Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability.
2017 ASA Deming Lecture, W. Edwards Deming – A Kaizen Statistician, by Fritz Scheuren, NORC-University of Chicago. In his presentation, Fritz provides a personal view of W. Edwards Deming the man and Deming’s ideas.
That’s the way people understood Deming. As a critic, not as a person that gave you the opportunity to improve. That’s a problem we still have, not as much as we did then though.
Such an attitude provides an easy escape for those executives that don’t want to change. Instead of accepting the challenge to improve, just position the ideas as criticism without suggested steps to improve. Then it is easy to keep doing what you have always done.
Obviously, Fritz is not saying that everyone held such a view. The many examples of organizations adopting Deming’s ideas to improve illustrate that not everyone did; but Fritz does provide an explanation for how some people miss the opportunity to improve when they dismiss Deming’s ideas only as criticism.
Related: 2011 ASA Deming Lecture by Roger Hoerl – Need Any Country be Poor? – 2012 ASA Deming Lecture by Dr. Jeff Wu on Quality Improvement from Autos to Nanotechnology – A Historical Look at Deming’s Career: Lecture by J. Stuart Hunter (2009 ASA Deming Lecture) – Thinking Required, Not Just a Recipe to Follow