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Fire Sermon and Deming's Profound Knowledge System

戴明哲學與火誡

(A speech by Hanching Chung on May 2 , 1998 at Chinese Deming Center Taipei )

The purpose of this talk is to address some key beliefs of Dr. Deming's legacy in terms of his personal and organizational transformation viewpoints. I'll propose in order to get an deeper understanding of his profound knowledge system, we need to study his faith , hope and love in people.

Starting points: In Peter R. Scholtes's new book The Leader's Handbook, the author gave a profound A Final Thought. He said:

Intrigued by the optimism of Teihard de Chardin, Bill Hunter and I would explore how Deming's philosophy can help humankind evolve into systems that create better places to work and learn, better government, better institutions of health care, and improved organizational pursuits of every kind.It is part of a new renaissance (emphasized by H.C ).

The author also quoted Teihard de Chardin's famous Omega Point. in The End of the World:

The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, and gravitationafter all the scientific and technical achievements, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And then, on that days, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire!

First, I like to say that I love this kind of soft thinking or poetic expression. But we are in a dilemma that one of Shewhart and Deming's legacies is operational meaning or definition, so we also love many metaphors without operational meaning but maybe with profound meaning( somebody said one of its origin meaning is Moan!) for the religious man like Dr Deming and many of his friends including something of you.

I know Some of you are Buddhist. Never mind, I believe Deming will appreciate The Fire Sermon by T. S. Eliot(1888-1965) in which he mentioned

Burning burning burning burning

O Lord Thou pluckest me out

O Lord Thou pluckest

O Burning

 

According to most notes ,we need to refer to Buddhism in Translation by H. C. Warren to understand the fire image and I was shocked to find

the moments of truths in both great religions.

Information, Knowledge, Insight and Understanding

I believe Deming's Philosophy put a lot on the understanding which many people think is equivalent with wisdom. I love the old translation of Bible for the word understanding. The Chinese characters for it means that in order to understand something or somebody, we must listening, with heart, with open mind and to let light in. What a wonderful translationthis is nearly exactly the requirements of Dr. Deming's definition of a leader.

We really need to understand our modern culture is a information cult and information anxiety culture to appreciate ( this word is very meaningful in our context and Deming community) Deming Philosophy.

When I mentioned information cult and anxiety, I actually want to refer two books by Theodore Rozak(The Cult of Information, by the way, Theo used I. F. Stone's Newsletter as an example of his preference and I think many of you may like Stone's last masterpiece which we have a good translation and I like Stone attitude of copyright so that OUP could not trace it.)

Many people will surprise that I quote another T. S. Eliot's work as follows:

Where is the life we have lost in living;

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge;

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information.

(quoted from Choruses from The Rock)

Well, maybe too many Eliot for this talk but we should remember Dr. Deming chose one Japanese poem to express his quality triangle.

We as a manager or an educator, in this age of www (or world wide mess), need to be very careful in Ultimate Resources(Henry Simons term), that is in people and their time. I believe Deming's significant contribution to Shewhart's legacy is to emphasize on the people. So he mentioned about the most important application of control charts principles is in people. We'll appreciate his concern with people life in organizations so that he talked about destruction forces ,Fear, training and education , Trust , cooperation, money and other havingness as the means of motivation?

I believe in our last transparent film we can appreciate some of Deming's Faith, Hope and Love. But I think some of his stories can help us understand my points.

(Stories skipped.)

Let's review some of Demingism as our understand of Deming Philosophy.

We'll have two group discussions for Transformation and Leadership and Continuous Improvement today and I wish we have a good conference.

戴明哲理DEMINGISMS(中譯:蔡大為)

1. 用什麼方法?By What Method?

應用方法才可以重現結果,方法有助於解決問題,有些方法更能防止系統出錯。如果我們企圖評鑑處於系統中〔某個人〕,這表示我們正使用的方法有瑕疵,用這種方法來決定員工的薪資、昇遷本身就錯了。譯註:個人績效高低主要繫於系統的良窳,不然怎會有《丈夫無力以迴天》這句話。

我們不可能把系統中所有相互影響的變數都獨立起來,我們最好善用資深員工的經驗創造力技能態度或我們自己健全的判斷

應該把焦點放在方法不是結果,懂得方法能幫助我們瞭解結果,當我們知道某些方法的本質,就不會相信其結果。譯註:方法錯了當然不必相信其結果。

2. 知識無可取代There's No Substitute For Knowledge

儘吾所能並不保證成功,堅定不移固然值得欽佩,但仍嫌不足,徒有資金不足以自行,花言巧語、經過協調的努力也可能失敗。

資訊 + 理論 = 知識

在戴明循環(PDSA,Plan, Do, Study, Act)中不斷地應用知識,可造就持續改善。

智慧與知識可化解恐懼。

(譯註:聰明+理論+資訊=>戴明淵博知識系統)

3. 他們要如何領會?How Could They Know?

目前大部份商學院的課程並不講授戴明的淵博知識系統與14項要點,一般人必須在其中浸潤良久,方能將戴明的理論發展成可用的整體架構。

他們要如何才能領會?

戴明的哲理可適用下列情境:

  • 部門間存有相互學習的障礙時,可用戴明的哲理進行教育訓練。
  • 未對方法作明確的解說時。
  • 對員工不知道的事情不宜有所苛責。
  1. 為什人不知善用紙筆?

Why is it a pencil and a piece of paper seem to be so scarce?

戴明博士的意思是指:純就思考而言不須用到電腦;電腦有時候反而是障礙、不當的投資。當資訊存於電腦而吾等卻不知如何應用時,它的功用何在?ㄧ支筆、一張紙、一些簡單的計算就能做很多事。

  1. 一個大家都視為理所當然的例子A Stupid Example

有時候顯然易見(Stupid)的案例案例最好,因為它很容易記住。戴明博士曾用許多案例來證實此論點。一位沒有數學中組合概念的人,縱使儘其全力,也無法打開六位數的號碼鎖。組織的存活並無必然的保證(Survival isn't mandatory.),每個人都知道這個道理,每個人都知道要合作才能生存。你可想像當火災發生時,人人都想第一個奪門而出的混亂場面

6. 錯誤Wrong

很多時候從常識導出的答案是錯的。「口號、呼籲訓示等能促使系統表現的更好」看似合乎邏輯,但實際上,環境、資材、設備等,並不會「應聲」啟動。

降低成本最先就想免除所有員工在持續教育以及改善的努力,這是錯誤的想法。誤認組織之轉型可以加以「執行」,也是錯誤的。因為它使人誤認為轉型的過程如同開燈關燈般容易。有些人認為「品質」交待下去就會執行,這也是錯誤的。

  1. 盡心盡力的員工只是儘其所能地工作

Willing Workers Just Doing Their Best

戴明博士在紅珠實驗中創造了「盡心盡身的員工」(Willing Worker)一詞,他覺得一般人儘全力工作,然系統之內在限制卻妨礙了其績效。系統控制大部份可能的改變;但是有一人(按:經營管理負責人)能影響它。所以不要處分員工,而應把注意力集中在系統內的所有元素上。

領導者有責任去改革,而員工也可在流程中盡力支持並改善。但是,惟有管理者的參與,才能使改善奏效,如此管理團隊才算是善盡其職。



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