The W. Edwards Deming Institute® Podcast (interviews)

Dick Steele of Peaker Services - Sometimes it's about "what can't be measured"

This week's podcast features Dick Steele, Founder and Chairman of Peaker Services, Inc. and member of The Deming Institute Board of Trustees. Dick discusses his company's transformation and how he has kept his employees engaged throughout their Deming Journey.

Dick shares his memory of how a book recommendation by his mother led to his introduction to Dr. Deming's philosophies. And how attending Dr. Deming's 4-day seminar led to the company dropping performance appraisals "cold turkey" the following week.

Listen as Dick discusses some of the changes that make the biggest difference (but are immeasurable) and how these changes have led to greater collaboration, employee engagement and innovation at Peaker Services.

Direct download: DemingEpisode15.m4a
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 3:45pm PDT

David Langford explores Education and the Race to the Top  "...this too shall pass"

This week's podcast features David Langford, CEO and founder of Langford International, Inc. and Deming Institute Advisory Board member.

David discusses "Education as a System" and using the four parts of Deming's "System of Profound Knowledge" to make a systemic change to the current education system. He talks about the "aim" and "product" of the education system. "What are we trying to accomplish?" "Are we just trying to improve test scores or are we trying to teach kids to think?"

David talks about the difference between studying and learning and the diminishing returns you receive when you have a whole system based on memorization. And why attempts to improve the system through programs such as "No Child Left Behind" and "Race to the Top" do not work.

Listen as David explores "what is good learning" and how changing the education system through "continual improvement thinking" (rather than just adding programs) will lead to better results for students and teachers; a win-win for all. 

Direct download: DemingEpisode12.m4a
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 1:36pm PDT

Keith Sparkjoy Co-founder of Pluralsight discusses their Journey To “Seek The Truth”

This week's Deming Podcast features Keith Sparkjoy, Cofounder and Culture Coach of Pluralsight, a leader in professional training for developers through an online learning experience.

Keith discusses his "awakening" on their journey to keep Pluralsight's healthy culture as they rapidly expanded. The Deming philosophies provided hope and as he came to understand variation and a new way to look at leadership, the transition moved very quickly. From creating a system that focused on customer - eliminating incentive pay for managers, commissions for salespeople, and paid time off policies - to establishing only two rules to guide the company.

Listen as Keith explains their journey to "seek the truth", how they have been able to burst the bubble of management, build trust, drive out fear and get people to work together as Pluralsight "grows up."

Direct download: DemingEpisode14.m4a
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 9:14am PDT

Monta Akin discusses Leander Independent School District's Transformation to "Happyville"

This week's podcast features Monta Akin, Assistant Superintendent for Leander Independent School District in Leander, Texas.

Monta shares her Deming journey and the compelling story of Leander Independent School District's transformation.  It begins when Monta was first introduced to Deming when she came across the PBS series "Quality or Else" featuring David Langford. What caught her attention was his Deming-based systematic approach to education, creating passion in students by engaging them in the practice of improvement. 

Serendipitously, the next day Monta picked up an educational magazine with information on a David Langford seminar. She rallied a few Leander colleagues to attend. It totally changed how they looked at instruction and the partnership with students. They realized that to be a great school district they would have to do something different. 

As they began adopting the Deming philosophies, Monta and her colleagues discovered how transparency built teamwork and realized the detrimental effect of fear, especially of teacher ratings. This led to a major change in how they conducted evaluations; a pivotal moment in their transformation. 

Monta shares the positive results at Leander independent School District, and why after more than 20 years, she is still passionately committed to the Deming philosophy.

Direct download: DemingEpisode13.m4a
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 3:04pm PDT

Fred Warmbier, CEO of Finishing Technology Inc. and Kelly Allan, Deming Institute Advisory Board Chairman.

This week's podcast features Fred Warmbier, CEO of Finishing Technology and Kelly Allan, Senior Associate of Kelly Allan Associates and Chair of the Deming Institute Advisory Board.

Fred and Kelly discuss their New York Times blog that documents the Deming journey of Finishing Technology, a metal finishing company in Ohio.  Fred first discovered the Deming message in September 2013 when he attended a Deming Institute 2.5 day seminar presented in partnership with Aileron, a non-profit near Dayton (Tipp City), Ohio dedicated to,  “Raising the Quality of Life in America”.

Fred attended with staff from his company and came away excited to explore how to change from the old way of running things.  He was driven by self-insight, a passion to study and a desire to help others, while understanding his business system and how to operate it more effectively and efficiently.  

After additional reading and further study, Fred was motivated to look at all elements of his business differently and through a new lens.  He began working with Kelly and as these new insights gained momentum, Fred felt it important to document his experiences, which were often humbling and comical.  

