In2:InThinking Network June 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?
Be a leader.
Improve your
thinking about thinking.

Member Profiles - Paul Hollingworth & Yuri Rubanik

  The Facts:
Paul Hollingworth (left)
I am lucky enough to live in the beautiful City of York in England. I have a background in Industrial Engineering but worked as a senior manager in Government and Finance Sector before becoming an independent management adviser in 1992. I was introduced to Dr. Deming in the late 1980's. This changed my world view and I rapidly became regular contributor to the work of the British Deming Association (BDA). I met Yuri Rubanik at the 1992 Deming Four-Day Seminar in London and at the following BDA study weekend, Dr. Deming suggested that I help Dr. Rubanik to establish the Russian Deming Association. To do this, I traveled regularly to Russia between 1993 and 1996, delivered seminars in Moscow and Siberia and was awarded an honorary Professorship in Moscow.
It has been my privilege to have helped thousands of managers across Europe and Russia to learn and apply Deming's system of Profound Knowledge.

In2:IN Forum Attendance
I attended the In2:IN Forum in California in 2003 and gave a presentation entitled
"What's Hot, What's Not and What's Next?"  This Forum was a real example of joy in learning. Tom Johnson's presentation that year was one of the best I have ever seen. I look forward to being invited back!

Tell us about a recent "a ha" moment.
A recent "a ha" moment occurred whilst preparing my presentation for the recent UK Transformation Forum. This concerned the structure of G. I. Gurdjieff's enneagram. The "a ha" itself is far too complicated to explain here but it did serve to remind me that one of the best ways to really deepen your understanding of something is to prepare yourself to teach it to someone else.

What book(s) are you reading now?
Currently reading "The Puritan Gift" by the Hopper brothers. An astute chronology of American management methods and their impact. Highly recommended to anyone who wishes to understand how things got to be the way they are in America today.

What recent book have you read that you consider both beneficial and readible?

"The Leadership Dance" Richard N Knowles. This book is the story Dick Knowles' personal journey of organizational transformation within the DuPont Group.

What advice do you have for people new to In2:IN?
My advice for people new to In2:IN is to 'work on yourself' - there is no better place to start.

The Facts: Yuri Rubanik (right)
I live in Moscow, Russia.  My background is in electronics; I have a Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees. I taught at the Moscow I
nstitute of Electronic Engineering from 1978 to 1995 and was introduced to the work of Dr. Deming by members of British Deming Association. I helped to translate books on Deming theory and systems thinking into Russian language (including "Out of The Crisis") and was founder member of Russian Deming Association in 1993. Since 1996, I have worked as a professor in business schools and as an independent management consultant throughout Russia. In 2000, I was invited to serve as a professor for a Total Quality Management class at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth (3 month assignment).

In2:IN Forum Attendance
I have not yet been fortunate to attend.

Tell us about a recent "a ha" moment.
Whilst reading James Scott's book ("Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed") I realised all governing bodies have to over-simplify a living system and by doing this they strip the system of the abililty for self-development. The secret of successful management is to make manageable as few things as possible and leave the rest of complexity to take care of itself.

What book(s) are you reading now?
James Scott's "Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed"

What recent book have you read that you consider both beneficial and readible?
"One Small Step Can Change Your Life The Kaizen Way" - by Robert Maurer

What person has most influenced your life?
In my case, this would be Dr. Deming.

Partners InThinking - SoL

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 Society for Organizational Leaning, SoL.

The Facts:  SoL is a nonprofit global membership organization dedicated to creating and sharing knowledge about fundamental innovation and change. An outgrowth of the Center for Organizational Learning at MIT, SoL was co-founded by Peter Senge, author of the groundbreaking bestseller, "The Fifth Discipline", in 1997.

How does your organization compliment the In2:InThinking Network?   SoL is an intentional learning community composed of organizations, individuals, and local SoL communities around the world. A not-for-profit, member-governed corporation, SoL is devoted to the interdependent development of people and their institutions in service of inspired performance and meaningful results. SoL serves as a space in which individuals and institutions can create together that which they cannot create alone.

