September 2006


This newsletter is prepared monthly by volunteers of the In2:InThinking Network. Content comes from volunteers. We invite you to help develop our Network by sharing this newsletter.

Why settle for the prevailing style of thought?

Be a leader. Improve your thinking about thinking.

In This Issue
  • Partners InThinking - Deming Learning Network
  • Member Highlight - Lorraine Shallenberger
  • Member Highlight - Dave Ciscel
  • Program and Project Management Seminar Update
  • Book Review
  • Thoughts on "Thinking Strategically" from Tony Hodgson
  • Ongoing Discussion Preview
  • Making a Difference from Where We Are...
  • Forum 2007 Announcements
  • Partner Events and Resources
  • Ideas to Ponder...

  • Member Highlight - Lorraine Shallenberger
    Lorraine Shallenberger

    Meet Lorraine Shallenberger, a regular attendee of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's Thinking Roadmap seminars.

    The Facts:
    After 32 years and raising a family in Santa Barbara, CA, we moved to Ventura County (love it!). Retirement is in the wings, but the lure of interesting projects keeps it at bay. I am adjunct faculty at Santa Barbara City College in the Professonal Development Department. We offer low cost training classes to the community (industry, city, etc.) such as team-building, interpersonal communications, time management, etc. I also am on faculty at The Employees' University-Santa Barbara County. They offer a unique program of 1 day classes (during the work day) to employees for college credit. I am still pursuing my passion of decorative painting, I've scaled back, but still teach an occasional class to local painting chapters.

    Forum Attendance:
    Just learned about the In2:IN Forum this year, but hope to attend next year.

    Tell us about a recent "a ha" moment.
    Fresh from the 'Six Thinking Hats' course, I incorporated it in a decision-making class and my "a ha" was seeing the participants "a ha" when they got it!

    What book are you reading now?
    "Goal Mapping: How To Turn Your Dreams Into Realities", Brian Mayne

    What recent book have you read that you consider both beneficial and readable?
    "What To Say When You Talk to Your Self", Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. It's not particularly recent, but I read it recently and it's an eye-opener on the impact of negative thinking.

    What advice do you have for people new to the In2:InThinking Network?
    Participate and take advantage of the excellent classes.

    Member Highlight - Dave Ciscel
    Dave Ciscel

    Meet Dave Ciscel, a 2-time retiree (from the Air Force and Boeing) who is seeking to redefine the rapid manufacturing process.

    The Facts:
    I recently started CalRAM, Inc. with John Wooten to make titanium parts from powder - faster, better, cheaper, etc. Now we need Blue Pen customers! I live in Camarillo with my wife, bird dogs and have 3 kids, 5 grandkids, two surfboards, three horses, and two mules. My main effort is to get CalRAM profitable and avoid bankruptcy. Vacations are for hunting, any time off is for surfing or playing with kids and grandkids.

    Forum Attendance:
    I attended in 2002 and 2004 and started speaking at Bill Bellows' Understanding Variation classes in December 1996.

    Tell us about a recent "a ha" moment.
    CalRAM Inc uses a technology called Electron Beam Melting (EBM). It's new technology so it seems there's an a ha moment every other day. I am forced to learn software called Magics, similar to a CAD drawing. The best aha moment in long time was when I figured out how to tie a diamond hitch on my mule by myself.

    What book are you reading now?
    "General McKinney Reports" about air war in Pacific in WWII, Harry Flashman series about British empire in 1800s & Biblical histories about the origins of the war with Islam.

    What recent book have you read that you consider both beneficial and readable?
    "Undying Hatred" by Hal Lindsey, about the roots of animosity between Islam and the Jews, and later the Christians. We win this war in Iraq or no women are allowed to come to the In2:IN Forums. For that matter there won't be any Forums. Not even in burkas.

    What advice do you have for people new to the In2:InThinking Network?
    Pay attention and network. Don't drink too much the first day or you'll have a hangover the second day like someone whose initials are A... B...

    Are there any questions that we should add to the member profile? If so, please provide us with the question(s) and your answer(s).
    It might be interesting to ask if the respondent feels there has been progress made in their life, or their work, as a result of these Forums or other Bellows training.

    The answer for me is Yes! I have a much better understanding of corporate structure and what it takes to change a culture, and starting a business with a desired culture, instead of copying the culture of previous work place.

    Program and Project Management Seminar Update
    Program and Project Management

    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 downloadable brochure.

