Photos from a Working Session with Dr. Rummler in 1982.

My former boss at MTEC – Motorola’s Training & Education Center caught up with me yesterday via email – and shared these 4 photos from 1982.

After 9 months of skip-level reporting to Bill Wiggenhorn beginning in the spring of 1981, Bill finally found a Functional Manager for the Manufacturing/Materials/Purchasing areas I was focused on – and it was Paul Heidenreich.

Paul lived/worked in Phoenix while I worked at the Motorola HQ campus in Schaumberg Illinois – about 30 miles west of Chicago’s lake front. Here in these photos I was out to visit/work with him in Arizona, and with Dr. Rummler, on some “forgotten project” – according to Paul’s email.

But I think I see a clue in one of the pictures – and I wish I could read what’s on that flip chart.

The first photo is of Marilyn Desser, my boss’ secretary. Yes that’s what they called the job in 1982. Note the IBM Selectric on the desk…

You can see we were a little business causal about 6 years before that was in vogue. That’s Paul in the Superman T-Shirt. See the word “kit” on the shirt? That’s my clue as to what we were meeting about.

And Geary Rummler at the flip chart…

And that’s Geary and Guy sitting in Paul’s Camel Square office, coffee cups at our sides in 1982. I was a sponge. Imagine – working with a Rummler, Deming, Juran, day-after-day-after-day.

I learned so much – it’s hard to sort through it all and create a timeline. Geary taught me much, generously bought books for me to read – both work books and casual reading – he was a big fan of mystery novels and the Travis McGee series back then. I think he also turned me on to Tony Hillerman – long ago.

Thank you so much Paul for sharing these!

I hadn’t heard from or seen Paul in almost 25 years. I had kept up with what was going on with him through my interactions with Geary, as he and Geary were soon best of friends – after meeting at MTEC – once Paul joined our group in early 1982. And their wives were close. They were a close four-some. So I always kind-of knew what Paul was up to post-Motorola and then into retirement.

It was Paul who took my thoughts, documented in a 1982 White Paper about combining/ blending Process (ala Rummler), TQM tools (the 7 basics and 7 advanced and lessons from Deming and Juran), and Communications Styles/Behaviors (from the Huthwaite/Neil Rackham approaches) – and developed the idea of a Do-It-Yourself Geary-Rummler-Consulting Kit – that I contend morphed into the OPS course that morphed into a working/training session using Quality Tools and Geary’s Process-Orientation – that eventually morphed into Six Sigma.

No kidding!

That morphing story, which happened after I left MTEC in October 1982 – is covered in Alan Ramias’ article on The Mists of Six Sigma. Like Paul and myself, Alan worked at MTEC in those early years. When I left Motorola it was Alan who inherited many of my projects.

The Clue?
The “Kit” on Paul’s T-Shirt in the photo above – I believe – is the clue that we were there in 1982 working on that D-I-Y G.R. Consulting Kit concept.

That made me sit back for a few moments.

White Papers were big back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

There was the famous one on Japan – which was rocking/knocking the USA manufacturing boat back then (along with the prime rate being 21%).

That NBC White Paper “video” can be ordered here. Motorola was then waking up to the challenges of its future. Just as Detroit was doing at the same time – and is doing once again.

Talk about Deja Vu all over again!

Motorola was struggling (something natural and to be predicted) in the early 1980s with implementing a new culture: PMP: Participative Management Program. My White Paper addressed that – and how the “new stuff” I was learning about from all of our guru consultants Bill brought into MTEC – might be blended and applied.

Geary Rummler had already brought “process” into the Training world – and he was about to do so with the Quality/TQM world in a couple of years. Changing that world forever.

Reading Paul’s email this morning – brought back a flood of memories.

Geary, Paul and I spent a lot of time together once Paul got hooked by the Rummler process logic. Which was almost immediately. We 3 spent many days and days together in IL, NJ and AZ. And at major MTEC client sites of ours in FL and TX.

Paul was an Engineer, a Manufacturing Engineer – which meant that he didn’t just design things – he got them up and running and kept them running and kept up their maintenance. He saw the logic of what Geary was not just talking about, but doing.

Paul liked Geary a lot (in my mind back then) because Geary wasn’t just full of theories – he too got things done.

And I guess that’s also one of the many things about what “I liked” most about Geary – he got things done. Of course, before Geary changed his focus at the University of Michigan – and got his MBA – he was an engineering student. So their heads worked a lot alike.

I’m still grieving. And that’s I guess to be expected. I hope you don’t mind me sharing these thoughts.

Thanks again Paul! My best to you and Barbara! And – please take good care of Margaret. I know that the 4 of you were very close over the past 25 years.

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5 comments on “Photos from a Working Session with Dr. Rummler in 1982.

  1. Pingback: Reminiscing Rummler | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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  3. Pingback: Rummler Video Mania – A Tribute Of Sorts | EPPIC – Pursuing Performance

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  5. Pingback: The Most Significant Quality Event of the Year For Me, and Why? | EPPIC – Pursuing Performance

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