morning from Canoga Park, California and welcome to the July edition
of our monthly newsletter, filled with good portions of thought-provoking
features, all designed to keep our readers thinking and gaining insights on the
actions that will follow.
Why settle for the prevailing style of thought?
Be a leader.
Improve your thinking about thinking.
As always, this edition was prepared monthly by volunteers of the
In2:InThinking Network. Content comes
from volunteers, in service to our fellow members. We invite you to further develop our network
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In2:InThinking Network Newsletter Team
|Welcome First Timers
Your names have been added to our mailing list by virtue of your attendance in our
series of Thinking Roadmap seminars, workshops, and overviews, or attendance at the annual
In2:InThinking Network Forum,
or through a personal request, from you or a friend. Welcome to our thinking
|Member Profile - Beth Blankenship
|Each month we interview members of the In2:InThinking Network to get their perspectives on a variety of questions. This month we asked Beth Blankenship to provide her insights.
I live in Maryland and am able to enjoy horseback riding as
a favorite hobby. My career began as a software developer, but quickly turned
on its side after being exposed to Deming's thinking during a Four Day Seminar.
I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Ed Baker, (who I now greatly admire for his
own work) and asked him where I could learn. He replied, "There is no place".
Frustrated, I took pen to paper and wrote a letter to Dr. Deming himself. I
asked him where I could learn. To my great surprise, he wrote me back. My
letter is stored safely away, however, here is a portion of what he wrote.
Dear Miss Blankenship,
Thank you for your kind letter. It came while I was in
Japan. I had trouble to read it because it was written with blue ink on blue
lines. Professor Marta Mooney has come up with a magnificent idea. Fordham
University will have an extraordinary program. Please contact Dr. Joyce Orsini.
Sincerely, Follow this link to find Beth's entire Member Profile on our website.
W. Edwards Deming
|Partners InThinking - Pegasus
Continuing this month, we highlight a partner organization of the In2:InThinking Network. We first featured Pegasus in our July 2006 newsletter. In this month's edition, we provide updated answers to our survey questions. We believe the
resources of these organizations will expand your thinking
Pegasus Communications - "Changing the world one
system at a time"
helps individuals, teams, and organizations thrive in an
increasingly complex world. Since 1989, innovators working to
spark and sustain positive change in the systems they care
about have looked to Pegasus for resources and networking
opportunities. Through a grounding in the rigorous principles
and tools of systems thinking and related disciplines,
practitioners from business, education, government, and the
nonprofit world find the freedom to connect with others in new
ways and design sustainable solutions to their most persistent
challenges. From tentative first steps to great leaps of
faith, we provide tools and ideas for changing the world one
system at a time.
Follow this link to learn more about Pegasus Communications complete Partner InThinking on our website.
|Book Review - The Starbucks Experience
Author: Joseph A. Michelli
Length: 201 pages
Reviewer: Dale Deardorff
with a great cup of coffee that must be sipped to appreciate the full flavor,
aroma and taste, this book should be read slowly to appreciate the valuable insights
for everyone on transformational leadership. It is a short read which discusses
the need for great leaders to not only grow their businesses but in that
process that they should expand their concept of community.
Follow this link
to find Dale's entire book review on our website.
|Moving Beyond Extraordinary...
While Starbucks is moving past the ordinary to the extraordinary, coffee farmers in Indonesia are moving well beyond extraordinary. In the use of a rare form of team work with wild civets (photo), they are harvesting greenish-brown coffee beans that result in coffee sipped by the British royal family and wherever else $30 per cup drinks are available. Link to the recent Los Angeles Times cover story (through the civet photo above) for details on this must drink coffee for the real connoisseurs amongst us. Hey brother, can you spare a few dimes?
|Personal Renewal at OSR...
Follow this link to find the full text of Steve's reflections.
On June 10, 2007, the first Seattle University OSR cohort
walked across the stage at Qwest Field in Seattle
and received their Master of Arts in Organizational Design and Renewal. Steve Byers, a network member, submitted his reflections on personal renewal as a newly minted OSR-graduate.
I am part of this community. We were excited
beyond description. Family (long suffering) and friends were in the stands, and
our faculty advisors were in their finest academic dress and sitting stage
left. I was incredibly proud to be part of this cohort, and to have
accomplished all the work (and play) for this degree. The ceremony in the huge
stadium concluded an emotional and deeply satisfying final weekend, rich in
content and meaning.
|Partner Event - Annual Pegasus Conference
Download Pegasus's conference brochure for the latest
details about Amplifying Our Impact: Strategies for Unleashing the Power of
Relationship, the 17th Annual Pegasus Conference, Seattle, Washington
- November 5-7, 2007
Included is a
presentation by network member Tracy Huston, who appeared at our 2007 Forum in
April, where she delivered a presentation on the topic of "Generating the Collective
Will to Create the Future We Want." Tracy will join us as our Ongoing Discussion
Thought Leader in September (27-28).
upcoming appearance at this fall's Pegasus conference, Tracy will address the topic of
"Transforming Our Systems Through Social Innovation," in a
presentation she will co-present with Lou Cox. Attendees of this
session will "Discover emerging approaches to collective ways of
"seeing" and "being" together in change, based on tools
from the worlds of improvisation, intra- and interpersonal dynamics, and
In addition to a presentation by Tracy,
attendees will be treated to a presentation by another network member, Elaine
Johnson, from Marylhurst
Forum attendees in 2004 will remember Elaine for her presentation on the topic
of "Public Education in Crisis - What You Can Do." At this
fall's Pegasus conference, Elaine will "Explore the shaping power of
relationships on the human brain and consider how people can unleash that power
at 1-800-272-0945 to discuss team registration options.
|When "Qualty Was Job #1" at Ford
In a recent letter to the editor at the Wall Street Journal, former CEO Donald Peterson responded to suggestions that "that the Big Three U.S. automakers "allowed quality to deteriorate in the 1980s,"
at least as it applies to Ford Motor Co." Says Peterson, "I was first president, then chairman and CEO of Ford in those years,
and my major undertaking was to make significant improvement in the
quality of Ford's products. Shortly after becoming president, I arranged to meet with W. Edwards Deming
and contracted with him to consult with us and assist us in improving
our quality. We established six guiding principles for the company, the
first of which was "Quality comes first - To achieve customer
satisfaction, the quality of our products and services must be our
number one priority."
Follow this link to read Peterson's entire reply to the WSJ, covered by the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog. Follow this link to a Time Magazine cover story on "Detroit's Uphill Battle" in 1980.
Does one size fit all (times and people)? Better yet, does one place fit all (times and people)? If the answer to the second question is no (as opposed to it depends), then how to move from place A to place B becomes a decision for each of us. For Boeing, this translates to questions such as "Does one size (plane) fit all (customers)? By comparision, how much simpler would it be for a company, like Ford during the 1920's, to avoid thinking about variety and variation and produce black model T's for some 20 years. Given the close ties between the In2:InThinking Network and Boeing, a recent event in Puget Sound might strike a cord with inthinkers who are challenged to manage variation, as in how many sizes of products should be produced and how uniform should each size be?
On July 6, 2007, Boeing had all of the 787 airline representatives at an event at the Museum of Flight. At 7:07 PM, an Omega Air
Refueling Services 707 landed in front of the crowd (after taking off from Paine
Field in Everett). At 7:17, an AirTran 717 landed.
This continued until 8:17 when an Air France 777-300ER landed. In the end, the
717, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, and 777 were lined up nose-to-tail on the
taxiway. It is the first time
Boeing has had every 7-series airplane in the same
place (not counting the 787, which could not make the flight, of course.)
|The Blame Game...
|From National Public Radio's (NPR) All Things Considered comes a story of blame game with the potential for disastrous consequences.
According to a story on July 12th, "For the second time in two years, whistleblowers are accusing their
air traffic control colleagues of a wide-ranging conspiracy to cover up
errors at one of the nation's busiest airports. The
latest accusations charge that instead of accepting responsibility, it
is the practice and policy of the controllers to blame near misses at
Dallas-Fort Worth on pilot error. The
office of U.S. Special Counsel has investigated and accuses the FAA of
issuing the "pilot error" policy from the very top of the agency and
suspects the same problem is occurring at other airports besides DFW."
Listen to the story online at NPR and consider the possibilities for a far more systemic solution than resorting to blame of individuals without acknowledging the system they are part of.
|Ongoing Discussion Preview
The Ongoing Discussion (OD) for July will feature Bill Cooper, shown below at our 2006 Forum. Bill was featured in our second "Member Profile" in the July 2006 newsletter.
On Thursday and Friday, July 26th and 27th, Bill will engage us in a dialogue on the topic of (my) "Roundtables
with W. Edwards Deming," offering us reflections on his countless hours of interviews with Dr. Deming.
For a preview of Bill's remarks, we've uploaded the first 15 minutes of his presentation at our 2006 Forum, when he partnered with John Duddy on the topic of "The Deadly Disease of Conformity - How to Explore Outside the Box."
This presentation is included in the DVD package from our 2006 Forum
This month's OD announcement will be released on or before Friday, July 20th. You are welcome to register now, or wait for the full OD announcement to be released.
For those readers not already on the OD mailing list - click below...
Ideas to Ponder...
|"People should think things out fresh and not just accept conventional terms and the conventional way of doing things."
R. Buckminster Fuller
1895-1983, American Engineer, Inventor, Designer, Architect ''Geodesic Dome''
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
1869-1948, Spiritual Leader of India and the World
''As life is action and passion,
it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of
his time, at the peril of being not to have lived.''
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
1809-1894, American Author, Wit, Poet
|Making a Difference from Where We Are...
|Check out the Ackoff Center Blog for the latest feedback on Russ Ackoff's latest book
and a link to his recent paper on the topic of "Why Few Organizations Use Systems Thinking."
Also, check out the latest book from network member, Sheila Ronis, of Walsh College in Troy, Michigan, in which she argues that argues that "...foresight is an important aspect of winning in the 21st
Century. That includes countries, companies, and other organizations
from universities to hospitals to non-profits."
In addition to celebrating her book's publication, Sheila has
recently celebrated her birthday. In what might be described as a karmic relationship, she was born on the
same day that Dr. Deming first met with senior executives in Japan.
Look for a review of Sheila's book in a forthcoming newsletter, plus her appearance as an Ongoing Thought Leader in May 2008.
|2007 Forum DVDs
|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.
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.
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.