Re: Intro -- Robert (Bob) Plautz LO1388

Barry Mallis (
26 May 1995 17:32:51 -0400

Welcome, Bob.

I have a very, very quick thought--nothing more than a little spark of a
thing which may be of some value.

You talk of the guided memory session with which I am not familiar, but
which nonetheless conjures up something very vivid in my mind!

If it is approximately what I think it is, then you may want to use it to
pry at the concept of fear itself, if you haven't done that already.
Somehow you discovered that the VP's have a strong fear that they will be
embarrassed if a "picture" gets out. Why? The is a perfect opportunity to
employ root cause analysis using an Ishikawa or fishbone diagram. I had an
expreience in the past year with the top management of my smaller company
where we really let it all hang out in asking "why?" at least four or five
times as we described, or "fleshed out" the primary "bones" corresponding
to people, procedures, policies and plant. At the head of the fish you
might consider placing the question "What is it that prevents top
management from...", filling in the appropriate concept e.g. overcoming
personal embarrassment when attempting to express their views about X? In
my experience, we enjoyed explicit revelation of detail which we may have
recognized personally but have been loathe to admit e.g. "blame culture"
within the company. Our fishhead question was "What prevented us from
implementing TQ practices through a broad swath of the company in 1994?"
Upon completion of an extensive fishbone with over 150 root causes
(answers to the question Why? asked multiple times) we were able to
address the vital few and come up with an action plan in the form of a
matrix containing the what, who, where, when and how (four W's and an H)
for overcoming the obstacles. Maybe this idea could somehow be molded to
your own situation. Good luck.

Barry Mallis                       "The world is the closed door.
Total Quality Resource Manager       It is the barrier.  And
MARKEM Corporation                    at the same time it is
Keene, NH 03431                             the way through."