Deming 101 with Ian Bradbury

This is the first webcast excerpt from the 2013 Annual conference of The W. Edwards Deming Institute we have posted. This is from Ian Bradbury’s presentation: Deming 101.

This is a system [of management] and within each of these areas there are powerful ideas but a large part of the value of this comes in the interaction between the ideas: the application of ideas from one domain of knowledge into other domains of knowledge and synthesizing this into a coherent system of thought. If you take one thing from this talk I would ask that you take away the idea of these 4 bodies of knowledge and their interdependency.

When you are thinking about change and thinking about problems asking yourself if you are thinking about it from each of these perspectives and how each inform each other can be very powerful in contemplating different aspects of change.

Nida Backitus has described the system of profound knowledge as lens through which provided a rich ability to interpret experience.

The value of thinking about ideas with an understanding of the 4 bodies of knowledge and how they interact with each other is very important (and something very often overlooked). For me anyway, it is also one of the reasons it is challenging to explain the value of this way of thinking. The value grows as you become more familiar with each area of knowledge and the interactions they all have on each other. This is certainly not a unique problem – providing clear explanations to systems with many interactions is often difficult.


I also Ian’s explanation of the use of the word profound in the System of Profound Knowledge. “my view is Dr. Deming was using it in the sense in which you can use ‘profound’ to be foundational or underlying.” And as Ian says “when you look at this body of ideas and use that as a lens, for interpretation of experience, you can get profoundly different interpretation of experience that what you might through other bodies of theory.”

I think many find the term, “system of profound knowledge”, a bit uncomfortable. I think Ian’s explanation is helpful in appreciating that profound is not meant as a self important honorific.

I will be posting more clips from Ian’s talk and other talks at this year conference on our blog over the next few months.

Related: The Development of Deming’s Management System2013 Annual Deming Conference Recap: Homecoming At PurdueThe Neuroscience of Deming

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