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Nov 8, 2019

In our 29th "Deming Lens" episode, host Tripp Babbitt shares his interpretation of wide-ranging aspects and implications of Dr. Deming's theory of management.

Show Notes

Deming Lens - Episode 29

Point 14 - Take Action to Accomplish the Transformation

Two Takeaways - Top Management Leading the Transformation and Critical Mass

Top Management vs Individual Transformation

Critical Mass

Dr. Ed Baker - The Symphony of Profound Knowledge

Doug Hall - Innovation




Tripp: [00:00:15] In the twenty ninth episode of the Deming Lens, we go through the last of Dr. Demings 14 points. Point 14, take action to accomplish the transformation.


Tripp: [00:00:32] Hi, I'm Tripp Babbitt, host of the Deming Institute podcast, and I took a bit of a hiatus from Demings 14 points for a while because when I was researching all 14 points probably close to a year ago before I even started this Deming lens, focus on the 14 points of Dr. Deming. I really got sidetracked on what I believe Dr. Demings challenge to people using his philosophy, whether that's people within the Dumain community or from without the Deming community. And it actually helped me to launch a podcast that I'll talk about later because of point 14, which is accomplished the transformation. And I have some thoughts about that and some things that maybe we can all do moving forward. But as usual, I'd like to start with Dr. Deming talking about point 14,.


Dr. Deming: [00:01:43] Number 14. Let's get about it. How do you go about top management? I think we reconstituted that movement will have to come from top management. You must create a critical mass in the company that understands the job of top management is. Otherwise, they cannot do the work. There's critical mass. How do you go about seminars, teaching, providing fit material, classes? Anything. Do it.


Tripp: [00:02:23] Now, there's a few things that Dr. Deming actually two things that Dr. Deming talked about in this segment that we just listened to. He talked about top management and he talked about critical mass. And when you look at top management as the focus to make the transformation that seems to come into conflict with some of the things that the director of the Deming Institute, Dr. Demings grandson, Kevin Cahill, talks in terms of that you have to transform the individual. Now, how can you focus on top management versus the individual? Well, you have to start with somebody in a position within the organization. And top management in order to really begin the transformation. But the transformation does begin with that individual, someone, you know, within the existing hierarchy, because they haven't been enlightened by the Deming philosophy. So there has to be someone that sees some worth within the organization. Now, I'm not going to say that it's just top management, cause certainly I have seen and I am of the belief that you can start from other parts of the organization to begin to get the second item. Other than top management, which is a critical mass.


Tripp: [00:03:55] But going back to this kind of top management versus individual transformation in order to get resources, typically you're going to need to get top management involved to do you know whether it's education or console consulting or just allowing time resources to be able to work on the philosophy itself will involve someone that can.


Tripp: [00:04:22] Give you resources within an organization to do so. Now, that doesn't mean you can't do something on your own. I certainly started that way by reading Dr. Demings books and things of that sort. But it certainly is helpful to have someone in an executive position or a position of influence. Maybe you would be a better word to help get things kicked off. So I don't see Dr. Demings focus on top management and Kevin Cahill's talking about. You have to begin with the transformation by individual. Those two things, I believe, are. They work together. It's part of a part of the system. Now, let's talk about the critical mass.


Tripp: [00:05:14] The second component, which is something that I I had read many times and out of the crisis and the new economics and things of that sort. It wasn't till a conversation with David Langford that I started looking at this critical mass. And David Langford told me that Dr. Deming shared with him when he asked him about, you know, what is the what is a critical mass within an organization? And that Dr. Deming said that it was the square root of the number of people in the organization. So a critical mass for a hundred person organization would be 10 people.


Tripp: [00:05:54] And I thought, OK, so what in essence he's saying is if you can get a critical mass of people within the organization thinking in the ways of the Deming philosophy, then you can begin to make the transformation. And David Langford was a teacher, so he wasn't an administrator of the school, but he was able to get the the resources because he made a compelling argument associated with transforming, transforming a school in the Deming philosophy in Sitka, Alaska, because of.


Tripp: [00:06:35] His ability to work with Dr. Deming and then apply those principles to beginning that transformation. So it is possible. And I again, I've worked with organizations where I've started with people that were more middle management and beginning to see things differently and using different tools that got the interest of executives.


Tripp: [00:07:02] And then we start to pull them in. So there are ways to make the transformation happen. And to begin to get a critical mass of people.


