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DATA SANITY: A Quantum Leap to Unprecedented Results

What they’re saying about Davis…

"Thank you for a very informative and entertaining workshop today. I learned so much and also have direction for what I still need to learn!"

"Thank you for your enthusiasm yesterday.  You truly made the use of statistical knowledge exciting and useful!  I am looking forward to putting your principles to good use."

"First I would like to say thank you for being a great speaker this past Thursday.  You opened my eyes to run charts and I am excited to start my new projects with new perspectives!"

Public Speaking

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Public Speaking for Executives, Physicians, and Quality Professionals
Think about the professional meetings you attend.  Instead of yet another “same old, same old” boring information dump or empty motivational calories loaded with platitudes, what about a lively challenging alternative giving an overview of holistic improvement, Data Sanity, or the psychology of culture change?  I guarantee you the audience won’t be bored.

Available public speaking topics:

  1. “’Data Sanity’ as THE Catalyst to Organizational Transformation”
  2. “Those Darn Humans!  Change would be so easy if it weren’t for all the people”
  3. “Quality Improvement:  What’s changed in 20 years?  Everything…and nothing!”
  4. “From Bolt-on to Built-in: Quality as Cultural DNA”


Data Sanity” as THE Catalyst to Organizational Transformation

A.  Conference plenary (one to 2-1/2 hours) – to create cultural awareness of the concepts of “process” and “variation”

B.  Optional additional breakout session with more examples and dialogue

C.  Half-day or full-day pre-conference seminar

Statistics may be the most misunderstood aspect of improvement.  It should actually permeate the everyday fabric of any organization serious about transforming to true excellence … but not in the way you might think.

I will introduce the concept of “data sanity” through a lens of statistical thinking, and demonstrate – in a provocative, challenging, and humorous style — that the most common data analyses and displays are waste.  I will present elegantly simple— and counterintuitive—alternatives that can create a common organizational language for deeper, more productive conversations about data issues.

At the end of the seminar participants will be able to:

  • Recognize unproductive data analyses and displays.
  • Use three simple statistical tools to create a common organizational language.
  • Address destructive managerial actions that result from misunderstanding “trends,” “above average,” and “below average” to create time and priority for improvement.
  • Utilize the power of a little known “common cause strategy” to solve a significant organizational problem immediately.
  • Distinguish between the two types of variation and how to deal with them.
  • Get a roomful of people to agree on relatively complicated data analyses within minutes.
  • Think “statistically” and see commonalities among TQM, CQI, Six Sigma, and Lean


In addition, the all-day seminar includes:

  • Two simple statistical tools (and a supplied macro) to create a common organizational language for data issues.
  • An additional Excel macro to unleash the awesome power of “plotting the dots” with run charts and control charts



Those Darn Humans!  Change would be so easy if it weren’t for all the people

[45 minutes to one hour]

Most quality efforts have had disappointing results because of the overemphasis on “process,” “tools” and “data.” These are indeed the “engine” of quality, but just the tip of an underlying seven-layer organizational pyramid.  Engines need the “fuel” provided by the remaining four levels – the underlying “human” processes that lurk to unintentionally sabotage your improvement efforts.

It’s time for leaders need to go beyond “passionate lip service” about quality improvement to active involvement, integrating it into the organization’s daily fabric.

I will describe a simple, practical model that applies both to individuals’ behaviors and tolerated organizational behaviors…and how “belief systems” drive subsequent results.

At the end of the talk participants will be able to:

  • Understand that new results will require new organizational and individual “beliefs.”
  • Recognize the devastating cultural “victimitis virus” that must be dealt with via a simple technique that can be applied tomorrow.



Quality Improvement:  What’s changed in 20 years?  Everything…and nothing!

[1 to 2 hours]

The goal: To keep quality professionals employable by showing them how to become “change agents”. Quality Improvement needs to be seen as a mind set, NOT a tool set.

I will give an overview of the common theories – the engine of quality – then discuss the subject that NONE of them seems to address well, if at all:  the fuel of quality, i.e., human emotion and dealing with the psychology of change. At the end of the talk, participants will be able to:

  • See the need to consider quality improvement as an organizational sub-business
  • Use a simple model of human and organizational behavior to deal with lurking culture issues
  • Deal directly with the everyday reality of victim behavior
  • Utilize elements of a new belief system for managing culture
  • Become aware of  “Data Sanity” as a catalyst


From Bolt-on to Built-in: Quality as Cultural DNA

[All-day seminar]

Given: People hate being changed…any change. Cultures have underlying belief systems deeply vested in maintaining current results.  “Bolt-on” projects disturb this obsessively desired status quo. Are you ready to go beyond well-meaning but outdated notions based heavily and naively on tolls, projects, and copying examples?

How do you develop a “built-in” quality culture?  I will teach a basic cognitive therapy framework that will help in intuiting and understanding damaging cultural beliefs. Learn how to coach people to new ways of thinking to drive desired strategic results. This means changing yourself first…then seeing others’ resistance as “entertainment.”  Work teams are encouraged to attend together.

At the end of the seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Develop awareness of the emotional issues around resistance to change, and how they affect the work culture
  • Take responsibility for discovering, then insulating, their own “hot buttons”
  • Motivate themselves and coworkers to own their circumstances and talk about them truthfully
  • Develop zero tolerance for “blame” and “victim” mentalities (“It’s not my fault!”)
  • Apply the concepts of belief systems to deal with culture change realistically and practically
  • Use four techniques to become more effective as a change agent
  • Hardwire desired results into a culture through use of a cultural audit

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