Seven Deadly Sins of Quality (and Lean)


    Learning about Lean

    There is a very interesting article, original from the ASQ Journal, linked to on the “Learning about Lean” blog. In a manner that reminds me of W. Edwards Deming, the article makes the case that all real root causes fall into one of seven management problems.

    I like the way the author says to keep asking “why” (five times) until you find something that is “embarrassing to the organization”, but not so far that you go “into theology”. I always said that with the “6th why”, you just end up blaming society, and that isn't helpful!

    I also learned a new word — “endullment.” It comes from the education world, but the author implies that the concept can also be found, unfortunately, in the corporate world.

    See the “Comments” page for the full definition of this term (or see the ASQ article). I believe that through lean manufacturing, the Toyota Production System /Toyota Way principles, and with real leadership, we can get our employees engaged and contributing our companies' success. An “endulled” workforce will just pass the time until being outsourced to China.

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    Mark Graban
    Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


    1. Endullment:

      “Too many students are bored, disinterested, turned off learning and angry at what feels to them to be their incarceration within the confines of a school building This is especially true at the high school level. Ira Shor in Empowering Education (1992) talks about students’ endullment process in school – playing dumb, getting by, engaging in a conspiracy for the least where they collude with the teacher, tacitly agreeing not to cause trouble if their teachers reciprocate by not demanding too much.”

      Another definition is:

      “Endullment is the condition identified by Ira Shor as the opposite of empowerment. Shor says when high school students have no sense of control over or involvement in what they are forced to study, they turn
      off, passively resist, become apathetic, fail to complete assignments and fail to attend classes.

      The same phenomena occur when management adopts an autocratic approach to decision making and does not share information with the workforce, does not provide a balanced scorecard or performance indicators and does not engage the members of the workforce in a collaborative effort
      to continuously improve their performance to secure their mutual economic well-being.

      In the endullment setting, employees talk about being mushrooms-kept in the dark by management and fed manure. Many of the early efforts to develop team based organizations ran smack into the issues of autocratic leadership and the resulting sense of endullment, and stopped right there.

      Likewise, many attempts by quality professionals to engage the workforce in collaborative continuous improvement are fruitless until the anger and resentment regarding autocratic leadership are resolved.”


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