On Saturday, June 29th, some two dozen teams, with nine riders in each, will begin the 100th edition of the Tour de France. The tour includes 21 stages, covering 2,115 miles, all within France for the first time since 1988. Breaking the tour into components, as would be the thinking of a program manager who manages parts or tasks, there will be seven flat stages, five hilly stages, six mountain stages, two individual time trial stages, and one team trial stage.
For the 12 to 15 million spectators expected to watch the tour, each one unique, the concept of counting stages and miles, even kilometers, makes them all appear to be the same, as well as separate, as in counting the number of customers or suppliers for an organization or the number of channels of cable television. Are customers and suppliers really separate from an organization? Counting clouds can only happen if we see them as separate entities above us, or below us, from an airplane. A great illusion. Yet, to the 200+ riders in the tour, who themselves are different, each mile is different and is seamlessly connected, as are members of a union.
What Tour de France spectators see and what participants experience are worlds apart. Barnet Bain, a keynote speaker at our 2012 Forum, uses the terms "Spectator" and "Spect-Actor" to contrast the two roles. One watches, thinks of parts, count parts, but must inevitably cope with the great illusion of the separation of these parts. Genichi Taguchi used the concept of "loss" to describe the reality that parts managers face, unless what they deliver to their customer are a collection of parts that lie in close formation, as when opening a box from Ikea. Like the riders in the Tour de France, those who use these "parts" know they are not parts at all, but rather "parts of something bigger," perhaps a book shelf. Spect-Actors understand and actively manage variation in stages, miles, customers, and parts, as they see think of them with boundary-lessness, to quote the late Shel Rovin, one of our 2007 keynote speakers. In doing so, the great illusion of parts is replaced by the realism of unity and the amazing prospects for team work within any organization
If you're interested in exploring the limitless implications of improvements in teamwork in industry, government, and education, through better thinking about thinking, we invite you to join with peers at the In2:InThinking Network 2013 Forum in Los Angeles, California, from June 19th through 23rd, on the campus of California State University, Northridge (CSUN). This year, our ever timely focus will be:
"The Art of Reflection: Connect - Inspire - Act"
If you are not able to attend our Weekend Conference
, you are most welcome to attend any of our 18 Pre-Conference sessions
, all free, with the exception of a $40 material fee for one (N - What We're Learning About the Brain). Webcasting is also an option; find details at this link
Register by June 14th (new date) to reserve a residence hall suite at CSUN
Register by Monday, June 17th to attend any of our Pre-Conference sessions
Register by Saturday, June 22nd to attend our Weekend Conference
If you're not ready to register, but are likely to attend, please complete our RSVP Survey to help us with attendee estimates in our planning efforts.
For a glimpse of the excitement we offer, link here for a photo montage from our 2012 Forum. Link here for a complete list of our previous 2013 Forum UPDATES.
In2:InThinking Network 2013 Forum Team