Thursday, January 23, 2014

Why Continuous Improvement?

By Pascal Dennis

In my travels I've stumbled on many interesting places and characters.

A colleague in a former communist country asked the above question.

Why indeed?

Change is hard, change hurts. Change has no natural constituency, the status quo has many.


People who grew up behind the Iron Curtain had every reason to ask this question.

The system was imposed upon them, and maintained by coercion.

My last book includes a piece called 'Heavy Industry'.

A senior union leader berates the narrator, and ridicules the idea of getting better every day.

"We like our jobs just the way they are..."

Respect for people is the foundation of any great enterprise.

Everybody has the God-given right to be involved in improving their work and organization.

People have knowledge, capability, and creativity. Why shouldn't they be allowed to express them?

This doesn’t mean Shangri-La, a place where everything is nice and nobody is ever stressed.

Sometimes ‘respect for people’ means challenging your people to go places & do things they don’t think are possible.

Going easy on people doesn’t necessarily entail respect. In fact, it could mean the opposite.

We’re on this Earth for a short time.

It’s our duty to try & get a little better every day.

Lord Tennyson put it memorably: ’...to seek to strive and not to yield.’

Best,

Pascal

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