Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Dr. Deming we need you to lead us "Out of the Crisis"


If there ever was a time for American Management to wake up and “transform” their organizations it is now. Fixing the complex and idiotic management style of short-term, bottom line thinking must go along with the decision makers who continue to manage and lead this way.

Dr. Deming in his books and teachings told us time and time again of these type of dangers in our American Style of Management but his words continue to be overlooked because it takes a strong leadership style that is willing to make the tough decisions that may not prove fruitful in the leaders term but nerveless needs to be made for the long-term success of the organization.

Companies in America are falling like dominoes and are our middle class way of life is diluting just as quickly.

General Motors and Chrysler are going in and out of bankruptcy in record speed because of the governmental controls in play. We are in such desperation we go in to this type of mode with believing the government is the way to success. Oh My! We are in trouble!

When they get bailed out, and when our economies improve, we will go right back to where they are now, unless a Transformation happens now!

Management thought has been shaped over a period of centuries by three major sets of forces. These forces are social, economic, and political in nature. They continue to affect management theory today.

Social Forces

Social forces are the norms and values that characterize the people of any particular culture. The social contract between workers and the businesses they work for has changed dramatically over the years. Years ago workers were treated with disdain and arrogance, thus causing the rise of organized labor to take root. Yesterdays workers made great strides that took decades and now they are dissolved in months. Workers were protected by a variety of federal laws, contracts, and even by organizations themselves who where sensitive to the needs and values of workers; but now choose to go the short term way of MBA thinking leaders who many never knew what it is like to be a front-line worker that had to suffer in their type managing of their systems. Social forces have played a major role in shaping areas as motivation, leadership, and human resource management. I now ask what are motivation, leadership and human resources in today’s American Management System?

Economic Forces

Economic forces are associated with economic systems and general economic conditions and trends. The United States has a market economy based on the principles of private ownership of property, economic freedom, competitive markets, and a limited role for government. Within our economy, the availability of resources, the ease in acquiring those resources, and the kinds of goods and services wanted by consumers all play a role in dictating what management can do. More over, general trends and the nature of a firm's competition also greatly affect organizations. In recent years, it's been the increased competition from other countries that have made the greatest impact. Economic forces affect thinking in the areas of environmental analysis, strategic planning, and organizational design. American Leaders took the easy way out of managing by outsourcing and going to unskilled cheaper labor that has now come back to take a big bite out of our Ass.

Political Forces

Political forces are governing institutions and governmental policies and attitudes towards business. For example, general government policies toward the regulation of business play a significant role in how organizations choose to manage themselves. Highly regulated industries like the airline industry are treated much differently than a company such as Verizon. Political forces affect thinking in the areas of planning, organizing, employee rights, and control. At no time in our history is government involvement and control as prevalent as it is today. This is not good.

These negative forces persists in spite of warnings by Dr. W. Edwards Deming that internal competition, selfishness and a lack of cooperation between management workers, suppliers and customers are the very behaviors that must be avoided if system optimization is to be achieved and long-term survival can be achieved.

Certainly every organization wants better results. The question is, by what methods? Is Management by Objectives (MBO) as practiced by most organizations, even those who are so called self committed to quality management, the best method for achieving better results?
Dr. Deming certainly did not think so. He believed that MBO put the focus on outcomes, usually expressed as some arbitrary numerical goal or target. He saw the way to better results as a focus on the system that was causing the results. More important, he believed that a goal beyond the capability of a system would lead to frustration, discouragement, and a loss of pride and joy in work, as employees were held accountable for what was clearly beyond their control.

I ask who is in Control? It certainly is just not the workers today.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Dr. Deming’s book “Out Of The Crisis" and
"The New Economics."

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