Friday, July 10, 2009

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Los Angeles Times Interview: Mayoral Candidate David "Zuma Dogg" Saltsburg

Please vote March 3, 2009 and look for your mail-in ballot TODAY!

David 'Zuma Dogg' Saltsburg: L.A. mayoral candidate

February 11, 2009

With the March 3 primary election drawing near, The Times asked all candidates for Los Angeles mayor to respond to questions about key issues facing the nation's second-largest city. Here are the responses from candidate David "Zuma Dogg" Saltsburg:

1) What distinguishes you from the other candidates in the race?

First of all, I consider my extensive training of Dr. W. Edwards Deming's 14-point management philosophy the single most important qualification that distinguishes me from the other candidates.

I am a firm believer that until the city of Los Angeles embraces these 14 points (methods for management of quality and productivity) under the leadership of the mayor's office, the city will continue to trip all over itself and waste immeasurable amounts of money; just when we need to do more with less.

My interpretation of Deming's 14 points was praised by Deming himself and published internationally in Quality Digest. So the fact that I have an actual 14-point plan (method) in which to operate the mayor's office distinguishes me as a candidate. As opposed to just pointing out problems with no method to achieve the goal of improvement.

Secondly, I am the only candidate who actually attends almost all of the City Council meetings (including a six-month-plus stretch without missing a single meeting), reviews each agenda, item by item; then speaks out "on the record" before council on the shadiest items.

So I don't think there is any other candidate on the ballot, including the incumbent, who is as on top of what is going on in the city on a day-to-day operational basis than myself.

And while attending all of these council meetings and other community meetings, I have met thousands of people (who see me on TV) who grab my ear and tell me about what is most important to them in their community. What issue is the city plaguing them with. These are truly heartbreaking stories from the most diverse socioeconomic and demographic crowd on the planet. The truest melting pot in the world is L.A. City Council chambers on any given day.

So I have sure been "schooled" by nearly all factions of the community in nearly all pockets of the city, from Marina del Rey to El Sereno. I am just as recognized in Highland Park and Woodland Hills. I am certain there is no other candidate who has spent more time in the streets and meeting rooms throughout the city, being educated on the most important issues in the city.

But the most important and unintended quality that I have taken on while connecting with so many people across the city is the actual importance of "compassion" in making decisions as mayor. It's easy to take an idealist, "perfect world" stance on citywide issues as a candidate. But then you have to deal with a real situation, with real people, in real time. And I wouldn't be prepared to be mayor of this city without seeing and hearing things from other people's perspective.

Everything I have ever spoken on or written about has been brought to me by a member of the community either by e-mail, phone or in person. And it has only been through this process of meeting thousands of people over the past three years as I attend these meetings that I am now ready to represent the voice and spirit of the community.

And they don't teach you how to run the mayor's office in an Ivy League textbook. So luckily, I have studied Deming's management philosophy extensively and have attended hundreds of council meetings and spoken with thousands of people, so I probably know what is actually going on and what to do about it more than any other candidate.

2) Los Angeles likely will face a deficit of $400 million to $500 million in the 2009-2010 fiscal year, as well as steep shortfalls in the years that follow. If elected, how would you balance the city budget? Specifically, what programs or services would you cut, what taxes or fees would you increase, and what other measures would you take?

I don't want to think about increasing fees and taxes until the city of Los Angeles does much more on its part to reduce the bureaucracy and inefficiency that is wasting much too much of the money in the first place. So by making "waste reduction" the fundamental priority for all projects and services, as mayor, I will be immediately doing as much as possible, right off the bat, at the most basic, fundamental level to help address the deficit.

Because it becomes very expensive when you have to redo everything two or three times. For example, I have heard complaints from city workers of sidewalks being built, only to have to be torn apart immediately and rebuilt again because of some problem no one had the foresight to see in advance. The city has installed left-turn "auto-sensors" all throughout the city that are not timed properly and is making traffic congestion even worse and even more unsafe. Imagine how much actual time and money will have to be spent to "fix" the problem. We could be talking a third of a budget reduction just by reducing this type of "triple effort" waste. And the method to achieve this goal are the 14 points that I will start to implement on my first day in office.

So after we address this unmeasurable waste that must be addressed, I will sit down with all the city department heads and see just how bad the balance sheet looks and if any other measures (like new taxes or fee increases) are really needed. Because as mayor of Los Angeles, any new tax or fee hike should always be the last-resort measure. Not the first thing you run and do to cover all of your wasteful spending.

