Learn about Deming's Approach

This page highlights a number of recommended learning resources, for anyone you'd like to introduce to Deming's thinking, or would like to explore yourself...


Why should I explore this?


How Buurtzorg works

Introducing 'Self-Management' into organisations, bringing greater effectiveness, job satisfaction and ongoing cost improvements

  • This event on 29th March 2022, excited interest in anyone who works in an organisation larger than 5-10 people, especially for the emphasis on staff making key decisions; and staying there because they enjoy their work.
  • Management,
  • Self-management,
  • Healthcare, Organisation

Leadership on a nuclear submarine

How a submariner radically altered decision-making, and performance on his boat

  • Captain Marquet bucked the trend, and turned around the lowest-performing attack submarine in the US Navy, to become the best.
  • TIP: Once you close the hatches and dive, only the crew can make the mission a success!
  • Leadership,
  • Learning,
  • Results,
  • Humanity,
  • Growth,
  • Decision-making

Understanding systems and improvement

What makes a System? And how do we know whether it is operating well, or poorly?

  • Russ Ackoff' argues forcefully that "The performance of a system depends on how the parts interact, not on how the parts perform separately." yet most improvement programmes try to do the latter; and fail.
  • An improvement programme must be directed at 'What you want, and not at what you don't want". The first 7 minutes are pure genius, and its well worth watching to the end as well!
  • TIP: Hilarious and accurate; Russ always helped us to confront the big issues
  • Interdependence,
  • Systems,
  • Improvement,
  • Connectedness,
  • Organisation,
  • Ackoff

12 days to Deming

A study course for anyone keen to learn how to adopt Dr Deming's System of Profound Knowledge

  • A free self-study course 12 Days to Deming, will help anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of Dr Deming’s teachings.
    Designed by Henry Neave, it builds upon Henry's renowned book ’The Deming Dimension’.
    We are aware of several not-for-profit study groups working through the course.
  • TIP: Likely to be easier to navigate and complete as a group, rather than solo study.
  • FOLLOW-UP: the book, 'The Deming Dimension' - copies available from our members library
  • System,
  • Organisation,
  • Improvement,
  • SoPK,
  • Measurement,
  • Management

Germ theory of management

Compares medical advances to the management of enterprise, showing that any chance of improvement requires study to learn why some efforts work, and others fail.

  • A parable paper that compares medical advances to the management of enterprise. Myron Tribus explains in easy language why the methodical application of Quality Management is vital to industry, government and education.
  • TIP: Explains why most of today's organisations remain sick - but do not recognise it.
  • Medicine,
  • Management,
  • Organisation,
  • Science,
  • Tribus

Leadership and warriors for the human spirit

Arguments for returning 'Leadership' to being a noble profession

  • Challenge to the idea of large-scale change from Meg Wheatley, in favour of creating “islands of sanity” and doing meaningful work in a local context. She talks about restoring leadership as a noble profession.
  • TIP: If this does not stir your heart to re-thinking why we go to work, then what will?
  • Leadership,
  • Humanity,
  • Connectedness,
  • Growth

The Puritan Gift

Tracing the roots of the most successful managerial culture of modern times back to the values held by the Puritan refugees who crossed the Atlantic in the 1620s.

  • Management,
  • Organisation,
  • Hopper,
  • America,
  • Globalism,
  • Japan,
  • Global Financial Crash

Honoring Homer

Celebrating the re-education of Japanese managers 1945-52 by US
experts, that kick-started the regeneration of manufacturing capacity

  • Resources gathered to celebrate the role Homer Sarasohn played in re-educating Japanese industrial managers under General McArthur's US occupation of Japan from 1945.
  • TIP: Homer was one of the 'Three Wise Men' who literally wrote the management book (he was just 29 in 1946) which laid solid foundations upon which Dr Deming would soon build.
  • FOLLOW-UP: video of Myron Tribus interview with Homer Sarasohn
  • Japan,
  • Science,
  • Management,
  • Sarasohn,
  • Occupation,
  • Competitiveness,
  • WW2

Eradicate the Victimitis

Describes the general and damaging abuse of 'Accountability' - and how to re-frame those discussions to get more done

  • A lively paper illuminating the need for skills to create a culture that yields results instead of excuses
  • Blame,
  • Management,
  • Competitiveness,
  • Tribus

Theory of Constraints on Wall Street

A powerful view on how business people can re-frame problems and identify change opportunities

  • A powerful example of how business people can (should?) re-frame problems and identify opportunities.
  • TIP: A real world example of fusing the works of Goldratt and Deming.
  • FOLLOW-UP: book: Goldratt and Deming: the Decalogue (see the Alliance members Library)

Management, Collaboration, Science, Measurement, Collaboration, Finance, Goldratt, Deming

Challenging hierarchy in organisations

If the shape of organisations contributes to strangling improvement, what can we do differently?

  • Podcast on the ‘status quo trap’ in organisations. Margaret Heffernan's thoughts on self-management and learning to embrace tough questions and experimentation, on the way to profound change.

Humanity, Status Quo trap, Organisation, Fun, Management

Squire to the Giants

Recognising the flaws in how state services are presently run, and offering pointers for would-be improvers

  • Blogs by an improvement scientist working inside NZ government.
  • TIP: Real world experiences in instilling meaningful improvement

Organisation, Improvement, Development, Measurement

If Japan can, why can't we?

Asked why US industry could not compete, and identified why Japanese dominance in manufacturing quality had arisen. Remains as relevant in 2022 as it was in 1980!

  • Insightful television programme aired in 1980 which prompted a resurgence in requests from US industry leaders for 80-year old Dr Deming's help.
  • TIP: Competition was not the problem, so much as the deeply embedded reasons for USA having lower and declining productivity.

Competitiveness, Science, Globalism, Management, Organisation, Deming, SoPK

Perversity Principle

Explains the damage done by setting numerical goals; tips on beginning to change how we better measure performance.

Although systemic thinking rightly leads us to question whether broad 'rules' for how organisations and behaviours operate may be universal, this one is a solid starting point.

FOLLOW-UP: See Doing Measurement Well, online workshop June 2020 https://demingalliance.org/events/

Systems, Organisation, Competitiveness, Tribus

Better education in Alaska

Application of Quality Management Principles in Education

Mt. Edgecumbe High School gained international recognition as the first school to fully embrace quality learning concepts.

TIP: See ongoing works by David Langford.

FOLLOW-UP: video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQY4zZifEaU

Education, Competitiveness, Management, Learning, Organisation, Fun, Development

4GM Academy

Discover a better way of working 'Fourth-Generation Management'

A series of top-notch study packages for owners and managers to understand their roles in the improvement of quality. Only available for study on an iPad. The 1st and 2nd modules are available for free download.

TIP: Paul Hollingworth is an expert on deployment of Deming's ideas, beginning with changing how the leader thinks.

Leadership, SoPK, Improvement, Aims, Fun

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