Seven Deadly Diseases of Management

While the 14 Points for Management can be said to express Dr. Deming’s philosophy of transformational management, his Seven Deadly Diseases of Management describe the most serious barriers that management faces to improving effectiveness and continual improvement. Dr. Deming's video discusses in detail the first Five Deadly Diseases. He did not include Deadly Diseases 6 and 7 in the video, which, he said in Out of the Crisis were, “Peculiar to industry in the U.S., and beyond the scope of this book.”

In the third chapter of Out of the Crisis, titled “Diseases and Obstacles,” Dr. Deming explores, in great detail, the diseases listed below:

1. Lack of constancy of purpose to plan product and service that will have a market and keep the company in business, and provide jobs. 

2. Emphasis on short-term profits: short-term thinking (just the opposite from constancy of purpose to stay in business), fed by fear of unfriendly takeover, and by push from bankers and owners for dividends. 

3. Evaluation of performance, merit rating, or annual review

4. Mobility of management; job hopping. 

5. Management by use only of visible figures, with little or no consideration of figures that are unknown or unknowable.

6. Excessive medical costs. As reported by Dr. Deming in Out of the Crisis (pages 97-98), executives shared with him that the cost of medical care for their employees was amongst their largest overall expenses, not to mention the cost of medical care embedded in the purchase price of what they purchased from their suppliers.

7. Excessive costs of liability, swelled by lawyers that work on contingency fees.

Out of the Crisis (pp. 97-98)

 

 

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