Regarding what programs or services to be cut, I would go in and evaluate each program and see which programs are not providing the services to the community as initially promised and obviously cut those programs because one of my top two concerns in this economic crisis is the fraud, waste and abuse of federal and state money provided to deliver services to the community. The concern being the money is wasted by front-end loaded management contracts, the community doesn't see the money, the services are not provided, the community falls into further disrepair, then the mayor comes back and asks for more money in the form of higher fees, new taxes and bonds -- after the city just wasted the money that was supposed to provide those community services in the first place.

I know we will be having a serious discussion about these "special event fee waivers" where the city picks up the tab for these private events like the Academy Award and Grammy parties while talking about program and service cuts.

3) To cut costs, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is considering layoffs or offering early retirement to city employees. Do you support either or both of those alternatives? Given the increased need for government assistance in these bad economic times, is now the right time to reduce the number of city employees or cut hours at libraries and city parks?

Of course no one wants to cut library or park hours. But what if you found out that if you didn't cut back library hours, that when you call 911 for the Fire Department they might not be able to show up that day? Or what if we keep the parks open until midnight but the trash will be piling up all over your neighborhood? Given the economic crisis the city is faced with, I don't think we will be asking the question if now is the right time, but what is getting cut. And the job of mayor is to evaluate the entire picture and make the decisions that have to be made from a compassionate standpoint. Any candidate who says nothing will be getting cut in these economic circumstances should be running for Santa Claus, not mayor of Los Angeles.

Regarding layoffs, I think the city under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has gotten pretty fat, with a lot of room for improved efficiency. I would think, through methods of management of quality and productivity, each department would be able to do more with less.

So maybe there will be opportunities to first offer early retirement if that is necessary as a first line of employee reduction. And since I agree that more government assistance will be needed in these bad economic times, I would look to see if there are people in certain "fatter" bureaucratic departments that can be moved into some of these other departments that will be needing more staff.

But we can't just let the city continue to operate so wastefully and inefficiently just because it is providing jobs. I think we have seen the result that philosophy produces. I know where there will be some massive layoffs however, on my first day as mayor: In the mayor's office. I hear there are about 90 extra people on the mayor's roster that I would not need to surround myself with.

4) Do you support Measure B, the city's proposed solar power initiative? Why? How do you believe it will affect Department of Water and Power rates?

Not only do I not support Measure B, if I have one message to get across to voters this election season, it is please vote "No" on Measure B. The measure was rushed onto the ballot without much discussion or input. It will drive up the cost of DWP rates. I think just about everyone in the city would agree that solar energy is good. But this is an extremely risky plan that reports say may cost at least double the initial proposed cost. It's a blank check for an aggressive plan that DWP is not ready to take on. But the worst part is that it is not really about creating a strategic solar plan for the city. There was no competitive bid for the program. Because Villaraigosa already decided this one, single plan must use a certain solar panel company in China and must be installed with the union workers of his choice. This Measure B will shut out private industry in the city from installing these solar panels. So what I think this is about isn't about solar, but helping the mayor secure his re-election by putting this deal together that is too expensive, too risky, noncompetitive, will drive up DWP rates, takes the solar industry out of private hands and requires blank-check spending. So that's a "No" on B for me.

5) Should the city controller have authority to perform both financial audits and performance audits on programs run by the mayor or city attorney?

The city controller should have authority to perform both financial and performance audits on programs run by both offices. However, as a citizen who has thought about this as it was discussed at a council meeting, you do not want the controller to be using the position as a tool to go after your political opponents.

Regarding financial audits, that can be done by the controller's office, because it shouldn't be subjective to interpretation, since you are dealing with numbers that should all be adding up. However, regarding performance audits, that is where there is room for a controller to slam a program's performance for politically motivated reasons. So you need to have an independent agency, even if it is hired by the controller's office, to perform the performance side of the audit to make sure you are getting a completely independent and impartial review.

6) In June, the city's contracts with police and firefighters unions will expire. Should police officers and firefighters be given raises or increased benefits? If so, how would you pay for those, given the city's current financial condition?

Even though I feel police and firefighters should be the last to be cut and the most important workers in the city with the toughest and many times most thankless jobs, I do not see how the city can afford to offer raises and increased benefits when the mayor is talking about firings.

