Commencing in 2014, The Deming Institute has recorded podcasts on a monthly basis, featuring 20 to 30-minute interviews by Tripp Babbitt with members of the Deming Community who are advancing the use and explanations of Dr. W. Edwards Deming's ideas.
In the 5th 10 Minutes episode, Tripp explores the need for layoffs and prospects for organizational improvement through the utilization of Dr. Deming’s management method in the 21st century.
To borrow from the opening page of Dr. Deming’s book, The New Economics,
The people of the word no longer live in isolation…..People make comparisons….Anybody else lives better, so everybody supposes... People blame their plight on to the government and its leaders, or to management and its leaders. They may be correct. But will change in leadership assure better living? What if the new leaders are no better? How could they be? How much time have new leaders to demonstrate that they have brought a better life? By what method could new leaders bring improvement in living?
Using excerpts of interviews with Dr. Deming, dating back to 1980, Tripp reminds us of Dr. Deming’s vision of guiding leaders, whether Mayor or President, Democrat or Republican, University Chancellor or Vice President of Finance, Hospital Administrator or Police Chief, away from “best efforts and hard work, not guided by new knowledge, they only dig deeper the pit that we are in."
Dr. Deming’s aim in writing The New Economics was to bring new knowledge. “This book,” he wrote, “will teach and explore some basic ground rules of knowledge for change.” In this podcast, hear Dr. Deming talk about the Japanese industrial miracle, the use of statistical methods and statistical thinking, including their roles and their limits, the job of management, productivity, and crisis management.
Tim Higgins, President, In2:InThinking Network and Quality Engineer, NASA, "Rocket Science, Profound Knowledge, and The New Economics Study Sessions”
Tripp Babbitt and Tim Higgins
In our January podcast, Tim Higgins, President of the In2:InThinking Network, www.in2in.org, and Quality Engineer for NASA, based in Los Angeles, California, shares insights from his 30+ years of studying, applying, and illuminating The Deming System of Profound Knowledge®.
Following a brief career as an educator in a public school system, Tim shifted careers and joined the rocket engine industry, employed by“Rocketdyne” (a division of Rockwell, then Boeing, followed by Pratt & Whitney, and now integrated with Aerojet). Along the way, Tim was introduced to Dr. Deming’s theory of management and, upon reflection, realized his inclinations against grades in school, while serving as a teacher, could be explained through his appreciation of Profound Knowledge. For a short time, Tim was a member of Rocketdyne’s TQM Office, where he was introduced to the thinking of Genichi Taguchi and partnered with peers to create Rocketdyne’s pioneering “InThinking Roadmap” curriculum. The subsequent focus on thinking modes led to his contributions as a co-founder of the In2:InThinking Network, a non-profit for which he now serves as president.
In 2009, Tim crossed the employment bridge from the contractor side (“Rocketdyne”) to the customer side (NASA), inspired the proposition of assuming a role that would help Rocketdyne become a better contractor.
Guided by his extraordinary experiences as a quality advisor, Tim has led 14-hour study sessions for Dr. Deming’s The New Economics for the past 12+ years, under the sponsorship of “Rocketdyne”. Beginning in 2017, these sessions, comprised of seven 2-hour calls, are being sponsored by The Deming Institute. Led by Tim, participants share their interpretations and questions of The New Economics, chapter-by-chapter, covering 2 chapters in each 2-hour session. A few highlights from Tim’s musings with Tripp on the study sessions follow below:
- Why he believes Deming (management) is about learning
- The popularity of the question "Why doesn’t everyone get “Deming management”?"
- Why being conscious of context is essential
- Why, when dealing with a difficulty in perception, using logic is no help is helping others see things differently
- Issues associated with extrinsic motivation – punishment and rewards
- Some challenges of letting go of “patting others” on the head
- The widespread similarity of organizations
- What would happen if “rating and ranking” systems were used at home?
- Lessons from transforming his manager
- Feedback from his VP’s administrative assistant on rewards systems
- His realization that the system we have is perfectly designed to obtain the results we’re getting
- Why asking for different results requires a different system
- Some implications of empowerment
In the 4th episode of 10 Minutes with Dr. Deming, Tripp Babbitt provides a follow up on Wells Fargo. He starts with his frustration after listening to the CEO’s testimony to congress, and again hearing about the need for more regulation, and even talk about breaking up the bank.
