June 2006


In This Issue
  • Member Highlight
  • Thoughts on Key Performance Indicators (Metrics)
  • Book Review
  • June Ongoing Discussion
  • Partner Events and Resources
  • Volunteer with the In2:InThinking Network

  • Thoughts on Key Performance Indicators (Metrics)

    Contributed by Gordon Hall of the The Deming Learning Network in Aberdeen, Scotland

    "Deming's Deadly Disease no 5: - Running a company on visible figure alone (counting the money)"

    Unique process that produce figures amount to only 3% of the whole (Edward Baker of Ford Motor Company - in W. Edwards Deming's The New Economics, page 37)

    The fixation with "quantity" is an offshoot of Newtonian mechanistic thinking (Tom Johnson)

    The dominance of accounting figures is a relatively recent phenomenon (Tom Johnson)

    If we can only measure say 5% of the whole, what does this mean in the context of the management time spent reviewing KPIs and their use to "motivate" staff?

    How are "management" getting a feel for the other 95% of their business?

    Do managers still think in terms of "If you cannot measure it, you cannot control it"? or the equally daft thought - "what gets measured gets improved"?

    Are KPIs being used in the main to support traditional and discredited command and control principles of management?

    Book Review
    Get Unstuck and Get Going

    Get Unstuck & Get Going...on the stuff that matters

    Author: Michael Bungay Stanier
    Publisher: Box of Crayons Press
    Length: 90 pages
    Reviewer: Bill Bellows

    How often do you find yourself in a situation that tests your mettle as you seek a solution that gets you moving forward, or even backward? I'm not referring to the severe traffic conditions that many of us face daily on the Los Angeles freeways ("sigalerts"), although these traffic jams can be trying, but rather the traffic jams in life that we face far less frequently, with far more serious consequences than arriving late for work. Do you have a well defined process for getting unstuck in these situations? If so, is it documented well enough to share with others? If not, Michael Bungay Stanier has taken the time to document his fast lane solution in this attractively prepared 7-inch wide by 7-inch tall by 1-inch thick text.

    Complete with "the Little GREEN BOOK" pamphlet as a handy guide, Michael has prepared a step-by-step process for getting moving, including his litmus test for the "stuff that matters" enough to get going on. As Michael suggests, "Bad Work is easy." It's when you sit and ask yourself, "Why exactly am I wasting my life with this?" This is not to be confused with "Good Work - which for most of us is the majority of the stuff we do - is work that uses your skills, it gets stuff done, and it may well pay you a wage." What Michael is offering is a helpful solution for the stuff that matters, the "Great Work - a place that honors your skills, your passion, and your experience." He also offers 14 reflections on what it means to be "stuck." For some, it "is when you have many options - and the thought of choosing paralyzes you." For others, "when you see what needs to be done - but you make an easier choice." Or, perhaps, "when you're running flat out and know you're in the wrong race."

    With the help of downloadable Action Acceleration Sheet(TM), Michael offers a simple 4-step model for getting traction. It begins with "Focus", before "tapping into Creativity and Wisdom, and deciding on "Action." At the heart of this reference book is the guidance he offers for the middle steps - Creativity and Wisdom. Using 3 sets of 50 index tabs, Michael has prepared the reader with "inspiring stories," "provocative quotes," and "powerful models." In all, the 125,000 combinations of tabs provide provocative information and questions to prompt the user's creativity. Many are drawn from sources which are likely well known to fellow inthinkers, although not readily accessible in such a useful format. Still others will be obscure citings, very worthy of reflection and easy access. Taken together, this handy source of reflections offers thousands of precious trigger points for "getting unstuck." Should this 4-step "Action-ending" process fall short, Michael goes beyond and offers three additional strategies for the reader's personal challenges. All in keeping with his passionately stated aim of "helping individuals, teams, and organizations get unstuck and discover what's possible for them."

    For those of you who can identify with the frustration of getting stuck on what truly matters, I highly recommend this book as a handy desktop reference for personal use and to loan to "stuck" colleagues.

    The author offers a test drive of the book.

