Hunter on Deming


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Recently, I had a a podcast, Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012, with John Hunter, author of the new Deming Blog sanctioned by the Deming Institute. In addition, John has a very popular blog of his own, the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog. This is a transcription of our podcast.

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Hunter on Deming

  1. 1. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Hunter on Deming Guest was John Hunter Related Podcast: Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Sponsored by Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  2. 2. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems John Hunter combines technology with management expertise to improve the performance of organizations. He has served as an information technology program manager for the American Society for Engineering Education, the Office of Secretary of Defense Quality Management Office and the White House Military Office.He has authored the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blogfor years. He is the author of new blog for the W. EdwardsDeming Institute. John has facilitated seminars for the DemingInstitute, spoken at the annual Deming Institute conference andlectured at the Deming Scholars program at Fordham University,as well as presenting at conferences on managementimprovement topics.John got early start learning about variation, quality andDemings management ideas from his father: Bill Hunter. Billswork with the City of Madison was included in Demings book:Out of the Crisis, as the first known example of applying the ideasin government. Peter Scholtes was involved in that effort (as acity employee). Peter later went on to write the Team Handbookand Leaders Handbook and teach with Deming at his 2 dayseminars. John created and maintained (and still maintains)Peters web site.John is the founder and CEO of, managing over30 web sites on management, software development, investing,engineering, travel and other topics. Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  3. 3. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Transcription of PodcastJoe Dager: Welcome, everyone. This is Joe Dager, the host ofthe Business901 podcast. With me today is John Hunter. Johncombines technology with management expertise to improve theperformance of organizations. He has served as an informationtechnology program manager for the American Society forEngineering Education, the Office of Secretary of Defense QualityManagement Office, and the White House Military Office. He hasauthored "The Curious Cat Management Improvement" blog foryears, and he is also the new author of a blog for the W. EdwardsDeming Institute. John, Id like to welcome you. Could you sharewith us your background with the Deming Institute?John Hunter: Sure, thanks. Its great to be here. The Institutewas founded just before Dr. Deming died, and there was the firstof the annual conferences. They had the first five or six inWashington, D.C. Annual meetings continued, but they started tomove around the country. During this time, the Deming Institutedecided that one of the things that was missing was Deming hadhis famous four-day seminars. So the Institute was looking atwhat they could do. They decided that trying to get people tocommit four continuous days without it being Dr. Deming sittingon the stage was going to be difficult, so they decided on atwo-and-a-half day seminar format. They told 13 of us togetherin Louisville at Louisville Slugger, whose CEO has been on theDeming Institute Boards.We got together and with Dr. Joyce Orsini, whos at FordhamUniversity. She is also the President of the Deming Institute, andIm pretty sure shes been the president since the very beginning,and continues today.She led this group, and idea was that we would design a two andhalf-day seminar based on Demings four-day seminar, and fromthis group of people; we would present the seminar for the Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  4. 4. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsInstitute. I was involved with that, and have been giving thoseseminars and then the latest thing is working on the DemingInstitute blog, which I think is going to be a very exciting thing.Joe: From your childhood, you were involved with Deming,werent you?John: Actually, right now, Im living in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.Im sitting in my condo, and looking out my window. I see JohorBahru. In the distance, I see Singapore. When I was a little kid, Ispent a year and half in Singapore. My father was teaching,probably, chemical engineering. He was also involved in trying toget a quality community set up in Singapore. Theres actually apaper on that topic at ASQ on setting up a quality organization fordeveloping countries. During that time, my father was writingback and forth with Dr. Deming. My father was a professor ofstatistics, and chemical engineering, and industrial engineering.Dr. Deming was obviously a statistician, and most of the peoplethat taught with Dr. Deming on the stage with him werestatisticians actually. You dont really have to be, but thats theway it turned out.As a kid in Singapore, I didnt really directly pick up on any ofthis. I was young. As I grew up, my father continued this interest.I was involved in learning about these ideas as a kid. I rememberstill in second grade my father came into school to give one ofthese parents teaching the kids. What he did was an experimentthat was essentially about understanding variation for kids.Rolling dice, and understanding that people have a tendency,especially kids, to think things like the number six come up a lot.But if you roll the dice, unless the dice is biased, youll see that,no, every single number one through six is just as likely to comeup as any other. As I was growing up, I picked up on this Demingstuff from him all the way along. There were things like that. Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  5. 5. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsAs I grew up it was more of the management stuff. I would talkto him about the consulting he was doing. He wrote a book withGeorge Box and Stu Hunter, "Statistics for Experimenters," thatis, in my opinion but also in many, many peoples opinion, thebook for design of experiments, which is very big in Six Sigma.My father was involved with a lot of the early Six Sigma stuff.Chicago is where Motorola was based, outside of Chicagosomewhere I think, and one of the things I remember is himcoming back from a trip down there. One of the things theytalked about was at that time Motorola, I think was stillmanufacturing TVs. Their cost of manufacturing was higher thanthe retail price in the stores, and its like, "This is not going towork."Out of the crisis, pages 245 to 247 theres a bit on the FirstStreet Garage in Madison, Wisconsin. My father was involved inthat when I was a kid. Basically, we came back from Nigeria,which hed spent another year there teaching. When he cameback to Madison, one of the things that he decided was he reallyliked Madison, and he wanted to give back to Madison. Hed beena professor at the University of Madison.So he talked to the mayor about using some of these ideas toimprove Madisons services. The mayor went along with this idea.So they applied some of these ideas at the city of Madison, andthat write up was in "Out of the Crisis." I think its the first knowninstance of applying Demings ideas in a governmentorganization.Interesting, at that project, Peter Scholtes was a city employee atthat time, and he worked on this project. My father actually knewhim before that, so I think it was them together, deciding, pickingwhat project to work on and they picked the First Street Garage.After that, for the people that dont know, Peter Scholtes was aco-author of the team handbook while he was at Joiner Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  6. 6. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsAssociates with Brian Joiner. Peter also taught on the stage withDeming at the two-day seminars.He then also wrote what is my absolute favorite managementbook, "The Leaders Handbook," by Peter Scholtes. That wassuccessful, and they had several more.The mayor of Madison, Joe Sensenbrenner, wrote up that"Bringing Quality." I think the title was "Bringing Quality to CityHall" or something like that. There was actually a HarvardBusiness Review article, so that you can get online.It was a couple of years; I think, of them doing stuff, but duringthis one summer, they had another training session. I actuallywent to one of those training sessions to learn more aboutexactly what was going on. And at that time, I think I was in highschool, maybe I was in college.Joe: Will the blog be more than lets say just Doctor Demingexcerpts? What is the blog going to be about?John: Its one of the things that Im a little touchy aboutbecause I am opinionated and I cant help being opinionated. Itsgoing to come through. That means that when Im going to write,I want it to be about applying Demings ideas. But Demings ideasare not static, and even the first day The New Economics cameout, trying to interpret that, you have to use your own judgment.I am trying to have direct sources of material, so excerpts andquotes directly from Dr. Deming, or videos of Dr. Deming. Butalso, there will be a lot of my opinions coming through. And thatsactually in the first blog post.I mentioned that concept that it was going to be me. I dont mindat all people disagreeing with, in fact; I encourage it. I want it tobe a discussion, people disagreeing with the way I say somethingor even with the way what Deming says. Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  7. 7. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsI dont want it to be some debate of "What you said isnt exactlywhat Deming said." If theyre trying to make a point, thatsperfectly fine, but I understand that what Im going to be doing isgoing to be my opinion.Im probably a little oversensitive to it because historically, Iveseen what happens. Im opinionated, and so Ill say things andits very...without a lot of ambiguity. Theres something directlyto disagree with, and thats fine.Im trying to make clear youre arguing with what my opinion isof what Deming said, not what Deming said himself, unless youretalking about a specific quote or something that he had.One of the things thats really important is that Deming continuedto learn his entire life. He was teaching these things in his 90s.He taught the four-day seminars and while he was doing that, hewas learning and adjusting and changing.If you tried to stop and say no, The New Economics is the lastwritten thing, were going to just use that, it isnt Demingmanagement.His design was not that I designed a perfect system, now weredone. It was this is what we have right now, and he would havecontinued to learn and adapt and change.I will try to be significantly more of the Deming message on theDeming blog. I have another thing that Ive done on my personalblog, years ago, was Ive added my own two additions to thedeadly diseases. I happen to believe that if Deming was alive, hewould agree with these two additions, but thats my opinion.Other people can disagree.I believe that excessive CEO pay has become destructive andobviously out of whack, I think its fundamentally not possible tohave respect for people in the Deming and Lean sense and take Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  8. 8. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsso much money from the company that most CEOs do now; that’sa deadly disease. And its even more than just the CEO. Itescalates all the executive salaries and they then have very shortterm focus in order to try to overcome this, and all sorts of badthings happen from it. I think it raises to the level of becoming adeadly disease.The other one, this one theres a little...The evidence, I think itseasier to challenge this one, is I think the intellectual propertysystem is completely messed up. It is destroying innovationinstead of helping innovation. I think theres less certainty thatDeming would have thought that was a problem. Almost certainlynot put that on the Deming blog, because I think thats stretchingtoo far into my opinion versus just talking about Demingsmanagement ideas. So, thats one of the lines Im trying to drawis trying to make the Deming blog itself a little more focused.Joe: I think all bloggers have to have an opinion; thats whatmakes a blog special.John: I agree.Joe: I always think of Lean and Dr. Deming being sointertwined. Could you explain that and maybe explain somedifferences?John: Yes, this is one area where I think I disagree with asignificant portion of the Deming community. Dr. Deming wasextremely vocal about the problems with TQM, and with theBaldridge Award and with Six Sigma. And in my opinion, many ofthe Deming communities stretched that to Lean. I think thatswrong. To me, Demings ideas are not prescriptive at all. Lean isjust renaming the Toyota production system. The Toyotaproduction system is the best, in my opinion, long-termapplication of the Deming management system. There are thingsabout the Toyota production system that dont align perfectly Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  9. 9. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemswith Demings ideas. There are also things in Lean that Demingdoesnt really talk about.When I think of Lean, the first thing, I think of is Toyota, and Isee, OK, so the stuff comes from Toyota, so you have Toyota as apreeminent example, and I think therere all sorts of wonderfulstuff that Toyota does. When you get from Toyota into Lean, youthen start to get, well, what still counts as Lean? How little canwe do, how different can it be, and how watered-down can it be?I see plenty of problems with many, many implementations ofLean. They are surface, theyre just using a few tools, and theydont have respect for people. They dont understand variation,which understanding variation is a big thing in Deming; I thinkits a much smaller thing in Lean.But its understood by Toyota. I think because Toyota doesnt talkabout it much, I think in Lean it gets downplayed. And for thecompanies whose processes are not as solidly working asToyotas, they run into some problems.Therere two big problems with Lean, in my opinion, in the actualimplementation. One is I dont know of any management systemthat most of the implementations of it arent bad. So, when youtalk about Lean, if you go to 50 percent of the companies andpoint out 40 things that are pitiful about their current Leanimplementation, Im not surprised. In my opinion, thats not acriticism of Lean, thats a criticism of the way they implemented itat that particular company.Now, the other problem is that Toyota did some things so wellthat they started not to pay that much attention to it, so whenothers come and look at Toyota and try to copy Toyota, theydont see it. Toyota in my understanding doesnt use controlcharts nearly as much as any other Deming-type organizationsdo. I think the reason for that is Toyotas processes got to be so Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  10. 10. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsgood that the payback was not as big spending time worryingabout so many control charts.They downplayed it because their processes were working sowell, and they have so many other supporting elements thatmake it so that you dont have to rely as much on a control chart.That is fine for Toyota, but for a company that is not assophisticated, not having control charts is a big problem, andLean makes them much less effective. I think that when peopletry to look at Toyota and copy Toyota, one of the things theyforget is, were not Toyota to start with. Some of the things thatToyota doesnt have to do, we might have to do. We needtraining wheels; Toyota doesnt. So, I think thats one of theplaces where people make mistakes.Divergence between Toyota and Deming I think are on perfectlyacceptable decisions by Toyota, and then there are some things Idont agree with, but I can understand that Toyota does thingsthat way. I think Toyota still uses to a greater extent thanDeming would advise annual performance reviews. Toyota usestargets more than Deming would like.Now, Ive written about this on my Curious Cat blog. Demingsideas are all based upon the management system thats actuallyin place in your organization. There are many problems withusing targets in the way that distorts behavior inside theorganization. But if you have processes in place to avoid many ofthe pitfalls of things like targets, targets can provide use inscoping what the problem is, what youre aiming to do so that ifyou are trying to achieve five-percent improvement on thisparticular process, each year for the next four years, that willshape how you try to attack that problem differently than if yousay, we need to reduce the time and cost of this process by 50percent this year. Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  11. 11. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsYou have to take a totally different approach to those two efforts,and Toyota does a good job of understanding that and makingthose choices, and also of not being in the position of, oh, youknow what? We had a target of reducing this by 50 percent. Well,weve gotten to 40 percent, now we can do a lot of really badstuff to get to 50 percent, so we can check off that we made it, orwe can accept that were going to keep trying to do the rightthings. If we only get the 40 percent, we only get the 40percent."Toyota will do that. They will only get the 40 percent. A lot ofother companies will make the bad choice to get the 50 percentlargely because of things like bonuses being tied to it, thepersons future promotion being tied to failing to meet the sillyarbitrary target of 50 percent. I think that there are differences inthe way that Toyota chooses to do some things.Theres a great quote from one of the Toyotas. I cant totallyremember it. It was when I think, he got the personal DemingAward at that presentation by JUSE, the Union of JapaneseScientists and Engineers. Theyre the ones who give out theDeming Prize each year, and they also give a Deming Award toindividuals. Essentially we think of Demings ideas each day aswere applying these things.I think that, especially in the older school, Toyota did. They hadan absolute understanding of Deming, and they were customizingit for Toyota. I think, to some extent, the current crop of peopleat Toyota, a lot of them, have a lot of understanding of Deming.But I think that me being a Deming person, I think Toyota wouldbenefit from having a lot of the newer people pay a little moreattention to Demings ideas.Joe: Do you think Deming would be happy with the outcomesthat Toyotas generating? Would he be tickled by that?John: Yes. No. Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  12. 12. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsI think hed be happy. I dont think hed be tickled to death. Anumber of things about Deming that personally are very close tothe way that I see things, so often would jump to the sameconclusions Deming did. Deming would be happy with goodresults, but he would never be satisfied. Im the same way. Ithink that he would be happy with a lot of the good things thatToyota has done. But just like Tai Chi Ono, hed never besatisfied. He would always be thinking that things could be donebetter. Things could be improved. One thing that, to me, is justobviously bad about the Toyota set up now is the dealer network,especially in the U. S. I just dont know about the rest of theworld. Its basically pitiful and has been pitiful for 50 years.Toyota is trapped. Essentially, the political system in the UnitedStates makes it very difficult for car manufacturers to havedecent control over a big part of the customer experience, whichis buying your car and having your car serviced and paidattention to. So Toyota has a real challenge. I dont know thesolution to providing good-quality interaction directly with me asthe customer when I want to buy a Toyota or when I want tohave my car serviced or whatever.Its still Toyotas problem to deal with, in my opinion, and its afailure of Toyota to have not dealt with that better than theyhave. Now its an extremely difficult position to put Toyota in. Ithink most people would let Toyota slide and say, "Well, what canthey do? Thats out of their hands."I think that Dr. Deming was extremely hard on giving executivesa pass on something that is not well done. I think he would havea similar opinion about that problem. I think there is still plentyfor Toyota to do. One of the big things that people miss aboutDeming is he was extremely tolerant. He had respect for all theworkers but really for the people who were on the factory floor orat the front line. Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  13. 13. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsHe didnt criticize them. But for executives he had an extremelyhigh level of expectation, and I do, too. Its one of the thingswhere again I think I disagree with the Deming community, but Ithink Deming was on my side. But thats my opinion. He was noteasy on executives. He did not accept that the failures that theymade that then resulted in layoffs were just, "Well, thats asystems problem."Deming was very big into most of the time you have to focus onfixing the system. You dont blame the worker because thats noteffective. You need to improve the system. In my opinion,Deming didnt state this that I know extremely well, which is oneof the reasons why I think in the Deming community, theres nota big acceptance of the idea that executives are held to a higherbar.But the way that I look at it is executives are the ones that areinfluencing the shape that system takes. While the problem maybe caused by the system and that there are many things thatthey personally cant control, theyre still in my opinionresponsible for those outcomes. I will be hard on thoseexecutives, and Deming was hard on those executives even if thechallenges are really hard to deal with.You have the job of CEO. Its hard and you have to be willingfrom my perspective to accept that the expectations of you arevery high, hard, and very challenging. There are things that youhave to figure out solutions to that are not easy, like how to dealwith the dealer networks problem when you have very littlecontrol.The states have all sorts of rules, the dealers who give tons ofmoney to the state legislatures have set it up so its very difficultfor the car manufactures, any of them--Toyota, Ford, GM,Honda--to create a network that is serving their customers. The Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  14. 14. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsdealers have their essentially franchise, and changing how theydo business is very difficult.Joe: When we talk about Lean and Toyota and Dr. Demingsmanagement system, is that the shortcoming of it, is on thedemand side? Because theyve done extremely well on the supplyside, I would say.John: On this I agree with you. I think theyve done extremelywell really across the board. This particular thing I think theywould have dealt with if it wasnt for the political issue thatschallenging to get at. But Lean in general, when I look at otherimplementations, applying Lean in a manufacturing environmentis in some sense very easy compared to putting it in your salesdepartment because there are so many good examples. Many ofthe tools that exist right now tie directly to a manufacturingenvironment. There are so many experienced consultants onexactly what to do in many different manufacturing situations. Ithink that Lean is still more developed in that manufacturingproduction kind of set up.Another thing where Deming communities sometimes overreach,in my opinion, is on individuals. I think individuals like TaiichiOhno make a huge difference in whats happened.I believe if you took Tai Chi Ono, and instead of him being alive,then he was alive today, and he was focused on things like salesand software development, we would have all sorts of great newinsight into those areas that would allow us to make a lot of greatstrides that he made largely in production.I dont think its a weakness in Lean, but I think that theres beenmore effort and more people have done a lot of great work inmanufacturing. So theres a lot of good stuff there.One of the things that I find funny with Lean in the softwaredevelopment world is Toyota was not in the big forefront in Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  15. 15. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemssoftware development using Lean principles or really in manyaspects of using software, in my opinion. They have lots of reallygood engineering design. I mean they came up with things likePrius. Theyre doing all sorts of great work with robotics lookingway out into the future.Software development they have not been spectacularly great.They have, from my limited knowledge, seen that, "Hey, look. Alot of people have taken Lean ideas, applied them to softwaredevelopment. Theyre doing a lot of really great, cool, andinteresting things." Then Toyotas software development peoplehave looked at those ideas and tried to adopt some of those ideasthemselves, which is great and wonderful.But it also shows theres another area where I think Toyota, eventhough theyre Toyota-- theyre what Lean came from --didntnecessarily apply it perfectly inside their own organization.Joe: Why do you think Dr. Demings teachings seemed to haveflourished so much more than the others? You think of Dr. Juranor Crosby. Is it just because of Toyotas success or?John: No, because I think most people dont even reallyunderstand the connection between Toyota and Deming. Toyota Ithink won the first Deming Prize. Honda paid attention toDeming, and Honda does lots of great stuff, but they are not astied to Demings ideas. Why did Deming flourish? Well, I think, inmy opinion, because his ideas are more effective. Thats thebottom line. One thing is I think some people would disagree,especially those that dont understand how tied good Lean stuff isto Deming. I think Deming was very open to learning, adapting,and changing. So he learned and adapted from lots of really goodpeople.Ackoff is one that I would put in as someone who theres so muchto learn from. Deming was smart enough to learn from him,adapt, and pay attention, and I think he did that more than many Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  16. 16. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsof the others because some of these things come down to justwhat happens.For whatever reason, Deming didnt believe in setting up aDeming consultancy and having a whole bunch of people work forhim and do stuff for him. The Deming Prize, which is anotherthing that keeps his name alive and paid attention to, wascreated by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers.Theyre the ones who sponsored Demings talks in the 1950s, andI think they made publications from those talks and then soldthem. They had a profit. So they then decided to set up thisDeming Prize, so that keeps his name in there. But in the last fiveor six years I see Demings name coming up in two contexts, andI dont see really hardly anything from any of the other people.Its coming up from the people in Agile software developmentthat are, in my opinion, more sophisticated. They first start to usesome of these Agile software development principles, and thenprogrammers and software developers, who Ive been workingwith a lot in the last 10 years; I love them.One of the things thats great about them is they have a thirst forknowledge and quest for learning at all times. So they have goneout and keep learning. In doing that, one of the things they foundwas, "Hey, this Deming guy has a lot of stuff thats very relatedto what were doing it. In fact, a lot of it sprang from Deming," soa lot of the really good people in that community have gottenonto Deming, and are looking into it, and talking about it.In the Lean community, you have the people, who I think arereally good, know about Deming, learning about Deming, andtalking about Deming.The advantage of this, in my opinion, is if you have the peoplewho have the best understanding of how to make things betterare the ones that are looking at Deming, and learning Deming, Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  17. 17. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsthen when theyre talking about Deming, theyre making peoplesuccessful, people associate good things with Dr. Deming.If you have people that dont understand things as well, and donthave as much success, and they are talking about Six Sigma, orsomething else, well, that doesnt do Six Sigma much good.Thats when I said earlier that the real reasons, I think Demingsideas are prospering is because theyre more effective. Thatswhat will win over the long-term, and their challenges with doingDr. Demings ideas.Another reason why I think Deming has had such a long-termsuccess is, one of the things that makes it challenging is,Demings ideas are not prescriptive. He doesnt have a cookbookfor, "Do X, Y, and Z, and then youll get a bonus." It makes itfrustrating for people when theyre first trying to apply things.They read some of Deming; they listen to some of Deming, andthey dont know what to do next, and that is, I think, a faircriticism. Its a problem that people have when they want toimplement Deming. They start to pick up some of these ideas andlike them, but they dont know what to do next.Thats a problem initially, but it actually allows for him to stayrelevant and important for a long time, because what you have todo is understand the ideas, and you have to apply them in yourspecific context yourself. That may be a bit more difficult to getstarted, but it means that youre not hamstrung by some sort ofsimple-minded, "You have to do X, Y, Z," and if you dont...As the world changes, and that sort of cookbook no longer works,well, it no longer works. Deming, its very difficult for me to seehow that happens. However, variation is being generated; itsgoing to be important. You have to understand variation. Whenyoure looking at human systems and having people, you have to Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  18. 18. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemshave an understanding of psychology, a respect for people, andmake things go together, and manage human systems well.Deming talks about that, but hes not very specific or prescriptiveat all about, "Well, what exactly am I supposed to do?" One of myfavorite small little things from Lean is, Deming really talkedabout understanding Psychology as one of his four pillars. I thinkrespect for people is a much more powerful label on that sameidea.How you actually show respect for people is not very prescriptivein Deming. It does have some things that are fairly prescriptive,like reduce extrinsic motivation, build intrinsic motivation, andget rid of things like performance appraisals. Get rid of arbitrarynumerical targets. Show people how they are connected.Deming didnt use the term value stream very much, but thesame concept was definitely there. Essentially with Deming, whenhe talks about joy and work, one of the keys was tying theperson to their place in the value stream, so they see that I amproviding a valuable service to this end customer at this part ofthe value stream.In the great Charlie Chaplin film "Modern Times," that sort ofdesign of the person being a gadget in a big huge machine,cranking out stuff, and all you do is turn a screw all day long,every day, every week, every year; thats not very fulfilling.If you understand what your role is in this sort of value stream,and how youre helping the end customer get what they want,that does allow people to get meaning from their work.Now, you still also want them to do more than just turn screwsevery time. But that idea of connecting you to the value stream issomewhat prescriptive in Deming, but its so broad that I dontsee how that goes out of vogue at any point. I think thatsanother reason why Demings ideas have flourished. Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  19. 19. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: Im not sure that it was his presentation skills thatflourished, because he could be pretty dry.John: He was very dry, but I liked it. Heres one of the thingsthats funny. If you took his presentations to a speech coach,they definitely would want to totally and completely revamppretty much everything. But he had a huge amount of charisma.If you watch a five-minutes, I think all you get is this person is ahorrible speaker. But he filled these four-day seminars withthousands of people over and over and over again.Now, most of the people you see today, filling it with thousandsof people are very difficult. If they do fill it with thousands ofpeople, theyre very polished. They could be a politician up there,talking about whatever theyre talking about.Deming did have charisma, and people really did feel it whenthey were around him, even though the presentation style isextremely dry and sort of crazy.The aim of the W. Edwards Deming Institute is to fosterunderstanding of the Deming System of Profound Knowledge toadvance commerce, prosperity and peace.Now, to advance commerce, prosperity and peace was whatDeming talked about as his personal aims that he had for himselfas a consultant. I think thats incredibly powerful, and I think itdirectly ties to the thing you were talking about, of hispresentation style.There was a core respect for people that was in everything thatDeming was talking about. From that sort of core principle, thepower of the speech, or peoples connection to the speech wasdriven. Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  20. 20. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsNow, thousands of people went to these things. And there werehundreds, or at a specific one, thousands that just didnt like thisstuff at all, crazy bunch of Looney Toons.But lots of people connected to it very passionately and would goback to more and more of them. I know my father went to atleast five or six of these four-day seminars. They would havenotes and keep going forever.But Demings connection to a very deep understanding issomething that I share. And the idea, it sounds commerce,prosperity and peace, sounds like some highfaluting, unattainablegoal; I think, to most people. And its a problem that peoplewould see a name like that and say thats way too grandiose, itsgoing to stop you from being able to make any progress or doanything.But I think its core to what Deming was about. And its very hardfor people to understand, especially people who grew up rich theirwhole life.Deming grew up in rural Iowa; I think it was, or Wyoming. Lifewas hard. The Great Depression went on. Then, there was WorldWar Two. Then he was over in Japan, recovering from thedisaster of World War Two.He helped the War Department on production matters during thewar, and then he was in Japan and further developing hismanagement system.Peace is not something pulled out of the air. He sat throughWorld War One and World War Two. He was deeply involved inJapan for decades, recovering from a massively destructive war.He also traveled to the Third World, which I did and my fatherdid, and there are billions of people today that dont have runningwater and dont have enough food. Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  21. 21. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsCommerce and prosperity are what will allow those people tohave running water, running electricity and food. Peace is whatwill allow those people to enjoy their lives.I think that its difficult for most people to connect to that idea,but I think it was core in everything Deming was doing, and Ibelieve that it came through in his presentations. That was one ofthe reasons why his not very dramatic and not polishedpresentation style still drew people in.He didnt really talk about those ideas at all, but I think peoplecan sense it over time, and you see that he had a connection tothese peoples lives who were working in the Ford plant, whowere being...having their life sucked out of them in these veryunforgiving plants that many of our large organizations had backthen, and to some extent, still do today.I think it fundamentally came from world wars and the GreatDepression and seeing Japan. But I think then he came back andsaw that you need to have joy in work. And that, for me, is thekey.This was a long time ago, when I was first trying to figure outwhat I wanted to do and how these things tied together. I reallylike Demings ideas, and I like that theyre effective, but what Icare about is really those things, commerce, prosperity, peace,joy in work, and joy in life. If I found something that will be moreeffective tomorrow, I have no problem abandoning Demings stuffand going to something new and different. I dont think itllhappen. I think there will be new ideas that can be plugged, but itisnt my beliefs.My desire is not to further Demings ideas. Its to do these otherthings, commerce, prosperity, and peace, and I think Demingsideas are the best way to get there. I think thats what Demingwas trying to do when he was finding every good idea he could tohelp make that happen, but his driving force; I think, was trying Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  22. 22. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsto make peoples lives better, and thats very different than mostconsultants driving force, especially today.Its very difficult for people today to grow up in the United Statesand appreciate the value of prosperity and peace to the billions ofpeople in the world, but I dont think it was difficult for Deming tounderstand.Joe: I think thats a great thought to leave the podcast end on,actually, John. Where is Deming Blog located? How can someoneread it and contact you?John: The Deming Blog is at For me, you canprobably just search for John Hunter, but its will link to all sorts of stuff that I am involved in.Joe: I hope to have you on another podcast. I think you havea...John: That would be great.Joe: To talk about some of the things that you do. Your CuriousCat blog has been around for an awful long time. Youve done alot of things in...whether you want to call it management, Dr.Deming, or Lean. Youre a great wealth of knowledge there. Iwant to thank you very much and I appreciate it.This podcast will be available in the Business901 blog site andalso the Business901 iTunes store. So thanks, John.John: Great. Thank you. Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901
  23. 23. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Joseph T. Dager Business901 Phone: 260-918-0438 Skype: Biz901 Fax: 260-818-2022 Email: Website: Twitter: @business901Joe Dager is president of Business901, a firm specializing inbringing the continuous improvement process to the sales andmarketing arena. He takes his process thinking of over thirtyyears in marketing within a wide variety of industries and appliesit through Lean Marketing and Lean Service Design.Visit the Lean Marketing Lab: Being part of this community willallow you to interact with like-minded individuals andorganizations, purchase related tools, use some free ones andreceive feedback from your peers. Marketing with Lean Book Series included in membership Lean Sales and Marketing Workshop Lean Service Design Workshop Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 Copyright Business901