Linking Deming, Covey, and Senge in an Integrated
Five Dimension Quality Model
Richard E. Winder, J.D., M.B.A.
Daniel K. Judd, Ph.D.
Copyright 1996, Richard E.Winder and Daniel K. Judd. All Rights Reserved.
The integrated use of the map and compass to travel a course, checking in at control points, is called orienteering. The orienteering model provides a comprehensive framework for integrating strategy, quality, and operations in an organization. Moreover, it facilitates complete integration of the principles taught by Drs. Deming, Covey, and Senge.
Any of us who have travelled in unfamiliar territory knows the value of a good map and the value of having a means of orienting the map in the right direction so we know what turns to take and what roads to travel to get to our destination. Without a map we can end up making a wrong turn or taking an exit prematurely, losing our way. Without a compass to help us find our bearings, we may find ourselves going in a different direction from where we want to go. The map helps us chart the course we want to travel, and the compass helps us actually travel the right direction down that course.
As a pilot some years ago I lost my bearings and had a frantic moment in which I did not know where I was. I scoured the terrain for a prominent landmark that I might be able to use to pinpoint my position on the map. I did not know whether I was flying closer to or further away from my final destination. Finally I discovered a landmark that I was able to identify on the map, and I was able to determine my direction of flight in relation to that landmark. I was then able to check my compass bearings and re-orient my airplane to fly toward my destination.
The frantic feeling that I felt for those few minutes in mid-air is not much different from the frantic feeling of an organization's leadership when they see revenues and profitability declining and realize they are losing markets or market share. It is at this point that they realize that they may be lost in mid-flight, and they frantically begin searching for landmarks to help them reorient themselves toward their goals of profitability and market penetration. Some are not as lucky as I was and are not able to find the landmark they need to get back on course. They fly one direction, then another, looking for familiar territory. Or they maintain a straight course, hoping that familiar territory will appear over the next horizon, but not realizing that the familiar territory they desire is behind them, and, because of their choice of course, they will never see it again. Finally they are forced to crash land because they have run out of fuel.
What is the difference between the organization that always seems to have clear sailing and the firm that is constantly getting lost? The focus of this article is to provide a framework for developing an organizational model which will help an organization use its map and compass to assess where it is and where it is going, and then to demonstrate how the orienteering model assists in integrating the teachings and philosophies of Deming, Covey, and Senge in a complete organizational model which can utilize the best teachings and philosophies of these masters in achieving organizational completeness and effectiveness.
In order to understand the organizational orienteering model it is important to understand the philosophical framework from which it was developed.
Philosophical Framework for Orienteering Model
There are two fundamental aspects of any effective, comprehensive organizational model. First, the primary focus of the model will be the building and sustaining of relationships with key constituents. It is this aspect which gives the organization its life-sustaining capacity. Second, the comprehensive organizational model will encompass the complete spectrum of five distinct dimensions, with a higher level of maturity existing at the higher dimensional levels. It is this aspect which gives the organization its sense of completeness, so that participation in the organization is a fulfilling experience for all participants/constituents rather than just a means to satisfy basic needs.
Each of these aspects supports the other. Organizational completeness enhances relationships with all participants, including customers, employees, and other stakeholders, because it assists them in fulfilling higher needs. At the same time, the building and sustaining of relationships enhances the ability of the organization to understand and respond to needs of participants, thus assisting the organization to operate at higher levels of maturity.
The implications surrounding these two concepts are important, so it is essential to further explore the framework which these concepts provide before further developing the orienteering model.
Building and Sustaining Relationships
It is the building and sustaining of relationships that provides continuity, longevity, and maturity in an organization. Relationships with customers, employees, and owners/shareholders provide the lifeblood for perpetual existence. As each of these constituents become "sustaining members" of the organization (e.g., long-term employees or repeat customers), they provide the necessary resources (the skills, the capital investment, the stream of income, etc.) to ensure the organization's place in the future.
