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LeanBlog Podcast #18 – Eric Christiansen, “A Deming Company”


Here is Episode #18 of the LeanBlog Podcast. My guest today is Eric Christiansen, the President of a translation services company, OmniLingua (more can be found here on their philosophy as a company, being a self-described “Deming Company.) I was interested in talking with Eric about what it means to be a “Deming Company” and about their implementation of “wiki” tools (ala Wikipedia) for managing their standard work and process documentation.

If you enjoy this podcast, I hope you'll check out the rest of the series by visiting the LeanBlog podcast main page.

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MP3 File

Show Notes and Approximate Time, Episode #18

  • 1:30 Introducing Eric and his company
  • 3:15 What does it mean to be a “Deming company?”
  • 3:40 The Deming System of Profound Knowledge
  • 4:00 The owner of OmniLingua had worked directly with Deming and appreciated the people aspects of his philosophy, how do you treat people with respect?
  • 4:40 Has the annual review been abolished? Sales commissions were abolished, as well as production bonus plans. OmniLingua has a company-wide profit sharing plan instead.
  • 5:15 More examples of the Deming philosophy in day-to-day life, including long-term sole-source supplier relationships
  • 7:00 Is there still internal competition?
  • 7:45 “Are we hiring salespeople who can't sell?” by not having commissions
  • 8:40 How have lean methods evolved at OmniLingua?
  • 10:15 Standard work within the company and the evolution into the use of “Wiki” technology for standard work
  • 13:30 How they modified the process to allow some addition revision and ownership control (after an ISO audit)
  • 15:00 How did it work when everybody had access to modify the standard work documentation?
  • 17:00 How many people have access to the different standard work documents?
  • 19:00 With a Word-document based standard work, people wanted to fancy them up, Wiki keeps people focused on the content
  • 21:30 Deployment started last November (2005)

If you have feedback on the podcast, or any questions for me or my guests, you can email me at or you can call and leave a voicemail by calling the “Lean Line” at (817) 776-LEAN (817-776-5326) or contact me via Skype id “mgraban”. Please give your location and your first name. Any comments (email or voicemail) might be used in follow ups to the podcast.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is an anthology titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

1 Comment
  1. […] a posting for a Deming workshop co-led with former LeanBlog Podcast guest Eric Christiansen. In my podcast with Eric, we talked about how he, as CEO, has led his company as a “Deming […]

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