Thu, 9 April 2015
This week's Podcast features Gordon McGilton, Director of a Private Equity Fund with investment in multiple industries. Gordon shares the humorous and unique way he was introduced to Dr. Deming's philosophies. He provides an example of a company that is using The Deming System of Profound Knowledge with great success, as well as how one can begin their own journey.
Gordon starts with, "every business is just a system and that system delivers some change of state that customers are willing to pay for. Everything else in between is just by what method to do it."
Listen as Gordon shares the Jet-Hot, Inc. story, a real example of how he applied the Deming System of Profound Knowledge and systems thinking to a coatings company on the verge of insolvency. After three years, with the same people, the company is prospering and the employees are proud of what they do, the company they work for and the solutions they provide the customers.
We step back and hear how Gordon was introduced to Dr. Deming's philosophies while working in the auto industry in 1980, when the documentary "If Japan Can, Why Can't We" aired on NBC-TV. This is a must listen podcast, as Gordon shares the tale of his initial resistance to attending Dr. Deming's 4-Day Seminar; and his subsequent understanding that everything he had learned in management, up to that point, was wrong.
Gordon explores his Aha! Moments, the first of which was, "you can't increase someone's capability by offering them money or by threatening them." This was a huge breakthrough, as he was raised on an intimidation model believing that's how you got things done. The breakthrough came once he saw that providing employees with the instructions, tools, information and support they needed, is what actually improved their performance.
Fri, 3 April 2015
This week's podcast features Dr. Doug Stilwell, Superintendent of the Urbandale Community School District. Doug shares his application of the Deming Philosophy in education - looking at education from a systems point a view and driving out fear with trust.
Listen as Doug talks about how, after 35 years in education, he always felt that "something was not right." It wasn't until 2009 when he attended a David Langford Seminar, which applied the Deming philosophy in education, that he said "this is it, this is the stuff I have been looking for."
Doug endured 35 years of new initiatives from the legislature and Department of Education, with no changes in student achievement. It caused him to think back to Deming and that "people are not the problem, it's the system." If they did not take a systems approach they would be doomed to fail. He realized that whether you're looking at the district as a whole, or a building or even a classroom, it's a system, and the way you approach that system will have the greatest impact on student learning.
Doug shares his lifelong interest in trust, the role it plays in driving out fear, and his conclusion that, "if there is fear in an organization, that means that there is not trust." By engendering trust, Doug realized that people can be freed from fear and feel freer to innovate.
Lastly, Doug shares his recommendations for others are they begin their journey. It starts with defining an aim for thieir system and clearly communicating that with the students. A few years ago, Doug was disheartened after reading a study show that the decrease in joy for learning begins in Kindergarten. But this reinforced for him the value of systems thinking, and that teacher understanding of a systems approach in the classroom is a great place to start.