146 episodes

Interviews with members of The Deming Institute community, including industry leaders, practitioners, educators, Deming family members and others who share their stories of transformation and success through the innovative management and quality theories of Dr. W. Edwards Deming.

In Their Own Words The Deming Institute

    • Business

Interviews with members of The Deming Institute community, including industry leaders, practitioners, educators, Deming family members and others who share their stories of transformation and success through the innovative management and quality theories of Dr. W. Edwards Deming.

    How to Test for Understanding: Awaken Your Inner Deming (part 22)

    How to Test for Understanding: Awaken Your Inner Deming (part 22)

    How do you know that the learning you and your colleagues are doing is leading to changes in behavior? In this episode, Bill and Andrew discuss little tests you can do to see if the transformation you're working toward is really happening. 
    0:00:02.0 Andrew Stotz: My name is Andrew Stotz and I'll be your host as we continue our journey into the teachings of Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Today, I'm continuing my discussion with Bill Bellows, who has spent 30 years helping people apply Dr. Deming's ideas to become aware of how their thinking is holding them back from their biggest opportunity. Today is episode 22, and the title is, Test for Understanding Transformation. Bill, take it away.
     
    0:00:30.7 Bill Bellows: Hey, we've been at this podcast for about a year now, right?
     
    0:00:36.6 AS: It's incredible how long it's been.
     
    0:00:39.8 BB: And in the beginning you said, I've been at this for 30 years, right?
     
    0:00:43.7 AS: Yeah.
     
    [laughter]
     
    0:00:46.7 BB: Maybe we should change that to 31.
     
    0:00:48.3 AS: Oh, man, there you go.
     
    0:00:51.2 BB: All right.
     
    0:00:53.0 AS: That reminds me of the joke of the janitor at the exhibition of the dinosaurs and the group of kids was being led through the museum and their guide had to run to the bathroom. And so they were looking at this dinosaur and they asked the janitor, "How old is that dinosaur?" And he said, "Well, that dinosaur is 300,032 years old." "Oh, how do they know it so exactly?" He said, "Well, it was 300,000 when I started working here 30 years ago."
     
    [laughter]
     
    0:01:28.8 AS: So there we are.
     
    0:01:31.4 BB: That's great.
     
    0:01:33.3 AS: Thirty-one years.
     
    0:01:34.0 BB: All right, all right, all right. So first thing I wanna say is, as you know and our listeners know, I go back and listen to this podcast and I interact with people that are listening too, and I get some feedback. And in episode 19, I said the Germans were developing jet engines in the late 1940s. No, it turns out the Germans were developing jet engines in the late 1930s and they had a fighter plane with a turbine engine, a developmental engine in the late '30s. They didn't get into full-scale development and production. Production didn't start till the tail end of the war. But anyway, but I was off by a decade. In episode 21, I mentioned that checks were awarded within Rocketdyne for improvement suggestions and individuals who submitted this and it could be for an individual, maybe it was done for two people, three people, I don't know, but they got 10% of the annual savings on a suggestion that was implemented in a one-time lump sum payment.
     
    0:02:36.1 BB: So you got 10% of the savings for one year and I thought, imagine going to the president of the company and let's say I walk into the president's office and you're my attorney. And I walk in and I say, "Hey, Mr. President, I've got a suggestion. You know that suggestion program?" He says, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Come on in, come on in. And who's this guy with you?" "Well that's Andrew Stotz." "And who's Andrew?" "He's my attorney, and he and I have been thinking about what this is worth." "Well, tell me about it." "No, well, before we get into it, we've got this form to sign here."
     
    0:03:10.9 AS: Andrew.
     
    0:03:11.1 BB: "Right? And you wanna see the idea or not? But we don't have to share it." But I thought, imagine people going to great length and really taking advantage of it. Well, a few of us that were involved in our InThinking Roadmap training, what we started to propose is we want a piece of the action, Andrew. So the proposal we had is that, Andrew, if you come to one of our classes, a study session on The New Economics or Managing Variation of a System, we'll have you sign a roster, right? And so if you are ever given a check for big numbers, Andrew, then we're gonna claim that our training contributed to your idea and all we ask is 10%, right?
     
    0:03:58.1 AS: Of your 10%.
     