Quality itself has been defined as fundamentally relational: "Quality is the on-going process of building and sustaining relationships by assessing, anticipating, and fulfilling stated and implied needs." (Winder, 1993.) Even those quality definitions which are not expressly relational have an implicit relational character. Why do we try to do the right thing right, on time, every time? To build and sustain relationships. Why do we seek zero defects (Crosby) and conformance to requirements (or their modern counterpart, six sigma)? To build and sustain relationships. Why do we seek to structure features or characteristics of a product or service that bear on their ability to satisfy stated and implied needs? (ANSI/ASQC.) To build and sustain relationships. The focus of continuous improvement is, likewise, the building and sustaining of relationships. It would be difficult to find a realistic definition of quality that did not have, implicit within the definition, a fundamental express or implied focus of building and sustaining relationships.
The relational dynamic is demonstrated in a survey asking the least amount the participant would accept for his or her $3,000 car from a nasty neighbor, from a complete stranger, from a childhood friend, and from a sibling. The results of this survey among several groups are included in Chart 1. Similar results in a buyer questionnaire indicate that where there is a relationship, a buyer will pay more. As these combined results demonstrate, where there is a relationship, a seller will accept less and a buyer will pay more. This increases the trading range, and increases the likelihood that a trade will take place. But more important than that, the trade begins to flow from the relationship, providing a continuous stream of income. When these dynamics begin to take effect, a participation dynamic develops in which participants begin to contribute resources to a common endeavor. Participants give more than required; they become "sustaining members" of the organization through repeat purchases or long-term employment; and they begin to share the vision of the organization with others through "word-of-mouth" advertising of customers, and by employees creating "moments of truth" that live on in the minds of customers. At this point, the participants are no longer strangers or outsiders to the organization, but they are an integral part of what the organization is all about. They become a part of its infrastructure and, in a very real way, shape the character of the organization. In other words, the organization would not be the same without their integral participation.
The integral role of relationships in building and sustaining a customer base is illustrated in the influence diagram (Figure 1). Building relationships improves sales, by expanding the trading range and increasing the likelihood that a sale will take place. Increasing sales provide additional resources--both financial (sales revenues) as well as skills (higher production levels provide more experience in producing the product or service). Additional resources provide the opportunity to improve the delivery system. An improved delivery system enhances relationships with customers because it is more responsive to their needs. The cycle then continues. Better relationships improve sales, which enhance resources, which improve the delivery system, which enhances relationships, etc. On the other hand, destroying relationships can have the opposite effect: it can result in decreasing sales, fewer resources, and a less effective delivery system, which only erodes relationships further and continues a downward spiral.
Relationships pervade the map, compass, and course of organizational orienteering. The focus of the map is on the whole--the constant maze of interactions--rather than on the separate pieces in isolation. The focus of the compass is on the sense of interdependence rather than independence and separateness. Perceptions founded in a philosophy of interdependence will provide a better organizational foundation than those founded in independence. The focus of the course is toward community rather than toward isolation. In fact it is a course that takes an organization amid community that provides the resources for survival. An organization cannot survive in isolation in a wilderness with no constituents to support it.
Relationships are elemental in the philosophies of Deming, Covey, and Senge. Deming notes that "people are born with a need for relationships with other people, and the need for love and esteem by others." (Deming, 1993, p. 111.) In fact, this perception of the value of relationships is basic to understanding Deming's psychology component of his Theory of Profound Knowledge. Intrinsic motivation is borne out of this need for relationships, in contrast with the more independent extrinsic motivation.
Moreover, interdependence is a basic part of Deming's concept of Systems Thinking, another element of his Theory of Profound Knowledge. He notes that "a system is a network of interdependent components that work together to accomplish the aim of the system." (Deming, 1993, p. 50.) In fact, the need for communication and cooperation increases as interdependence between components increases. (Deming, 1993, p. 98.)
Similarly, relationships are at the heart of Covey's principle-centered leadership. It is the process of building relationships of trust that provides a foundation for empowerment and alignment in the organization. It is the relationships which are established at the interpersonal level which permit empowerment at the management level and alignment at the organizational level. (Covey, 1993, p. 251.) Covey notes that duplicity and backstabbing, which destroy relationships, sow the seeds of destruction in an organization.