The remainder of the episode is devoted to Dr. Deming’s thoughts on monopolies. He speaks of two worlds, one where the aim is to stay in business for the long term, be a part of a bigger system and provide maximum benefit to everyone and a second world where the aim is only for short term profit.
Hear Dr. Deming talk about monopolies, and how a monopoly has the best chance to be of maximum service to the world and has a heavy obligation to do so. He cites the contribution of the Bell Telephone Laboratories. But as he says it’s not enough to be a monopoly, you must have an aim and be managed as a system to be beneficial. Here he cites the big three automotive companies in the 60’s and the Public Schools System to see where monopolies have fallen short due to short term thinking. Instead of regulation maybe it’s time for education!
In the 3rd episode of 10 Minutes with Dr. Deming, Tripp Babbitt discusses the allegations and fallout surrounding Wells Fargo Bank and their incentive compensation programs. These systems of rewards, incentives and bonuses have plagued organizations for years, yet we continue to use these concepts and do virtually nothing as they wreak havoc on industry, government and education.
Tripp shares how Wells Fargo had a goal focused on profit and developed and used a system of rewards, bonuses and incentives to achieve that goal; leading to fraudulent sales practices and ultimately 5,300 employees being fired for trying to achieve their otherwise unattainable goals.
Listen as Tripp uses Dr. Deming’s concepts to look at the situation through a different lens where he describes the “forces of destruction” that lead to broken systems and the reliance on extrinsic motivators while squeezing out our intrinsic motivation . Rather than relying on these negative forces, Dr. Deming explains, a system should be put in place where everyone comes out ahead, with an Aim for everyone to win. A win-win for everybody. Enjoy!
In the second episode of our 10 Minutes with Dr. Deming series, Tripp Babbitt, poses the question, “where is the crisis”? You will hear Dr. Deming discuss the crisis of management, and the underuse and underdevelopment of people that still plagues this country today.
Kevin Cahill, Executive Director of The W. Edwards Deming Institute, and David Langford, CEO of Langford Learning, Inc. – “The Deming in Education Initiative”
Tripp Babbitt, Kevin Cahill, and David Langford
In this week’s podcast, Kevin Cahill, Executive Director of The W. Edwards Deming Institute® and David Langford, CEO of Langford Learning, Inc., introduce The Deming in Education Initiative. Kevin and David share how The Deming in Education Initiative was conceived, the impact of the Deming Philosophy on education, and where the Initiative is going in the future.
The initiative first began many years ago when David joined the Deming Institute Advisory Board to help with their efforts to apply the Deming philosophy in education. But the roots of Deming in Education go even further back. As David explains, improving education was “a great love” of Dr. Deming, as an educator who taught at NY University for 40 years. Many of Dr. Deming’s theories and teachings are directly focused on the education system. After working with Dr. Deming from 1986 to 1993, David began implementing the concepts in his own education system, finding that students easily took to the new approach.
Over the last 25 years, David has seen the Deming teachings make a profound and lasting impact on improving school culture and the learning process in the US and around the world. It is the only philosophy that improves all aspects of the education system. That impact has inspired Kevin, David and The Deming Institute to commit a deeper focus on developing a long term, sustainable, systems approach to improving education for all students, through The Deming in Education Initiative.
Tripp Babbitt and Scott Dalgleish
Scott's story starts in 1986, as a graduate walking in the doors of P&G to be a new engineer and shift manager. He was soon perplexed by how he could contribute to solving issues associated with production and quality. During this time, P&G introduced the Deming Philosophy to the organization; a decision that would have a profound impact on Scott's professional and personal life. Scott eagerly applied what he learned, despite facing resistance to change and improvements. After three years, he decided to move to a smaller company where the Deming principles were readily embraced.
Listen as Scott discusses how he leads a highly inventive engineering organization whose focus is on innovation and the advantage gained through the embrace of Deming's continual improvement philosophy. Hear his fascinating approach to hiring employees without factoring in schooling and GPA, and a discussion between Tripp and Scott on the challenged presented by ISO 9000.