As mayor, the first priority must be to ensure public safety throughout all 15 districts. And although I probably just lost the support of the police and firefighters union, I would hope that all city workers would prefer to remain at current salary and benefit levels, rather than have to fire people in the two most critical city departments.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Zuma's LA Daily Blog Hits Through The Roof Today!

I sent out an email blast to 1000 people last night and some other blogs linked to my blog today, but I don't know what else happened, because I noticed my blog hits are through the roof today, at least quadrupling the usual daily views.
I think the email blast to 1000 people with embedded links to stories posted on the blog were opened up today by alot of people when people got on their computers, and perhaps a few people did an email "forward" blast to their contacts.
So the good news is, just when Zuma Dogg hit with a lot of good and exclusive stories about the mayor and city council and the agenda, a lot of people are seeing it.
And oh yeah, the mail-in ballots are out and we are a month away from the election, so the timing is good.
Plus, looks like more media interest is coming ZD's way as we are 30 days away. I was contacted by a major college newspaper today, and we already met in person Downtown and did the massive interview. And, listen for Zuma Dogg on the Pat Morrison show next Tuesday!
Plus, LA Times has sent those six question that I posted yesterday that I am currently typing up that they will include in their newspaper next week. And I am told Zuma Dogg's TV 35 three-minute campaign spot looks great (Zuma as "David" clean shaven without the cap and glasses) and will begin airing next week on the 10th of February (on City TV 35) along with the other candidates. (And yes, it will be posted on Zuma's YouTube site, as well.)
So for today, for whatever reason (and I think a 1000 person email blast is to blame), Zuma's LA Daily Blog hits are at an all time high, at just the right time.
But most importantly, Bruno of Ron Kaye's mentioned Zuma Dogg in a positive light today on the blog!  Click here for story!
And finally, after the round of recent media between City TV 35 appearances, ABC News Nightline, short KFI News segment, KNBC 4 News, Fox 11 News and LA Times mention in about a week's time...I AM REALLY FEELING AN ELEVATED LEVEL OF RECOGNITION (FEEDBACK) FROM PEOPLE ON THE STREETS.

Every now and then I'll say, "Damn, it feels like a whole new wave of street recognition has kicked in" at various times over the past three years. And I am happy to say, with thirty days to the election, last week and again this week, it's kinda been at a magical, overwhelming level of people stopping me in the street in places and in situations I wouldn't expect. And now, my worst nightmare...recognition of Zuma Dogg coming out of the library, without the hat and glasses or ZD shirt. This guy recognized "Dave" as "Zuma Dogg" and added, "You're gonna get more votes than Villaraigosa." I know you think I just made that up. But it is 100% completely true.
As I was walking back from City Hall after the council meeting, someone in a restaurant shouted out, "Zuma Dogg" and walked over to me and said that he heard me talking about Deming's 14 points and knew all about Deming from his job. SO THAT KNOCKED ME OUT AND MAKES IT ALL WORTH IT.
If you only had ANY idea how my day started at 5am, this morning...and somehow I made it from $.0.00 to the council meeting, ended up getting a lot of warm greetings from people as I walk the streets downtown back and forth from the meetings (including the Deming comment) and did an interview with a big college newspaper, was mentioned by Bruno on Ron Kaye's blog, had a great round of public comments ontop of my best month ever of public comments, my blog jumped into the Top 10 last week, and today is about the biggest day the blog has ever seen. And I can tell you, the story about the Firefighters and EMS workers was the most viewed story. VERY GOOD TO SEE!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dennis Zine Statement on New Special Order 40 Training


(Los Angeles) – As part of my longstanding commitment to public safety, I have worked over the past nine months to give the Los Angeles Police Department additional tools to combat criminal gang members. Last April, I introduced a Council motion asking LAPD to modify its immigration policy known as Special Order 40. This policy prevents officers from questioning people solely to determine their immigration status or arresting them only for violations of immigration law.


My proposal called for amendments to Special Order 40 to require that LAPD officers notify federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities of known gang members who are in this country illegally. The motion also affirmed that LAPD has a responsibility and duty to turn over criminals who are illegal immigrants to ICE. 


Last October, my motion received a hearing in the Public Safety Committee. I invited former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates to that meeting to discuss the original intent of Special Order 40, which he authored in the late 1970s. Through his testimony and that of current LAPD officials, many common misunderstandings about the Department's policy were brought to light.