Tell us about your membership. What does it mean to be a member of your organization and how does one become a member?   SoL seeks to engage people who want to develop their capacity to create organizations and communities worthy of their members' commitment. We are researchers, practitioners, and capacity builders working to create a shared knowledge base of theory, tools, and practical know-how.   When you join SoL as a Connections member you gain access to this knowledge base. You are also invited to join a community that values confronting and challenging traditional mental frameworks in order to achieve significant personal and organizational change and make a difference in the world. Together we are developing the capacity to think and act differently in pursuit of remarkable results.   Join today at

What resources does your organization offer its members?  
--One-year subscription to Reflections: the SoL Journal, including monthly articles in electronic format and an annual compilation of these articles in hard copy.
--Online access to all current and past issues of Reflections.
--The opportunity to comment on feature articles on the Reflections website.
--Access to contributed articles posted on the Reflections website.
--Special offers from SoL partners including discounted event registrations and products
--The SoL FLASH, SoL's quarterly e-newsletter with pointers to important developments in the field of organizational learning as well as timely updates on SoL community news and events.
--Access to SoL's online member directory, and the ability to create a personal profile in the directory to connect with others who share a common interest in organizational learning and change.
--Access to select documents in SoL's online library, which contains organizational learning resources co-created by SoL and members of the SoL community.
--Discounts on SoL events and courses.

What exciting developments are on the horizon for your organization?
SoL "Academy on Wheels" planned for the week of September 24th in Detroit.

A recent marketing study involving SoL's member organizations and potential member organizations indicated that more and shorter length opportunities for capacity building in locations other than Boston are sorely needed. In response to this need and in celebration of SoL's 10th anniversary, we plan to offer SoL's "Academy on Wheels" (working title) to expand our offerings to current and potential members. This event has been initiated by SoL's Fundraising Committee in cooperation with SoL's Council of Trustees. DTE, one of our long-time member organizations, will host the initial session in Detroit during the week of September 24, 2007. We expect other sessions to follow in 2008.

In looking forward to 2012, the council has identified three major goal areas: increasing organizational participation in SoL, an expansion of product offerings and an increase in working capital. This prototype event is in support of all three.

This week-long event will consist of an array of half-day and full-day electives offered by SoL members. Registrants can participate for as little as a half-day session and as much as the entire week. We expect to run multiple concurrent sessions.

This event is also a fundraiser. Our goal is to net $50,000 from this first event.

We plan to open registration for this event in early June, The final design of the Academy on Wheels will be determined by the end of May based on input from DTE and representatives of SoL's organizational membership committee, product development committee and fund-raising committee.

Book Review - Web of Life
Web of Life
Web of Life

Fritjof Capra
Publisher: Anchor Books
Length: 347 pages
Reviewer: Dale Deardorff

Anyone with a systems thinking background and thirst for knowledge will find this complex book to be filled with "nuggets of gold," leading to a deep and powerful understanding of the Web of Life.  Unlike other quick reads, this book requires you to take your time with its digestion and really think about the subjects and material provided.  Althought some may try, reading it in one sitting is not possible, as many readers will want to research the words and phrases described about the ongoing paradigm shift in science.  The book is filled with specific examples and clarifications of how this new scientific understanding is found in Networks, Entropy, Energy, Living Systems, Systems Thinking,
Biological, Social and Environmental Theories. Readers who enjoyed Capra's "Tao of Physics" or "The Turning Point" will find this book to be a great stepping stone into new and unique ideas that are thoughtfully presented. The author weaves together numerous theories that seem unrelated such as examples from Thermodynamics to Complexity and Chaos Theory.

Capra has described the system as "an integrated whole whose essential properties arise from the relationships between its parts." He goes on to further explain the need to understand that the "Web of Life" needs to be viewed as "a whole that is more than the sum of its parts."  Systems Thinking proposes a context of a larger "whole" interpreted by an interconnected blended synthesis of new scientific, mathematical, and biological discoveries. These discoveries have been exposed in sections of single context of connectedness among established theories, paradigms and ideas associated with bifurcation, cybernetics, tektology, feedback loops, nonlinear mathematics (including chaos theory, hypercycle, and anthropocentric systems and networks. Capra stresses that humans are included in this Self-Organizing network and cannot live separate from the earth's environment. All members of an ecological community are interconnected in a vast and intricate network of relationships, which we call the "Web of Life."

