through
issues thoroughly without help from others. It is a constant
reminder to stop doing all our thinking by
What book are you reading now?
am re-reading "Process Consultation - Revisited" by Edgar
Schein. I am currently assisting several executives in their
learning journey and I find this book to be the essential
guide in establishing a helpful and trusting
What recent book have you read that
you consider to be a "must read"?
One of my "must read"
books is John Kotter's recent book - On What Leaders Really
Do. Kotter defines differences he sees in management and
leadership processes in this book. Both are essential for
effectiveness. However, he notes that the reason we manage is
to create consistent results. The reason we lead is to create
change - often dramatic change. The concepts are very
important to me in determining which process is important to
engage in given the circumstances I face.
question you have been asked that made you stop and
A question that made me think was "What is most
important for you to accomplish in the next year?" It is
always important to be mindful of using our precious time
Why are you a part of the In2:InThinking
The network offers me several valuable
- Trusted Friendships: Building friendships
with people who I rely on throughout the year for shared
learning is very important.
- Monthly Ongoing Discussions:
These discussions provide the opportunity to explore new
thinking every month and to share in the conversations. I very
much admire those who participate and feel close to them -
many whom I have never met in person.
-Workshops: I am able
to attend workshops, plus the Enterprise Thinking seminars, at
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's Canoga Park facility because
of the network. This includes the wonderful workshops given by
- Forums: The Forums are always the
highlight of the year. The combination of all the workshops
and the presentation provides a great learning opportunity. It
is all in a setting where we can rub shoulders with everyone
who is there.
What advice do you have for people new
Any network serves you only as much as you
wish to be served. My advice is to seek out at least two new
thinking partners through the network. I believe you will
surprise yourself at how helpful others can be if you only