Deming's Point Thirteen

Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone in the system.

♦ Anyone still learning is young.  Anyone who has stopped learning is old.  (Henry Ford)

♦ What a company needs is not just good people; it needs people who are improving with education.

♦ More than money, people need in their careers ever-broadening opportunities to add something to society materially and otherwise.

♦ Point Thirteen addresses the critical issue of the importance of a healthy work environment; one that promotes opportunities and encouragement for people throughout the system to keep learning and growing.

♦ Thus, Point Thirteen is different from Point Six ("Institute training on the job").  Point Six refers to training in work methods that should later be observed in a person's behavior; whereas Point Thirteen deals with continuing education and gaining new knowledge.

♦ "There is an important distinction between Points Six and Thirteen.  Point Six refers to the foundations of training for the management and for new employees.  Point Thirteen refers to continual education and improvement of everyone on the job – self-improvement.”  (Brian L. Joiner)


Students in schools of business in America are taught that there is a profession of management; that they are ready to step into top jobs.  This is a cruel hoax.  Most students have had no experience in production or in sales.  To work on the factory floor with pay equal to half what he hoped to get upon receipt of the MBA, just to get the experience, is a horrible thought to an MBA, not the American way of life.  As a consequence, he struggles on, unaware of his limitations, or unable to face the need to fill in the gaps.  The results are obvious.



W. E. Deming, Out of the Crisis, MIT Center for Advanced Engineering Studies, Cambridge, MA (1986), pp. 86, 130.

J. F. Leonard, The New Philosophy for K-12 Education: A Deming Framework for Transforming America's Schools, ASQ Quality Press, Milwaukee, WI (1996), pp. 214-215.

© 2015 James F. Leonard.  All rights reserved.

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