Quote from Kevin in the podcast:
Somebody at any level does have some sphere of influence that they can impact… by just thinking from a systems standpoint, by looking at the organization differently than some of the other folks who view it as an [organization with] very segmented, very separate roles and positions and responsibilities. [By] looking to blend some of these together maybe we can be more effective, efficient and productive.
One of the things I encourage people who may say “I am not in that leadership role” is that if you use some of these ideas, and if you start to think systemically, early on in your career it will give you visibility, and a different “lens” through which to look at the organization.
And from my standpoint, it helped me move up faster, in the organization, than I would ever have been able to do. And if gave me the confidence to come up with ideas and proposals so I moved very quickly from being an assistant, to being a sales trainee, and then into the account executive position: each step along the way I assumed a greater and greater role and [more] responsibility.
Those type of ideas and that type of thinking really helped me move up… not only me personally but more importantly, the people around me and the organization as a whole.
This personal experience of using an understanding of Deming’s ideas to think differently and then be able to make a difference in the organization and to the others in the organization is something I shared with Kevin.
Thinking differently and using the insight to make a difference is a powerful strategy even if the organization hasn’t decided to transform the management culture. Of course, it is easier if the management is intentionally adopting a new view of the organization as a system and an understanding of variation and the importance of respect for people… but even without that big improvements are possible.
One of the stories Kevin tells is his experience watching If Japan Can, Why Can’t We with Dr. Deming. He also discusses the process of getting the rights to make the show available online.