Chapter Twenty-Five: Customers – The Raw Product of Profitability

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…the raw product of profitability.

Why is the term “customer” often associated with fours concepts: needs, expectations, requirements, and demands? Why is each concept unique, but often overlap with the others?


Conceptual Pattern for Customer

A customer is current or potential buyer or user or of goods or services in a particular way from an individual or other company. A customer is a business organization that has authority to consume or employs a good or service that is founded to produce articles of commerce. A customer is a number of persons united or incorporated for joint action and a specific purpose to obtain a benefit or to solve a problem that may not be the actual purchaser of items that are used for later consumption. ( Pattern Engine: Customer N=12 © 2014)

If customers are understood the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of the customer is to drive profitability.

Second Principle: Quality in the twenty-first century must start with the customer, not with the tangible product sold or the work process that create it. 1

Third Principle: Internal improvements have to matter to the customer before they can create improved external quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty. 2  

Fourth Principle: The most cost-effective areas of product and service performance to improve are those that are important to the customers and which, at the same time, the organization is performing poorly. 2

Fifth Principle: Successful organizations deliver value to their customers in one of three categories: operational excellence, customer intimacy, or product leadership. 3

Sixth Principle: A customer’s loyalty grows through seven stages: suspect, prospect, qualified prospect, first-time customer, repeat customer, client, advocate. 3

Key Conceptual Patterns


Loyalty is unwavering devotion and allegiance that may be intellectual or emotional, to a course of action. It is the use of knowledge that creates a tie and a commitment to some purpose. Loyalty is the manifestation of enthusiasm, admiration and a strong attachment that results from a highly developed ability to think, reason, and understand. It may be implied or expressed in return for support and protection, often characterized by intelligence or mental capacity. (Pattern Engine: Loyalty N=12 © 2014)


Leadership is a goal seeking activity and state of mind that results in doing something well. Leadership is an effective way, when measured against a standard. It favors steady progress and typical behavior while accomplishing a task well, with a particular amount of success. Leadership is often the result of some previous phenomenon that brings about an outcome as a direct result of somebody or something else that makes something happen or exist or is responsible for something that happens.  It is characterized by reliance on one’s self, or one’s circumstances; a feeling of self-sufficiency; a feeling of security; self assurance or a belief in one’s ability to succeed. World class leadership is often in free from anxiety or fear. (Pattern Engine: Leadership N=12 © 2014)

Nest Post: Segmentation – Focusing Customer Needs

 1Karl Albrecht: The Only Thing that Matters, Bringing the Power of the Customer into your Business, 1992.

2 Michael D. Johnston & Anders Gustafson: Improving Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty, and Profit, 2000.

3Jill Griffin:  Customer Loyalty, How to Earn It How to Keep It, 2002.

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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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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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The DNA Connection – Part Two

LOGO FINALQuality IS…a pattern of allied concepts.

Why 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?


DNA provides a detailed set of plans that are manifested in the familiar double helix or DNA strand. Quality DNA strands are principles. The DNA strand is composed of letters, words and sentences that are called genes. The Quality DNA strand is composed of letters, words and sentences called concepts.

Genes contain instructions for making molecules called proteins. Quality genes are manifested in the concepts that are used to describe principles. Genes are the machines that make all living things function.  Genes are instruction manuals for the organism. Concepts are instruction manuals for quality. Although the Quality DNA strand (principle) is the carrier of genetic information (concepts) in a cell (functional organization department), proteins (patterns) do the bulk of the work.

Cells use the information specified in their genes. Each gene in the DNA specifies information about how to make a specific protein. Proteins perform specific functions. For example, the hemoglobin gene creates a protein to capture and carry oxygen. Principle concepts specify information needed to make a specific pattern. Proteins are equivalent to patterns of explanation, with a function that can be traced back to its principle and associated field of knowledge.

DNA cannot make protein without a partner. For example, all genes that specify proteins are first made into an RNA strand.  RNA carries the information contained in the DNA strand out of the nucleus of the cell to the protein assembly machinery called the ribosome. The ribosome complex uses the RNA as a template to synthesize the exact protein specified by the gene.

Quality DNA also needs a partner. All concepts that specify for patterns are first made into synthesized definitions (Quality RNA strands). Quality RNA carries the information specified in principles to the assembly machinery called the Pattern Engine (ribosome). The Pattern Engine uses the synthesized definitions to create the exact pattern specified by the concept. The Pattern Engine is fully explained in chapter seven.


