Jul 012015
 

PROFITS vs. ETHICS

Overview

There are many who mistakenly think that the phrase, “business ethics”, is an oxymoron – that there is something inherently unethical about making a profit. In the sections below, I will not only address this fallacy, but will also go on to explain the four paradigms from which business owners can select how they will prioritize their ethics in relation to their profits.

What Is “Ethical”?

The best definition I know for an ethical act is, “any act that increases awareness, creativity, love, objective truth, or personal evolution without limiting or diminishing any of these resources for anyone.” While this definition may seem a little clumsy to some, it is nonetheless valid, in that acting in accordance with it actually increases all of the resources listed. Also, a simple exercise of logic applied to this definition yields an extensive set of ethical principles, allowing for its straightforward application to the day-to-day decisions we all are called upon to make.

For a much more detailed discussion of this subject, read, “Ethics, Law, & Government” on the titanians.org website.

Profit Motivation

It is a fundamental fact of life that living beings choose to engage in actions that improve their condition. Plants do this. Animals do it. And so do humans. In the case of the most generous self-effacing charitable giving, the giver’s condition is improved by feeling good about having given the gift.

In the world of business, improving one’s condition translates into making a profit – be that profit financial, emotional, or otherwise. In the absence of such motivation, there would be no business; almost no one would work, and all of society would suffer. For the purposes of this analysis, let’s think just in terms of financial profit.

The Four Paradigms

  1. The first paradigm applies to all businesses that rank profit as more important than ethics. In this instance, the ethics is irrelevant and need not be considered at all. I call this the “Mafia Paradigm”; and its de facto ethic is the Power Ethic; i.e. “Might Makes Right”. This paradigm is parasitic, and inevitably leads to self-destruction – as the parasite kills its host. A hallmark of this paradigm is the fact that businesses that adopt it almost always form cartels and then call on government to enforce the cartel’s rules.

  2. The other three paradigms under discussion all place the ethics ahead of the profit, requiring the business to avoid acting unethically. The differences between the three being in the role of profit. In the second paradigm, every transaction is constrained to be profitable or otherwise advantageous. This model is, in fact, the one chosen by most successful businesses.

  3. The third paradigm, sometimes chosen by people who disapprove of profit, constrains actions to be ethical; but only requires transactions to break even, rather than turn a profit.

    This model consistently fails – resulting in an organization that is constantly on the brink of insolvency – until it eventually goes bankrupt. This is often the fate of “non-profit” organizations, because their self-image is incompatible with profitability.

  4. The fourth paradigm is often the most successful, though there’s a trick to making it work. This paradigm requires impeccable ethics with no consideration of profitability whatever. While conceptually very counter-intuitive, this actually works – but there’s a catch.

    Successful businesses employing this paradigm never start out using it. Instead they begin by using the 2nd paradigm, and later transition to the 4th after establishing a solid financial base. Not infrequently such organizations eventually become donation-based, permitting each customer to define the value of what they have received.

Conclusion

It should be noted that most businesses do not operate consistently within one of these paradigms, often applying the ethics more or less randomly – even though they would be improved if they picked a paradigm that works and stuck with it. It’s my hypothesis that the inconsistency in applying the ethics is due primarily to ignorance concerning the nature and importance of ethics per se. If you are a business-person, and you apply what you’ve learned from this little article, your probability of success will be much improved.

Aug 292013
 

Life Changing book FLOURISH

Bob Podolsky’s new book, FLOURISH! is being read and is highly regarded florish cover Bob Podolskyby some of the Liberty Movement’s deepest thinkers and strongest leaders – folks like Clyde Cleveland the author of Common Sense Revisited, and Foster Gamble, creator of the movie, Thrive.

The book FLOURISH presents the most thoughtful analysis to date of the BIG PROBLEM that humanity faces today, and it also proposes a unique solution to the problem – one that goes beyond the notion of tinkering with the laws or reestablishing the Constitution. Podolsky has shown unequivocally that, while these efforts may be necessary to bring about peace and prosperity, they will never be sufficient for this purpose – because:

  • The central bankers who own the government don’t care about the law – except when it serves them.
  • They routinely kill anyone who gets in their way – and have slaughtered hundreds of millions of people in the course of the past century.

Based on twenty years of scientific research spanning 2,500 years of historical evidence, this book provides powerful answers to the questions that have plagued liberty activists since the movement began. You have the opportunity to meet the Bob Podolsky at the Common Sense Revisited booth at Libertopia 2013.  And on:

Friday 4 pm @ Salon 4 to hear Bob Saturday 9 am @ Salon 6 with Clyde Cleveland
Sunday 2 pm @ Salon 4 with Foster Gamble Sunday 4 pm @ Salon 5 w/Foster, Clyde, Bob

florish rear cover clyde Cleaveland Foster Gamble Bob Podolsky


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Preface to “Flourish” – by Clyde Cleveland

Buckminster Fuller: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”  

If you just picked up this book and are reading this preface to decide whether to continue, then I pray with all my heart, mind, and soul that the words I have set forth here inspire you as you have never been inspired before. I implore you not only to read this amazing and utterly revolutionary book, but also to immediately get involved in the Titania Project with all of the energy, enthusiasm, and resources you can bring to the effort.

This book is powerful beyond description. I will do my best, however, to explain just what it means to me and how profoundly it can change our entire world. This book truly presents the new model we have been looking for, to replace the bureaucratic institutions that enslave us.

Do you want:

  • World peace?
  • Complete prosperity for anyone who aspires to it?
  • A health care SYSTEM designed to help you be healthy rather than to make the pharmaceutical industry wealthier?
  • Less crime?
  • Less drug abuse?
  • Better education?
  • A cleaner environment?
  • Less discrimination?
  • Safe healthy food that is not genetically altered?

Then read this book and learn how you can help create a transition to a system that will provide all of us with these glorious benefits and much, much more!