    Schedule: November 13 - 17th, beginning at noon on Monday and ending at noon on Friday.
    Location: Los Angeles

    Book Review

    Leadership Can Be Taught: A Bold Approach for a Complex World

    Author: Sharon Daloz Parks
    Publisher: Harvard Business School Publishing Corp.
    Length: 308 pages
    Reviewer: Steve Byers

    I was newly familiar with Ron Heifetz's work ("Leadership Without Easy Answers" and "Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading", with M. Linsky) when I turned to Parks' new book, which is about Heifetz's approach to teaching leadership at Harvard University. All of these are excellent reading if you are interested in innovative thinking about leadership, but this review is of Parks' book. Sharon Parks, currently the Director of Leadership for the New Commons at the Whidbey Institute, is an excellent writer and her approach here is useful and refreshing.

    Parks begins by explaining to us the nature of adaptive challenges, the concept at the center of Heifetz's approach. In our life, which includes our work, we face different kinds of challenges and problems. You may recall Russell Ackoff saying that we don't usually have to deal with a single problem, but rather a system of interrelated problems that he called a "mess", as in one of the first things you have to do is "formulate the mess". In Heifetz's language, a technical challenge or problem is one that we have faced before. Perhaps the current challenge is not exactly like a preceding challenge, and it can be very complex, but we basically have the know how to address it. An adaptive challenge, on the other hand, is complex and, more important, something we haven't seen before. "Adaptive challenges require new learning, innovation, and new patterns of behavior. In this view, leadership is the activity of mobilizing people to address adaptive challenges - those challenges that cannot be resolved by expert knowledge and routine management alone". Parks says these kinds of challenges call for changes of hearts and minds - the transformation of long-standing habits and deeply held assumptions and values. We get into trouble when we fail to recognize the adaptive challenge and default to our technical problem solving approach.

    She takes us through a semester with Ron Heifetz, a journey that I found fascinating. I think she is asking whether leadership can be learned (not so much taught because much of the work is given back to the students - learning is, after all, a complex adaptive challenge). As we know, Dr. Ackoff is quite vigorous in his view that since leadership is an art, it cannot be taught. That is, leaders are born rather than made. Dr. Heifetz has designed a dynamic mode of learning called "case-in-point" that utilizes the students' own experiences and the classroom environment as a laboratory for working through real challenges. The students not only learn leadership, they live leadership.

    Two chapters struck me in particular. Chapter 4, "Learning from Failure in Public" is quite incredible as we witness people identifying their own failures in leading as case studies for their learning groups. A vital feature of the practice of adaptive leadership is the capacity to take corrective action. It's painful, but each student learns how to enter into a dialogue with failure. Chapter 6 is called "What Endures" and is an illuminating exploration of the power of language, image, and metaphor in learning.

    Parks ends her book with a chapter about the strengths and limitations of Heifetz's approach, and concludes "Leadership Can be Learned". When we attempt to intervene in the incredibly complex systems that are the world today, we continually discover that a key feature of the "art of leadership is the ability to give the work back to the group so that it can learn and adapt to make progress on our toughest challenges." This is, of course, very different from the model of the single heroic leader solving technical problems.

    This is a book for anyone with an opportunity to lead. You may not be heading off to Harvard, but you can read this book and learn a lot about yourself.

    Thoughts on "Thinking Strategically" from Tony Hodgson

    The span of a strategy relates to the intended duration and extensiveness of the mission it serves. In that sense strategy is not about the long term but about the whole term, beginning now. Strategy "on the hoof" is the art of revising battle plans whilst continuing to spur the horse forward. There is no longer time to stop at the Inn and think 'off the horses' back'.

    Michael Porter points out that we have to stay in the saddle whilst doing strategy better. "Some managers think, 'The world is changing, things are going faster - so I've got to move faster. Having a strategy seems to slow me down.' I argue no, no, no - having a strategy actually speeds you up."

    This approach is difficult to practice because of the split between the executive brains and the planning brains. The executives do without thinking and the planners think without doing. Both extremes lose the plot. Some of the mental traps that perpetuate this state of affairs are:

    • The momentum of immediate activity - We are in a juggernaut hurtling down a highway, unable to see more lucrative by-roads that lead to strategic success.

    • Over-confident opinion - We have to be confident and determined to take charge but then overshoot the mark and fail to question our own assumptions.

    • Unperceived assumptions collapse in the business model. Many of those assumptions have not even been articulated so the only way they get challenged is when they reach the market place and by then we have run out of lead time.

    • Misread causes for actual performance - We have our pet theories about what causes what. This reinforces a tendency to defend the view in the best traditions of flat-earthers.

    • Misaligned intent - In the absence of strategy we are at the mercy of the next critical thing, a reactive pile of priorities and no one agreeing where the crucial action needs to be.

    • Rejection of creative improvement - We go for operational efficiency and cost control rather than strategies to grow the top line.

    Ongoing Discussion Preview

    The Ongoing Discussion (OD) for September will feature Sadruddin Boga. On Wednesday, September 27th and Friday, September 29th, Sadruddin will engage us in a dialogue on A Creative Rubric for the Future of Humanity.

