Learning Organizations & TQM LO5440

John Zavacki (jzavacki@epix.net)
Thu, 08 Feb 1996 04:55:05 -0500

Replying to LO5414 --

Stewart Crick wrote:
>>>>>snuo>>>>> [Host's Note: These keyboards!... probably "snip"...]

> work background is US Navy Chief Petty Officer (middle management).
> with primary experience in training,
> career counseling, and a little bit of OD. I'm in the preliminary
> stages of researching a paper on the contrasts and commonalties of TQM
> and LO. I'm curious as to how practitioners and academics feel about
> this. Do you view LO as an extension of TQM? As a retooled version of
> TQM? Are they two separate entities that shall never cross paths? Or,
> can they exist together? Another possibility, many TQM efforts fail
> because the organizational culture is not adequately addressed, or
> companies are not willing to wait for the long term investment a
> cultural change takes. The Learning Organization philosophy seems to
> focus more heavily on culture. Is this a "lessons learned" item from
> TQM? Thanks in advance for your assistance.

I am working in the arena or Agile Manufacturing Systems Virtual Supply
Chains. The key is cycle time reduction at all levels of the system. Two
of the sine qua non elements of an agile system or a virtual organization
are the elements of organizational learning and total quality.

In earlier posts, I've talked about the attempts at TQ which fail because
of a lack of baseline system controls (quality planning and control). One
of the reasons for this that I have seen is the lack of personal mastery
in key positions in organizations. When personal mastery does exist, it
moves up to the level of team learning, or mental models, or systems
thinking, or shared vision.

Learning Organizatins can occur naturally because of superior leadership
and excellence in personal mastery and teamwork. TQ can succeed without
all of the elements of the learning organization. BUT they are mutually
inclusive at many points. A hallmark of general systems is the notion of
internal consonance (common goal). Same with TQ, same with LO. There's a
lot of common ground, including the use of the seven tools and the seven
new tools and all of their variations.

In the last company I worked for as a staff member, I used the Total
Quality Transformation materials for training teams, the Baldrige Award
for organizational self-assessment and strategic planning and the systems
thinking tools for implementing the plans. We did okay as a company and
even better as an extended family.

	John Zavacki
	The Wolff Group
	900 James Avenue
	Scranton, PA 18510
Phone: 717-346-1218	Fax: 717-346-1388

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>