In2:IN Newsletter
In2:InThinking Network September 2007 Newsletter


Good morning from Canoga Park, California and welcome to the September edition of our monthly newsletter, filled with good portions of thought-provoking features, all designed to keep our members 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.

Partners InThinking - Deming Learning Network
Deming Learning Network

Continuing this month, we highlight a partner organization of the In2:InThinking Network.   We first featured the Aberdeen, Scotland-based Deming Learning Network (DLN) in our September 2006 newsletter.  We believe the resources of these organizations such as the DLN will expand your thinking about thinking...

The Facts:
The aim of The Deming Learning Network is the continual organisational improvement through the application of learning.

How does your organization compliment the In2:InThinking Network?
The foundations of our thinking are based round the teachings of W. Edwards Deming.

Tell us about your membership. What does it mean to be a member of your organization and how does one become a member?
We recognise two forms of learning - individual and organisational - we believe they are different. So we have two types of members. Individual members for their own enlightenment and organisations to enable the organisational learning process.

What resources does your organization offer its members?
We facilitate a range of learning formats, from a CEO group, to "Challenging our Paradigms" presentations to "Member Evenings" discussing deeper issues. We also do research projects to identify the underpinning theories being used by an organisation. Plus we run some training events. We alse provide links into world-wide sources of knowledge such as In2:IN.

What exciting developments are on the horizon for your organization?
We are talking to the oil companies in Aberdeen in context of doing a research project to examining the underpinning theories that support their "safety" function. And then to pose the question - "are there more effective theories that if applied would reduce the occurance of accidents?"

Visit the DLN on the web...

Member Profile - Cindi Manning
Paul Morgan, Cindi Manning, and Rennie Methuen
Each month we interview members of the In2:InThinking Network to get their perspectives on a variety of questions. This month we asked Cindi Manning (pictured between Paul Morgan and Rennie Methuen at the 2007 Forum) to provide her insights.

The Facts:
Quality professional currently relocating from Southern California to Austin, Texas. My original motivation for my degree in Industrial Engineering (from Cal Poly Pomona) was to improve the relationship of the person in the workplace, as well as helping companies run things better. I've always been working towards increasing the "Blue Pen" level in companies.   

Follow this link to find Cindi's entire Member Profile on our website.
Member Profile - Phillip Scarborough
Phillip Scarborough
In addition to Cindi, we would also like to introduce our members to Phillip Scarborough.

The Facts
I live in Texarkana, Texas.  I spent 24 years in the Army Reserve, the last 14 as a combat arms instructor.  I've worked for JCM Industries for 15 years.  I started as a welder and now work as an NDT (Non-Destructive Testing) Process Leader.  On weekends, I like to grill outside, hunt, fish and spend my time out doors.  I really like music. Any kind will do, but I lean toward older rock music from the late 60's and 70's.

In2:IN Forum Attendance
I have attended the last 3 years. I met Bill Bellows in Washington about 10 years ago at a W. Edwards Deming Institute Conference and we stayed in touch. I heard he was working with friends on their own thing in Los Angeles and wanted to check it out. I've came back ever since.

Follow this link to find Phillip's entire Member Profile on our website.
 Book Review - Purpose
Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies

Author: Nikos Mourkogiannis
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Length: 246 pages
Reviewer: Dale Deardorff

If you have been searching for the reason you want to come to work each day and bring that precious commodity called Self into the battlefield of ever changing situations then this book has value for you. If a personal or professional connection to a strong meaning has been missing then the explanation and articulation of a Purpose and the relationships created and connected to it may be exactly what has been missing. 

Follow this link to find Dale's entire book review on our website.

Follow this link to find a 5-minute interview with Nikos Mourkogiannis from September 2006 on the topic of this book.
Book Review - Workplace Management
Workplace Management

Taiichi Ohno
Gemba Press
Length: 146 pages
Reviewer: John Hunter

Taiicho Ohno is known as the father of the Toyota Production System (TPS), also called lean manufacturing.  I see TPS as a system that is very compatible with Dr. Deming's ideas - that includes additional concepts and techniques not explicitly mentioned by Dr. Deming. This is no surprise given Toyota's early experience with Dr. Deming and their continued application of his ideas.

Taichi Ohno dictated the text to the Japan Management Association (in a series of interviews in 1982), which gives the book a sense of listening to him talk about the ideas. I found the conversational tone made it very easy to read and reminiscent of Dr. Deming's tone in many places.

Follow this link to find John's entire book review on our website.
Elegant Solutions from Paul MacCready
Paul MacCready
Attendees of our second Forum in 2003 were introduced to the theme of "What's New"  What's Next?" through an opening after-dinner keynote presentation by Dr. Paul MacCready, CEO and founder of AeroVironment, Inc.  Little did the attendees know the degree to which Paul was a role model for "What's New?  What's Next?." 

