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
    • 4.5 • 38 Ratings

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.

    Goal Setting is Often an Act of Desperation: Part 6

    Goal Setting is Often an Act of Desperation: Part 6

    In the final episode of the goal setting in classrooms series, John Dues and Andrew Stotz discuss the last three of the 10 Key Lessons for implementing Deming in schools. They finish up with the example of Jessica's 4th-grade science class.
    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 six about goal setting through a Deming lens. John, take it away.
     
    0:00:26.4 John Dues: Hey, Andrew, it's good to be back. Yeah, for the past handful of episodes or so, we've been talking about organizational goal setting. We covered these four conditions of healthy goal setting and then got into these 10 key lessons for data analysis. And then we've been looking at those 10 key lessons applied to an improvement project. And we've been talking about a project that was completed by Jessica Cutler and she did a Continual Improvement Fellowship with us here at our schools. And if you remember, Jessica was attempting to improve the joy in learning of her students in her fourth grade science class. So last time we looked at lessons five through seven. Today we're gonna look at those final three lessons, eight, nine and ten applied to her project.
     
    0:01:15.7 AS: It's exciting.
     
    0:01:17.1 JD: Yeah. So we'll jump in here. We'll kind of do a description, a refresher of each lesson. And we'll kind of talk about how it was applied to her specific project, and we'll look at some of her data to kind of bring that live for those of the folks that have video. Let's jump in with lesson number eight. So we've talked about this before, but lesson number eight was: more timely data is better for improvement purposes. So we've talked about this a lot. We've talked about something like state testing data. We've said, it can be useful, but it's not super useful for improvement purposes, because we don't get it until the year ends. And students in our case, have already gone on summer vacation by the time that data comes in. And you know that the analogous data probably happens in lots of different sectors where you get data that lags, to the point that it's not really that useful for improvement purposes.
     
    0:02:15.8 JD: So when we're trying to improve something, more frequent data is helpful because then we can sort of see if an intervention that we're trying is having an effect, the intended effect. We can learn that more quickly if we have more frequent data. And so it's, there's not a hard and fast rule, I don't think for how frequently you should be gathering data. It just sort of needs to be in sync with the improvement context. I think that's the important thing. Whether it's daily or a couple times a day or weekly, or monthly, quarterly, whatever, it's gotta be in sync with whatever you're trying to improve.
     
    0:02:50.5 AS: You made me think about a documentary I saw about, how they do brain surgery and how the patient can't be sedated because they're asking the patient questions about, do you feel this and they're testing whether they're getting... They're trying to, let's say, get rid of a piece of a cancerous growth, and they wanna make sure that they're not getting into an area that's gonna damage their brain. And so, the feedback mechanism that they're getting through their tools and the feedback from the patient, it's horrifying to think of the whole thing.
     
    0:03:27.7 JD: Yeah.
     
    0:03:28.3 AS: It's a perfect example of why more timely data is useful for improvement purposes 'cause imagine if you didn't have that information, you knock the patient out, you get the cancerous growth, but who knows what you get in addition to that.
     
    0:03:43.7 JD: Yeah, that's really interesting. I think that's certainly an extreme example, [laught

    • 38 min
    Goal Setting is Often an Act of Desperation: Part 5

    Goal Setting is Often an Act of Desperation: Part 5

    In this episode, John Dues and Andrew Stotz apply lessons five through seven of the 10 Key Lessons for implementing Deming in classrooms. They continue using Jessica's fourth-grade science class as an example to illustrate the concepts in action. 
    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 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 five about goal setting through a Deming lens. John, take it away.
     
    0:00:23.2 John Dues: Yeah, it's good to be back, Andrew. Yeah, like you said, for the past few episodes we've been talking about organizational goal setting. We covered four healthy conditions, or four conditions of healthy goal setting and 10 key lessons for data analysis. And then what we turn to in the last episode is looking at an applied example of the 10 key lessons for data analysis and in action. And, if you remember from last time we were looking at this improvement project from Jessica Cutler, she's a fourth grade science teacher, and she did the improvement fellowship here at United Schools Network, where she learned the tools, the techniques, the philosophies, the processes behind the Deming theory, continual improvement, that type of thing. And in... And in Jessica's specific case, in her fourth grade science class, what she was settled on that she was gonna improve was, the joy in learning of her students. And we looked at lessons one through four through the eyes or through the lens of her project. And today we're gonna look at lessons five through seven. So basically the next, uh, the next three lessons of those 10 key lessons.
     
    0:01:34.8 AS: I can't wait. Let's do it.
     
    0:01:37.3 JD: Let's do it. So lesson number five was: show enough data in your baseline to illustrate the previous level of variation. Right. So the basic idea with this particular lesson is that, you know, let's say we're trying to improve something. We have a data point or maybe a couple data points. We wanna get to a point where we're starting to understand how this particular concept works. In this case, what we're looking at is joy in learning. And there's some different rules for how many data points you should, should have in a typical base baseline. But, you know, a pretty good rule of thumb is, you know, if you can get 12 to 15, that's... That's pretty solid. You can start working with fewer data points in real life. And even if you just have five or six values, that's gonna give you more understanding than just, you know, a single data point, which is often what we're... What we're working with.
     
    0:02:35.6 AS: In, other words, even if you have less data, you can say that this gives some guidance.
     
    0:02:40.9 JD: Yeah.
     
    0:02:41.1 AS: And then you know that the reliability of that may be a little bit less, but it gives you a way... A place to start.
     
    0:02:46.9 JD: A place to start. You're gonna learn more over time, but at least even five or six data points is more than what I typically seen in the typical, let's say, chart where it has last month and this month, right? So even five or six points is a lot more than that. You know, what's... What's typical? So I can kind of show you, I'll share my screen here and we'll take a look at, Jessica's initial run chart. You see that right?
     
    0:03:19.3 AS: We can see it.
     
    0:03:21.2 JD: Awesome.
     
    0:03:22.3 AS: You wanna put it in slideshow? Can we see that? Yeah, there you go.
     
    0:03:24.9 JD: Yeah, I'll do that.
     
    0:03:25.4 AS: Perfect.
     
    0:03:26.3 JD: That works better. So, you know, again, what we're trying to do is show enough data in the baseline to understand what happened prior to whenever we started this improvement effort. And I think I've shared this quote before, but I really love this o

    • 28 min
    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

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

Owenmiller ,

Enjoying the podcast

The content, guests and host have been very informative. Each episode is solid. I am impressed each time Tripp conducts another interview. I like hearing Tripp's interview style and the view each guest brings.

Phil Monroe ,

CAPT USN (Ret.)

This is a great PODCAST. Andrea understands Dr. Deming and the world. A great history of industry, and then some wonderful insights about Education today.

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