Over 50 years ago Dr. W.Edwards Deming has formulated his famous 14 Points, which are studied in every Quality Assurance course ever since. Most people mistakenly think that Deming was a statistician, and that his greatest achievement in Japan was due to his understanding and love of that field of mathematics.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Almost all of Dr. W.Edwards Deming’s 14 points are not about statistics at all. Rather, they are about people, about management. And to this day the Deming Institute teaches management and leadership skills, not statistics, as its main line.
Among the gurus of Quality Assurance there was a Japanese man by the name Genichi Taguchi, who has only recently left this world, in June 2012.
Being an engineer and a man of wide outlook, he understood the most profound thing any manufacturing organization must understand about its processes (as a matter of fact, his insights may easily be expanded to service processes as well as any organizational and other processes at all): every process is influenced by external noise factors.
“Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat…”
Thus Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936), the great British writer, poet, journalist opens his well-known poem The Ballad of East and West.
Aside from the fact that Rudyard Kipling is my all-time favorite poet, and one who truly combines the East and West in the most magical of ways for both children and adults, I have chosen to cite the words of this poem here for another reason. (more…)
It is customary to assume in the majority of workplace, schools, families and other social circles, that competition is a good thing, spurring people and motivating them to action. But is that really so?
Alfie Kohn, an author and lecturer in education, parenting, and human behavior, has spent seven years reviewing more than 400 research studies dealing with competition and cooperation. He published his conclusion in his classic book from 1986, No Contest: The Case Against Competition: