Want to Improve Quality, Listen Up

Often those with authority over a system/organization—frequently referred to as ‘the leadership’—use the thing they believe is valued by most as a way of resolving a complex problem such as quality. That is, they throw money at it!  Since money is the thing we greatly value, then what better way to demonstrate commitment to quality than to willingly spend it in the name of quality! Continue reading

Insights from the Impoverished

In a recent HuffingtonPost article David Chura brings to light the affect that poverty, despair and hopelessness have on people, especially during the formative years.  When individuals grow up in an environment within which such dark currents flow, they feel trapped and, as David Chura relates, a way out is likely imperceptible. Continue reading

Data Should Lead to Understanding

In a Baseline Scenario article titled Bad Data James Kwak stated,  “to make a vast generalization, we live in a society where quantitative data are becoming more and more important. Some of this is because of the vast increase in the availability of data, which is itself largely due to computers. Some is because of the vast increase in the capacity to process data, which is also largely due to computers.”  Although computers have made the collection and accumulation of data much easier, so much so that we can get overwhelmed with information, computers are not the reason we are unable to understand and use data appropriately. Continue reading

Better Thinking Leads To Better Solutions

What might be the cause of the misuse or misinterpretation of research about education recently brought to light by Alfie Kohn in his January 28th article “Do tests really help students learn or was a new study misreported?”  Could this be evidence of what is being learned or not learned in the educational system?  Might the education of those—likely with good grades—who report about the problems of the educational system reflect the effects of a system in need of fundamental change? That is, the use of reductionism and correspondingly the many shortsighted answers offered by so many is further evidence of what’s wrong with the educational system. Continue reading

Fiddling as Rome Burns

Why are we always solving the same issue yet calling it something else?  Answer: A systemic problem manifests as different symptoms, yet we focus only on the symptoms and never the system of causes.  We do this because in general: we react to the symptom-of-the-moment; we are lead by fear not understanding; and we don’t suspend, detach from and challenge our thoughts in order to understand the patterns of symptoms.  In short, we don’t think critically, systemically and statistically. Continue reading

Either/Or Thinking

The Newtonian-Cartesian dualism that informed the development of our socio-economic system also guides us to think in dichotomous or dualistic terms—win/lose, us/them, liberal/conservative, profit/loss, good/bad, favorable/unfavorable—and also to believe that if something is not quantifiable it isn’t important. Such thinking promotes judgment of experience not learning from experience. Because of this either/or habit of thought we don’t quite understand the depth of our experiences. Continue reading

Ethically Sound Action

Ethical decisions are difficult because they involve value-centered life issues that cannot be grasped solely through empirical/objective means. Since there is more to life than spending, getting, and having life must not be equated to the amount of material wealth we amass. There have been instances where the numbers was the guide and the results were disastrous (e.g. most recently Toyota, BP). In short, the numbers alone can’t be the guide. Continue reading

Financial Quake

Given the impact many of the financial crises have had, several econophysicists have tried to understand them in the same way as geophysicists view and study earthquakes.  In essence these econophysicists are seeking to model financial tremors in order to predict and prepare for future seismic financial quakes. Continue reading

Ethically Sound Action

Ethical decisions are difficult because they involve value-centered life issues that cannot be grasped solely through empirical/objective means. Since there is more to life than spending, getting, and having life must not be equated to the amount of material wealth we amass. There have been instances where the numbers was the guide and the results were disastrous (e.g. most recently Toyota, BP). In short, the numbers alone can’t be the guide. Continue reading

Crisis of Will

In light of the recent difficulties we’ve been experiencing  (e.g. Big Bank Failure, Big Oil Spill) there can be little doubt that we live in very interesting times.  Though we may have experienced similar challenges in the past, today’s challenges are surely bigger and more far-reaching than ever before.  Our technology has afforded us far-reaching capability, but unfortunately the development of our system of orientation and corresponding sense of responsibility has not kept pace. Continue reading