Bucky Fuller was correct that when you spend your energy and time fighting against firmly established institutions, you are going to end up demoralized, exhausted and discouraged. I know. I have spent a lifetime railing against the “system.” I have approached it from every possible angle including as a Republican, Democrat, Socialist, and Libertarian. I have been a Director or Founder of several organizations designed to reform the tax system, educate people about the GMO scam, create world peace, help create the first ever Constitutional sheriff convention, etc. I have run for office twice and written two books in order to educate people about the absolute and total corruption of our government and other major institutions.

It took me too long to understand that working through either political party is a total waste of time. They are both controlled by the same interest groups.  It took me still longer to realize that all of the divisions among us are created, promoted, exaggerated, and exacerbated by those who rule us. To divide and conquer is a very effective technique and it has been used for thousands of years to control people.

I finally realized that all of our political parties, organized religions, labor unions, banking/financial cartels, and many of our major corporations work together to protect each other and the power elite behind the scenes. The current system benefits them and they will work to keep the system just the way it is.

I have never read any book or heard anyone describe our present system and its faults as clearly as Robert Podolsky does in this book.  He has spent a lifetime doing research to bring out this knowledge. Describing the present corrupt, top-down, force based system we have lived under on this planet for nearly 8,000 years is only a small part of what he does in this book. The real meat of this book is the solution presented to create an alternative system. 

The author is absolutely correct about the importance of ethics. Without a system of ethics which becomes the agreed upon prime directive of the vast majority of our society, we are doomed.  Anyone who has studied the founding of the American Republic knows that, for the most part, a very high level of ethical conduct pervaded commerce and business in the 1700’s. The founders knew that without high moral and ethical standards, a freedom based, bottom up model of governance would not last long.

An ethical code is only part of the solution presented.  The author also presents a model for bottom up governance that is applicable to any organization including: governments, unions, corporations, religions, non-profit organizations, or any other organization of human beings imaginable.

From the early Israelis and Anglo Saxons, who used the principle of ten family units, to the successful Iroquois tribal system; from the amazingly prosperous and entrepreneurial Gore enterprises to the success story of Visa under CEO and visionary Dee Hock; from the Deming inspired corporate model in Japan to the employee owned modern companies becoming more popular every day, the examples of bottom up, freedom based, non-coercive models of human organization abound.

The end result of all bottom-up organizational models is more freedom, more creativity, more happiness, more productivity, more harmony, and more success on all levels of human activity and behavior. It is a new age – and that new age will not come about from a policy or bill passed in the U.S. Congress. You will not change the U.S. Congress, because that entity is part of a system that is very effectively doing its job.  Its job is not, however, to represent you or make your life better. Its job is to make those who control the system behind the scenes more powerful and wealthier than they are now. It is critical to understand that, in their minds, they will never have enough power or wealth.

No government or entity that is part of the existing system will save us. Do not think that the United Nations will save us – or that it is even benign.  Think again. The United Nations and all its spawn were created by the power elite that control the governments of this world and the biggest and wealthiest banking and financial institutions in the world.  For explanations of this fact, read “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by Perkins and “The Creature from Jekyll Island” by Griffin.

We must create a new system based on a new model, as Fuller says, if we want change.  That model, as explained in this book, exists now and can be used by us to improve our lives in virtually every way starting today!  As the new system grows and takes on more of the tasks that we have mistakenly delegated to top down, bureaucratic governments, corporations, religions, and unions, we will see those ancient, useless, coercive, damaging institutions simply disappear. They will vanish as useless relics of a much less evolved society.

It is absolutely up to you to create this new system and make it a reality. A new age will not happen by itself – it will be created by people like you and me. I promise you that the process will be fun, profitable and fulfilling on all levels.  It is up to each of us to make this new model a reality. Our children and grandchildren’s lives depend on it!!

Albert Einstein: “Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”

Clyde J. Cleveland: 

Entrepreneur, ecologist, public speaker, and political historian.

Author of “Restoring the Heart of America” and “Common Sense Revisited.”

Married for 43 years, with four children and seven grandchildren.


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Aug 232013
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

HISTORIC MEETING OF THE MINDS

San Diego, California, August 30th to September the 2nd –4th annual Libertopia Fest 2013 at the Town and Country Resort Hotel, located 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108. Libertopia is a voluntary community, based on principles of Freedom, Peace, Honor, Responsibility, Respect and Spontaneous Order. Libertopia is a unique event that features an environment of actually living the freedom philosophy in ones daily life.

In conjunction with the spirit of Libertopia, of living the life you have always wanted, are 4 major freedom activists, who will be communicating the benefits of the Titania Project:

Foster Gamble, creator of the inspiring movie, Thrive and leader of the Thrive Movement – one of the most innovative strategies aimed at worldwide peace and prosperity,

Clyde Cleveland, author of Common Sense Revisited and Restoring the Heart of America, co-founder of the County Sheriff Project, and lifelong libertarian educator and activist – with a unique perspective on the role of politics in human history,

Michael Badnarik, author of Good to Be King and Secret to Sovereignty, Libertarian candidate for President in 2004, a renowned expert on constitutional law and individual sovereignty.  Michael knows intimately the obstacles to substantive change faced by today’s freedom activists.

Bob Podolsky, physicist / systems analyst, master psychotherapist, visionary and author of seven books on ethics law and government. Bob brings a SOLUTION based strategy for self-governance AND self awareness…Without Government! With 20 years of scientific research spanning 2,500 years of historical evidence.

Of the many excellent participants slated to appear at this year’s event, the four above are embracing a new approach to solving the problems created by our coercive institutions (BORG). They will also present evidence that this integrated approach is optimal for maximizing the probability of the movement’s success.

Humanity’s BIG PROBLEM is simply our societal institutions consistently making unethical decisions. All the other problems our species faces are simply symptoms of this one pivotal challenge. To cure the symptoms of war, hunger, poverty, financial slavery, police brutality, government corruption, the war on drugs, GMO foods, chemtrail deployments, gun confiscation, asset forfeiture, media collusion – or any other manifestation of treasonous violence inflicted on the public under color of law, we need only create ethical institutions.

