The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Posts Tagged ‘systems thinking’

Leadership and the New Science

Leadership and the New Science: Learning about Organizations from an Orderly Universe by Margaret Wheatley does a good job of exploring how to view organizations as a system. A quote by Meg Wheatley from an interview long after the publication of the book does a good job of capturing the ideas explored in the book: […]

Finding Joy In Learning: Applying Deming’s Theory to Schools

Presentation by Michael King and Jane Kovacs at the 2015 Deming in Education conference – Finding Joy In Learning: Applying Deming’s Theory to Schools. The speakers work for Quality Learning Australasia (QLA). QLA’s website has quite a bit of useful information. One of the tools they used in the presentation is a Lotus diagram which […]

Using Deming’s Ideas Today to Promote Trust and Meaningful Work

Joshua Macht wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review (published in June) : The Management Thinker We Should Never Have Forgotten. In that article he explores the importance of Dr. Deming’s ideas today. He quotes from the response W. Edwards Deming sent Peter Senge on his book, and which Senge included in his introduction […]

Exploring Complex Problems Using Systems Thinking

Cornell Policy Review published a special issue exploring the application of systems thinking to public policy problems. Graduate students were given an introduction to systems thinking and then applied the concepts to address issues their field. Students applied systems thinking to a wide array of problems, and they reported finding DSRP [distinctions, systems, relationships, and […]

Specification-based Management is Not Sufficient

Guest post by Bill Bellows (originally written as a comment about the question of how Dr. Deming viewed six sigma). While Dr. Deming was known for his appreciation of continuous improvement, he was also know for encouraging us to think of variation and improvement from a systems perspective. As such, I do not believe he […]

The Schools Our Children Deserve by Alfie Kohn

Alfie Kohn starts with an excellent discussion his fear of applying business improvement ideas in the education setting. …And yet, Dr. Deming’s work offered some principles at an abstract level that when pulled out of a workplace context turn out to be equally revolutionary, powerful, and constructive in virtually any other kind of environment, including […]

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 […]

The Intellectual Foundation of Modern Improvement

The video above shows Don Berwick’s presentation at the IHI/BMJ International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care, 13 April 2016. He starts the presentation with the Red Bead Game (see related posts on our blog: Lessons From the Red Bead Experiment with Dr. Deming, The Red Bead Experiment with Dr. W. Edwards Deming). […]

Lean Management Journal Articles by Bill Bellows

Bill Bellows serves on the board of trustees for The W. Edwards Deming Institute. He has been writing articles for the Lean Management Journal for several years that discuss how to apply Deming’s ideas (and related management improvement ideas) in organizations. Those articles include: The Last Straw And, so it goes, when we relentlessly focus […]