The W. Edwards Deming Institute Podcast


Commencing in 2014, The Deming Institute has recorded podcasts on a monthly basis, featuring 20 to 30-minute interviews by Tripp Babbitt with members of the Deming Community who are advancing the use and explanations of Dr. Deming's ideas. 

In our January podcast, Tim Higgins, President of the In2:InThinking Network, www.in2in.org, and Quality Engineer for NASA, based in Los Angeles, California, shares insights from his 30+ years of studying, applying, and illuminating The Deming System of Profound Knowledge®.

Following a brief career as an educator in a public school system, Tim shifted careers and joined the rocket engine industry, employed by “Rocketdyne” (a division of Rockwell, then Boeing, followed by Pratt & Whitney, and now integrated with Aerojet). Along the way, Tim was introduced to Dr. Deming’s theory of management and, upon reflection, realized his inclinations against grades in school, while serving as a teacher, could be explained through his appreciation of Profound Knowledge.   For a short time, Tim was a member of Rocketdyne’s TQM Office, where he was introduced to the thinking of Genichi Taguchi and partnered with peers to create Rocketdyne’s pioneering “InThinking Roadmap” curriculum.   The subsequent focus on thinking modes led to his contributions as a co-founder of the In2:InThinking Network, a non-profit for which he now serves as president.  

In 2009, Tim crossed the employment bridge from the contractor side (“Rocketdyne”) to the customer side (NASA), inspired the proposition of assuming a role that would help Rocketdyne become a better contractor.

Guided by his extraordinary experiences as a quality advisor, Tim has led 14-hour study sessions for Dr. Deming’s The New Economics for the past 12+ years, under the sponsorship of “Rocketdyne”.    Beginning in 2017, these sessions, comprised of seven 2-hour calls, are being sponsored by The Deming Institute.   Led by Tim, participants share their interpretations and questions of The New Economics, chapter-by-chapter, covering 2 chapters in each 2-hour session.    A few highlights from Tim’s musings with Tripp on the study sessions follow below:

  • Why he believes Deming (management) is about learning
  • The popularity of the question "Why doesn’t everyone get “Deming management”?"
  • Why being conscious of context is essential
  • Why, when dealing with a difficulty in perception, using logic is no help is helping others see things differently
  • Issues associated with extrinsic motivation – punishment and rewards
  • Some challenges of letting go of “patting others” on the head
  • The widespread similarity of organizations
  • What would happen if “rating and ranking” systems were used at home?
  • Lessons from transforming his manager
  • Feedback from his VP’s administrative assistant on rewards systems
  • His realization that the system we have is perfectly designed to obtain the results we’re getting
  • Why asking for different results requires a different system
  • Some implications of empowerment
Direct download: DemingEpisode37.m4a
Category:management -- posted at: 2:57am EDT

10 Minutes with Dr. Deming – Employment

Commencing in 2014, The Deming Institute has recorded podcasts on a monthly basis, featuring 20 to 30-minute interviews by Tripp Babbitt with members of the Deming Community who are advancing the use and explanations of Dr. Deming's ideas.   Beginning in 2016, Tripp introduced a second series of podcasts, with a focus on current events, coupled with commentary from Dr. Deming, sessions titled “10 Minutes with Dr. Deming.”  

In the 5th 10 Minutes episode, Tripp explores the need for layoffs and prospects for organizational improvement through the utilization of Dr. Deming’s management method in the 21st century.   

To borrow from the opening page of Dr. Deming’s book, The New Economics,

The people of the word no longer live in isolation…..People make comparisons….Anybody else lives better, so everybody supposes...
People blame their plight on to the government and its leaders, or to management and its leaders.   They may be correct.  But will change in leadership assure better living?    What if the new leaders are no better?   How could they be?   How much time have new leaders to demonstrate that they have brought a better life?   By what method could new leaders bring improvement in living? 

Using excerpts of interviews with Dr. Deming, dating back to 1980, Tripp reminds us of Dr. Deming’s vision of guiding leaders, whether Mayor or President, Democrat or Republican, University Chancellor or Vice President of Finance, Hospital Administrator or Police Chief, away from “best efforts and hard work, not guided by new knowledge, they only dig deeper the pit that we are in."   