Tripp: [00:07:12] Now, I always focus on people that are open to the message. So if there's someone within an organization that calls me up and they'll say, I'd like to get started in this, then I will give them a series of things to read. We'll have a few conversations and they can begin to not only transform themselves, but then they can also begin to transform other people by sharing what it is that they're learning. And I give them a variety of things to do. And I've done this for many years now, kind of a almost a personal coaching.


Tripp: [00:07:46] So there is a way to transform yourself nowhere where no matter where you sit within an organization with the aim of getting a new perspective, a new way of thinking within the organization, starting with yourself. So this is going to be part of the Deming Institute's focus is how do we transform the individual? Now, here is something that I think is the challenge.


Tripp: [00:08:21] If you go back to the interview I did with Ed Baker, he was asked by Dr. Deming or had a conversation with Dr. Deming, where Dr. Deming said to to Ed Baker that he needed to write a book because he had a different perspective than Dr. Deming had different education.


Tripp: [00:08:40] There are a lot of things that Ed Baker had that Dr. Deming said because of these things, because you have a different perspective that, you know, I'd like to see you write a book. Now, if he didn't do it properly for 30 years later. But but he wrote he you know, he wrote a very good book called The Symphony of Profound Knowledge. So here's the kicker. Basically, as I was going back through Dr. Demings 14 points, it came to mind to me that Dr. Deming was looking for a variety of perspectives on communicating the DMA, the Deming philosophy. Now, none of them are Korac. None of us are Dr. Deming. Some of us have studied Dr. Deming for a long period of time, especially within the Deming community. But we all have a perspective and we all have something to offer in the way of either a model or a blog, podcast or whatever. And so this is one of the reasons that I launched a podcast called Mind Your Noodles. So where I'm taking neuroscience and some of the findings in neuroscience that actually seem to be supporting a lot of what Dr. Demings message was and his philosophy and begin to build a model based on the Deming philosophy. Now, I'm not the only one out there doing this, but I think there ought to be more. I think Dr. Demings philosophy and if you listen to some of the things that he said, it was almost a challenge to all of us that were followers to what was to come up with a way to accomplish the transformation. Now, be the first one to say, I know he would quote, I believe from George Box that there is no perfect model. Some are useful. So we can have to take that. But I I believe there's more to be offered by people doing things to promote the philosophy, not necessarily as the forefront, but as a underlying base to the lot of the things that we're doing. So my attempt was coming up with a podcast and beginning to build, in essence, a model based on the dumbing philosophy. Now, others have done this.


Tripp: [00:11:17] There's Doug Hall, who does and uses the Deming philosophy in his innovation methods. So he's come up with a method for a system for doing. Innovation based in the Deming philosophy, is it flawed? Yeah.


Tripp: [00:11:40] So it was mine, by the way. And is it constantly being scrutinized and upgraded and updated and refined and all of that? Yes, because he has gone through middie iterations as I'm going through as I build my model.


Tripp: [00:11:59] And actually Doug's innovation piece fits into the model that I'm building. So, yeah, we've got this people. We have people out there that have ideas about how to do the Deming philosophy and we can can continue to learn. But I'd like the idea of learning from doing by virtue of a blog. By virtue of our podcast. Speaking of whatever it might be, where you can continue to refine your message as well as get the message out to people.


Tripp: [00:12:40] So my challenge to people that are interested in the dubbing philosophy. People from within the community is to do those things.


Tripp: [00:12:49] Go out and write a start a blog, do a podcast. You'll build a platform, a stage where the Deming philosophy can be communicated moving forward and refine it. Dr. Deming was the first one, in essence to say, you know, I make no apologies for learning and I think advancing the thinking associated with the Deming philosophy. For those of you who think that the Deming philosophy is the static thing, it can't be because Dr. Deming was hardly static. It's constantly adjusting his theories. He was constantly adjusting his philosophy from what he he saw. And things have changed. And I think that in order to keep up with the changes that are happening, we've got to find new platforms, new stages, books, podcasts, whatever it might be to be able to communicate the Deming philosophy in a way that we can continue the learning. So that's the last of the 14 points and my thoughts about some of the things, though, that I believe as a community we need to do moving forward to continue to refine it.


Tripp: [00:14:08] Thank you for listening to the Deming Institute podcast. Stay updated on the latest blogs, podcasts, programs and other activities at Deming dot org.