Quotes by W. Edwards Deming

the aim of leadership should be to improve the performance of man and machine, to improve quality, to increase output, and simultaneously to bring pride of workmanship to people. Put in a negative way, the aim of leadership is not merely to find and record failures of men, but to remove the causes of failure: to help people to do a better job with less effort.


Deming’s First Theorem: “Nobody gives a hoot about profits.”
Deming’s Second Theorem: “We are being ruined by best efforts.”


The greatest waste in America is failure to use the abilities of people.


Export anything to a friendly country except American management.


Where there is fear you do not get honest figures.


Whenever there is fear, you will get wrong figures.


Standardization does not mean that we all wear the same color and weave of cloth, eat standard sandwiches, or live in standard rooms with standard furnishings. Homes of infinite variety of design are built with a few types of bricks, and with lumber of standard sizes, and with water and heating pipes and fittings of standard dimensions.


Our schools must preserve and nurture the yearning for learning that everyone is born with.


A system must have an aim. Without an aim, there is no system.


American management thinks that they can just copy from Japan—but they don’t know what to copy!