Dr. Deming’s aim in writing The New Economics was to bring new knowledge.  “This book,” he wrote, “will teach and explore some basic ground rules of knowledge for change.”  In this podcast, hear Dr. Deming talk about the Japanese industrial miracle, the use of statistical methods and statistical thinking, including their roles and their limits, the job of management, productivity, and crisis management.   

If you have comments or suggestions for future 10 Minutes with Dr. Deming topics, please contact Tripp at tripp@deming.org or through Twitter @demingpodcast.

Direct download: 10_Minutes_with_Dr._Deming_-_Episode_5.m4a
Category:10 minutes with Dr. Deming -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Skip Steward, Chief Improvement Officer, Baptist Memorial Health Care - From Manufacturing to Healthcare - Reflections on Continuous Improvement

Commencing in 2014, The Deming Institute has recorded podcasts on a monthly basis, featuring 20 to 30-minute interviews by Tripp Babbitt with members of the Deming Community who are advancing the use and explanations of Dr. Deming's ideas.

In our December podcast, Skip Steward, Chief Improvement Office (CIO) for Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation in Memphis, Tennessee shares lessons from the “Baptist Management System,” including reflections from his 25+ year continuous improvement journey.    Guided by his introduction to Dr. Deming’s vision of continuous improvement, Skip “migrated” from an early career in manufacturing to his current career in healthcare.   One year ago, he was promoted from System Director for Continuous Improvement to serve as Baptist Health Care’s first-ever “CIO”, with an “I” for Improvement.

In addition to his explanation of the Baptist Management System, (“a holistic approach to managing that puts a focus on purpose, people and process. We care about the purpose, how to improve the process, and how we develop the people to improve the process.), Skip emphasizes his “infant stages” role in leading the shift in thinking within Baptist Health Care.   In doing so, Skip explains the holistic nature he captured and distilled from Dr. Deming’s management method and what he is doing with this wisdom to challenge and limit the otherwise “business as usual” tendency towards event-driven and episodic improvements.   While crediting the tools of Hoshin Planning, Design of Experiments, Statistical Process Control, Value Stream Mapping, and Pareto charts in both clinical and non-clinical settings, Skip is quick to acknowledge the role of placing a priority on being guided by a Deming lens before proceeding to the “faster-better-cheaper” efficiency of tools.  

Direct download: DemingEpisode36.m4a
Category:management -- posted at: 5:27am EDT

Deming Research Fellow in Public Affairs, Professor Ravi Roy

Commencing in 2014, The Deming Institute has recorded podcasts on a monthly basis, featuring 20 to 30-minute interviews by Tripp Babbitt with members of the Deming Community who are advancing the use and explanations of Dr. Deming's ideas.

In our November podcast, Ravi Roy, Professor of Public Administration for Southern Utah University (SUU) in Cedar City, Utah, reveals the status of evolving efforts to share his appreciation of Dr. Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge® with his Public Administration students, strongly aligned with his role as the inaugural Research Fellow of The Deming Institute.

Beginning in the 1920s, with his employment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dr. Deming worked closely with students to share his research into statistical theory.  Along the way, he was introduced to Professor Harold Hotelling, who Deming would later reference with the following comment, “As Harold Hotelling once said, “He who does no research has nothing to teach.””  Inspired by Dr. Deming’s passion for research, The Deming Institute recently unveiled a fellowship program to engage researchers who share a desire to both expand and deepen the understanding and application of Dr. Deming’s management philosophy among a new generation of students and scholars.  Link here to learn more about this Research Fellow program.

In this month's episode, Ravi shares reflections from his Deming research journey and his passion for guiding his student’s understanding and application of Dr. Deming’s management method. As the former director of SUU’s Masters in Public Administration program, Ravi is progressing to a role as director of the Deming Incubator for Public Affairs for Southern Utah University, a new partnership with The Deming Institute.    Under Ravi’s leadership, SUU students will soon have the opportunity to engage him in applying Dr. Deming’s “new economics for industry, government, education,” with an emphasis on government.

