Check out our new calendar of events here.
This newsletter is prepared monthly by volunteers of
the In2:InThinking Network. Content comes from
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network by sharing this newsletter with friends and
Why settle for the prevailing style of thought?
Be a leader. Improve your thinking about
|Member Highlight - Ketan Varia
Meet Ketan Varia, a first-time attendee of our Forum
in 2006, whose efforts to "make a difference" have
been featured in previous newsletters
and on our Insights
Born in Mombasa, Kenya with origins from India, and
now a living in London, UK By profession I am a
Management Consultant, heading up my own business
kinetik solutions. My biggest passion is the game of
The In2:IN conference in 2006 was very inspirational
as is Bill Bellows leadership.
What book are you reading now?
Books on economics - The
Undercover Economist: Exposing Why the Rich Are
Rich, the Poor Are Poor--and Why You Can Never Buy a
Decent Used Car! by Tim Hartford.
What recent book have you read that you
consider both beneficial and readable?
Beermat Entrepreneur: Turn Your Good Idea into a
Great Business by Mike Southon & Chris
West - good synergy with enterprise thinking!
What advice do you have for people new to the
Join in the calls and make the effort to go to the
conference at least once!
|Member Highlight - Adrian Bass
Meet Adrian Bass, a member of the In2:InThinking
Network since 2001, when she joined the inaugural
Forum planning team.
I have been the Director of the Capital Quality
Initiative (CQI) at Lansing Community College,
in Lansing, Michigan for six years. Prior to that, I
taught computer software to adults, and before that,
I was a "Camp Teacher," at an Outdoor Education
Center for Battle Creek Public Schools. Three pretty
distinct teaching careers!
In my spare time I serve as President of two boards
for small non-profits. I live in Charlotte, Michigan
with my husband and four beagles on a 75-acre farm,
where we have beehives and sell honey for a hobby.
Forum Attendance and What Inspired You to
I have not had an opportunity to attend the Forum
yet, but I am very much looking forward to attending
in Spring 2007. The first Forum coincided with a
CQI-Deming Institute Conference that we held in
Michigan. We only held our conference once, and ever
since I have wanted to attend the In2:IN Forum.
Tell us about a recent "a ha" moment.
A recent speaker at our CQI breakfast program, was
talking about Regional Economic Development. He
referred to the "V and three P's" that are necessary
for all projects to succeed. "Vision, Plan, Partners
and Perseverence." Although none of the "V and
three P's" are new, I had never heard of them
together, and now think I should always remember
them when beginning any new project.
What book are you reading now?
I mostly read science fiction, with a little bit of
serious stuff mixed in. Science fiction is my escape
What recent book have you read that you
consider both beneficial and readable?
I just finished "Bless Your Stress, It Means your
Still Alive" by Leslie Charles and Mimi Donaldson.
Leslie is a local author and friend, and all of her
books are inspiring and fun to read. You can find
them at www.lesliecharles.com.
What advice do you have for people new to the
Striving for quality and continuous improvement is a
life-time journey, so take whatever opportunities
you can to learn, share and have fun so you can keep
energized on the journey.
|THE FIFTH ANNUAL RUSSELL ACKOFF LECTURES
February 19-20, 2007
The Boeing Company and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
are proud to be jointly hosting Dr. Russell Ackoff
for two days of lectures in Huntington Beach
(February 19th) and Canoga Park (February 20th). In
keeping with the ambitions of these organizations to
help their communities think more systemically,
limited seating for both sessions has been reserved
for participation by "members of the community" at
Please complete our attendee
survey if you are
interested in attending.
Contact Bill Bellows by email
for current details on both events.
The Five Temptations of a CEO:
A Leadership Fable
Author: Patrick M. Lencioni
Length: 134 pages
Reviewer: Dale Deardorff
This quick read can make a significant difference in
your effectiveness of your leadership
characteristics and business interactions with
others. The book is one of three in a series which
conveys the "Five Temptations" effectively in fable
form, followed by a summary and discussion by
Patrick Lencioni - it takes no more than an hour to
read and is easily one of the best challenges for
The book is based upon a fictional character named
Andrew O'Brien, a San Francisco Bay Area tech CEO.
