1st principle of Deming. Constancy of purpose

    This email is the continuation of a series of discussions about 14 principles of E. Deming's management. The beginning of this series.

    So, the first principle of E. Deming states:

    Achieve a constant goal - continuous improvement of products and services.

    Deming explains the importance of the constancy of purpose mainly because the company, whether it is engaged in the provision of cosmetic services, whether it sells nuts in bulk or manufactures airplanes, besides the interests this month and this quarter there is a deeper and more significant interest - the interest in maintaining the business . The main task of (at least some) business owners and its shareholders is not to make a profit now (according to the results of a quarter or a year), but to keep the business existing after five years, and after twenty, and after fifty . It doesn’t matter if each of your employees expects to leave you within the next five years (someone in a month, someone in two years): this is a problem for you as a leader and owner (or it is not a problem for you).

    In fact, in so many companies, the work is structured in such a way that for its employees there is nothing more important than the profit that they can get in the foreseeable future. The central problem of such a way of thinking and such organization of work is that sooner or later, in the pursuit of profit, in the pursuit of external indicators of business success, in the pursuit of business exit, people in the company completely forget from bottom to top what the meaning of business is, if the top management at all once at least once clearly explained to them by example, what this meaning consists of.

    This is a key point. What is the point of business?

    The constancy of purpose is not a matter of the planning horizon in business (well, maybe only in part). When Western businessmen first became acquainted with the working style of Japanese companies, among other things that struck them was precisely the planning horizon of Japanese companies, reaching two hundred, three hundred and even five hundred years. After the western business movers stopped grabbing their bellies and finished laughing, some of them thought that maybe they didn’t understand something in this life. How can you plan your profit two hundred years in advance? Someone smart from a cohort of Western business consultants said in this connection:

    “The question is not that you plan to profit two hundred years ahead, the question is that your vision extends two hundred years ahead.”

    What might sound graceful? However, he, unfortunately, did not explain what it means - “a vision two hundred years ahead” - and left everyone to think it out for himself.

    Once I conducted a seminar in the company on strategic business goals. One of the first things you get in the form of feedback on the question “What is the company's goal?” Is the dull variety of answers that the company's goal is money. It is written in the Charter. In the first line.

    “Mega-Company LLC was created with the aim of making a profit.”

    Why do not you constancy of purpose?

    Think about why Deming did not put an end to the wording of the first principle of management immediately after the words “Achieve a constancy of purpose”? That's because it is so disgustingly banal and so widespread in the office atmosphere - to consider that the meaning of business is in money. The point here, of course, is not the banality and not that the goal as money is not decomposable into tasks (a person is such an animal that he can even decompose a very delusional goal into tasks), the fact is that this goal is erroneous. Because the goal as money, sadly, contradicts the meaning of what is business.

    It is noteworthy that all the founders of truly large and truly good companies are dreamers. These are not managers. In the case of a manufacturing company (GE, Toyota, P&G, Pfizer, Nestle, etc.), their founders are inventors. This is not the managers again. And managers are those who came to these companies after the first generation, i.e. after the founders. (And they ruined everything.) Think of SONY from the Introduction. Tell Thomas Edison (GE) or Kiichiro Toyode (Toyota) that their goal is money? Tell it Lee Iacocca (Ford), who fussed like a boy, burning with impatience to present Mustang to the court of people? Do you know this feeling? If yes, then I suppose you understand what the real meaning of the business is. Think about it.

    The only way you need to focus on your business is a product or service. Business is about it. J. Liker said more abstractly:

    “The company's goal is to create value.”

    To be honest, I don’t know what it means to create value. The word "value" in my brain is weighted with so many meanings that I am lost. Understand very clearly that a product or service is the main, basic, fundamental meaning of your company. Perhaps realizing this, you will understand better than me what it means to create value.

    In this country (probably, like in others), unfortunately, very, very many products and services are only mediocre, lazy, crudely embodied concepts. Entering McDonald's, you are likely to get the concept of a good restaurant experience with a disgusting real experience. It is elementary to understand that a product or service consists of at least two things: not only from the concept, but also from the quality of its implementation; however, this is not possible if you are pursuing profit. Aren't you tired of my rhythmic italics? Perhaps from this italics a new gyrus will form in the brain - who knows? The fact that if your goal is profit, then you get low quality and high costs, I will talk in the following emails, especially when I talk about the eleventh principle of Deming. Now it’s important to understand that in the context of a product or service you can have whatever, the most ingenious idea, tearing apart the head of anyone who is aware of it, but if your product or service is executed locally, then the genius of the idea does not compensate for anything in the eyes of the consumer, but you will incur costs both at the production stage and at the marketing stage, which, however, are not at all comparable to the costs associated with the poor impression of what you are selling. And what are you actually selling? If I decide that, for example, McDonald's sells hamburgers, then I will be mistaken. They sell exactly the impression of visiting the restaurant. And the three-dimensional embodiment of this intention is expressed in the fact that in fact they sell me a concept of impression, which I do not want to buy at all. the most ingenious idea, tearing apart the head of anyone who is aware of it, but if your product or service is executed in a small place, then the genius of the idea does not compensate for anything in the eyes of the consumer, and you will incur costs both at the production stage and at the stage sales, which, however, are not at all comparable to the costs associated with a poor impression of what you are selling. And what are you actually selling? If I decide that, for example, McDonald's sells hamburgers, then I will be mistaken. They sell exactly the impression of visiting the restaurant. And the three-dimensional embodiment of this intention is expressed in the fact that in fact they sell me a concept of impression, which I do not want to buy at all. the most ingenious idea, tearing apart the head of anyone who is aware of it, but if your product or service is executed in a small place, then the genius of the idea does not compensate for anything in the eyes of the consumer, and you will incur costs both at the production stage and at the stage sales, which, however, are not at all comparable to the costs associated with a poor impression of what you are selling. And what are you actually selling? If I decide that, for example, McDonald's sells hamburgers, then I will be mistaken. They sell exactly the impression of visiting the restaurant. And the three-dimensional embodiment of this intention is expressed in the fact that in fact they sell me a concept of impression, which I do not want to buy at all. then the genius of the idea does not compensate for anything in the eyes of the consumer, and you will incur costs both at the production stage and at the marketing stage, which, however, are not at all comparable to the costs associated with a poor impression of what you are selling. And what are you actually selling? If I decide that, for example, McDonald's sells hamburgers, then I will be mistaken. They sell exactly the impression of visiting the restaurant. And the three-dimensional embodiment of this intention is expressed in the fact that in fact they sell me a concept of impression, which I do not want to buy at all. then the genius of the idea does not compensate for anything in the eyes of the consumer, and you will incur costs both at the production stage and at the marketing stage, which, however, are not at all comparable to the costs associated with a poor impression of what you are selling. And what are you actually selling? If I decide that, for example, McDonald's sells hamburgers, then I will be mistaken. They sell exactly the impression of visiting the restaurant. And the three-dimensional embodiment of this intention is expressed in the fact that in fact they sell me a concept of impression, which I do not want to buy at all. I’m wrong. They sell exactly the impression of visiting the restaurant. And the three-dimensional embodiment of this intention is expressed in the fact that in fact they sell me a concept of impression, which I do not want to buy at all. I’m wrong. They sell exactly the impression of visiting the restaurant. And the three-dimensional embodiment of this intention is expressed in the fact that in fact they sell me a concept of impression, which I do not want to buy at all.

