Columbia Business Magazine
In Brief


In late October, Columbia Business School’s W. Edwards Deming Center for Quality, Productivity, and Competitiveness presented Tim Steiner, CEO and co-founder of Ocado Group, and Kathy Warden, chair, CEO, and president of Northrop Grumman, with its 2022 Deming Cup for Operational Excellence Award at a ceremony in Columbia’s Low Library Rotunda.

Since 2010, the Deming Cup has recognized leaders for operational excellence and fostering cultures of continuous improvement within their organizations. The 2022 award honors Steiner and Warden for driving these values across their organizations and positioning their companies for growth and long-term success.     

The co-chairs for the award’s 41-member judging committee, comprising eminent figures in industry and academia, were 2012 Deming Cup recipient Terry Lundgren, founder of the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retail at the University of Arizona, founder of TJL Advisors, and retired chairman and CEO of Macy’s; and 2010 Deming Cup recipient Sam Palmisano, chairman of the Center for Global Enterprise and former chairman, president, and CEO of IBM.

In his congratulations to Steiner and Warden, Professor Nelson Fraiman, director of the Deming Center, commended them for “exemplifying the Deming principles in leading breakthrough solutions within their industries.” By honoring Steiner and Warden, “we not only salute the spirit of W. Edwards Deming, but we also celebrate his legacy as we pass it on to our students, the next generation of industry leaders.”       

Steiner’s Ocado Group uses unique and cutting-edge technology to develop an unrivaled online customer proposition to change how people shop for groceries.

Warden launched “Operational Excellence” as a company-wide call to action on new methodologies to enable continuous improvement in quality at all levels. With these processes in place, Warden motivates employees to deliver mission-critical solutions that advance human discovery, like the James Webb Space Telescope, designed and produced by Northrop Grumman, and ones that protect national security, like the B-21 aircraft.

Founded in 1993 at Columbia Business School, the W. Edwards Deming Center promotes operational excellence in academia and business by sponsoring applied research and curriculum creation, disseminating best practices, and providing professional development opportunities for practitioners.

See More From the Winter/Spring 2023 Columbia Business Magazine