The author also explains the importance of autopoieses, which is the organization of the living referred to as "self-making." The material is further developed by the Chilean neuroscientists Huberto Maturana and Franciso Varela (a former student of Maturana), autopoieses is a general pattern of organization that is common to all living things regardless of the nature and make-up of their components (or composite structure).  Maturana explains "living systems are cognitive systems, and living as a process is a process of cognition."  To elaborate further, the author sees living systems-organisms, social systems, and ecosystems and completely connected. If an astronaut viewed the earth from space they would recognize a complete system of atmospheric, geological and aquatic systems linked together in a cycle of life. When asked the very complex question of "what is life?"
Capra simply answers that it is "Something made up of pattern and structure."

There are many illustrations and diagrams for models that describe feedback loops, networks of enzymes, dissipative structures, patterns of hexagonal Benard cells, Belousov-Zhabotinskii reactions, Oceanic algae, an evolutionary Daisyworld, an Ueda attractor, fractal geometry and Julia sets. If you have never heard of any of these the book is worth reading just to find out what they look like to create a cognitive roadmap for the reader.  The Web of Life opens up many possibilities and cognitive ah-ha's while at the same time captivating first time readers with a constant positive exposure to Systems Theory.

Book Review - Mastering Statistical Process Control
Mastering SPC
Mastering Statistical Process Control

Author: Tim Stapenhurst

Publisher: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann
Length: 437 pages
Reviewer: Gordon Hall

This book is just such good fun. It is fun for those of us who enjoy looking at numbers and seeing what knowledge we can glean from the data. Tim introduces the basic theory behind SPC and then draws you in through the case studies. In reading the case studies you find yourself jumping the gun and forming your own interpretation of the data, only for Tim to gently open out your thinking and have you view the information in a different light.
Personally, I think this book is essential reading for all managers who are required to interpret data - which is of course all of us. Is it not vital that our managers develop an enjoyment playing with numbers so that they secure real knowledge from the information that is made available to them?

Contact Tim Stapenhurst, Network member, with questions or comments.
Decision Making in Red Pen Companies - Are We Too Dumbed Down?
Guardian Unlimited
Here's yet another account of the consequences of Red Pen Companies, environments known for what W. Edwards Deming referred to as the "prevailing style of management."  In a recent column in the Guardian, columnist Simon Caulkin provides ample evidence of what happens when workers and managers operate in fear.   Says Caulkin, "a reader lamented that managers had forgotten how to manage: their first reaction was to look for packaged solutions that offloaded responsibility for anything difficult on to someone else. This resonated with the observation by a council chief executive that young managers were so reliant on targets they had become incapable of managing without them. Confronted by the need to use judgment, they were at a loss."  

Follow this link to the full article and a reminder of the losses to society resulting from Red Pen Companies.
Louisville Slugger - Hitting the Target
Louisville SluggerThe May edition of Reliable Plant magazine includes an article of great interest to Network members who are both die-hard baseball fans and followers of W. Edwards Deming.   In it, readers will learn that Toyota's operation in Georgetown is not the only organization in Kentucky to be inspired by Deming's management theories.   The home of the "Louisville Slugger," the Hillerich & Bradsby Company (located in Louisville) has been putting Deming's ideas into practice since 1984, when CEO (and Network member) Jack Hillerich attended his first Deming Four-Day Seminar.    According to Jack, "We went to Deming's seminar, and he didn't talk about the quality of our product - not for one second. He talked about staying in business. He talked about the fact that if you don't change, you won't succeed and you won't be here tomorrow.  And, he talked about quality of management.   We were thinking that we needed to make our products a little bit better with more quality. We came away thinking that we needed to improve the overall quality of our company."

Follow the link in the image above to read the entire article.
In This Issue
Partners InThinking
Too Dumbed Down?
Louisville Slugger
A Day With Russell Ackoff
At Work in the Community Radio Program
2007 Forum DVD Set
Ongoing Discussion Preview

The Ongoing Discussion (OD) for June will feature Jon Bergstrom in place of Rick Searfoss.  Rick is unable to join us due to a late change in his plans.

