After learning of Dr. Deming in the 1980s, I was fortunate to meet him in 1990 (see handshake in photo) and later attended his last Four Day Seminar in December 1993. Sitting to my right, throughout this seminar was a Rabbi, who sat quietly all day, for 4 days, praying for Dr. Deming. In asking the seminar organizer why a frail Dr. Deming, now in a wheelchair, was delivering this seminar, the Rabbi learned "you don't understand, there is no place Dr. Deming would rather be." What I gained from Dr. Deming on these two occasions was the start of a personal transformation, to which I credit Dr. Deming and those who he worked with to launch The Deming Institute. It was an honor to serve as a Board Member for 12 years and then a full-time staff member for 2.5 years. There is no organization I would rather donate my time, money, and energy to than one dedicated to the aim of enriching society through the Deming Philosophy.
The commitment of the Deming Institute to spreading the impact of Deming's amazing System of Profound Knowledge takes your breath away. These people, like Deming himself - while he was alive, go well above and beyond what anyone would expect. It's not just their passion, it's also their intelligence which makes a difference. Further, Deming's teachings have already made life better for people throughout the world. Yet, most people are not aware of the deep well of Deming insights and methods. That means people and organizations are struggling or failing needlessly. As Deming said, "There is no substitute for knowledge." Well, through The Deming Institute and it's programs, seminars, and online learning, Dr. W. Edwards Deming lives on.
The Deming Institute was instrumental in teaching a company that I cofounded how to work together, break down barriers, focus on understanding and improving systems instead of finger pointing and blaming people, and many other important lessons. We were able to improve trust significantly between the workforce and management, and people felt like their team members had their back. It became a much more fun place to work, and morale improved tremendously. Not only were people beating down our doors to work for us, but I was surprised how this gave us a strategic advantage when we were bidding on acquisitions of other companies. We had a clear advantage over the other bidders because of the health of our organizational culture. People want a work environment where they are trusted and their voices are heard.
The Deming Institute helps companies create work environments where people are allowed to take pride in their work. If a worker sees something broken in the system, their voice will be heard and management will respond and fix the system, instead of vilifying the worker. This takes long term thinking and a commitment to something bigger than this quarter's bottom line. Investment in quality and in the future helps ensure job security for everyone. An aim that everyone should win helps lead to joy in work for all.
None of this is easy. Deming didn't offer a quick fix. You'll see things improve quickly once you start. And over time, your company will become more and more resilient as everyone adopts the new philosophy and works together toward a common aim, continually learning and improving together. This journey never ends!
Dr. W. Edwards Deming , The famous American Statistician , Management Thinker and Teacher , revered in Japan , honoured by the Emperor of Japan and the President of the United States :
When this person establishes a body in his name to carry forward his intellectual legacy - we should realise how genuine and credible his intentions were . He did this after a lot of thought and discussions with his students , his friends and his family members .
The Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers established a prize in his name in 1950 - The Deming Prize . The inscription on that Medal reads - The Right Quality and Uniformity are Foundations of of Commerce , Prosperity and Peace .
When Dr. Deming established the institute , The statement of purpose read “A body set up to lay the foundations of Commerce , Prosperity and Peace” .
He reached out to people through his public and in-house seminars (which lasted for four days) - but he essentially worked alone .
When he felt that he was nearing the end of his blessedly long life , and he felt that his work needed to be carried forward , he set up the institute . This was in November 1993 , and he passed away in December 1993 aged 93 .
The point is , he could have established a body earlier on and run it to generate profits ; but he wanted this to strictly be a non-profit organisation that furthered his work and impacted lives positively . That’s one of the main reasons he insisted that members from his family be personally involved . It is this aspect that makes the institute special . It’s more about ‘getting the message to the world’ than about making profits . The purity of your intent precedes your ‘qualifications’ to be a part of this movement .
Diana Deming-Cahill , Linda Deming-Ratcliff (Dr. Deming’s daughters) and Kevin-Edwards Cahill (Dr. Deming’s grandson) are amongst the Board Members as testimony to the statement above .
The work carried out by the institute is done with an intention to help people take pride and joy in whatever they do and thus making the world a better place to live in . They organise programmes that range from half a day to three days making people aware of and carry forward , this great legacy . Currently they are using the internet and technology to further the message .
What is the Deming Philosophy about ?
The Deming Philosophy is about looking at all kinds of Organisations as a whole , and working at doing the best for that whole .
This is as opposed to chopping up the Organisation into bits and pieces , and “managing” them by “encouraging” them to maximise their own local “scores” irrespective of how they do it and irrespective of the harm which may be caused elsewhere .
Very strong in the reasoning are the multiplying benefits of genuine Cooperation compared with the multiplying wasteful and destructive consequences of Competition and Conflict .
This approach builds upon the good that is observed all around and building upon that which eventually drives out the bad .
It all began as long ago as the 1920s with the development of a new understanding concerning the existence of , and managing ,Variation .
Unwanted and harmful Variation causes decreased reliability , consistency , dependability and trustworthiness .
This leads to a new insight that a large majority of problems and inadequacies lie in the systems within which people work and live rather than the people themselves .
The institute believes firmly in this and operates in the same manner . I believe that any donation made to the institute will only enhance the purpose of the institute and lay the foundations of Commerce , Prosperity and Peace all over the world .