Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Easy Way to Start on the Road to a Deming-like Management Method

I come from the perspective that the Deming Management Method (DMM) is as difficult as it is made to be. Many times it is made out to be very complex. To me it is simple and when I communicate it I try to keep it as simple as possible. I would recommend three simple and yet profound books:
1) The Deming Management Method by Mary Walton. $5 in a discount bookstore. It will give you an overview of Dr Deming's thinking, enough to apply in any organization, and practical examples. The examples of implementation (Ford is one) are mostly out of date because quality improvement is continuous and many organizations do not have the power to stay the course.
2) To understand the concept of a system and related thoughts (if necessary) I would recommend "The Goal" by Eliyahu Goldratt. This book will cost new $25 and used less.
3) Lastly and it might be the most important, a book on positive leadership, "LEADING PEOPLE TO BE HIGHLY MOTIVATED AND COMMITTED" by Ben S. Simonton. Simply stating it is a profound and unique book. Ben has a website and the book can be purchased in pdf format for $10. Over the years leadership, positive leadership, in my mind has become the building blocks and glue of DMM. Without the type of leadership Dr Deming practiced there will be no sustaining power for a Deming-guide CQI system. This is the answer to the question why DMM is not more widespread practiced. There is a great lack of positive leadership in many of our countries.

This $40 max cost will be well worth the value. In my life the fruits have been incalculable from a business and personal level.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Blog and a Group Together

I am going to combine this blog and a Linkedin group and update them concurrently. A  blog gives greater flexibility and enables catagorization. Also entries and comments can be edited. I am not the best proof reader. I am applying all my CQI abilities to personally improve this skill, but it is not going as fast as I would like. This is a weakness of mine. Plus there are other features available with a blog to grow and expand it.
The group at Linkedin.com is "Grass Roots Deming". Do a simple search in groups using keyword Deming and you will find it. Same grass roots theme. If leaders are not willing to listen, then we will go to the bottom (so to speak), find the leaders there, and work our way up. We will start at the grass roots level and allow them to enjoy the fruits of Dr Deming. This would include the willing worker just wanting to do a better job in his place of employment, the small business owner, the farmer or the artist. This, my friends, is the greatest part by far of the working folks. Why wait for our leaders if they will not change. When we become small business owners and work for ourselves, whether we are aware of it or not, we become leaders/ managers. We are enpowered in the day we make that decision to work for ourselves. And of course all leaders are welcome.

All are invited and encouraged to start topics on the blog, Deming's from the Bottom Up or on the blog.

Many Consultants Ruin the Broth!

If Dr Deming is ever to be relevant in a wide-scale the control of his philosophy by many consultants must be put off. Most do not understand the basic motivation of Dr Deming as he influenced Japanese society, His motivation was people. The well-being and improvement of the Japanese people after the consequences of World War II. The orphans and the homeless. The fathers who could not support their family and the mothers who could not feed their children. These are the things that haunted Dr Deming and became his motivation for his unceasing beating of the drum of glimpses of how humans act and respond. A philosophy that is contrary point of a view of a Machiavellian perspective. Instead of the manipulation of people to keep power and provide few with the greatest good, there is cooperation to provide the most with the greatest good. This is where we are today in our culture on every level. Do we provide the greatest good to the few or the many, and how do we provide it, by opportunity or brute force.

When I say consultants are in control of Dr Deming's philosophy let me qualify this by saying most. I do not know all consultants. And so to the few who do not distort the philosophy of Dr Deming and do not refuse to understand the essence of Dr Deming's wisdom, his heart for the good of all people, I say welcome. But no solicitation. Start by helping folks with free advice, advice to the grass roots. How ironic that this is turning into the age old argument attached to the arts. If financial gain becomes our incentive, rather than art for art sake, what happens to the art. I see the philosophy of Dr Deming more as an art than a science. The art of cooperation for the benefit of the most. In the art of "people management" our culture has been corrupted by greed.

Where do you start when implementing the wisdom of Dr Deming?

Motivation! Motivation! Motivation! When Dr Deming went to Japan after WWII he did not go over to revolutionize Japanese industry. He was a statistician hired by the US Census Bureau. What took him in the direction he went was the plight of the people, in particular, the children and orphans and the elderly. This was his motivation- people. His focus on quality, statistics , etc were all tools that would be used to better the Japanese people. I could write about the destruction the Japanese faced after the war but I will let the reader do the research if he or she does not know.

Now there are many CEO's and company owners (leaders) who have an acute sense of the responsibility they carry and the employees and their families who are dependent on the organizations they lead. There are others who see it as a revenue stream to get rich and others a mixture of both. For the leaders who see it only as a way to get rich, gain power and prestige, Dr Deming is not the way for you. Six Sigma and a lack of world class quality is fine for you. To those who are aware of the people they lead and want to secure the future for them as much as they can, with the motivation that you already have learn of Dr Deming and in simplicity start implementing his simple wisdom. For those of mixed motivation, I would not half-heartedly implement the wisdom of Dr Deming. This would be very disheartening for your employees. I would work on your own motivations first.

Our human tendency is to not be proactive. Generally speaking we are reactive. We like the status quo. Dr Deming's advice is proactive. Is not the generational quality of Honda Motors and their consistent incremental growth over many years securing the future for it's employees and their families? Is not the situation they provide their employees a better situation than what US auto manufacturers have provided theirs. End of my argument.

Layoffs and DMM

I think there is a direct correlation between the quality of management (leadership) and layoffs, especially as it relates to huge layoffs of many thousands of people we routinely see in the news in our present generation, but also layoffs in general and at any level. Now I will admit there are special cases where a tsunami or earthquake can be the cause of layoffs. But a tsunami or an earthquake does not have to be a guarantee of layoffs. Without a Deming-style, influenced or mirrored quality management system with people as the focus, processes in statistical control and monitored, and management freed up to look at the future, management's vision is on putting out fires. The competition most certainly will catch them by surprise. The result is loss of marketshare, revenue, profitabilty and layoffs. It is imperative for a healthy society to have employed people, and the ideal being employed people with a sense of security.

To make my case on the relationship of quality management and layoffs, I give you the following link:

Let me know your thoughts.

Is the Deming Management Method (DMM) outdated?

I do not think DMM is outdated. I do not think Dr Deming's counsel has even been given a fair shake outside of Japan for the most part as yet, not even close in the US.

A Foundational and an Introductory Course to Dr Deming's Work for anyone with an interest