The truth is that Special Order 40 does allow Los Angeles Police Officers to inquire about immigration status if a crime has been committed. The order does not prevent officers from arresting a violent suspect or calling in federal agents to investigate a person they believe illegally reentered the U.S. after deportation. In fact, Department policy outlines how officers should work with ICE to enforce federal immigration warrants.


At that October hearing, LAPD representatives testified that all officers would be re-trained to clarify that Special Order 40 does not prohibit them from obtaining the type of information I called for in my motion. Department officials further stated that they would report back to the City Council in January with the details of their new training procedures.


I am pleased to announce that the LAPD has indeed issued new training documents regarding Special Order 40. However, we have reached the end of January and the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, still has not allowed this critical issue to receive a follow-up hearing. The Department's modified training can only be successful if it is fully and openly discussed with the general public. That is why I feel I must share this information now.


I have posted the updated LAPD lesson plan on my website at under "Recent News." I also intend to introduce a Council motion next week requesting quarterly reports on the progress of personnel training and specific numbers of individuals reported and transferred to ICE. I am confident that these modifications, along with improved oversight, will strengthen officers' ability to protect and to serve all of us in the City of Los Angeles.
Dennis Zine

FOX 11 10 o'clock News Features ZUMA DOGG's Public Comment on $400,000 Academy Award Party

Thanks to Fox 11 10 o'clock News for featuring Zuma Dogg's public comment regarding Los Angeles City Council's approval of $400,000 for an Academy Awards party.
During this economic crisis, where Villaraigosa's City Hall is cutting services all across the City, hiring freezes, firings, quadrupling of parking meter hourly rates, new fees and taxes always being proposed, seem kinda irresponsible to be taking $400,000 out of the city's general fund, to pay for an Academy Awards party under the guise of "Special Event Fee Waiver."
A couple week's ago, when LA Times quoted Los Angeles mayoral candidate, David "Zuma Dogg" Saltsburg on the Grammy Award "Special Event Fee Waiver," Councilmember Jan Perry said that the council wanted to whatever it takes to keep from losing these types of events to other cities.

As candidate for mayor, Zuma Dogg must remind City Council, however, that the Special Event Fee Waiver is not corporate charity and not intended as a private business stimulus package. It is intended for small community events, open to the public, of public benefit for those (non-profit) type events like a church festival or community event where expenses like trash removal services, parking barriers and whatever city services are required, would prevent the event from taking place.
So you can contact your council office, and they can grant you the "Special Event Fee Waiver." The amount was ranging between $500-$1000, maybe a couple thousand. BUT NOW, they are using it for Grammy and Academy Award parties and other private, commercial entities.
REMEMBER, the SEF Waiver stipulates, "open to the public!" So if they city has just picked up the tab for this better let Zuma Dogg into the event.
I think a Federal racketeering case could be made regarding the abuse of the Special Event Fee Waiver under Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaragiosa's City Hall. 
As Mayor of Los Angles, Zuma Dogg will put an end to the abuse of the Special Event Fee waiver, saving millions of dollars, each year on this item alone.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Zuma Dogg Blog Posts: Nightline Video, Measure B, Mayor Zuma's 14 Point Plan & More

These are the recent blog posts I would like you to be aware of. Email blast it. Thanks, ZD

Zuma Dogg For Mayor - Recent Blog Posts

Zuma Dogg For Mayor of Los Angeles: My 14 Point Plan on Citywide Operations

ZUMA DOGG'S 14 POINT PLAN BASED ON DR. W. EDWARDS DEMING: First of all, here is a Google search for Deming so you can see the impact he has had on this global economy. Deming is the American from Washington, D.C, sent to Japan in the 50's after the war, to help them rebuild their economy because they were so bad off, it was even hurting the U.S., back home. So when you remember back to when Japan took over manufacturing from the U.S. by building all those cars and electronic stuff that didn't break down and was less expensive...that was through the implementation of Deming's 14 points. And now, Zuma Dogg, as candidate for mayor, says the City of Los Angeles now MUST embrace these 14 points and use them as the "Mission Statement" for all city operations.

I am here to tell you, that I can sit here and blog about every problem in the city for the next fifty years, and until the city starts operating under these 14 points, it will always take eight months to have your tree cut, you will always sit on hold for twenty minutes, only to be sent to voice mail by some city employee who is simply trying to pass the hot potato (your concern) to the next person.

