Igniting Innovation: Tips, Sparks and Ideas for Acting on Innovation

Employee Engagement & Dr. Deming

Posted by Lydia Carson on Apr 21, 2016 10:23:50 AM

The cover story on the ASQ April 2016 Quality Progress magazine about theEmployee_Engagement_ThinkstockPhotos-510873891.jpeg cost of employee disengagement made me flash back to my first day on the job as an engineer.  My boss gave me a big box of VHS videos to watch - yes, VHS! 

My first assignment in the “real world” was to watch the Deming video library covering his System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK) and 14 Points for Management.  I learned about Dr. Deming in College, but the videos really brought his approach to life.

The ASQ article makes some great points that show how much we still can learn from what Deming said more than 25 years ago.  It references a Gallup study that shows 50% of employees are not engaged and 20% are actively disengaged, costing the U.S. economy more than $440 billion annually in terms of lost productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee morale.

The article suggests Deming’s management method can help increase employee engagement, and I concur.

"Deming’s 14 Points and System of Profound Knowledge can help organizations overcome the management practices causing disengagement and provide a method to support a culture of employee engagement.”

Deming often talked about how 94% of problems are due to the system, 6% are due to the worker, and management is responsible for the system.  If employees are disengaged, it’s because management has not provided a system that provides a culture of engagement.

Deming’s SoPK includes 4 components - 1) Appreciation for a system, 2) Knowledge about variation, 3) The theory of knowledge, and 4) Psychology - that are supported by his 14 Points, which address many management issues responsible for low employee engagement.  Just a few examples of what management must do include:

  • Clearly defining and communicating the organization’s system and its aim
  • Ensuring every employee understands how what they do contributes to the aim
  • Ensuring every employee is enabled with education and resources to succeed at their job
  • Recognize and embrace that people are different from one another
  • Create a culture free of fear, intimidation, and internal competition

Click here to learn more by watching the first video covering the Deming System of Profound Knowledge from the Innovation College curriculum taught at Eureka! Ranch:

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Topics: leadership, alignment

Lydia Carson

Written by Lydia Carson

Lydia is the Vice President of Innovation Engineering Systems at Eureka! Ranch. She is a straight shooter who is known for getting the job done and is excellent in her skill for helping others succeed. Around the Ranch she is known for her laser focus. Prior to joining the Ranch, Lydia’s corporate experience included working for Lexmark International and Ford Motor Company. Since joining the Ranch, she’s helped a diverse group of companies create breakthrough new products, services, and systems. To name just a few: Tyson Foods, Bush Brothers, Walmart, Pon, GOJO, The Edrington Group, Humana, and Toyota. Lydia received a mechanical engineering degree from Vanderbilt University and an MBA through the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Executive MBA program. She is passionate about learning and has received numerous certifications, including Innovation Engineering Black Belt and Six Sigma Black Belt. She received Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI) training – which introduced the Jobs to be Done approach – from Tony Ulwick in 2006. Lydia applies her broad skills and experience when tackling any challenge that comes her way. Lydia is a lover of sailing and baseball who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband Paul and two kids.

Welcome to the first blog from the Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering Institute team.  Here you will find a diverse group of innovators dedicated to changing the world by transforming innovation from a random gamble to a reliable system that delivers increased innovation speed and decreased risk.


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