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.
Integration and the Taguchi Loss Function Awaken Your Inner Deming (Part 13)
Should we strive to better understand what happens "downstream" to our defect-free work? No matter the setting, if our work meets requirements and we pass it on, are we responsible for how well it integrates into a bigger system? In this episode, Bill Bellows and Andrew Stotz expand on the interaction between variation and systems and why Dr. Deming regarded Genichi Taguchi’s Quality Loss Function as “a better description of the world.”
0:00:02.8 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 am 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, in episode 13, Integration Excellence, part two. Bill, take it away.
0:00:31.4 Bill Bellows: Thank you, Andrew. Always a pleasure to connect with you. Alright.
0:00:40.1 AS: Mine too.
0:00:40.1 BB: [laughter] In episode 12, I thought it was great. We shared perspectives on the human side of integration, what it means to be connected, to be synchronous, to feel included, to feel connected, to feel included or connected when something good happens where you're like, well, I was part of that, or to feel separated is when something bad happens. And, we somehow have the ability to not feel associated with that. I pass the puck to you and you hit the slapshot, it goes into the stands, off the goalkeeper. Y'know, girl gets hit in the head and you feel bad, but I go home and I can sleep. And so why is that? And so anyway, but I thought, and listening to it, and I thought it was a lot of fun to look at the human side of feeling connected or feeling separated. And what I wanted to get into tonight, and perhaps in another episode as well, is the physical side of connections.
0:01:46.5 BB: One thing I wanted, and I got a couple anecdotes. I had a woman in class at Rocketdyne years ago, and she said, "Bill, in our organization, we have compassion for one another." And I said, "Compassion is not enough." And, and so you, Andrew, could be in final assembly at this Ford plant, where you're banging things together with a rubber mallet 'cause they're not quite snap fit, and you're banging them together. I mean they all meet print perhaps, but where they are within the requirements is all over the place, and you're having to bring them together. That's called integration. And so when this woman said, in our organization we have compassion for one another, I said, well, that's like me saying, "Andrew, I feel really bad that you're, I can't believe, Andrew go home. You can bang that together tomorrow. You've been banging it together all day." And what I said to her is that "compassion is not enough."
0:02:54.7 BB: When I feel connected to what you're doing, when I begin to understand that the parts you're banging together meet requirements, but how they meet requirements is causing you the issue. Now, the compassion plus my sense of connection, now we're talking. But short of that, what I think is we have organizations where as she would say, we might feel bad for others. And it means I hear about your injuries and your ergonomic training because of all this, but I don't, until I feel associated with that, I just feel bad. But feeling bad is not enough. But I like that, that sentiment. But what I wanna look at tonight is a greater sense of Dr. Taguchi's so called Loss Function and look at more why we should feel more connected to what's happening downstream. So I wanted to throw that out. [chuckle] On the topic of variation, I just started a new cohort with Cal State Northridge University. And this is my, fifth year in the program doing an eight week class in, seminar in quality management. And the cohort model is, anywhere between two dozen and 30 some students that start, the ones I'm getting st
Pitfalls of Slogans and Targets: Deming in Schools Case Study (Part 16)
Slogans and exhortations don't work to motivate people. Targets usually encourage manipulation or cheating. John Dues and Andrew Stotz discuss how these three strategies can hinder improvement, frustrate teachers and students, and even cause nationwide scandals.
0:00:02.4 Andrew Stotz: My name is Andrew Stotz. 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 16, and we're continuing our discussion about the shift from management myths to principles for the transformation of school systems. And today we're gonna be talking about principle 10 "eliminates slogans, exhortations, and targets." John, take it away.
0:00:37.1 John Dues: Good to be back, Andrew. Yeah, we've been talking about these 14 principles for educational systems transformation for a number of episodes now. I think one, one important thing to point out, and I think we've mentioned this multiple times now, but really the aim in terms of what we're hoping the listeners get out of hearing about all these principles is really about how they all work together, as a system themselves. So, we started with create constancy of purpose. We've talked about a number of other things, like work continually on the system, adopt and institute leadership, drive out fear. Last time we talked about break down barriers. We're gonna talk about eliminating slogans and targets this time, which is principle 10. But really, as you start to listen to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and now 10, what should start to become clear is how all of these things work together.
