…not that it should matter to anyone that I agree with him, but I do.
So why should you care that Deming was right?
Because just as other authors have discovered the mechanisms at work in creating empowered cultures (Gallup’s strengths work) and transformational change (Kotter’s Leading Change), so W. Edwards Deming cataloged beautifully the flaws in modern organizations and proposed solutions to the flaws, a system to replace the old and restore dignity to work and unleash the potential of every man or woman.
Deming advocated for leaders to seek out a system of profound knowledge, where the leader could see the broad system, and act on the system to achieve true transformation.
Frequent readers of this blog will see tie between driving change and profound leadership, notably in these thoughts:
2. Create an environment where people are self-motivated. They realize the power is not in motivating people, but rather that the power is in creating a place where people are self-motivated to contribute. Then, get out of their way and the organization will go places you probably did not imagine.
4. Remove barriers so people can do Quality work together. Ask what is getting int he way of the people accomplishing their work and then respond to serve them.
7. Create new leaders. Develop the natural leadership in everyone. Help people reach their fullest potential. Coach and counsel people. Learn what is important to people, to different generations, groups and teams, and cultures.
Self-motivated people? Check. When you’re driving change, you’re asking the people in your organization who would like to help, you’ve removed the policies that punish the helpful, and you’ve waited for the people to step forward. And they’ve stepped forward. You didn’t have to wait long.
Remove barriers? Check. When you’re driving change, you’re the leader who is blowing apart barriers, using what positional authority you have to clear the way to drive your organization into the future. It’s awesome to watch!
Create new leaders? Check. When you’re driving change, you can’t help but create new leaders because you’ve stepped back from making every decision and you’ve allowed others to lead. You give them the opportunity and more than a few have seized it and truly impressed you. It’s a phenomenal sight!
Though you may have no time or interest, consider adding Deming into your to-read list and, at minimum, look over Ms. Daszko’s article.
If you don’t know how you would actually implement any one of her 16 steps to profound leadership, just post a comment and ask. I’m sure together we can come up with something to make you even more successful at driving change. After all, that’s why I’m here!