In2:InThinking Network
In2:InThinking Network Newsletter March 2008

Good morning from the San Fernando Valley in southern California (home of our P.O. Box) and welcome to the March edition of our monthly newsletter, filled once again 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

PS - Don't forget to check out this month's special DVD special offer at the bottom of the newsletter.

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 - Tom Johnson
Tom JohnsonEach month we interview members of the In2:InThinking Network to get their perspectives on a variety of questions. This month we asked Tom Johnson (left) and Bob Dickman (below) to provide their insights. Both are attending our Forum in April, where they will provide conference presentations. Link to their presentations through their photographs.

The Facts:
I was born and raised in Chicago and went on to receive an undergraduate degree in economics from Harvard, an M.B.A. in public accounting from Rutgers, and a Ph.D. in economic history from the University of Wisconsin. Before entering an academic career in 1965, I was employed as a C.P.A. by Arthur Andersen & Company in Boston. In my current role as a professor of business at Portland State University, I teach a very personal variety operations management to M.B.A. students. My academic research focuses on the intersection of systems thinking, modern evolutionary cosmology, and sustainability operations management. I explore the application of natural system principles to the design of sustainability-focused local business operations that emulate and extend the scope of Toyota's operating principles.
In2:IN Forum Attendance: I have attended and spoken at several Forum meetings and have spoken at meetings of the Deming Forum in the UK and the Deming Institute in the US.

Why do you attend the Forum? To maintain contact with old friends and to keep up with new thinking.
Tell us about a recent "a ha" moment. To discover the peace and serenity that comes after almost one year of not flying and not stepping into airports.

What book(s) are you reading now? I always am reading several books concurrently. The current list includes:
The View from the Center of the Universe by Joel Primack and Nancy Abrams, The Great Upheaval by Jay Winik, The Rise of American Democracy by Sean Wilentz, Rewilding North America by Dave Foreman. and The (Mis)Behavior of Markets by Benoit Mandelbrot and Richard Hudson

What recent book have you read that you consider both beneficial and readable?
Evening Thoughts by Thomas Berry. Reflections on "the great work" by one of our greatest living thinkers and co-author (with Brian Swimme) of The Universe Story.

What advice do you have for people new to the In2:InThinking Network? Learn all you can about the universe story that emerges from modern evolutionary cosmology. Be always open to possibility. As Alfred North Whitehead, one of the greatest thinkers in human history taught, reality is process, process is reality.

Contact Tom by email at and visit his website at

Member Profile - Bob Dickman
Bob Dickman
The Facts: I became fascinated by stories as a child and began performing when I was 7 creating puppet shows for friends and family. I wanted to go to clown college when I grew up. As a kid I had really big ears and other kids would say "hey you look like a clown!" I would smile and say "Thanks." In college, I majored in theater and psychology. I became a member of an experimental theater group which produced original plays and toured new england putting on shows. I took a year abroad in college and lived in a Japanese Zen Monestary. The abbot loved Noh theater and I was exposed to a very energetic form of theater. Returning home and graduating college I continued to study with Lee Strasburg and Stella Adler in New York City. I began supporting myself doing commercials and small roles in film. What also began to happen is I started to coach, first other actors then writers and directors on their storytelling. After many years of study and teaching I began to see 5 organizing principles in successful stories. That insight lead to the co-writing of a book with Richard Maxwell called The Elements of Persuasion last year.
In2:IN Forum Attendance. In which years, if any, did you attend our Forum and what inspired you to attend? I first attended in 2006 and it was thru the kind suggestion of Bill Bellows that I attended.

Tell us about a recent "a ha" moment: The majority of my happiness comes from my relationships with people, not from things no matter how shiny.

What book(s) are you reading now?
American Mania by Peter Whybrow, The Leadership Dojo by Richard Heckler, and The Man Who Smiled by Henning Mankell

What recent book have you read that you consider both beneficial and readable?
I really recommend American Mania.

What advice do you have for people new to In2:IN?

Are there any questions that we should add to the member profile? What makes us behave as if we were separate from the larger systems we inhabit?

Contact Bob by email at and visit his website at
Are Traditional Top-Down, One-Way Communications Strategies Dead or Dying?

You've probably already heard that a team of "Gen Y" NASA employees from recently gave a presentation at NASA's Next Generation Exploration Conference at NASA Ames. If so, this note is old news on how they are proposing that new perspectives be taken within NASA on top-down, one-way communications strategies. If not, follow the link in the image below to find this presentation, along with a related article in Wired. Could it be that Gen Y has discovered the phenomenon of willing workers? Raise your hand if you think this problem, as well as opportunity for investment, extends beyond NASA?