Tripp Babbitt and TJ Gokcen
In our October podcast, TJ Gokcen, CEO of Acquate, a software company in Sydney, Australia, shares his learning journey, from collegiate swimmer to software developer, ever in alignment with the Deming philosophy.
For many, Dr. Deming was discovered in 1980 through the NBC television whitepaper, If Japan Can, Why Can’t We. Throughout this documentary are tell-tale signs of a failing US economy, one heavily dependent on manufacturing, from the production of machine tools to the fabrication of automobiles. To no surprise, many of the earliest examples of the application of Dr. Deming’s management philosophy were in manufacturing. Meanwhile, attendees at his seminars who came from outside of manufacturing environments might have struggled to see the significance to their professions. Credit Dr. Deming with continuously striving to demonstrate the unlimited applicability of his management theory, ever mindful of the trap of having attendees see the statistical tools he presented as his core message. Credit TJ Gokcen with a simple, yet insightful explanation of how he has been applying Dr. Deming’s philosophy to both the design of the software developed by Acquate and the internal operation of Acquate.
In this 30-minute episode, TJ skillfully guides listeners through the technical jargon of software development, from agile to scrum to waterfall to kanban techniques, and then proceeds to the heart of how he believes Acquate differentiates itself from other software companies. Using one of Dr. Deming’s favorite questions about “how to wash a table?,” TJ provides parallels for how his developers probe their clients, question after question, wanting to know more and more about “how will the software be used.” For those who wonder how Dr. Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge applies to software, this podcast will open minds and doors to amazing possibilities. For those who appreciate the wide applicability of Dr. Deming’s philosophy, this podcast will provide a brilliant reminder.
Tripp Babbitt and David Langford
In this week’s podcast, David P. Langford, CEO of Langford Learning, Inc., focuses on “Joy in Learning” and how to bring joy back into the education system.
In answering why students aren’t experiencing “Joy in Learning” David starts by quoting Dr. Deming, “are we trying to create a system that teaches students to answer tests or are we trying to create a system that teaches them to think?” The current education system continues to focus on test scores, to the detriment of learning and the loss of elements in the system (like fine arts programs) that brought enjoyment. Dr. Deming was the first person David encountered who believed students have a right to joy in learning.
What can you do to change the system? David tells us that restoring joy begins with your “circle of influence” and connecting with those who want a better way to do things. Teachers can start by simply asking students, “what drives you to have joy in learning and what prevents it?”
David shares that there is no recipe for using the Deming philosophy, unlike other education movements. Often these methods don’t work because there is no understanding of variability between communities, states, cultures and the background of students. Once it’s decided to change the system, real learning happens, performance goes up and joy returns!
Cliff Norman and Ron Moen of Associates in Process Improvement (API) – The PDSA Cycle “Business Is More Exacting Than Science”
Tripp Babbitt, Cliff Norman, and Ron Moen
Cliff Norman and Ron Moen, of Associates in Process Improvement (API) discuss the history of the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA Cycle) and their research on the subject.
Cliff and Ron start with how the underpinning of Deming's philosophy was the idea of "continuous improvement", with the PDSA Cycle underlying that philosophy. They discuss the PDSA Cycle of never-ending improvement and learning, and how the iterative nature of the cycle fits with The Deming System of Profound Knowledge®. As Ron shares, Dr. Deming believed that "business is more exacting than science" as businesses must continually learn and improve to survive.
Next Cliff and Ron delve into why they wrote a paper on the PDSA Cycle. Ron explains that the quality movement in America began after the NBC White Paper, If Japan Can..Why Can't We? aired in 1980. This raised interest in the Japan and the Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) cycle, which originated there. Although Dr. Deming never spoke of PDCA, it was connected to him in the early 80's. That incorrect attribution was the inspiration behind the paper.
Cliff and Ron discuss the evolution of the PDSA Cycle, starting hundreds of years ago with the theories of Galileo and Aristotle. Listen as they take you through the progression, from the Shewhart Cycle, through the Deming Wheel and ultimately the PDSA Cycle as we know it today.