His lecture was titled "A Different Starting Point Explores Different Actions."   According to the abstract he submitted;

We have found that making strategic breakthroughs is a consequence of mingling conventional tasks and new concepts - and hunting for the right opportunity to permit the new to be supported.  Examples will be given of some tricks that broaden your thinking: a 6½ minute film "Doing More With Much Less" will be shown that demonstrates a philosophy of vehicle movement with very little power; and there will be several examples of present products that illustrate when and how to accommodate breakthrough technologies.  The examples will include Helios (the highest flying airplane at 96,863 feet), tiny drone airplanes with remarkable duration and control, and economical cars of the future with zero pollution.

Sadly, the "father of human-powered flight," as well as an entrepreneur and inventor extraordinaire, died recently at his home in Monrovia, California after a brief illness.    Those unaware of his vast accomplishments are invited to follow this link to a biography on the MIT website as well as read tributes to him on the AeroVironment website. Additional opportunities to learn more about Paul's accomplishments with AeroVironment (which include 6 designs donated to the Smithsonian Air and Space Musuem) can be found on the sites below;

National Public Radio

The Gossamer Condor Movie

The Gossamer Condor in flight (YouTube)

National Geographic/PBS videoPurchase video

Lastly, a brief Memorial Program, followed by a reception, is scheduled for this coming Saturday (September 22) at 2 p.m. in the Beckman Auditorium at Cal-Tech.  Follow this
link for a map and a message from his family that "In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials to "any organization that sustains our world.""
Partner Event - Fall Deming Conference
W. Edwards Deming Institute

The 2007 Fall Conference of The W. Edwards Deming Institute will be held at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana on October 13 - 14.  The conference will be preceded by a reception the evening of October 12. It will end around noon on Sunday, October 14.

Institute conferences are designed to foster a better understanding of the Deming System of Profound Knowledge® and its applications. In keeping with this aim, the 2007 conference planning team has put together a program "To Explore Together a Wholistic Bridge to the Future" through a focus on both theory and applications.   Download the conference postcard

The program includes three keynote presentations, including Barbara Lawton (who Dr. Deming credited in large part with writing chapters 3 and 4 of The New Economics), Norm Bafunno, Senior Vice President - Manufacturing & Administration Toyota Motor Manufacturing.   Norm will offer perspectives on Dr. Deming's influence on Toyota and Toyota's influence on Dr. Deming.  In addition, in game show style,  Joyce Orsini, will present the "Deming Wheel of Fortune."

Follow this link to learn more about this program, including parallel-track presentations by network members Bill Bellows, Ralph Mullen, John Pourdehnad, and Gipsie Ranney and a closing panel discusion with recent Purdue University graduates relating their experiences in industry and the problems they face.

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.

In addition to network member presentations by Tracy Huston and Elaine Johnson, Cyndi Crother-Laurin (past Forum presenter and Ongoing Discussion Thought Leader) will deliver a presentation on the topic of "Catch! Leadership Lessons from Seattle's Famous Fishmongers."

Call Pegasus at 1-800-272-0945 to discuss team registration options.   
Partner Event - Enterprise Thinking Seminar
Capital Quality Initiative
The Capital Quality Initiative (CQI) of Lansing, Michigan is partnering with the In2:InThinking Network (In2:IN) to host the first-ever Enterprise Thinking seminar in Michigan on Monday, November 12th and Tuesday, the 13th.

Since first being offered at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in 1993, this seminar has been presented over 600 times, across both the US and UK, with over 8,000 attendees.   The objective of this seminar is to explore the potential of "better thinking" directed toward continuous investment in our products and processes.  In the new economy, the proficient utilization of thinking will be a necessary condition; fundamental to business competitiveness.  The aim of Enterprise Thinking is to elevate the consciousness of individual and collective thinking about sub-systems, variation, knowledge, numbers, and interactions.   

The seminar will be offered by In2:IN member Bill Bellows in Lansing as an 8-hour program, split into two 4-hour morning sessions, each running from 8am-noon.   The registration fee is $275 for CQI and In2:IN members, or $325 for non-members.   Follow this link to download the seminar brochure.
Making a the Boy Scouts World Jamboree
Scouts on Bell Boats

David Train has done it again.   Last month we included pictures of David with Tony Blair.   This month, we have a picture from the recent Scout World Jamboree in England with 22 bell boats lashed together.  The scouts are claiming this is a record.

Stepping back, David is seeking to establish a connection with the US capital through the friendship agreement.  What David has in mind is a Bell Boat event to highlight global warming. This would be the "Main University Boat Race for the Blue Planet" and held on the Potomac with all of the 15 universities in Washington, DC taking part.  David is seeking help with organizing.  Contact him by email to find out more about the help he needs.

Follow these links (one and two) to learn more about David's efforts to make a difference, including his recent meeting for former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his invitation to loan Bell Boats for Boy Scouts to use during their World Jamboree at  Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Essex.

Transforming OurSpace Using Thinkers Thoughts
Shel Rovin
Yo, to the In2:InThinking Newsletter readers from my home in Philadelphia.

