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A Whole Systems Approach, Part 14/14: A Whole Systems Approach Vision

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NOTE: This is a fourteen (14) part series written by Ed Brimmer. I'm reposting his series here, with his permission. For all posts in the series, click here. Thanks for visiting! Lou Hayes, Jr. 




After flying all 14 Parts of the series out to be shot at for feedback & improvement we've finally reached the end. I will share the whole series with a link to the open-source publication. You may take this work and do as you wish with it as I treat it more like a TED Talk concept of "Ideas worth spreading". You can cut & paste the words/images to any format or artifacts you'd like. You don't have to credit me or show the Sway Minds logo. Great ideas are those which Meme across time after their gestalt moments occurred. I did not gestalt these findings, I'm simply a fellow walker like yourselves. This last image really hits home what a personal friend/coach/mentor Cliff Kimber said to me:
"Excellence beyond metrics"So many businesses get wra…

A Whole Systems Approach, Part 13/14: Foundations to Create Happy Employees

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NOTE: This is a fourteen (14) part series written by Ed Brimmer. I'm reposting his series here, with his permission. For all posts in the series, click here. Thanks for visiting! Lou Hayes, Jr. 



Part 13 continues Part 10's post which states customers can never be happier than your employees. In traditional Western management we break down systems into parts & then clearly define what each person is going to be held accountable to through metrics. This holy trinity of clarity, accountability, and metrics from a centralized team of executives who hold all the power & control over others has a huge problem. The world of business is far more dynamic than what any static set of boarding school rules can survive. In order to meet the dynamic nature of reality we must push power & control to the edges of the company. It is 100% how you make employees happy!

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LINK: "Give Your Team the Freedom to Do the Work They Think Matters Most"
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To begin at Part 01 of …

A Whole Systems Approach, Part 12/14: How to Create Happy Employees

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NOTE: This is a fourteen (14) part series written by Ed Brimmer. I'm reposting his series here, with his permission. For all posts in the series, click here. Thanks for visiting! Lou Hayes, Jr. 






Part 12 of the series is a continuation of Part 10's Culture of Excellence. Changing the focus of your company from internal bureaucracies by spending more time with your customers are a good starting point but what outcome are we after? The best outcome you can desire from customers is to elicit a true behavioral based feeling of happiness with your company. The challenge is customers can never be happier than your own employees.
If your employees are unhappy it is unrealistic to expect your customers will be happier. Shooting for outcomes which measure a true behavior change of happiness in your customers requires you start with your employees first.

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To begin at Part 01 of the series, click here

To advance to the next Part 13, click here.

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Author:

A Whole Systems Approach, Part 11/14: How Excellent Companies Can Be Really Close to Customers

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NOTE: This is a fourteen (14) part series written by Ed Brimmer. I'm reposting his series here, with his permission. For all posts in the series, click here. Thanks for visiting! Lou Hayes, Jr. 





Part 11 lays out the initial values & conditions of a Stochastic Process which aims to keep you close with customers. Since every company varies in the level of their current bureaucracy their is no way to determine the outcomes with certainty. The way you deal with uncertain scenarios is to do less of one thing & more of another to see what emerges. While you can't say for sure how this process will play out their are probable outcomes we can predict. When you interact with more people together externally you build an implicit knowledge together which enables speed & harmony of the organization to react to a variety of needs for your customers.

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To begin at Part 01 of the series, click here

To advance to the next Part 12, click here.

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Author: Ed Brimmer. Biography c…

A Whole Systems Approach, Part 10/14: "The Culture of Excellence"

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NOTE: This is a fourteen (14) part series written by Ed Brimmer. I'm reposting his series here, with his permission. For all posts in the series, click here. Thanks for visiting! Lou Hayes, Jr. 





Part 10 is about building a desired culture which supports the whole system instead of harming it. In the example culture below there are two major stochastic process themes we are after. 1. Staying open & connected to customers instead of letting internal bureaucracies close the organization off from its customers.
2. Staying focused on the fact that your customers can never be happier than your employees. The key to understanding stochastic processes is that each organization has variable degrees of bureaucracy & employee morales in them. Every organization will be quite unique in both of these matters. This randomness in organizations & its people means we cannot determine exactly what outcomes will occur but we can identify possible outcomes for heightened performance.