    0:04:00.9 B

    • 36 min
    Transparency Among Friends: Awaken Your Inner Deming (Part 21)

    Transparency Among Friends: Awaken Your Inner Deming (Part 21)

    How can you make lasting change at your organization? Recruit your friends! In this discussion, Bill Bellows lays out his experience recruiting and working with a small group to make big changes in a large company. 
    0:00:02.5 Andrew Stotz: My name is Andrew Stotz and I'll be your host as we continue our journey into the teachings of Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Today I'm continuing my discussion with Bill Bellows, who has spent 30 years helping people apply Dr. Deming's ideas to become aware of how their thinking is holding them back from their biggest opportunity. Today is episode 21, and the topic is Transparency. Bill, take it away.
     
    0:00:27.1 Bill Bellows: Thank you, Andrew, and welcome to our audience. And I wanna thank a handful of people who have reached out to me on LinkedIn and elsewhere to talk about the podcast, what they're getting out of it, and which has been very interesting meeting people from around the world. And that's led me to a couple opening remarks for clarity on some of the things we've discussed in the past. And then we'll get into our feature topic. And so I say, [chuckle] is that in my early years at Rocketdyne, the Rocket Factory, a few of us started to see the synergy of what we were absorbing and integrating from, primarily from Dr. Deming and Taguchi, not just them, there were others. And we're 10 years away from really beginning to see what Russ Ackoff was able to offer us. At one point, there were eight of us. It started off with one, then another, then another. Next thing you know there's eight of us. We were what Barry Bebb and his cloud model would call advocates. Advocates of a change, of a transformation. We've been using that word. And I started to refer to us as the Gang of Eight 'cause this is the early '90's. And I think in China there was a group known as the Gang of Eight. Maybe that was the '80's. And I remember thinking, "Oh, we're like the Gang of Eight."
     
    0:01:54.7 AS: I thought that was a Gang of Four in China, is that the Gang of Four.
     
    0:01:58.9 BB: Well, there was a Gang of Four, then there was a Gang of Eight. There were both.
     
    0:02:02.4 AS: Okay.
     
    0:02:03.1 BB: But anyway, but I remember hearing that word, and then I thought, "Well, so okay, a gang of eight." We started to meet regularly, perhaps every other week, sharing ideas on how to initiate a transformation and how we operated, again, inspired by Deming. So at first we met quietly, we would meet in another building, not wanting to call attention to our efforts, not wanting to be visible for those who might have been adversaries again to borrow from Barry's model. 'Cause Barry's model was, there's, for every advocate there's a few more adversaries. So we were keeping our heads down. And this is before I knew anything about Barry, but I, we were just kind, a little bit paranoid that people would see what we're doing. And so who were the ones that were the adversary? Well, those were promoting rewards and recognition. Those were promoting individual cash incentives for suggestion programs including, as I mentioned a previous podcast, an individual could submit a suggestion award, get up to 10% of the annual savings in a onetime lump sum. They were giving out checks for $10,000, Andrew. And I would kid people, if the company's giving out checks for $10,000, do you think we've got photographs of me receiving a check for 10,000? You betcha.
     
    0:02:03.5 BB: And there it is in the newspaper, me receiving a check, not that me, [chuckle] but somebody receiving a check for $10,000, a big smile with the President. And it's in the newspaper and did that cause issues? Yes. But anyway, it wasn't obvious for some of us that we might have been, sorry, it wasn't obvious for some time that those we might have considered the adversary to our efforts were very likely not meeting to plan how to stall our efforts. [chuckle] Right. And, but it took a while to realize this, so here we are trying to be very discreet, mee

    • 32 min
    Goal Setting is Often an Act of Desperation: Part 4

    Goal Setting is Often an Act of Desperation: Part 4

    Can a 4th grade class decide on an operational definition of "joy in learning"? In part 4 of this series, educator John Dues and host Andrew Stotz discuss a real-world example of applying Deming in a classroom. This episode covers the first part of the story, with more to come in future episodes!
    0:00:02.3 Andrew Stotz: My name is Andrew Stotz, and I'll be your host as we continue our journey into the teachings of Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Today, I'm continuing my discussion with John Dues, who is part of the new generation of educators striving to apply Dr. Deming's principles to unleash student joy in learning. This is episode four about goal setting through a Deming lens. John, take it away.
     
