In2:IN Newsletter
In2:InThinking Network May Newsletter


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 colleagues.

Why settle for the prevailing style of thought and action?

Be a leader. Improve your
thinking about thinking and your actions as well.

Passion Still Flowing In2 Purposeful Action
Special thanks to those network members who joined in for this year's Forum; we certainly enjoyed our time together.   For those who could not join us in person, we know you were with us in spirit.   Either way, please visit our growing photo gallery and review the posted presentations from our pre- and post-conference sessions, as well as our conference presenters.   Stay tuned for a special edition Forum newsletter, complete with Forum reflections, links to final copies of all presentations, and order information for this year's DVD package.
Member Profile - Elizabeth Topp
Elizabeth Topp
The Facts
I'm a Minnesota native, lived in Europe for two years, then began a career in the field of cross-cultural training, working with executive families moving internationally. I moved to California in 1998 to study transpersonal psychology. At present, I live in Southern California and have a coaching and consulting practice. I also teach yoga on the beach and am learning to surf!

In2:IN Forum Attendance
I am new to the In2:IN. This year was the first Forum I attended. Tracy Huston of Menlo Lab told me about the Forum, and I immediately jumped at the chance to attend the conference and discover a new community of like-minded thinkers applying systems principles to OD.

Tell us about a recent "a ha" moment
"Aha" moments come in waves for me: many at once or very few. I haven't had many lately, but was deeply moved by the power of music at the Forum. Music is universal and can be used to illustrate almost any concept. Kris Bergstrom of "On Ensemble" led the group and together we created music within a short period of time. It was an experience of teamwork with strong leadership in action.

What book(s) are you reading now?

The Definitive Drucker by Elizabeth Haas Edersheim. Also, Love & Honor by Randall Wallace (and about five other books).

What recent book have you read that you consider both beneficial and readable?
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. It's a short book about the spiritual principles of interconnectedness.

What advice do you have for people new to In2:IN?
Jump in. The people in this network are very kind, generous, and experienced. There is a lot to learn.
Deming Medal Awarded to Peter Scholtes

From a recent ASQ Press Release

Peter R. Scholtes
Deming Medal presented to Peter R. Scholtes
Madison, Wisconsin, for his efforts to inspire others to transform organizations by helping managers understand how successful leadership of people requires an understanding of the interdependencies among knowledge about variation, psychology, appreciation for a system, and the theory of knowledge. The Deming Medal is presented to those who, like Dr. Deming, have successfully combined the application of statistical thinking and management so that each supports and enhances the other, thus leading to quality in products and services.

Peter is the author of several books, including "The Leader's Handbook". The following is a quote from the book:

We look to the heroic efforts of outstanding individuals for our successful work. Instead we must create systems that routinely allow excellent work to result from the ordinary efforts of ordinary people.
Book Review - Presence
Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society
Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society

Peter M. Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers
Currency Doubleday
Length: 289 pages
Reviewer: Dale Deardorff

This book is a deep and challenging attempt to bring visibility to spirituality and to the heart of organizations and business enterprises. Presence is a "unique conversation" in book form between the authors presenting non traditional insights. It seeks to offer a series of messages which are holistic, positive and energizing but will be very challenging for readers who focus only on the reality of western culture.

The authors dialog and discussion is based around the premise of "your way"... what is it... when they say your name... that YOU bring to the table as a person and member of an organization. It is a summary of the individual skill sets, ways of thinking, actions and energy that makes up a person. This new, but also possibly living systems way of thinking proposes a 7-step "U Movement" plan to help move through Sensing, Presencing and Realizing. The seven steps from left to right are:

Suspending - seeing our seeing

Redirecting - seeing the whole

Letting Go

Letting Come

Crystallizing - envisioning what seeks to emerge

Prototyping - enacting living microsms

Institutionalizing - an embodying of the new

The "U Theory" starts with a downward movement along a U-diagram, leading the reader (as a person) away from known mental maps moving towards a higher sense of purpose. The bottom of the U-diagram (p. 219) is a state of Presence from which the reader can experience a higher possible future. This awareness moves us up on the other side of the U, into opportunities to establish new relationships and institutions. It could be said that the U-diagram is similar to a learning curve which represents a "Living Curve" which can influence our self. Others have pointed out that the U model is an application of "Wholeness" thru Goethean scientific methodology to the decision making process, no comment there but it provides a valuable insight into the nature of being and is easy to visualize.

"Presence" is unique in that Senge, Scharmer, Jaworski and Flowers have chosen to invite the reader along on their journey. This includes the dialog from scientists and business representatives that they interviewed about a theory on learning and living systems. These include personal discussions in a group conversational setting on personal enlightenment, the nature of mysticism, Taoism and Buddhism but the dialog is reapplied to contemporary western mindsets. The authors openly admit that this wisdom described throughout the ages and the great works in spiritual traditions reflect a lot of their ideas.

I think a simple point the authors are trying to make without overtly needing to state it is the influence of good spirit, music, art and experience on the formation of water crystals. These messages are around us but we may not hear or see them unless we use new ways. The photos on pages 242 thru 245 show the work of Masaru Emoto in Japan documenting the transformation of water crystals that have been imaged by magnetic resonance. A key point to the material is the philosophy that "the interdependency of the universe extends from the micro to the macro, from the visible to the invisible." Definitely a yin-yang approach to a mindset which proposes that "love is the only emotion that can expand intelligence."