Tripp Babbitt and Ravi Roy
In our November podcast, Ravi Roy, Professor of Public Administration for Southern Utah University (SUU) in Cedar City, Utah, reveals the status of evolving efforts to share his appreciation of Dr. Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge® with his Public Administration students, strongly aligned with his role as the inaugural Research Fellow of The Deming Institute.
Beginning in the 1920s, with his employment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dr. Deming worked closely with students to share his research into statistical theory. Along the way, he was introduced to Professor Harold Hotelling, who Deming would later reference with the following comment, “As Harold Hotelling once said, “He who does no research has nothing to teach.”” Inspired by Dr. Deming’s passion for research, The Deming Institute recently unveiled a fellowship program to engage researchers who share a desire to both expand and deepen the understanding and application of Dr. Deming’s management philosophy among a new generation of students and scholars. Link here to learn more about this Research Fellow program.
In this month's episode, Ravi shares reflections from his Deming research journey and his passion for guiding his student’s understanding and application of Dr. Deming’s management method. As the former director of SUU’s Masters in Public Administration program, Ravi is progressing to a role as director of the Deming Incubator for Public Affairs for Southern Utah University, a new partnership with The Deming Institute. Under Ravi’s leadership, SUU students will soon have the opportunity to engage him in applying Dr. Deming’s “new economics for industry, government, education,” with an emphasis on government.
Skip Steward, Chief Improvement Officer, Baptist Memorial Health Care - From Manufacturing to Healthcare - Reflections on Continuous Improvement
Tripp Babbitt and Skip Steward
In our December podcast, Skip Steward, Chief Improvement Office (CIO) for Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation in Memphis, Tennessee shares lessons from the “Baptist Management System,” including reflections from his 25+ year continuous improvement journey. Guided by his introduction to Dr. Deming’s vision of continuous improvement, Skip “migrated” from an early career in manufacturing to his current career in healthcare. One year ago, he was promoted from System Director for Continuous Improvement to serve as Baptist Health Care’s first-ever “CIO”, with an “I” for Improvement.
In addition to his explanation of the Baptist Management System, (“a holistic approach to managing that puts a focus on purpose, people and process. We care about the purpose, how to improve the process, and how we develop the people to improve the process.), Skip emphasizes his “infant stages” role in leading the shift in thinking within Baptist Health Care. In doing so, Skip explains the holistic nature he captured and distilled from Dr. Deming’s management method and what he is doing with this wisdom to challenge and limit the otherwise “business as usual” tendency towards event-driven and episodic improvements. While crediting the tools of Hoshin Planning, Design of Experiments, Statistical Process Control, Value Stream Mapping, and Pareto charts in both clinical and non-clinical settings, Skip is quick to acknowledge the role of placing a priority on being guided by a Deming lens before proceeding to the “faster-better-cheaper” efficiency of tools.
Travis Timmons, Owner and Physical Therapist of Fitness Matters and Kelly Allan, Deming Institute Advisory Board Chairman - “From Chaos to Process”
Tripp Babbitt, Travis Timmons, and Kelly Allan
Travis Timmons, owner of Fitness Matters and Kelly Allan, Senior Associate of Kelly Allan Associates and Chair of the Deming Institute Advisory Board.
Travis and Kelly share the Deming journey “From Chaos to Process” of Fitness Matters, starting with Travis’s introduction to The System of Profound Knowledge® (SoPK), and systems thinking. The focus then shifts to psychology and caring for people, and how they have driven our fear and removed barriers all while creating “joy in work”. He ends with how using the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) Cycle has helped them grow and thrive.
Travis discusses how he was introduced to the Deming philosophy and areas that first resonated with him - including using a systems approach, and how to think differently and put processes in place to make better decisions. One of the most powerful aspects for him was how SoPK makes you look at how you care for people inside and outside the organization.
Travis and Kelly then talk about how the psychology element and the team mindset has been game changing. These have led to less fear, less stress and more joy within the organization, leading to positive outcomes and win-wins for everyone (including the competition).
Lastly, Travis shares a few examples of PDSA’s and the aha moments they discovered along the way. From getting new referrals to finding tampering in the scheduling system, PDSA’s have been a very effective tool in moving them light years ahead in working together as one system and having fun while they do it.
