Around 20 years ago, during my college days I used to drink beer and discuss with fellow students. Through those discussions, we would gather new knowledge in different spheres of life, from history of art and architecture to politics and economics. Friend of ours told us once about the lesson he studied at the University – industrial development of Japan in second half of the 20th century. Without going too much into details he put emphasis on the fact that country which was completely ruined after II WW managed to bounce back and only two decades after two atomic bombs hit its ground became one of the leading economies in the world.
We had drunk a lot more beer together and different topics were discussed, but back then I didn’t manage to understand how Japan reached the current level of economic production and why Japanese companies have such a respectable reputation today.
Several years after that conversation, my girlfriend back then and present wife, was assigned task to research Deming’s methodologies for quality control and to put it in the form of essay.
Me: Who is mister Deming?
Her: Some American guy, who used to work as a consultant in Japanese companies.
I took the paper and longer I had been reading it, something popped into my mind again and again – story about Japan and everything starts to fall into place.