Volume 100, July 2009: The 100th Issue

Keyzine: An E-zine for Leaders about the People Side of Business

This is a monthly electronic magazine for anyone who wants to be a better leader, coach, facilitator, or simply, to tune up their people skills. It is a complimentary publication, devoted to the next evolution of Quality Thinking.

Publisher: © Key Associates, LLC, 2009 ISSN # 1545-8873

“All anyone asks for is a chance to work with pride.” — W. Edwards Deming


  • About the Author
  • About Keyzine, the E-zine
  • Should There Be More Issues?
  • Simple Messages Through All Issues
  • Links to the First 99 Issues

About the Author

I go by M. K. Key. Many of you have never met me – and do not know me as a psychologist, a mother, a farmer, and more. I live in Nashville TN and my work – whether government, non-profit, for-profit or solo – has always been in the field of quality (see my bio).

I began this Keyzine when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, and I wanted a way to maintain contact with my network. Here it is 2009 and I am diagnosed again. In the meantime, the readership has grown to over 3000+ subscribers, simply by word-of-mouth or personal contact. About 400 joined last month. Very few unsubscribe. It is free, and it is a gift to my readers.

About Keyzine, the E-zine

I was introduced to W. Edwards Deming on my first day of work for the Center for Continuous Improvement at Quorum Health Resources. I sat front row center in 1989 at his huge seminar, to have him call on the psychologists (oops) to teach the fourth cornerstone of Profound Knowledge – Psychology, of course. He continued teaching on life support (accompanied by many of my RN friends in his travels) until he died at age 93 in 1993. I felt I was left to complete “The Fourth Cornerstone.” So that has been my mission, and one of the purposes of this e-zine.

Dr. Deming was not just a teacher of SPC methodology; he was a philosopher, statistician, writer of sacred music, a humanitarian. His 14 Points and Profound Knowledge spoke to leaders of all organizations; although his philosophy resonated, and still does, with every worker. In the end, he said all of his work could be reduced to one idea – “the Human Spirit.”

This author keeps that teaching alive. Each Keyzine takes a day or two to research and write (in text and HTML); although much of the material comes from my courseware and lectures. Then there is follow-up communication, queries, and list management. Readers enjoy different sections: some like the Quotes, others like References or Links, still others enjoy the Exercises and Action Items or the Q & A. Many appreciate the brevity and the easy take on leadership pointers.

All previous 99 Keyzines are archived on this site and are available through the links at the top and bottom of this issue.

Should There Be More Issues?

Maybe 100 issues is enough. I am 60 years of age, and have health challenges.

Do I need to continue writing Keyzines?

An email to me with a “Yes” or “No” would be helpful, along with suggestions for future topics.

Simple Messages Through All Issues

  • Leadership is not a title or a set of functions; it is a philosophy, with action guided by principles and values.
  • Everything is an N of 1; appreciating differences makes the world richer. Everyone counts.
  • Conflict can be healthy and produce optimal change.
  • Unity or community comes from alignment. A system is a set of interdependent parts aligned for a common aim. Great strength comes from inclusion – stretch the circle wider.
  • Power is enhanced by giving it away.
  • Collaboration almost always produces more good then competition.
  • All work is a process; each process has its own unique behavior. You can understand a process by observing it over time.
  • We largely have well-intentioned people working in broken processes. Do not be quick to assign blame.
  • Customers are the reason our businesses exist. Embrace them and delight them. We are all customers of each other.
  • The root of motivation comes from within (intrinsic). We need to stop de-motivating people. Cultivate the human spirit.
  • Feedback is essential for improvement – in the applied science of Plan-Do-Study-Act or in human transactions.
  • Everyone is entitled to Joy in Work. People love learning, are naturally creative, and enjoy being recognized for making a contribution. Fear is the vicious enemy of all this.
  • Much of what we do is non-value-adding (NVA) work. Stop doing worthless, non-contributing things.
  • You cannot manage something you do not understand and have not experienced. Failure to appreciate the work of those you lead will end up in manipulation and artifices, like managing by the numbers alone.
  • Pull strategies, like Vision, will always outlast push strategies, such as coercion, plans, bribes and even rewards.
  • Lead by deeds, not just words (Walking the Talk).
  • Integrity is all you have in business. Broken promises and damaged trust take forever to mend.
  • The new leader is a convener, a creator of conversations, an intense listener, a master at thinking together. Grow yourself and others as new leaders.


Buy MK’s latest book!