Link Fuel

Moths to a flame...

Jason Drury via Compfight

Let’s fill up our tanks with some link fuel.

Thanks to @roguepolymath for assisting with today’s large group facilitation of Cognitive Edge (@cognitiveedge) methods.  We got through intro to complexity, future backwards, anecdote circle, social constructs – emergent properties, and archetype extraction (first steps) all in one day.  Whew!  Am I tired!  If you want to catch the highlights, check out @roguepolymath’s tweet stream.

 

Speaking of @roguepolymath…did you know he has twice the twitter followers that @engineforchange has.  That’s awesome.  Way to double my score Jay!

 

As I listened to discussions of process variability and churn today, my mind flashed to Deming’s funnel problem.  Don’t adjust a process due to random variation.  You’ll make the scatter worse.  My Poking a Dirty Finger Into the Wound post relates.

 

John Kotter’s latest Harvard Business Review article, Accelerate, came out this week.  It’s a must read.  All those readers who are also Guiding Coalition participants will enjoy the fact that for years you’ve  been living in the system that Dr. Kotter introduces to the world in the article.  We don’t get to live on the leading edge often enough.  Enjoy it my friends.

 

Rob is always feeding me great videos.  Here’s Shawn Achor’s TedTalk on happiness.

Hugh Huck started sharing videos with me too.  I’m glad to have him in the Engine for Change network.  Here’s a great one he showed me from Margaret Heffernan.  (My favorite line comes from Alice’s daughter: “My mother didn’t enjoy a fight, but she was really good at them.”)  Heffernan’s tale of Alice Stewart‘s challenges echoes the “no one believed me, but I was right” storyline of Dave Snowden’s longitude video.  It’s painful to hear how no one believed Mr. Harrison for more than 20 years and no one believed Dr. Stewart for 25 years.  Their stories give me courage to keep fighting for changes that matter to me.  If they could fight that long then so can I.  Will you fight too?

Have a fantastic weekend and be sure to recharge so you can keep driving change.

BONUS: We think we know more than we do about complex issues. Thanks for the link, Hilbert.

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Geocaching to Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge

Once you’re great at driving change, I bet people watching you will say you’re:

  • setting an example,
  • being a good listener, but not compromising on your values,
  • continually teaching other people, and
  • helping people pull away from their current practice and beliefs and move into the new philosophy without a feeling of guilt about the past.

W. Edwards Deming defined someone with these characteristics as a person transformed; a person who had achieved a place in a system of profound knowledge.

Captain Ralph Soule wrote up an excellent excerpt of Deming’s system description, cutting together vital definitions to make the abstract concepts hang together in one post.

If you don’t know Deming, read Soule’s post before continuing or the rest of this post likely won’t make as much sense as it could. The Story Continues…

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Deming was right…

…not that it should matter to anyone that I agree with him, but I do.

So why should you care that Deming was right?

Because just as other authors have discovered the mechanisms at work in creating empowered cultures (Gallup’s strengths work) and transformational change (Kotter’s Leading Change), so W. Edwards Deming cataloged beautifully the flaws in modern organizations and proposed solutions to the flaws, a system to replace the old and restore dignity to work and unleash the potential of every man or woman.

Deming advocated for leaders to seek out a system of profound knowledge, where the leader could see the broad system, and act on the system to achieve true transformation.

Building on Deming’s work, Marcia Daszko has published an article, What it Takes to be a Profound Leader.

Frequent readers of this blog will see tie between driving change and profound leadership, notably in these thoughts:

2. Create an environment where people are self-motivated.  They realize the power is not in motivating people, but rather that the power is in creating a place where people are self-motivated to contribute.  Then, get out of their way and the organization will go places you probably did not imagine.

4. Remove barriers so people can do Quality work together. Ask what is getting int he way of the people accomplishing their work and then respond to serve them.

7. Create new leaders.  Develop the natural leadership in everyone.  Help people reach their fullest potential. Coach and counsel people. Learn what is important to people, to different generations, groups and teams, and cultures.

Self-motivated people? Check.  When you’re driving change, you’re asking the people in your organization who would like to help, you’ve removed the policies that punish the helpful, and you’ve waited for the people to step forward.  And they’ve stepped forward.  You didn’t have to wait long.

Remove barriers? Check.  When you’re driving change, you’re the leader who is blowing apart barriers, using what positional authority you have to clear the way to drive your organization into the future.  It’s awesome to watch!

Create new leaders? Check. When you’re driving change, you can’t help but create new leaders because you’ve stepped back from making every decision and you’ve allowed others to lead.  You give them the opportunity and more than a few have seized it and truly impressed you.  It’s a phenomenal sight!

Though you may have no time or interest, consider adding Deming into your to-read list and, at minimum, look over Ms. Daszko’s article.

If you don’t know how you would actually implement any one of her 16 steps to profound leadership, just post a comment and ask.  I’m sure together we can come up with something to make you even more successful at driving change.  After all, that’s why I’m here!

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