Senge significantly deepens our insight into the importance of relationships. Rather than building from a base of components or individuals, he builds from a framework of the whole or the community. The three key guiding ideas that Senge identifies are 1) the primacy of the whole, 2) the community nature of the self, and 3) the generative power of language. (Senge, Kleiner, Roberts, Ross, and Smith, pp. 25-27.) The primacy of the whole "suggests that relationships are, in a genuine sense, more fundamental than things, and that wholes are primordial to parts. We do not have to create interrelatedness. The world is already interrelated." (Senge, Kleiner, Roberts, Ross, and Smith, p. 25.)
Senge further points out that the community nature of the self "challenges us to see the interrelatedness that exists in us." (Senge, p. 26.) Just as the whole is primordial to the part, the community is primordial to the individual. The individual does not exist independent of the community of which he or she is a part. ("Community" can include a unit as small as a team or family or as large as an organization, city, or nation.)
The generative power of language "illuminates the subtle interdependency operating whenever we interact with 'reality.'" (Senge, Kleiner, Roberts, Ross, and Smith, p. 27.) It permits us to participate in shaping the world that we perceive. It permits us to keep active our view of the territory rather taking a snapshot of the territory and thereafter seeing this snapshot as the territory. That static view of reality would prevent us from seeing and responding to the constant changes in the territory.
The value of relationships, then, is that relationships, not things, are primordial. Community, not individuals, are primary. Individuals are an interdependent part of community, not independent beings merely existing in proximity with one another. At times the needs of the individual in the short term may take precedence over the needs of the community, but even then, the focus is on the long-term good of the community (of which the individual is a part) as well as the individual within that community. The primary perspective begins with the whole, not the parts. The whole is not the same as a collection of the parts. Our focus on fixing parts is on restoring the integrity of the whole.
The reason that the whole (rather than the parts) is the basic unit is that the value of the individual or part or component is not just its position or proximity in the process or system or community, but also its dynamic relationship to all other individuals in the community or components in the system. If a part is seen as a thing, separate and apart from its dynamic relationship, a major, essential portion of its character is not even accounted for. It is for this reason that Dr. Deming tells of the parts that are produced to specifications by two different manufacturers; yet one part works and the other does not. The manufacturer whose part works knows the place of the part in the system; the other does not. (Deming, 1986, p. 140.) The successful manufacturer accounts for the relational dynamics associated with the part and which are part of the part's character; the unsuccessful manufacturer does not. Similarly, a Steinway piano disassembled and the rebuilt without an understanding of the dynamic relationship of the parts is not the same as the piano originally manufactured by Steinway. (Deming, 1986, p. 129.)
This background in relational theory provides a foundation for understanding the dimensional framework that is part of a complete organization.
The Five Dimension Framework
The second aspect of a comprehensive organizational model is that it will encompass the complete spectrum of all relevant dimensions. It is the deepening of organizational dimensions that enables the organization to extend beyond basic needs and fulfill higher needs of participants in the organization. Organizations which operate in two or three dimensions are flat, imperceptive, and unresponsive to industry dynamics and market needs.
The question we must address is whether there is a touchstone against which we can measure any organizational model to determine whether it is complete. The quality and management worlds provide numerous lists of the components of an effective organization. Which ones are helpful? Which ones are not? Dr. Deming, for example, says that the management by objective model is actually detrimental to an organization. (Deming, 1986, p. 102.)
Another exploratory question we can ask in our search for the answer to the above question is "what patterns are recurrent in effective organizational models and in the organizations which use them?" An analysis of organizations and their models will reveal five distinct patterns or dimensions, all of which are found in the complete organizational model.
Experience. The most basic and most common pattern is the experience pattern. It is existent in virtually every organization because it is what the organization does which gives it life. It is experience which translates vision into reality. More mature organizations use the experience dimension to build an experience base of core competencies which make the organization unique. If the organization has the capability of learning, it will translate experience into delivery systems which continue to create "moments of truth" which live on in the minds of customers and other participants.
Measurement. Another pattern that is common in most organizations is the measurement pattern. While experience, like a stream of consciousness, is one-dimensional, measurement has two dimensions. We not only ask, "did we do it," but "how well or how poorly did we do?" The level of sophistication in measurement varies from a basic level of determining whether the firm took in more cash than it paid out to measuring whether the production process is stable.