On Thursday and Friday, June 28th and 29th, Jon will engage us in a dialogue on the topic of "Recognizing

Our Own Power."

This month's OD announcement will be released on or before Friday, June 22nd.   

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

Ideas to Ponder...

"The chief cause of problems is solutions to earlier problems."

Eric Sevareid
1912-1992, American Broadcast Journalist

"Everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was."

Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson
1850-1895, Scottish Essayist, Poet, Novelist

Russ Ackoff's Blog
Russ Ackoff
Check out the Ackoff Center Blog for the latest feedback from Russ Ackoff and his Ackoff Center colleagues.
A Day With Russell Ackoff
Watching Russ Ackoff on video is the next best thing to seeing him live.  On November 29, 2000, he delivered a one-day lecture at Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago.   This lecture was was made possible by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Motorola, the Justice Web Collaboratory, Chicago-Kent College of Law and the Cook County Bureau of Public Safety and Judicial Coordination.   Among the topics discussed by Russ are: 
  • The history and application of systems thinking
  • How do social systems allow us to understand and overcome long term problems in today's environment?
  • How can you effect change within the system in which YOU play a role?
Follow the link in the image above to enjoy this archived live broadcast.

Deming Learning Network
Thought of the Month

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

Experiment: In the world of science we have always learnt through experiment. To what extend do our organisations learn from experiment with new management concepts? There are innovative projects that achieve significant improvements - but how well do organisations learn from these projects? What we observe is that in the majority of situations the management thinking reverts back to the status quo once the leader of the project moves on.
Business School Management -  Uniformity 101:
I have also meet several highly knowledgeable Professors that head up the business schools of their University. But then I observed that all the Universities (in Scotland anyway) are managed in the same way. I wanted to ask if each university tapped into the knowledge of their own business school and develop their own unique style of management - but the answer is NO - they are all the same and use what we would term as old command and control theories. Why are our universities not all managed differently, tapping into the unique knowledge they have within their walls. Would this not be a fantastic source of learning, not only for the University but also for the country as a whole? Why is there such a concern that everything has to be the same across an organisation - a uniform way of doing things? Does this aim not stifle innovation and learning?
Making a Difference...
Ellis Rovin is making a difference from where he is.   The nine-year old grandson of Network member Sheldon Rovin (OD Thought Leader in February and 2007 Forum presenter) may be remembered by Forum attendees as an energetic member of the Kid Flix DVD "CREW."

Ellis recently collected his systemic thoughts on the topic of "How Music Brings Us Together."   His prize-winning essay follows below:

Music is an international language.  For example, there could be a Dutch musician and a Chinese person, and the Dutch person could play happy music and the Chinese person would know the music is happy.  Music brings us together because we have music festivals and friends and family can come together and dance.  The last way music brings us together is that if two people like the same music they may become friends.  Music takes away differences that we couldn't do ourselves.

Well said, Ellis.

In2:InThinking Wear/Where - From Russia With Love...
John Pourdehnad in Red Square
This new feature covers news of Network members and their efforts to make a difference, complete with their In2:IN Wear.

John Pourdehnad (OD Thought Leader in April and 2007 Forum presenter) was recently invited to Russia to meet with graduate students at the Tomsk State University (TSU) in Siberia, one of the oldest universities in Russia.  Included in his tour was a stop in Moscow, where he made a fashion statement, not to mention a political statement, with his In2:InThinking Network polo shirt.

The invitation for an 8-day visit to Tomsk was from Professor Felix Tarasenko the dean of the International school of Management at the Tomsk State University.   By the way, they offer a formidable program in systems thinking, teaching the two latest books of Russ Ackoff translated by the dean himself!    For history buffs, Tomsk State University was founded on May 28, 1878, by the imperial command of Alexander II.  It was the first higher educational institution in the Asian part of Russia. Today more than 23,000 students, 700 postgraduates and 100 students working towards doctoral degrees study at TSU.

