Articles

This page aims to point to a small sample of the excellent internationally available articles. – we hope you enjoy reading. and learning, from them. There can be little doubt that “Knowledge” is readily available. Our challenge is to appreciate and apply this knowledge within our society.

We have laid out this page by first listing the articles which provides a jump point to a short description and the link to the article.


How Large Scale Change Really Happens – Working with Emergence — By Margaret Wheatley
A Systemic Path to Lean Management — By H Tom Johnson
System Dynamics — by Jay Forrester
The Influence of C I Lewis on Shewhart and Deming — by G T Peterson
Germ Theory of Management — by Myron Tribus
Deming and Jurans limited contribution in Japan — by William M Tsutsui
Introducing Systems Thinking — by Jake Chapman
The Butterfly Metaphor for Transformation — by John Renesh
The Illusion of Control – How Government Targets & Standards Damage Local Government — by Paul Buxton
Bad Management Theories are Destroying Good Management Practice” by Sumantra Ghoshal
Moonshots for Management – The Renegade Brigade – by Gary Hamel
Stop Stealing Dreams – what is school for? – by Seth Godin
Vanguard perspectives
Breaking the Mould Newsletters – Peter Hunter
Vanguard Newsletters – John Seddon

How Large Scale Change Really Happens – Working with Emergence

http://www.margaretwheatley.com/articles/largescalechange.html
by Margaret Wheatley

We believe this to be a very important article from Margaret Wheatley’s web site. It uses the example of the Bush Administration’s aim to enhance the USA’s education system. Its title was “No Child Left Behind.” It utilised conventional change theory of determination from the top, careful planning and good controls with rewards and punishment to motivate people. The outcomes was opposite to what was intended, it in fact damaged the education system. It was inadvertently high jacked by general perceptions of American society such as a focus on results rather than the whole system, use of simple metrics to describe complex problems, an increasing reliance on testing to sort students etc. Her belief is that large scale system-wide change emerges from working locally. Enabling local experimentation and learning and creating networks to build local learning into an emergent national dynamic for change.

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A Systemic Path to Lean Management

A-Systemic-Path-to-Lean-Management-by-Tom-Johnson.pdf
“Lean Dilemma: Choose Systems Principles or Management Accounting Controls, not both”

By H Tom Johnson Professor of Business Studies – Portland State University – USA –
The 2007 Shingo Research Prize

We, in the West, view our organisations as mechanical; entities that can be broken down into parts; and we manage each part with a budget or a target. But should we in fact be viewing an enterprise as a “natural living system?” A system where relationships are vital. Tom is an accountant by profession who is very aware of the damage that we have allowed accountants to do to our organisational thinking. He has developed his thinking through studying Toyota where he recognises that they see “improvement primarily in terms of a system of relationships – human social systems that is the business – and not simply in terms of arithmetic sum of separate parts.” – In other words we move forward by looking at the whole system, not the parts – very relevant to our concept of society having a learning ability.

Tom, with Anders Broms have written the excellent book “Profit Beyond Measure” – highly recommended – see Bibliography.

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System Dynamics

System-Dynamics-by-Jay-Forrester.pdf
by Jay Forrester
Systems Dynamics, which we would consider to be part of the suite of modern managemeny concepts, is in Forrester’s view “hard.” It is not easily understood. It will take many years of diligent study and practice to be proficient. But that is exactly what “management” must come to terms with. Like Douglas McGregor, Forrester sees current management as a trade rather than a profession. He talks about the very extensive training of a surgeon or an engineer “Designing a plane is hard. Designing a bridge is hard. Doing a heart transplant is hard. Systems Dynamics is even harder. Those other professions have not succeeded by simplifying complexity, but by facing up to it. The older professions do not expect to instil adequate skill with a few introductory subjects in a University department that is devoted to some other theme.”

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The Influence of C I Lewis on Shewhart and Deming

C-I-Lewis-Shewhart-and-Deming-by-G-T-Peterson.pdf
by G T Peterson
A key element in Edwards Deming’s “System of Profound Knowledge” is what he refers to as “The Theory of Knowledge.” In this regard he was influenced by the work of C I Lewis, especially his work “Mind and the World Order.” It is a work of serious philosophy. This article brings the thinking more into realm of the everyday reader.

