W. Edwards Deming was a moral philosopher, prophet, and sage with profound insights into the management of organizations and the art of leadership and living. He also was a composer of liturgical music, a singer, and a musician.
Edward Martin Baker, one of Deming’s most valued associates, shares his deep understanding of Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge, a set of theories and philosophies that helped reshape the management practices of many large multinational corporations. This included bringing organizations to economic health and individuals to spiritual and psychological health by attaining dignity and joy in work. Baker provides an accurate depiction of the philosophy as a musical score:
• first movement: theory of knowledge
• second movement: appreciation for a system
• third movement: knowledge about variation
• fourth movement: knowledge of psychology
Baker shows how the system can be viewed as a map—a mental representation of the territory that managers and others must navigate as they play their various roles. The Symphony of Profound Knowledge and what Deming taught contradicts what’s learned in school and in the management of organizations. His teachings encourage the reevaluation of what is seen as fact. It provides a thorough understanding of the Deming philosophy and how to apply those concepts to life.