Synthesis Introduction

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS… a legacy of applied imagination involving destruction and creation.

Quality IS…a formal language for constructing patterns.

Quality IS…a construct for linking patterns.



While a person may make small improvements by developing new skills, quantum leaps in performance and revolutionary advances in technology require new maps, new paradigms, and new ways of thinking about old problems. – Stephen Covey             

I dedicate this part of my book to cognitive thought, solutions and Abraham Kaplan. Kaplan’s book The Conduct of Inquiry (1964) has had a significant impact regarding the development of my thought process for developing Quality IS – Exposing the DNA and Meaning of Quality.

Since the three chapters in Part Two contain the essence of what makes my book unique; I am providing only background information.  Hopefully, I will spark some interest when and if my book gets published.

First: Why explore the notions of applied imagination, suggested by Alex Osborn, and Destruction and Creation by John Boyd?

As I was endeavoring to persevere, doing research for this book, I became aware of the pertinent insight and knowledge of Alex Osborn and John Boyd. Their ideas and legacy regarding analysis and synthesis would have added significantly to the theoretical basis and organization of my Master’s Thesis. Unfortunately, their work was outside the circle of typical research being done in my field.  Osborn and Boyd clearly explained that knowledge can be concentrated and isolated or it can be taken apart and then reassembled into something new and novel. Their insight represented critical, in some ways impressionistic thinking, which was way ahead of its time. Their thought patterns in the 50’s and 60’s were beacons for systems development and provided a theoretical basis for the creation of a sustainable paradigm. In some circles a sustainable paradigm would be considered oxymoronic, but read on.  Osborn and Boyd would have disagreed.

Next Post – The Legacy of Alex Osborn and John Boyd


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The Legacy

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS… a legacy of applied imagination involving destruction and creation.

Why explore the notions of applied imagination, suggested by Alex Osborn, and Destruction and Creation by John Boyd?



Alex Osborn (1888 – 1966)

Alex Osborn is known as the father of “brain storming,” but his contribution in the area of imagination and creativity is germane to the subject matter of this book. His book, Applied Imagination, Principles and Procedures of Creative Problem-solving, published in 1953 and currently out of print, was re-printed thirty-one times with 250,000 copies in print by 1963. A quote on the front cover of the 31st printing and 3rd revised edition was indicative of the contents. He quoted Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” Einstein further stated, “for knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Osborn’s ideas clearly help to substantiate Einstein’s statement. His text sought mainly to cover the creative side of imagination, especially in its application to problem solving.

For Osborn creative imagination had two functions. One is to hunt; the other is to change what is found. In its hunting function, our talent can serve us as a searchlight with which we can find that which is not really new, but is new to us. This is discovery rather than invention. He stressed that the hunting function should not be too sharply divorced from the changing function.

John Boyd (1927 – 1997)

Colonel John (Richard) Boyd was a United States Air Force fighter pilot extraordinaire and Pentagon consultant of the late 20th century, whose theories have been highly influential in the military, sports, and business worlds.

His contribution to the security of the United States cannot be overstated.  For example, in a letter to the editor of Inside the Pentagon, former Commandant of the Marine Corps General C. Krulak said “The Iraqi army collapsed morally and intellectually under the onslaught of American and Coalition forces. John Boyd was an architect of that victory as surely as if he’d commanded a fighter wing or maneuver a division in the desert.”

 John Boyd was a truly amazing individual: in the 1960’s he created the Energy-Maneuverability Theory with civilian mathematician Thomas Christie which was largely responsible for the successful development of the F-15 and F-16 Fighter, as well as several others. He also developed the concept and process by which an entity reacts to an event called the OODA Loop, a key in the aerial combat thought process. Boyd was a deep thinker.

Boyd quoted Thomas Kuhn five times in an excellent white paper.  In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), Kuhn discusses the concept of a paradigm and on page ten he provides two characteristics of achievement that, for Kuhn, helps to define a paradigm:

Characteristic One: Achievement that is sufficiently unprecedented to attract an enduring group of adherents away from competing modes of scientific activity.

Characteristic Two: Simultaneously, the achievement was sufficiently open-ended to leave all sorts of problems for the redefined group of practitioners to resolve.

Boyd’s contribution to the concepts presented in this book was a single white paper labored over for several years with the help of his highly influential and educated friends. A complete chapter is dedicated to Osborn and Boyd in the book.

