|Member Highlight - Carol Gregor
Meet Carol Gregor, our "OD" Thought Leader in
November 2003 on the topic of "Home Harmonics".
Writer/Design/Build professional. Maine and
Florida. I spend my time researching thinking from an
historical, architectural, sacred geometries and
philosophical perspective looking for a common
language to use today in a diverse and complex
Tell us about a recent "a ha" moment.
While studying with Fritjof
Capra, realizing how far
we need to go to expand our "thinkers" to include a
broad range of cultures, sexual diversity and
backgrounds to accommodate an expanding and
threatened environment. Using dated methods of
thinking from a traditional perspective has gotten
us where we are today.
What book are you reading now?
Campbell, Emerson, Vitruvius,
What recent book have you read that you
consider both beneficial and readable?
Gore's book, Stephan Harding's Animate
Nights of the Soul.
What advice do you have for people new to the
This is a wonderful forum for thinkers.
|Member Highlight - Perry Woodford
Meet Perry Woodford, one of many network members
from Boeing operations in Puget Sound.
Manufacturing Engineer for Boeing Integrated Defense
Systems in Seattle for 21 years. I started in
graphite composite structures for the B2 program and
have spent the past five years as the team leader of
refrigerator-sized electronic cabinets for military
Outside of work, I am a youth soccer
administrator and coach. I coach two soccer boys 15
year olds and girls (my one and only child) 11 year
old. As President of the Soccer Association, I am
responsible for over 200 youth teams and hundreds of
volunteers and paid staff. With much support from my
wife, Sharon, we run three soccer tournaments each
year - the largest has 182 teams over two weekends in
I have been on the planning committee and attended
all five forums.
Tell us about a recent "a ha" moment.
I work on a program dealing with Australia and
Turkey. Most everyone speaks English well. Just
because we speak English does not mean we are
communicating. Yes, I have heard this before but it
is very evident when dealing across these cultures.
What book are you reading now?
Theory by Dr.
William Glasser and
and Motivation by William E. Warren
What advice do you have for people new to the
When you get discouraged or down trodden relax and
call a friend. Everyone I have met in the network
|Program and Project Management Seminar Update
Welcome to the debut of our first week-long seminar
offering. This course differs from the conventional
courses on project and program management (PPM) in
that, whereas they work from the inside out, this
course works from the outside in. It takes a
systemic rather than an analytic approach to the
process. Rather than work on aspects of PPM taken
separately and then trying to synthesize them into
an overall approach to the process, this course
starts with the effect of the organizational context
within which PPM takes place. It shows that without
changes in this context, PPM is severely
handicapped. The problem then, for those who cannot
control the organizational context of PPM, but can
control such management itself, is how can they
approximate the types of context changes required to
make PPM effective? In this seminar, our aim is to
show you how to achieve these results.
Visit our website
for additional seminar details, including a
Schedule: the first seminar has been moved
from the week of October 2 to the week of 13
November, beginning at noon on Monday and ending at
noon on Friday.
Location: Los Angeles
Fooled by Randomness:
The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the
Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Length: 316 pages
Reviewer: Steven S. Prevette
I originally purchased this book from a
recommendation on Tom Peter's website, and as a
statistician was definitely intrigued by the
concept. We humans are quite consistently and
continually "fooled by randomness". Now, for the
non-statisticians and statisticians alike is the
great thing - there is not a single mathematical
expression in the whole book. Many fairly
sophisticated statistical theories are presented,
but supported in an empirical, story-telling manner.
The author does make many references to the results
of Monte Carlo simulations, but does not give the
detailed results in the book. For those who just
have to have it, simply "Google" Nassim
you will find his home
page, full of all sorts of
technical articles, such as "Learning Derivatives
from Commodity Derivatives".
Nassim details several stock market stories,
including some rather spectacular failures based
upon assuming that past success would guarantee
future success. Although he makes no reference to
Deming, the phrase "there is no knowledge without
theory" resonates through the book. Nassim
repeatedly refers to the "Black Swan" or the rare
event. One instance of a black swan disproves the
supposition that all swans are white. We see
patterns in random events, and then try to act upon
those patterns, often to an eventual great financial
and emotional demise.
MBA's become a target of the stories, and Nassim
shows that MBA's have not been trained to respond
well to randomness. The world is mechanical,
predictable, two plus two equals four for an MBA.
One complaint is that MBA's tend to summarize issues
without comprehension. The core idea is lost. One
of the concluding thoughts in the book is "We favor
the visible, the embedded, the personal, the
narrated, the tangible, we scorn the abstract".
