Saturday, August 5, 2017

Tea and systems

In the 1980's, there was interest in W. Edwards Deming and various ways to increase the quality of processes and manufacturing. Maybe you have heard of "Six Sigmas" and other programs aimed at studying all sorts of mistakes and failures, often in machine performance but also in people's work and behavior.  The name refers to attempts to find ways to avoid even very rare mistakes or types of failure.  The title "quality control" is sometimes used for the statistical and psychological study of how to lower the probability of errors and increase satisfaction and level of service.

As in the areas of genetics and also traffic accidents, we can work on making better systems of manufacturing and of training but regardless, the world, any systems or operations we work and we ourselves are always changing.  There is good reason to believe we humans change faster and more totally than just about anything else on earth, except maybe the weather.  On top of that, many people in the world are currently charmed with the picture of innovation.  How about if I retreat to my garage and invent a new and wonderful gadget?  Others have done it and with imagination and grit, have become rich, while changing the world.

As you may have experienced, some people can find intense pleasure in outlining and carrying out what seems like a perfect plan.  If I can get some venture capitalists to believe in me and my plan, I can finance the construction of my new, great gadget and launch into a new and better life.

The thrill of having a knock-their-socks-off plan, a system that I have tested and examined, improved and perfected can get overwhelming.  If only there weren't so many younger, stronger, smarter people trying the same thing. Plus, as soon as I get my system absolutely, totally perfect, the public's habits will change and my ideas will become obsolete. I have got to hurry!

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