The W. Edwards Deming Institute® Podcast (management)

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 June podcast, his first session with Tripp, Phil Monroe shares stories on his introduction to Dr. Deming, leading to his personal transformation as a naval officer and later a post-Navy career as a quality management consultant, city council member, and, currently, board member of a hospital in Coronado, California.

Beginning with meeting Dr. Deming in 1983, while serving as the Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Rework Facility at North Island Naval Air Station, Coronado, Phil reminisces about his first exposure to Deming management.  The meeting was arranged by Bill Cooper, Tripp’s next podcast guest (our July 2017 edition), and the senior civilian at this 6,000+ person Navy operation. 

Highlights include: 

  • What caused Dr. Deming to "look down his nose" at Phil, in front of 350 supervisors
  • Phil’s transformation moment, captured on film, including which of the 14 Points Phil was in violation of, according to Dr. Deming
  • Being challenged by Dr. Deming on his MBO style of management
  • Applying Deming management to an incident involving a Metropolitan Transit Service (MTS) bus carrying school children.  Phil was serving as an MTS Board member and thought the wrong people received disciplinary punishment; i.e. time off without pay.
  • What is top management’s responsibility?
  • The influence of Phil’s academic background at Cornell University
  • Shifting his thinking on problems from “Who did it?” to “What in the process caused this to happen?”
  • World-wide Quality Management consulting with Bill Cooper
  • Numerical illiteracy
  • Impressions of the status of the practice of SPC today
  • What is a statistician’s job?
  • The theory of variation of as the cornerstone of Dr. Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge
  • The "Phil Monroe" change
Direct download: DemingEpisode41.m4a
Category:management -- posted at: 7:16pm EDT

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 April podcast, Ed Baker, author, consultant, and former corporate director, Quality Strategy and Operations Support for the Ford Motor Company, offers insights on his latest book, The Symphony of Profound Knowledge (W. Edwards Deming’s Score for Leading, Performing, and Living in Concert).

Nearing 20 years with Ford, including the last 10+ years guiding the tactical and strategic influence of Dr. Deming’s theory of management across Ford, Ed was asked by Dr. Deming to write a book to offer his own understanding of his System of Profound Knowledge.   For those who have heard Dr. Deming say "You can learn a lot about ice and know nothing about water," he credited Ed with this point of enlightenment. 

Ed met recently with Tripp Babbitt to share highlights from his book (in one of Tripp’s longest interviews to date), as well as inspirations from Dr. Deming, covering topics including: 

  • Ed’s first contact with Dr. Deming
  • Dr. Deming’s first visits to Ford
  • Ed’s role in choreographing Dr. Deming’s visits across Ford
  • Dr. Deming’s early impact on Ford
  • The pace of change within Ford under Dr. Deming’s influence
  • Deming management, TQM, Six Sigma, and Lean
  • Tom Johnson’s influence on his thinking
  • Mechanistic and random sampling
  • Is the map the territory?
  • Joy in work
  • Strong support for The Symphony of Profound Knowledge from Clay Mathile and the entire staff of Aileron

In addition to this podcast, link here to watch a recent interview with Ed (and here for a full-length interview), also with a focus on his book, The Symphony of Profound Knowledge.   Link here to listen to a radio interview.

Direct download: DemingEpisode39.m4a
Category:management -- posted at: 12:04pm EDT

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 April podcast, Doug Hall, Eureka! Ranch CEO and Founder, shares ruminations on leadership from his wide-ranging conversations with business leaders, as he stretches his imagination to ask "What is the new talk track to engage a leadership person who is feeling chaotic?"

With a 30+ year background in Deming management, Doug well appreciates the potential for "joy in work," yet asks "Where's the joy (to be found today)?.   In his meetings with senior executives, he finds tell-tale signs of broken interactions, systems likely to fail slow and expensively rather than "fast and cheap."   Upon probing them, he learned "they have no idea" what to do when the existing platforms (systems) are not working.   Worse yet, he finds executives overwhelmed by the speed of change in the world today, often consumed by chaos.

On the bright side, he hears of a need for systems that enable workers, not control them, as executives ponder "What the new type of leadership needs to be?" and the need, now more than ever, for openness to change, with women leading the way, per Doug's experience.   

