I knew Brian Joiner as a child growing up in Madison, Wisconsin. He and my father worked together and our families spent time together. As I grew I interacted with Brian in my professional life and that relationship made my life better.
We often saw things similarly. We could see things that we thought should improved and liked to focus on actually making improvements. Doing that is quite a bit more difficult than just pointing out all the problems that exist (in management and in society in general).
Brian was one of the people that best captured the desire and ability to make positive change, in my experience. Sometimes that means making compromises that will lead to actual improvements. I really enjoyed talking about ideas with him. He and Peter Scholtes were very similar to my father in their desire to improve people’s lives and the willingness to do the work to realize those improvements. It is very difficult to do.
His book, Fourth Generation Management, is one of the top handful of books I most recommend for those interested in improving the practice of management in their organization.
I have posted about Brian previously on this blog including:
- Interview of Bill Hunter, Brian Joiner and Peter Scholtes on Better Management Practices
- Dangers of Forgetting the Proxy Nature of Data
- Distorting the System, Distorting the Data or Improving the System (my post on The W. Edwards Deming Institute blog)
- Distort the System
My life is much richer for having known Brian. Many people’s lives are better due to the work Brian did during his lifetime. And more people’s lives will be better as his ideas, in Forth Generation Management and elsewhere, are applied in the future.