systems thinking

How to Improve Employee Morale and Engagement

By John Hunter / May 9, 2022 / 0 Comments

The way to improve morale and engagement is to improve the work. Eliminate things that drive workers crazy by making their work more difficult and by creating work that should never have to be done if the system were designed better. (Guest post by John Hunter.)

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Understanding Data and Appreciating the Implications for the System

By John Hunter / January 31, 2022 / 0 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, founder of CuriousCat.com. Working with data is something that doesn’t come naturally to many people. But it is important to develop your understanding of data to manage well within an organization, applying the Deming management system. In this post, I take a look at how understanding data is important with […]

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The Existing Management Conditions Limit How Effective New Strategies Will Be

By John Hunter / June 28, 2021 / 0 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004). Over time, I have learned that one of the challenges in implementing Deming and Ackoff’s ideas are the underlying expectations for the organizations that are missing. What happens is, people take ideas from Ackoff and Deming and decide that using […]

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How People are Using Deming’s Management Ideas to Respond to COVID-19 Conditions

By John Hunter / April 7, 2021 / 0 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, founder of CuriousCat.com. Deming’s management ideas are not prescriptive. The principles are useful to organize your thinking and adapt concepts to your situation. That provides a great deal of flexibility to changing conditions. And those principles result in creating a management system that is robust in the face of changing […]

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Addressing Dysfunctional Company Culture

By John Hunter / February 2, 2021 / 0 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, founder of CuriousCat.com. When a company’s culture rots, eventually everyone pays: customers, employees, stockholders, and suppliers. Yet, when the focus is on the short term, the long-term consequences are easy to ignore, even though everyone eventually suffers. Once those consequences are realized, there is interest in addressing the consequences of […]

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Ackoff on Leadership and Transformation

By John Hunter / November 16, 2020 / 0 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004). This is the first video from a day with Russell Ackoff presentation (from 2004). As always, Dr. Ackoff does a great job of providing insight in an easy to listen to package. We are lucky to be able to so […]

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Seeking Systemic Improvements: Root Cause

By John Hunter / September 7, 2020 / 4 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. The idea of looking beyond the most visible problem when seeking to improve is important. If you just address the most visible issue, you often fail to improve the system and instead just add some work to smooth things over if that problem […]

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The Democratic Corporation

By John Hunter / August 17, 2020 / 0 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. This video shows part 4 of a Russell Ackoff presentation from 2003 on Systems Thinking and Management. In this part of the presentation, Ackoff discusses the difference between authority and influence. In complex organizations, trying to rule by authority is difficult and ineffective. […]

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Focus on Addressing the Right Problem

By John Hunter / August 3, 2020 / 6 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, founder of the CuriousCat.com. Have you ever tried running through water?  You don’t get very far very fast.  If you have water up to your waist, and you try to run, your progress is very slow.  Sure, you could put in more effort and maybe try to improve your technique […]

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Russell Ackoff on Learning, Risks and Development

By John Hunter / June 15, 2020 / 0 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. This video shows part 3 of a Russell Ackoff presentation from 2003 on Systems Thinking and Management (see our previous post on part 1 and part 2). An organization that wants to survive in a dynamic environment has to continually educate its members […]

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