Come to Libertopia to learn what some of the brightest minds in the freedom movement are doing to bring this about.

Start taking effective action to establish an ethical, creative, loving, grassroots-based culture that leads directly to a world of peace and prosperity. The answers you’ve been looking for are available NOW. Stop wasting time hacking at the branches of the tree of tyranny and start attacking tyranny at the root, where it really counts. See you at Libertopia! Roll the Bones!

WE WILL HAVE SPECIFICS ON THE TIME AND PLACE FOR BREAKOUT MEETING AT “COMMON SENSE REVISITED” BOOTH

 

Titanian Academic Education Project

 

TITANIAN™ ACADEMIC EDUCATION PROJECT

Introduction

Our current educational system is fraught with many obstacles to the development of a student’s creativity. Not the least of these is the long-established custom of motivating students with rewards and punishments. Students under this system earn rewards and avoid punishments by achieving high test scores on tests that measure their ability to regurgitate old information rather than to create new information. The resulting culture instills fear in the students affected: fear of getting the “wrong” answer, fear of getting low grades, and fear of embarrassment and humiliation. Such fears inevitably limit or diminish the student’s ability to be creative, and in many instances destroys this ability utterly.

Japanese Historical Lesson

In 1950 a similar situation plagued the manufacturing industries of Japan, which were still attempting to recover from World War II. At that time Japanese industrial creativity was at an all time low, so the words “made in Japan” were considered worldwide to mean “cheap shoddy imitation”. Having little to lose, Japanese industrialists decided to apply the management methodology suggested to them by the American expert, William Edward Deming. So effective were Deming’s suggestions, which he unassumingly labeled “Statistical Quality Control”, that within five years Japanese industry had regained the respect of industrialists the world over. By 1960 Japanese industries ranked among the world’s best, and by 1965 they were outperforming their overseas competitors without exception. Clearly, this phenomenal success by Japanese industry proves that Dr. Deming’s suggestions acted as a powerful catalyst of industrial creativity.

In the years that followed, Japanese educators attempted to apply Deming’s management methodology to the field of education. But this worthy experiment failed to do for Japanese education what the preceding experiment had done for Japanese industry. We know now how it failed and how to correct the errors made in the attempt.

The Podolsky-Sulliger Contribution

In 1991 two mental health professionals, Robert E. Podolsky and Gregory R. Sulliger, were haunted by the fact that humanity is failing to evolve socially in spite of making rapid advances technologically. Seeing this situation as potentially fatal for humankind, they set out to discover what would have to happen for the trend to be reversed and for humanity to thrive in a realistically imaginable future. In 1993, after analyzing and discussing this question for two years, the two put down on paper a set of definitions and principles which, if widely adopted by our societal institutions, might suffice to ensure humanity’s long-term success as a species. They called this document the Bill of Ethics.

In 2001 it came to Podolsky’s attention that Dr. Deming’s admonitions to Japanese industry, as well as to industry generally, had a logical relationship to the Bill of Ethics. By analyzing the two sets of principles together he soon proved that Deming’s Admonitions comprise a subset of the logical consequences of the Bill of Ethics and wrote up this proof in an article called, “Dr. Deming’s Admonitions” This discovery is significant in two ways. First, it proves that application of the principles contained in the Bill of Ethics to the workings of industry produces a massive increase in that industry’s creativity and vastly increases its success, thus confirming the validity of the Bill of Ethics as applied to industry.

Secondly, Podolsky’s discovery opened the way for him to examine the Japanese’ ill-fated experiment with Demingized education through the “logical lens” of the Bill of Ethics. In doing so he quickly discovered how the Japanese had gone astray in their attempt to apply Deming’s industrial admonitions to their educational system. He then went on to derive from the Bill of Ethics a new set of Deming-esque admonitions that comprise the core of the new student-centered educational paradigm that we call the Titanian Academic Education Project. To follow his reasoning and read his conclusions, refer to “Ethical Education” reproduced below.

Conclusion

We in Titania stand ready to share with you the new educational paradigm and, should you choose to adopt it, to consult with you concerning the challenges that you will doubtlessly encounter as you begin to deploy it in practice. We are confident that if you and your colleagues learn and persevere, we may all one day live in a world of peace, love, creativity, and freedom.

ETHICAL EDUCATION
The Application of Deming
Management Methods to Education

An Excerpt from
Heart and Mind
by Robert E. Podolsky

Abstract:

This article points out briefly some of the weaknesses in the Japanese interpretation of Deming’s principles as applied to education and explains how the success of Deming’s method in industry is due mainly to the ethical principles inherent in that method.  Then a new set of Deming-style admonitions for education is derived to conform to these ethical principles and the suggestion is made that future experiments in quality-conscious education utilize these admonitions rather than Deming’s original “fourteen points”. 

Introduction

On the website of the International Journal of Educational Management appears a well written 1995 article by Kosaku Yoshida “Kosaku Yoshida”  of the School of Management, California State University, Carson, California, USA.  The article is entitled The Deming Approach to Education: A Comparative Study of the USA and Japan [1].  This article contains much that is excellent concerning the managerial principles pioneered by Dr. William Edwards Deming and proven so efficacious by the great experiment conducted by Japanese industry.  The article also explains many of the features of the Japanese system of public education, especially the relation between cooperative education as practiced in Japanese classrooms and Deming’s admonition to reduce variation in a company’s products.

It is indeed most laudable that the Japanese have the courage and wisdom to attempt applying Deming’s management methods to education; and it is most encouraging that a similar attempt is being made in some American school systems.  As Dr. Yoshida points out, however, the Japanese educational system is not without its flaws.  It is desirable therefore that those wishing to emulate the Japanese attempt at Deming-style education be aware of the mistakes that have been made by the Japanese in this attempt; and hopefully avoid duplicating the mistakes along with the successful elements of the method.

