The Problem is to Find a Date

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Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute.

In February 1989, Professor Doug Fox, from Western Connecticut State University’s Ancell School of Business, received a reply to his invitation to Dr. Deming to speak with his classes.   Dr. Deming’s letter, dated February 11th, began with:

I thank you for your kind invitation to speak with your classes.   It would please me.  I should not only be interested in your classes but a session with your teaching in the schools of business, engineering, and psychology.

It is necessary for survival that a change of state take place from the economics of rugged individualism, win, lose, to another kind of economics, which I characterize as cooperation, win win, everybody win – not equally, but everybody win.

I wonder how many schools of business perpetuate the present system of management which has leveled off and led us to destruction.  Changes must be made in the school system.   The so-called merit system in business, government, and education, and the grading of children from toddlers on up through the university will for survival be abolished. 

These thoughts form part of the content of my 4-day seminars, list enclosed.

The problem is to find a date.   I have not a date in 1989.   Some Tuesday in 1990 might be possible.   You must tell me what you think would be good dates.  I could possible come in the morning and stay through the day.   You could not possibly pay to me my fee:  I would do this as a public service, which is the motive behind my teaching – 42 years now at New York University, and 5 years at Columbia University.   I remain with appreciation.

A year later, Dr. Deming visited with Doug Fox on Tuesday, February 6, 1990.    He delivered 3 lectures, two held in the afternoon (one for students and the other for faculty), as well as an evening lecture, which can be found in a previous blog.

It was my first opportunity to meet him.   Future blogs will include a link to one of the afternoon lectures, as well as more of his correspondence with Professor Fox, and my first impressions of his theory of management.    Enjoy the video of his evening lecture, which, sadly, I did not think to convert sooner to a digital format from the VHS version Professor Fox kindly gave me.   While the video faded, Dr. Deming’s voice comes through loud and clear and, with ample humor, as noted by Mark Graban in his highlight reel of this lecture .   (Link here to listen to an audio version of the evening lecture.)

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