Osborn and Boyd were high achievers. Their legacy points the way to a sustainable paradigm. Read more about how their thoughts influenced the development of the Pattern Engine, the ConPriDigm, and my book — in my book.

Next post…the Pattern Engine

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Along the Path Narration

November 19, 2013  

As this point in my blog you are probably thinking that the chapter on theory was a little too intense.  Perhaps, too much information in just a few short posts. But, if you stick with me I can assure you that everything will come together and you will be well on your way to understanding the DNA and Meaning of Quality.  The chapter on theory lays the ground rules for all following chapters. I am reminded of a quote by James Conant, former president and organic chemistry professor of Harvard University, “Seek simplicity – and, having found it, suspect it.”  My entire career was driven by the concept of – Keep it Simple Stupid or the KISS principle. We might suspect that Conant would have a problem with the KISS principle. When I started this adventure I sought simplicity and was disappointed. When we make things simple we avoid meaning, or at least we convey meaning in a very narrow sense. Perhaps we might say “narrow minded”. We can force our minds to become “broad minded” by accepting the fact that everything is connected and when we accept and realize the truth of this revelation.  But, we need a model for realizing what, how and why things are connected – THEORY IS THAT MODEL – and provides a path to meaning.  From time to time please go back and review Chapter One and Two. Assimilate them, and you will understand why my book is structured to broaden your understanding of quality. Your understanding will be so intense that quality will be considered in all of your decisions…because you will know how to do it. But, you can’t do it if you don’t grasp its meaning and follow a path that will get you to the destination. The next three chapters will cover Concepts, Principles, and Paradigms…doesn’t this just make sense?


December 10, 2013

If Quality is a complex concept and an organization becomes more complex as it adds products, suppliers, ingredients, customers and staff then quality must be integrated into the thoughts and minds of everyone.  Quality can no longer be a separate function or a project seeking the reduction of loosely defined defects, or the streamlining of processes to eliminate waste.  Quality must be paramount in every decision that is made. Not the Quality of old or the quality of the present but the quality of where it must be. Quality must be meaningful.

Up to this point we have labored over the meaning of meaning and the critical importance of addressing the “How?”, “What?” and the “Why?” or theory. We just covered how important it is to explain and describe concepts. We are moving along the path to exposing the DNA and meaning of Quality. Along the way we will expose the chromosomes, the DNA, the genes and the resulting proteins that make up the complexity of Quality.

I have answered the following questions:

  • Why should we seek meaning in conceptual fields of knowledge and those allied concepts, principles and paradigms that describe and control them and then connect them with a theory?
  • Why should we seek criteria that will lead to a coherent quality theory with explanatory power?
  • Why should we identify the mental glue that secures our past experiences?

We have a long journey ahead of us. In the next three chapters, on our path to meaning, I will answer the following questions:

  • Why should we establish concept to concept relationships?
  • Why should we aggregate concepts and principles by providing rules for their application?
  • Why should we explore the notions of applied imagination, suggested by Alex Osborn, and Destruction and Creation by John Boyd?


January 8, 2014 – from Paradigms

How can we understand and comprehend anything without first understanding what meaning  – means? Meaning cannot exist without patterns of thought that are built on a foundation of associated knowledge, principles, concepts and paradigms. Meaning is best comprehended in rich descriptions that I call conceptual patterns. There are several examples of conceptual patterns in the Pattern Dictionary. Conceptual patterns must be linked; they cannot stand on their own.  Conceptual patterns link fields of knowledge with associated principles; principles with associated concepts; and the paradigms that provide purposeful rules for their application A theory bundles everything up in a neat package.

The book will provide the methodology for developing and linking conceptual patterns. If you have the experience associated with an abstract concept, the book will provide you with a model for writing your own book. Simply follow the model and expose the DNA.

The journey to the meaning of quality involves exposing its DNA and requires the following steps.

Step One: Recognize the knowledge domains that encapsulate it. Up to this point we have recognized the following foundational domains; Meaning, Theory, Concepts, Principles, and Paradigms.  The table of contents outlines the remaining domains that we must dissect.

Step Two: Distinguish each domain of knowledge with a purpose. The purpose of any field of knowledge is always first principle. Let us get started but expand later on.