    June Ongoing Discussion
    Joel Barker

    The Ongoing Discussion (OD) for June will feature Clare Crawford-Mason. On Thursday June 29th and Friday June 30th, Clare will lead a discussion focused on The Urgent Need for Systems Thinking inside the Hospital and Outside...for Survivors.

    This month's OD announcement will be released by June 25th. For those readers not already on the OD mailing list, contact Bill Bellows to be added to this list.

    Partner Events and Resources

    • As part of a recent UK visit, Bill Bellows was asked to deliver presentations at University of Hull and a Philips Electronics Conference. These presentations will be posted to the In2:IN site in the coming days.

    • The Center for Social-Profit Leadership - Supporting the Business Needs of Social Entrepreneurs. Find out more here.

    • PBS Special - Good News: How Hospitals Heal Themselves
      This documentary 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 local PBS station for air times.

    • 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.
    Today's 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

    Member Highlight

    Meet Bill Cooper, one of the founders of the In2:InThinking Network.

    The Facts:
    I retired in 1988 after thirty years with the Government. I was the senior civilian for the Naval Air Depot North Island, in San Diego, California. In that capacity, I was one of the founders of the Total Quality Management movement in the US government. (Some folks would say that was a curse not a benefit). However, my relationship with Dr. Deming and his ideas allowed us to accomplish some great things. I am still very proud of them today. Upon my retirement in 1988, I formed my own consulting company with Phil Monroe. We operated it for 11 years and consulted world-wide. Today, I work on special projects for Congressman Duncan Hunter and teach an occasional class for local universities.

    Forum Attendance:
    As one of the founding members of the Board of Directors, and ultimately co-president, I have attended all five forums.

    Why do you attend the Forum?
    I have attended in many capacities - co-president, board member, speaker and pre-conference workshop leader. I will continue to attend for the simple reason I enjoy hanging out with folks who want to think and learn rather than spout someone else's dogma. There is no one size thinking that fits all. It is just, hopefully, our own application of that which we continue to learn. In short, it makes me think about new and different theories and revisit those which I thought contained the ultimate truth. As Dr. Deming suggests, "There is no true value of anything, only estimations." That is also true of knowledge.

    Tell us about a recent "a ha" moment.
    I do not have anything specific. I read all the time and every time I come across something that makes me think about what I think I know, I say "a ha". Also, when I read something that contradicts something that I hold to be true, I say "a ha". That comes often with my rather eclectic reading habits.

    What book are you reading now?
    I have a complete library of every book I have ever read since I left college. That was the only time that I got to choose my material to learn rather than get a grade. I do not go back and re-read books. I am, however, in my library often. I will give you an example. I have just had both knees replaced and so have spent a fair amount of time in my bedroom. I just checked and my wife has moved 11 books in there for me to check some thoughts or facts that have occurred to me while reading.

    What recent book have you read that you consider both beneficial and readable?
    I think, like Jon Bergstom, that John Kotter's book, "What Leaders Do", is an important contribution. If you want to talk about ethics, or the lack thereof, you should read Kurt Eichenwald's "Conspiracy of Fools;" the story of the Enron collapse. If you want to visit geo-political issues you should read "The Assassins' Gate," by George Packer, about the "march to war with Iraq."

    If you want to get back into process and systems thinking, the book "Systems Thinking - Creative Holism for Managers" by Michael Jackson, is a good choice. This is a book recommended to me by Dr. Russ Ackoff. This is a slow read, with content which runs deep between its covers.

    What advice do you have for people new to the In2:InThinking Network?
    Be true to yourself. Surround yourself with family for love and surround yourself with friends for fun. Then surround yourself with others who are always on a quest to learn and challenge past assumptions and ways of thinking.
    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 ask.

    Quick Links...

    Newsletter Archive

    The Deming Learning Network

    Get Unstuck and Get Going...

    Box of Crayons

    Join our mailing list!
    phone: 818-489-3005

    Forward email

    This email was sent to ryan@actionliving.com, by newsletter@in2in.org
    Powered by

    In2:InThinking Network | P.O. Box 9384 | Canoga Park | CA | 91309