Imagine you lived at a time in history when it was an accepted belief that the earth was flat. Now imagine you started hearing the claims that the earth was round – that new continents were discovered. Would you have cared, or would you have wanted to learn more?”
“Men occasionally stumble over the truth but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.”—Winston Churchill
In 1924, Dr. Walther Shewart discovered a new paradigm for managing variation. Variation is a law of nature that states that no two things or people will ever be ever exactly alike – everything varies.
W. Edwards Deming was a student and colleague of Dr. Shewhart. Deming’s contributions in developing the paradigm were recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nine turning points in world history and by Fortune Magazine as among the greatest contributions to business history.
Deming concluded that failure to understand the variation paradigm resulted in a situation where ninety-five percent of changes made by management today result in no improvement. We are all managers in one role or another.
Deming further concluded that prevailing style of management resulted in devasting consequences on our economy and ability in working together in pursuit of a more perfect union.
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.” W. Edwards Deming
A way ahead? To develop your knowledge of the variation, start with a developing and interpreting a trend chart.