designs LO30059

From: Dennis Rolleston (
Date: 04/04/03

Replying to LO30047 --

Hello Andrew,

I look at all the pictures you send me and read all the words only
guessing at what the links may be. However I did form some from out of
this contribution - even found a link in it to Alan Cotterell's LO30039

Here is something apropos that by William James, who I think knew a thing
or two ;-)
" Every definite image in the mind is steeped and dyed in the free water
that flows around it. With it goes the sense of relations, near and far,
the dying echo of whence it came to us, the dawning sense of whither it is
to lead. The significance, the value of the image, is all in this halo or
penumbra that surrounds and escorts it."

And, though free the water maybe, by what has it been tainted?

Alas, tis in the theatre of war and the on factory floor we get an acute
sense that surely the water was tainted!

As Viktor Frankl announced in graphically refuting Freud's theory that
under increasing hardship man would envariably pull together for the
common good; his reality was behaviour across a spectrum from the "saint
to the swine"

Yesterday I was having what Neale Donald Walsch would call "A Conversation
with God", a deep and meaningful conversation with a process controller in
the factory where I work. We were talking about working to standard
operating procedures (we are ISO 9000:2000 accredited). He related to me
an incident 5 years ago where he made a judgement call against the
requirements of a standard operating procedure. His judgement resulted in
an incident that as well as endangering himself and his colleagues, cost
our struggling company a substantial amount of money. Our company has
only recently become aware of this "emotional intelligence" thing so at
that time union muscle was used to ensure his continued employment.
However within 2 hours he was called upon to do the same task and the
procedure was followed to the letter and production was stopped for many
hours while the impasse was broken.

That incident happened 5 years. Some of the work I do involves
maintaining our quality systems. Due to downsizing and pressure of work
the opportunities I get be involved in such pleasureable conversations are
to few.

The man I was talking to yesterday is only now beginning to perceive that
there may be many benefits for the future of the company if the system was
used correctly. (The Manager of this section of our operation has been in
the position for just 15 months and in my perception, though he may not be
aware of emotional intelligence his behaviour emulates awareness and his
ability to work on systems instead of people is the best example in my
long working life near to the factory floor) He, like so many worker's
per se, has always been concerned about his abilities, his experience,
knowledge etc, which in my words, has been trampled on time and again by
automaton managers parroting the theories of the "Technocrats" you talk of
Andrew, his "spirit" is affected by the automaton way in which so many of
us are treated.

His question to me was, "How rigidly are we expected to adhere to

My answer. There are three ways to use a system. As a shield, As a
sword, Properly.

Adherence: our procedures are already rated in the categories "Safety
Critical", "A", "AA", "AAA".

Safety critical procedures are mandatory. In the main they have been
identified, reviewed, expanded upon, extras written as the result of
accidents and incidents. To ignore them is to endanger your colleagues
and our company has been fined heavily in the past as the result of
incidents of serious injury and 1 fatality where our safety procedures
were not follwed/enforced.

A Rated procedures are aimed at quality and environmental issues. If your
quality is not good you have no customers. If you harm the environment
the financial penalties can be astronomical. You operators have
contributed hugely to limiting the risk via procedure, why should you
ignore them. In the event that there is a better method, the system
allows you, any one of you to announce the fact and have the procedure
changed in favour of the better way (continuous improvement Alan).

AA Rated - plant checks, they are necessary "do them" some time on your

AAA rated - "How to do things" - Reference/Refresher.

(Alan, you will recognise the three elements of risk management)

My advice to him was to truly learn the system. I advised that when he
was truly aware of how the system could be used positively for all
concerned, he would have the confidence to awaken the dying spirit in the
automaton manager willing to use his shoulders to climb to another level.

When I left that control room, in my mind his spirit, like mine, was
soaring the skies like the endangered native New Zealand Hawk - oh that
someone find a way to ensure it continues to grace our skies.

So Andrew, a picture of muddy water and emotional intelligence perhaps?
(hopefully one I can understand ;-)



"Dennis Rolleston" <>

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