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A Whole Systems Approach, Part 09/14: " Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast"

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NOTE: This is a fourteen (14) part series written by Ed Brimmer. I'm reposting his series here, with his permission. For all posts in the series, click here. Thanks for visiting! Lou Hayes, Jr. 





Part 9 is about addressing a truth head on that every process framework like SAFe, Lean, Agile, and Waterfall only give lip service to & then complain in the end about their failed implementations. No matter how good the first 8 pages are from a Whole Systems Approach it will fail miserably unless the culture changes first. If you only do the first 8 parts of the series you will be doing the right thing wrong! Your strategy will be eaten by the culture unless you clearly define what culture is needed in the whole system and not just expect improving other parts without improving culture will get you anywhere. Jamshid's quote reflects a whole systems awareness which is mostly lost upon process frameworks which try to improve parts only. The rest of the Series addresses culture.

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A Whole Systems Approach, Part 08/14: A Digital Kanban Board...

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NOTE: This is a fourteen (14) part series written by Ed Brimmer. I'm reposting his series here, with his permission. For all posts in the series, click here. Thanks for visiting! Lou Hayes, Jr. 





Part 8 is to help fill the gap for companies who don't have adequate workflow systems to provide the Statistics needed to generate Control Charts. In my experiences even if organizations have a workflow system the effort it takes to modify the system to get adequate statistics would take a lot of time to simply get a pilot case out for review. When I was at both Microsoft and the State of Washington I asked for permission to start using a digital kanban board to help build pilot examples. In both places the image below is what I followed to get something in their hands which reflected their own environment. The 5 steps of The Kanban Method are a good starting point to get the pilot programs built out. Control Charts can be built in other ways, but for piloting it is a good tool.

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A Whole Systems Approach, Part 07/14: Get the Whole System in the Room to Improve the Whole Socio-Technical System

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NOTE: This is a fourteen (14) part series written by Ed Brimmer. I'm reposting his series here, with his permission. For all posts in the series, click here. Thanks for visiting! Lou Hayes, Jr. 



Part 7 shows what actions to take in order to manage the Alerting system of control charts while using PDSA to build purposeful steps. Because everything is interdependent, whenever the Control Charts show alerting things in one interdependent step the issue may actually be coming from another interdependent part of the system. You have to look at the whole system and not just try to improve that one interdependent part in a vacuum. Chances are you will cause harm to the whole system if you do so. The best example I can give on how to do this is to watch Marv Weisbord's video on How to get the whole system in the room. Starting at 16:35 in the video Meister Marv lays all of it out in words I cannot say better myself. Please treat yourself to this video:




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To begin at Part 01 of the …

A Whole Systems Approach, Part 06/14: How to Measure Purposeful Steps as a Whole?

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NOTE: This is a fourteen (14) part series written by Ed Brimmer. I'm reposting his series here, with his permission. For all posts in the series, click here. Thanks for visiting! Lou Hayes, Jr. 





Part 6 is now establishing a dynamic way to build purposeful steps while also adding in Walter Shewhart's Control Charts as an Alerting mechanism for the whole system. Why the importance of the Alerting System? If executives create a Whole Systems Approach policy in which all individuals must follow there should be real genuine fear that the policy could easily harm or enable the business. No executive can be sure of the impact of any of their policies unless they are able to get proactive alerts on the policies in order to prevent messes from occurring in the whole system. Why use Control Charts for the Alerting? Control Charts are what enabled Japan to deliver quality products over quality production lines at massive volumes from an isolated island. It is the change agent.

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To b…

A Whole Systems Approach, Part 05/14: What Purposeful Steps are Needed in Each Part?

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NOTE: This is a fourteen (14) part series written by Ed Brimmer. I'm reposting his series here, with his permission. For all posts in the series, click here. Thanks for visiting! Lou Hayes, Jr. 





In Part 4 of the Series I gave an example model of what the boundaries & interfaces are of a whole system & their parts. The model provided a way to see the interdependencies between all the parts such that if you remove one part you would not have an organization but something else all together. In this part of the series we are now going an abstraction layer down into each part to understand their are steps which need to occur in each part as the steps are also interdependent with all other steps in the whole system. For example, if demand management steps or supply management steps are done wrong they will affect the downstream steps in delivery management. If steps are done wrong or not at all to build a psychologically safe environment then delivery steps will not enable pe…