I Don’t Know

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 thoughts on “I Don’t Know

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