TQM & LOs LO11258

Wed, 4 Dec 1996 02:31:14 -0500

Replying to LO11244 --

Mike McMaster wrote:

> Quality is complex and emergent. The people producing the levels of
> quality actually being produced are also complex and their behaviour is
> emergent. The organisation which is producing the quality is complex and
> emergent in a somewhat different manner than the individuals.

In other words, quality is something more than a formal quality system.
Quality emerges from the interplay of many different factors, some of
which have nothing to do with a quality system. One of the more obvious
things is language, which has been more than a casual topic of discussion
on this list from time to time.

I cannot help but feel our concept of quality will have to change as we
move toward the information age, which will be more reflective of a
biological entity than a machine.

Translate that into organizations for the 21st century, and you find
yourself thinking about how to build organizations that are designed to
efficiently discover, interpret, and replicate information throughout the
entire organization. Is it possible, that in the future, our quality
systems will be more about how we are structured -- and the theories
behind those structures -- than work processes themselves?

Will the replication information within the new structure, ever follow the
same path twice? Should it? Or will information replicate, according to
some pattern that is virtually undetectable but very orderly? Do we care?
Are we worried about how information is replicated, or are we worried
about whether or not information has been replicated? If we're worried
about how information is replicated, should be make sure that information
replication begins at the same point every time? What if it doesn't? How
do we know how to replicate information when its source is a different
point every time? Do we force its discoverer to give it to the point
person, and let them start the replication process? If we do this, how can
we be sure we're replicating the right information?

And I'm not even going to bring up how we collectively interpret and act
on new information (which is the source of new knowledge). Until we've
answered the questions I've asked, I see no point in trying to figure out
the other questions.


Benjamin B. Compton bbcompton@aol.com

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