February 05, 2008

activity substituting for achievement

Follow-up to Mao Tse–tung from Luo's blog

A recent conversation with former colleagues made me realised why many improvement projects are destined to fail from day one.

It is said there are two ways of keeping yourself in the job as a manager.

  • consistently showing excellent performance
  • or constantly having troubles

First case, is easy to understand. Second case, the reason behind is that: so nobody wants anything to do with the mess, and in turn you keep yourself safe.

Another thought would be, the second case is perhaps more likely to keep yourself in the job  than the first one. It is much easier to keep yourself look busy for many good reasons. So in turn, we see many initiatives. For many, activity substituting for achievement becomes the key for survival.

Perhaps now I know why they say six sigma is a old wine with new bottle, simply because the demand by the management at large. They need something new, something fresh, which can solve all the problems they have. Sadly what they really don't want is having all of their problem solved (If we assume that there is a tool, technique or methodology which can solve all of our problems), because for some this is why they exist at the first place. And you can hardly blame them, can you? They are always seeking for improvement, ain't they? It is only bad luck that they did not succeed in any of them.

Many problems can trace their root back to the management, can't they? 


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