Teach the childrenwell

A belated thank you for the issues of Motion System Design sent to Mississippi State. They have been distributed to my class, along with some diabolical homework related to planetary transmissions, and are being read cover to cover.

It's important for the students to see what is really going on in the world, as opposed to some textbook and lecture material, and your magazine does just that. A valuable adjunct.
A.K. Rosenhan, P.E.
Mississippi State, Miss.

rosen@ae.msstate.edu

More on the open-door policy

Jerry Yankie brought up an interesting concept. (In Response, October 2004). I was the lead facilitator and trainer for a crew of 35 facilitators when the company I worked for was in the process of adopting ISO 9000 standards and its preceding Quality Improvement Process.

It's a major culture shift for management to accept suggestions from underlings, but it can be done. Let me explain the differences between a moderator and facilitator. A moderator uses Robert's Rules of Order much like a traffic cop uses the law - he's the enforcer. A facilitator is all that and more. His responsibility is not the be the expert, but to provide an environment whereby all participants have the freedom to share their best ideas without intimidation by higher ranking company officials. The outcome will be a collective embrace of all participants to a compromise of the best of all proposed ideas. I had people whose ranks were as high as VP and as low as custodian in groups as large as 350 people. It can and will work. The largest impediment is the resistance of upper management to relinquish power gained via intimidation. Keep in mind that many upper managers climbed the ladder under the old process and removed the rungs as they went to eliminate the threat of those coming behind them.
Jack R. “Clancy” Jones