Some Freemasons question why I post management topics in this forum. They find it difficult to understand what can be achieved by writing on such topics. I do so because I believe there are a lot of Freemasons who can learn from the world of management. To illustrate, consider the works of W. Edwards Deming, the famous business consultant. I was fortunate to attend one of his seminars years ago before his passing. Although not a Freemason, Deming pioneered quality control principles through statistical analysis in the early part of the 20th century. Unfortunately, his work was unappreciated in America and, consequently, he applied his talents to help rebuild the industrial complex of postwar Japan. It was only late in life did he receive the recognition of his work in the United States (after Japan became an economic powerhouse). The Deming Award for quality is still coveted in Japan. One of his most famous quotes is, “Quality is everyone’s responsibility.”
One of Deming’s biggest contributions was his philosophy of creating “Win/Win” situations in business. Instead of competition, he preached cooperation; instead of rugged individualism, he preached the need for teamwork. Deming observed people too often create “Win/Lose” situations, whereby one person can only win at the expense of the other party losing. Instead, he recommended the creation of “Win/Win” situations whereby both parties cooperate towards success. To illustrate, he would describe how “Nylon” was created by DuPont, which was actually based on a joint research project between offices in New York (NY) and London (LON), hence the name “NYLON.”
Deming’s philosophy in this regard is very much compatible with our own Bryce’s Law stating, “The only good business relationship is where both parties benefit.” Instead of promoting cutthroat tactics promoting individualism, what is wrong with achieving success through cooperation?
From a Masonic perspective, “Win/Win” is the earmark of a true fraternity, where brother works with brother in such a way as to “who best can work and best agree.” In other words, a spirit of cooperation and teamwork. However, some Masonic Lodges have turned into political asylums where individuals crave titles and aprons as opposed to enjoying harmony within the Craft. The point is, if you experience “Win/Win,” then you are experiencing true fraternity, but if you are experiencing “Win/Lose,” you have nothing more than a good old boys club and realizing one of the main reasons why Freemasonry is experiencing a steady decline.
Thank you Mr. Deming for the insight.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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