Frony Ward, Managing and Founding Partner of Pinnacle Partners, Inc. – Beware, Not All Polls Are The Same
Tripp Babbitt and Frony Ward
This week's Podcast, continues our "Knowledge in Variation Series" with Dr. Frony Ward, Managing and Founding Partner of Pinnacle Partners, Inc.
In this podcast, Frony discusses online surveys and polls. She starts by sharing the fundamental piece of every single survey. From there she delves into elections polls, and why so many election polls show different results. Lastly, she discusses two or three good things you can do to help yourself understand a poll.
Frony Ward, Managing and Founding Partner of Pinnacle Partners, Inc. – Process Behavior Charts are the "Secret Sauce" to Seeing the World
Tripp Babbitt and Frony Ward
This week's podcast, continues our "Knowledge in Variation Series" with Dr. Frony Ward, Managing and Founding Partner of Pinnacle Partners, Inc. Frony discusses the importance of Statistical Process Control (SPC) in all parts of an organization and why it's a barrier to many.
Frony was first introduced to SPC (Statistical Process Control) when she was teaching at the University of Tennessee. An opportunity arose to be a part of an institute surrounding statistical process control and she jumped in with both feet, deepening her knowledge of Deming. The institute became a place for people to continue learning after Dr. Deming's 4-Day Seminar. Frony spent the remainder of her time at U of T working with automotive facilities that wanted to study variation and use SPC.
Frony had an opportunity to meet Dr. Deming in 1982 and he completely turned her thinking upside down, especially around Acceptance Sampling Plans. Deming's theory was that the percentage of defective units in the rest of the lot is independent of the percentage of defective units in your sample. Her mind was blown when she went back and proved this herself.
When Frony first learned SPC, it was totally new to her. At first she didn't realize the impact of knowing common cause and special cause variation. After a number of engagements it became obvious that SPC was "the name of the game". At all levels of the organization, from the inspection level to the management level, she could see instantly what was going on by using SPC. It was a powerful tool to "highlight" what people needed to know to make decision and help improve.
Frony finds it fascinating and frustrating that many organizations are aware of SPC but don't use it. She feels that for some reason, finance systems can compromise improvement. Organizations just don't understand that the process behavior chart is the "secret sauce" to seeing their organization.
This week we are kicking off our 10 Minutes with Dr. Deming series. In this new series moderator Tripp Babbitt will cover, in 10-minute segments, a variety of topics that Dr. Deming spoke about in his seminars and speeches. In our first “10-minute” podcast, Tripp discusses innovation, mentioned prominently in Dr. Deming’s books, Out of the Crisis and The New Economics. Enjoy!
Tripp Babbitt and Monta Akin
This week's podcast features Monta Akin, Assistant Superintendent for Leander Independent School District in Leander, Texas.
Monta shares her Deming journey and the compelling story of Leander Independent School District's transformation. It begins when Monta was first introduced to Deming when she came across the PBS series "Quality or Else" featuring David Langford. What caught her attention was his Deming-based systematic approach to education, creating passion in students by engaging them in the practice of improvement.
Serendipitously, the next day Monta picked up an educational magazine with information on a David Langford seminar. She rallied a few Leander colleagues to attend. It totally changed how they looked at instruction and the partnership with students. They realized that to be a great school district they would have to do something different.
As they began adopting the Deming philosophies, Monta and her colleagues discovered how transparency built teamwork and realized the detrimental effect of fear, especially of teacher ratings. This led to a major change in how they conducted evaluations; a pivotal moment in their transformation.
Monta shares the positive results at Leander independent School District, and why after more than 20 years, she is still passionately committed to the Deming philosophy.
Louis Altazan, President of AGCO Automotive Corporation - Realizing "I Was The Problem" Was The First Step To Success
Tripp Babbitt and Louis Altazan
This week's Podcast features Louis Altazan, President of AGCO Automotive Corporation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Louis discusses his introduction to Dr. Deming and his philosophies, his "aha" moment, and the long-term thinking and trust that must be established to succeed.
Louis starts with a brief introduction of AGCO, and his feeling that the automotive industry could be doing better. After toiling for 10 years with various philosophies, it was the 1980 NBC documentary "If Japan Can, Why Can't We" that hit home with him. He picked up the phone and called Dr. Deming. And as they say "the rest is history."