0:01:34.5 JD: If you are operating as a leader, for example, within sort of the Deming philosophy, one of the things you are gonna do is eliminate these slogans. So all these principles shouldn't be studied in isolation. We study them together, see how they all work together. But let me just start by just reading principle 10 so you have the full picture. So principle 10 is "eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for educators and students that ask for perfect performance and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system, and thus lie beyond the power of teachers and students." So really what we're talking about is, what's wrong with slogans, exhortations and targets for educators and students, because these things are, pervasive, I think.
0:02:29.5 JD: We've seen them, we've seen the posters on the walls with the various slogans. And, of course targets are everywhere in our educational systems. In my mind the main problem is that they're directed at the wrong people. The basic premise is that teachers and students could sort of simply put in more effort, and in doing so, they could improve quality productivity, anything else that's desirable in our education systems. But the main thing is that, that doesn't take into account that most of the trouble we see within our schools are actually coming from the system. And I think we've talked about this quote is probably one of Deming's most well-known quotes, but he said, "Most troubles and most possibilities for improvement add up to proportion, something like this, 94% belong to the system, which is the responsibility of management, 6% is special." And that's more like, can be sort of tagged or pinned to individual students or individual educators working within the system. So I think that's a really important thing to revisit 'cause it sort of is at the heart of all of these, all of these principles.
0:03:47.7 AS: It's interesting, like, maybe you could give some examples of what type of, slogans or targets or exhortations that you've seen, in your career and what's going on in education these d
Integration Excellence: Awaken Your Inner Deming (Part 12)
What does it mean that people feel connected and included when something good happens yet dissociate when something bad happens? In this episode, Bill Bellows and Andrew Stotz discuss the human side of integration.
0:00:02.9 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, in today's episode, number 12, is Integration Excellence. Bill, take it away.
0:00:32.2 Bill Bellows: Thank you, Andrew. So before we talk about integration excellence, I wanted to throw out a couple thoughts. And listening to the podcast, I was reminded that when I share examples, there are times when I mention companies by name, and there's times I don't. And my hope is that people in those organizations don't feel offended. So what I found with students is, if I use the name, there's the risk of someone in the class having worked for that company who feels offended. If I don't use the name, then there's a sense that I'm making the stories up. [chuckle] So I just want to say I um... But there are... What I find is that most organizations are run with what Dr. Deming would refer to as a prevailing style of management, in which case examples such as replacing the cardstock paper with regular paper, and all organizations have those types of stuff. So I just want anyone to feel offended by that.
0:01:40.1 AS: Well, we can make an announcement.
0:01:43.3 BB: Go ahead.
0:01:45.3 AS: Remember those shows that we used to watch that says the names have been changed to protect... but here we're going to say the names have been changed to protect the guilty, [chuckle] not the innocent.
0:01:57.3 BB: Well, there are some stories, I can't share the names for a number of reasons, but they're all the same. Anyway, next thing I wanted to share is, again, on a recurring theme, we talked in the past about red pen companies and blue pen companies, or me and we, or last straw and all straw. And I was recently in... I was in the Netherlands last week doing a class live session for a group that I'm just starting to work with, and we did a physical simulation, a live experiential thing that built upon all the ideas we're talking about here. And I had the group do the trip report, looking at blue pen companies and red pen companies, or however you want to look at the contrast.
0:03:00.1 BB: And we talked about what are the hallway conversations in both organizations? And another was, what are the survival skills in both organizations? And the fairly straightforward survival skills in a last straw organizations are, be really good at shifting blame, be really good at hiding errors, hoarding information is power. And I look at, what are survival skills in a blue pen company or an all straw organization? That's sharing knowledge as power as opposed to hoarding it, it's sharing it. And so we got into those, all those, the usuals. And then I said to them, "Okay, so imagine we are, here we are in a last straw organization, I'm the president of the company and we're in a Friday afternoon staff meeting.
0:03:56.7 BB: And because it's a last straw organization, that means you work for me." I said, "If it was an all straw organization, you would work, and people always say with,": I said, exactly, it's with versus for, but it's a last straw organization. So you work for me. I walk in to the end of the week staff meeting. I apologize for running late. And then I turned to you and say, "I just got off the phone with a customer. I need to know who's responsible for last week's shipment." And then I turned to you, Andrew, and I say, "Andrew, was it you?" And you say, "No, it was Joe." [chuckle] And then I go to Joe and I say, "Joe, a
Do You Listen to Speak or Listen to Learn? Role of a Manager in Education (Part 12)
Listening to understand and learn is often harder than not-really-listening because you're thinking about what to say. Dr. Deming emphasized learning and was excited about ideas he heard from others every day. In this episode, David Langford and Andrew Stotz talk about why and how managers, including teachers, should listen to staff or students.
