During World War II, the American atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki made Nagasaki the second and, to date, last city in the world to experience a nuclear attack (at 11:02 a.m., August 9, 1945)
On 15 August 1945, Japan surrendered and Japan's ambition for world domination had come to a deadly reality. Japan had to start over, this country went glory to ashes in a short time and now, it had to rebuild again.
On the other hand, America was prospering. The United States was the leading economic power, with products much envied by the rest of the world. Here we have two nations: Japan in ruins, and America prospering exponentially.
Japan had to do something, it couldn't stay behind. After the war, Japan recognized that their own goods were badly made by international comparison. Moreover, the Japanese could not afford the waste of raw materials that post-production inspection processes brought about. Yes, something had to be done.
At this time, there was a man whose interesting ideas were disregarded in America, but that Japan held dearly. This man was Edward Deming. Deming's expertise as a statistician helped him understand that there is always a better way. This better way became known as the philosophy of Quality Improvement, or Total Quality Management (TQM).
It was only in the late 1970s that the US became aware of Deming's achievements in Japan but by this time, Japan had grown again to a world economic power thanks to Quality Improvement.
Japanese cars like Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi became the standard for fuel economy and quality and conquered the American market. Sony and Panasonic became pioneers in the world of electronics.
Sadly, the US was left behind. The 1980s became scenario of crisis in the manufacturing industry in the US which also had a big impact on its economy. American cars became known for their lower quality. Decadence had begun.
How interesting that Quality Improvement became the philosophy that took a country from ashes to glory. What an irony! Japan's acknowledgment of a crisis let to success but the US' complacency led to crisis.
We cannot succeed without realizing first where we are at.
What is our attitude? Am I so fulfilled that I think that I don't need anything or should I reflect on my ways?
There is no improvement without a true examination and acknowledgment of where we are.
Quality Improvement is not man's invention, God is the one who invented it:
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.