The E-Myth and W. Edwards Deming

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In developing my consulting and business development skills I learned early on not to reinvent the wheel, but rather to try and learn from the best. When it comes to our industry’s “right brain” dilemma, I don’t think anyone better explains it than Michael Gerber in his landmark book, “The E-Myth”. I had the great honor of personally training with Gerber and I was motivated not only by his teachings, but also by his definition of the “E-Myth” and the fact that in his opinion, (and I agree), this myth in and of itself is the single biggest reason for small business failure. It states, “because I’m a successful technician (artist) I think I can run a business that does that technical work”… WRONG!!! Just because you’re a great stylist, colorist or esthetician doesn’t mean you can run a great salon and or spa!

I won’t go into great detail and I would suggest Gerber’s book as a MUST READ, but I will say this, you will find at the heart of the solutions found in this book is once again, you guessed it … “systems”! Which leads me to Dr. W. Edwards Deming!

Dr. Deming is most widely recognized as the father of “Quality Innovation” and the creation of TQM-Total Quality Management. If you study Dr. Deming you’ll see he was actually responsible for the Japanese challenge and then domination of the American auto industry in the 70’s on into today.

One of Deming’s primary principles (yes, once again) related to systems. He was often quoted as saying that of all the internal consulting work he ever did, which was quite extensive, 97% of the issues and challenges existing within a company would always be due to, “inadequate, poorly executed and or non-existent systems”. When once asked, doesn’t the employee ever have to be personally responsible for poor performance, he said, “Yes and that’s the 3% I left room for, however then I have to question your system of hiring that allowed for the employment of a poor performer in the first place.”

What’s the point here? Great systems (executed efficiently) = Well Run Businesses! Poor Systems (executed efficiently or not) = Poorly Run Businesses.

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