Perhaps this is why I hear the lament "all you
statisticians do is make things difficult". Well,
with "Fooled by Randomness" we get the best of both
worlds. Elegant story telling and essays that bring
the abstract forward, and provides us with some
theories that we can build knowledge from.
|Thoughts on "Synthetic (Integrative) Program Management" from John Pourdehnad
In recent years, with the growth of the knowledge
economy, the number of project-based organizations
has escalated considerably. Concurrently, there has
been significant progress in the development of
computer-aided project management tools to help plan
and manage projects. And yet, more often than not,
capital projects overrun their budgets, fall behind
schedule, and/or fail to meet their business
This paper examines the nature of this apparently
paradoxical situation and proposes a different
strategy for improving project performance.
Specifically, the paper argues that the problem
stems from the nature of the traditional paradigm,
which relies on existing knowledge - knowledge
gained studying traditional approaches. Specific
attention is paid to some of the common problems
that cause projects to fail.
"Systems thinking" or "a systems view of the world"
is evolving as an alternative to the old paradigms.
This paper examines the implications of systems
thinking in project management competency learning.
|Ongoing Discussion Preview
The Ongoing Discussion (OD) for August will
feature Anna Maravelas. On Thursday, August 24th
and Friday, August 25th, Anna will engage us in a
dialogue on How to avoid conflict and stress in
the workplace. Click here to
download a preview of Anna's thought piece.
This month's OD announcement will be released on or
before Friday, August 18th. For those readers not
already on the OD mailing list - click below.
|Making a Difference from Where We Are...
Many of our "Network Members" pride themselves in
making a positive difference in the world. Among
them is David Train, from Fladbury, England, who
regularly sends letters to heads of state in the US
and the UK. Follow this link
to find some of David's recent letters,
including one to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
You are welcome to reach David at DavidWTrain@aol.com
to learn more about his efforts.
|Forum 2007 Announcements
Mark your calendars to join us for our Sixth Annual
Forum, to be held in Los Angeles, beginning on
April 12th and ending on April 17th.
this spot for Forum details.
|Partner Events and Resources
New DVD from On Ensemble...
We are excited to announce the first DVD recording
from On Ensemble, the LA-based taiko group provided
Forum 2005 attendees with after-dinner
entertainment. "Neiro" was the second annual home
concert featuring works that have given On Ensemble
its reputation as one of North America's most
innovative taiko groups. Tuvan throat singing,
koto, electric guitar, turntable, western drum kit,
voice, Japanese dance, bamboo flutes, percussion and
taiko come together in a complicated mix of
influences from traditional Japanese aesthetics to
eclectic, contemporary music.
Order from: cdbaby.com
For additional information, visit the On Ensemble
website at: www.onensemble.org
- The Center for Social-Profit Leadership -
Supporting the Business Needs of Social
Entrepreneurs. Find out more here.
- The 16th Annual Pegasus
Conference, "Leading Beyond the Horizon -
Strategies for Bringing Tomorrow into Today's
Choices" to be held November 13-15, Waltham,
Participants in the Pegasus Conference often feel
that it is the most extraordinary learning
experience of their lives. Each year this gathering
of innovative, daring, like-minded people - from all
sectors - creates an energetic field of inquiry that
results in transformational insights and lifelong
connections. Bring your own questions and challenges
into this mix, and you and your organization may
never be the same.
- 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.
|Ideas to Ponder...
Reflection from John Pourdehnad, Assistant
Director of The Ackoff Center...
"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world,
the butterfly calls the beginning." -Zen saying
|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.
"Buy Now" button will take you to PayPal for order
|In2:InThinking Network Screensaver
Partners InThinking - International Futures Forum
In this feature, we highlight a Partner
Organization of the In2:InThinking Network. We
believe the resources of these organizations will expand
your thinking about thinking... This month we are
featuring the International Futures Forum.
Visit IFF on the web...
The International Futures Forum is a non-profit
organisation that exists to develop the capacity to
sustain human aspiration, realised through wise
action, in a complex and challenging world.
How does your organization compliment the
We work in areas where there are no easy answers,
where existing models fail to make sense of our
confusing reality, where we are in over our heads,
where we face an unacknowledged 'conceptual
emergency'. This challenges us to explore and
develop new thinking methods.
Tell us about your membership. What does it mean
to be a member of your organization and how does one
become a member?
The principal resource of the International Futures
Forum is a group of highly skilled individuals who
come together in IFF to pool their knowledge (and
their ignorance) and to operate at their own growing
edge. IFF benefits from relationships with partners
who support our work in a variety of ways:
subscription to our electronic
journal, working with
us on challenging issues, or providing core support
to develop and promote IFF thinking for the common
What resources does your organization offer its
IFF is a self-support network with ad hoc funding.
Our small core staff is based in St. Andrews,
Scotland. We also benefit from the use of IFF Member
Pat Heneghan's purpose built conference and workshop
facilities at The Boathouse, on the shores of the
Forth estuary at Aberdour.
What exciting developments are on the horizon for
Psychological literacy in an age of globalisation;
investigating the conceptual emergency behind the
dilemma of energy security and climate change; the
art of better giving around social entrepreneuring
and the future of philanthropy; new approaches to
rural community development; world modeling as a
context for policy integrity.