Relationships and Systems Thinking. A third pattern that emerges in organizations is some form of systems, processes, or procedures for operation. The system assists in promoting consistency in delivering products or services, because it formalizes processes that are repetitive and establishes a means of repeating the process on a recurring basis. This relationships and systems thinking dimension permits seeing relationships and patterns, so that rather than having to treat each production cycle as a new event, the system can retain its learning and actually assimilate that learning in the system.
These first three patterns are evident, attended to, and consciously utilized in most organizations. They make up the performance (experience), measurement, and processes (systems) of the organization's delivery systems. They are known and seen because they are tangible parts of a product's production system or the process steps of a service production system.
These three patterns also constitute the course the organization pursues. It is what the organization does that defines the course of the organization. There can be any of a wide variety of sources for this course. The course can be something the organization serendipitously discovered. It can be something the organization copied from a competitor or mentor. Perhaps the organization has invested substantial research in investigating markets, competitors, and industries in order to consciously define its course. The organization engaged in quality or continuous improvement is constantly making adjustments to its course. Though sometimes appearing minor, even a small course correction can make a significant difference in where the organization finds itself over time.
The organization engaged in reengineering is often trying to make a major course correction all at once. Many reengineering efforts fail. The reason they fail is not necessarily that reengineering leadership does not understand the performance, measurement, and systems of the organization. Generally the parts of the organization are well understood. Often, the failure, instead, is the failure to understand the dynamic relationships of the parts to one another. Michael Hammer, coauthor of the original Reengineering the Corporation, distinguishes his new book, The Reengineering Revolution, from the original on the basis that the former failed to account for cultural factors in the reengineering process. This failure to understand and deal with the relational dynamic has cost a number of organizations significant time, money, and morale in their reengineering efforts--so much so that reengineering is now considered a dying fad by some. (Albrecht, p. 21.)
It becomes clear, then, that the first three patterns--experience, measurement, and systems thinking--fail to account for all the patterns needed for a complete organizational model. But the remaining two patterns are not as easy to see or understand because they are so much a part of us that is difficult to step outside ourselves to see their influence.
Value Sharing and Vision. One of the remaining necessary patterns is in fact a holistic pattern that is based on the premise that the whole is the basic unit. This pattern is based on an understanding of relational dynamics. It is based on the premise that if I give something to you that has greater value to you than it does to me, then together we are better off as a result of the trade. It is formulated through a linking of needs and resources, and this link becomes the focus of organizational vision. It is only in accounting for the dynamic relationship of the part to the whole and of the part to the other parts that an organizational model can be considered complete. It is a recognition that if I am a supplier with resources and you are a customer with needs, we both need each other.
Interconnectivity or Paradigm Logic. The other pattern that is essential for a comprehensive organizational model is the ability to see the entire system, including its parts and the dynamic relationships that are always present in it. This capability is the ability to see things from a different perspective. It is the concept of interconnectivity, or paradigm logic. It is a recognition that our paradigm may, as the case may be, prevent us from seeing--or permit us to see--essential dynamics that are necessary in order to effectively develop a delivery system that is responsive to those dynamics.
These five patterns form a structure which is, by its nature, hierarchical. The patterns are literally dimensions (see the Five Dimension Chart at the end of this article). Experience, like a stream of consciousness, is literally one dimension. Measurement adds a second dimension to let us identify how well (or how poorly) a system is performing. A third dimension, relationships and systems thinking, permits us to see relationships between variables and dynamics and to structure processes and systems around the patterns we observe. A fourth dimension, interconnectivity or paradigm logic, lets us take our three-dimension perspective and turn it on its side or on its end so that we can see it from a different perspective. This new view permits us to observe and understand dynamics which were otherwise unseen or unexplainable in our former paradigm. The fifth dimension, value sharing, is a verification of the statement that the whole is a dimension of its own. It facilitates seeing ourselves in relation to everything around us and, as such, becomes the source of vision as we see our place in our community.
