3 Principles of Transformation
to a New Paradigm
Deming stated 14 points that include:
Adopt the New Philosophy
A change of paradigms and basic assumptions is necessary to understand and fully implement quality improvement to its completion for success. Most people are looking for something quick and easy. It requires replacing one’s own unconscious assumptions and giving up what you think you know.
Japanese culture turned out to be more compatible with understanding science and organizational coordination because their thinking has been shown by cultural psychologists like Richard E. Nisbett to be more relational and contextual than American Western thinking that is more fragmented and views each thing through “essentialism:” the idea that the thing is a cause itself and its own problems, such as treating organs out of context: adrenals, thyroid, or even the gut out of the full context of the environment where root causes originate: toxicity, infection, nutrient deficiencies, stresses, etc. Essentialism is like blaming individuals rather than circumstance; each should be seen in balance. Americans understand this by throwing up the cliché that Japanese are more group oriented and Americans are more individualistic, but this superficial generalization can give a false sense of knowing that prevents deeper exploring.
Health begins in the mind with how health decisions are made. Decisions are made based the paradigm in one’s head, even if half conscious. Many people have one foot in the medical paradigm and one foot in the holistic paradigm in ways that are inconsistent. It is ok to incorporate both paradigms, but more issues need to be addressed through the holistic lifestyle and environment model. People assume they know what an answer looks like and keep selecting similar things that don’t work while continuing to filter out things that could be better. Or they pick the right thing but fail to do it the right way or long enough, they fail to implement, which requires a new paradigm as well.
Clarity on the new paradigm reinforces implementation through the next principle:
Constancy of Purpose
This means to implement a program 100%. Have integrity to follow through with commitments. Don’t get bored and go shopping for something new. Don’t flake.
Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt says that American patients typically have not begun implementation a few weeks after receiving their program, while the Swiss patients needs to be told to stop 6 months later.
Americans are very prone to selective and partial implementation. One reason they lose focus because they don’t understand the focus on root causes but still have ideas stuck in their head about what really matters. “What about my adrenals?” Some ask, even though they have been told to read a short web page on 4 myths about adrenals. They think they don’t need to read because they treat health seeking as a shopping experience based on “gut feelings” or other such principles, not careful study.
Americans often see health seeking as separate shopping transactions of external options rather than as an integrated transformation of internal beliefs and habits guided by a coach pushing them out of their comfort zone. There is a tendency toward compulsive shopping addicted to the new and sometimes attachment to being special through their own insight.
Author of Global Quality, Richard Tabor Greene, compared the difference between Japanese and American implementation. American individualism makes people obsessed with being special and standing out rather than agreeing to use the standards and processes proven to work. People steal each other’s ideas and present them in the next meeting as their own, effectively limiting free speech. Greene calls these American culture neuroses.
Japanese listen to the standards that represent lessons learned. They share ideas and give each other credit, which increases the pool of ideas from which to create new ideas. Japan has created a learning machine since 1871 based on studying best practices world-wide to be recombined in ways that are uniquely Japanese. Nobody doubts the Japanese have lost their culture entirely or remained exactly the same. There is no necessary loss of identity to cooperate or try other’s ideas.
The most successful region of the USA, Silicon Valley around San Jose, California, is also distinguished by its social networks of information sharing and cooperation, even if the details differ greatly from Japan. The myth of the lone entrepreneurs working in garages, as with HP and Apple, is to take inventors out of the context of their social systems that included technology meetings, especially facilitated around Stanford Universities engineering department in the history of Silicon Valley. Similar regional economies like Boston’s Route 128 suffered from a lack of cooperation, amiable sharing, and trust common in the Boston area. I’ve lived in the heart of both regions and attended business meetings on quality improvement in both places during my Ph.D. research on this topic.
Constancy of purpose is necessary for continuous improvement. Continuous improvement means that change often happens in many small steps rather than a few big ones. It means that you have to work constantly on the details because systems are complex.
Americans often suffer the belief in the great dichotomy of innovation versus incremental improvement seeing them as inherently different and a tradeoff, rather than as mostly a different degree of outcome based on the same or similar methods.
One way continuous improvement is forced is through opening to customer feedback at all times randomly and through study and meeting with customers. Customer driven businesses gather data under management by fact to drive improvement and innovation. Standard procedures of engaging customers force change. Standards are not bureaucracy that simply limits the individual, standard are enabling.
Standards are ways of communicating general knowledge.
Quality improvement also provides standards for changing standards through scientific methods. Change is forced because you must respond to customer complaints, or initiate innovation for proactive improvement as of strategy.
In health coaching this means you are guided by your results that are observed, measured, or experienced including subjectively as feeling better or worse. Results are considered in a disciplined manner as they arise for the client or are reviewed by the coach, this has to do with scientific thinking, broadly speaking, that include listening carefully to each individual, as explained below.
When problems arise you react to fine-tune the program.
You also look for signs to be ready for the next stage of implementation.
Many small changes can add up to more than a few or one big change.
With health gradual change can be easier to tolerate.
Sometimes people long for the big miracle that takes away their problems, but too often shopping for that takes them out of the incremental approach.
As I say: Boring Basics Boost Biggest Benefits.
Perfecting basic nutrients like sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, water and sun do more for health than fancy supplements based on lab tests that make some people look like experts.