Monthly Archives: August 2013

A TQM for the social media, digital age?

I see Harvard University are initiating a Digital Problem Solving programme for the digital age.

The Digital Problem-Solving Initiative (DPSI) at Harvard University is an innovative and collaborative project piloted in Fall 2013 that brings together interested students, faculty, fellows, and staff and enables participants to work in teams on practicable and concrete digital use cases – problems and opportunities – across the university.

The pilot offers students and other participants a novel opportunity to enhance and cultivate competency with digital tools and online activity as teams engage with research, creative production, and policies governing the digital world.”

This looks an interesting project, dusting down the 80’s and 90’s Total Quality Management, (problem solving, team work, quality circles and more) and re-inventing for a digital age. Anyone remember great work done through National Society for Team Work (NSQT)?

Wondering if any UK University would be interested in or is running a similar pilot?

Before all those programmes and initiatives, and indeed the foundation for them all was the Deming improvment PDCA cycle ( Plan Do Check Act) which still holds great significance in a social media, digital enabled world.

PDCA_Process

For all projects, we need to consider the planning, the execution, the checking and importantly how we will act and improve for next time around.  (Which makes the Deming cycle an ever improving spiral) And of course requires continual effort to maintain equilibrium as my last blog post explored

The Checking is not just numbers and inspections, but critically the stories from those involved – as evaluation. Today, social media  can really enable the collation, sharing and analysis of stories, and hence has a huge part to play in future KPI’s (key performance indicators) as we move forward to ever more social businesses and organisations.  (Subscribe to this blog for future updates and support on this topic)

Helping your planning, doing, checking and improving efforts keep in equilibrium 

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Sustainability: in equilibrium … or pedalling squares?

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For me one of the best cycling reads of the year so far is Velo by Paul Fournel (review here) a collection of zen like thoughts on, well, all things cycling. And one I really do recommend for your summer readings.

From one of the brilliant posts, Circles:

To ride a bike is to make circles. You have to think about that when you pedal, as a little reminder the movement of the legs is circular,  you have to grant it this and turn the cranks roundly.

Cyclists have a sense of this.  As soon as the cadence falls and fatigue mounts they say they are peddling squares.

Cyclists have their own gyroscope, producing not only movement but equilibrium, the faster you turn your legs. the more harmonious this equilibrium becomes.

A cyclists equilibrium is a circular equilibrium

And so it is with sustainability, to keep moving forward, we need to keep circling think Edwards Deming Plan Do Check Act circle,

We need to keep pedalling, we need equilibrium,

The faster your progress, the greater your sustainability equilibrium, where all ‘competing influences are balanced’

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If you slow, become distracted or fatigue, sustainability efforts are no longer circular and become square, and if you stop you fall off …

Helping your sustainability stay circular

Amory Lovins, Restorative Sustainability, System Thinking … and BIM

I recently came across this great quote from Amory Lovins at the Rocky Mountain Institute (and used in a recent BIM Beyond Barriers report)

“As we shape our buildings and then our buildings shape our lives, we can choose to create abundance by design, not scarcity through inattention.

We can design radically efficient buildings that take nothing, waste nothing, do no harm, and create delight when entered, tranquility when occupied, and regret when departed—yet cost the same or less to build, cost almost nothing to run, and make people happier, healthier, and more productive.

 The key is integrative design that optimizes the building as a whole system, for multiple benefits, rather than its disjoint components for single benefits. Many similar benefits are available in existing buildings, as RMI’s RetroFit initiative aims to spread.

 And Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a powerful tool for spreading these results worldwide

Amory B. Lovins
Chairman and Chief Scientist
Rocky Mountain Institute

RetroFit-Challenge_logoRGB

EMPOWERING THE LARGER COMMERCIAL BUILDING INDUSTRY

Seventy-five percent of global electricity goes to buildings, and at least half of that is wasted. We want to reduce building energy use by 50 percent by 2050. We believe that building owners can lead the way to meeting this goal and significantly reducing global carbon emissions while improving their bottom line. During the Challenge, RMI is testing a number of approaches for accelerating building energy efficiency to result in more effective, and more implementable, portfolio energy strategies. Our portfolio partners will help lead other building owners in changing the way we all use energy. Lessons gleaned from the Challenge will inform RMI’s own publications and educational outreach, providing a foundation for larger scale implementation projects that demonstrate the vision of Reinventing Fire.

JUST: a social justice label for construction …

Taking built environment sustainability deeper into the responsibility agenda, the International Living Future Institute are launching (Oct 2013) a new and important transparency initiative for the built environment to sit along side the Living Building Challenge and Declare. Just will provide clients, specifiers and procurers with ‘a view of how participating organisations treat their employees and where they invest their profits’

Just will cover the important areas of gender and ethnic diversity, salary equity, gender pay equity, community involvement, responsible investing and more, taking it beyond other programmes in the built environment sector. (And arguably areas that the UK Considerate Constructors Scheme should be addressing?)

The Press Release from ILFI reads:

In today’s global economy, it’s difficult to know what your consumer dollars are really supporting. JUST gives you an insider’s view of how participating organisations treat their employees and where they invest their profits. JUST works seamlessly with the International Living Future Institute’s Declare™ materials label and the next iteration of the Living Building Challenge™ (Version 3.0 — coming spring 2014).

By providing participating companies with a clear, elegant and informative equity ‘nutrition-label’, JUST aims to transform the marketplace through transparency and open communication. It aligns with the Institute’s Declare™ materials label to provide a holistic picture of both the products a company produces and the human story behind those products.
To participate in this voluntary disclosure program, an organization must submit documentation that asks for in-depth information about twenty distinct aspects of workplace equity and justice.
We’ll be launching the JUST label and searchable database FALL 2013. Join us in this critical initiative!
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