I am working on two major projects at the moment. And I will use my absence of disciplined working rhythms and feedback loops as a lesson to all of us this week.
Appreciation for a System is Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s first principle from his teachings on management and transformation of business. Deming teaches us that a leader must understand the system he or she is attempting to manage.
Many people are familiar with the most basic version of the scientific method, Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA), also known as the Shewhart or Deming Cycle. Those of us who are engineers or scientists tend to use PDSA quite frequently, so you might think we’d have the process down pat.
Unfortunately, not so. Even with the best of intentions, super-smart innovation project teams often skip over the most important part of Plan. They interpret the word like the simple Merriam-Wester definition, when it should be more.
plan (noun): something that a person intends to do
When thinking about innovation and developing new ideas or systems have you ever considered just blowing up the entire thing? Hitting the reset button? Consider, you come in to work tomorrow and your #1 product no longer exists, and you can never get it back. What would you do?
When I came to Eureka! Ranch over 12 years ago with my 2 years in government and my liberal arts degree in Communications (from DePauw University - go Tigers!) I had never heard of Dr. W. Edwards Deming - honestly, I'd taken only one class in the Science and Math building so it wasn't surprising. But, as an innovator it is important to understand who Dr. Deming was and what he means to quality and innovation not only in the United States, but across the globe. He was a visionary, whose tireless quest for the “truth” and unwavering belief in "continual improvement" led to a set of transformational theories and teachings that changed the way we think about quality, management and leadership.