    This month's OD announcement will be released on or before Friday, September 22nd. 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 Ketan Varia, from Edgware, England, who is working to improve the health care system in the UK.

    "I am currently engaged in working with Dr. Foster International (a private public partnership) in running workshops/consultancy work across health economies so that :

    • Stakeholders better understand the end to end flows of patient pathways and the issues across the pathway
    • Coaching in running drumbeat 'reviews' across the pathway so that continuous improvement (PDCA) is inherent in organisations.
    • Ensuring commisioners (who are accountable for pathway and their economics) are engaged in bringing stakeholders together to ensure effectivness in pathway improvement without sub optimisation
    • Information present is better used via the theory of variation."
    Follow this link for a glimpse of the headlines demonstrating the current thinking in the UK health care system.

    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. Watch this spot for Forum details.

    Partner Events and Resources

    • The August Ongoing Discussion Thought Leader, Anna Maravelas, has a feature article in this month's issue of O Magazine. Read more on Anna's website here.
    • The W. Edward Deming Institute's 2006 Fall Conference will be held at the Marriott's Georgetown University Conference Center, 3800 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC 20057. Click here for more information.
    • Network member Margaret Morgan invites you to the EarthShine Institute Annual Symposium featuring the poetry of her aunt, "Anne Morrow Lindbergh: The Woman, the Words, the Life and the Legacy". Find additional symposium details here.
    • Glenda Turner, midwest In2:IN member, will discuss a transformation model that points to the benefits and practice of Value Network Analysis methodology in helping managers view their organizations from a systems viewpoint at the Innovation Forum Event - Systems Thinking for Improving Organizational Effectiveness. Check out the details here.
    • For the second year in a row, new AARP member :-) , Bill Bellows, has been invited to share thoughts on Blue Pen Companies at the Lean Six Sigma Summit in Las Vegas, September 26 - 29th. Find additional details here.
    • Marcelo Espinosa, President of the Orange County Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) and new member of In2:IN, invites you to Innovate the Leader in You at the upcoming LEAD conference. For details and a list of seminars visit the LEAD website.
    • 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
      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.

    Ideas to Ponder...

    Reflection from Shane Manning, a junior at University High School in Orange County, California...

    "Teamwork is good for the soul, man!"

    2006 Forum DVD Sales
    Order a set of our 2006 Forum 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

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    In2:InThinking Network 2006 Screensaver

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    Partners InThinking - Deming Learning Network

    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 Deming Learning Network, based in Aberdeen, Scotland.

    The Facts:
    The aim of The Deming Learning Network is the continual organisational improvement through the application of learning.

    How does your organization compliment the In2:InThinking Network?
    The foundations of our thinking are based round the teachings of W. Edwards Deming.

    Tell us about your membership. What does it mean to be a member of your organization and how does one become a member?
    We recognise two forms of learning - individual and organisational - we believe they are different. So we have two types of members. Individual members for their own enlightenment and organisations to enable the organisational learning process.

    What resources does your organization offer its members?
    We facilitate a range of learning formats, from a CEO group, to "Challenging our Paradigms" presentations to "Member Evenings" discussing deeper issues. We also do research projects to identify the underpinning theories being used by an organisation. Plus we run some training events. We alse provide links into world-wide sources of knowledge such as In2:IN.

    What exciting developments are on the horizon for your organization?
    We are talking to the oil companies in Aberdeen in context of doing a research project to examining the underpinning theories that support their "safety" function. And then to pose the question - "are there more effective theories that if applied would reduce the occurance of accidents?"

    DLN Thought of the Month for September

    "To copy an example of success without understanding it with the aid of theory may lead to disaster" - W. Edwards Deming

    The Justice System "Clean Stream" project in Grampian, Scotland (with Vanguard as consultants) addressed the time taken in summary cases from when a person is charged to the conclusion of the court case.

    The project identified that under the suite of theories we call "command & control" the average was 248 days. By adopting enabling and systems theories it reduced the average time to 35 days.

    The prediction is that the Scottish National Justice system will not learn from this project because it has no concept of theory, and, therefore, has no basis from which to challenge the enormous waste engendered by "command & control" concepts.

    "Without theory there is no learning" - W. Edwards Deming

    (The DLN has written an article reference this project expanding the above argument - it can be viewed here - take time to access the article - for a look at the dramatic control chart if nothing else.)

    Visit DLN on the web...
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    Pegasus Conference - Special Discount for In2:IN Community Members

    Register for the 16th Annual Pegasus Conference by September 17 for $1150 (That's $200 off the normal rate) Use priority code STA06IN2IN when you register (use the link below) or call 1-781-398-9700 for details

    Additional discounts for teams of four or more!


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