Management and Managers Have to Get it Right – Classic Insight from W. Edwards Deming, Out of the Crisis


Out of the CrisisIt is no longer socially acceptable to dump employees on the heap of unemployed…
The basic cause of sickness in American industry and resulting unemployment is failure of top management to manage.
Failure of management to plan for the future and to foresee problems has brought about waste of manpower, of materials, and of machine-time, all of which raise the manufacturer’s cost and price that the purchaser must pay.
Everyone doing his best is not the answer. It is first necessary that people know what to do.
W. Edwards Deming, Out of the Crisis (1982)

——————–

One reason I love the modern internet era is that there are so many web sites with so much content teaching me so much. Occasionally, what I learn from all these sites comes from an “older source.”

So, recently, I read one of those “you should read these books” articles. (There are so many of these — I’ve written a few myself – that I will never catch up with all the books I “should read”). I’m not sure if this is the article I saw, but it might have been – I click on practically all such lists. This list does include the Deming book quoted above: The 25 Most Influential Business Management Books.

Now, I’ve read plenty about W. Edwards Deming. I’ve read key quotes from him. But, I confess, I have never read his book Out of the Crisis, first published in 1982. Apparently, it was his most important book.  (Since discovering this book, I’ve also read much from the Wikipedia article on W. Edwards Deming.  It really is worth a leisurely read).

Here’s what struck me as I took my first dip into the book. The “people” — the people who do the work — are utterly dependent on management and managers to know what work to be doing.

And when management and managers are on their game, and they set up and nurture the right processes, then work is productive, workers flourish, and the future is secure.

But, when management and managers mess up, the ripple effects are really bad ripple effects. Wasted time, wasted work, the “wrong” work is done, and jobs are ultimately lost…

So, a reminder from W. Edwards Deming – if you are in a position of management, everything really does hinge on your work. Get it right; do it right… Your people, your company, and our entire society are counting on you to get it right!

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