Deming 101: Discover How Amazing Things Happen, by Kelly Allan

By John Hunter, founder of

Kelly Allan, senior associate of Kelly Allan Associates, gave a presentation at The W. Edwards Deming Institute 2014 annual conference titled “Deming 101” (giving an introduction to Dr. Deming’s ideas).

One of the cool things about Deming is you can start applying certain things tomorrow. Now we try not to do any harm when we are doing that, so it’s useful to learn and learn, but you don’t have to become a master before you start applying. But the other cool thing is that even after 30 years of studying Deming, there is still more stuff to learn.

I think this is a very important idea (from about 25 minutes into the presentation). It really does capture the feeling of applying Deming’s ideas. You can start right away. You don’t need to go to college and then medical school and then have an internship, etc. And also the depth is such that you don’t exhaust the value in his ideas after a month, or year, or decade.

Kelly, in talking about Abraham Maslow’s work (he is best known for his “hierarchy of needs”). Kelly paraphrases Maslow as follows (at about the 1 hour and 2 minute mark):

You cannot be all you can be unless you help others be all that they can be.

I didn’t find an exact quote match, which is why I think it is a paraphrase. I am not an expert on Maslow, but I believe later in his life he added the importance of altruism to reach true self-actualization (the highest point on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs).

Kelly Allan closed his presentation with:

Get out of the motivation business. Create a work environment where people love to come to work and do their work.

And the last thing is, Dr. Deming wanted the System of Profound Knowledge to be used as a means of creating a better standard of living for everyone. If that’s not amazing, I don’t know what is.

Related: Deming 101: Understanding Systems with Ian Bradbury (2013)Deming Podcast with Fred Wambier and Kelly Allan On Applying Deming’s Ideas at Finishing TechnologyDeming 101 with Ian Bradbury (2013)Podcast with Kelly Allan on Dr. Deming and Peter Scholtes

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