Check out our new calendar of events here.
And, while you're at it, download our 2007
Screen Saver, mind-crafted for your desk tops by
members of this year's Forum Planning Team.
This newsletter is prepared monthly by volunteers of
the In2:InThinking Network. Content comes from
volunteers. We invite you to further develop our
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 - Tony Droar
Meet Tony Droar, a member of a small, but growing,
group of inthinkers who are employed as "thinking
consultants" in public service.
I am currently an internal business/management
consultant with West
Sussex County Council – branch
of local government in the South of England. I work
in Chichester which is about 7 miles from where I
live. I have been at the Council for about 7 years.
Prior to this, I worked in both the public and
private sectors, including IBM UK, ICL/Fujitsu, and
as a Principal Lecturer in the Management School at
I have a first degree in physics, which is now part
of the dim and distant past, though intriguingly I
am finding that many ideas from physics are
infiltrating the world of organisations and
management! And somewhat more recently I have a
Masters in Occupational Psychology. For leisure, I
am a keen sportsman and play badminton regularly,
and I thoroughly enjoy walking especially in the
countryside. This sounds very serious! I also enjoy
good food, good wine, and good conversations with
my friends and family – great fun!
One of my recent assignments at work has been
concerned with improving the "well-being" of older
people. This has involved the use of knowledge
cafes, which are a tremendous tool for engaging with
people, and an "open
space" systems event at which
both suppliers and users got together to design more
Another assignment has been investigating knowledge
and learning among professional advisors to schools.
One of the outcomes has been a series of "learning
days". We have run two so far with number 3 planned
for March 2007.
And lastly, I also coach in a number of situations
both inside and outside work. This is primarily
personal development related rather than sports!
So I have a very full and active life – and it is great!
Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to
attend the In2:IN forum - so far! I am, however, a
regular attendee of the Deming Forum
held annually in the UK - and at which I first met
Tell us about a recent "a ha" moment.
It have become very aware, (again!), of the
tremendous impact that our value systems, thinking
styles and conceptual processes have on the way
that we see the world and interact with it. Also
how our predominant way of "communicating" with
others is through advocacy rather than enquiry.
Being as much part of and influenced by our culture
as anyone I know how difficult is can be to explore
another's world view rather than try to persuade
them of mine. I have also experienced how "walking
in another's shoes" can produce a profound shift.
This has happened a number of times on a recent
short course on partnership working that I have
co-facilitated on – both to myself and many of the
delegates – and
what magic learning!
What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading Why
Should Anyone Be Led by You?, by Robert Goffee
and Gareth Jones and I am finding it interesting to
reflect on what I am experiencing compared with the
themes of the book.
What recent book have you read that you
consider both beneficial and readable?
I don’t very often read books right through,
Exploring Profound Change in People, Organizations,
and Society by Peter Senge, Joseph Jaworski,
Otto Scharmer, and Betty Sue Flowers is a recent
exception. Very thought provoking and challenging!
Has enormous implications about how we “manage”
change both individually and organisationally.
Slightly longer ago I read Paulo Coelho’s The
a fable about following your dream –
beautiful evocative language and a story as old as
time – thoroughly enjoyed it!
What advice do you have for people new to
The wealth of knowledge that is brought together via
the network is awe inspiring – drink a deep as you
can from this well!
Are there any questions that we should add to
member profile? If so, please provide us with the
question(s) and your answer(s).
Continuing the theme around the influence of our
values and concepts on our world view, I recently
gave a presentation on the conceptual framework
bequeathed to us by Isaac Newton and others -
another link with the world of physics! This
framework could be summarised as reductionism,
predictability, objective reality and machine
metaphor, and appear to be deeply embedded in the
way we view organisations.
These assumptions are in many cases below the level
of consciousness, and largely unchallenged. How can
we bring these much more to the surface and
facilitate much greater debate about their impact?
In2:IN has a major part to play.
|Member Highlight - Reta Anderson
Meet Reta Anderson, our first featured member from
Boeing's Huntington Beach campus and a 2-time Forum
I'll relate my words here to how thinking
differently has always served me well. When they
told me I could not hope to do certain things
because I was a girl, I was determined to prove them
wrong. When they said women are not "technically
oriented" I had to prove the wrong. When they said
that I'd always stand on the outside looking in, I
had to show them I'd not only make it to the inside,
but once there, I'd rearrange all the furniture,
paint the walls and put in a new door. I live in
Norwalk, CA with my partner of 11 years. At age 57, I
am about to become a mother for the first time.
