Sunday, 8 February 2009

A system for Success?

Last month, Oliver Burkeman wrote a column in The Guardian (click on the link for the full article), that quoted the question "Can there really be a system for success?"

The thrust of his argument is that the promise of a successful system is that it will render self-improvement "automatic, bridging the excruciating gap between knowing how to change and actually changing."

Although Oliver is talking here about dieting, time management and the like, the parallels with Industrial and Operational improvement improvement ideas are uncanny. The promise of Lean, Six Sigma, ERP, 360 degree feedback, Management by Objectives, "Managing by Walking about" all promise a little of that.

In practice of course, making change is a combination of knowing what to do, and then employing a lot of graft, keeping a clear direction and sometimes the helping hand of someone who has been there before. Successful change is frequently predicated on how you go about achieving it. This emphasises the need to plan what you have to do carefully, remembering we deal with real people.

How you change frequently determines your level of ultimate, sustainable success; not just which system you select.

PS, if you are looking for what is coming next, there is an excellent article by Dan Gilmour on Lean Manufacturing 2.0 and TLS (Theory of Constraints, Lean, Six sigma) Follow this link: