Third article, Videos

[From Dag Forssell (941020 0100)]

As some netters know, I have been fortunate to have a series of articles
accepted in the Journal of Engineering Management. The second appeared
in the September issue, so I have just spent some time to get the third
and final one ready.

I will appreciate constructive critique, as always. (Some parts can
always use help).

···

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While I am posting anyway:
I finally got my videoequipment up and running. The video tapes of the
1994 conference are assembled into three tapes. I am beginning
duplication this weekend and expect to deliver all those who have prepaid
in the coming week. The charge is $35 in the U.S., $38 for Canada and by
surface anywhere else.

If Marcos is tuned in: What did your audio/visual department have to say?

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PERCEPTUAL CONTROL: LEADING THE UNCONTROLLABLE

ABSTRACT

This article focuses on the hierarchical nature of human experience and
extends the application of HPCT to several leadership issues. The
testable principles of HPCT are the first successful, demonstrably valid
concept of the basic operation and structure of our human nervous system.

INTRODUCTION

This article extends the application of Perceptual Control Theory (PCT)
and Hierarchical PCT (HPCT), introduced in the first and second articles
(Forssell, 1993 & 1994), to the leadership issues of performance coaching
reviews, non-manipulative selling, vision and mission statements, total
quality management and shows how to develop team spirit and caring
relationships.

In The Los Angeles Times, [October 13, 1994] Alan Citron and Claudia
Eller write:

   Egos may also become a factor as the company moves forward, since the
   partners are known as three of the most controlling executives in
   Hollywood.

This comment on the 'Dream team' of Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg
and David Geffen as they announce plans for a new studio hints at the
possibility of conflict between strong controllers, all known as
outstanding leaders in the entertainment industry.

LEADERSHIP AND CONTROL

Most corporate leaders and managers are strong controllers. Indeed,
leadership and control go hand in hand. The essence of perceptual control
is to act in such a way that the actual (as you perceive it) result of
your actions agrees with the intended result. Leadership extends this
concept to include actions through others. The essence of leadership is
to control the organization so that the actual outcome of collective
action agrees with the intended outcome. The intended outcome is
formulated as a set of specifications in the mind of the leader and goes
by many names: want, plan, vision, goal, intention, aim, mission,
purpose, target, wish, expectation, requirement, objective, planned
outcome. When the leaders perception of the actual results of the
organization's collective action agrees with the leaders own
specifications, the leader is "in control" and satisfied.

The members of our "dream team" must be strong controllers and effective
leaders to realize their creative visions through the efforts of many
talented people.

WE ARE ALL CONTROLLERS

It would be a mistake to think that leaders control and the rest of us
(followers) don't control. Everybody controls all the time to make our
wants come true _ we are all controllers. Dwight D. Eisenhower apparently
recognized this when he said:

      Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do
      something you want done because he wants to do it.

All living organisms act on their environment, as best they can, in order
to experience the environment the way they want to experience it. It
makes no difference if the environment is made up of inert, dead material
or living, acting organisms with a "mind of their own" _ we do our best
to influence our environment to our liking.

For a few examples of perceptual control, please see Defining Perceptual
Control in the first article, p 17.

CONTROLLING OTHER CONTROLLERS

But often our efforts to influence other organisms - people in particular
- are met with resistance. This is because of the fact that the other
person is likewise acting on the environment and does indeed have a "mind
of her own"

When you push on a rock, it can't actively fight back. If you push on a
person, she may or may not fight back.

If she does, it is because she cares about whatever you are disturbing
and you are now in conflict. Conflict is a natural result of control by
two people where both try to control the same thing but with different
specifications or wants. Conflict also arises when two people control the
same thing with the same want but with different perceptions of the
actual.

It is obvious that it is possible to control inert matter; we do it all
the time. But it is not possible to control other controllers without
overwhelming physical force. Absent overwhelming physical force, each
individual is always autonomously controlling its own perceptions.

The late comedian Jack Benny cultivated the image of himself as an
extreme tightwad; he would retrieve a soggy newspaper from a puddle
rather than spend a dime to buy a new one. He often performed a skit that
illustrates internal conflict: A man would come, point a gun at Jack and
say: "Your money or your life!" Jack would just stand there silently,
pondering. The man becomes impatient and nudges Jack. At last Jack
responds: "I'm thinking, I'm thinking". Jack was not subject to
overwhelming physical force, but only the threat of physical force, and
he was considering whether his life or his money was most important.

Since we generally do not employ overwhelming physical force when dealing
with our associates in business, it is clear that it is not possible to
control associates at all.

RESOLVING CONFLICT -- THE "EASY" WAY

It is possible to get into conflict however, and Jack had a conflict on
his hands that we all can identify with. We have all been in conflict
where we are subjected to threats if we don't adopt the wants of another
as our own.

When two controllers with incompatible wants (in Jack's case, both he and
the gunman wanted all the money) are in conflict, it is very easy to
resolve the conflict, whatever it is, to the satisfaction of the stronger
party, usually the leader/manager, employer, stronger spouse or parent,
police officer or prison warden. The easy part is to issue a credible
threat against something of importance to the other party: Loss of
income, assignment or privileges of some kind. Many managers and hard
charging leaders have discovered that they get immediate attention of
associates and can get fast results by way of a threat to something the
associate considers very important. The associate will consider and
rearrange priorities at home and at work in order to avoid the threatened
consequences.

While the associate may indeed perform in the short run, the result of
arbitrary threats may be resentment and loss of satisfaction on the part
of the associate in the longer run. This is costly in terms of loss of
personal initiative, care, productivity and rapid turnover of personnel.

People attempt to resolve conflict some "easy" way perhaps because they
have never learned to do it in a mutually satisfying way. Another "easy"
way may be to pretend a conflict does not exist, to withdraw and sulk
alone. This may result in the accumulation of conflict and resentment
until the situation becomes unbearable.

RESOLVING CONFLICT -- THE "HARD" WAY

While it may be easy to resolve conflict to the satisfaction of the party
with the most clout, it requires care and insight to resolve conflict to
the satisfaction of both parties, resulting in sustained personal
commitment, initiative, productivity and high quality.

The second article in this series introduced Mapping and Influencing
Wants and Perceptions, an approach to conflict resolution that meets this
requirement. In order to extend this approach and the insights offered
by hierarchical perceptual control theory (HPCT) to leadership issues it
is important to grasp the hierarchical nature of perceptual control in
humans.

LEVELS OF PERCEPTION AND CONTROL

Please review the section on page 32 in the second article. Exhibit 1
(not shown here. Illustrates levels of perceptions with descriptions and
age in weeks at which they emerge) summarizes this section with a table
that relates to exhibit 4 in the first article. At the lower levels, the
control systems are represented by three rectangles: input, comparator,
and output. At the higher levels, memory is inserted. Perceptual signals
may be stored in memory and output signals may provide the address to
memory which in turn provides reference signals for lower control
systems.

Observations by the Plooijs (Riijt-Plooij, 1992) show that we are born
able to perceive and control sensations at the second level as defined
in HPCT. Additional capabilities to perceive and control ever more
complex perceptual variables are developed in predictable stages. As one
level functions well, the infant attempts to control at the next level.
Each time this happens the first thing noticeable is a regression with
uncertainty and anxiety in the infant. The infant draws closer to mother.
This appears to be due to initial failure of control as the new level is
attempted. Failure to control well, at any age, results in large error
(difference) signals. Chronic error signals give rise to what we call
stress and HPCT postulates that these chronic error signals are sensed
by a "dumb" reorganization system, which makes random changes in the
structure and continues to do so until control is reestablished and the
chronic error signals disappear or the individual dies, whichever comes
first. Thus the concept of reorganization can explain both the successive
development of levels of control in infants and the frantic, random
search for new ways to control in adults under stress.

As I have studied HPCT, I find that it is hard to understand the solid
control at each level of perception, and to appreciate that HPCT is not
an just academic exercise but a serious, testable explanation of how each
of us experience the world and live our lives. Each student of HPCT can
and must test HPCT, and compare the explanations against personal
experience.

If I stand at an easel or a blackboard to perform the rubber band
experiment (second article p. 32-34), I control a visual relationship
(sixth level). I don't give any thought at all to my five levels below
it, whose smooth, rock solid control keep me upright and move m hand.

As I sit at my desk I see many objects. My visual control systems in
coordination with body movements allow me to touch any object at will.
My other senses allow me to smell, hear and touch so well that I get the
impression that I experience the world directly. The development of the
first six levels of perception and control are constrained by
regularities in the physical world, and thus are not free to develop any
which way and still be able to control. Therefore, you and I develop
great similarities in the ways we see, hear and touch the physical world
around us. The existence of the lower levels of motor control is easy to
demonstrate. Please review Self-demonstration of a Human Control
Hierarchy on page 23 of the first article for two of them.

The story begins to change as we move up into the more conceptual and
tentatively identified higher levels. As I read words on a piece of
paper, I take their meaning for granted most of the time. That may be a
mistake. Words mean something to me as a result of my experience. The
same word or symbol may mean something quite different to you, as a
result of your experience.

It is not easy to recognize how personal my struggle to develop and make
sense of the world was and continues to be. Thus I fail to appreciate
just how unique my personal perceptions might be at the higher conceptual
levels.

There are many ways to hold a fork and knife. I developed one set of
memories which now control my way of handling them. I know just how it
should feel when I hold those implements: Fork in left hand, knife in the
right, just like any properly raised Swede. This is a result of the many
social regularities in my home environment. Certain sounds were
consistently related to certain physical experiences, and so I learned
Swedish the way my parents, siblings and peers spoke it.

Just now I noticed that my mouth is dry. I want it to be moist. The
difference signal, perhaps at the sequence level, results in my executing
a short series of events. You would call it reaching for the cup on my
desk and taking a sip of coffee. Suppose I have to go to the cafeteria
to get the cup? Now my system executes a longer program, branching to
several alternative sequences along the way, as I make my way past
obstacles, get the coffee, and return.

The events, categories, sequences and programs I observed, experienced
and learned from others become the basis for a very personal collection
of principles. All make sense to me (well, maybe not, but as long as I
don't look to closely, I will never notice and it will not bother me).
It matters not at all if these principles stand up to scrutiny of
whatever kind. What matters is that I learned them and decided to believe
in them. I myself have woven them into systems concepts. All these
perceptions stored in distributed memory are mine.

Seems to me that the most important part of my concept of Self is my
understanding of the world - the sum total of my principles and systems
concepts _ my identities.

I hold my own understanding dear. It is me! If someone questions
(disturbs) my principles and systems concepts I automatically do what I
can to counter the disturbance. Like most people I hate performance
reviews. A judgement about me by someone else can disturb of my concept
of self. (An excessive compliment likewise). I resist this disturbance
as best I can. If I depend for my livelihood on the judge I may not say
or do anything but release adrenaline and suffer stress. Perhaps I will
find a way to dismiss it.

As I become more observant of control in daily life, I am impressed with
how solid the layers of control are and how strongly we each control our
lives so we experience the perceptions we want to experience _ right up
to and including systems concept level. The common denominator is
control, not sense, scientific validity, logic, or any of those niceties.
I can see control at work at all levels, now that I am aware of control
and have internalized an understanding of HPCT. I now see people as
autonomous control systems, just like myself, I have much greater
tolerance than I used to in regards to personal idiosyncrasies.

CONTROL BETWEEN LEVELS

It is amazing to see the computer demonstration of a network of control
systems three deep, six wide, fully interconnected control six aspects
of a changing environment while satisfying six different demands at the
top. Then again, that is a fraction of what your personal control
hierarchy does when you lean forward, point to an object, turn your head
and speak.

Far more dedicated and obedient than any employee, your lower control
systems respond to reference signals (wants) passed down from higher
levels.

Internal conflict among your control systems is rare at the lower levels.
You sorted out the interconnections and stored appropriate memories when
you fumbled as an infant. But at the higher levels, where principles and
systems concepts may be contradictory, internal conflict is common.

GOING UP A LEVEL

A good way to resolve conflict, whether internal to one person or between
people, is to "Go up a level". By this I mean to look at the goals in
conflict "from above." If the conflict is at the program level, ask
about the principle level. If the conflict is at the principle level, ask
about the systems concept level. It does not matter what the level is,
what you call it, or if today's suggested labels for the conceptual
levels are right. Just go up a level. Instead of trying to solve the
conflict with specific suggestions, where a person is at loggerheads with
herself internally, or where the two of you are at loggerheads between
you, each sticking to your opinion, go up a level.

I recall reading about how a widower sought counsel in the book Mans
search for meaning by Victor Frankl. The widower was distressed over the
death of his wife, missing her terribly and wishing he had died first.
There is no solution for that internal conflict, is there? Dr. Frankl
asked the man how his wife would have coped if he had been the first to
die. By considering his impossible want from a higher level point of
view, our widower in a matter of seconds changed the his lower level want
because he decided that he would rather be the one to suffer. With the
want changed, the internal conflict evaporated. The man stood up, thanked
Dr. Frankl, paid and went home.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE

William T. (Bill) Powers, the originator of PCT and HPCT, made this
comment in a personal communication:

   Actually, the system-concept level as I think of it has to do with
   _identity_. When a person says "I am a company man" he is describing
   his identity. When he speaks of the "Third Reich" is he is talking
   about an entity that has, in his mind, an identity of its own. He is
   talking about a whole system that is drawn from and becomes the
   reason for, his (or someone else's) principles.

   The first thing a manager has to recognize is that people (including
   the manager) have many identities, each with its own set of principles
   and lower goals. A person says "I am a team player", but he also says
   "I am a competitor" and "I am a Catholic" and "I am a wife (or
   husband)" and "I am a father (or mother)" and "I am a Republican" and
   "I am a Rams fan" and "I am a Harvard graduate." These identities
   have, for each person, meanings that rest on and control the detailed
   experiences of life at all the lower levels, right down to the color
   of a shirt and which programs the person watches or doesn't watch on
   TV.

   It's all very well to speak about resolving conflicts in a company,
   but some conflicts can only be avoided. If one manager is a Catholic
   and another a Jew or a Muslim, there is no way to align their
   identities. They pursue different goals at the system concept level.
   The Rams fan and the Bears fan are not going to compromise and become
   Jets fans or switch to tennis. The heavy competitor is not going to
   turn into a team player. All these people may say "I'm a good company
   man" but they are many things beside that.

   Furthermore, there are inherent conflicts in business decisions. As
   a businessman I realize that since I can't get productivity out of a
   young and inept worker, I must fire him. As a father, I hate to
   discourage him. As a Catholic, I want his sins to be forgiven. As a
   competitor, I rejoice in showing how much power I have over him. As
   a team player, I want to find a place in the organization where he
   might do better. In fact, my various identities are in conflict over
   this person. One of the problems with being in a position of power is
   that decisions made in one role are abhorrent in another role. Each
   individual manager has to find a way to support all these different
   personae; many, unfortunately, do so by compartmenting their lives,
   which suppresses the conflicts but does not resolve them. A good part
   of "company" problems are basically personal problems that can't be
   resolved in a committee meeting. Each person must resolve them alone,
   particularly at the highest inner level.

   Each persona comes with its own set of principles. The enthusiastic
   competitor and the company man may agree that you never give a sucker
   an even break, so a mistake in a signed contract that gives your
   company an edge is to be exploited as quickly and as far as possible.
   But the company man and the competitor would not agree on the
   principle saying that "the most productive person gets the promotion."
   The competitor wants to get the promotion whether it's best for the
   company or not. And the religious or philosophical persona would not
   agree if the company man's strategy or the competitor's personal
   aggrandizement meant behaving in other than an honest way.

   All these different identities at the system concept level therefore
   imply a much larger set of principles, and it is at the principle
   level where conflicts among identities first become evident. Most
   business problems boil down to personal problems. One reason that
   managers set up rigid policies is that by doing so they can avoid the
   personal conflicts that arise in difficult situations; they can say
   "I don't like doing this, but it's company policy and I can't go
   against that." A company (or a family) that is run by rigid policies
   and rules is an organization in which the individuals have refused to
   face up to their own inner conflicts or have been unable to resolve
   them.

   The least-understood problems of human interaction are those at the
   principle and system concept levels. Action plans are simple by
   comparison. Action plans don't always work, of course, because the
   world is a variable place. But the only indecision about an action
   plan results from being unsure of principles, being torn between
   conflicting principles. And conflicting principles are adopted because
   people have many identities which are not entirely compatible with
   each other.

   Business problems are both technical and personal. Action plans are
   technical; what is the most profitable mix of products, what is the
   best strategy for selling the product to the statistical public, what
   are the tax advantages of various bookkeeping methods, how can we
   increase the yield on the production line, improve services, reduce
   returns and refunds? Given such problems, willing and intelligent
   people can come up with answers, try them, improve them, and
   eventually reach the best solution.

   But technical problems interact with personal problems. Technically,
   it may be best for productivity to shift a product from one
   department's purvue to another's. But this can result in personal
   problems with people who pursue other goals, such as increasing their
   influence within the company and ultimately being promoted to a higher
   level of responsibility _ and power. And the principles under which
   such people work can result in vetoing the technically best
   procedures, forcing those who work at devising and implementing action
   plans to look for the second or third best solution, which can result
   in conflicts elsewhere _ for example, with the accounting department.

   -----------------------------------

   PCT can offer two kinds of useful insights to managers. First there
   is simply the technical matter of how behavior works; people control
   for the consequences of their actions, not for the actions themselves.
   Understanding this can show how to resolve problems that result from
   mistaking side-effects of another person's actions for intended
   effects.

   But the most important insights come from considering not just that
   people control, and control consequences rather than acts, but from
   realizing that the greatest difficulties of organizational life arise
   at the highest levels of individual human organization. These are the
   levels where people choose and apply principles as a way of supporting
   various aspects of their own personal identities. Simply understanding
   the relationships among logical procedures, principles, and system
   concepts can help to identify where personal difficulties are arising,
   which is most of the battle in correcting them.

VISION AND MISSION STATEMENTS

The point of a vision/mission statement is to communicate the
organization's aim or purpose. It is intended to help align the efforts
of many people towards a common end.

By structuring a statement in harmony with the apparent structure of the
human mind, you gain the ability to have every employee understand the
basic premises of the organization. Reasons for the important values
become apparent, will be questioned and can be changed over time as
conditions change. Each associate is better able to identify his or her
role in the whole and can take initiative to improve overall
effectiveness and long term success.

Exhibit 2 illustrates my proposal for the structure of an HPCT-inspired
statement as it logically follows from an understanding of HPCT.

      UNDERSTANDING, BELIEF, IDENTITY
                   >
                   v
       PRIORITIES, VALUES, CRITERIA
                   >
                   v
             ACTION PLAN
                   >
                   v
                METHODS

Exhibit 2. A hierarchical vision/mission statement

OUTLINE OF A HIERARCHICAL STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

              UNDERSTANDING, BELIEF, IDENTITY

          "These are the facts as we understand them
                and this is our identity."

This statement describes the world in which the organization operates.
Problems, opportunities, unique capabilities, personal convictions,
resources, technologies... This should not be a nebulous, feel good,
statement of good intentions which avoids dealing with conflicting
understandings, but something every associate can study, learn from and
take issue with as conditions change and the factual descriptions need
to be updated. Note point 1a on page 37 in the second article.

              PRIORITIES, VALUES, CRITERIA

          "Therefore, we feel this is important"

A statement about prioritizing choices, values and standards that are
agreed to by leaders and rank and file alike.

                     ACTION PLAN

         "This is what we are going to do about it."

An action plan is developed for a functional unit within the organization
in response to the priorities.

                       METHODS

               "This is how we will do it."

Methods are used in the execution of action plans.

With this kind of statement prospective associates can align their own
personal understanding and priorities with the legitimate needs and clear
priorities spelled out for the organization and their local group. Good
information at the principle and systems concept levels becomes a
powerful guiding force. A clear context is created for the organization
that gives meaning to job descriptions at the action plan and methods
levels. Note that the word vision is essentially synonymous with goal,
aim and want. Thus vision applies at several levels.

PERFORMANCE COACHING REVIEWS

Traditional performance reviews are institutionalized with the best of
intentions. Reviews are designed to provide feedback and help associates
improve and develop. But everyone hates performance reviews. Why?

When an associate is presented with a judgement, this is a forceful
disturbance to some aspect of the concept of self. This disturbance
cannot be countered in any effective way (without risking employment).
This does little to enhance a person's capability to perceive or choose
wants effectively. It does little to make a person more effective and
capable of satisfying him/her self or the organization.

An alternative approach to performance coaching reviews follows naturally
as a variation of the Mapping and Influencing Wants and Perceptions
methodology shown in the second article. Respect requires that the
associate be in control of the performance coaching review as much as
possible. This review should ideally be conducted once a week - at least
once a month.

1) Schedule a regular, undisturbed meeting.

2) The associate begins the review by submitting a (hand) written
   description of one or two projects, challenges, situations s/he has
   dealt with since the last meeting. S/he can orally embellish any
   details. This leads to a supportive and appreciative discussion,
   focusing on current job issues of whatever kind.

3) The associate describes one or two areas where s/he believes
   improvement would help improve performance. The manager can raise some
   issue, too.

4) The manager works with the associate to formulate a plan for
   improvement that the associate can carry out with support as needed.

5) The associate and manager both commit to follow up on the plan.

Doing reviews this way is far more proactive and supportive than to wait
and see for six months and then judge.

2) The associate learns from the manager.

1) The associate performs better.

3) Mutual satisfaction and trust develops.

4) Managers get a thorough and realistic picture of what the associate
   is doing, is capable of doing, and where assistance is needed.

When reviews are perceived as normal, nonthreatening, commonplace events,
people will relax. Both parties can talk freely about expectations, goals
and problems. The focus is on assisting one another to be more effective
and satisfied. This is a personal interaction with mutual respect. Trust
develops naturally. When the time comes to consider a promotion,
management has a detailed, personal record of the associate's
capabilities and progress.

NON-MANIPULATIVE SELLING

The basic shortcoming with Mapping and Influencing Wants and Perceptions
as it applies to Non-manipulative selling is that (unlike an associate)
your prospective customer has no reason to hear you initially. Your
prospect may not be aware that the capability you offer exists and is
focused on other things. Therefore, as a salesperson you must make a
careful approach. Please review Exhibit 9 on page 36 of the second
article. Person 1 on the left is your prospect. Person 2 (and 3 and 4
etc.) on the right is the prospect's associate in their organization.

A salesperson is a teacher. Here, you teach person 1 to control better,
with greater productivity and satisfaction, incidentally using your
know-how, service or product.

Your prospect person 1 functions in the environment represented by
Exhibit 9, interacting with the other people in the organization. Why
should your prospect read your advertisement, your letter, talk to you
on the phone or in person?

