Category Archives: deming

WANTED: systemsy stuff to cheer me up

I’ve been working in an ordinary command and control organisation TOO LONG. I’m miserable and it makes me think that all work is like this and it can never change. I know it isn’t. I’ve been a part of, and … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, deming, systems thinking | 7 Comments

Can you count up to 8?

Do you produce loads of whizzy hard performance data? I bet if you do you use one of these clever whizzy performance applications to showcase your wares… There’s lots of different types of these things, and an even larger number of … Continue reading

Posted in data, deming, statistics | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

I don’t know much about control charts (but I know what I like)

I’ve never been trained in using control charts, never passed a test or worked with anyone who’s knowledgeable in them. Everything I’ve learned has been off of the Internet Or books, books as well, they’re famously good for learning. Cunninghams Law … Continue reading

Posted in data, deming, information, learning, measures, statistics, systems thinking | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Not one reply

Exactly a week ago I invited readers to send in their own stories about how offering data, creating normative learning opportunities and plain nagging had resulted in some type of systemsy incident. That it is possible to create change upwards … Continue reading

Posted in change, deming, leadership, psychology, systems thinking, thinking, vanguard method | Tagged | 24 Comments

Deming sucks

I can’t stand Deming. I used to have a mug with his photo on and a snappy quote, but thats all changed now I think he’s dangerous. Not the old bald dude who was an actual person who did actual … Continue reading

Posted in deming, John Seddon, systems thinking | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Learning is a thing

Today I learnt that… Nope, it’s gone.

Posted in deming, knowledge, learning, questions, systems thinking, very short posts | Tagged , | 1 Comment

3 word Deming

I found this sorry article left in a meeting room. As you can see, not much progress had been made. Flip charts in meeting rooms are brilliant evidence of the thinking that was in the room. Imagine that is you … Continue reading

Posted in deming, learning, questions, systems thinking | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

4 pie charts you won’t see in a performance report

I do performance reports for a living. Here are the most important 4 pie charts that I will never be able to put into a performance report.

Posted in all wrong, deming, systems thinking, targets | Tagged , | 23 Comments

The Pickle Principle

“Cucumbers get more pickled than brine gets cucumbered.” [link] It’s not just Deming that said that the system is responsible for 95%, and individuals only 5%. The power of context over the individual is huge and that’s science. There’s a … Continue reading

Posted in deming, psychology, systems thinking, thinking | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Happy Halloween

Celebrate this Halloween the systems thinking way! Put this up in your office to warn your managers that they’d best wise up or face the consequences. Please note: ThinkPurpose does not accept any responsibility. In general, like. But also for any … Continue reading

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Zombie Deming teaches about learning

There’s a difference between learning and knowledge. Somewhere on the internet, there are the silly words, “Knowledge is the banquet spread out on the table. Learning is how much of the banquet you partake of.” As if it’s about stuffing … Continue reading

Posted in deming, knowledge, learning, systemz comix | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Zombie Deming advises on the use of targets

Targets! Robust! Stretch! Aspirational! Bollocks. When the Audit Commission was around targets were everywhere. Partly due to the existence of a national framework of indicators that Local Authorities and lots of other public sector bodies had to report against. With … Continue reading

Posted in deming, systems thinking, systemz comix, targets | Tagged | Leave a comment

Zombie Deming eats his own arse in frustration at it all

Oh dear. With Zombie Deming on the hunt “sharing good practice” is as dangerous to the integrity of your skull as rubbing raw liver on your head and sticking it in a lions cage. Can we guess the thinking behind … Continue reading

Posted in deming, inspection, systems thinking, systemz comix, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Friends at work

I don’t have any friends at work. Don’t feel sorry for me though, because probably neither do you. People act as if they have friends at work though. They go on lunches, team away days, team nights out. They buy … Continue reading

Posted in deming, psychology, systems thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Zombie Deming takes issue with a poster

Oh dear! Somebody should have warned him! So, what would cause a perfectly sane manager to stick “WORK HARDER” posters up and not expect to be lynched? Command and control thinking as at it’s heart control through commands. The purpose … Continue reading

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Zombie Deming is on the prowl

Deming is celebrating the return in 2 weeks of The Walking Dead by arising from his grave and continuing his hunt for bad thinking-and live humans. Being undead hasn’t lessened the old coves infamously short temper, if anything it has made it … Continue reading

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Long live the King!