TSU holds the fifth position in Russian universities, placing after Moscow State University, St. Petersburg State University, Russian University of International Friendship, and the Moscow Institute of Applied Physics. 
Johnnie gave short lectures to different groups, including, students of economics and/or of public and business administration.   He also met with managers of commercial and/or industrial companies, including a very interesting company called EleSy.  

During his stay, Johnnie had the following meetings:

* With officers of Office of Mayor of Tomsk city. Talk on "Modern tendencies in improving performance of administrative bodies".

* With the Governor of Tomsk Oblast and his deputies (an official introduction) and/or my presentation of idealized design applied to governmental organization - to officers of Oblast Administration.

* Talk to University administrators and professors about importance of introducing systems thinking into teaching process and in management practice.

After spending 8 days in Tomsk, Johnnie went to Moscow to meet with officials from the Russian Academy of Governance (they run educational programs for the people who work for the government).  They are very interested in incorporating systems thinking into their programs.

Contact Johnnie to learn more of his travels, from Tomsk to Moscow.
At Work in the Community Radio Program...
3 rocks
Network member Ron Schutlz, in cooperation with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public and the Social Enterprise Alliance, has launched the At Work in the Community Radio Program pod cast from the Legacy XXI Institute website, which can be access directly at this link.   This site features 16 pod cast interviews with some of the most knowledgeable and experienced social entrepreneurs and social enterprise leaders in the country and provide a richness of innovative ideas and inspiration for people interested in making the world a better place.
Ron invites fellow Network members to take a moment to see who he's been speaking with and then listen in.   You are welcome to contact Ron to provide him with feedback on this series.
In2:InThinking Network 2008 Forum - Dates Confirmed
If you've not yet heard, we've confirmed dates for our seventh annual Forum - April 17-22.   Mark your calendars and stayed tuned for coming details.   As for location, we'll be in Los Angeles.   As for pricing, the registration fee for this 6-day event will be $350.  This price includes all pre- and post-conference seminars and workshops, conference presentations and activities, materials, and meals (dinner on Friday, continental breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, and lunch and dinner on Saturday).  We will also continue a tradition we started this year, offering a discounted registration price of $200 for full-time students in home school, public schools, colleges, or universities.
In2:InThinking Network 2007 Forum - Highlights
As a reminder, our first newsletter in June was a special edition with extended coverage of our 2007 Forum.

Follow this link to find this edition.
2007 Forum DVD Set - Order Now

For the fifth year in a row, we contracted with Kid Flix, the after-school video services team at Placerita Junior High School in nearby Valencia, CA to videotape our entire (weekend) conference.  Once again, a job well done by Paul Kass and his Kid Flix "CREW".   Their footage will be converted into our final DVD package by Dave Nave & Associates.  The package of 10 presentations, including the after-dinner entertainment by taiko group On Ensemble, sells for $150.   To order, follow the link from the DVD image above.

With all of the master DVDs now on hand, Dave is preparing the first DVD orders, due to ship within 2 weeks.   If you could not join us, here's your chance to find out what you missed.  If you attended and want to revisit or share the memories, Dave is ready to fill your order.

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Inside Out
Members Save 20%
Inside-Out by Tracy Huston builds on U-theory by exploring "collective presencing" approaches for developing the personal, relational, and systemic conditions needed to support leaders in collaborating across their institutional boundaries to create the future they want. Drawing from her work in multi-stakeholder change initiatives, as well as from a variety of "ensemble" practices employed in the arts, Huston offers a rich mix of stories, cases, and practical methods for generating and sustaining whole system change, from the "inside-out."

Paperback: 157 pages
Publisher: SoL, the Society for Organizational Learning (May 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0974239062
ISBN-13: 978-0974239064

Members of the In2:InThinking Network can receive a 20% discount for the month of June on Inside Out.  To redeem the discount, members will need to enter the coupon code - ins1d30ut, at the time of their purchase on SoL's website.

Members are also reminded of Tracy's presentation,
Generating the Collective Will to Create the Future We Want,
from this year's Forum.   Tracy will join us in September as our Ongoing Discussion Thought Leader.
Offer Expires: June 30, 2007
In2:InThinking Network | P.O. Box 9384 | Canoga Park | CA | 91309