In the present article I point out briefly some of the weaknesses in the Japanese interpretation of Deming’s principles as applied to education and explain how the success of Deming’s method in industry is due mainly to the ethical principles inherent in that method.  Then I derive a new set of admonitions for education to conform to these ethical principles and suggest that future experiments in quality-conscious education utilize these admonitions rather than Deming’s original “fourteen points”.

The Power of Dr. Deming’s Method

As the Japanese have proven industrially there can be no doubt that the Deming management method is powerful and effective; in fact the most successful approach to industrial management in existence today.  This fact is widely known.  Not so well understood is the source of this managerial power.  Many newcomers to Deming’s methodology have assumed that the power is derived from the mathematics tying managerial statistics to measurable observables that characterize the performance of the system under scrutiny.  This assumption is false.  While measurement and mathematical precision are necessary to the successful application of the Deming method they are not sufficient.  They are artifacts of the system; but they are not the source of its power.

As I have suggested elsewhere, the source of the power of Dr. Deming’s admonitions as applied to industry is the fact that their application results in improved ethical relations between all the people who come in contact with one another as a result of the presence of the company using the method.  In order to apply the Deming method successfully outside the industrial realm for which it was intended the relation between Deming’s method and its underlying ethics must be clearly understood.  Only then can this powerful method be properly reformatted for use in education, government, charity, religion, and any number of other settings in which one might want to derive the benefits inherent in the method’s power.  In examining the method from this perspective we can gain a still more “profound” appreciation of the forces at work when the Deming method is properly applied.

Questions Unasked…and Unanswered

It is a substantive weakness of the Japanese educational system that the following questions have not been properly asked and answered:

· Is it optimal that the “product” of Japanese education is competent (high-scoring) workers?
· If the “customer” is industry; who ultimately pays the costs and what are they?
· If the supplier is the student’s family, what is the quid pro quo?
· What is the competitive significance of the fact that cooperative groups evolve leaders?
· How are cooperatively taught children to learn to compete?
· Why change from cooperative education at lower levels to competitive college entrance later?
· What is the significance of the existence of “prestigious schools” successful competition for which confers financial rewards?
· What does it mean if variation of student performance is made less than variation of innate ability?

Omissions in Dr. Yoshida’s Article

It is possible that the Japanese have already considered the following points; but Dr. Yoshida’s article does not discuss them; and they are critical for optimization of the Deming-based educational system:

  • Until the ultimate purpose of education is well defined and the supplier / “manufacturer” / customer roles properly established (or dropped altogether) it is inappropriate to define what process corresponds to reduction of variation in the “product”.
  • Deming’s admonitions pertain to manufacturing; but not necessarily to education.  Translation from one realm to the other is more complex than treated in the article. In education maximization of academic test performance does not necessarily optimize the system; in fact probably not.
  • Before a system can be optimized strategically via the Deming method it must be optimized ethically.  If this is not done the system will amplify ethical weaknesses and eventually destroy itself.
  • The source of value in the Deming method is the fact that when applied in an industrial setting it adds positive ethical features to systems that are otherwise often devoid of true ethical controls.
  • Deming’s admonitions are shown elsewhere to be the logical consequences of a more general set of ethical principles (The Bill of Ethics)More about this is described below.
  • To translate the Deming method into the educational realm I suggest it is necessary to derive educational admonitions from the more general Bill of Ethics.
  • Competition is an important part of life and a cornerstone of evolution.  Ethical schools must provide an ethical means for children to learn to participate in competition.

Definitions
Throughout the rest of this article repeated mention will be made of several terms that must be defined at the outset.

  • Dr. Deming ’s Admonitions: I use this expression to include the original “Fourteen Points” that Deming called to the attention of American industry in combination with both the “Seven Deadly Diseases” that he said plagued western businesses and with the “Four Obstacles” that he said must be overcome to make an industrial company function optimally.  For details of these twenty-five admonitions I refer the reader to page 34 of Mary Walton’s excellent book for beginners in this field [2]. See also the previous chapter of this book.
  • The Ethics: In its simplest form this expression can be said to refer in this article to the definition of an ethical act and the logical consequences thereof.  For an extensive explanation of these terms I refer the reader to Book 2 of this series.  Briefly I choose to define an ethical act as any act that increases creativity, and/or any of its logical equivalents (see below), for at least one person (including the person acting) without limiting or diminishing creativity for anyone.

From the above definition the Bill of Ethics deduces the ten main principles needed to make ethical day-to-day decisions on a practical basis.  It also delineates the relationship between ethics and law implied by the definition above.  At times I will refer to the Bill of Ethics and its logical consequences as “the Ethics”.

  • Creativity may be seen as the product of ethical awareness and intelligence, as symbolized by the equation: C=EI.  As such it may be increased in two ways; by increasing someone’s ethical awareness (or equivalently their degree of personal evolution, love, and/or growth) or by increasing the intelligence of someone who doesn’t use their intelligence destructively (say by increasing their access to objective truth, their grasp of true information, their access to energy, or their freedom); where by intelligence generally I mean the ability to predict and control the environment or to initiate and sustain causal relationships between events in the observable world. Hence “increasing creativity” encompasses any increase in any of the resources listed above or in any other resource that increases awareness or intelligence.
  • Logical Equivalents of Creativity:  By this expression we refer to those resources that must increase when creativity is increased and decrease when creativity is diminished, or vice versa, as explained above.  Conversely when any logically equivalent resource is changed creativity must change accordingly. There is no limit to how many such equivalencies one may list.
  • Persons or People: Since ethical discrimination only applies to the acts of people or persons (the acts of young children and animals, for example, are ethically neutral or natural; neither ethical nor unethical) it is necessary that we define what we mean by “person” in this context.  I call a “person” any being that possesses awareness of his or her (or its) own awareness.  Thus dolphins, whales, elephants, and chimpanzees would be included in this definition; but chickens and butterflies would not.  In the not-too-distant future there are likely to be machines that qualify as “persons” in this sense.