So to start, here is a copy of "Interpreting Deming's 14 Points" that I authored in the '90's after attending one of Deming's famous four day seminars. I sent a copy of this to Deming, himself, because I was concerned there were some things that needed correction. I didin't want to misrepresent his life's work. Much to my surprise and delight, Deming faxed back a letter saying that it was well done and he thanked me. This shocked a lot of folks who didn't even believe me, because they claimed the cantacerous consultant didn't go around sending out letters of praise like that. (I, as most others were expecting a lot of red ink corrections.) This article was also published by Quality Digest in 1994 and publisher Don Deward said it was one of the finest articles he has seen on Deming's 14 points and especially liked my explantion of Deming's more controversial points.

As candidate for mayor of Los Angeles, I am telling you, the only reason I have the nerve to put my name on the ballot for mayor in the first place is because of  these 14 points that I has guided me in my radio industry career and now as a city advocate. And as a concerned citizen and someone who is pissed off by what he sees enough to have atteneded a six month consecutive stretch of city council meetings to complain about the fraud, waste and abuse...


Long after Deming's death, his 14 points will continue to transform U.S. industry.

Interpreting Deming's 14 Points
by David Saltsburg (Aka: Zuma Dogg)

[Editor's note: W. Edwards Deming died December 20, 1993. The following article analyzing his famous 14 points was written before his death. Fortunately, Deming had the opportunity to review this analysis.]

His name is W. Edwards Deming, the American who taught the Japanese about quality.

Back in the late 1940's and early 1950's, Japan was in an economic crisis. They had just lost the war and it was time to rebuild. They took Deming's methods for management and productivity and put them to use in industry. The rest of this economic miracle is history. They listened when no one else would.

How can WE bring our industry and our nation "out of the crisis"? Let's review Deming's 14 points of transformation:

1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and stay in business, and to provide jobs.

Pretty complex point. What does it mean?

Think long-term. Set the course today to be in business tomorrow. "Doing your best" is not good enough. Everyone is already "doing their best". First, you must know what to do, THEN do your best. Know what business you are in, THEN commit to constant improvement of quality. Innovate continuously.

Take the vacuum tube industry, for example. Once the transistor was invented, the vacuum tube quickly became obsolete. Could workers "do their best" to produce a better tube? Of course not.

Those who fail to improve constantly and innovate will eventually find themselves out of business. To improve, you must predict customers' needs. Customers rarely point out the need for improvement. The electronics industry didn't ask for the transistor. Someone who was committed to improvement predicted that the innovation would be accepted.

2. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities and take on leadership for change.

What characterizes this "new economic age"? Rapid change, turbulent environment, constant technological breakthroughs. Consumers demand instant gratification. Technology changes so quickly that we don't even have time to catch up with the changes. By the time a new product hits the market, a new innovation occurs before you can get the old ones off the shelf.

It has become much tougher to predict and forecast in this turbulent environment. Today, predicting the future means shaping and controlling the future and adapting to what you cannot control.

3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the products in the first place.

The United States builds the product first, then inspects for defects later. By then, it's too late! You've already spent the time, effort and money on production. Catch the defect after the fact, and you have to send it back to be fixed or scrap the whole thing. It's usually a lot tougher to repair a product than it is to build it right in the first place. Meanwhile, you've spent twice the time, effort and money.

We spend too much time defining what IS and ISN'T acceptable, then checking to see if and why the parameters were met. We chase out tails around, never exactly sure, always adjusting and readjusting; doing more harm than good.

SEEK PROFOUND KNOWLEDGE OF THE PROCESS. Understand what variations (defects) are inherent to the process (common causes) and work to control those variations. Improve the system. If a variation occurs outside the range of common cause, you have a "special cause". Only special causes should generate effort to uncover the reason variation occurred.

4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move toward a single supplier for any one item on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.

The bottom-line price tag doesn't always tell the whole story. Some one in my area started a local painting business. When he first started his business, he purchased the cheapest paint so he could make more profit.

Turns out he needed to double the amount of coats to get the job done. Therefore, he used twice as much paint, and it cost him twice the time and effort.

In addition, the paint cracked sooner than other paints. He lost the repeat business, as the dissatisfied customers spread the word to neighbors of the bad experience with his company. What advantages come from moving toward a single supplier?

* Customer and supplier work together to create a system of optimization for mutual gain and satisfaction. (Work with each other instead of against each other.)

* Customer and supplier can work toward long-term (constant) improvement of quality of design and service. (They can adapt to each others' changing needs.)

* Lower and lower costs occur by constantly improving quality and efficiency. (It's cheaper and more efficient if a supplier gets a higher volume of a customer's business. Both benefit.)

