Unleash Potential…Drive Out FEAR!

You may recognize Deming’s 8th ‘Point’ – Drive Out Fear. There’s no better way to get people ‘engaged’ (ISO 9001, 5.1.1 h) than creating a work environment where people feel listened to and respected for their expertise, no matter how ‘basic’ that expertise is! In this Point, he talks about 4 things to do to drive out fear:

  1. Don’t reprimand people for making mistakes. Use the event to learn where the weakness is in your system that allowed the error to occur. Reprimands only put people on edge and cause more errors.
  2. Think about replacing production targets with control charts with an upper and lower limit – inside the limits = good. Outside = “What is keeping us from performing within the limits?” When people ‘pull out all the stops’ to hit a target, the results aren’t always what you’re looking for. Remember people can only perform the way that the system supports them.
  3. Listen to employees when results miss the mark. They know better than anyone what is needed to get the results you’re after. Once problems are out in the open they can be dealt with. Hidden problems will only be worse when they finally erupt. Employees know the issues and can be a great source of knowledge if they’re engaged.
  4. Include employees in the problem solving process, and be sure to train them how to do it. They will find ways to make things work that the smartest ‘outsider’ would never think of. Cross-functional teams are best.


These steps can help set the stage for more employee engagement and let you tap into infinite power in any organization!

Know Quality, Know Profits…No Quality, No Profits

If you’d like to see how we’ve enhanced the ability to drive out fear and support your people, schedule a demo and we’ll see if it can make your ‘ISO life’ simpler!

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