I Don’t Know

Posted on May 5, 2008  Comments (3)

Guest post by David Kerridge (originally posted to the Deming Electronic Network):

This is part of a series in which I recall striking or thought-provoking things that W. Edwards Deming said, but did not put into his books.

I remember taking a manager to his first Deming 4-day seminar. Afterwards my friend said to me “I was very impressed with that man. He said ‘I don’t know.'”

Something in our culture makes us ashamed to admit ignorance. We expect quick, slick answers, whether from politicians, managers, or consultants.

Deming said “I don’t know” more often than anyone I have ever known. Sometimes you heard the answer about two years later, in his seminar.

I also remember him saying “I have learned more in the last six months than in the previous ten years.”

Maybe one quotation explains the other.

Related: Dr. Deming quotesInstant PuddingDeming on being Destroyed by Best EffortsWhere to Start Improvement

3 Responses to “I Don’t Know”

  1. Wissen ist Macht - Nichtwissen bringt Macht « Zahlenpeter’s Weblog
    May 23rd, 2008 @ 6:20 am

    […] Ausweg aus dieser Misere liefert einmal mehr W. Edwards Deming. In einem Beitrag wurde ein bisher unbekanntes Deming-Zitat enthüllt. Es ist zwar nicht unbedingt ein zitierfähiges […]

  2. CuriousCat: Dr. Deming's 15th Point
    September 24th, 2008 @ 10:11 am

    Dr. Deming agreed that there ought to be a fifteenth point. He took Murray’s notes turned to the page containing the fourteen points and at the foot of the page wrote:

  3. SEM Dharma @ Quality In Search Blog
    November 8th, 2008 @ 6:58 am

    […] but instead it has to be continuously maintained then what’s the point? The answer is – I don’t know – but if you take the time to learn – in either case you’ll gain more clarity into seeking […]

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