Direct download: DemingEpisode35.m4a
Category:management -- posted at: 2:15am EDT

TJ Gokcen, CEO of Acquate - "Joy in Software Development"
Beginning in 2014, The Deming Institute has recorded podcasts on a monthly basis, featuring 20 to 30-minute interviews by Tripp Babbitt with members of the Deming Community who are advancing the use and explanations of Dr. Deming's ideas.
 
In our October podcast, TJ Gokcen, CEO of Acquate, a software company in Sydney, Australia, shares his learning journey, from collegiate swimmer to software developer, ever in alignment with the Deming philosophy.

For many, Dr. Deming was discovered in 1980 through the NBC television whitepaper, If Japan Can, Why Can’t We.  Throughout this documentary are tell-tale signs of a failing US economy, one heavily dependent on manufacturing, from the production of machine tools to the fabrication of automobiles.   To no surprise, many of the earliest examples of the application of Dr. Deming’s management philosophy were in manufacturing.   Meanwhile, attendees at his seminars who came from outside of manufacturing environments might have struggled to see the significance to their professions.   Credit Dr. Deming with continuously striving to demonstrate the unlimited applicability of his management theory, ever mindful of the trap of having attendees see the statistical tools he presented as his core message.   Credit TJ Gokcen with a simple, yet insightful explanation of how he has been applying Dr. Deming’s philosophy to both the design of the software developed by Acquate and the internal operation of Acquate.

In this 30-minute episode, TJ skillfully guides listeners through the technical jargon of software development, from agile to scrum to waterfall to kanban techniques, and then proceeds to the heart of how he believes Acquate differentiates itself from other software companies.   Using one of Dr. Deming’s favorite questions about “how to wash a table?,” TJ provides parallels for how his developers probe their clients, question after question, wanting to know more and more about “how will the software be used.”   For those who wonder how Dr. Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge applies to software, this podcast will open minds and doors to amazing possibilities.   For those who appreciate the wide applicability of Dr. Deming’s philosophy, this podcast will provide a brilliant reminder.
 
Direct download: DemingEpisode34.m4a
Category:software -- posted at: 7:52pm EDT

10 Minutes with Dr. Deming - Are Big Banks Bad?

In the 4th episode of 10 Minutes with Dr. Deming, Tripp Babbitt provides a follow up on Wells Fargo. He starts with his frustration after listening to the CEO’s testimony to congress, and again hearing about the need for more regulation, and even talk about breaking up the bank. 

The remainder of the episode is devoted to Dr. Deming’s thoughts on monopolies.  He speaks of two worlds, one where the aim is to stay in business for the long term, be a part of a bigger system and provide maximum benefit to everyone and a second world where the aim is only for short term profit.

Hear Dr. Deming talk about monopolies, and how a monopoly has the best chance to be of maximum service to the world and has a heavy obligation to do so. He cites the contribution of the Bell Telephone Laboratories. But as he says it’s not enough to be a monopoly, you must have an aim and be managed as a system to be beneficial. Here he cites the big three automotive companies in the 60’s and the Public Schools System to see where monopolies have fallen short due to short term thinking. Instead of regulation maybe it’s time for education!

If you have comments or suggestions for future 10 Minutes with Dr. Deming topics, please contact Tripp at tripp@deming.org or through Twitter @demingpodcast.

Direct download: 10_Minutes_with_Dr._Deming_-_Episode_4.m4a
Category:10 minutes with Dr. Deming -- posted at: 6:33pm EDT

10 Minutes with Dr. Deming - Lessons from Wells Fargo

In the 3rd episode of 10 Minutes with Dr. Deming, Tripp Babbitt discusses the allegations and fallout surrounding Wells Fargo Bank and their incentive compensation programs.  These systems of rewards, incentives and bonuses have plagued organizations for years, yet we continue to use these concepts and do virtually nothing as they wreak havoc on industry, government and education.

