W. Edward Deming was the creator of TQM (Total Quality Management).He was also responsible for raising Japan out of the dust after WWII. The Deming Quality Award is the second highest award in all of Japan - second only to the Emperor's Award.
I loved W. Edward Deming and had the opportunity to spend 4 days of my life in training with him. I realized during that entire time that I was in the presence of a virtual giant.
In the four days I spent with Deming, his presence and his brilliance were palpable. He had a powerful, quick, agile mind and a quick wit even at 94. When challenged by a young man from the floor he responded, "Young man, my product is Japan. What is your product?" The man blanched as Deming continued. "Come with an open mind to learn because my job is done while yours is just beginning."
Although Deming passed away 11 months after I studied with him, his ideas and his wisdom live in my work to this day. There are four key steps in the Deming process. And they can be applied not just to CEO's and business people, but by leaders on the campus and teachers in the classroom.
- Consistency - Be consistent in the delivery of your products and services.
- Whether you are a leader or a teacher, be consistent in your words. Keep your emotions in tact, consistent and balanced.
- Trust - Consistency builds trust in the people you serve.
- If you are a leader, watch the response of those in your team. As a classroom teacher, notice how your students react to you. Protect their dignity by never making them wrong in front of their peers. Acknowledge the difference between an intention and a mistake and then apologize when you make a mistake.
- Loyalty - As trust is built and stabilized through consistency, loyalty blossoms.
- Whether you are a campus leader or a leader in the classroom, pay attention the response that you get from those around you. Loyalty is built on trust. Trust is built on consistency. Thus if your people are loyal you have laid the foundation well.
- Repeat Business - When all of the above factors are in place, people come back for more.
- Repeat business within the school construct means that your team and your students want more, are willing to give more and do more. They are willing to go the extra mile to support you and/or learn from you.
So how do you build capacity? All of the results in the Deming model are built on number 1 - consistency. So let's focus on consistency.
For me, consistency is the hardest mountain to climb. I feel as if I climb it every single day. Plateaus are short lived and only provide a momentary illusory respite. I say illusory because there really is no rest on the journey to become consistent in words and actions.
So here's the 4 step study guide:
- Recommit to the goal every morning.
- Action-Awareness - Practice and observe yourself during the course of the day. Course correct for greater consistency.
- Reflect at days end on where you did well and where you would like to improve.
Do the same cycle every day for 30 days and notice how your results improve.