Who Was Deming… and Why Should You Care?

For those ardent fanatical readers who  read my first blog post (if you didn’t don’t feel bad, you can always go back) you may have noticed that I mentioned that the theories I studied during my MBA, particularly those of W. Edwards Deming, were integral to defining my professional outlook on life.  But I am sure there are many asking “Who was this Deming guy?  And why should I care?”.  Okay, I’m hoping it.

If you have ever heard of management theories such as Total Quality Management and the like, you can thank Deming for that.  His work in quality management is what paved the way for so many other types of methods that focus on making management (and manufacturing) efficient.  To give you an idea as to the impact of his work, Deming went to Japan in the late 1940s and early 1950s to teach his management theories which resulted in large corporations seeing higher levels of quality, lower costs, and a large increase in international demand for Japanese products.

Now, Deming was known for a lot of things, focusing on efficient manufacturing of quality products, minimizing statistical errors in production, etc.  But he was really big on making sure management was responsible for the results of what went on within the organization.  Well that does sound pretty obvious, right?  But let’s be honest… is that the reality within the hospitality industry?  Deming’s theories can be, and I am sure have been, used to pave the way for quality service within our industry.  But maybe not to the extent we should really be seeing.  Whenever I hear the word “quality” within the hospitality industry, the first thing that comes to mind is Ritz Carlton with their Gold Standards and their dedicated Quality department.  The only hotel chain I know of that has such an intense focus on setting quality standards.  Not to say other hotel companies do not have their own, but Ritz is know for having the, well, gold standard.

A lot of the emphasis in quality service within hospitality though seems to be driven towards hotels.  Sure, the hotel segment of the industry is huge.  But there are so many more players that make up the industry that they too should be held to higher quality standards, or at least be trying to achieve them.  This goes for the airlines, restaurants, A/V providers, entertainment, catering, meeting/event planners, tradeshow organizers, DMCs, DMOs, PCOs, AMCs, and every other acronym you can think of.

In my upcoming series of posts, I am going to be diving head first into Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge, in particular his 14 Principals of Management (which you can find here: http://bit.ly/18GP9zN).

There is nothing simple about his teachings and theories, but at the end of the day I hope to shed some light as to how organizations can be more open to his theories and take a look at their own management styles to achieving great results.

Stay tuned….

Posted in HGP Blog
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