Tag Archive: Deming


Prepared for the 18th International Deming Research Seminar at Fordham University, NY, NY

Frank J. Lucatelli, Personal Intelligence, LLC; Frank@Lucatelli.org

3 January 2012

Abstract (Click on the word “Abstract” for a full copy of this paper)

A fresh look at Deming’s “Profound System of Knowledge” demonstrates that additional systematic development of “Psychology” and a “Theory of Knowledge” on a par with the study of “Variation” and an “Appreciation of Systems” accelerates the application of Deming’s Quality system in business and industry.

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Executive Summary

Linking the psychology of personality with Deming’s Quality system promises to be a source of wealth for manufacturing and other organizations because it resolves long-standing issues regarding the acceptance of the Deming Quality model as the default method for productive organizations. For example:

The impression that Quality systems are too complicated to implement is resolved by training practitioners to focus upon easily comprehensible roles within the system, without simplifying the overall Quality system and losing the benefits of its complexity and comprehensiveness.

High performing executives and managers are offended by the implication that somehow what they know in their gut to be effective is not useful within a Quality system. This is resolved by connecting innate strengths with the appropriate role within the Quality system and showing how what they know deeply can be used more effectively.

The perception that the Deming Quality system is a lifeless, robotic, rule-driven operation, lacking crea-tivity and individual initiative is resolved by tapping into unique individual capacities and aspirations. The most effective use of Quality systems is to harness the inherent wealth-creating potential of every member of the organization; not to force people to perform unnatural and difficult to understand procedures.

The expectation that training will be too expensive and time consuming is resolved by initially connecting Deming’s principles with the personality characteristics of key staff, and eventually through modeling of this new approach, all members of the organization will appreciate the common sense of the system.

This new blended model also has the effect of making the Quality system a much more robust method at a time in history when it is timely for the restitution of manufacturing to its position of primacy in the Unites States. It is the author’s premiss that the urgent and important need for the equitable treatment of workers and salaried employees will drive the re-invigoration of US manufacturing. These are game-changing shifts in attitude that become possible with the integration of practical psychology into this system of profound knowledge, as W. Edwards Deming himself, has originally envisioned.

A simple version of this is presented, which leads to Deming’s principles organized according to the same logical scheme used in the Personality Insight model. The parallel relationship, between personality archetypes and principles of Quality systems, is examined. A-Priori Modal Analysis (APMA), a new method for logical analysis and systems development, reveals that there exist two diametrically opposing, but complementary, sets of principles within Deming’s list, and that their effective application must be sensitive to the timing of the work process. The careful use of one principle should not cancel the effect of another. Think of this timing as if you were pushing a child on a swing. The principle of pushing sends the swing higher, the principle of gravity brings it back for another push.

APMA analysis is used to organize W. Edwards Deming’s Quality system principles. It is shown how the principles outlined by Deming have a one-to-one correspondence with a set of personality modes, and how recognition and use of this information can greatly accelerate training in Deming’s Quality system.

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Participation is the best motivator.

A person who is self-referencing and also interested in group activity from a feeling perspective is a good motivator. As a feeler this person is very responsive to others and because the focus of the feeling is participatory. This means either that the person is actively engaged in monitoring his or her own personal feelings or is actively facilitating group interaction. In both cases this person is working to improve either their own attitude or the social acceptance of others withing their chosen groups.

This focus also relates to Deming’s principle to “breakdown of divisions between departments, lessening the effect of silo mentality on the organization.” Silos are necessary for the execution of specific functions within an organization, but carried to extreme cut off communications between departments. An extra effort is necessary to monitor the functioning of interdepartmental contact points to assure that the overall interests of the organization are collectively being met with the least effort within all departments.

This personality type, The Motivator is best at understanding the need for easy and regular communication. This type is essentially using his or her emotional or feeling awareness to sense when purposes between departments are working at cross purposes or when individual workers have lost their sense of purpose. This archetype may rarely have the specific solution to the dysfunction but unerringly is able to recognize where value is being compromised by key functions missing opportunities to add value at critical hand-off situations or individual’s becoming disconnected from the common activity of the organization.

The dysfunction may take many forms: departments or people doing too much, assuming too much control or not providing critical feedback to others that would greatly simplify the work of other departments and workers. The goal is to maximize the overall effectiveness of the entire organization.

The Motivator is able to do this because of his or her participatory stance. Issues get resolved when the participants communicate with each other. Silos have a tendency minimize communications, which allows for differing functions to get out of sync with each other. The motivation offered by this type keeps people in relationship to each other. Progress is a step by step process, and keeping lines of communication open helps to keep things moving forward without surprises.

The Motivator is an Archetype formed by the connection of two simpler but different capacities. Although both capacities incorporate an awareness of how feelings affect performance, the Motivator is particularly tuned into areas where value is being sacrificed or lost and is simultaneously aware of where lines of communication have broken down. This second feeling capacity is very concerned that all parties are treated fairly. As a result when a person or department is getting left out of the communications loop the Motivator has a knee jerk response to go out and bring them back into the mainstream, it might be said that it is a shepherding sensibility. So, the Motivator adds energy back into the system first by paying attention to areas of dysfunction that are losing value or potentially could be losing value for the organization. The solution always attempted first by this type is energize others to appreciate the value of resuming communication in areas of conflict.

This is a natural response of this type to issues that arise organizationally. However, Deming goes a step further, saying that the biggest advances and creative potential for the organization lies in the white spaces between things, processes, departments, etc. To get at these advances, Deming proposes to actively form cross-functional problem-solving teams with the purpose of locating hidden sources of improvement hiding in the cracks of the organization. Rather than tear down the silos and risk losing focused attention on critical areas of the organizations work, Deming suggests regular efforts to seek waste reduction that separate work centers naturally produce.