What I’m Teaching My Students Tonight [The Red Bead Experiment]

Two or three times a year I teach a management course for the University of Phoenix. Right now I’m teaching Management Quality and Productivity. This is an exciting course that examines the concepts of continuous improvement and quality management as a systematic process that improves the customer experience.

Tonight I am doing the Red Bead Experiment with my students. This is an exercise I also do with some of my clients. The Red Bead Experiment helps management recognize that it’s usually the system, not the people, that is the problem. Management learns that reward and punishment of willing workers has no effect on the outcome, that numerical goals can be meaningless, and so much more. My hope is that my students will be able to take these insights into the workplace so that they are better managers and that they lead their companies to deliver an outstanding customer experience.

Here is a video that shows the Red Bead Experiment in action. Take a look and you’ll gain valuable insights for continuous improvement, quality management, and improving the customer experience. I have to let you know that this is a very old video and the quality isn’t good. But if you can get past the quality, you’ll learn some valuable lessons.