Organizational Development

14 Points for the Transformation of Management

W. Edwards Deming offered 14 key principles for management to follow for significantly improving the effectiveness of a business or organization. Many of the principles are philosophical. Others are more programmatic. All are transformative in nature. Below is the condensation of the 14 Points for Management as they appeared in the book Out of the Crisis:

1. Create constancy of purpose for improving products and services.

2. Adopt the new philosophy. 

3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place. 

4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier to build a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust. 

5. Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production and service. 

6. Institute training on the job. 

7. Adopt and institute leadership 

8. Drive out fear. 

9. Break down barriers between departments, shifts or staff areas. People must work as a team to foresee problems of production. 

10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force, which only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.

• Eliminate work standards (quotas).  Substitute leadership.

• Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers or numerical goals. Substitute leadership.

11. Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship and eliminate the annual or merit system. 

13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone. 

14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job.

See also | Human Resource Management | Kristine’s Blog |

Contact Kristine Ranger at 517-974-5697 or

Contact Kristine Ranger at 517-974-5697 or

Coaching to Hold Others Accountable

Holding people accountable can be one of the most terrifying tasks of management, but it is a basic skill that must be practiced, modeled, and taught to others.  Since holding a person accountable involves the potential of hurting feelings, managers tend to shy away from it and procrastinate, which often exasperates the problem. There can be a lot of anger and frustration in this area, especially when the targeted person is “Other Directed” and feels or acts like a victim, as shown below:


When an employer knows that  an employee is doing something illegal, unethical, or otherwise damaging to the business, and the leader tends to be non confrontational, allowing the problem to continue often impacts other areas of HR, including your reputation, turnover, and team morale.  Not holding an employee accountable can lead to a quick disintegration of your authority and respect in the eyes of your team members. 

Here are a number of key points concerning holding people accountable: 

1. Employees will assume that their behavior is correct unless it is corrected. 

2. Holding people accountable is 90% communication and problem solving and 10% discipline. 

3. You will never feel comfortable holding people accountable but your job as a leader is to forge ahead. Our main fear in holding people accountable is that our interaction with the employee will be emotional. To get over this fear we must understand that there has to be emotion, or no change can take place. This can be especially difficult for men who have been taught to control their emotions, or who have always worked in an environment devoid of emotions.

Welcome to the 21st century!

When someone is not underperforming, they are either unconscious of what they are supposed to be doing – an Unconscious Incompetent, or they are choosing not to perform as required – a Conscious Incompetent. Your goal is to move them into the Conscious Competency arena so they will accept the consequences of their action, attitude or behavior.  

As a manager or supervisor, your job is to determine if this is a talend development need, an attitude problem, or a disengaged employee who isn’t a fit with your values. When we hold someone accountable we are simply identifying the desired behavior and allowing them to take responsibility for their own performance. In other words, you are helping them become “Self Directed” where they can choose whether or not to comply. To make this happen, there must be some form of emotion. Nothing will happen without it. The easy way out is to fire the employee, but that should only be done if he or she is a repeat offender, refused to take responsibility, and has not complied with a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP).   

The good news is that as you do this more and more, it will get somewhat less painful, yet the uncomfortable feelings will never totally go away. A manager cannot manage without coaching to improve performance and to hold others accountable to expected outcomes.  

The best way to hold someone accountable is to isolate the problem behavior and say “Tell me about it.” Or “Help me Understand.” To be most effective and non judgmental, use the 3-step feedback model:

For example: “Pam, I have been noticing that you and Sara have been having harsh words. Tell me about it.” After stating this, be quiet and listen. What you are doing is going right to the core. You are taking the problem behavior and putting it on the person’s shoulders without assigning blame or fault. You are simply stating what you have observed. By saying “Tell me about it”, you are opening the door to all possibilities. 

In some cases, an employee may be showing up to work late because of a personal issue that they have not shared. By approaching the problem with zero assumptions, you won’t look bad if they do have a legitimate concern, need special considerations or an intervention.  In 90% of the cases, just using the ‘tell me about it’ or “help me understand” method will solve the behavior. You have brought it to a conscious level and there has been some emotion. The person now knows what is required and together you can work towards solving the problem. 

In most instances, both you and the employee feel better afterwards.  This is even true if the person refused to do what you asked or needed him or her to do because now you know where the person stands and you can take further corrective action, if necessary. 

The Five Step Performance Coaching Model is as follows: 

• Approach people within 48 hours of problem behaviors.
• Use the TMAI or HMU method describe above. 
• Listen.
• Observe 
• Follow up with verbal recognition to reinforce new behavior habits. 

Ultimately, what we are trying to create is a culture where everyone on the team holds each other accountable instead of going to a supervisor with issues and problems, or gossiping with other staff.  To do that, you will need to build trust model accountability, and get everyone comfortable with committing to a process or action step, even if they don’t agree with it 100%.  Above all, your people need to feel comfortable expressing ideas, asking questions and sharing insights.  If you work on those things, accountability will come too, but it is the hardest skill for a team to accomplish. 

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