Louis began implementing Deming's 14 points right away. His biggest "aha" moment was that "I was the problem." Once he realized this, he called a meeting to apologize and things started to get better right away. Louis removed everyone from the "flat rate" pay system and put them on salary. This helped his staff change their focus from short-term thinking and profits to long-term thinking and trust.
Louis warns that you can't apply some part of Dr. Deming's philosophy and not others - that "it's a cohesive system that all works together." Done this way you will start seeing improvement almost immediately, but the real benefits will be felt about 20 years down the road.
Jim Benson, Founding Partner of Modus Institute and Author of Personal Kanban - "You Can Have Too Many Manhattans!"
Tripp Babbitt and Jim Benson
This week's Podcast features Jim Benson, founding partner of the Modus Institute. Jim discusses how he was introduced to the Deming Philosophy, how his team applies it to Knowledge Work (work that can't be seen), and what he feels is the biggest fear in an organization.
Though he was initially introduced accidently on an airplane, Jim shared how he was actively looking for a set of guiding principles around what would create a human oriented, self-aware way of managing work. As he hopes everyone finds out, the four points of the System of Profound Knowledge do that in a very elegant, concise and friendly way.
At Modus Cooperendi, they apply the Deming Philosophy with three guiding principles: Respect for people, SOPK, and the One Point (summation of the 14 points). They take those principles and help companies build new Life Systems, so they can visualize their work for the first time leading to better communication, collaboration and transparency.
Listen as Jim tells us why they feel "the unknown" is the biggest fear in an organization. And how building trust within teams can remove one of the largest barriers to your company. Hear how some companies they're working with are doing just that.
Tripp Babbitt and Bret Champion
This week's Podcast features Dr. Bret Champion, Superintendent of the Leander Independent School District in Leander, Texas. Bret discusses Leander ISD's journey and how they faced the challenges of a growing school district, external federal and state standards and limited resources to create a quality education system focused on the most critical component, the student.
Bret shares his early adoption of the "Leander Way" and how he discovered it was based on the Deming teachings. At Leander, he found a collaborative environment, free from the palpable fear felt at other schools by students and teachers alike. Liberated from fear through partnership, interaction, cooperation and training, it was about a system, "not just by the book".
Bret explains how he is drawn to messy and noisy classrooms, because "that's where learning happens". At Leander, they realized they did not know what defined a quality classroom or how to measure it. From this experience they developed their "Seven Student Learning Behaviors".
As a district of 36,000 students and 400 employees spread over 200 square miles, Bret describes the constant "battle for balance" and the road to quality as a "marathon". But they continue to work towards incremental changes on their journey of improvement, never letting go of their culture, shared vision and belief that students are "more than test scores".
Lynda Finn, President of Statistical Insight, LLC and facilitator for The Deming Institute – A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Data Points
Tripp Babbitt and Lynda Finn
This week's podcast features the first episode of our "Knowledge In Variation Series" with Lynda Finn, President of Statistical Insight, LLC and facilitator of The Deming Institute's 2.5 Day Seminar. Lynda discusses the importance of moving from spreadsheets to plotting data, and the common mistakes that organizations make if they aren't charting their data.
Lynda's Deming journey began when, shortly out of graduate school, she met Dr. Deming at one of his public seminars. From that point she has been helping spread his ideas through her own consulting company and her work with The Deming Institute.
She starts by sharing some of the hardest things for people to grasp about the Deming philosophy. Though it varies, Lynda finds it's most difficult when Deming's ideas don't align with the practices people feel have contributed their success.
The episode centers on why organizations should be plotting their data on charts rather than just using spreadsheets. She feels that if the number is important enough to have on a table, then it should be important enough to see it in its proper context.
Lynda outlines the mistakes people make if they aren't charting their data, starting with not caring enough to see what the data is telling them. The most important reason for charting data is so that everyone sees the same thing and can come to a common conclusion about what's happening and how to improve. How can you "see" what the data's telling you if you don't make a picture of it?
Tripp Babbitt and Doug Hall
This week's podcast features Doug Hall, CEO and Founder of Innovation Engineering and Eureka! Ranch as he shares his approach for taking the systems thinking of Dr. Deming and applying it to the world of strategy, innovation, and growth.