It is the fourth and fifth dimensions that help us to understand not only how a system works, but why it works as it does. While the first three dimensions relate to the conduct of the system, the fifth dimension defines the context of the system--the dynamic environment in which it operates--and the fourth dimension defines our consciousness of the system and the dynamic environment in which it operates. The fourth dimension paradigms become the eyeglasses through which the dynamics are seen. Most importantly, the course the organization chooses (the delivery system) is built according to the organization's perception of the dynamics. If the dynamics are perceived correctly, the system will be responsive to the dynamics. If not, the system will operate inconsistent with the dynamics. Often when dynamics are not fully perceived the system becomes reactive rather than responsive to the dynamics.
What if the delivery system of the organization is not responding to the underlying customer dynamics? Then there will be unmet customer needs, and the aim of quality--to build and sustain relationships--will not be realized, as customers seek other organizations which will fulfill those needs.
One company, an auto body repair shop, modified its delivery system to respond to the dynamic that women are the key decision makers in 70% of new car purchases (and, the owner postulated, in the majority of car repairs). By simply modifying its system to respond to these dynamics (washing the car after repair; providing a clean, neat waiting room; providing a woman facilitator), the company's sales tripled in one year: from $525,000 in 1985 to $1.6 million in 1986. (Conlin, pp. 132-142.)
The Organizational Orienteering Model
The organizational orienteering model uses this three-part, five dimension framework to provide a comprehensive model for organizational development. By improving our consciousness of the context in which the organization operates, it enables us to shape our conduct to be responsive to the dynamics of the context.
In the orienteering model, the map is the context. It represents the environment, with all its interrelated dynamics. The compass is the means of raising our consciousness about the direction we are going in relation to our environment. The course we pursue is evident in our conduct. The course is part of the surface structure or delivery system, so it is much more evident than the more esoteric paradigms and dynamics.
Orienteering is the integrated use of the map and compass to travel a course, checking in at control points. Sometimes referred to as "the thinking sport," orienteering is competitive pathfinding with map, compass, and brainpower. (Reale, p. 30.) In today's rapidly changing marketplace, organizational orienteering is not a game or a sport. Rather, it is a lifeline. Its proper use can spell the life of an organization. Its misuse can spell the organization's death. Providing aim as well as responsiveness, the orienteering model is uniquely suitable for integrating the strategy, quality, and operations functions in a firm.
There are three fundamental elements of the orienteering model: the map, the compass, and the course. In organizational orienteering, the map is a representation of the environment in which an organization exists. The key element of that environment is the dynamics of its ecosystems. An understanding of those dynamics can help an organization chart its course to develop renewable resources (e.g., "sustaining membership") that will support the organization into the future. Mapping tools helps us recognize and hear the voice of the stakeholders and the voice of the environment, so that our systems can be structured to respond to those dynamics, rather than simply react to them or, worse yet, operate in conflict with them.
The compass ascertains direction by assessing invisible forces. This direction helps us orient our organization so we know who we are and what direction we are headed. As such, it provides the basic frames of reference, or paradigms (the eyeglasses through which dynamics are understood) through which the affairs of the organization are managed. These paradigms are based in our values and value systems. If our focus is on the more obvious delivery system, sometimes the basic values are ignored and operational values emerge which are inconsistent with or even in conflict with our true underlying values. For example, underlying the primary, "true north" force of quality is the building and sustaining of relationships. Principles such as confidence, trust, alignment, empowerment, and contribution guide the organization in building and sustaining its relationships with its participants. However, if the operational paradigm is seen as enhancing the wealth of the owner(s) at the expense of the customers and employees, an unstable environment of distrust and duplicity may emerge which is destructive to the long-term interests of the organization and all its stakeholders, including the owners.
The compass helps us recognize and hear the voice of the organizational soul, so that the organization can make a unique contribution consistent with its underpinnings. Often the compass reading, or voice of the soul, is expressed in conative "promptings," "moments of brilliance," "intuition," "aha's," or even "gut feelings." Often this voice is ignored because it is inconsistent with the prevailing operational paradigm and, consequently, does not appear logical. The danger of ignoring compass readings is that it chills innovation and enforces a stagnant adherence to a single paradigm, when in fact other paradigms might reveal hidden dynamics that would make the organization more responsive to its constituents, as in the auto body repair shop experience noted above. For example, the modification of a bereavement policy from a non-trusting, strict enforcement of three days' leave to a trusting, flexible policy permitting leave upon approval of the supervisor resulted in greater use of bereavement leave but a 47% reduction in leave time taken. (Deming, 1992.)
