The Wisdom of Brian Joiner

In retrospect, I cannot honestly say why I ended up following Dr. Deming more so than Dr. Juran, or Philip Crosby, who I consider the other giants of the quality movement. I am not even sure in my first several readings of Dr, Deming that I even understood how it applied to me other than fix the process don’t blame the people. The work of Brian Joiner and Peter Scholtes along with Eliyahu Goldratt influenced me the most at the time. I give them the majority of the credit for my process knowledge. Brian Joiner

I was a manufacturer and had learned the trade from the ground up. I did not use these words at the time, but I had learned by doing. I found Lean to be fundamentally the same as what I had learned in The Team Handbook and The Leader’s Handbook along with a variety of Theory of Constraint books. Later, I read Brain Joiner’s Fourth Generation Management and the Plain and Simple Series Books. These were books that a simple practitioner could use, follow, implement and train people. Brian Joiner and Peter Scholtes body of work, though at times gathered dust on my bookshelf, over the years have contributed the basis of what I now call Lean Marketing or Lean Service Design.

It is quite an honor for me to be able to introduce and have this conversation with Brian Joiner. We did discuss the quality side and Dr. Deming but that was not my intent of the podcast. Instead, we centered on Brian’s passion for the environment and sustainability along with his latest interest in health systems. Brian has touched my career, and I am sure many others. There is much wisdom in what he says, and I hope you enjoy the podcast as much as I did the interview.


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Brian was a protege of W. Edwards Deming and has received the Deming Medal, the Shewhart Medal, the Hunter Award, the Ott Award, and the Wilcoxon Prize. In addition, he was one of the original nine judges of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and one of the originators of the Minitab statistical software system. Since 1997, Brian has contributed much of his time to the environment and sustainability working primarily through the Sustain Dane community. Brian is at this time is contributing to greater health care solutions through his work at Joiner Associates LLC.

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