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The W. Edwards Deming Institute

Management

If Japan Can... Why Can’t We?

Inaccessible for 35 years, this documentary can now be viewed free of charge

Published: Monday, December 7, 2015 - 14:04

(The W. Edwards Deming Institute: Ketchum, ID) -- On June 24, 1980, Americans widely viewed a NBC documentary called “If Japan Can… Why Can’t We.” The program, part of NBC’s white paper series, prominently featured W. Edwards Deming. Produced by Clare Crawford-Mason and narrated by Lloyd Dobyns, this documentary has been unavailable for public viewing for the past 35 years.

The W. Edwards Deming Institute proudly announces it has secured the perpetual rights for the program and has made it available on its website and its YouTube channel, free of charge.

This compelling documentary, about the ever-increasing industrial competition between the United States and Japan, introduced Deming to Americans. For the first time, they learned of the then 80-year old American who was widely credited with the Japanese industrial resurgence after World War II.

Viewers were astounded to learn that it was this American, Deming, who went to Japan in 1950 and began teaching his philosophy to their leadership. They listened and learned as he taught them about quality and productivity. When the program aired, the most coveted industrial award in Japan was The Deming Prize, which is still awarded and highly esteemed today.

Near the close of the program, Dobyns asks Deming, “Would the same methods work in the United States?” Deming’s reply was the catalyst for relentless requests for Deming to help American businesses. Soon the icons of American industry, such as Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Dow Chemical Co., Xerox, and Hughes Aircraft were asking for his help.

Now you can view the video that started it all.

Thank You

The Deming Institute thanks NBC Universal for working with it to bring “If Japan Can… Why Can’t We?” back to the public. It also extends sincere gratitude to Clare-Crawford Mason and Bob Mason for their unwavering support of The Deming Institute’s efforts, and for their contributions to this program and the follow-up Deming Library, which Clare says provides the answer to: If Japan can… why can’t we?

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About The Author

The W. Edwards Deming Institute’s picture

The W. Edwards Deming Institute

The W. Edwards Deming Institute was founded in 1993 by internationally renowned statistician, author, and consultant, W. Edwards Deming. The institute brings Deming’s teachings to a new generation for a rapidly evolving new world and to carry on Deming’s belief in inspiring individuals to make a difference, think differently, ask better questions, and seek new knowledge.