President Obama, Rush Limbaugh, and me

Did Rush Limbaugh really say that he wants Obama to fail? Does it matter? What’s my opinion? (Okay, so nobody asked. But it’s my blog after all!)

Personally, I sincerely hope the world returns to prosperity soon. I think there is overwhelming agreement on the fact that there are few downsides to prosperity. But the great debate is how to achieve prosperity. I won’t argue the relative merits of the different economic systems because I doubt that you care. However, I have a rather strong opinion that spending more money will not, by itself, lead to improvements. Deming used to say (I’m paraphrasing here) that doubling the pay of every worker in the auto industry wouldn’t make any difference in the quality or productivity of the auto companies. Why? Because the systems were the same. Unless systems (root causes) are changed, the results (effects) won’t change. When I look at the plans proposed by the government they largely consist of spending more on, for example, roads and schools without changing the way roads are built or education is delivered. Medical records are to be digitized, while the healthcare systems being automated are not substantially improved beforehand.

In short, I think a good deal of the money being spent will fail to provide any fundamentally different results because the underlying systems won’t be improved by the spending. A penny spent on six sigma, lean, or quality improvement would go a lot further than a dollar spent on the current systems.

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  • gbarker April 2, 2009 at 2:41 pm Reply

    Activity without a plan is wasted energy. And that plan must focus on improving the process. The waste is caused by the system, not by those performing within the system. Working hader is not an answer. Working smarter is THE answer. Until individuals are provided with a better way money and time will be lost, worker satisfaction will be low and customers will remain dissatisfied.

    Six sigma, lean and quality improvemrnt focus on improving the process. These approaches provide the guidance for identifying those processes that will benefit most from change. As we learned many years ago in industry, throwing money at a problem is wasteful if all it does is perpetuate a flawed or inefficient process.

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