The course which the organization chooses to travel is manifest in the organization's delivery system, including the performance, the measurements, and the systems and processes that enable the organization to build and sustain relationships with its key participants. While some organizations travel the trail everyone else has traveled, the course of the enlightened organization is a product of its ability to learn and respond. As systems are standardized, they become the organizational memory, serving as a basis for prediction and as a guide for future action. The control points are landmarks along the way that help the organization verify that it is on the right track or that course correction (modification of the system) is needed. Quality principles help us recognize and listen to the voice of the system, to verify whether the system is stable and whether systemic changes are needed to permit the organization to better respond to the environment in which it operates.
Traversing the course involves front-line linking of market needs with an organization's resources. It is much more effective under a leadership model than in a management model. In leadership, vision is the linking of needs with resources, so alignment is built in because needs are part of the vision. The incentive focus of the management model obscures true underlying needs and is inflexible and unresponsive to changing needs. Leadership permits empowerment and strategic capability building, which enables responsive course correction by those on the front line who traverse the terrain.
In the management system, organizational leadership develops a vision or mission for the organization and then asks, "how can we best use our employees to achieve this mission?" Management then puts goals and incentives in place for the employees and ties these incentives to the goals and mission of the organization. As the employees do the work necessary to achieve the incentives, the work of the organization is accomplished and its mission is fulfilled. But this very incentive structure is what makes the organization inflexible and unable to respond to the changing needs of customers. In fact, the management structure can actually force misalignment. What happens if the dynamics of the market or industry change? The goals of the organization must also change or the organization will find itself unable to compete with organizations which are more responsive to customer needs. However, if the organizational goals and mission are changed, they are no longer consistent with the incentives. So the employees, working to achieve the incentives, are still working to achieve the outdated goals and mission. The answer, then, seems obvious: just change the incentives to match the new goals. Any manager who has tried to change the incentives knows the difficulty of this solution. Employees have been known to resist change even when it is for their benefit! The nature of the management environment engenders a feeling among employees that any change by management must be for the good of management and not for the employees. An attempt to change incentives, then, only fuels the flames of mistrust.
What we need, then, is a model that is responsive to dynamics. This is the essence of leadership: in leadership the participants develop a vision, which is the common good in their relationship. This common good is a linking of the needs of the participants with the human, information, and capital resources which will fulfill those needs. Because the needs are an elemental part of vision, the vision is always responsive to the dynamics. As the dynamics change, the vision flexibly responds to that change by developing and linking whatever resources are needed to fulfill those needs. This is why the focus on strategic planning over the past ten years has shifted from precise projections of the future to strategic capability building which flexibly responds to changing needs of customers. As Tom Peters emphasizes, "What strategic planning should be about is not precise projections of the future, but the construction of organizational skills and capability that will give us the potential to react to a fast-changing world. * * * In our fast-changing world, strategy must be driven by skills and capabilities, not by markets or products. We must build an incredibly solid machine that can respond to fast-changing markets." (Peters.) The leadership model assists an organization in constantly charting a course that is always responsive to needs of participants.
Most organizations focus their efforts on their delivery system. If the measurements are not as they expect, they tweak the delivery system to try to get it to deliver the results they desire. Often these constant adjustments to the delivery system only make matters worse (see Deming funnel experiment, Deming, 1986, p. 329), especially if the adjustments are inconsistent with the dynamics of the system (see Senge, p. 41)
The organizational orienteering model does not discourage adjustments to the system. In fact, since dynamics, by definition, are in a constant state of change, the orienteering model presupposes that adjustments to the system may be necessary. What the organizational orienteering model provides is a method of making intelligent decisions about the timing and nature of any adjustments to the system, so that it can constantly be responsive to the dynamics rather than operating in conflict with them.
It is unfortunate that our language is linear and permits us to describe only one thing at a time. This may create a misperception that the orienteering model is composed of three different static parts--the map, the compass, and the course. However, the value of the orienteering model is not just in reading the maps of our environment or taking a compass reading to see which direction we are going or in having a course we can follow, with control points.