Gen Y Perspectives
One More Time: How to Motivate Students?
How to motivate Johnny?
In 1968, Frederick Herzberg published his seminal paper, "One More Time: How to Motivate Employees?," which remains to this day the most frequently ordered reprint from the Harvard Business Review. Across the aisle, in schools likewise crippled by the prevailing style of management, teachers have been struggling with the all-too-similar issue of "how to motivate students?" ABC News recently covered this topic and challenge in a "Good Morning America" news piece, in which they highlighted a "monetary incentive" program in practice in New York City, under guidance from Roland Fryer, a Harvard University economist. Link on the photo above to find the ABC News report, which fortunately quotes Alfie Kohn, one of the world's leading advocates for avoiding "punishments by rewards," such as monetary incentives. Says Alfie in this report, "The idea that poor kids can only be bribed with money rather than being engaged borders on racist." Link to an article by Alfie to learn more of his profound perspective and solution.
On Goakeepers and Penalty Kicks - To Move or Not to Move?
Recent research findings by Ben-Gurion University economists are calling into question the need for action, when inaction would be more productive. But....aren't we paid for action? Well, this may be yet another great case, sports fans, for "it depends."

According to a recent NY Times article by Patricia Cohen, a team of Israeli economists found that "goalkeepers face penalty kicks regularly, so they are not only high-motivated decision-makers, but also very experienced ones.....Their point is that a preference for action over inaction can play a significant role in all kinds of economic choices." In short, they argue that inaction would sometimes be better. Students of Dr. Deming are reminded of his second theorem (which preceded his first), "We're being ruined by best efforts....not guided by Profound Knowledge." He also pondered if a company would be better off if certain workers stayed home and read the paper (the NY Times?) and "took it easy." Follow the link in the photo to the NY Times article and this link to the research article by the Ben-Gurion University economists.
Working, Learning, and Thinking Together within Mozilla
Given a vision of organizations that excel at team work, as one would expect within a Blue Pen Company, how do leaders deal with forces that might sometimes bring progress to a halt, also known as "stop energy" within Mozilla? How do such cultures deal with those individuals who might inadvertantly forget their team mates and act as "unguided missiles"? Follow the link in the photo above to read how such behaviors are dealt with at Mozilla, creator of the Firefox web browser. According to University of Washington's Sandeep Krishnamurthy, "Mozilla's message is that if we all work on this together, and we allow people to express their frustration with the status quo creatively, we can take back control. Any underdog company can feed into that." This is an alternative to "Companies tend to treat consumers as having to be manipulated to make money off them." Sounds mighty Red Pen. Read on.
Advancing Commerce, Prosperity, and Peace
Karl Haushalter
Karl Haushalter recently gave thought to Dr. Deming's teachings on advancing commerce, prosperity, and peace. In doing so, he prepared a paper that was accepted by the 14th Annual International Deming Research Seminar for presentation on February 26, 2008 at Fordham University. Unfortunately, at the last minute, he was unable to attend this seminar and present his article. Instead, he has offered to share it with fellow network members and would welcome comments and/or dialogue with as he continues to explore these ideas.

Follow this link to download Karl's article, titled Deming on Peace

Reply to Karl by email at
Transforming My Space In2 OurSpace Using Thinker's Thoughts
Sheldon Rovin
We continue this month with Shel Rovin's reflections on "What organizations can learn from nature." To our first-time readers, this column started with an offer to Shel to write a "monthly short, emphasis short, piece as part of the monthly newsletter." Previous editions, including parts 1-3, plus Shel's agreement, can be found online at this link.


Part 4. Nature Competes Within A Framework Of Cooperation, Organizations Compete

Creatures are self interested, but not self destructive. Extreme selfish behavior has real costs: when one species as part of a "stable" ecosystem with hundreds of other species acts only in its self-interest, the entire ecosystem is altered and the offending species itself crashes. This is actually rare because ecosystems tend to limit this type of occurrence. Parasites kill their hosts and have no place to go. Organizations that take over others generally lose market share.

Cooperation evolved. When parasitic bacteria invade a larger host, after many generations they exploit but do not destroy their host, they begin to share metabolized products. After many more generations they need each other for survival. (as Lewis Thomas wrote: "Nice guys last longer") This progressive cooperation (co-evolution) set the stage for all higher life forms.

Follow this link to the read the remainder of Shel's column from our website.

What do you think?
CQI Research Proposals Sought by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has joined in a national effort to advance the science of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) research, and is currently seeking proposals that: develop methods, tools and standards for the design, conduct and reporting of CQI research and evaluations, including standardized typologies, definitions and measures of key concepts and consensus statements; demonstrate how the paradigms, methods and approaches from other disciplines can advance the science of CQI research; develop and test new theoretical models, conceptual frameworks and logic models to explain CQI initiatives; demonstrate how rapid-cycle "run-chart" or "PDSA-cycle" data can be used to rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of CQI interventions implemented to address key quality challenges; and/or develop methods to systematically capture implementation context information.