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Germ Theory of Management

Germ-Theory-of-Management-Myron-Tribus1.pdf
by Myron Tribus

This is a classic paper looking at variation within organisations. While variation occurs naturally in all our systems it does need to be controlled – or should we say limited. If there is large variation within our systems then the organisation will tend towards chaos. The more we can limit variation the more stable and controlable will be our organisations. Myron uses the analogy of the Germ Thoery in medicine. The more variation (germs) within an organisation the sicker it will be.

This article was made available through Ernst G Glasier and Noel Spare of The Swiss Deming Institute.

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Deming and Jurans limited contribution in Japan

Deming-and-Jurans-limited-contribution-in-Japan.pdf
by William M Tsutsui

Deming and Juran’s disciples are guilty of grossly overstating their influence in Japan. In fact they, themselves, were guilty of using their so called reputation as a marketing tool. In practice the transformation of a culture is much more complex. We hold the works of Deming and Juran in the very highest esteem, but this article brings us down to earth and makes us recognise that the transformation of our culture is much more involved that the simple application of the advice of selected eminent scholars.

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Introducing Systems Thinking

Introducing-Systems-Thinking-by-Jake-Chapman.pdf
by Jake Chapman
The other relevant publication by Jake Chapman, emeritus professor of energy systems at the Open University, is his Demos booklet “Systems Failure – Why Governments must learn to think differently.” (see http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/systemfailure2) This article is used by Jake as a precursor to his courses on Systems Thinking. It sketches the origins of systems thinking right through to its application in today’s complex society.

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The Butterfly Metaphor for Transformation

The-Butterfly-Metaphor-for-Transformation.pdf
by John Renesh
The transformation envisaged on this site has been likened to the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. The metaphor was first used by Elisabet Sahtouris. This delightful short article encourages to keep pursuing our goal but to have patience. Our present culture is not sustainable in the long term.

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The Illusion of Control – How Government Targets & Standards Damage Local Government

The-Illusion-of-Control-Article-on-Systems-thinking-application-in-England.pdf
by Paul Buxton – on behalf of SOLACE

The purpose of this report is to document some examples of the pernicious effects of Central Government’s command and control regime.

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Bad Management Theories are Destroying Good Management Practice by Sumantra Ghoshal
The title says it all. It recognizes that our present dominant management culture is based on flawed theoretical assumptions.

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Moonshots for Management – The Renegade Brigade – by Gary Hamel
There is a group in the States that call themselves “The Renegade Brigade” who have been meeting to develop what they call “Moon Shots” for the future of management. It is a very powerful group that includes the likes of Peter Senge and Chris Argyris. They have identified 25 moon shots which include – Reconstruct management’s philosophical foundations – reduce fear and increase trust – create a democracy of information – etc. All very good stuff. We access the article through the Harvard Business Review site www.hbr.org and it costs approx. £7 to download. – Well worth it.

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Stop Stealing Dreams – Seth Godin

Stop Stealing Dreams – Seth Godin

Along with the lectures, broadcasts and writings of our own Sir Ken Robinson,  in this article Seth Godin challenges our views about the current education system, why it developed the way it did, and why now it needs major and fundamental rethink. Seth encourages everyone to send and share this document as widely as possible, so please, I’d encourage you to do this today!

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Vanguard perspectives

The Christie Report – the Vanguard perspective

Public Services Civil Society and Diseconomies of Scale

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Breaking the Mould Newsletters – Peter Hunter

Here are the latest newsletters from our good friend and supporter Peter Hunter, at Breaking the Mould.

Breaking the Mould – Newsletter – 47-12
Breaking the Mould – Newsletter – 46-12

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Vanguard Newsletters – John Seddon

Here are the latest newsletters from our good friend and supporter John Seddon, at Vanguard Consulting, .

Vanguard News Apr 2013
Vanguard News – Dec 2012
Vanguard News – Nov 2012

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