Rather, the value of the orienteering model is in its interactive, dynamic nature--its interrelatedness. It is the integrated use of the map and the compass to travel a course that provides the value of the model. The best use of the model is in its interactions and relationships, not in the ability to read a map or a compass separately. In other words, conduct adjustments (changes to the delivery system) occur in mid-flight in response to a conscious perception of context changes (changes in environmental dynamics), not at a planning board with a static map that no longer reflects the current environmental dynamics. Orienteering is action oriented. It involves "decoding on the go," "translating at a trot," and if an organization "zigs" when it should have "zagged," it may end up taking the "bailout route for the befuddled." (Reale, p. 30.)
Changes in the environment are often subtle; and without an astute consciousness, it is often difficult to recognize what changes are occurring. However, changes in the environment will eventually have an impact on the conduct of the delivery system. The value of control points is that they provide an opportunity to recognize subtle shifts in the system performance which may be a signal of subtle shifts in the environmental dynamics. Early recognition of these changes will permit fluid responsiveness to changes in dynamics rather than coarse reaction. Any manager can recognize a shift in dynamics when a crisis eventually results. It is the astute manager who can "scan the horizon" to recognize shifts early on and then modify the delivery system while responsive and even generative opportunities still exist.
A primary benefit of the orienteering model is that it permits integration of strategy with quality and operations. The strategic charting of the course is based on insightful perceptions of environmental dynamics, providing a much greater opportunity to fulfill the quality function of building and sustaining relationships through actual operations (the course that is traveled). Moreover, the focus of the orienteering strategy is on building and utilizing the unique experience base of the organization in connection with the firm's underlying values to make a unique contribution to the needs of society in general as well as the particular needs of the constituents who are served by the organization.
The Organizational Orienteering Link with Deming, Covey, and Senge
Deming, Covey, and Senge each provide an organizational model that is complete. Each of their models cover the five dimensions that are a necessary part of a complete organizational model. More significantly, the focus of the models of Deming, Covey, and Senge is on a different element of the orienteering model. Deming's focus is on the course, or the delivery system. Covey's focus is on the compass, or our consciousness of the essential dynamics needed for an effective organization--in particular the human relations dynamics. Senge's focus is on the map, or the underlying dynamics that are part of the system or community in which we participate.
The distinct value of the organizational orienteering model is that it provides a means of integrating the philosophies of all three of these masters in a single, integrated organizational model that utilizes the power that all three provide, creating a synergistic model that is more powerful than any of the three separately. As such, the models of Deming, Covey, and Senge are not in competition with one another, but rather work together to provide a comprehensive means of maintaining organizational health.
Five Dimension Structure of Deming, Covey, and Senge's models
Each of the organizational models advanced by Deming, Covey, and Senge are complete in that they integrate the five dimensions of experience, measurement, relationships and systems thinking, interconnectivity and paradigm logic, and value sharing and vision. These models are summarized on the chart below.
Deming is credited with making popular the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle propounded by Shewhart. Moreover, Deming enhanced the model by inferring another element, Aim, in his last book. (Deming, 1993, p. 51.) The Aim-Plan-Do-Study-Act model is an effective organizational tool which integrates the five dimensions of quality. Aim is a vision or value sharing function. As Deming notes, the aim must relate to how life is better for everyone. (Deming, 1993, p. 52.) Planning is an interconnectivity, or paradigm function. It deals with not only the specification of what must be done where and when, but also the entire organizational framework in which the delivery system will be developed. Do is clearly an experience function. It is the do which translates the aim and the planning into reality. Study is a measurement function. It involves analysis of results. Act is a systems function. It involves accepting and standardizing processes that work and eliminating processes that do not.
Even the elements of Dr. Deming's Theory of Profound Knowledge have a foundation in the dimensional structure. (Deming, 1993, p. 96.) Variation theory relates to experience and the natural variation that occurs at that level. Theory of Knowledge is a measurement function similar to the Study phase of the Aim-Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle. It is through developing premises and theories about our system and then testing those hypotheses with data that our knowledge of the system is enhanced and our ability to predict the output of the system improves. Systems thinking is clearly a relationships and systems function, and Psychology relates to underlying perceptions and frames of reference which are part of our paradigms.