If you have five suppliers for one part, that's five times the amount of headaches that can occur. (Five times the ordering, five times the accounting procedures, five times the effort. This results in reduced efficiency.

5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.

We set standards, run through the process and analyze the results. As long as we fall within the range of "what has been deemed acceptable," we did our job. If the output isn't falling within the specified range, management will "demand improvement." They'll say: "Do a better job!" "Less Defects!" Or, "Do a better job inspecting for defects."

How many people have been fired from jobs for unsatisfactory results only to have the problem persist with the new employee? Deming says, "Don't blame the individual, fix the system for them." Improving quality and productivity only comes by IMPROVING THE SYSTEM.

The customer of worker almost never tells you anything is wrong. Chances are, they don't know themselves. Management must strive to predict and uncover the need for improvement. Don't blame the individual, fix the system for the individual.

Some other examples of improving the system: The telephone is an improvement of the telegraph. The fuel injector is an improvement of the carburetor.

How does improving the system help decrease costs? If florists can predict how many roses will be needed next Valentine's Day, they can have the proper amount of inventory on hand, so as to fill every order; but not have excessive leftovers to spoil.

Continuous improvement is a cycle: Recognize the opportunity, test the theory to achieve the opportunity, observe test results, act on the opportunity.

6. Institute training on the job.

U.S. Management (and Government) is VERY BUSY. They don't have time for these kinds of details. Managers view training as an expense because they view employees as a commodity -- not an asset. When new employees show up for work on the first day, how many times does a coworker show them what to do?

Management wants the job done right. They institute the rules, regulations and procedures. Each time one employee teaches the next, more is lost in the translation. Mistakes are passes down the line. What gets left out? One person should be responsible for teaching everyone the same skill.

7. Institute leadership. The aim of leadership should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Leadership of management is in need of overhaul, as well as leadership of production workers.

Deming on leadership: "What is a leader? As I use the term here, the job of a leaser is to accomplish the transformation of his organization. How may he accomplish transformation?

First, he has a theory, a vision of his organization as it would be if transformed. He understands why the transformation would bring gains to his organization and to all the people that his organization deals with.

Second, he is a practical man. He has a plan, not too difficult. A leader must guide his organization through the stages of transformation. But what is in his head is not enough. He must convince and change enough people in power to make it happen. He possesses persuasive power. He understands people." [ZD: Sorry Deming kept saying "he", ladies. He was born in 1900 and probably meant "he" as in "MANkind."]

8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.

Fear is a cause of un-measurable waste and loss. Someone who is fearful takes whatever action necessary to remove the source of fear. These actions do not reflect the company's best interest. Fear robs people of pride and joy in their work and kills all forms of intrinsic motivation. It prevents people from thinking for themselves. They instead concentrate on removing the source of fear (getting the fear "off their back").

For example, a factory worker must build 100 widgets by week's end. His boss tells him, "If you don't finish all these widgets, you're fired!" So, of course the worker gets then done, and they're shipped off to the customer. (Twenty-five are defective, but the employee still hit the quota and has his job.)

Managers who rely on fear believe those working under them are not capable, and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Management must create a work environment where workers can take pride and joy in their work. Don't blame the individual -- fix the system for them.

9. Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales and production must work as a team to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.

Have departments work together at all production stages. Everyone must share knowledge in a cooperative (not competitive) effort. In the United States, departments work independently of each other. In Japan, departments work interdependently at all production stages. It doesn't do any good to design a flawless product the sales department can't sell ot the production department can't produce. [ZD: Massive City Hall applications here.]

For example, an automotive design team makes a minor adjustment in the design of their 1995 model. This change would require the production department to make a major overhaul in their process that is not possible. So the design must be sent back and reworked. Meanwhile, production is delayed and time is spent reworking the project. Had both departments cooperated and involved each other from the start of the process, this inefficiency could have been presented.

10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and this lie beyond the power of the work force.

Management likes to hang up a lot of posters with such exhortations as "Zero defects!", "Safety is YOUR responsibility!", or "Our goal is to please the customer at all times!" These slogans seem harmless enough, until they backfire.

How about the company demanding "zero defects", not realizing that a 12-to-15 percent margin of error (defects) is a built-in function of the system, no matter how hard the worker tries. Deming tells of a poster he saw claiming, "Safety is YOUR responsibility", next to a set of factory stairs that had no railing and steps that needed repairing.

