Lasting Quality Philosophy Presentation by Steven Haedrich

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By John Hunter, founder of

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View Steven Haedrich’s presentation at the 2014 Fall Conference with the embedded webcast above. Steven, President of New York Label & Box Works, discusses their Deming journey over the decades.

Give the power to the people that are doing the job. Give those people the tools they are requesting. Give them the right materials. Put them in an environment of quality. And have the systems built around that.

Tools in the context of the quote largely means the knowledge. You need to provide education on how to think of the organization as a system and how to continually improve. Without the necessary knowledge you only set people up to fail.

Your systems have to continuously improve. We are getting very good at improving because the whole company now have, all 75 of us, truly understanding of what systems thinking is.

New York Label & Box Works has been applying Deming’s ideas for 30 years. Benefits of adopting better management start accruing quickly but the benefits of an entire company filled with people operating with a shared understanding of the organization as a system provides benefits that dwarf those achieved early in the journey to better management.

Everyone has to be continually learning.

When you really believe people are the key to success instead of just saying it that should be apparent in the actions in the company not just the words spoken. And when this happens you have systems in place that will result in people continually learning and improving their ability to deliver within the current system and improve the current system.

One result of a great system is having clients that brag about you.

In answering questions at the end Steven provides a good answer to the question “do you ever fire people.” While it is important not to blame workers for the results of the system it is possible that people just don’t have the ability, desire or willingness to do a specific job and management must address that. As he say the Deming way is to train and coach them and give them other opportunities if the responsibilities of the current job are not a good fit. The concern and respect for all of the employees is evident in his response to this question, and also is apparent throughout the presentation.

Related: Deming Podcast on The Deming Journey at New York Label & Box WorksApplying Deming’s Management Thinking at Patagonia
Profit and growth come from customers that boast about your products and servicesBob Browne Discusses His Experience Applying Deming’s Ideas as a CEO

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