For those having similar thoughts on helping leadership and change in a rapidly changing world, with ample opportunities for infusing Deming management, Tripp's latest podcast offers serious food for thought from a master innovator.

Direct download: DemingEpisode38.m4a
Category:management -- posted at: 5:44am EDT

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,, 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 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 six 90-minute conference 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

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

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

Cliff Norman and Ron Moen of Associates in Process Improvement (API) – The PDSA Cycle “Business Is More Exacting Than Science”

Cliff Norman and Ron Moen, of Associates in Process Improvement (API) discuss the history of the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA Cycle) and their research on the subject. 

Cliff and Ron start with how the underpinning of Deming's philosophy was the idea of "continuous improvement", with the PDSA Cycle underlying that philosophy. They discuss the PDSA Cycle of never-ending improvement and learning, and how the iterative nature of the cycle fits with The Deming System of Profound Knowledge®. As Ron shares, Dr. Deming believed that "business is more exacting than science" as businesses must continually learn and improve to survive.

Next Cliff and Ron delve into why they wrote a paper on the PDSA Cycle. Ron explains that the quality movement in America began after the NBC White Paper, If Japan Can..Why Can't We? aired in 1980. This raised interest in the Japan and the Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) cycle, which originated there.  Although Dr. Deming never spoke of PDCA, it was connected to him in the early 80's. That incorrect attribution was the inspiration behind the paper. 

Cliff and Ron discuss the evolution of the PDSA Cycle, starting hundreds of years ago with the theories of Galileo and Aristotle. Listen as they take you through the progression, from the Shewhart Cycle, through the Deming Wheel and ultimately the PDSA Cycle as we know it today.

Direct download: DemingEpisode31.m4a
Category:management -- posted at: 12:17pm EDT

Scott Dalgleish is the CEO at Phase IV Engineering – “It Just Made Sense And It Worked”

Scott's story starts in 1986, as a graduate walking in the doors of P&G to be a new engineer and shift manager. He was soon perplexed by how he could contribute to solving issues associated with production and quality. During this time, P&G introduced the Deming Philosophy to the organization; a decision that would have a profound impact on Scott's professional and personal life. Scott eagerly applied what he learned, despite facing resistance to change and improvements. After three years, he decided to move to a smaller company where the Deming principles were readily embraced. Listen as Scott discusses how he leads a highly inventive engineering organization whose focus is on innovation and the advantage gained through the embrace of Deming's continual improvement philosophy. Hear his fascinating approach to hiring employees without factoring in schooling and GPA, and a discussion between Tripp and Scott on the challenged presented by ISO 9000.

Direct download: DemingEpisode28.m4a
Category:management -- posted at: 5:14pm EDT

Ron Moen and Cliff Norman of Associates in Process Improvement (API) - "I Make No Apologies for Learning"

Ron Moen and Cliff Norman, of Associates in Process Improvement (API), discuss their similar experiences where first introduced to Dr. Deming, their paper "Evolution of Deming's System of Profound Knowledge" and finally the "journey of learning" through the lens of SoPK, that Dr. Deming left the world.

Ron and Cliff start with an introduction on their first meeting with Dr. Deming; how he challenged what they knew and had learned and dramatically changed their thinking and lives going forward.

The main focus of the podcast summarizes the paper Cliff and Ron will publish next year about the evolution of The Deming System of Profound Knowledge, from it's beginnings when Dr. Deming was introduced to Shewhart in 1927 until his death in 1993. Listen as they walk us through Deming's own learning, starting with SQC (Statistical Quality Control) to SQC for Management (which he taught to the Japanese) through the tremendous growth in the 1980's after the NBC White Paper "If Japan Can...Why Can't We?" Deming's learning continued through multiple versions of the 14 points, Seven Deadly Diseases and the four elements of Profound Knowledge. Deming's work culminated with his greatest contribution, the theory and interaction between the four elements, which became The Deming System of Profound Knowledge.

The last portion of the Podcast focuses on the journey of learning. Dr Deming, said, "I make no apologies for learning" as his message changed and evolved throughout his life. The teachings continue to impact Ron and Cliff in their lives and work and this research provides fascinating insight into Dr. Deming's personal journey of learning. 

Direct download: DemingEpisode25.m4a
Category:management -- posted at: 7:13pm EDT