Walther Mead in his article “A Drought of Ideas” posted at RealClearPolitics.com under the heading “Neither Party Has Answers to Problems Plaguing Americans” uses an example of a political dysfunction in addressing the funding problems of a small state college. He concludes that:
“It is time for America to step up its game, and as the first step in that process it is time for a wave of creative social thought, some coming from the Right and some from the Left, so that the present stale competition between parties bereft of serious policy ideas can be replaced by something meaningful and real.”
In this 2016 U.S. election cycle, the dissatisfaction of the voters on both the left and the right reinforce that the system is not meeting the needs and expectations of the citizenry.
Dr. W. Edwards Deming in his book “Out of the Crisis ” published in 1986, was prescient is his assessment of the results of NOT applying the better paradigm for reducing variation from the ideal. He remarked:
“What is the world’s most underdeveloped nation? With the storehouse of skills and knowledge contained in its millions of unemployed, and with the even more appalling underuse, misuse, and abuse of skills and knowledge in the army of employed people in all ranks in all industries, the United States may be today the most underdeveloped nation in the world.”
Dr. Deming was adamant that “top management” was responsible for quality. In America by law, aren’t “we the people” top management”? The political parties offer products (candidates) and services (policies and legislation) that are producing results that the citizenry is concluding is unacceptable. For instance, average survey results at RealClearPolitics.com identify that 66 % of respondents believe the country is on the wrong track.
A Way Ahead? U.S. policies have an impact not only on the country but globally as well. Can a nation be treated as an organization that can be transformed through the Deming philosophy and methods? Is the better strategy to improve organizations in hopes that this will lead to national level transformation, and if so, how has this been working out?