Process helps participants reconnect with own talent, wisdom
The name W. Edwards Deming is virtually unknown in United States, except by top business leaders. But in Japan he’s considered a national hero. Deming is credited by many as the inspiration for and architect of Japan’s growth from a war-ravaged post-World War II country to an international economic powerhouse. It was Deming’s philosophy about quality business management that served as a blueprint for Japanese corporations, which adopted his work and what is called the “Hoshin” process. Later, American giants like Xerox, Intel and Ford Motor Company embraced Deming’s philosophy.
Now, Deming disciple Matthew Cross has distilled that process for the benefit of individuals, to help them achieve what they want in their careers, relationships and other facets of life. He’ll present his one-day “Life M.A.P. Discovery Workshop” in Santa Fe and Albuquerque this weekend. Cross said he learned about Deming’s work in 1993, the year Deming died. He taught the process to corporations for a couple of years, before realizing it had applications for individuals.
“I never even thought about it for two years then all of a sudden it hit me. Wow, this could mean something to me,” Cross said. “So I took a day and led myself through the process. Then I led it with some close friends and associates and they had phenomenal results.”
He is quick to point out that this is about a process, not about him. “This is not the Matthew Cross way to evolve and be happy. Seriously. What it is is, it’s a way for the individual to reconnect with their own inner leader,” he said. “I lead a process that is incredibly powerful and elegant and assisting the individual or organization to reconnect with their own essential talents and wisdom.”
Cross believes the innate ability to be a leader is schooled out of most people when their children. “We’ve been raised to take answers. We’ve been raised to be, to some degree, followers of other people, of cultural influences, or authority figures,” Cross said. “I think it’s a gradual process from childhood forward, or we lose connection with, you might say, our inner leader, to be corny – that part of us that knows, with that intuition, that inner wisdom, whatever you want to call it.”
“So our compass is spinning and we gravitate towards what seems like the best answer in the moment, rather than tapping into our matrix of lifelong learning and wisdom,” Cross said.
The word “Hoshin” means the method of discovering the inner compass and the guiding star, Cross said. “The reasoning is that the individual, and for that matter, the corporation, has all the information and wisdom necessary to function at peak performance. The only challenge is in most people, it’s all mixed up and scattered,” he said. “What this process does is line it up, configure it, so that the individual or company can function like a laser beam, as opposed to being scattered light.”
Through a series of interactive sessions, Cross helps participants to identify and clarify their purposes, ambitions and goals. In one session, participants think back to when they were young, and rediscover what their dreams were as a child. “There’s a theory that those things are connected with reaching those things as an adult,” Cross said.
“It has one foot in the spiritual, very much so, and in the metaphysical and the unseen, but it’s grounded and lead in a very engagingly scientific process. It’s not just an airy-fairy positive visualization.” In fact, Cross incorporates principles of modern physics into his presentation, like chaos theory. “The concept is the chaos is a bridge to a higher order. You might say that chaos is really an advanced state of order that we don’t have the eyes yet to recognize,” Cross said. “We explore that in a module about chaos in your life and how you can bridge the chaos you’re in today to the higher order that you want to be in tomorrow.”
Article written by Anthony Della Flora, Journal Staff Writer