The foundation of the Science of Improvement was defined by Dr. W. Edwards Deming with the identification of four components and their respective interactions: 1) Theory of Variation; 2) Systems theory; 3) Theory of Knowledge; 4) Psychology. The purpose of this blog is to shed light on good practice, methods and tools driven by the science of improvement. To invite conversation to advance the theory, method, tools and practice.
This article reminds me of the process reengineering
aftermath when the authors tried to rewrite history on “shooting the wounded,”
getting rid of people etc. The authors wrote article after article saying they
were misunderstood. Regardless “Process Reengineering” became a synonym for
getting rid of people. The ability for self-justification is a human trait that
we all possess; intelligent people are even more adapt at this core competency.
Welch is obviously practicing in this article.
Still, the fundamentals are still wrong. Deming’s equation
comes to mind:
·X + [XY] = 8
Deming would note, “One equation and two unknowns, unsolvable.” In many
organizations the system in not under suspicion.Management merely sets Y = 0 and then
attributes the results to X.
Leadership should be up close and personal. If this is the
case, then it will be obvious who is contributing and who is not. We have
witnessed several people who have been let go in organizations over the years.
Typically, it is obvious to everyone that the person does not fit. Tragically,
even though this is apparent to everyone, the separation process goes on way
too long for the health and morale of the organization. It is usually very
difficult for leaders to admit that they have hired someone who does not fit.
Meanwhile the organization suffers, relationships with customers are damaged
and the firm still faces the evitable change that must take place.
Deming used to identify “substitutes for leadership.” Yank
and Rank was certainly a poor substitute.