In2:IN Newsletter
In2:InThinking Network July 2007 Newsletter


Good 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 by sharing this newsletter with friends and colleagues.

Click either link below to submit the name(s) and email address(es) of anyone you would like to have added to this mailing list, or let us know if you would like to be removed. 


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 network.

Member Profile - Beth Blankenship
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.

The Facts:

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.

W. Edwards Deming

Follow this link to find Beth's entire Member Profile on our website.
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 about thinking...

Pegasus Communications - "Changing the world one system at a time"

Pegasus Communications 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
The Starbucks Experience

Author: Joseph A. Michelli
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Length: 201 pages
Reviewer: Dale Deardorff

As 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...

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.

Follow this link to find the full text of Steve's reflections.
Partner Event - Annual Pegasus Conference
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).

In her 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 collective wisdom."

In addition to a presentation by Tracy, attendees will be treated to a presentation by another network member, Elaine Johnson, from Marylhurst University.   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 most effectively."

Call Pegasus at 1-800-272-0945 to discuss team registration options.

When "Qualty Was Job #1" at Ford
Time Magazine
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.

Managing Variation...
Boeing Airplanes
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...
Dallas - Fort Worth Airport
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.
In This Issue
Partners InThinking
Book Review
Personal Renewal
Quick Links
Signup Block
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.
Bill Cooper
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
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.
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
Russ Ackoff
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."
Timelines into the Future
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
2007 Forum DVD Set
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.
2008 Forum
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.
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Pegasus Conference

Save $200

For the second year in a row, Pegasus is offering members of the In2:InThinking Network a discount ($200) towards the registration fee of their annual conference.   If you'd like to take advantage of this offer, use this priority code - STA07IN2IN - when registering.   This offer expires on August 31st.

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