0:00:03.4 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 David P. Langford who has devoted his life to applying Dr. Deming's philosophy to education and he offers us his practical advice for implementation. Today, we continue going through Dr. Deming's 14 items that he discuss in New Economics about the role of a manager of people after transformation. In the third edition, that's page 86. In the second edition, that's page 125. And we're talking about point number 12 and that is "he listens and learns without passing judgment on him that he listens to." And we decided to title this one, Do You Listen to Speak or Listen to Learn? David, take it away.
0:00:56.8 David P. Langford: Yeah. Well, thanks. It's good to be back, Andrew. Yeah, I was just, I was just thinking that when I was at Deming's conferences and a couple of times sat with him either after the end of the day or even at lunchtime, etc. Or just watching him interact with other people, it was often pretty amazing that he'd be chatting with somebody and then he'd pull out these little notebooks and he's all of a sudden just writing down something that somebody told him or that somebody said or... And later in the day, a lot of times he'd pull out the notebook and say to somebody, "Look what I learned today." And I was always just so impressed with that. And I don't know how many four-day conferences I was at with him, at least half a dozen, and always the same, always swan with that little notebook, always writing stuff down.
0:02:02.9 DL: And so this point comes to mind about how special that made you feel that here you have the master of the third industrial revolution, writing down what, what you say, people that he doesn't really know that well or something, but just a point that somebody made and how important that was to him and to keep track of that. And a lot of times I think we've lost that skill. And I like the title of this session because a lot of times when people are having even casual conversations, they're not really listening to what the person is saying. They're thinking about what they're going to say next or how they're going to respond to a point that was made. And when I really started taking these points to heart and thinking about it, even as a classroom teacher, I began to realize that I really wasn't listening to my students. I was preparing to talk at them. [laughter] I remember...
0:03:16.0 AS: And they were preparing to be talked at.
0:03:18.6 DL: Yeah. They're ready to take notes, and you know, but they weren't ready to think and offer opinions and to go through that whole process of working through it. I'll never forget my friend Dr. Myron Tribus, he was a professor at Dartmouth, I think in the engineering school. And for some reason, his whole lecture that he was going to do one day was just either lost or something just before he was ready to walk out in his classroom of 200 kids, students that he was working with and everything. And he thought, "Oh my God, what am I going to do? I don't have my notes. I don't have all this stuff and everything else." Anyway, he just started asking them questions and put them into groups and had the groups discuss things and then come back and pose questions and debate each other and talk and work through. And he told me he'd never had so many students on the way out of classes. "Wow, that was the best class we've ever had." [laughter]
0:04:21.7 AS: Such a great, a great opportunity when you come u
How to Break Down Barriers: Deming in Schools Case Study (Part 15)
Most people agree: teamwork and collaboration generate greater results than isolation and silos. So why do we let barriers get in the way? In this episode, John Dues and host Andrew Stotz talk about barriers to collaboration and how to break them down.
0:00:02.7 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 15, and we are continuing our discussion about the shift from management myths to principles for the transformation of school systems. John, take it away.
0:00:34.9 John Dues: Good to be back, Andrew. So we're talking about these 14 Principles for educational system transformation, like you said, I think last episode we talked about Drive Out Fear, so this episode I thought we'd focus on that next Principle, which is Break Down Barriers. So Principle nine, break down barriers. The way I have this framed is "to break down barriers between departments and grade levels and develop strategies for increasing cooperation among groups and individuals, everyone must work as a team to foresee problems in the production and use of high quality learning experiences" in the case of schools. I was looking back through some notes, and I just happened to come across a quote from Out of the Crisis that I thought was a good quote to sort of start off with, in that book, Deming said "Teamwork is risky business. He that works to help other people may not have as much production to show for the annual rating as he would if he worked alone." And I think what this does for me is really illustrate how big a job breaking down barriers is, because everybody's gonna say, yes, I'm for working as a team. Everybody's gonna say I'm for cooperation.
0:01:58.9 JD: But when the rubber meets the road, you know what actually happens? And I think that quote is a good one, too, because it very clearly connects back to Drive Out Fear. Right. 'Cause what are you going to do once you break down the barriers? What's the behavior that you hope to see? And, you know, the behavior that you hope to see is only possible if you also drive out fear, which I think is, you know, showing that there's this connection between all of these Principles, there are these mutually supporting guiding principles.
