W. Edwards Deming was perhaps best known for his application of statistical analysis to the work of quality and business process improvement. But he was also a brilliant and insightful teacher about human dynamics in any organization and endeavor. Paraphrasing Darwin, Deming famously quipped, “Learning is optional. Survival is optional.”
To survive and thrive in a world of turbulence and uncertainty, we must accept Deming and Darwin’s challenges. We must think. . .
. . . About the capacity to be ever-curious, and to seek real facts, real knowledge, and real understanding
. . . About courage and confidence overcoming fear born of ignorance
. . . About being the hero of our own story and life, instead of looking for some swaggering person who we think will “make everything all right” because of what we’re told “they” did to us
Darwin didn’t really say “survival of the fittest.” Rather, he wrote that those best able to survive will be “those best able to adapt to changes” in their environments.
Will we accept the challenge?