We're adopting two children from right here in the
good ol' USA. I enjoy building with Legos, taking
things apart and putting them back together, and
making up stories for kids. I mentor a couple of
college students and occasionally spend time at
In2:IN Forum Attendance. In which years, if any,
did you attend our Forum and what inspired you to
Gosh, I think it's been about four or five years ago
now. A colleague told me about it when I asked about
his Six Thinking Hats poster.
Tell us about a recent "a ha" moment.
Well, at my age I get a lot of these but mostly when
trying to influence a large population's thinking
about the LGBT community of which I am a member.
Constantly looking for ways to change people's minds
about topics like gay marriage is always a fun
pasttime and I've recently come up with a few good
ideas I plan to put into practice this year.
What book(s) are you reading now?
Truth About Muhammad by Robert Spencer and
the Communications Skills Book by Matthew McKay,
Martha Davis, and Patrick Fanning.
What recent book have you read that you consider
both beneficial and readable?
Like Your Hair's on Fire, by Rafe Esquith. I
thought this was an exceptionally good read because
it shows how unconventional methods lead to
unconventionally great results.
What advice do you have for people new to
Learn all you can about training your mind to think
differently and be open to new ideas. If nothing
else, it has helped me think about thinking in a
whole new way and enhance my already strange and
wonderful way of looking at the world.
|The Fifth Annual Russell Ackoff Lectures - Postponed
Previously announce plans for Russell Ackoff's
return to both the Huntington Beach campus of The
Boeing Company and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's
Canoga Park campus have been postponed until later
in the year.
|Book Review - My Secret Life on the McJob
My Secret Life on the McJob
Author: Jerry Newman
Length: 194 pages
Reviewer: Dale Deardorff
This fun, quick read offers a super sleuth inside
look at Leadership and management practices in the
fast food environment and culture drawn from Dr.
Newman's own personal experiences. His insights and
perspective's as a college instructor working for
minimum wage in a variety of fast food
establishments brings back my own personal high
school memories. For me it was a 2-3 week stint at
an A&W restaurant in the summer of 1973. For Newman
it was a series of ethnographic case study secrets
available today at Arby's, McDonalds, Burger King,
Krystal and Wendy's fast food restaurants.
His research was conducted under a wide range of
conditions but he did try to limit his research bias
and was completely honest concerning his own
limitations and challenges as a 50+ adult male
ex-college instructor looking for employment in a
typically younger trade. One critical point Newman
made was that discrimination was non existent in
these situation but jobs were assigned to those they
were best suited to for optimizing the production
and presentation of food....especially during the
The diary type narrative establishes descriptions
for (4) four types of managers:
1. The Toxic Manager – Uses sarcasms and disrespect
to indicate when they are unhappy.
2. The Mechanical Manager – Goes thru the motions
but does not really want to be there.
3. The Relationship Manager – Builds relationships
& demonstrates caring about other individuals
4. The Performance Manager – Clarifies expectations
and removes ambiguity about individual performance.
A key point of this book lies in the author's
clarification about embracing diversity – "it's
about recognizing, accommodating and gaining from
individual differences in physical attributes and
differences in viewpoint." This insight translates
directly into how "One size fits all" learning and
training do not take into account the differences in
individual styles for hearing, seeing or doing.
Anyone involved in leading or managing people,
especially those working in the capacity of
management of teams or groups can gain insights
about creating the Social Web. This Web is based
upon the creation and maintenance of social
relationships whose glue is "Friendship". Basic
motivation is also explored, including the classic
Pen Company style of punishing employees for
This McJob book also clarifies the importance of
listening to others. There are many examples of
process steps which were altered, changed or
modified to optimize the performance desired which
were ignored by management suggestions. The clarity
that management domination of thinking forcing
others ideas to be ignored has been explored in many
The book focuses on what is critical to all
restraint performance – the Lunch Rush – which if
never witnessed is a snapshot into what it must be
like to work in an ER during a repeatable emergency
on a daily basis. Roles are shifted to optimize the
team, communication changes to only what is
essential at the moment and the controlled chaos is
waited out until if disappears as quickly as it
McJob will help anyone in establishing a palette of
tasty leadership and teambuilding traits to use as
reminders to better understand how to communicate
and inspire people at any level. It makes me wonder
what secrets my mailman or newspaper delivery boy
may know that I don't!
|Ongoing Discussion Preview - Sheldon Rovin
The Ongoing Discussion (OD) for February will
feature Sheldon Rovin, Emeritus Professor of
Healthcare Systems at the University of
Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.
On Thursday and Friday,
February 22nd and 23rd, Sheldon will engage us
in a dialogue on the topic of "Boundary-less
Thinking" (There are boundaries, but most of them
come from you!)
This month's OD announcement will be released on or
before Friday, February 16th.
For those readers not already on the OD mailing list
- click below.
|Thoughts from the Deming Learning Network
Contributed by Gordon Hall of the Deming Learning
Network in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Quotation from The
Human Side of Enterprise by
"An equally important reason for management's
failure to make effective use of current social
science knowledge has to do with misconception
concerning the nature of control in the field of
human behaviour. In engineering, control consists in
adjustment to natural law. It does not mean making
nature do our bidding. We do not for example dig
channels in the expectation that water will run
uphill; we do not use kerosene to put out fires
........ In the human field the situation is the
same, but we often dig channels to make water flow
uphill. Many of our attempts to control behaviour,
far from representing selective adaptations, are in
direct violation of human nature. They consist in
trying to make people behave as we wish without
concern for natural law. Yet we can no more expect
to achieve desired results through inappropriate
action in this field than in Engineering."
And in the conclusion of his book McGregor hopes:
"The purpose of this volume is not to entice
management to choose sides over Theory X or Theory
Y. It is, rather, to encourage the realisation that
theory is important, to urge management to examine
its assumptions and make them explicit. In doing so
it will open the door to the future. The possible
result could be developments during the next decades
with respect to the human side of enterprise
comparable to those that have occurred in technology
during the past half century."
We did not succeed in meeting McGregor's challenge
in the 1960s - can we respond in the early parts of
the 21st century?
|Making a Difference from Where We Are...
Many of our "Network Members" pride themselves in
making a positive difference in the world.
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.
Russell Ackoff was recently
presented with an honorary doctorate from Hull
Follow this link to a video
clip of a Hull University lecture delivered by Russ.
Follow this link
to a BBC business report on "Ackoff's f-Laws"
Follow this link
to a related interview in the Daily Telegraph
Follow this link
to a related article in Management Today
|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, Rick
Searfoss, Sheldon Rovin, and Lyn Wiltse.
Watch this spot for coming Forum
Stay tuned for our announcement of the opening of
|Forum Scholarship News
It is with great appreciation and excitement that
the In2:InThinking Network announces the inaugural
Russell L. Ackoff In2:InThinking Scholarship,
established by Metalex Manufacturing founder and CEO
Werner Kummerle. This annual scholarship, in the
amount of $1000, is established to honor the immense
and diverse contributions of Dr. Ackoff in the areas
of systems thinking, creativity, and management –
and various combinations thereof – over many years
and in many areas, always delivered with grace,
humor, and the utmost respect for people who work in
organizations. The In2:InThinking Network feels
incredibly fortunate to have both Werner Kummerle
and Russell Ackoff as friends, supporters, and most
importantly, participants. Metalex Manufacturing is
a Forum Partner – Werner, his wife, and daughter and
son all attended the 2006 Forum. Russ has attended
several Forums as a speaker and guest of the
Network, and has appeared twice as Thought Leader
for Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's Enterprise Thinking
Network's monthly Ongoing Discussion teleconferences.
This scholarship, in the tradition of In2:InThinking
Network Forum scholarships, is meant to enable
someone to attend the Forum, for the first time, who
might not otherwise be aware of or be exposed to the
Network and its resources and goals.
Stay tuned for scholarship details in our
forthcoming registration announcement.
|Partner Events and Resources
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.
California KM Cluster is colonizing the
theme of "Collective Intelligence Networks" on February
22 at Pepperdine satellite campus at LAX.