His company is underperforming and a critical annual
meeting of the board of directors is happening the
next day. Andy finds himself working extremely late
when he discovers the bridge he must cross to go
home is closed due to planed construction. Andrew
decides to use the commuter train to get home, which
is practically deserted except for an insightful and
cheerful janitor called Charlie.
After some cautious hesitation the two men began to
talk, and Andrew soon learns that Charlie is a
knowledgeable son of a railroad ex-CEO. It is from
this conversation and Charlie's lessons learned from
his father that Andy learns how Leaders like himself
often fail or succeed. This exploration is centered
around the "Five Temptations" that challenge leaders
Charlie is an unexpected source of wisdom who shares
valuable insight and perspectives with Andrew.
Stepping through time the way that only a fable can
we encounter other passengers on the train who turn
out to be CEO's of other companies. This creates a
fraternity of Leaders who all describe their unique
challenges and how the understanding of the "Five
Temptations" has allowed them to move their
organizations in a positive direction.
- Successful Leaders choose trust over
- Successful Leaders choose constructive conflicts
- Successful Leaders seek clarity of efforts over
certainty of outcomes.
- Successful Leaders choose accountability over
- Successful Leaders choose results over their
As with most fables the simplicity of the message is
what is truly important not how real the practical
situation is or could be described in the story.
Keep in mind the key points and how they can be
integrated with others and built upon to create a
pallet of Leadership competencies useful for anyone.
Part II in the "Afterworld" starts on page 105. This
is the section which can best be used to help with
professional development of Leaders by providing a
clear model and concise explanation for each
temptation. Business still needs to be executed by
Leaders but a framework which supplies guidance and
suggestions for interpersonal success, acceptance of
accountability and questioning to get to the real
answers is a formula for success.
|The Way In
Most of us have long accepted the need to embrace
our challenges and opportunities systemically, to
address not independent "parts", but to approach
change by dealing with the "wholes". Where "wholes"
can be seen in terms of a single organization,
increasingly leaders everywhere, from the global
corporation to our local community systems, are
confronted with the need for large system change,
where cross-institutional and, often, cross-sector
collaboration is required. Systemic change of this
complexity presents not only structural and
operational issues, but also a host of relational
challenges: working across institutional
"boundaries" is becoming one of the central
challenges of leadership. In her work with the
leaders of large systems, consultant and author
Tracy Huston has been exploring what enables diverse
groups of stakeholders to work across their
structural and relational boundaries, so as to adapt
and innovate solutions to the shared, systemic
challenges of our day, and to forge and sustain
their collective capacity for significant, whole
The excerpt from her new book, Inside-Out: Stories
and Methods for Generating the Collective Will to
Create the Future We Want, provides a preview of
Tracy's new work, ending with some central
"questions" that we invite you to explore. To
exchange ideas with Tracy about these topics, please
feel free to contact her at
You can hear more about Tracy's work during her
presentation at the upcoming In2:InThinking Network
Forum. Please watch for the book, forthcoming in
Putting the People Back in Purpose
Somewhere along the way, we got the idea that "work"
should be somehow socially different than the rest
of "life" that concern for well-being,
relationships, dreams had no place in the workplace
or in our schools, medical establishments, and
government halls, and instead the human side of our
being should be subjugated to task, to the execution
of the work itself. Work developed its own 'rules'
and sets of relationships, quite outside of familial
or community ways of being. More, work came to have
its own reason for being, its own purpose, outside
of us: in business, typically for the generation of
profit; in education, for the achievement of rigidly
defined academic standards; in government and civil
society for power. The people, whether customers,
employees, patients, students, or citizens, were
left out of the purpose equation - so much so that
whole bodies of theory and practice have had to be
reinvented so as to remind us of the fact of them!