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The Ingredients of Theory

LOGO FINALQuality IS…a recipe for connecting patterns.

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



Now that we are aware of the necessity to be prepared prior to developing a theory let us move on to the ingredients.

The ingredients can be gleaned from Chaftez, Dubin, Jaccard and Jacoby, Whetten and Mintzberg. The ingredients are: ( I have added purpose)

  • Purpose – Why
  • Assumptions – Why
  • Concepts – What
  • Concept Definitions – What
  • Patterns – What
  • Relationships – How
  • Propositions – Why

Purpose: The purpose of a theory is a rational stated motive for an expected state.  A theories purpose explains or justifies why something happened that was caused by some previous phenomenon. Purpose represents a likely final state, achievement or result and is associated with the process of logical thinking as a consequence of another action, condition, or event that solves a problem or explains how to solve a problem. Purpose is the reason for which something exists, or for which it has been done or made, and is manifested as an anticipated outcome that is intended or guides planned actions to achieve a desired result.  (Pattern Engine – Purpose n=12  ©2013)

Assumptions:  Assumptions are statements accepted as known and, not subject to direct verification and help explain some aspect of reality.  Assumptions are the theoretical glue that welds the theory together and constitutes the “Why?” aspect.  My assumptions are principles.

Concepts: Basic research is characterized as research that is not directly focused on pressing real-world problems, tends to rely on concepts that are relatively broad in scope, and produce findings with the intent of contributing to and extending our basic understanding of the phenomenon in question – QUALITY. Concepts provide the content and building blocks of theory that consist of words that are relatively high in level of abstractness. Understanding is knowledge about the interaction of concepts in a system. Theories comprise a system of interrelated concepts and accordingly are a set of statements about relationship(s) between two or more concepts or constructs. Higher order concepts are called constructs because they refer to instances that are synthesized from concepts at lower levels of abstraction and hence require precise definition. Theories consist of concepts whose definitions are often built upon one another and thus comprise a system of interrelated concepts. The ConPriDigm is a construct.

Concept Definitions: Concepts play a critical role in theories and careful attention must be paid to their development and precise definition; solid edifice cannot arise from weak, faulty or carelessly put together building blocks. Probably the best means available to avoid a major problem often encountered in definitions is to employ the age old form develop by Aristotle.  An Aristotelian definition consists of two parts. The first part, called the genius proximum tells what the phenomenon in question shares with a larger class of phenomena.  The second part, genus specifica, tells what is peculiar to phenomena in question.

Conceptual Patterns: The development of conceptual patterns will be my contribution to the final theory presented in this book. I have developed a Pattern Engine based on Aristotelian concept definitions and the decomposition and reconstruction of principles.

Relationships:  Answering the question “why?” involves moving to deeper levels of understanding by generating ideas about new explanatory constructs and the relationships between them, with the answers to such questions representing explanation. The conceptual realm entails the development of a conceptual system consisting of concepts, constructs and their relationships that can be communicated unambiguously to others. Relationships also help to answer the question ‘how?”.  How are the factors (variables, constructs, concepts) related? This step adds conceptualization by explicitly delineating patterns. How is often put in the form of a theoretical statement and is graphically represented. When I (Mintzberg) think about it (theory) I see explanation along a continuum, from lists (categories), to topologies (comprehensive lists), to impressions of relationships among factors (not necessarily “variables”: that sounds too refined for many of the factors I work with), to causations between and patterns among these relationships, to fully explanatory models (which interweave all the factors in question).

Propositions:  Propositions are the substance of theories. Explanation, the reason for all theories, is conveyed through a series of statements called propositions. Propositions are truth statements that can be used for a theory that has its concepts, laws of interaction among the concepts, boundaries, and system states specified. The criterion of the system of logic by which the theorist thinks makes all the propositions about the theory he or she builds true. Propositions link concepts in ways that result in something testable. However, only hypotheses require measures.

This post will conclude our adventure that seeks to answer the question “What is Theory?”.  Needless to say, theory provides the methodology to express the DNA and meaning of Quality.

In the next chapter we will explore the concept of a Concept.  Defining concepts accurately and objectively is critical for developing a theory with explanatory power.


Flashback in Theory Chapter

The Mind or Concept Map for Chapter Two



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