「華人戴明學院」是戴明哲學的學習共同體 ,致力於淵博型智識系統的研究、推廣和運用。 The purpose of this blog is to advance the ideas and ideals of W. Edwards Deming.

2015年1月19日 星期一

Dr. W. Edwards Deming And Innovation Effectiveness


Dr. W. Edwards Deming And Innovation Effectiveness
Dan Maycock

Director @ Transform Inc., Author of Building The Expo

Dr. W. Edwards Deming And Innovation Effectiveness

Dr. W. Edwards Deming was an engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant., credited for indirectly starting the Total Quality Management movement, as well as impacting manufacturing organizations around the world.
If we take some of Dr. Deming's key principles first presented in his book OUT OF CRISIS, what can we learn from his work that can be applied to Innovation programs?
Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in business, and to provide jobs.
If everyone in the company is focused on improving the products and services they produce, that could look differently to each person but should result in being innovative as a natural by-product. However, that's not typically the case and not because the individuals in a company don't want to drive greater revenues or reduce costs but because there isn't a "constancy of purpose" permeating the organization. Often times, you'll hear stories of start-ups and how founders are the most passionate drivers when it comes to a business but the enthusiasm leaves the room once the company goes public as it becomes all about efficiency and keeping the board happy. Consider what type of culture you're building, and how you can aim to focus more on purpose and less on outcomes to drive meaningful Innovation as a natural by-product of the work people are performing.
Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
Though this was written in a different time, we must take a step back and look at the bigger world we find ourselves in. Is it time to get rid of outdated management theory, or perhaps go from waterfall-driven project management to agile project management? From how you recruit, to how you do business, if you're not considering how to disrupt your business there's a start-up around the corner ready to put you out of business. Think about what "sacred cows" (i.e. business practices you refuse to replace) exist in your business, and what that's costing you to keep them around. Driving innovation depends on the willingness to shift and flex all parts of your business, if necessary.
Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.
Iteration and rapid prototyping to build minimal viable products doesn't mean accepting functional issues along the way. Developing a process that ensures quality as it's being produced, even building a prototype, through ongoing and intermittent quality control means not waiting till it's on the desk of the project sponsor to diagnose issues. This will not only help show the viability of a product early on, thereby getting greater support and buy-off, but also help drive quality at each phase of the Innovative process. There's a difference between not including a function and capability early on, versus having what you built not work due to a poor level of quality.
Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.
Innovation doesn't always mean invention, and continually refining or improving what's been previously built can be a far more effective way to innovate vs doing something all at once. Consider how ongoing improvement vs full on overhaul might drive innovation more rapidly, and with less upfront cost to benefit early on.
Institute training on the job.
Knowledge transfer is critical, expertise location is as well, not just having hard drives full of "how we do things", but meaningful mentorships that drive conversations across the company about how things are done along with what could be done differently. Young people, and people new to the company have a new set of eyes but people that have worked for a long period of time have something valuable to share as well. Consider how things like employee churn, and attrition can also be affected by employees feeling more connected, through relationships, at every level of the organization.
If senior leadership isn't a part of the conversation, then employees can just as easily turn away from the company if it's responding with a deaf ear, no matter how many years they've worked there. Toxicity is best avoided with transparency, so make sure every part of your company at every level is open to learning and teaching the best way to drive change and disrupt the industry you work within.
Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company
Fear has never been an effective tool to drive efficiency over a long period of time, and competition along with a media ripe to attack the faintest sign of weakness can mean an unstable and fearful workforce. Leading the charge and driving Innovation means maintaining a lead it's nearly impossible to catch up to, but it means fighting the corporate immune system and helping embrace risk vs efficiency & merely focusing on survival. Being pro-active vs reactive not only keeps you alive, but keeps you a couple steps ahead of the competitors, thereby exchanging fear and survival for growth and continual change.
Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.
Silos exist in every company, sometimes it's necessary and most of the time it's not. Fiefdoms spring up from companies of every size, and those pockets can be toxic when trying to stay nimble and innovative. Regardless of your level in the organization, if you're reading this, it's your responsibility to help weed these silos out. Get a coffee with someone completely unrelated to your team or job, and keep promoting that mentality with everyone you encounter. You'd be surprised just how effective you are at helping fix that problem.
Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
What do you talk about, when it comes to outcomes in your business? Is failure ok? Can someone launch a pilot, see it completely nose-dive, then get back up and say "ok, I learned something, and therefore there was value in doing it". Failing forward needs to be the mantra for every organization in your company, which means making sure that failure isn't something people are afraid of. If the metrics to success are too rigid, failure is avoided, and therefore people make the safe moves and quickly fall into survival mode. Consider what promoting failing forward could do in your company, vs being too rigid on outcomes and KPIs.
Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.
Are people proud of the work they're doing, or are they just punching in and out each day? No one is going to put in the extra effort to think outside what they do, to try and do things better if they don't feel all that enthusiastic about the work they're doing. Innovative thinking starts with people caring about the job they have, and the company they work for, so consider how you can reinforce the good work people do can add to the type of work they perform. Efficiency is about sheer numbers of production, but Innovative new thinking that drives continued change is about the quality people put into the time they spend thinking and working on the tasks in front of them.
Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody's job.
Everyone has the capability to drive Innovation, from the janitors to the CEO of a company, and whether it's cost reduction or revenue improvement, it's everyones job to make the company run better and drive more Innovative thinking. If you aren't empowering everyone that works with you and for you to think and work differently, then you'll suffer from Innovation atrophy and ultimately fall into survival mode.
What lessons can you take a way from this? Any lessons you have to add? Please leave your comments below, and let me know what you're thinking.
Principles taken from "THE FOURTEEN POINTS FOR MANAGEMENT", The W. Edwards Deming Institute, https://www.deming.org/theman/theories/fourteenpoints
Dan Maycock is the author of "Building The Expo", which shares best practices on leveraging #Innovation in meaningful ways and saving the concept from it's overused but underutilized past. The book has first hand stories, and best practices from Dan's years of experience working with Fortune 1000 companies dealing with emerging technology adoption in an increasingly dynamic business environment. You can purchase the book atAmazon.com or learn more about him at http://www.danmaycock.com