Deming and Ethics

Now we are ready to discuss the relationship between Dr. Deming’s admonitions and the ethics of business.  I have shown elsewhere that the entire Deming methodology as defined by the Admonitions can be proven to be a subset of the logical consequences of the Ethics.  This makes it obvious that at their core the Admonitions are ethical admonitions rather than statistical or technical admonitions.  In other words, if an industrial company were to adopt the Bill of Ethics as the keystone of its bylaws, and if the terms of the bylaws were strictly enforced, the company would have to be managed in accordance with the Deming Admonitions.  And it is possible that other admonitions might also be derived that are not contained in the twenty-five principles set down by Dr. Deming.  But at the very least his admonitions would have to be upheld.  Let’s see what the implications are for education.

Adapting the Admonitions to Education

Since Dr. Deming’s Admonitions are logical consequences of The Ethics as applied to industry, there will be nothing lost ethically if we properly adapt the admonitions to the educational environment.  In the previous chapter I restated the Admonitions as follows with no loss of information and none added to the Deming formulation:

1. Adopt the new philosophy. Accept the Admonitions.
2. Take action. Accomplish the transformation [implied by the admonitions].
3. Commit to constantly and forever improve the product, the service, and the system that provides them.
4. Institute vigorous education, training, and retraining of workers to do their jobs. Stress teamwork and statistical technique.

5. Institute leadership.

5.a. Help people do a better job.
5.b. Encourage pride of workmanship.
5.c. Provide both opportunity and security, thereby reducing mobility of management.
5.d. Engage in long range planning.
5.e. Improve communication and cooperation between staff areas and between people.

6.  Do what works; stop doing what doesn’t work.

6.a. Stop mass inspection.
6.b. Stop basing long range decisions on short term considerations.
6.c. Stop trying to motivate educators with slogans, targets, and exhortations.
6.d. Stop relying on technology to solve problems; but incorporate it into the methodology
6.e. Stop following examples; develop specific solutions.
6.f. Stop purchasing based on price tag alone.
6.g. Drive out fear; stop intimidating your personnel.
6.g(1) Stop using numerical quotas, tests, and grades as “motivation”.
6.g(2) Stop using performance evaluations or reviews.
Clearly, Admonitions 1., 2., 4., and 5. are applicable and usable in their current forms.  Admonition 6. is applicable, but detailed admonitions 6.a. through 6.g. require some changes; so for the time being we will use the following list as a starting point for the new Educational Admonitions:

1. Adopt the new philosophy. Accept the Admonitions.
2. Take action. Accomplish the transformation [implied by the admonitions].
3. Institute vigorous education, training, and retraining of workers to do their jobs. Stress teamwork and statistical technique.
4. Institute leadership.

4.a. Help people do a better job.
4.b. Encourage pride of workmanship.
4.c. Provide both opportunity and security, thereby reducing mobility of management.
4.d. Engage in long range planning.
4.e. Improve communication and cooperation between staff areas and between people.

5. Do what works; stop doing what doesn’t work.

Now let’s consider Admonition 3.: Commit to constantly and forever improve the product, the service, and the system that provides them.  This is the crux of the challenge in adapting Dr. Deming’s Admonitions to the educational arena.  We need to know answers to these questions:

1.    What is the product?
2.    What is the service?
3.    Who is being served?
4.    What is the system that provides the product/service?
5.    Is a business model, involving products, services, providers, and customers, appropriate to education?

What Education Is

As young children we are told that we have to go to school to learn the skills we will need as adults in today’s world; to get jobs; to make a living.  In effect we are told that it is we who are being served by education.  Most us of accept this explanation; but few of us believe it.  And still fewer thrive on the experience.  The reality is that most children don’t like school.  They endure it.  Later they rationalize the coercion of school by saying, “It was for our own good; we couldn’t be making a living without it; and so forth.”  Then they go out and tell their own children the same lame excuses.  Who benefits from these lies?

Albert Einstein once compared attendance at public school with the experience of a ravenous tiger that is force-fed until it has no appetite left at all.  Children, in case the reader has forgotten, come into the world with an intense appetite for information… useful, true information.  This appetite is called “curiosity”.  Yet by the age of eighteen most children have had most of their curiosity drilled out of them.  They don’t love to learn any more.  What kind of “education” does this to children?  How can it possibly serve them?  In fact it doesn’t.  Why then has our educational system become what it is today?

I maintain that a publicly funded school system that trains competent workers to participate in the nation’s industries and which sorts and pigeonholes them by subject matter and grades predominantly benefits the prospective employers.  By perusing diplomas and grade transcripts the prospective employer can identify those individuals most likely to meet their needs at minimal cost for testing and training.  Who said it was the responsibility of the public, the student, the parents of the student, or the educational institution to spare the employer such costs?  Yet this is what the public has accepted the world over.  But it isn’t the employee who gets to enjoy the profits that a business generates; it is the employer or business owner.

Like it or not this is the system that is.  As education changed from the “broadening experience” of Liberal Arts enjoyed by the well-to-do to the job-training experience almost universally experienced today, the customer for education shifted from the individual student to the future employer.  Seen as a business, today’s educational system manufactures workers for the use of employers.  The suppliers of raw materials are the parents of the students and, as far as publicly funded education is concerned, the taxpayer foots the bill.  Note too that most taxpayers don’t get to spend the corporate profits generated by the “use” of the product workers.  In most situations it is the customer who pays for the product and enjoys its use.  Somehow in this situation the taxpayer has been duped.  Surely this is not ethical.  Let’s not be fooled by rationalizations about how the taxpayer benefits from the resulting “good economy”; or how the public owns the stock that represents the hiring corporation; or any of the rest of such nonsense that we are commonly told.  The vast majority of taxpayers don’t receive any dividends.  A tiny minority enjoys the benefit of vast corporate dividends.  The rest of us just go along with the plan and facilitate the continuation of what is.