    0:00:22.6 John Dues: Good to be back, Andrew. Yeah, we've been talking about organizational goal setting last few episodes. A couple episodes ago, we talked about those four conditions that organizations should understand prior to setting a goal. Then we sort of introduced this idea of trying to stay away from arbitrary and capricious education goals. And then we got into these 10 lessons for data analysis. And so what I thought we could do now is we've got that foundation in place is that we could take a look at an applied example in real classrooms of those 10 key lessons in action to kind of bring those alive. And I ran this project a few years ago with a teacher named Jessica Cutler. She's a fourth grade science teacher in our network. And she was going through something we call a Continual Improvement Fellowship. So we do this sort of internal fellowship where people can learn that sort of way of thinking, the tools, techniques, the theories related to the science of improvement. And then they actually take that right away and apply it to a problem in their classroom or their department or their school, depending on who it is.
     
    0:01:55.0 JD: And so what Jessica was doing, what her project ended up being was she was trying to improve the joy in learning in her fourth grade science class. So it's interesting to see how that sort of project evolved. So I thought we could revisit each of the 10 lessons and how that lesson was applied in Jessica's improvement project. And we'll maybe get through three or four of the lessons today. And then over the course of the next few episodes, kind of get to all 10 lessons and think through how they were... How that went in her improvement project.
     
    0:02:08.1 AS: Sounds like a good plan, practical application.
     
    0:02:12.0 JD: Yeah. I mean, it was interesting too, because she didn't initially sort of consider joy as a possibility. She was thinking like, I'm gonna work on improving test scores or something like that was sort of her initial brainstorm. And then sort of pivoted to this when we kind of talked through what was possible from the Deming philosophy type of standpoint. So it's interesting to see how things evolve. But just to kind of revisit, so we talked through these 10 lessons. Lesson one was "data has no meaning apart from their context." So we talked about these questions that are important, like who collected the data? How was it collected? When was it collected? Where was the data collected? What are the values themselves represent? What's that operational definition for the concept under measurement? Have there been any changes to that operational definition as the project unfolds? And so even with a project with a teacher and her students, all of those questions are relevant. They're still important just because you're dealing with students that doesn't mean anything changes on that front. So it was important for her to sort of think through all of those things as she thought through the start of her project.
     
    0:03:28.9 JD: And what her and her students came up with after they sort of decided that they were gonna focus on joy, they focused on this problem statement. And they were like, well, what do we want science class to look like? 'Cause that was sort of thei

    • 31 min
    System of Profound Wisdom: Awaken Your Inner Deming (Part 20)

    System of Profound Wisdom: Awaken Your Inner Deming (Part 20)

    Dr. Deming developed his philosophy over time and in conversations with others, not in isolation. As learners, we tend to forget that context, but it's important to remember because no one implements Deming in isolation, either. In this conversation, Bill Bellows and host Andrew Stotz discuss how there's no such thing as a purely Deming organization and why that's good.
    TRANSCRIPT
    0:00:02.2 Andrew Stotz: My name is Andrew Stotz, and I'll be your host as we continue our journey into the teachings of Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Today, I'm continuing my discussions with Bill Bellows, who has spent 30 years helping people apply Dr. Deming's ideas to become aware of how their thinking is holding them back from their biggest opportunities. Today is episode 20, entitled, System of Profound Wisdom. Bill, take it Away.
     
    0:00:31.6 Bill Bellows: But not just for 30 years. I forgot to say I started when I was 12.
     
    0:00:36.6 AS: Yes. [laughter] Yes. And you've got the hair to prove it.
     
    [laughter]
     
    0:00:43.7 BB: All right. Now, actually, I was thinking the proposal and the title, I thought... I mean, System of Profound Wisdom is cool, System of Profound Questions. Either one of those is good. Let's see which title comes out.
     
    0:00:57.6 AS: Yeah. And I think we'll have to also understand that may some listeners that may not even know what System of Profound Knowledge means, they've been listening. They do. But if today's their first episode, we also gotta break that down, just briefly.
     
    0:01:10.9 BB: Yeah. Okay, let's do that. All right. Well, let me give an opening a quote from Dr. Deming from chapter three, and then we can explain this SoPK, System of Profound Knowledge, thing. But in chapter three of Dr. Deming's last book, The New Economics, the last edition, edition three, came out in 2018. And chapter three, Dr. Deming says, "We saw in the last chapter, we are living under the tyranny of the prevailing style of management. Most people imagine that this style has always existed. It is a fixture. Actually, it is a modern invention a trap that has led us into decline. Transformation is required. Education and government, along with industry, are also in need of transformation. The System of Profound Knowledge to be introduced in the next chapter is a theory for transformation." So you wanna...
     
