How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
The ChangingMinds Blog!
My daughter is currently working on an M.Sc. in International Management and researches widely for her coursework -- for example in her first piece on marketing she went out as far as Marx and Lao Tsu.
Recently, she came home from the library in high excitement after researching for an Asian Management essay. "Dad! There's this great stuff by a guy called Deming!" she said (she does talk in exclamations when she's excited). I smiled and reached up for my Deming books. She does have an uncanny knack of finding the good stuff. As a bibliophilic business consultant myself I've got literally thousands of books across hundreds of topics and it's lovely to see her following in the old man's tracks.
W. Edwards Deming was an original business 'guru' who taught the Japanese about quality after the second world war. He had a very forthright method of persuasion, combining expert use of statistics and direct assertion. When consulting into a company he would only take the engagement if he had the attention and commitment of the top team. He never retired and worked well into his nineties after having been rediscovered by the West around 1980. Beyond fundamental methods for creating and assuring quality, he had '14 points for management' that still are relevant today and yet poorly understood in many companies that should know better.
In the way that things oscillate, Deming seems to have become less popular, but his truths, gained in a lifelong search for true understanding, will return as the seekers of the next generation, like my daughter, rediscover his genius.
Perhaps a more significant point is that in the Post World War 2 period,
Japanese Industry was able to purge and rid itself of the old fashioned managers
that had stifled production previously. Many of the pupils were young men, not
yet 'poisoned' or discouraged by the previous ways.
My daughter's web is at http://hel.org.uk. Go look at http://hel.org.uk/business/management.htm for her current college notes and essays (all of which have received distinctions).