Doug shares the story of how his father introduced him to Dr. Deming and systems thinking in the late 70's. Doug's father worked at Nashua Corporation, which was one of the early corporate adopters of Dr. Deming's philosophies. Later Doug took that systems mindset to the Proctor and Gamble brand management department taking nine innovations to market in 12 months, which is still a record today.
After 10 years he retired from corporate life and established Eureka! Ranch. He soon found that corporate executives were not interested in a systemic approach to innovation. Doug pivoted and repackaged himself as a innovation Guru who in truth was powered by systems thinking. He was soon named one of America's top idea gurus by A&E To 10, Inc. Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Doug went on to do dozens of projects for such top innovators as Nike, Walt Disney, and AT&T. His fame lead to network radio and television roles, writing of books and to the role of "Truth Teller" judge on the first season of ABC TV's American Inventor.
As he was getting ready to retire from consulting he returned to his roots and founded the new field of academic study known as Innovation Engineering at the University of Maine. Their mission is to change the world by enabling innovation by everyone, everywhere, everyday resulting in increased speed to market and decreased risk. Their method for accomplishing this is to apply the systems thinking of Dr. Deming. The rise of the internet and the 2008 recession created the opportunity to transfer the system approach to innovation from universities to the commercial world. It worked-companies found that when they enabled their employees they could increase speed to market by up to 6x and decrease innovation risk by 30 to 80%.
Listen as Doug explains why he feels today's younger generation are the greatest generation for workers. And why starting with the "what, why and how" is such an important first step in innovation.
Tripp Babbitt and Alfie Kohn
This week's Podcast feature Alfie Kohn, national speaker and author of 14 books, and scores of articles, on human behavior, management, and education.
Alfie discusses the inspiration for his books including, No Contest and Punished by Rewards, the divergent thoughts surrounding the history of education in the 20th century, and his views on standardized testing and homework.
Alfie explains how, as a contrarian with a practice of finding issues where logic and research points in one direction and practices move in a different direction, he started thinking and writing about competition. He began debunking the common notion that "competition is inevitable because it's just part of human nature".
Next Alfie discusses the different philosophies on education in the early 20th century. As one side supported the experience of the student as the "center of gravity", the other focused on rules, curriculum, numbers and behaviors - things outside the classroom that can be measured.
Alfie tells us how standardized testing has undermined education, even when test scores go up, and how much time has been taken away from real learning to teach kids how to be good at taking tests.
Lastly, Alfie shares what he will be talking about on November 8th, at The First Annual Deming in Education Conference in Seattle.
Tripp Babbitt and David Langford
This week's podcast features David Langford, CEO and founder of Langford International, Inc. and Deming Institute Advisory Board member.
David discusses "Education as a System" and using the four parts of Deming's "System of Profound Knowledge" to make a systemic change to the current education system. He talks about the "aim" and "product" of the education system. "What are we trying to accomplish?" "Are we just trying to improve test scores or are we trying to teach kids to think?"
David talks about the difference between studying and learning and the diminishing returns you receive when you have a whole system based on memorization. And why attempts to improve the system through programs such as "No Child Left Behind" and "Race to the Top" do not work.
Listen as David explores "what is good learning" and how changing the education system through "continual improvement thinking" (rather than just adding programs) will lead to better results for students and teachers; a win-win for all.
Tripp Babbitt and David Langford
This week's podcast features David Langford, CEO and Founder of Langford International, Inc. and Deming Institute Advisory Board member.
In David's third podcast he explores ways to get started in employing the Deming philosophy in education. In many instances this requires an "out of body experience"; stop playing the blame game, stop being a victim. He tells us to stop worrying about the bigger system and start optimizing the performance of the group, which you have influence over.
David shares an example of a student whose "new" knowledge and appreciation for a system led to a study of the most common systemic questions asked by students. Listen as he reviews what they learned - to stop wasting time on things that are not meaningful, to start concentrating on things that are and get those to a higher degree of performance and to concentrate on deep learning experiences with lasting impact.
David explores how a small group of committed people working in a consistent fashion can transform an organization. You don't have to be "all in" to create transformation. It can start with you.