    0:02:15.4 AS: That's good.
     
    0:02:16.7 BB: So let's say something. Let's just say something about SoPK. How would you explain that?
     
    0:02:23.1 AS: Yeah. Well, actually, I wanna talk very briefly about what you just said, because it's just...
     
    0:02:27.1 BB: Oh, sure.
     
    0:02:29.6 AS: At one point, I thought, "It's a system of knowledge." But he just said it was a system of transformation.
     
    0:02:38.7 BB: It's a theory for transformation.
     
    0:02:40.1 AS: A theory for transformation. Okay, got it. I see. And one of the things that I... I look at Toyota so much just 'cause it's so fascinating and how they've survived all these years, the continuity in the business, the continuity and the profitability of the business, the continued march to become the number one auto producer in the world, and having faced all the ups and downs and survived. And I just think that what they have is a learning organization. No matter what the challenge is, they're trying to apply learning tools, like System of Profound Knowledge, like PDSA, to try to figure out how to solve this problem. And I think that many companies, including at times my companies, [chuckle] we sometimes will scramble and we'll lose knowledge and we won't gain knowledge. And so the System of Profound Knowledge, to me, is all about the idea of how do we build a base of knowledge in our business and then build upon that base of knowledge rather than destroy it when the new management comes in or when a new management idea comes in.
     
    0:04:00.7 AS: And that's something I've just been thinking about a lot. Because I do know a company that I've been doing

    • 46 min
    Transforming How We Think: Awaken Your Inner Deming (Part 19)

    Transforming How We Think: Awaken Your Inner Deming (Part 19)

    What happens if you transform HOW you think? In this episode, Bill Bellows and host Andrew Stotz discuss the problem of thinking in one dimension at a time (as we were taught in school) and its impact on our ability to solve problems. BONUS: Book recommendations to broaden your understanding of Deming and more.
    TRANSCRIPT
    0:00:02.1 Andrew Stotz: My name is Andrew Stotz, and I'll be your host as we continue our journey into the teachings of Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Today, I'm continuing my discussion with Bill Bellows, who has spent 30 years helping people apply Dr. Deming's ideas to become aware of how their thinking is holding them back from their biggest opportunities. The topic for today is, well, episode 19, Transforming How we Think. Bill, take it away.
     
    0:00:29.9 Bill Bellows: And good evening, Andrew.
     
    0:00:35.8 AS: Good evening.
     
    0:00:36.2 BB: And, but just as a point of clarity, I view it as transforming how we think about our thinking. And that's what I've been focusing on for the, since the mid, the early '90s is not how we think, but what is our awareness of our thinking, and I think that ties in well with SoPK. So first in late breaking news, I am seeing with new eyes, Andrew. Literally, I've got new monofocal lenses in both eyes. The left eye three weeks ago, the right eye, a week ago. I was told about five years ago, eventually I'll have to have cataract surgery. And I spoke with a few friends who had it done, and they said, oh, it's easy. And what was so amazing was it was easier than they said. It was.
     
    0:01:41.0 BB: But one neighbor who's had it done, and kind of a sad note is he claims, and I've not double checked this, he's a sharp guy. He claims 80% of the world's population would benefit from cataract surgery that they don't have access to and eventually go blind. And I don't know, I can believe, and he is in fact he's quoted me twice on that. But I am literally seeing with new eyes. The grays are now, shades of gray, are now shades of blue. When I look at the sky. My depth perception's a whole lot better. And so it ties in well with all this vision therapy stuff. So.
     
    0:02:36.8 AS: Aren't you glad that those machines are high quality and the operations that they do are high quality?
     
    0:02:41.6 BB: Oh, yeah.
     
    0:02:42.4 AS: Just one little mistake on that one. And, that's...
     
