March 23, 2011

Is it possible to lead by just one theory?

Again it is Leadership time adn therefore an enjoyable one. However working hours about hours has led me to the thought if you can lead by just one theory? I have studied several books now and came across a lot of different approaches. Just to say that beforehand nothing goes beyond Deming, he is covering several aspects or nearly every aspect I could think of. But just nearly. Is it possible that a theory considers everything? Nothing is perfect, that is why I, Deming and a lot more are not believing in the achievement of perfection rather in continuous improvement. So I assume that Deming knew that his approach is not perfect and won't be angry if i use another approach to complement his oneor even to improve it. Therefore again the question is should we just stick to one theory, just to ensure clearness or shall we try to merge more to get the best out of it?


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  1. Hamish

    Yes. No. No. Yes. No. I think that’s the right order.

    24 Mar 2011, 01:05

  2. thank you Hamish,

    so I conclude that you say it is better to stay with just one theory? Would be interesting to know why…

    24 Mar 2011, 07:35

  3. Haha, that’s very clever! I’m guessing this blog is a little bit about what we said the other day in the meeting… it seems you have found a pretty brilliant way to justify going beyond Deming, by using his own ideas against him. Good job! Vagelis will be displeased ;-)

    24 Mar 2011, 11:19

  4. Going Beyond Deming?
    I really do not believe that the society is ready to go beyond Deming…........... In 100 years maybe but at the point we are no way…...................

    Will Jan I do not believe in perfection as well….... And this was one of my major problems against system of profound knowledge…........... However i may say that SoPK is perfect…........... Do you know why? Because SoPK has no end. It has integrated the continuous improvement philosophy. . . . . If someone start thinking in SoPK terms he never stops. The one element brings you to another, to another, to another and then you go are in the element you have started of and see it totally different.. . . . . . SoPK is the best philosophy i have read up to now. (I am studying philosophy from my 12. Before that i was reading Jules Vern (philosophy for kids).

    I will not stick to any theory because no theory is not perfect, apart from SoPK. Why i am learning all the other theories is because, Deming can not be understood by everyone. Some of the other theories is the a transitional phase towards Deming. . I doubt if people that say that have understood him really do. When i am thinking that i got this part of SoPK it leads me to the other part which is tottaly different than the last time i have thought of it. Kaizen…..........

    No man Deming’s SoPK is perfect. If someday think in SoPK terms the world will be different….................The question is if we are ready to think SoPK???????? No we are not.

    24 Mar 2011, 12:35

  5. But the key difference is that if you are perfect, then why do you need to improve further? It’s not possible, surely? So, if SOPK integrates continuous improvement (which for the record, I think it does, and I love it!), then by definition it cannot possibly ever reach perfection, and therefore, that makes it imperfect. I agree it has no end, which is one of the best parts, but when Deming himself says that perfection cannot be attained, then you have to listen I think…

    I’m only playing devil’s advocate here. I personally wouldn’t try to use more than just SOPK if I had decided to go with it – I think when you pursue too many different initiatives, you will probably end up getting lost and achieve nothing. BUT, the assignment calls for us to consider multiple theories, so in that sense, Jan has found the perfect justification to look at theories other than Deming’s. When I say ‘going beyond’, I only really mean looking at more theories, not necessarily better ones. If I am honest, I doubt that they are out there! Haha…

    24 Mar 2011, 13:18

  6. SoPK has no end so by its nature cannot be characterized as perfect or not…......................

    I use a complementary theory to Deming’s for Leadership PMA…....... This is not why Deming’s is not enough. It is because if i speak to a manager about Theory of knowledge he will say ok i know a place for crazy people…......... If i speak for empowrement on the contrary he will say hmmmmmmmmm this seems good. At the end of the day SoPK includes empowerment because empowerment requires knowledge of the differences (variation) needs system thinking which will unite all the members, definitely is about psychology and lastly it is about knowledge (no substitute for it)..........

    Ok you are a manager, which is more easy:
    Empowerement or this crazy conection of SoPK components?

    24 Mar 2011, 13:25

  7. I agree, you are absolutely right. That’s also a very valid justification of needing other theories. Just like when we did the presentation on definitions of leadership, everyone will be able to find a theory that works best for them. That’s probably why there are so many of the damn things!

    24 Mar 2011, 13:37

  8. Ian, i couldnt agree with you more. i might be practically impossible to lead by one theory. for me instead of using other theories to complement Deming i decided to look at it the other way around? Demings seem cover every aspect of leadership. but then again i guess it depends on what theory we are looking at.

    10 Apr 2011, 10:40


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