The W. Edwards Deming Institute® Podcast (management)

Jim Benson, Founding Partner of Modus Institute and Author of Personal Kanban - "You Can Have Too Many Manhattans!"

This week's Podcast features Jim Benson, founding partner of the Modus Institute.  Jim discusses how he was introduced to the Deming Philosophy, how his team applies it to Knowledge Work (work that can't be seen), and what he feels is the biggest fear in an organization.

Though he was initially introduced accidently on an airplane, Jim shared how he was actively looking for a set of guiding principles around what would create a human oriented, self-aware way of managing work. As he hopes everyone finds out, the four points of the System of Profound Knowledge do that in a very elegant, concise and friendly way.

At Modus Cooperendi, they apply the Deming Philosophy with three guiding principles: Respect for people, SOPK, and the One Point (summation of the 14 points). They take those principles and help companies build new Life Systems, so they can visualize their work for the first time leading to better communication, collaboration and transparency.

Listen as Jim tells us why they feel "the unknown" is the biggest fear in an organization. And how building trust within teams can remove one of the largest barriers to your company. Hear how some companies they're working with are doing just that.

Direct download: DemingEpisode22A.m4a
Category:management -- posted at: 12:58pm EDT

Louis Altazan, President of AGCO Automotive Corporation - Realizing "I Was The Problem" Was The First Step To Success

This week's Podcast features Louis Altazan, President of AGCO Automotive Corporation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Louis discusses his introduction to Dr. Deming and his philosophies, his "aha" moment, and the long-term thinking and trust that must be established to succeed. 

Louis starts with a brief introduction of AGCO, and his feeling that the automotive industry could be doing better. After toiling for 10 years with various philosophies, it was the 1980 NBC documentary "If Japan Can, Why Can't We" that hit home with him. He picked up the phone and called Dr. Deming. And as they say "the rest is history."

Louis began implementing Deming's 14 points right away. His biggest "aha" moment was that "I was the problem." Once he realized this, he called a meeting to apologize and things started to get better right away. Louis removed everyone from the "flat rate" pay system and put them on salary. This helped his staff change their focus from short-term thinking and profits to long-term thinking and trust. 

Louis warns that you can't apply some part of Dr. Deming's philosophy and not others - that "it's a cohesive system that all works together." Done this way you will start seeing improvement almost immediately, but the real benefits will be felt about 20 years down the road. 

Direct download: DemingEpisode21.m4a
Category:management -- posted at: 12:51pm EDT

Gordon McGilton - It's Not "I'll Believe It When I See It, But You'll See It When You Believe It"

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.


Direct download: DemingEpisode19.m4a
Category:management -- posted at: 6:15pm EDT

Doug Hall, CEO of Innovation Engineering Shares the What, Why and How of Innovation

This week's podcast features Doug Hall, CEO and Founder of Innovation Engineering and Eureka! Ranch as he shares his approach for taking the systems thinking of Dr. Deming and applying it to the world of strategy, innovation, and growth.

Doug shares the story of how his father introduced him to Dr. Deming and systems thinking in the late 70's. Doug's father worked at Nashua Corporation, which was one of the early corporate adopters of Dr. Deming's philosophies. Later Doug took that systems mindset to the Proctor and Gamble brand management department taking nine innovations to market in 12 months, which is still a record today.

After 10 years he retired from corporate life and established Eureka! Ranch. He soon found that corporate executives were not interested in a systemic approach to innovation. Doug pivoted and repackaged himself as a innovation Guru who in truth was powered by systems thinking. He was soon named one of America's top idea gurus by A&E To 10, Inc. Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Doug went on to do dozens of projects for such top innovators as Nike, Walt Disney, and AT&T. His fame lead to network radio and television roles, writing of books and to the role of "Truth Teller" judge on the first season of ABC TV's American Inventor. 

As he was getting ready to retire from consulting he returned to his roots and founded the new field of academic study known as Innovation Engineering at the University of Maine. Their mission is to change the world by enabling innovation by everyone, everywhere, everyday resulting in increased speed to market and decreased risk. Their method for accomplishing this is to apply the systems thinking of Dr. Deming.  The rise of the internet and the 2008 recession created the opportunity to transfer the system approach to innovation from universities to the commercial world. It worked-companies found that when they enabled their employees they could increase speed to market by up to 6x and decrease innovation risk by 30 to 80%. 

Listen as Doug explains why he feels today's younger generation are the greatest generation for workers. And why starting with the "what, why and how" is such an important first step in innovation.


Direct download: DemingEpisode16.m4a
Category:management -- posted at: 7:15pm EDT

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:management -- posted at: 6:45pm EDT

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:management -- posted at: 12:14pm EDT

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:management -- posted at: 1:20pm EDT

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:management -- posted at: 11:23pm EDT

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:management -- posted at: 7:51am EDT

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:management -- posted at: 8:32am EDT