So we are ready now to examine education through the lens of The Ethics and to discover what education could be if it were truly ethical; as we might imagine Dr. Deming would have admonished us to make it if he had applied his principles to education rather than to industry.

Educational Ethics

Article 3 of the Bill of Ethics enumerates the following principles that are logical consequences of our definition of an ethical act and which apply directly to education:

3.1    …to act ethically each person must do their utmost to maximize creativity and its equivalents.
3.2    Ethical actions always increase someone’s creativity;
3.3    Ethical actions never destroy, limit or diminish anyone’s creativity;
3.4    From the foregoing we infer that unethical means can never achieve ethical ends, this principle rejecting the notion that we  can ethically sacrifice the creativity of the individual for the “greater good” of society, the “many”, and so forth; from which it follows that:
3.5    Unethical means always produce unethical results (ends); trivial means always produce trivial results at best; and similarly
3.6    Means which are not ethical ends in themselves are never ethical;
3.7    From the foregoing it is also apparent that inaction is unethical. Creativity cannot be passively expanded or increased… this must  be done actively to overcome entropic destruction inherent in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This principle is basically equivalent to the adage that, “For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.”;
3.8    It also follows that it is unethical to tolerate unethical behavior. To do so is to violate Section 3.7 above. For this reason we are ethically bound to defend ourselves and others actively against injury or deceit when we or they are imminently imperiled by   another’s unethical behavior; from which:

3.8.1 It follows that it is unethical to augment the creativity of anyone whom one reasonably believes will use such augmented resources unethically… and it is therefore ethical to withhold the augmentation of creative resources from anyone whose ethical commitment one reasonably distrusts; and furthermore:

3.9 It is ethical to learn and unethical to be certain. When we close our minds on a subject we cease to learn… to increase our own awareness and creativity. Learning always increases creativity; and
3.10 It is ethical to doubt. Ceasing to have doubts about a subject we become certain about it and have ceased to learn. Doubts create new questions …some of which yield new answers. Doubt is one of the cornerstones of creativity.

Before attempting to expand the Admonitions in the realm of education it is important that we create a suitable context for this endeavor.  To do this we must examine the ethical role of education in the activities of humanity.  If education must be seen as a means to provide industry a skilled work force (a goal which in and of itself is not necessarily unethical) then Article 3.6 above requires that education also be an ethical end in itself.  Article 3.9 tells us that it is ethical to learn, therefore as long as education is designed to increase creativity it is also ethical to teach.  There is no reason why education should not provide competent workers, if students desire to become competent workers and if we decide that fulfillment of this goal does not interfere with Article 3.1 which calls for the maximization of creativity.  However, if as a species we decided to take seriously the notion that ethical education is a valid end in itself, many educational practices would change, probably for the better.

So let’s examine this possibility.  What would happen if we put aside the goal of a skilled work force, maximized creativity, and observed the consequences?  Since all wealth and prosperity is the product of creativity we might find ourselves with a more skilled work force than we have now.  For starters we could abandon the industrial model upon which the Deming method is based.  We would no longer have to think in terms of suppliers, manufacturers, customers, etc.  Our goal would be simply to help our children and our youth to become the most creative adults possible.

Now the admonitions to be derived from the Deming model, as focused by the Bill of Ethics might look like this:

1. Adopt the new philosophy. Accept the Admonitions.
2. Take action. Accomplish the transformation [implied by the admonitions.
3. Institute vigorous education, training, and retraining of teachers and administrators to do their jobs more creatively. Stress teamwork and statistical technique.
4. Commit to constantly and forever expand the students’ creativity and improve the system that delivers this service.

4.a. Stimulate student curiosity at every opportunity.
4.b. Satisfy student curiosities in ways that further stimulate curiosity.
4.c. Make all information resources available to the student.
4.d. Teach students to doubt and to test the validity of new information.
4.e. Teach students the scientific method.
4.f. Share with students at the elementary level the excitement that a subject’s devotees experience at the most advance level.  Continue this process on an ongoing basis.
4.g. Eliminate all grading and rating activities for students and teachers alike.
4.h. Find ways to teach competition skills without making the educational  process competitive or stigmatic.
4.i.  Encourage the development of better teaching methods, teaching aids, and text books.
4.j. Expand the opportunity for learning experiences outside the classroom.
4.k. Involve the community in the teaching role with extensive “field trips.”
4.l.  Reward community members for participating in “field education.”
4.m. Teach students cooperative study and learning techniques.
4.n. Invent more such techniques.  Encourage such innovation.  Reward it.
4.o. Instill in every student excitement and joy in learning.
4.p. A teacher’s work with a student is done when the   student is so motivated to seek new learning, and is able to find it on his own, so that the teacher is no longer needed.

5. Institute leadership.

5.a. Help teachers do a better job. For starters, improve their education.
5.b. Encourage pride of teaching and learning.
5.c.  Provide teachers and administrators both opportunity and security, thereby reducing mobility of the educational force.
5.d. Engage in long range planning.
5.e. Improve communication and cooperation between staff and between all people involved in the education process.
5.f. Reward teachers for helping other teachers to be more effective.
5.g. Teach businesses better ways to evaluate the potential of “unsorted” job applicants who come without diplomas or transcripts.  Insist they bear the burden of paying for this activity.

6. Do what works; stop doing what doesn’t work.

6.a. Drive out fear; stop intimidating your teachers and students.
6.b. Stop using grades and ratings as “motivation”.
6.c. Stop using performance evaluations or reviews
6.d. Stop making long-term decisions based on short-term financial considerations.
6.e. Develop ways to measure the performance of the educational system without violating any of the foregoing admonitions.  Use this information to develop statistical models to further improve the system.

Who Says It’s Impossible?

Obviously there will be many naysayers responding to this set of Educational Admonitions.  But Dr. Deming would have liked it and seen its value.  You will note that most of the people who will object to this method are people with a vested interest in keeping education the way it is today.  Either their prestige or their finances will be seen as adversely affected if these admonitions are adopted.  The adoption of such a set of admonitions either here in the U.S. or overseas will meet with four kinds of resistance.

