In this clip Peter Drucker talks about Japan and his work there as well as the work of W. Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran.
His discussion highlights how he remembers the Japanese were so willing to take new ideas and implement them immediately. There was not a reluctance to try things that “were not invested here.” They were also ready to abandon ideas if they were tried and didn’t work.
Drucker talked about the shared importance he, Deming and Juran put on the importance of valuing all employees and creating management systems that capture all the value they can offer. He spoke of all 3 of them tilted against those that believed in command and control business organizations. Sadly the lack of respect for all workers is still common today; but it is much better than is was due to the work of these 3 management experts.
In this clip Drucker mentions Just-In-Time works well for Toyota but companies trying to copy it find it doesn’t work for them because they are trying to install it on top of a system that doesn’t support it. The exact same point was made in a clip I posted in my post on Monday to the Deming Institute blog.
Peter Drucker speaking of Juran’s ideas on quality
In the clip, from the early 1990’s, Drucker says
That seems like a quote that could be spoken today. While the bit on automation would likely reference the supremacy of financial management (instead of focus on customers, management excellence or industrial engineering). But the automation spending (which I believe was actually estimated at $80 billion) was actually just the manifestation of domination of finance and the disrespect for workers, customers and operations that seems to explain GM’s practices for decades.
We discount the strong management systems much too quickly when there is a bit of bad news. And we accept much too quickly claims that fundamental changes have been made to long broken management systems as each new CEO makes claims that are basically the same ones the person before them made.
Another interesting quote from Drucker in the clip
The new accounting ideas are finally starting to take hold. New ideas need 40 years before the old paradigm goes out, we know that now, it is perfectly normal.
Sadly 20 more years later old cost accounting ideas are still massively distorting management decision making. Drucker was right on his ideas about the problems with cost accounting and the delays in adopting new, and better, ideas, but he was likely optimistic about the imminent adopting of better accounting measures becoming commonplace.