Around this time, The NY Times ran a story on companies unhooked from commission-based sales, which led to a multi-part NY Times blog, that documents Fred’s journey. The goal of the blog is to educate, inform, entertain, make a difference and be a call to action. 

This fascinating journey will energize executives, entrepreneurs and others who are always (as Fred and Kelly discuss) probing, looking, thinking and determined to figure things out.

Direct download: DemingEpisode10.m4a
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 10:20am PDT

Clare-Crawford Mason and Bob Mason: Introducing Dr. Deming to the Western World
In this podcast Clare and Bob take us through their respective journeys that led to their groundbreaking work with Dr. Deming in the famous 1980 NBC documentary/white paper, “If Japan Can Why Can’t We?”  and the subsequent powerful 32 volume “Deming Library” which is still in widespread use.  From their early memories of meeting Dr. Deming to the impact it had on their lives, we experience their frustration with American management 34 years later, as well as their hope for the future.  They discuss the need for us to no longer be, “unconscious prisoners of our culture” and the importance of valuing individual differences, how people learn and how we can improve the processes we use in our work. Clare discusses the critical important concept she learned from Dr. Deming of “managing instead of controlling”. 

Their passion for continual learning continues to this day as they write, speak and contribute to the Deming message.  Their journey is a fascinating one of great significance and it looks to continue in 2015 with a new book from Clare titled, “The New Wisdom”.

Direct download: DemingEpisode11.m4a
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 8:23pm PDT

Paula Marshall, CEO of the Bama Companies, Inc. Discusses her Fascinating Deming Journey

Paula Marshall is the CEO of the Bama Companies, Inc., a company that may be best known for being the single supplier of the famous Apple dessert pies to McDonalds. They are also " innovator and manufacturer of bakery products to some of the most well-known restaurant chains on the planet."

In this episode Paula discusses with Tripp her amazing journey as a CEO that took her company from being on the verge of going out of business to the thriving powerhouse it is today. The transformation of Paula and her company started when she attended her first Deming seminar. That seminar and the subsequent meetings and friendship with Dr. Deming, shaped the future of the company in a way she never imagined. Paula shares her journey with Dr. Deming and how personally difficult it was to go against the very status quo management ideas she had learned and was using; in particular, learning the hard way how detrimental performance appraisals and the incentive based system are to an organization.

See for more information on Paula and the company.  Paula is also an author of several books, including her personal story in Sweet as Pie, Tough as Nails.

Direct download: DemingEpisode9.m4a
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 4:51am PDT

Dr. Bill Bellows - Collaboration Within and Outside the Deming Community

Bill Bellows serves as president of the In2:InThinking Network, and as a Board Trustee of the W. Edwards Deming Institute®. In his podcast, Bill discusses his introduction to the Deming philosophy as a young engineer, and his "aha" moment after hearing Dr. Deming speak about the destructive nature of competition. He also shares his thoughts on the challenges of conveying the Deming message in the future and the importance of collaboration in the Deming community.

Direct download: DemingEpisode8.m4a
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 5:32am PDT

Bob Browne, former CEO of the Great Plains Coca Cola Bottling Company

Bob Browne is the former CEO of the Great Plains Coca Cola Bottling Company and soon to be author of a new book, The Sys-Tao Way, that outlines his application of the Deming Philosophy.

Bob gives a brief history of the Great Plains Coca Cola Bottling Company, his introduction to the Deming Philosophy and experiences incorporating many of the teachings into his organization. Bob states how the Four Pillars are the key to understanding Deming with a special focus on the theory of knowledge and working relationships.

He describes the difficulty of letting go of his own established paradigms while incorporating the the teachings of W. Edwards Deming - it required constancy of purpose and faith that this was a better way. Bob also shares thoughts on where a CEO or change agent starts and he discusses organizational change and adoption of these ideas

The Twitter account specifically for the Deming Institute podcasts is @DemingPodcast.

Direct download: DemingEpisode7.m4a
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 1:44am PDT

Steven Haedrich, President of New York Label & Box Works

In this episode of the Deming Podcast, Tripp Babbitt interviews Steven Haedrich, President of New York Label & Box Works.

In his podcast, Steven talks about the rich 130-year history of New York Label & Box Works and their Deming journey which began more than 20 years ago. Steven discusses his "aha" moments around management and leadership, and quality improvements. Steven also talks about the relevance of the Deming teachings today and the keys to long-term success using the Deming method.

Steven will be sharing his experiences at the upcoming Deming Institute Fall Conference, in a presentation titled "Deming is it!" The 2014 Deming Institute Fall Conference to be held this October 17-19 in Los Angeles.

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Direct download: DemingEpisode6.m4a
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 1:10am PDT