That these so-called "customer-oriented" (or
"student-centered" or "patient-centered") movements
often fail to change results much is an indicator
that more than a reminder is needed; we need to
reinsert humanity back into the purpose of work. The
sudden increase in the number of non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), now estimated at over 28,000
worldwide, seems to indicate a growing desire for
humanitarian types of work; yet the people-purposes
are often obscured in the face of daily
challenges - wading through a sea of bureaucratic and
economic obstacles causes us to place our attention
on the challenge of executing even the most routine
tasks, on process, not people. How do we move the
'real work' - that which serves people - back to the
center of our attention, and keep it there?
It has been widely held that over-emphasis on
external facets of work - the structures, processes,
technologies, tasks we perform - has been the result
of long-held, deeply ingrained mental models (world
views) that were developed in the sciences by
Descartes and Newton, and embedded during the
Industrial Revolution, the 'machine age'.
Institutions were designed based on machine-like
views of how life was thought to function - parts that
could be configured to produce certain results; and
in the process, humanity was left out. Religious
institutions and the dwindling arts were the only
surviving mainstream collective domains for humanity
to know and grapple with itself. Because neither
religion nor the arts have tended to wield global
power equal to that which has been produced via
capitalism and big business, our attention has
shifted even more to work and the results it
produces, that which produces wealth. As we struggle
to deal with the complexity of results-producing
work in an evermore complex global economy, amid the
often turbulent interrelationships among nation
states and their unpredictable societies, the
response has often been to step up the pressure by
trying to eek out increasing amounts of productivity
(more results) with fewer resources. Whether in
business or education, government or
non-governmental agencies, there are few who are
escaping the extreme cost-cutting and resource
constraints now widely deployed. The price we are
in terms of the health and well-being of people has
been enormous, and shows no signs of diminishing.
And yet it is hard to find a leader in any of these
institutions who believes the current practices are
|Ongoing Discussion Preview
The Ongoing Discussion (OD) for January will
feature Russell Ackoff, Anheuser-Busch Professor
Emeritus of Management Science at The Wharton School
at the University of Pennsylvania.
On Thursday and Friday,
January 18th and 19th, Russ will engage us
in a dialogue on the topic of "Ackoff's F-Laws."
This month's OD announcement will be released on or
before Friday, January 12th.
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.
John Hunter, curator of the
Cat Management Improvement Blog, shares his
insights on the "Epidemic of Diagnoses" in this blog
Gordon Hall of the Deming
Learning Network shares a News Item:
I am very excited about an initiative that is
looking good just now in
context of creating a learning society. I have been
talking to Members of
the Scottish Parliament, our Universities and other
forward thinking groups
in context of creating a vision of "A Learning
Society" in Scotland. My
thinking is that we need link all the forward
thinkers in Scotland under a
systemic vision of a "Learning Society." Once we get
to this critical mass
then we will have a platform from which to challenge
the status quo.
|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. Download the
Forum 2007 brochure here.
Confirmed conference speakers include Micah
Fierstein, Tracy Huston, Ann Majchrzak, Paul Morgan,
Joseph Parent, John Pourdehnad, Bob Pratt, Sheldon
Rovin, and Lyn Wiltse.
Watch this spot for coming Forum
|Partner Events and Resources
SPACE TO REFLECT Exhibition
member and 2003
Forum Artist Tony Heald
invites you to an exhibition of artworks inspired by
the Cathedrals of the twin cities, York and Munster,
To be opened by The Lord Mayor of York at the
Guildhall, St. Helens Square, York on Friday 12
January 2007 at 7:00 pm. The exhibition will run
from 12-20 January.
Quality, Productivity, and Competitive
Deming Video Seminar for Advanced Students
January 22 - 25, 2007, Orlando, Florida
Hear and watch Dr. W. Edwards Deming identify faulty
management practices. He will describe how, as
better practices are introduced, quality of products
and services increases, costs decline, and you
create a globally competitive advantage for your
Built on archive videos of Dr. Deming, this seminar
blends large screen footage of Dr. Deming presenting
his theories with live facilitation to create an
interactive learning environment. Facilitated
discussion following each film segment will provide
opportunity to deepen your understanding of the
concepts, and interpret what these ideas might mean
for your organization.
This seminar explores simple and powerful principles
for anyone who manages people, or holds an executive
responsibility in an organization.
Fee: $795 per registrant
For Registration please click here
or fax to 301-294-8406 or telephone 301-294-8405.
