It is really easy for any leader to say “I want…
- Continuous Improvement;
- Removal of waste;
- Reduction in failure demand*.”
(* explained in my earlier marbles post here)
All are sensible, in fact obvious! But it’s a bit like a financial advisor telling you to ‘buy low and sell high’…what have you actually learned that you didn’t already know, and how does this help?
It’s much harder to understand the system conditions (structures, policies, procedures, measurement, IT), and underlying management thinking (beliefs and behaviours) that protect the status quo, create the waste and cause the failure demand….because you have to change your thinking!
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” (attributed to Einstein)
- set numeric activity targets to make improvements…
- …and offer rewards for their achievement…
- …and rate (and rank) people’s performance against them…
…then you haven’t understood (or accepted) about systems, measurement and motivation.
To quote from John Seddon:
“Treating improvement as merely process improvements is folly; if the system conditions that caused the waste are not removed, any improvements will be marginal and unsustainable.“
2 thoughts on “Stating the obvious!”
[…] following quote from Deming relates to management’s (obvious) stated desires to improve ‘their’ […]
[…] easy (and usual) to want the result…but simply wanting it (as in ‘Stating the obvious’) doesn’t magically deliver […]