Conscious or Unconscious LO LO6024

Barry Mallis (
7 Mar 1996 08:32:26 -0500

[May be replying to Starting Dialogue LO5984... Your host...]

John Woods typed a few words which struck my fancy. He writes that great
insights like TQM are on occasion turned into a fad, with suggested
techniques mindlessly applied without appreciation of the systems view on
which it is based.

Since joining this list last spring, I have perforce jumped back and forth
between the wonderful contributions to this list and my personal world of
nine-to-five TQ application work in a company of 1600 employees. I
purchased my copy of the Fieldbook; I'm reading the Handbook of
Interactive Mangement; I plow assiduously through the postings each
morning. But I still am "at a loss" as to what an LO is or purports to

When John Woods used the word "mindlessly", it made me think about what is
probably a majority of organizational sites where a broad underlying
"systems view" is unclear. However, a more discreet understanding of what
I'll refer to as "immediate" systems is well understood.

Over time, with the "unconscious" application of total quality principles
and tools, the organization comes to realize what system is all about.
The unconscious leads to the conscious. At some point, critical mass of
understanding is reached. Indigenous culture changes more rapidly, with
higher efficacy, and the wheel turns again.

I personally am unable at this time to convince forty people each with
over 35 years at this facility that there is a new and better system at
play. You have to, as my mom use to say, learn it yourself. The
unconscious becomes the conscious.

This boring and dull revelation (oxymoron?) is, I suspect, the case in
many, many locations. Theorists like us abound, and we cavort
electronically, supporting one another, elucidating theories, and
synthesizing ideas into personal actions. So it has been with me. And
when I turn away from the screen and work with people, I encounter new
veils to draw aside which we have made disappear in our own exchanges on
this list.

A voice from the plant floor.
Best regards to all,

Barry Mallis
MARKEM Corporation

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