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« Choose Action | Main | Back to the Pack »

September 27, 2012



Relevant story for comapanies. So many rogues who take bosses for the ride and foolish bosses who afraid to contradict party line.


For me, the topics of kaizen, lean, and six sigma immediately come to mind...perhaps many other readers are drawn to a similar allusion. (I should also mention ISO9000, which I consider to be the ultimate in transparent robe fashion!)

Indeed, it has been pointed out in recent years that many of the six sigma darling companies are not doing so well. GE and Motorola to name just a couple. I wonder why 6-sigma has not kept them ahead of competitors? Is this not akin to noticing that your financial advisor has just moved to the poor neighborhood of your town?

Well, 'Lean' sounds good in principle, since it tries to get away with being a program that is not a program ... but of course it is a program (a fine, gossamer gown fit for a king). Meanwhile Kaizen is about bottom-up style, small-rapid-improvements. But beware that many changes are not necessarily a good thing...some changes can be detrimental or conflicting in the larger scheme.
Above all, is the problem of bureacracy and busy work. These cool-sounding programs are all well intentioned (reduce variation, cut waste, promote agility in a changing environment) and all can be potentially effective if used with full committment and clearly defined goals. But in large corporations, they tend to be parasitic (of time, resources, and money) and results can be suboptimized or too specific.

As a school boy (who liked watching action films), I once seriously pondered which is the stronger fighting technique: kung-fu or karate? Years later, as an adult I realized the correct answer: In such a battle, the winner will prevail because of ability and confidence, hard-work and dedication. Choice of technique is secondary.

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