I have long been baffled by the high regard so many CEOs have for the late W. Edwards Deming, who had always struck me as a man bent on taking the soul out of management, reducing it to a series of statistical measurements. Turns out it's a bum rap, as documented in a captivating little book titled Four Days with Dr. Deming: A Strategy for Modern Methods of Management, by William J. Latzko and David M. Saunders (Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1995). Based on a seminar given by Deming in 1990, it offers an unusual opportunity to hear the voice that somehow got lost in the blather of total quality management. "The prevailing system of management has crushed fun out of the workplace. . . . We are going to learn about the prevailing system of management. How to take joy out of life. We have been misled. This age will go down in history as the age of mythology."

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