Boundaryless Organization LO23027

AM de Lange (
Wed, 27 Oct 1999 13:49:59 +0200

Replying to LO22994 --

Dear Organlearners,

Walter Prevalnig <> writes:

(in response to my)

>>So, if you would ask me to provide a citation, I would have
>>to go to the library and actually search through a writer's
>>works for a citation of what I at best can only recall by
>There is no need to do extensive research.

Greetings Walt,

Sometimes, when in Rome, one has to do what the Romans do. It is then
when I wish I am not in Rome because the Romans are great wasters.

>>Perhaps a third reason has to do with Deming's original
>>training as a statician. Staticians are trained to avoid
>>patterns and focus on random sampling.
>One of the key insights we get from Deming is to look for


To look for patterns not yet observed one has to look beyond the patterns
already perceived. The "random sampling" is the statician's main technique
to go beyond the patterns already perceived. The job of the statician is
then to discover those patterns not yet observed.

>Deming's operational definition for the word "control" as it
>relates to a process or a system has its basis in knowledge,
>and not the physical or coercive act of an individual. He
>teaches that "control" comes from our knowledge of the
>system. We have control if we know how the various
>elements of our system interact to produce the output.
>When we know that, then we have control, because we can
>predict the effect of any proposed action on the system.


We can influence everything for better or for worse. But to do a really
good job, we ought to control only ourselves. We cannot control other
people, even with knowledge far exceeding that in all the books. We can
control only ourselves, but we seem to ignore this knowledge. However, as
you write:

>He also taught that we must manage systems, not
>people. People deserve leadership.

Leaders know themselves, as we say in my mother tongue (directly
translated) "from inside out". That is why they are leaders. A leader is
never ignorant about himself/herself -- especially as the primary system
needing control.

Collary (as the mathematicans would do it) -- a person ignorant about
himself/herself cannot be a leader, even when that person occupies a
powerful office for whatever reason. The results are usually disastrous.
Often, even after the catastrophe, the "system made leader" still has no
self-knowledge. They are an embarressing sight.

It is tragic in present times that even in many powerful countries there
are office holders high up who are not leaders -- "system made leaders".

>At , your post brought many other thoughts to mind but
>this is enough for now.

The same here, dear Walt. I am glad to have met someone sensitive to the
complexity of Deming's teachings rather than going overboard with
selecting some features of it in the name of Deming, but actually pushing
own mental models.

Best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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