Bill Bellows asked me to write a monthly short, emphasis short,  piece  as part of the monthly newsletter.   In a moment of literary weakness I agreed, with the proviso that I could write about whatever I wanted. In a moment of editorial weakness he agreed. Together, we did come up a few guidelines for the piece/column/whatever. They are:

Each piece will be from 1- 2 paragraphs. Rovin will be responsible for 10 pieces, September -June, but may not write all of them.  Others will be invited to contribute.  Rovin/Bellows will edit all of them.

Reader responses will be requested.  Perhaps at the end of each piece will be "What do you think?" and the next newsletter will include at least some of the responses. The responses must, perforce, be brief.

Subjects will be determined, but varied.  Readers will be invited to suggest topics.  There might be a continuing series around a central theme with several contributors, as one example. Point - counter point is another example.  Controversial topics will be the grist for this mill.

We can call this part of the newsletter The Thinkers Corner or Thinkers Thoughts or something else. Having said all this here goes.    I'll start with an easy one: What passes for education in this country.

Shel Rovin
On Education

What is labeled education in the US is nothing more than transmitting predigested information and conclusions to unsuspecting young people who were told, by parents, to pay attention to their teachers. The youngsters are constrained to follow an adult generated curriculum and ways of transmitting it.  With some exceptions, predominantly, school children do not act independently both in pursuing what they want to know and in drawing their own conclusions. In short, they do not learn how to learn, a necessary ability to deal with previously unencountered situations and an ever-changing world.  The question is what to do about it. 

We know that those who teach learn the most.  So having older students teach younger ones makes sense. Ending the tyranny of testing so students might learn because they want to rather than because they have to also makes sense, at least to me.  Giving kids choices is another way to facilitate learning. But the likelihood of any of this occurring in the typical school setting is nil.  But parents could enable these ways of learning.  How about parents as learning agents? For example, when a child goes home after school, the parent might ask her to teach the parent something she learned that she liked, rather than saying how did your day go, etc. Parents might ask their kids what they might like to learn other than what they got from school and then lead them to good sources.  And parents might tell the kids about their own work problems and invite them to help solve them. Taking kids shopping and asking them to figure out costs to learn basic arithmetic is a way that's fun and practical is another suggestion. If our kids are not really being educated in formal school settings lets do it in the best kind of environment-their homes and the real world. 

What do you think?
Cartoon -  Other Person's View (OPV)

Edward de Bono uses the expression OPV as a reminder of considering "other person's views."   In this regard, check out a recent New Yorker cartoon on the topic of perspectives.   Guess what, there's more than one.
In This Issue
Partners InThinking
Book Review
Tribute to Paul MacCready
Making a Difference
Thinkers Thoughts
Ackoff's Blog
2008 Forum
Signup Block
Ongoing Discussion Preview

The Ongoing Discussion (OD) for September will feature Tracy Huston, shown below.
Tracy Huston
On Thursday and Friday, September 27th and 28th, Tracy will engage us in a dialogue on the topic of "Whole System Social Innovation."

This month's OD announcement will be released on or before Monday, September 24th.  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...

"The central task of education is to implant a will and a facility for learning; it should produce not learned but learning people. In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."

Eric Hoffer
Eric Hoffer
1898-1983, American Social Writer

''One's destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.''
Henry Miller
1891-1980, American Author and Artist

"Time wounds all heels."Groucho MarxGroucho Marx
1890-1977, American Comedian and Film Star
Ackoff's Blog...
Check out the Ackoff Center Blog for the latest feedback on Russ Ackoff's latest book, Management f-Laws, news on the 2008 Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowships
Russ Ackoff
and a link to his paper
"From Mechanistic to Social Systems Thinking," which was published in 1993.
Deming Learning Network
Thought of the Month
These items are contributed by Gordon Hall of the Deming Learning Network in Aberdeen, Scotland.

"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us into trouble, it's the things we do know that just ain't so." 
(Attributed to
Artemus Ward,  Abraham Lincoln's favourite humorist.)

We have recently heard both
Russell Ackoff and David Kerridge open our thinking in context of the above - It was also a theme explored by Peter Drucker.
The difference between:
  • Doing things right
  • Doing the right things
It is a disturbing thought that we may be working very diligently and effectively but if we are not doing the right things we may actually be making the situation worse.
What in our working lives do we do well - but in fact contributes little - and perpetuates a system that has a negative effect?
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 was 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.

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.
Donate to the In2:IN
Our network efforts are enabled day-by-day, month-by-month, and year-by-year by  civic-minded volunteers whose contributions include a passion for making a difference, coupled with ideas, time, and energy.   Together, we are working, learning, and thinking about how we can foster and inspire "better thinking for a better future" and what this effort enables individuals and  organizations of all shapes and sizes to do differently when they think and act as a team.

Contributions to our network also include financial support from our members, coupled with the proceeds of our annual Forum.   Towards this end, please consider contributing a tax-deductible donation to the In2:InThinking Network, which is charted as a 501c3 non-
profit organization.  Your donation can be towards our general fund (to support the website and newsletter), or towards scholarships and financial assistance of future attendees of our annual Forum.

Bill Bellows for additional information on how to contribute.
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