Covey's principle-centered leadership encompasses the human relations aspects of the five dimensions of quality. In some aspects the five dimension link with Covey is obvious. Covey's reference to the physical dimension of our existence (Deming's "Do") refers to an experience function. The mental dimension (Deming's "Study") is a measurement function. The social/emotional dimension (Deming's "Act") is a relationship function. The spiritual dimension (Deming's "Plan") is an interconnectivity or paradigm function. The touchstone of principle-centered leadership follows this same pattern: To Live (experience, do); To Learn (measurement, study); To Love (relationships, act); To Leave a Legacy (interconnectivity, plan).
As discussed in much greater detail elsewhere (Winder, Judd, Robison), Covey's personal, interpersonal, management, and organization concepts requiring trustworthiness, trust, empowerment, and alignment provide a human relations dimension of action (experience), interaction (measurement, "what can I contribute" and "what can I use"), connection (systems and relationships, involving individual's contribution to the team such that the power of team is greater than that of the individuals separately), interconnection (permitting us to see things through "different eyes," and expand our paradigm or frame of reference), and community (greater vision and heightened sensitivity to our surroundings and greater awareness of the dynamics involved).
Senge's five disciplines are five dimension elements relating to the holism philosophy developed by Senge. Personal Mastery ("learning to expand our personal capacity to create the results we most desire") is an individual experience function. Shared Vision is a measurement or knowledge function involving developing shared images of the future we seek to create. Team Learning (developing "intelligence and ability greater than the sum of the individual members' talents") is a relationships and systems function. Mental Models ("reflecting upon, continually clarifying, and improving our internal pictures of the world, and seeing how they shape our actions and decisions") is an interconnectivity or paradigm function. Finally, Systems Thinking, as described by Senge, extends well beyond traditional systems thinking to the holistic vision and value sharing function where our relationship to the system we are part of becomes clear. It is "a way of thinking about, and a language for describing and understanding, the forces and interrelationships that shape the behavior of systems." It "helps us to see how to change systems more effectively, and to act more in tune with the larger processes of the natural and economic world." (Senge, Kleiner, Roberts, Ross, and Smith, pp. 6-7.)
|The Five Dimensions of Quality||Deming||Covey's Principle-Centered Leadership (Modified)||Senge|
|Description||Building Blocks||APDSA||Profound Knowledge||Interaction||Principle||Action||Discipline|
|5||Vision & Value Sharing||Community
|Aim||(Community)||(Emotional Bank Account)||(To Live in Harmony)||Systems Thinking|
|4||Interconnectivity & Paradigm Logic||Interconnection
|Plan||Psychology||Organization||Alignment||To Leave a Legacy||Mental Models|
|3||Relationships & Systems||Connection
|Act||Systems Thinking||Management (Team)||Empowerment||To Love||Team Learning|
|Study||Theory of Knowledge||Interpersonal||Trust||To Learn||Shared Vision|
|Do||Variation Theory||Personal||Trustworthy||To Live||Personal Mastery|
The models developed by Deming, Covey, and Senge are synergistic in that they support each other when utilized in an integrative model such as the orienteering model. Senge's insight into the nature of the dynamics of systems provides the tools for constantly reading the organizational orienteering map so that we understand the nature of the dynamics we are dealing with in our environment. Covey's focus on human interrelations and the tools and methods to ensure that effective relationships are built and maintained provide the tools to constantly read the compass and shape our paradigms to be able to effectively see the nature of and value of maintaining human communication and interaction lines in our organization. Deming's focus on understanding the delivery system and establishing control points to ensure that it is functioning as expected provide tools needed to effectively maintain the course we choose to follow. So it is the use of the philosophies of all three of these masters that provides an integrated model for ensuring that we can continue to build and sustain relationships and thus accomplish the aim of quality. This permits us to effectively accomplish the integrated use of the map and compass to travel our course, checking in at control points, so that we, in our organization, know who we are and what we are about, and know our place in the community and environment in which we operate.
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