A Farewell to the Beginning

LOGO FINALManagers are very busy people. Their days are filled with action. They must execute to survive. Managers make decisions that must be communicated in a clear and concise manner.

Good management decisions stem from an effective knowledge base.

For the typical manager, knowledge is developed by doing the job.  If they have the time, they attend seminars, conferences and read. This book targets the manager who likes to read and improve his or her ability to connect concepts, heard frequently as “buss words”, with the associated principles and paradigms that guide their daily struggle. Busy managers do not have the time to read, assimilate and comprehend all the classics, much less, execute what they have learned.  As a writer, and a member of management for more than four decades, I am going to do the reading for the busy manager that simply does not have the time. I will communicate the knowledge in a quasi academic and theoretical style. If the word “quasi” bothers you, let me define it.

Quasi is defined in the Encarta Dictionary as resembling something, in some ways, but not the same. Academics love paraphrasing the works of other academics. I do too. But, I do not trust paraphrasing because something always gets lost in the translation and may be taken so far out of context that the process becomes unreal. If you don’t believe me, look up some of the citations in one of you favorite books and read it in the context of the originating author. You just may be as surprised as I was, most of the time.

My style is quasi because I rarely paraphrase and when I do, the sentence structure of the original author remains intact. A theoretical style simply means that I will be focusing on “What does it mean”, “Why is it important” and “How to understand it” while utilizing concepts, principles and paradigms as a structure for explanation.

I study everything from the perspective of someone that has been in the trenches doing the work, implementing change and executing the vision of the employer. I will be connecting quality with the relevant knowledge of the great minds of the 20th and 21st centuries that typify quality like Deming and Shewhart and some that don’t, i.e. Kuhn, Bono, Kaplan and Boyd.

My intention is not to impose “how” to do anything. In my experience, at the director level, it is best to leave the “how” up to the manager’s discretion. However, the manager must be given the tools to develop their own universal principles and must accept the expected outcome.

My book is about Quality. Not its practice but its conceptual basis and content. It is about what Quality IS and how it’s DNA and meaning can be exposed. I use the term “DNA” because quality is complex and the term “exposed” because I do not believe quality has been linked to every manager in organizations that make decisions directly affecting quality. The term “meaning” does not translate directly to a definition. To make quality meaningful it must be explained in the context of a complex entity that cannot be defined.

I sincerely hope my traditionally published book will be of interest.  Some would say that I have given much of my book away in this blog, which is true, but there is a lot more where that came from. I intentionally left out most of Part Two that provides the details of the Pattern Engine and the ConPriDigm. Chapter Thirty is also absent. I will continue to monitor and occasionally edit and/or add information to this blog because it is a work of fidelity…fidelity to the complex concept of Quality. The objective: make Quality so meaningful that the quality function is no longer needed at the organizational level, every decision, by every manager, is based on what Deming called profound knowledge but I call profound understanding.

I leave you with two of my favorite quotes that are part of this blogged book. Google the authors, they are two very interesting people.

Seek simplicity — and having found it, suspect it.    James Conant

People like to think that businesses are built of numbers (as in the “bottom line”), or forces (as in “market forces”), or things (“the product”), or even flesh and blood (“our people”). But this is wrong…Businesses are made of ideas — ideas expressed as words.”  – James Champy

 

Please support my traditionally published work…Thank You!

 

March 27, 2014

Patrick Lou Kelly, MSQA

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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.

                        

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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 Pattern Engine

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…a formal language for constructing patterns.

Why establish a methodology for redesigning concepts to create patterns from multi-source lexical definitions?

 

 

We destroy and create patterns to permit us to both shape and be shaped by change – the activity is dialectic in nature creating both disorder and order. – John Boyd

The Pattern Engine is fueled with words, specifically, abstract nouns and their lexical definitions.

Lexical definitions can be found in the typical dictionary. The Pattern Engine provides the muscle for decomposing and then reconstructing words that result in the synthesis of a pattern.  The Pattern Dictionary contains several examples.

Let us look at a pattern for the abstract noun – Pattern.

A pattern is a general concept formed by extracting common features from specific examples. Patterns are distinct and unifying ideas that are simplified versions of something complex. They are used in analyzing and solving problems, making predictions or making a comparison that is perceived as an entity. A pattern is a recurrent idea expanded in a discourse due to a special set of circumstances. They are considered as a whole, belong together, referred to by name and serve as a master from which other similar things can be made, copied, or used as the basis for a related idea, process, or system. (Pattern Engine, N=12 © 2013)

The common features from specific examples originate from a multitude of dictionaries. The features are important for creating patterns. The superscript N=12  indicates that 12 lexical definition were used to create the pattern. 

A pattern is a construct; a way of redesigning a concept. According to Jaccard and Jocoby, authors of Theory Construction and Model-Building Skills, “constructs are high order concepts that refer to instances that are constructed from concepts at lower levels of abstraction. We form constructs because they are a powerful means by which we are able to handle a greater portion of reality.”

Suffice it to say…the pattern engine will provide a methodology for achieving a higher level of meaning in our search for the DNA and Meaning of Quality and the resulting theory.

Next post…The ConPriDigm

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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?

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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?

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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.

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  • 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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