Approaching Sustainability Using Deming’s Thinking

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By John Hunter, founder of

YouTube video

Excerpt from panel discussion on Deming and Sustainability with Andrew KcKeon at the 2013 Deming Institute Fall Conference.

Andrew mentions Clayton Christensen’s work with the innovators dilemma which I also think is very worthwhile. Andrew also says:

Systems thinking and addressing sustainability is the end of externalities. Because what it says is those aren’t external, it depends on how you draw your system… your customer is part of your supply chain now, because you are going to go back and take that product back and remake it.

That idea of expanding your view of the system to include what your customers do with your product when they are done was also addressed in the Patagonia presentation. That concept also guides many efforts to make products that are intentionally designed (including the supporting system needed to make it happen) to be reused or recycled.

An excellent paper, is mentioned in the video by Dan Robertson: Thinking About Management from a Climate Change Perspective, by Andrew McKeon and Gipsie Ranney.

Related: Using Deming’s Management Ideas to Explore SustainabilityClayton Christensen on Innovation and Macro EconomicsBrian Joiner Podcast on Management, Sustainability and the Health Care System

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