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Friday, February 8, 2013

Book Review- Essential Deming: Leadership Principles from the Father of Quality by Dr. Joyce Orsini



The book Essential Deming: Leadership Principles from the Father of Quality by Dr. Joyce Orsini provides a strong read for managers who seek to understand the nature of quality and how to improve operations.  The book covers a number of important concepts such as management problems, quality development, methodology, research studies, knowledge vs. information, and management predictions. Each of these concepts leads the reader to understand higher methodologies in running corporations.

The book contains a number of important lists for administrators to study. It indicates that there seven deadly diseases in the way managers think. It recommends that they understand these all important concepts to improve profits: 

  • 1.      Lack of constancy of purpose: Having proper plans that keep the company in business.
  • 2.      Emphasis on short-term profits: An excessive push for dividends and short-term profits.
  • 3.      Evaluation of Performance: Rewards for people who do well with current systems but few rewards for those who want to improve the system.
  • 4.      Mobility of Management: Mobility in management from company to company creates a push for short-term profits. 
  • 5.    Management by use only of visible figures: Over reliance on figures may damage unmeasured successful factors that impact the business in the long-term.
  • 6.      Excessive medical costs: Increases in medical costs have limited profit margins.
  • 7.      Excessive costs of liability: Contingency lawyers have raised costs of business.

The book also provides some interesting discussions on what business colleges should teach and what they should avoid. It appears that Deming wanted to see transformation in American companies. To him this starts with managers having knowledge above and beyond information. Strong business colleges should help students understand theories and then how to apply them within the workplace in order to increase their knowledge. As a professor I have seen a number of colleagues become successful at this approach and it is wonderful to contribute to such future managers understanding. Of particular interest is his understanding of what the true educational process is:

Joy of learning comes not so much from what is learned, but from learning. It’s fun to learn, if you learn knowledge. Not fun to learn information. The joy in the job comes not so much from the result, not from the product, but from contributing to optimization of the system in which everybody wins (Deming as quoted in Orsini, 2013, pp. 200) 

The book is written at a college level and provides useful information for future managers. It would be my recommendation that students who hope to move into management read this book and take its principles in consideration. It covers everything from management systems to how to understand business studies. The book is based upon a number of lectures and writings by Edwards Deming. Quality to him started in the executive room through positive thinking and innovative products. 

Orsini, J. (2013). The Essential Deming: The Leadership Principles from the Father of Quality. NY: McGraw-Hill Books.  ISBN: 0-07-179022-5

Pages: 326
Price: $23
Blog Ranking: 4.8/5

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