Meaning: The purpose of meaning is the explication of worth, importance, or usefulness to meet needs and wants for achieving an anticipated outcome.

Theory: The purpose of theory is to guide explanation, behavior and comprehension of phenomena and answer the questions, What, Why, and How.

Concepts: The purpose of a concept is to form classifications and implicitly express the theories through which we comprehend and interpret what we see, taste, hear, smell and touch.

Principles: The purpose of a principle is to connect concepts in a logical way that will lead to action.

Paradigms: The purpose of a paradigm is to aggregate; fields of knowledge, the associated principles and concepts that provide purposeful rules for execution.

 Step Three: Express each domain of knowledge in principles. In Part Three we will cover the specific knowledge domains that relate to the meaning of quality. I will identify six principles in each domain that will expose meaning resulting in the development of conceptual patterns of explanation. First principle is always purpose.

Step Four: Categorize and link the concepts captured by principle in a way that is consistent. In Part Two, I will introduce: the legacy of Alex Osborn and John Boyd; my inspiration for this book; the Pattern Engine for developing conceptual patterns; and the ConPriDigm. Part two will be presented only in summary form in this blog.

Step Five: Forecast the implications as conceptual patterns and clarify everything in a theory that addresses, How, What, and Why. The final chapter of the book will document a general theory of quality that will be constructed from all that precedes. The final chapter will not be included in this Blog. The purpose of this blog is to develop interest in the book while giving back at the same time.

My next post will be presented in a summary format for Part Two – Synthesis.

October 9, 2014

  • Who is Todd Siler?
  • Todd was the first visual artist to receive a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Psychology and Art from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. One of his books, Breaking the Mind Barrier, was nominated for an award in education for “a work of outstanding educational achievement with potential for worldwide impact”.
  • Dr. Siler introduced the concept of Metaphorming in his book, Thinking Like a Genius.  People that will be using the published version of this blogged book will be Metaphorming. See if you can connect what Dr. Siler describes as Metaphormng to many of the concepts presented in this blog…and I quote.


  • The term “metaphorming” is derived from the Greek words meta (transcending) and phora (transference).  It refers to the act of changing something from one state of matter and meaning to another.  It begins with transferring new meanings and associations from one object or idea to another.
  • You use metaphorming to foster creativity, to discover and invent something new, to connect things that seem unrelated, to solve a problem and depict solutions, to entertain an original idea or question it, to enrich the experience of learning and enhance communication.
  • Metaphorming is something you have to do to understand.
  • Anything that you connect or compare with something else is a metaphorm. The things you bring together are expanded in meaning by this connection, because you learn something new about them.
  • It is a process of inquiry – one with infinite possibilities for discovery and invention.

Contrast some of Silers thoughts with those of Abraham Kaplan…..Quality IS

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The Recipe – Preparation – Imagination: Step 4

LOGO FINALQuality IS…a recipe for connecting patterns.

Why seek criteria that will lead to a coherent quality theory with explanatory power?



In chapter four we will pay tribute to Alex Osborn, the author of Applied Imagination, Principles and Procedures of Creative Problem-solving. He quoted Albert Einstein on the cover of the 31st printing and 3rd revised edition, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. Alex Osborn is known as the father of “Brain Storming”, but his contribution in the area of imagination and creativity is germane to the subject matter of this book. Osborn writes that the synthesis of concepts and ideas cannot occur without analysis, hunting, combining and change. As a fan of John Dewey (American philosopher), he pointed out that our creative thinking will improve as we relate the new fact to the old, and all facts to each other. Osborn felt that we need analysis to discover relationships, relate our facts and thus enhance our ability to form a pattern – a pattern which can serve as a map in our search for solutions.

For Osborn, creative imagination has two functions. One is to hunt; the other is to change what is found. In its hunting function, our talent can serve us as a searchlight with which we can find that which is not really new, but is new to us, this is discovery rather than invention.

On the flip side – McDonald and Schneberger provided us with a snippet of information from Hadamard, author of The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field (1945), who asserted emphatically that invention is really discovery, that initial theory would come from logic and systematic reasoning.  Hadamard, asserted four stages of invention applicable to theories; 1) preparation by gathering information, 2) incubation by intense thought (imagination), 3) illumination after unconscious work and 4) verification and precise definition.

In my last post regarding the elements of preparation I will address ABILITY- step 5.


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