409: Kevin Cahill, part 2: Systems change, fast and effective

2020-11-14

Everyone gets we have to change system, which means global economy. They think we have to start huge. If it's not big enough, it's not worth doing. History suggests otherwise, in particular Edwards Deming's results transforming Japan in the 50s, or the U.S. war efforts before that, or several American companies since. Kevin runs the Deming Institute, which trains people in the Deming philosophy and practice. Kevin speaks from experience as the grandson of Dr. Deming. They didn't start by doing big huge things. They started with a systemic perspective, understanding where and how to act. Kevin's personal project of changing light bulbs in his house illustrates how leading this way leads to results beyond what we see with just going big from the start. I won't like that I often felt slack-jawed at Kevin saying exactly what I've tried to share with others but they never get, but Kevin speaks with decades of experience. Actually generations. I also can't wait to start working with leaders and people in organizations who have approached and solved problems systemically, and who saw that they had to change industries and a nation for their personal benefit. What we need to to to reverse our environmental course! Call me crazy, but I see combining my sustainability experience and perspective with Deming company and leadership experience getting results like Japan did in the 50s and beyond. If Japan Can Why Can't We? is the name of the show that restarted Deming's influence in the US. I see the question as poignant today. I believe we can turn around as fast as they did, this time on sustainability. Let's do this.

381: Kevin Edwards Cahill, part 1: The Deming Legacy

2020-09-07

Kevin Cahill's grandfather, W. Edwards Deming, changed nations. An emperor awarded him a medal. If you don't know either, listen to the first few minutes when I describe him. Deming has become one of my top role models. He transformed nations in a few years---the time scale that climate scientists say we have, not that climate is our only problem. He shows what one person can do---the opposite of what everyone who doesn't act justifies their inaction with: "What one person does doesn't matter." W. Edwards Deming saw and acted on systems, what many people talk about but not many get. This episode will illuminate them and, I hope, give hope and direction for what we can do.

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