Join NASA, MIT, Cisco and others investigating Next
Practices, methods, tools and techniques of CI Networks.
All are welcome. Secure, online registration in
advance required. There is no onsite registration.
Clusters are open, non-commercial, not for-profit.
For additional information, contact Sarah Jones,
Colabria Cluster Registrar by email at
email@example.com, phone at 978-468-0267, or fax at
|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
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.
|Ideas to Ponder...
a Living System, Not a Ledger, by Tom Johnson...
"It's hard for Americans to understand the idea that
a business organization cannot improve its long-run
financial results by working to improve its
financial results. But the only way to ensure
satisfactory and stable longterm financial results
is to work on improving the system from which those
results emerge. That is what Toyota has always done,
and that is what most discussions of "lean" ignore."
|Video Offer - From Mechanistic to Social Systemic Thinking, by Russell Ackoff
Members of the In2:InThinking Networks may purchase
this classic video—newly available on DVD—for just
$59 through February 28 (a 40% savings!). Use
priority code THINKACKOFF when you place your order
This package includes a digest of the talk in PDF
Order #V9303D, Length: 73 minutes
Description: Have we completely shed the Machine Age
habits of mind that draw us into reductive problem
solving as opposed to creative problem dissolving?
In its striking clarity, Russell Ackoff’s seminal
from the 1993 Pegasus Conference endures as a
reinforcement of our growing instinct to embrace new
patterns of thought and action better suited to the
complexities of today and tomorrow. View clip
|Video Offer - Deming Video Library and Better Management for a Changing World, with Russell Ackoff
In addition to our Russell Ackoff video offer from
Pegasus Communications, we have a video offer from
our friends at CC-M and ManagementWisdom.com,
producers of the Deming Video Library.
A Theory of a System for Educators and Managers,
Volume 21 of The Deming Library. Features Russell
Ackoff meeting with W. Edwards Deming. Members of
the In2:InThinking Network can purchase this DVD
(or VHS tape)
for $60 (a $50 discount)
until June 1.
In addition, this offer includes "Better
Management for Changing World,"
interviewed by Clare Crawford-Mason. Network
members can purchase this 4-volume set for $240 (a
$200 discount) until June 1. Volume details follow
Volume 1 - The New World View
Volume 2 - The Big Picture
Volume 3 - The New Leadership
Volume 4 - Doing the Right Thing Right
|Book Offer - Management f-Laws: How Organizations Really Work
Network members are also invited to order copies
of Russell Ackoff's latest book, "Management
f-Laws," from Triarchy Press and receive a 10%
discount off of the £20 list price for this
Partners InThinking - Orange County Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs
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 the OC Chapter of the NSHMBA on the web...
This month we are featuring the Orange County
Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs
The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) was
created in 1988 as a 501(C)(3) non-profit
organization. Widely known as the "Premier Hispanic
Organization," NSHMBA serves 29 chapters and 6,000
members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. It exists to
foster Hispanic leadership through graduate
management education and professional development.
NSHMBA works to prepare Hispanics for leadership
positions throughout the U.S., so that they can
provide the cultural awareness and sensitivity vital
in the management of the nation’s diverse workforce.
Contact NSHMBA by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 877.467.4622,
How does your organization compliment the
NSHMBA's vision is to foster leadership through
graduate management education and professional
development. Like In2:IN, NSHMBA assists in the
development of business professionals in the public,
private and academic sectors, and small business.
Tell us about your membership. What does it mean
to be a member of your organization and how does one
become a member?
In today’s fast paced business environment, we offer
members the resources, information and support you
will need to reach their career goals. Our members
have unlimited access to a wealth of national and
local level resources, including communications and
networking interaction with peers and business
leaders. We have more than 7,600 members in 29
chapters across the United States and Puerto Rico.
What resources does your organization offer its
We offer a range of professional development
opportunities, including our National Conference and
Career Expo, networking, local events, leadership
development opportunities to serve on our local and
national boards, and a range of member discounts.
What exciting developments are on the horizon for
We have a number of efforts underway, including
education programs which prepare Hispanics for
admittance into graduate management schools,
professional development and the establishment of a
professional development center of excellence, and
leadership development, including a program for our
officers and staff enables.