This book is extremely beneficial to anyone openly interested in the process of deepening collective learning. It also expands the development of Leadership and Management concepts and opens honest dialog among the authors on embracing individual, business and social change. The material content requires the reader to cognitively open up and partially understand areas that they may have no experience or awareness in - if you're willing to extend yourself in this way the material on Presence can be life changing.

Partner Events and Resources

Deming Transformation Forum 2007 ~ Creating a Culture of Innovation, May 22-24

3 days of the year that will change the other 362!

Come to the Transformation Forum 2007 and learn about the key disciplines underlying every successful transformation. It is this perspective and knowledge that focuses the people and change activity and enables the whole organisation to work successfully together. Don't blame the tools ~ get the knowledge.

So what is transformation? A transformed organisation will have a profoundly different approach to managing its processes, its people and its relationships. It will understand its customers in a new way and will use an understanding of variation to learn, innovate and drive lasting improvements. It will confront and challenge leaders, managers, staff and ultimately the entire business culture. The new mindset will raise the organisation to a new richer level, and enable it to stay ahead.

Over 3 days you can learn the principles of the Deming Management method and hear amazing international thinkers and practitioners.  
Find out more about the Deming UK Forum

Systems Thinking: A Language for Learning and Action ~
Special Event, July 23-25

Albie Merrill (The Boeing Company) and N'Shama Sterling (SterlingDynamics), the premiere instructors of
Innovation Associates' systems thinking course in the Pacific Northwest, are offering this course for the first time in southern California. This is being offered through Boeing for employees and non-Boeing participants.  To register and/or find out about non-Boeing pricing information, contact Albie.

The tools and methods of this approach to systems thinking will be applied to real issues and problems generated from the course participants.

This course will increase your capacity to:

  • amplify the impact of Lean, Six-Sigma, and other improvement initiatives
  • understand how we sub-optimize our ability to be successful
  • make effective decisions that deliver improved results
  • impact individual and collective behavior and actions to get what we want
  • describe critical business issues as a set of interrelationships
  • gain insight to make systemically informed decisions

To find out more about the course, contact Albie.

Thinking, Learning, and Working Together
Two recent news stories serve as reminders of the value and challenges of team work, including living together, in the 21st century.

The first story is an emerging account of efforts by U.S. intelligence agencies to foster standardization and collaboration by their newly hired intelligence analysts.   The aim is to get them thinking beyond the boundaries of their own agency as well as encouraging them to adopt standard (cross-agency) practices.  Included in the list of 16 intelligence agencies working together on this "Analysis 101" effort are the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).   Follow this link to an audio report on this news story from National Public Radio.

The second story is a reminder that sometimes the total is more than the sum of the parts and others times it's less.   A reminder, of course, that the sum of 1 and 1 depends on the nature of the relationship.  The case in point is a pro-independence movement in Scotland, led by those who believe their part is worth more separate from England than remaining connected to it after 300 years through the Act of Union.   Follow this link to an Los Angeles Times editorial on these developments.   Follow this link to the perspective of a member of the Scottish "Independence First" movement.

In This Issue
Member Profile - Elizabeth Topp
Deming Medal
Book Review
Partner Events and Resources
OD Preview
de Bono: World Council
DLN - Thought of the Month
Quick Links
Signup Block
Ongoing Discussion Preview

The Ongoing Discussion (OD) for April will feature Chris Soderquist of Pontifex Consulting.

On Thursday and Friday, May 24th and 25th, Chris will engage us in a dialogue on the topic of "
An Integral Approach to Organizational Guidance."

This month's OD announcement will be released on or before Friday, May 18th.   

For those readers not already on the OD mailing list - click below...

World Council for New Thinking 

On February 14th, the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune published full-page advertisements for Edward de Bono's World Council for New Thinking.   According to Daniela Bartoli, the council's Project Manager for Idea Development, "the response to the adverts has been overwhelmingly positive.  The notion of this being a timely initiative has permeated almost all the mails and calls received. The level of mails, received from many countries all over the world, reflect a wish for New Thinking to indeed become more visible and viable and to be able to participate in the neutral channel that is promoting  this. Initially, this will be carried out mainly through email communication and from August 2007 also through Intranet platforms...

As a first activity members of the League of New Thinkers are being asked to send in a priority list of 10 areas, in the field of global concerns, that in their opinion require New Thinking."

Go to the council website for additional information on Edward's vision, as well as to register to join.

Deming Learning Network -
Thought of the Month

These items are contributed by Gordon Hall of the
Deming Learning Network in Aberdeen, Scotland.

How do Society, Organisations and Individuals Learn?   

There are, surely, two underlying themes when talking about deep learning:

1. That learning is a disciplined process where we identify our underlying assumptions, are prepared to challenge those assumptions and put any alternatives to rigorous testing.

2. That we live and work within systems. The need to understand those systems so that we (the Individual, The Organisation and Society) can address their continual improvement.

The above implies a willingness to experiment.  How willing are our organisations to experiment - have one division managed from different underlying assumptions?
And how good are we at learning from success elsewhere? ("Copying without the aid of theory may lead to disaster" - W. Edwards Deming)
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