For more information, follow the link in the image above.
Pegasus Conference - November 17-19, 2008
Pegasus ComferenceFrom launching a new operations center in record time to eliminating polio worldwide, how can groups come together to create new realities rather than replicate the status quo? Join in for this year's Pegasus conference in Boston to explore what distinguishes a transcendent performance from a merely excellent one-and how we can work together to produce an outcome greater than the sum of our individual contributions.

Download the conference flyer for more details...

Save when you register by April 18 for two and a half days of unparalleled learning and connection for just $1,195! Register today.

Teams of 4 or more pay even less. Call for details at 1-800-272- 0945.

Keynote Speakers: Betty Sue Flowers, Adam Kahane, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Atul Gawande, Peter Senge
UK Transformation Forum - May 20-22, 2008
UK Deming Forum
Title: Transformation is the Future ~ Delivering Sustainable Change
Location: The Robinson Executive Centre, Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire, UK. MK44 3AL

Many organisations, whether in the public or private sector, say they are trying to 'transform.' For some this means a radical rethink of how they deliver their service whilst for others it means the adoption of the latest management idea that appears to hold some water. But for all of them a key challenge is how to build a momentum for change and deliver benefits for all stakeholders, particularly customers.

Unfortunately it isn't as easy as constructing a business case. Transformation by its very nature requires sustained learning and the ability to adapt over a period of time. In contrast, a business case usually relies on choosing a solution before you start - a solution shaped by the very assumptions and knowledge that created the current way of doing things. The experience of most organisations has shown that transformation is much easier to aspire to than to deliver, so on what grounds can you expect success? Or rather, by what method?

Dr. Deming and others recognised that the combination of four key disciplines make a profound difference to the impact and sustainability of change, and to the way it is embraced and sustained across the organisation. Whether you consider the change and sustainability agendas in terms of organisations, communities or the even the planet, you will benefit from exploring a more comprehensive system of management and developing your own approaches and plans.

Put the dates in your diary, invite a colleague, and build an agenda for change together -
Contact us for special US friends rate to attend the conference. Follow this link to the Forum website to learn more.

The Transformation Forum, The Court House, Woburn Street, Ampthill, Bedford, MK45 2HX
T: +44 (0)1525 402323 F: +44 (0)1525 406610 Email:

Closing Thot - Willing Egg Layers?
A cock (left) and hen (right) roosting together
Many of our readers are aware of Dr. Deming's Red Bead experiment and the notion of employees serving as "willing workers." Could the same be said for chickens?

Borrowing from the Curious Cat website...

Deming's objection to motivational posters, slogans, etc. was related the whole view of the job of management. The importance of this obligation is not easy to understand without knowledge of that system of management. The belief that such posters are an effective strategy are grounded in
Theory X Management.

Also the use of such poster is highly correlated with managers that don't understand the processes they are managing and so they attempt simplistic "solutions" like telling everyone to "do a good job" "a happy worker is a busy worker" "avoid accidents" "waste not want not." But, what's a boss to do to motivate his willing workers?

2008 Forum Registration is OPEN and growing
With 17 days to go before the opening day of our seventh Forum, we are pleased to announce that we have 108 attendees confirmed to attend. To join the growing list, follow this link to our website to access our registration survey.
As a reminder, we have created webpages for each of our conference speakers; Steve Cook, Ariane David, Bob Dickman, Gordon Hall, Elaine Johnson, Tom Johnson, Scott Lennox, Richard Maxwell, George Roth, Gipsie Ranney, Shel Rovin, and Ralph Wood.

In addition, we have created webpages for all of our 10 pre-conference seminars and workshops and 2 post-conference seminars.
2008 Forum Location and Pricing
Once again, 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.

Ongoing Discussion Preview
Looking ahead to April, the Ongoing Discussion (OD) will feature Ariane David
Ariane David

as our Thought Leader on April 24th and 25th. Ariane will also join us as a presenter at our upcoming Forum in April.
Follow this link to register now.

The formal "OD" announcement for Ariane's appearance will be released on or before April 17th.

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

Add me to the OD list
Ideas to Ponder...

"'When you're through changing, you're through."Bruce BartonBruce Barton
1886-1967, American Author, Advertising Executive

''The essential conditions of everything you do must be choice, love, passion.''

Nadia Boulanger
Nadia Boulanger 1887-1979, Conductor, Composer, Teacher

'The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly.''