To further illustrate, I look back to an experience I had with a rude salesperson. When I asked, "What about the sign over there that says, 'Customer satisfaction is our number one goal", he replied, "I don't know anything about that sign, my boss hung that up."

Management would like to think such exhortations take the responsibility off them and put it on the employee. However, there is no substitute for leadership. Defect elimination, a safe workplace, customer satisfaction, all start in the boardroom. [ZD: In this case, YOUR office, y'all.] It is management's responsibility to improve the system for the individual.

11a. Eliminate work standards (quotas) from the factory floor. Substitute leadership. 11b. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numeric goals. Substitute leadership.

Quotas and numerical goals are the leading cause of fear in the workplace. They rob individuals of intrinsic motivation and force them to work in a counterproductive manner.

For example, a research worker must fill out 15 surveys a night. Sometimes, this presents no problem. As a matter of fact, sometimes he finishes all 15 early and has time to roam around and do nothing. (Or even worse, bother other workers.)

Other times, it's close to quitting time on Friday, and the market research worker only has 12 surveys completed. How will they his the quota? It's easy. You call a friend (13), let someone through the screener who shouldn't have made it into the survey (14), and make one up entirely (15). (Have a nice weekend!) Either case (finishing early or not at all) hurts quality and efficiency.

If we remove quotas, how do we ensure the worker won't "slack off"? Again, there is no substitute for leadership. Eliminate fear, improve the system, create an environment where the worker can take pride and joy in their work. Employees are your organization's #1 asset. If you can't trust your workers, you are in for trouble.

12a. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride and workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective.

THIS IS THE TOUGHEST PILL FOR CORPORATE AMERICA TO SWALLOW. This point calls for eliminating ranking of individuals, grades, gold stars, incentive pay (bonus money) and commissions. Ranking and merit systems please the boss, not the customer. These forces create conflict, competition and humiliation. They rob the individual (and our nation) of intrinsic motivation, cooperation, dignity, self-esteem and joy of work.

If you rank workers, why help a new employee, or someone at the bottom who needs help? That low end MAKES YOU LOOK GOOD. Forget what's best for the company. It's a given that some people perform better than others. In ANY ranking system, you will ALWAYS have a top, middle and bottom. Ranking will not eliminate the middle and bottom, it will only demoralize the majority of individuals.

A grade is a permanent label, a branding. A grade tells children what is expected of them, the rest of their life. Students who get bad grades become demoralized, are viewed in a different light, experience fear and lose self-esteem. They become victims of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Again, there is no substitute for leadership. Fix the system for the individual.

What's wrong with a commission? It forces salespeople to sell customers the wrong items. When customers realize what happened, they will be upset and tell others of their bad experience. Some sales people won't even bother with a customer if the commission doesn't look big enough. If you get a $1000 bonus for selling 100 widgets a month. After widget 100, it's time to start "putting off" turning in new orders, and save them toward next month's totals. They can wait a few days.

13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement. Point 6 deals with training regarding "the skill and knowledge necessary to do the job." Point 13 addresses the need to encourage and provide resources so that people may develop. Just as we reinvest in other sources, we must reinvest in a company's most important asset -- it's people.

Management must make clear, in the beginning, their commitment to this concept. They must take time and make an effort to institute the continuous improvement concept into the system.

14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody's job.

The transformation must start with top management, for they have the most leverage and influence. They are the leaders. Once the decision has been made, middle management, supervisors and workers must come on board. It takes training and removal of inhibitions (fear, competition, barriers and divisions). We must fully cooperate with each other to constantly improve the system. THINK HOLISTICALLY (systematically).

In order for the transformation to occur, management must see things in a new light. Don't be in the business of increasing profits. Be in the business of constantly delighting customers and workers. Then you will find your profits constantly increasing.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Ed Baker, Bill Scherkenbach, Kosaku Yoshida and Jim McIngvale for investing their time, effort and knowledge.

References: Deming, W. Edwards, Out of the Crisis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Advanced Engineering Study (1982), Cambridge, Massachusetts.

