Square Wheels LO5811

Dr. Scott J. Simmerman (74170.1061@compuserve.com)
22 Feb 96 23:45:26 EST

Replying to LO5769 --

Winfried Deijmann wrote:

"I don't completely agree with mr. Simmerman on this point.
Bad problem-identifiers make worse problemsolvers!
Without a proper definition of a problem, you cannot come to a true
conclusion or gain correct insight. And out of wrong conclusions you can
only make wrong decisions."

...in response to my thought that people are generally better problem solvers
than problem identifiers.

And I do agree that poor thinking produces poor outcomes.

But there is another factor operating: The "continuous continuous
improvement paradox." If we respond to bad ideas with The Hammer (one
gentleman in Singapore referred to it as The Rule of Thumb ((visualize
this BIG THUMB squishing down with legs and arms sticking out)) )

My belief is that we need to get more people involved in identifying that
the way things work NOW isn't the way things need to work, that
improvements are possible. But only if we challenge the status quo and
suggest alternative ideas. See, the Square Wheels work, just not as well
as round ones. So, organizations can accept that this is the way things
work around here and continue to suffer high costs (harder to push and
needs more labor), poor quality (the delivery systems are slow and some of
the tires probably bounce out during the -- of course they could always
send it off with some extras knowing that some would be lost :-) ) and
poor morale (remember the view from the back).

Or, they could allow the workers to suggest ideas and brainstorm
possibilities. Please remember that "a desk is a dangerous place from
which to view the world" because of the isolation and that the workers
probably have better ideas already. And what's wrong with, "Throwing mud
at the wire fence" and seeing which ideas stick and which don't/ Throw
enough mud, build a better fence.

So, I'm not suggesting that every idea is a good one, only that "my" ideas
are motivating to me. And the more people suggesting their ideas, the
more motivation potential, especially if peer support finds a few of them
'workable' and that they actually improve the effectiveness of the

But after all, this is just a metaphor of how things work. It's not the
Reaity of how organizations solve Problems.

For the Phun of It!


"Dr. Scott J. Simmerman" <74170.1061@compuserve.com>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>