Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability.
We are very lucky to have resources like this presentation available online. It seems to me, the conference presentations available online (from OQPF and the Deming Institute and elsewhere) are a valuable resource that most managers fail to take advantage of. I encourage managers to set some time aside to watch one of these presentations a month (or if that is too much, maybe one a quarter). They are packed with great ideas that can help us manage better.
Exploring a World View Through the Lens of Profound Knowledge, Barbara Lawton’s presentation at the 1995 Ohio Quality and Productivity Forum conference:
Barbara explains the value and necessity of using the System of Profound Knowledge to improve; and the importance of making it accessible. She acknowledges that many people struggle to see the value in it and in order to help organizations improve it is necessary to make Deming’s ideas relevant and accessible to them.
Even the smallest action can affect the whole, but it cannot control it. I think that is something people sitting at the top of the hierarchy are learning, or maybe still have yet to learn.
What you can do it guide and support, but control is an illusion in large complex systems (such as managing an organization).
Another point she makes repeatedly in the presentation is the need to appreciate that the pace of change is increasing and must be accepted as part of the system (your organization/business) and of the containing system (global economy). Trying to hold onto past, or existing, conditions (control) is a recipe for failure in the global interconnected economy we now face. We need to build organizations that are able to continually adapt and that are able to do so rapidly, consistently and effectively.
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Related: Leading The Transformation Process – Deming on Management: Appreciation for a System – Total Quality Leadership vs. Management by Control – The System of Profound Knowledge Applied to Sales and Marketing – Application of Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge in Healthcare