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Is Deming passe or was he ahead of his time?

Some of you who are familiar with W. Edwards Deming, the American Statistician, may think of him as the "Father of Total Quality Management (TQM)". While it's true....he taught "systems thinking" to Japanese automakers, I think Deming was really about heartfelt leadership. 

Why? He focused on people as the key to quality, productivity and profitability. He truly cared about people and he was extremely concerned about what "the prevailing styling of management" was doing to people. I just wish I had met him before he left us at the age of 93 back in 1993. He absolutely gets my vote as a Heartfelt Leader. 

If you aren't familiar with Deming's fourteen Key Principles (from his book "Out of the Crisis"), you can see the "readers digest version" on wikipedia at

I especially like #11 (Eliminate work standards [quotas] on the factory floor. Substitute with Leadership.) I'd like to know which of his 14 principals especially resonate with you.

Reader Comments (2)

The number four make sense to me, I believe that developing good relationship with others help building confidence and trust which will ease problem solving. Longtime partner certainly make it easier to discuss openly.

4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of a price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move towards a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.

August 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterJacques Lepage

# 4 is a really good one, Jacques. Building relationships based on loyalty and trust, where both parties have the other's best interest at heart, can lead to greater innovation, too. Thanks for sharing!

August 30, 2013 | Registered CommenterDeb Boelkes
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