The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Archive for the ‘systems thinking’ Category

Systems Thinking: Feedback Loops

Appreciation for a system is one of the four components of Deming’s management system. In this context the most common item to think of is Deming’s diagram of an organization as a system. That is a powerful diagram. When thinking of appreciation for a system within the Deming context the view of the organization as […]

True North Can Really Be “Management by Results” in Disguise

Guest post by Mike Stoecklein I hear a lot of talk in healthcare about the importance of defining “true north” for the organization. If you search the internet, you’ll find many definitions of true north and examples from organizations. Here are a few (all are from healthcare organizations): The company’s governing objective. Example given: deliver […]

Institute Leadership

Point 7 in Dr. Deming’s 14 obligations of management: Institute leadership (see point 12 and Chapter 8 in Out of the Crisis). The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers. […]

Lean Blog Podcast with Kevin Cahill

Lean Blog Podcast #238 – Kevin Cahill, on his Grandfather, W. Edwards Deming (download). Quote from Kevin in the podcast: Somebody at any level does have some sphere of influence that they can impact… by just thinking from a systems standpoint, by looking at the organization differently than some of the other folks who view […]

A Powerful Tool: The Capacity Matrix

I attended a 4 day seminar by David Langford about 15 years ago. The seminar was on using Deming’s ideas to improve education. I wasn’t in the education field, but I believe what I wrote about earlier: we don’t need to restrict our management learning to our industry. And thankfully my boss shared that thinking […]

Standardization Doesn’t Stamp Out Creativity

I understand some of the ideas Dr. Deming expressed challenge people’s beliefs and are difficult to accept. I can accept that. Certain exclamations I have more trouble accepting. One of the things I find annoying, in this way, is that reducing variation and using standardization is said to mean everyone has to be the same […]

Create Constancy of Purpose

The purpose of creating constancy of purpose is to maximize the benefits to the organization of the other facets of Deming’s management system. It is not an end, it is the means to an end.

People Copy Examples and Wonder Why They Don’t Succeed

People copy examples and then they wonder what is the trouble. They look at examples and without theory they learn nothing. W. Edwards Deming in The Deming of America. See a longer quote with more context. We can learn from looking at what others do well. But when we try and copy practices, processes, techniques, […]