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Mar 31, 2021

In our 47th Deming Lens episode, host Tripp Babbitt shares his interpretation of wide-ranging aspects and implications of Dr. Deming's System of Profound Knowledge. This month he looks at the interaction of the parts of Dr. Deming's System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK).

Show Notes

The Deming Lens - Episode 47 - SoPK: The Interaction of the Parts

Dr. Deming's US Prescription

My Journey through SoPK

Dr. Deming's SoPK and Learning

The Quotes of Dr. Deming

Developing Methods to Advance Knowledge on SoPK




[00:00:15] In the 47th episode of The Demming Lens, we'll discuss the system of profound knowledge and the interaction of the parts of it. Hi, I'm Tripp Babbitt, host of the Demming Institute podcast, and this month I wanted to talk about a lot of things that I've experienced over the years with regards to Dr. Deming and the Demming community and misconceptions about Demming and things of that sort. So I wanted to focus on what I'm calling the system of profound knowledge, interaction of the parts. And for those of you that may not be familiar with Dr. Deming's philosophy or this maybe is the first podcast episode you've listened to, System of Profound Knowledge is basically Dr. Deming's last thoughts. If I if I I'm going to put it in my words about. His work and he left us this philosophy, it's made up of appreciation for a system, knowledge about variation, theory of knowledge and psychology. And, you know, we get a lot of things on the social media channels about what Dr. Deming said. Some are right, some are wrong. But regardless, I thought maybe I'd start with my kind of my own personal history and then kind of have a conversation about what Dr. Deming said with regards to the system of profound knowledge. So for me, when I first came across Dr. Deming's work in the mid 80s and attended one of his four day seminars, actually multiple times I went through this phase, I'm going to call the prescription phase.


[00:02:29] And I think that that was from what I've read, I've gone to the Library of Congress and looked at Dr. Deming's notes. A lot of his focus was on being prescriptive to especially U.S. managers and executives. And that's what you got. And Out of the Crisis, his 14 points to transform the Western style of management, that was that was really the aim of out of the crisis. And matter of fact, it started at the beginning of the book. So there was this prescriptive thing, but it really went against a lot of the cultural norms here in the states. And that was one of the things that many in the Demming community were fighting for, was things. When you talk in terms of. Rewards and performance appraisals, that became kind of what we do Deming, but we don't do that. So I'm sure many in the community can can relate unless you are someone who owned their own company and were able to implement these things, which isn't many people, but. I as I went through and started getting deeper and deeper into Dr. Deming's work, talking with other people in the community, one thing that became very evident to me early on was even though I had been exposed to understanding variation because I sold Mitutoyo equipment to manufacturers, I didn't really understand it.


[00:04:08] And so I spent a lot of time in the 1990s getting deeper. I went I went to multiple seminars, weeklong seminars with Dr. Don Wheeler. I worked with Dr. Ward, a gentleman by the name of Tim Baer, a statistician, and they got me to a point where I felt comfortable enough in my knowledge or at least where to go to get help around variation. And so much as much of my life was the 1992 was spent getting deeper into that. Now, as I started to enter 2000 and going to say, 2012, a lot of my focus was on systems because then, you know, common cause variation things between the limits. It's down to the system that you work. And if you're going to change the system, things of that sort got deeper and deeper into different works of not only Bertalanffy, Peter Senge, Russell Ackoff, folks like that. And since 2009 to say 2012 to even present, most of my focus has been on getting deeper knowledge in psychology. And along with that, neuroscience has really been able to give me a deeper knowledge of psychology and how the brain works in neuroscience and then the theory of knowledge. Those have been more recent where I'm going deeper into it. But each time I've gone through this, I'm also thinking in terms of the other components of the System of Profound Knowledge.


[00:05:58] In other words, I didn't just scrap variation in descript systems. I just learned more about the other parts, as Dr. Deming would call them, parts of the system. And one of the things that you learn pretty quickly, and in fact, it's what Dr. Deming said in the new economics when he was was talking in terms of the system of profound knowledge, again, as a philosophy, was that not one is more important than the other. And so a lot of this comes out of the new economics. And when you look at the system of profound knowledge in the chapters associated with it and the new economics, which is the last book that Dr. Deming wrote, is its stated purpose was to start the reader on the road to knowledge, and that you don't need to be eminent in any part to use the system of profound knowledge, meaning you don't have to be an expert in variation. You don't have to be an expert in systems. You have to do is take all four pieces and look at it. Now, I think it is left to you on your own to get deeper into these types of things, as you know I did over the years or continue to do. And so, you know, it's it's one of those things that, you know, it's a personal responsibility for you to go deeper into.The other segments.


[00:07:41] Now stated in the new economics is that Dr. Deming wrote that various segments of the system are profound. Knowledge proposed here cannot be separated. They interact with each other. Thus, knowledge of psychology is incomplete without knowledge of variation and so on and so forth. It's the interaction of the parts of the system, profound knowledge that make, from my perspective, make it work. And insights gives you insights to improve, not one part is greater than the other. Now, you may have expertize in one part, but your gains will come, let's say, whether it's psychology, fine. But if you understood variation, it's going to give you new insights into how to use psychology. And I'm going to put neuroscience because I think it's there. There's so much learning there going on. So it's and theory of knowledge and systems and all of those types of things will really help advance to advance what your thinking is. And this is the power to me of the system, a profound knowledge.


[00:09:09] Now, like everybody else that listens to Dr. Deming, you cannot go a day without someone quoting on social media, something attributed to Dr. Deming. Now, I'd say probably, you know, 90 percent of them are actual quotes, quotes that Dr.Deming said usually associated with data. And the other 10 percent are wrong quotes. But regardless, it generates curiosity. And I think that as opposed to continuing arguments over, you know, what Deming said, that what we should do is devolve into conversations of the system of profound knowledge and all. Of its parts. So the appreciation for a system, the theory, you know, knowledge about variation theory, theory of knowledge and psychology, that those are all ways to to generate conversations with people on the Internet to help them along. OK, well, you like this thing on data, regardless of whether it was the right quote or not, I think matters little in that somebody thinks that what they said was good and you just start it. They're used to correct people on that. I've kind of gotten away from that. But focus on one, focusing on just the one part missing the power of what system of profound knowledge is. And I think those are better conversations to have. And I'm starting to have these conversations with executives around all of the components. But they have to it's one of those things that the system, profound knowledge is something that is best eaten in small bites. I mean, it's it's very broad and especially I think applying these things to the organization lacks a lot of method. And it's been a real focus of what I've been concentrating on is trying to give method as imperfect as it is.


[00:11:33] How do we develop methods to help people through advancing their knowledge and achieving really what the new economics was trying to do is start the reader on the road to knowledge and how we can get there. Now, there's probably a better way than the way I'm going about it. I haven't seen one yet, but there are certainly having a method and kind of going through a process of learning. Using your own organization is a very powerful I've found. So regardless, I just wanted to get out that the system, profound knowledge, the interaction of the parts is what's the power here? I know there's people with expert that are experts in variation and I know people that are experts in psychology and know that their people are experts in systems. And some of the things I say sometimes I'm sure make them cringe. But I've they've shown me different ways to look at an organization that helps that organization improve. And the using that power of the interaction of the parts of the system are profound. Knowledge is something I believe can help everyone and every organization and every individual. Hi, this is Tripp Babbitt, one way that you can help the Deming Institute in this podcast is by providing a reading on Apple podcast.