Long live the King! But what are the four words that come before those ones? The King is dead. Long live the King! In the olden days, or in England which is the same thing, when a monarch died those … Continue reading

Posted in deming, leadership, systems thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

gud at maffs

The Civil Service Reform Plan. There, said it. Come back! That’s the boring bit over with, those dull words in that boring order. As a reward let’s laugh at it, specifically the bit where Senior Civil Servants get maths all … Continue reading

Posted in deming, statistics, systems thinking | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

9 questions about your cake and you

Organisations are layer cakes. There is a long way between the cherries on the top and the damp base at the bottom. Answer these 9 questions to align yourself in the cake and find out what that means for you … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, customer, deming, purpose, systems thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Punching above your weight

What would give you extra prowess in the meeting room? More bang for your buck? Data! But not just any data, made-up data. This is my secret. The best data is made-up. Pretend! Nobody ever has real data, not to … Continue reading

Posted in data, deming, very short posts | Tagged | 4 Comments

How clean is my table?

The last post was about there being “no true value” of a measure, unless you define what you mean to measure, and that the way to know what you are supposed to be measuring is to define measure by purpose. … Continue reading

Posted in clarity of purpose, deming, purpose, systems thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

A prediction, a plan, a wish or a warning?

“The individual, once transformed, will: Set an example Be a good listener, but will not compromise Continually teach other people Help people to pull away from their current practice and beliefs and move into the new philosophy without a feeling … Continue reading

Posted in deming, systems thinking, very short posts | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Magical pixie dust

The following are all real answers given in organisations in answer to the question: “How will we achieve our targets?” “Improvements in service delivery focussing on services which really matter to customers” “Ongoing training and evaluation of training needs. Increase … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, command and control, deming, setting a numerical target is like..., systems thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

So you work in The Adminisphere…

That’s OK! You can still learn lessons from your mug of tea. What can you learn from this mug of tea? Assuming you work in the adminisphere, and are therefore an adminisphereaucrat for short, look at the work you are … Continue reading

Posted in clarity of purpose, customer, deming, systems thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Do you work in The Adminisphere?

Do you work in The Adminisphere? Answer the questions below, score 10 points for each “yes”. Whatever the score don’t hate yourself, it’s the system, innit? Do you regularly put the words “policy” (meaning longwinded) and “brief” (meaning short and … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, deming, systems thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Who’s trained the system?

A colleague is leaving and is clearing their desk and cupboards of decades of training manuals, never used, as the training was never used. It is like unearthing the last few decades of training fads that have plagued the public sector. … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, deming, knowledge, plausible but untrue, systems thinking, Uncategorized, vanguard method | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Keep systems thinking, and have a lovely day!

Why wish “Keep systems thinking, and have a lovely day!”?  Here’s why. It is very hard indeed keeping positive and enthusiastic, in a command and control environment where it very much feels like you against the world, it is much easier to become … Continue reading

Posted in deming, systems thinking, vanguard method, very short posts | Tagged | 1 Comment

Plausible and untrue

“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in deming, plausible, vanguard method | Leave a comment

Hawaiian shirt Fridays aren’t always the answer

Hawaiian shirt Fridays aren’t always the answer. No they’re not, but just look at that moustache. A welcome reminder that Movember is almost upon us, time for Gillette and Wilkinson Sword’s stock price to take their annual 30-day nose-dive. Sponsor a tache near … Continue reading

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