    I will be frank with you: I believe that the goal is evil. Everything that is connected in my head with setting goals, with the fact that you need to "meet goals", with achieving goals, etc., makes me terribly bored. Because one day I ceased to understand what this means, and stopped internally connecting with it. One smart person, the owner of a consulting firm, once told me: “Andrey, do you really not understand? All you need to do is set a goal and fit it. ” I realized that the very word “goal” is confusing to me. It tells you that you have to come to something after some time, but it is silent about what you do all the time while you go. And although the ability to see some future state that can be achieved is probably what a whole piece of the human brain is responsible for, i.e. this ability maybe not to be denied, I have idiosyncrasy towards goals. However, in business, the word “target” is a monster at ease, try to deny it.

    And in fact, the wording of Deming's first principle is a compromise. Deming knows how much harm and misunderstanding caused too frequent and incorrect use of the word “target” in business, but Deming could not exclude this word from the first principle. It would be much more honest if he said bluntly:

    Strive for continuous, continuous improvement of products and services. Forget about goals.

    The idea of ​​continuous improvement is so important for business that Deming includes its wording in two principles: in the first and fifth, and she herself is discussed one way or another in each item out of fourteen. In the first principle, the emphasis is shifted towards constancy, and the point here is to stop practicing short-term thinking at the company and individual employee level, calculated for a month, for a quarter or for a project: this does not lead to anything good. The only way to ensure continuous, continuous improvement of products and services is to shift the company's attention from output (i.e., results) to the way. We are talking about the whole company and every employee from top management to those who hold the lowest positions. To do this, you need to understand what the company sells. This actually means that each unit and each employee should understand what their work is. Did McDonald's management tell each employee that they were selling impressions? Did McDonald's management provide operational definitions for the sales process? Management does not neglect anything on such a large scale as clear explanations of what the employee and the company as a whole should do. The problem is that management does not quite know what to do. Among other things, therefore, for management, the phrase “continuous improvement” is simply a collection of letters or sounds, depending on whether he reads it or listens to it. Continuous improvement? Perfectly! What will we improve? what do they sell impressions? Did McDonald's management provide operational definitions for the sales process? Management does not neglect anything on such a large scale as clear explanations of what the employee and the company as a whole should do. The problem is that management does not quite know what to do. Among other things, therefore, for management, the phrase “continuous improvement” is simply a collection of letters or sounds, depending on whether he reads it or listens to it. Continuous improvement? Perfectly! What will we improve? what do they sell impressions? Did McDonald's management provide operational definitions for the sales process? Management does not neglect anything on such a large scale as clear explanations of what the employee and the company as a whole should do. The problem is that management does not quite know what to do. Among other things, therefore, for management, the phrase “continuous improvement” is simply a collection of letters or sounds, depending on whether he reads it or listens to it. Continuous improvement? Perfectly! What will we improve? Among other things, therefore, for management, the phrase “continuous improvement” is simply a collection of letters or sounds, depending on whether he reads it or listens to it. Continuous improvement? Perfectly! What will we improve? Among other things, therefore, for management, the phrase “continuous improvement” is simply a collection of letters or sounds, depending on whether he reads it or listens to it. Continuous improvement? Perfectly! What will we improve?

    I type pretty fast. You know that if you print text as quickly as possible, then the percentage of errors increases, and the speed drops, and not only because it takes time to correct them? and if you print text, avoiding errors, then the print speed increases? Striving for speed, you bear the costs, lose in quality and speed. In an effort to improve the method (method), you win in everything, including the output. When you are focused on the output (result, norm, project deadline, deadlines in general, etc.), it distracts you from the way and inspires you with fear. I will talk about this more than once.

    Truly good companies think about what Deming said in his first management principle, they make this principle part of their company’s system, and without further reading, they can tell me what the remaining thirteen are. Because when you get rid of the pressure of all and any results and switch to the method, you understand everything that you need for a successful business, and you get the results.

    Tomorrow we will talk about adopting a new philosophy, the second principle of Deming.

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