Deming Institute Podcast: Deming Guide to Layoffs

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Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004).

The Deming Institute Podcast is hosted by Tripp Babbitt. A recent podcast looked at the Dr. W. Edwards Deming Guide to Layoffs.

what Dr. Deming said about layoffs and downsizing, that if you face a decline, that there’s five steps in essence that you need to take.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:05:42] And the first is that you cut the corporate dividends or you cut them out. The second is salaries and bonuses of top management are cut. The third is management. Salaries of top to middle management are cut. The fourth step is rank and file are asked to accept pay up pay cuts. And the fifth is reduction in workforce through attrition, voluntary discharge and early retirement.

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I have written about how to manage when layoffs may be necessary, most extensively in: Bad Management Results in Layoffs. I think you will see similarity in my posts to what Tripp discussed.

You will also see some different focuses between Tripp’s podcast and my post, and even between my posts. Partially this is because with podcasts, blog posts, articles and presentations taking on complex topics, you can only address a small part of the topic. Hopefully the material is helpful but you cannot expect it to be comprehensive (similar to the ideas I expressed in: Don’t Expect Short Quotes to Tell the Whole Story).

Also, in my opinion, each situation is unique and exactly what is called for depends on that situation. I think all those practicing Deming’s idea would agree the company should take significant efforts to care for those employees (offering them jobs in a different part of the company, etc.). I can imagine cases where layoffs make sense without cutting dividends. One of the features of Deming’s management ideas is that while there are principles that are consistent, they must be applied by thinking people to the specific situation. This is one of the reasons this blog, Tripp’s podcasts, conference presentations, books, etc. are so valuable. Reading about how numerous people who are applying Deming’s ideas think about the application of Deming’s ideas is important to figuring out how to apply them to your unique situation.

In another recent podcast, Tripp listed his Top 5 Favorite Deming Institute Podcast Episodes. The Deming Institute podcasts can be used in a similar way to the conference presentations I mentioned recently in the post on creating your own virtual management conference. A few additional podcasts I recommend: Process Behavior Charts are the Secret to Understanding the Organization as a System, Using Dr. Deming’s Ideas at Baptist Memorial Health Care and Ron Moen and Cliff Norman Discuss the Evolution of Deming’s Management Ideas.

And those Tripp and I have highlighted are just a few of those available. Take a look at the existing catalog to expand your understanding. Remember to subscribe to the podcast. Also if you haven’t subscribed to our blog yet, you can subscribe to our blog (note that your subscription might have been broken when we moved our blog to a different server).

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