Well, looking at Exhibit 9, what variables are your prospect controlling?
What are the likely wants? What are the likely perceptions of the
variable? How do you think the comparison looks to your prospect _What
are likely error signals? In other words: What is your prospect most
concerned about? Consider your prospect's position and industry in
relation to your offering and develop a script with questions exploring
concerns your prospect might have.

The process becomes:

1) Guess at the prospects concerns.

2) Gain attention and interest by telling a short story of how you have
   helped someone else control better in similar circumstances. Offer
   more information.

4) Follow the methodology of Mapping and Influencing Wants and
   Perceptions, first with your prospect and then with other associates
   in the organization as required until you have shown them all how to
   control their lives better with the help of your offering. You will
   not have to ask for the order; your prospect will ask to buy.

DEVELOP TEAM SPIRIT AND CARING RELATIONSHIPS

Consistent application of the principles for conflict resolution
presented in these articles will go a long way towards creating trust and
team spirit in an organization. But there is more to satisfaction than
conflict resolution. Consider Exhibit 1. The first six levels of
perception defined here are "experience levels." As we live, move about
and work, we experience the world around us with a rich assortment of
senses. (Communication by words alone starts at level seven and is
nowhere near as rich in sensory detail). As I perform pleasant work in
the vicinity of others, I experience my associates and develop a positive
perception of them individually as worthwhile human beings. This builds
a sense of belonging and human connection which is an important part of
human relationships. It is well understood that infants crave touch.
Adults crave closeness too. Relationships are built and strengthened by
togetherness and awareness of each other as we work.

TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT

TQM comes in many flavors. I and am familiar with the philosophy of the
late Dr. W. Edwards Deming. I appreciate his emphasis on respect for the
individual.

In my working paper Psychological Theory: The Achilles' Heel of TQM I
spell out my personal assessment of the quality of information available
in the four areas of Profound Knowledge defined by Dr. Deming:

1) Appreciation for a system

2) Knowledge about variation

3) Theory of knowledge

4) Psychology

HPCT supports TQM in the weak area of psychology.

Going beyond psychology, I observe that the family of statistical tools
that are thought of as the foundation of TQM: SPC charts, fishbone
diagrams, flow charts etc., all serve to improve our perception of
controlled variables in the production processes. You cannot control that
which you cannot perceive. When you give the worker measuring tools and
SPC charts, with clear specifications of expected outcomes, you
immediately improve the workers ability to control. Results have been
impressive.

While many associate TQM with statistical tools, my conclusion is that
the essence of TQM is well chosen aims and good perception in a fully
functioning (control) system. In the first article I discussed the
difference between an organization as hierarchical control system and an
individual person as a hierarchical control system. Despite the important
functional differences, HPCT provides a framework in which you can
recognize and think about the control processes inherent in any
productive activity.

In 1993 I had an opportunity to introduce PCT to a Deming audience. The
resulting two hour video PCT supports TQM features a discussion of
results from applying PCT in manufacturing, a live demonstration, and my
interpretation of the essence of TQM and Deming's fourteen points. See
references.

A SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE

The phenomenon of control has always been present in the behavior of
living organisms. In engineering, control has been well explained only
since the 1930's,. In the life sciences of today, control is not yet part
of the explanation for behavior. Life scientists think and talk in terms
of reflex, stimulus and response (reward and punishment), conditioning
and reinforcement, cognition and planned output. Thus the life sciences
attempt to explain behavior without recognizing, mentioning or
understanding its basic organizing principle.