First, some who simply lack imagination and don’t want to change will say the transformation of education along these lines is impossible; it can’t work.   They will offer any number of spurious reasons why this is so; but the reality is simply that they don’t want to change and grow.  They have reputations and tenured teaching positions that they don’t want to risk losing; and they don’t know if they could be successful in the new educational environment that would result from the adoption of this new model.

Second, the corporate institutions that have been getting a free ride from public (tax-funded) education will bad-mouth this model even though their wealth is all built on creativity and this model maximizes creativity.

And third, since public education is a function of government, often delegated to incompetent local boards of education, the successful adoption of this methodology could have enormous implications suggesting the restructuring of many, if not all, parts of government.  Since government too is now mostly in existence to serve the big corporations, any such change would be perceived as a threat to people in many parts of government.  In this case not only are prestige and money at stake, but political power also.  This is likely to be the most vigorous source of resistance to such change.

And finally, there will be massive bureaucratic resistance to this idea. To the best of this author’s knowledge bureaucracy is the greatest source of unethical behavior on the face of our planet.  This certainly applies to every government on the planet and is the main reason so many governments have failed historically.  From the fall of ancient Rome to the recent demise of the Soviet Union the main problem has been bureaucracy.  Deming-style education will not really thrive until/unless government itself can be made less bureaucratic.

Conclusion: In his excellent article, Grading…The Deming Way [3], Del Nelson, Professor of Management at American River College, Sacramento, California asks,

“Where can we find the educational institution dedicated to inducing “joy in learning,” collaboration on a win/win basis to build a “better world” (improving health, declining poverty , decrease in bias, etc.), learning the System of Profound Knowledge, and dedicated to leading the student(s) to the path of never-ending-improvement in every facet of their lives? Our educational problems are only made worse by grades, grades on the curve, honor roles, competitive athletics, or ranking/testing of schools, none of which will support (in fact, they will directly prevent) attainment of any such system related/driven goals.”

In agreeing with this, I see that the Japanese have not gone far enough in applying the Deming Method to education.  Their system will ultimately fail unless the same ethical principles are applied to education and other parts of government that are applied to their industry.  The same is equally true in the U.S. and throughout the world.  We can only wonder where in the world these realities will first be recognized and acted upon creatively.

Having considered the Titanian Academic Education Project, let’s now turn our attention to the Titanian Law Project.

[1] Kosaku Yoshida, The Deming Approach to Education: A Comparative Study of the USA and Japan , International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 8 No. 5, 1994, pp. 29-40, © MCB University Press, 0951-354X

[2] Mary Walton , The Deming Management Method, Putnam Publishing Group, New York, 1986.

[3] Del Nelson, Grading the Deming Way,

 

© 2001 by Robert E. Podolsky

The Bill of Ethics

 

The Bill Of Ethics

Introduction

The following Bill of Ethics was written by Robert Podolsky and Gregory Sulliger in 1993. It is an interpretation and extension of the work of John David Garcia, as presented so thoroughly and clearly in his book, Creative Transformation.

Organizations of all types can use it to amend or define their founding constitutions or by-laws.

Preamble

We, the undersigned officers constituting a quorum of (Name of Organization)___________________________ do hereby adopt the following “Bill of Ethics” as the highest priority policy for governing all our future actions and procedures, both in our dealings with those outside our organization and in our relationships with members and/or employees within our ranks. Henceforth all other written and unwritten rules of conduct for persons associated with this organization shall be understood, reinterpreted, or if need be revised to conform to the definitions and principles stated in this Bill of Ethics.

ARTICLE 1: Philosophy & Rationale of This Bill of Ethics

1.1 WHEREAS this organization exists for the pursuit of ethical purposes by ethical means;

1.2 WHEREAS the charter of this organization establishes the right of its officers to alter and reform governing policies as they may think proper; and

1.3 WHEREAS the officers and members and of this organization have expressed their belief that the establishment of a Bill of Ethics would substantially promote the rights and well-being of all who come in contact with this organization;

1.4 THEREFORE the policy of this organization is hereby amended, this Bill of Ethics being appended thereto.

ARTICLE 2: Definitions

2.1 We believe it to be self evident that people are neither “good” nor “evil” except as their acts are “good” or “evil”

2.2 And that a person’s actions are “good” (or equivalently “just” or “ethical”) if they increase the creativity of at least one person, including the person acting, without limiting or diminishing the creativity of any person, including the person acting.

2.3 Since creativity is the product of ethical awareness and intelligence (as symbolized by the equation: C = EI) there are two ways an act may increase creativity.

2.3.1 An act may increase creativity by increasing someone’s ethical awareness, degree of personal evolution, love, and/or growth, these creativity enhancers being logical equivalents of one another, in that any act which increases one of them must necessarily increase the others, and vice-versa;

2.3.2 An act may increase creativity by increasing the intelligence of any person who uses their intelligence creatively rather than destructively; where access to objective truth, access to energy, and freedom are enhancers of intelligence, since they increase one’s ability to predict and control the environment or to initiate and maintain causal relationships between events in the observable world.

2.4 The lists of equivalent creativity enhancers given above are incomplete. There may in fact be an unlimited number of such equivalencies that apply. Hereinafter we shall use the words, “ethical awareness” to include all of its logical equivalents, and the word “intelligence” to similarly encompass all of its logical equivalents. The word “creativity” will be used to encompass both the preceding sets of resources, the distinctions between the two sets being duly noted.

2.5 From the preceding it follows logically that it is ethical to limit or reduce a person’s intelligence in order to stop or prevent that person from acting destructively (unethically). This is generally accomplished ethically by limiting or reducing that individual’s access to intelligence enhancers.

2.6 Where by “person” is meant any being having awareness of its own awareness… thus excluding those lower forms of life whose actions are merely “natural”; and to whom this Bill of Ethics does not apply.