THE 13TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL
Feb 12-13, 2007
New York City, New York
The W. Edwards Deming Institute and Fordham
University invite your
participation in The Thirteenth Annual International
Seminar, 12-13 February 2007 in New York City. The
Annual Research Seminar
brings together people from around the world, and
from a variety of
specialties, to develop an understanding of Dr.
Deming's theories in a
wide-ranging context. For a list of topics and
speakers from the last
Research Seminar, click here.
Fordham University at Lincoln Center
113 West 60th Street
New York, NY 10023
To register, please visit the Deming Cooperative website.
for Change Conference
An unprecedented conference bringing together
practitioners, researchers, leaders, activists, and
educators to advance participative change methods.
$299 Register Today! Click
Details - Hotel, Airline, Transport: Click
PDF of Conference Brochure: Click
Want a Brochure Mailed? Click
Our focus will be on leveraging the power of over
approaches being used to transform whole
organizations and communities as they tackle
Century Challenges. These approaches are broadly
referred to as large-group methods/interventions,
whole system change, or large-scale change. What
make them unique are two foundation assumptions:
high involvement and a systemic approach to
improvement. At this conference, we will be working
The NEXUS is an opportunity for us to transcend our
individual contributions and achieve something
bigger than we ever thought possible. We will not
know what "bigger" is until we get together.
- Address critical needs at local and global
- Expand the reach of the methods around the
- Design significant field research projects,
- Invent new tools, techniques, and applications,
- Incorporate technology to leverage existing
- Connect with others to form joint ventures,
- Innovate educational programs and courses,
- Craft a common language, and
- Articulate a platform for this body of work.
|Ideas to Ponder...
Passing Through 80", by Russell Ackoff...
For me there has never been an amount of money that
makes it worth doing something that is not fun. So
I'm going to recall the principal sources of the fun
that I have experienced. First, the fun derived
from denying the obvious and exploring the
consequences of doing so. In most cases, I have
found the obvious to be wrong. The obvious, I
discovered, is not what needs no proof, but what
people do not want to prove. I have been greatly
influenced by Ambrose Bierce's
definition of self-evident: "Evident to one's self
and to nobody else."
|Ackoff's F-Laws - Management Truths We Wish to Ignore
F-Laws: Management Truths We Wish To Ignore
Russell Ackoff has written a new book called F-Laws.
What is an "f-law?" According to Russell Ackoff:
f-LAWS are truths about organizations that we might
wish to deny or ignore - simple and more
reliable guides to managers' everyday behaviour than
the complex truths proposed by scientists,
economists, sociologists, politicians and
philosophers. A short
version of the book can be downloaded here.
Partners InThinking - Capital Quality Initiative
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...
Visit CQI on the web...
This month we are featuring the Capital Quality
CQI was started in 1991, merged
with Lansing Community College in 1995-1996 and has
been part of the college since then.
The mission of Capital Quality Initiative is to
provide learning opportunities that lead individuals
and organizations into continuous improvement of the
systems in which they live and work.
Our vision is of a community that is continuously
improving and a community that is an excellent place
to live, work and visit.
CQI values the dignity of the individual.
CQI values continuous learning for improving work
and life in the community.
CQI values the appreciation of a system.
CQI values the understanding of variation and what
it is trying to tell us.
How does your organization compliment the
We promote learning opportunities in quality and
continuous improvement. Basic values are aligned
with those 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 have individual members ($25 per year);
organizational memberships ($150 per year);
non-profit 501(c)3 organizations ($50 per year). You
can download a membership form on our web
site or contact us via phone 517-483-1363 or
What resources does your organization offer its
Discounts on monthly speaker programs; discounts on
quality related seminars; participation in Special
Interest Networks; ability to check out books,
videos and audio tapes from the CQI Library.
What exciting developments are on the horizon for
We have been celebrating our 15th anniversary all
this year, Jan-Dec 2006. We will be hosting the
Institute Seminar in April - How to Create
Unethical, Ineffective Organizations That Go Out of
Business (Many Organizations Do It, But Do You Know
How You Do It?).