PCT offers a clear explanation for the pervasive phenomenon of simple
control (i. e. the rubber band experiment). HPCT outlines a hierarchical
arrangement of simple control systems as the likely organization of
control in humans. HPCT offers a new explanation for the human
experience. It is technically elegant and well founded, conceptually
simple and feels right,

When you learn a better explanation, you can apply it to explain past
experience as well as think ahead. With HPCT your own experiences
suddenly make more sense and you can control better in the future.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

In these articles I have outlined how HPCT can be applied to improve the
way we deal with several different leadership issues. No development
occurs in a vacuum, but builds on those who have paved the way. In order
to confidently make suggestions on how to apply the principles of HPCT
to deal with leadership issues outside my direct experience, I have drawn
on the experiences of several good friends for inspiration and
validation.

I consider myself fortunate to have come across the writings of Bill
Powers. Bill is a warm human being, an untirig champion of progress and
a patient teacher.

Ed Ford is a wise counselor who has shown how HPCT gives insight into why
his approach to counseling and school discipline work so well.

Jim Soldani combined his experiences as a manufacturing executive with
what he learned from Bill Powers and Ed Ford with very good results in
every dimension.

I met Mike Bosworth ten years ago, well before I found HPCT, and learned
Solution Selling from him (Bosworth, 1994). While Solution Selling has
developed from experience without knowledge of HPCT, I am satisfied that
the reason salesmen trained by Mike are successful is that Solution
Selling teaches them to focus on the buyer's wants and perceptions much
the way I have outlined here.

I am grateful for the support and encouragement of my friends as I have
developed my own training program and personal identity as a teacher of
HPCT to industry.

SUMMARY

In this series of three articles I have introduced the principles of HPCT
and shown how they can be applied to issues of leadership and management.

HPCT provides a deep understanding of human nature, and the problems
inherent in getting groups of individuals to work in concert for their
own satisfaction as well as that of their organization and customers.
When leaders and followers alike understand the basics of HPCT, they all
understand that each person is inherently purposeful and each is
responsible for maintaining their own integrity in an organization.
Agreement on goals and elimination of conflict gets easier.

Every application of HPCT to a specific company with its specific
problems has to be worked out on the basis of this deep causal model;
there are no formulas to apply, but only principles of analysis that will
lead to specific solutions. As more managers understand and try the
principles of HPCT, we will all learn more about how to apply them. As
the number of people exploring the uses of HPCT grows, our understanding
of the productive community will grow.

REFERENCES

References listed previously will not be repeated here.

Bosworth, Michael, Solution Selling; Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling
Markets. Burr Ridge, Illinois: Irwin Professional Publishing (1994).

The first and second articles appeared:

Forssell, Dag C., "Perceptual Control: A New Management Insight." In
Engineering Management Journal 5:4, (1993) pp. 17-25.

Forssell, Dag C., "Perceptual Control: Management Insight for Problem
Solving." In Engineering Management Journal 6:3, (1994) pp. 31-39.

Forssell, Dag C. PCT supports TQM. (1993, VHS, NTSC, 117 minutes).
Video tape available from the author.

For information on this video tape and other PCT educational materials,
write the author with a request for the "PCT resource guide" information
and order forms for several publishers of PCT resources are included.

---------------------------------------

Best, Dag

<[Bill Leach 941022.15:56 EST(EDT)]

[Dag Forssell (941020 0100)]

Forgive me if this sounds mushy but Dag, that has to be the best work of
yours that I have ever seen. I personally rank that with some of Bill
Power's best summaries of PCT and HPCT.

It might be criticized for being "too simplistic" or "not scientific
enough". It might also be criticized for failing to emphasize the
difficulty of actually implementing PCT based principle in a company...
but not by me!

Business people with an honest concern for their perceived
"responseability" to their fellow citizens... those most likely to
recognize that "how they do business" and "how they treat their employees
and associates" is important should definately see wisdom in what you
have produced.

I also feel that those of us on CGS-L that are so anxious about the
application of PCT principle in "the real world" are pleased with the
relevance of your thoughts on that particular topic.

It is important to many of us that PCT proceed on both the "pure" and
"applied" fronts. Indeed I think that the more one recognizes the
essential truth of control system operation the more important
"practical" application becomes.

-bill