- "Dr Deming says..."
- "94 to 96 percent of problems are due to common causes. They are management's fault and only they can fix them."
- "The tyranny of the prevailing style of management is a barrier to intrinsic motivation and joy in work!"
- "Tsk-tsk: 'How would they
- "I am a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and Sensei!" *
- (Healthcare): "I have an IHI certification." *
* (that and $2 get you a cup of coffee)
Dilution widens acceptance. Acceptance widens dilution
One common criticism of Deming's famous 4-day seminars was the perceived lack of his supplying any “how to” of implementation.
I was among those critics after my initial exposure in 1982. It took faith and painstaking, tenacious, ongoing study until one day – 30 years later – the “light bulb” finally came on: I had worked it out for myself – the final "synergistic kick."
It is anything but a prescriptive formula and took Deming almost 40 years to develop – starting with "variation" in the mid-1940s. His experiences in implementation resulted in his
empirical 14 Points as a robust framework for success in the early 1980s. Its further development culminated around 1990 as his synthesis of an underlying unifying theory, which he called a System of Profound Knowledge (unfortunately, a name that is often perceived as too pretentious for words).
In the 1980s, I remember pontificating one too many "Dr. Deming says..." when an angry executive confronted me, "I'm so sick of this! Tell me
exactly what you would do to 'implement Deming' starting right now!" My response was an embarrassed blank stare. Attention deficit executives have increasingly become even more impatient with and deaf to the onslaught of worn out platitudes.
The giddiness and naive enthusiasm of an initial intoxication with Dr. Deming (or six sigma or lean or lean six sigma) can lead to a very nasty hangover! All the
belts and certifications in the world mean nothing.
- Could you confidently and competently answer that executive's challenge with a guarantee to move their "big dots" in the process?
A needed comment on Deming's Red Bead Experiment
The Red Bead Experiment can be effective at creating quality
awareness, but "dilution" due to overexposure and poor demonstrations has made it lose much of its novelty and shock value. It's time to declare a temporary moratorium until naively enthusiastic demonstrators can develop the "ability to execute or implement," i.e., the confidence and competence to formally schedule a post-demonstration dialogue with each person or work group in the demonstration. The sole purpose of this dialogue is to expose and
create understanding of people's daily "red beads" – with an ultimate objective of helping them successfully improve a situation on a number that makes them “sweat.”