0:02:36.3 AS: One thing that's just popping in my head is if you didn't incentivize people, let's think of young people, maybe. Would people naturally be, you know, helpful and doing teamwork? We know that, you know, the annual ratings and those types of things can incentivize being, you know, selfish and not, not working across the organization. But I'm just curious, what are your thoughts on that?
0:03:06.8 JD: Yeah, I think... If, if, are you using incentives as a pejorative in this context?
0:03:13.9 AS: Yes.
0:03:16.6 JD: Yeah, I think you have to look at the system that you've set up and the behaviors that result, and then sort of step back and see that whole picture, what is it that... What's the behavior that you're causing by the system you've set up? So I think... That's the major point I think.
0:03:34.0 AS: I'm just thinking about like when someone's young and, you know, they're just living a normal life, they're out with their friends, they're playing in the woods, when I was young, you know, those types of things. Are they naturally helping each other and, you know, naturally want to help or are they naturally selfish?
0:03:53.0 JD: Well, yeah, I think that's a good question. I think that would probably depend a lot on the context. I think, you know, if you're generally talking about young kids, there's probably a sort of a natural inclination to cooperation that's sort of, I think maybe stomped out, extinguished, as you encounter
In Search of Excellence: Awaken Your Inner Deming (Part 11)
What's the difference between Compliance Excellence and Contextual Excellence? Is one better than the other? Which one does a Deming organization pursue? In this episode, Bill Bellows and host Andrew Stotz talk about the variety of types of excellence, and why they matter.
0:00:02.7 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 episode 11: In Search of Excellence. Bill, go ahead, take it away.
0:00:28.9 Bill Bellows: All right. So, as I've been doing for the last few episodes, I like to go back to the prior episode. Because I listen to these again and again and again. Oh, there's other things I wanna say. [laughter] Remember the title of the last session, Andrew?
0:00:46.1 AS: Well, that depends. [laughter] The title was, It Depends.
0:00:50.7 BB: Alright. Alright. So you know I'm fond of that phrase. So I wanna... I thought of after, you know, in the last couple weeks is, I took a class in program management at a big university in Greater Los Angeles. I mean, it could have been anywhere, but it was in Los Angeles, and there were 25, 30 people in the room, maybe more, from around the world coming into this university. It was a three day program, you know, like, $1,800. $1800. I had just joined a department called The Program Management Office, and I thought, I should go find out what program management is it all about? I had some ideas, but I thought, "I want to go take a real class on this." The class was presented by an aerospace veteran in project management. He had been involved in major programs with Hughes, installing, you know, working on airports around the world and other DOD stuff.
0:01:48.6 BB: And I mean, he was, he was a very interesting guy. I got there early every day looking, I was hoping there'd be an opportunity I could start a conversation with him, have lunch with him, that never happened. But three days long. And so, on the second day, he threw out a question to the audience, and people are sitting in a... It's kind of an amphitheater, with the rows were kind of curved. So he throws out a question to the audience and the guy in the front row answers, "it depends." [laughter] And the instructor very deliberately walked from the front of the room, a good 15 feet without saying anything, just walked right at that person in the front row, you know, all at the same level, gets right in his face and says the following, Andrew, are you ready?
0:02:47.6 AS: I'm ready.
0:02:48.6 BB: He says, "Are you an attorney?" [laughter] And I thought to myself, "All of that for the answer, "it depends," really?" And so, [laughter] later that afternoon, somebody asked the instructor a question, "Hey, what if you're in a situation where you gotta deal with blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, this, this, this, this, this, how would you handle that?"
0:03:17.3 AS: And for the listeners out there, you know the punchline here, come on, give it to me. What did he say?
0:03:23.5 BB: No, here's what he said. He said, "Well, if it involves this, I would do this. If it involves that, I would do that." And so, what did I say, Andrew?
0:03:42.6 AS: What did you say? What do you mean?
0:03:44.7 BB: I bit my tongue.
0:03:45.9 AS: Oh, you didn't say anything when he said that?
0:03:48.6 BB: Because what he just said was, "it depends."
0:03:50.4 AS: “It depends” in another way.
0:03:52.8 BB: Yeah. He found another way to say “it depends.” So it was also...
0:03:56.0 AS: He sounded kind of smart, you know, well, let's just narrow it down to two potential options.
0:04:00.8 BB: “Are you an attorney?” Yeah. But he still... What he w
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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.
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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.