Marcus AureliusMarcus Aurelius
121-180 AD, Roman Emperor, Philosopher

Ackoff's Blog...
Check out the Ackoff Center Blog for the latest feedback on Russ Ackoff's last book, Management f-Laws, news on the 2008 Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowships
Russ Ackoff
In addition, follow this link to download the mp3 files from our "OD" sessions with Russ in January.
Deming Learning Network
Thought Provocation of the Month
Gordon Hall
Courtesy of Gordon Hall of the Deming Learning Network in Aberdeen, Scotland, here is this month's thought provocation;

Central government says it is not its place to micro manage.
So let us consider their macro management (and that of any large organisation)
Do they focus on "outcomes" ignoring the modern recognition that we need to understand the whole process?
Do they concentrate on those aspects that can be measured, ignoring the fact that only 5% of the whole can be measured?
Do they create regulations and standards and inspect compliance through such bodies as The Care Commission or the HSE while it has been acknowledge for many many years that you cannot inspect quality into a service?
Do they establish targets to direct and control fully aware that the use of targets encourages widespread distortion of data?
And finally, are they aware of the effect of their macro management - does it have a significant negative effect? What damage does centrally controlled macro management have on people's ability to micro manage?

Note: we are proud to announce that Gordon has accepted our offer to appear at our 2008 Forum. His presentation is titled "Can We Build an Organisation's Culture by Design?"

2008 Forum DVD
In2:InThinking Network 2008 DVD
For the sixth year in a row, we have contracted with Kid Flix, the after-school video services team at Placerita Junior High School in nearby Valencia, CA to videotape the entire (weekend) conference portion of our upcoming Forum. Once again, the Kid Flix "CREW" will be led by Paul Kass in recording the conference footage, which 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, will sell for $150, with a $25 discount (upon registering) for conference attendees.

If you are not planning to attend, but would like to order a DVD set, follow the link from the DVD image above, where you can also order DVDs from our 2005, 2006, and 2007 events.

We are also pleased to announce our first-ever DVD set sponsor, Haines Centre International, as the underwriter for our videotaping efforts in 2008. Special thanks to Steve Haines and his "Forum Partner InThinking" organization for supporting our network efforts with a generous donation.

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.

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.
Contact Bill Bellows for additional information on how to contribute.
Forum Scholarships
With our seventh annual Forum some 3 weeks away, we are inviting members to make an investment to provide for scholarship funds for those needing assistance to attend the Forum. Past scholarship recipients have stated, "The Forum was an energetic, innovative system of diverse, rich nonlinear interactions which lead to emergent, shared learning." Another participant summed up her experience as a "great opportunity to interact with people who have the same problems that I do, even though they are from different organizations...trying to find solutions that will help all of us."

A dedicated scholarship fund was created in 2004 by Van Bowen, a professor at the University of Richmond and a network member and past Forum presenter. His vision was that one scholarship recipient, new to the Forum and the theories of systems thinking, would be granted travel, lodging and the full Forum registration fee. Van was inspired about our aim and anxious to spread awareness of the In2:InThinking Network to new members. Van donated the money to the first recipient in 2005, five months before he passed away. In appreciation of Van's spirit, we seek further investments that will allow us to grow the Van Bowen Scholarship fund and continue to offer access to our Forum to a new and needy recipient every year.

In the fall of 2004, Oscar Mink, a professor at the University of Texas, as well as another network member and past Forum speaker, passed away suddenly. In appreciation of his passionate quest for sharing his thinking and learning with us, we created an Oscar Mink Scholarship in his honor. Similar to the Van Bowen Scholarship, this fund is used to defray the attendance fees of needy under-
graduate and graduate students who would like to attend our annual Forum.

To date, the Van Bowen and Oscar Mink Scholarships represent two dedicated scholarship funds available to the In2:InThinking Network. In addition, in 2007 we initiated the Russell L. Ackoff Scholarship and the Community Service Scholarship. These continue in 2008, when we will also debut the High School Student Scholarship.

Please consider investing in any of our scholarship funds. Your tax-deductible investment of any size will help us continue to reach out and bring new participants into our network. Mail your donations to us at PO Box 9384, Canoga Park, CA 91309.

Contact Bill Bellows for additional information on how to contribute.

Join Our Mailing List
Save 36%
Members of the In2:InThinking Network are invited by Bob Mason and Clare Crawford-Mason (of to purchase The Prophet of Quality video, plus the first 2 volumes of the Deming Video Library (The New Economic Age and The 14 Points) at a sale price. Instead of the standard price of $110 each, network members can purchase these volumes for $70 each, for a 36% discount. Follow this link to find information on these videos. Use this link to place your order and reference this limited offer. Special thanks for Bob and Clare.
Offer Expires: April 31, 2008
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