    0:02:46.2 BB: Well, and I'm signing the documents and there's a little bit of a flutter when I'm signing, in terms of the liability. And one friend's mom had a bad cataract procedure, so it doesn't always go. And I shared this with Kevin. Kevin's had the same, as likewise had the procedure done. And we shared the anxieties and then it worked out well. But yeah when I signed that form that there was in the event, and I thought, whoa, that'd be, anyway, it worked. All right, so where I want to pick up in episode 19 is where we left off with episode 18. And there near the end, I referenced from Dr. Deming. He says Dr. Deming says in chapter three of The New Economics, and he says, "we saw in the last chapter that we're living under the tyranny of the prevailing style of management. Most people imagine this style has always existed. It is a fixture. Actually," he said, "it's a modern invention, a trap that has led us into decline. Transformation..."
     
    0:04:03.0 BB: You remember that word from last time? Okay. "Transformation is required. Education and government, along with industry are also in need of transformation. The System of Profound Knowledge will be introduced in the next chapter. To be introduced in the next chapter is a theory for transformation." So I've got some bullet points and I want to get into the additional chapters and references from The New Economics on Dr. Deming's use of the term transformation. 'Cause I think what he's talking about... SoPK is a theory for transformation. So I think it's just not enough to talk about SoPK without understanding how does that fit in with what Dr

    • 36 min
    Goal Setting Is Often An Act of Desperation: Part 3

    Goal Setting Is Often An Act of Desperation: Part 3

    In part 3 of this series, John Dues and host Andrew Stotz talk about the final 5 lessons for data analysis in education. Dive into this discussion to learn more about why data analysis is essential and how to do it right.
    TRANSCRIPT
    0:00:02.4 Andrew Stotz: My name is Andrew Stotz and I'll be your host as we continue our journey into the teachings of Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Today I'm continuing my discussion with John Dues who is part of the new generation of educators striving to apply Dr. Deming's principles to unleash student joy in learning. This is episode 23 and we're talking about goal setting through a Deming lens. John, take it away. 
    0:00:30.8 John Dues: It's good to be back, Andrew. Yeah, in this first episode of this four-part series, we talked about why goal setting is often an act of desperation. And if you remember early on, I sort of proposed those four conditions that organizations should understand about their systems prior to ever setting a goal. Those four were capability, variation, stability, and then by what method are you going to improve your system? And then in the last episode, I introduced the first five lessons of the 10 key lessons for data analysis. And remember, these lessons were set up to avoid what I call these arbitrary and capricious education goals, which are basically unreasonable goals without consideration of those four things, the system capability, variation, and stability, and then not having a method. So, it might be helpful just to recap those first five lessons. I'll just list them out and folks that want to hear the details can listen to the last episode.
     
    0:01:31.8 JD: But lesson one was data have no meaning apart from their context. So, we've got to contextualize the data. Lesson two was we don't manage or control the data. The data is the voice of the process. So, it's sort of, you know, the data over time shows us what's happening and we don't really have control over that data. We do have control under that underlying process. Lesson three was plot the dots for any data that occurs in time order. So, take it out of a two-point comparison or take it out of a spreadsheet and put it on a line chart that shows the data over time. Lesson four was two or three data points are not a trend. So again, get beyond the typical two-point limited comparison this month and last month, this year and last year, this same month, last year, those types of things, this week, last week.
     
    0:02:25.6 JD: And then lesson five was, show enough data in your baseline to illustrate the previous level of variation. So, we want to get a sense of how the data is changing over time and we need a baseline amount of data, whether that's 12 points, 15 points, 20 points, there's sort of different takes on that. But somewhere in that 12-to-20-point range is really the amount of data we want to have in our baseline. So, we understand how it's moving up and down over time sort of naturally. Sort of at the outset of those two episodes, we also talked about centering the process behavior charts, like the ones we viewed in many of our episodes. And we put those in the center because it's a great tool for looking at data over time, just like we've been talking about.
     
    0:03:11.4 JD: And I think when we use this methodology, and when you start to fully grasp the methodology, you start to be able to understand messages that are actually contained in the data. You can differentiate between those actual special events, those special causes, and just those everyday up and downs, what we've called common causes. And in so doing, we can understand the difference between reacting to noise and understanding actual signals of significance in that data. And so, I think that's a sort of a good primer to then get into lessons six through 10.
     
    0:03:51.2 AS: Can't wait.
     
    0:03:53.3 JD: Cool. We'll jump in then.
     
    0:03:56.1 AS: Yeah. I'm just thinking about my goal setting and how much this helps me think ab

    • 29 min

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