NOTE FROM ZUMA: Thanks for reading this. I know this didn't relate to the city of Los Angeles, specifically, but this article sets it up. It's the first thing I would hand out to every manager and commissioner on day one as mayor.  From here on in, I will be applying these 14 Points to the City of Los Angeles as I would as mayor. I've said a lot of things over the past few years about many, many city issues. If I can walk away from all of this and make ONE impact, or be known for ONE thing, or leave any type of "legacy" the end of the day, I would have to go with "hopefully raising awareness of Deming's 14 points and hopefully moving the city a little closer to the day when they finally do."  Thanks, ZD (Zuma Dave?)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Zuma Dogg's 14 Point Plan As Mayor of Los Angeles (Zuma Dogg as Mayor DAY ONE)

ZUMA DOGG'S 14 POINT PLAN TO RUN CITY HALL AS MAYOR: OK, it's Dr. W. Edwards Deming's 14 point plan. But Zuma Dogg plans on implementing it if elected mayor of Los Angeles.  Here it is , "Interpreting Deming's 14 Points." I wrote it in the  early 90's and Deming sent a letter of praise in repsonse to  what you are about  to read. (So you can read with the confidence of knowing that Deming signed off on this.)

It's the one, single most critical qualification that distinguishes me from all other candidates on the ballot, including the current mayor.


We can watch the city trip all over itself for the next fifty years. Do your research on Deming's 14 points. One good thing, Zuma Dogg knows a lot of the top level managers and workers in the city know about Deming, and are thrilled that Zuma Dogg knows about Deming. Quite frankly, it has already impressed the hell out of some city hall workers who have asked me how I got into Deming and why.

From here on in, I'll spend a little more time explaining what it would mean to implement these 14 points at City Hall.

But the FIRST thing I would do as mayor, on the first day on the job, would be to contact all the city managers and department heads and have a giant meeting, where Zuma Dogg and top experts explain/break down the 14 points for everyone in the room, and let everyone know this is how we will be operating.

(See "Interpreting Deming's 14 Points" at

Zuma Dogg feels we have so many genius level people working for the city in these departments across the city, but they are not allowed to "fix" the system, or do what's best for the customer (residents) because of a vindictive and retaliatory city hall under the current mayor.

I have had discussions with countless city workers who start nodding their heads up and down in agreement when I let them know that Uncle ZD knows they have the muzzle on and are not being allowed to do the right thing for the PEOPLE of Los Angeles.


And the first step to fixing the system is letting the top level managers know that Uncle Zuma Dogg as mayor WANTS to know how to improve (fix) the process. How to reduce the beuracracy. People are forced to "fudge" -- hold off on work some months, jam in too much work others. All these things that workers are forced to do to please the mayor, but not the people of Los Angeles. ALL THE THINGS PEOPLE ARE FORCED TO DO BECAUSE THEY ARE WORKING UNDER FEAR!

So when city managers and workers understand that Zuma Dogg LIKES to hear how to improve the to innovate...what needs to change (instead of fighting and resisting change/innovation)...they will feel a lot better about their jobs. And that is how people start to do a better job. It is VERY stressful for people to have to "fudge" and do things the wrong way, when they know how to do it the right way, "IF ONLY SOMEONE WOULD LISTEN."

THEN, you have to create a flow chart for every process. For example, if someone calls to have the tree trimmed in front of a stop sign at a school make a flow chart of the process from the 3-1-1 call, until completion. THEN, you vet out the bureaucracy (intentional/fraud, and un-intended/waste). You question why the widget is moving from point A to point B.

HERE'S AN EXAMPLE: I saw a DWP crew show up one morning in front of a home to cut a tree. There were a couple of those big trucks, and some regular vehicles with all the workers ready to do the work. (Several thousands of dollars of workers and equipment.)

WELP, unfortunately, there was some broken down pickup truck that I see in the same spot, every day, for weeks at a time, if not months. And it happened to be right where the crew needed to work.

So one of the workers asks me frantically, "Is this your truck?"

I said, "No, but it's there all the time, so don't plan on anyone coming out to drive it away."


ZUMA DOGG FOR MAYOR SOLUTION: Why wasn't a temporary "NO PARKING" sign posted in the area of work 72 hours in advance (like for movie shoots). THAT WAY, every regular resident that parks on the street would know about it and be able to keep clear of the area that day. AND, DWP would have been able to have the truck (which is parked their for weeks at a time) TOWED.

THIS IS WHAT DEMING'S 14 POINTS IS ABOUT. Innovation, empowerment, improving the process. It all adds up to reducing waste and improving efficiency. And that's how you cut the amount of time it takes to have your tree cut. (Cause if they have to come back the next day, that doubles the amount of time it takes to get to YOUR tree, too...those non-Deming embracing dummies.