Tripp shares how Wells Fargo had a goal focused on profit and developed and used a system of rewards, bonuses and incentives to achieve that goal; leading to fraudulent sales practices and ultimately 5,300 employees being fired for trying to achieve their otherwise unattainable goals.

Listen as Tripp uses Dr. Deming’s concepts to look at the situation through a different lens where he describes the “forces of destruction” that lead to broken systems and the reliance on extrinsic motivators while squeezing out our intrinsic motivation .  Rather than relying on these negative forces, Dr. Deming explains, a system should be put in place where everyone comes out ahead, with an Aim for everyone to win. A win-win for everybody. Enjoy!

If you have comments or suggestions for future 10 Minutes with Dr. Deming topics, please contact Tripp at tripp@deming.org or through Twitter @demingpodcast.

Direct download: 10_Minutes_with_Dr._Deming_-_Episode_3.m4a
Category:10 minutes with Dr. Deming -- posted at: 4:13pm EDT

10 Minutes with Dr. Deming – Where is the Crisis?

In the second episode of our 10 Minutes with Dr. Deming series, Tripp Babbitt, poses the question, “where is the crisis”? You will hear Dr. Deming discuss the crisis of management, and the underuse and underdevelopment of people that still plagues this country today. 

If you have comments or suggestions for future 10 Minutes with Dr. Deming topics, please contact Tripp at tripp@deming.org or through Twitter @demingpodcast.

Direct download: 10_minutes_with_Dr._Deming_-_Episode_2.m4a
Category:10 minutes with Dr. Deming -- posted at: 4:33pm EDT

David P. Langford, CEO of Langford Learning, Inc. – Where is all the Joy?

In this week’s podcast, David P. Langford, CEO of Langford Learning, Inc., focuses on “Joy in Learning” and how to bring joy back into the education system.

In answering why students aren’t experiencing “Joy in Learning” David starts by quoting Dr. Deming, “are we trying to create a system that teaches students to answer tests or are we trying to create a system that teaches them to think?” The current education system continues to focus on test scores, to the detriment of learning and the loss of elements in the system (like fine arts programs) that brought enjoyment. Dr. Deming was the first person David encountered who believed students have a right to joy in learning. 

What can you do to change the system?  David tells us that restoring joy begins with your “circle of influence” and connecting with those who want a better way to do things. Teachers can start by simply asking students, “what drives you to have joy in learning and what prevents it?”

David shares that there is no recipe for using the Deming philosophy, unlike other education movements. Often these methods don’t work because there is no understanding of variability between communities, states, cultures and the background of students. Once it’s decided to change the system, real learning happens, performance goes up and joy returns!

Direct download: DemingEpisode33.m4a
Category:education -- posted at: 1:50pm EDT

Travis Timmons, Owner and Physical Therapist of Fitness Matters and Kelly Allan, Deming Institute Advisory Board Chairman - “From Chaos to Process”

Travis Timmons, owner of Fitness Matters and Kelly Allan, Senior Associate of Kelly Allan Associates and Chair of the Deming Institute Advisory Board.

Travis and Kelly share the Deming journey “From Chaos to Process” of Fitness Matters, starting with Travis’s introduction to The System of Profound Knowledge® (SoPK), and systems thinking. The focus then shifts to psychology and caring for people, and how they have driven our fear and removed barriers all while creating “joy in work”.  He ends with how using the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) Cycle has helped them grow and thrive.

Travis discusses how he was introduced to the Deming philosophy and areas that first resonated with him - including using a systems approach, and how to think differently and put processes in place to make better decisions. One of the most powerful aspects for him was how SoPK makes you look at how you care for people inside and outside the organization.

Travis and Kelly then talk about how the psychology element and the team mindset has been game changing.  These have led to less fear, less stress and more joy within the organization, leading to positive outcomes and win-wins for everyone (including the competition).

Lastly, Travis shares a few examples of PDSA’s and the aha moments they discovered along the way. From getting new referrals to finding tampering in the scheduling system, PDSA’s have been a very effective tool in moving them light years ahead in working together as one system and having fun while they do it.

Direct download: DemingEpisode32.m4a
Category:management -- posted at: 4:58pm EDT