2.7 And acts which limit or reduce another person’s creativity (or any of the equivalent resources listed in Section 2.2 above) are – with the exception explained in Section 2.5 above – generally “bad”, or equivalently “evil”, “unethical”, or “entropic”

2.8 And further, that good and evil acts by aware beings fall on an ethical continuum… where the best (most ethical)acts are those which contribute the most to the evolution of an individual or a group… and the worst (most unethical) are those which most increase the entropy (chaos or disorder) thereof;

2.9 And still further, that acts which are not “ethical” according to Section 2.2 above and which are not “unethical” according to Section 2.7 above may be said to be “ethically neutral”, “innocent”, “trivial”, or merely “natural”.

ARTICLE 3: Principles

3.01 From the foregoing self-evident truths we infer that to act ethically each person must do his/her utmost to maximize creativity and its equivalents;

3.02 That ethical actions always increase someone’s creativity;

3.03 And that ethical actions never destroy, limit, or diminish anyone’s creativity except as described in Section 2.5 above.

3.04 And from the foregoing we infer that unethical means can never achieve ethical ends… this principle rejecting the notion that we can ethically sacrifice the creativity of the individual for the “greater good” of society, the “many”, and so forth; from which it follows that:

3.05 Unethical means always produce unethical results (ends); trivial means always produce trivial results at best; and similarly

3.06 Means which are not ethical ends in themselves are never ethical;

3.07 From the foregoing it is also apparent that inaction is unethical. Creativity cannot be passively expanded or increased… this must be done actively to overcome entropic destruction inherent in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This principle is basically equivalent to the adage that, “For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.”

3.08 It also follows that it is unethical to tolerate unethical behavior. To do so is to violate Section 3.07 above. For this reason we are ethically bound to defend ourselves and others actively against injury or deceit when we or they are imminently imperiled by another’s unethical behavior; from which:

3.08.1 It follows that it is unethical to augment the creativity of anyone whom one reasonably believes will use such augmented resources unethically… and it is therefore ethical to withhold the augmentation of creative resources from anyone whose ethical commitment one reasonably distrusts; and furthermore:

3.09 It is ethical to learn and unethical to be certain. When we close our minds on a subject we cease to learn… to increase our own awareness and creativity. Learning always increases creativity; and

3.10 It is ethical to doubt. Ceasing to have doubts about a subject we become certain about it and have ceased to learn. Doubts create new questions …some of which yield new answers. Doubt is one of the cornerstones of creativity.

ARTICLE 4: Laws, Rules And Regulations
Compatible With This Bill of Ethics

4.1 Be it understood that the proper role of an organization’s laws, rules and regulations is to empower those people acting singly or in concert who would embrace the foregoing Definitions and Principles set forth in Articles 2 and 3 above and who are willing to make the moral commitment to live their lives as ethically as they can… as suggested by Section 3.01.

4.2 And it is also the proper role of laws, rules and regulations to prohibit, by the most ethical means possible, any actions which are unethical as defined above.

4.3 Nor is it ever the proper role of rules and regulations to intrude, coerce, or interfere, in the lives of any people except as is truly necessary in order to accomplish the aims of Sections 4.1 and 4.2 above …such intrusion even then to be that which is minimally required.

4.4 Moreover, whenever the laws, rules and regulations of an organization are in conflict with said Definitions and Principles the ethics shall prevail …the rules being deemed to exist solely as the servant of the ETHICS, the latter being always superior to the rules.

4.5 RESPONSIBILITY for actions: Under the aegis of ethical rules and regulations compatible with this Bill of Ethics:

4.5.1 All people are responsible for their own actions and the consequences which result from those actions. In determining who shall bear the burden of financial or other costs when someone’s actions result in harm to another person, ultimate (though not sole or total) responsibility rests with the individual who had the last available opportunity to prevent such undesirable effects from occurring.

4.5.2 Also, responsibility under ethical rules is not mitigated by the failure of an individual to understand, comprehend, rationalize, or anticipate the consequences of his or her acts… except as such failure may alter the availability of opportunities to prevent harm from occurring.

4.5.3 In any case, persons who enact harm on others in a self-induced state of mental incompetence (e.g. intoxicated) may still be required to bear the costs of the consequences of their actions when the act of inducing such incompetence was the chronologically last opportunity anyone had to prevent the unethical act from being performed.

4.5.4 Harm enacted by one person on another is solely justifiable when necessary in self or another’s defense against the person harmed.

ARTICLE 5: Cooperation of Officials

5.1 NON-INTERFERENCE: No elected or appointed Official, officer, or employee shall take direct or indirect action or exert direct or indirect influence which would result in the circumvention, deflection, abrogation, evasion of or interference with the purpose of this Bill of Ethics.

5.2 PENALTY:Any person found to be violating Section 5.1 above shall be reprimanded or removed from their position office or appointment as determined by the authority cited below.

5.3 JURISDICTION: Jurisdiction for purposes of this Bill of Ethics, shall be with the board of directors of this organization.

ARTICLE 6: Previously Existing Rules And Policies

6.1 CONFORMITY: Henceforth all the rules, regulations, and policies of this organization, whether they originate at board, executive, managerial, supervisory level or below shall be brought into compliance with this Bill of Ethics within (time period)__________of this date

6.2 Wherever this amendment conflicts with or contradicts other rules, regulations, or policies, be they written or unwritten, this measure shall supersede and take precedence over the other, it being the ultimate touchstone for valid procedural regulation throughout this organization.

Officers’ Signatures:                    Date:

 

______________________________    __________

______________________________    __________

______________________________    __________

______________________________    __________
The foregoing Bill of ethics is intended for the formal use of contracts, bylaws, and constitutions – legal purposes generally. the Bill of Ethics embodied in the Titanian Code of Honor. Meanwhile, as Paragraph 3.05 above indicates, ethical ends can never be achieved by unethical means. Since this is counter-intuitive for many readers, we need to look more closely at the relationship between ethical means and ethical ends.