W. Edwards Deming Quotes

Quotes in leadership

he that would run his company on visible figures alone will in time have neither company nor figures.


The transformation can only be accomplished by man, not by hardware (computers, gadgets, automation, new machinery). A company can not buy its way into quality.


"No community need be poor if it has people and good management. No country need be poor if it has people and good management."


“We installed quality control.” No. You can install a new desk, or a new carpet, or a new dean, but not quality control. Anyone that proposes to “install quality control” unfortunately has little knowledge about quality control.


A good question for anybody in business to ask is What business are we in? To do well what we are doing-i.e., to turn out a good product, or good service, whatever it be? Yes, of course, but this is not enough. We must keep asking - What product or service would help our customers more? We must think about the future. What will we be making 5 years from now? 10 years from now?


A leader is a coach, not a judge.


Management of a system requires knowledge of the interrelationships between all of the components within the system and of everybody that works in it.


Support of top management is not sufficient. It is not enough that top management commit themselves for life to quality and productivity. They must know what it is that they are committed to — that is, what they must do. These obligations can not be delegated. Support is not enough: action is required.


The first step is transformation of the individual. This transformation is discontinuous. It comes from understanding of the system of profound knowledge.The individual, transformed, will perceive new meaning to his life, to events, to numbers, to interactions between people. Once the individual understands the system of profound knowledge, he will apply its principles in every kind of relationship with other people. He will have a basis for judgment of his own decisions and for transformation of the organizations that he belongs to.