Monday, February 25, 2008

How Many Ways Can You Package Common Sense?

Common Sense
Originally uploaded by
SudiM Collective

Recently, I was exposed to a group of trainers that presented a full week course on "The New Science of Fixing Things."

No joke.

That's really the name of the training class, and, in fact, their entire business. A couple of guys took old ideas (so close to the Shainin teachings that they have a bold disclaimer on their site letting everyone know that they are not teaching the trademarked Shainin stuff....even though both of them worked for the Shainin, LLC! "methinks thou dost protest too much!") and packaged them differently and called them something else. Personally, I prefer "The Old Science of Not Breaking Things in the First Place!"

Is there really anything new under the sun when it comes to "fixing things" or in "breaking things?" Probably not. Things still get broken by neglect of proper maintenance, improper adjustments, poor construction, operator error, end of useful life, sabotage, etc. Fixing those broken things is still a matter of getting to root cause by digging into the facts, data, and circumstances.

One of my favorite ways of getting to root cause has often been credited to Demming and "The Toyota Way." It's called "the 5 whys," or simply asking why 5 times. Personally, I credit that method to every 3 year old that ever lived..."But why, daddy?"

Many fortunes have been made and lost by organizations offering the next "greatest way to fix everything!" In reality, there is much to be said for common sense in finding the root cause to problems and the solutions are pretty easy to find. Implementing the fixes is where organizations stumble and fall. Do these sound familiar?

  • We can't fix that problem! The solution is too:


-time consuming


-politically incorrect


-(fill in the blank)

Until you are ready to face the unvarnished truth about your problem and its solution, no progress can be made. All the common sense is for naught without a commitment to address the real problems. Until all filters are addressed, and overcome, the problems will still exist.

When you are ready, drop me a note. I can help you with that problem....I know some pretty smart 3 year olds....grins...

1 comment:

Peter said...

What if we switch to orange, will you then drink the