It’s the System Stupid

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 by Tripp Babbitt
I actually prefer ignorant to stupid, because the only thing that can end stupidity is death.  However the title "It’s the System Ignorant" doesn’t have the same ring to it.  So I will stick with stupid and let you sort yourselves out.

I have talked a lot about command and control thinkers in my blogs.  This will be no exception these are folks that use their financial resources for technology (CRM, BPM, IVR systems, etc.), outsourcing, shared services, lean six sigma training and tools, strategic plans, PowerPoints, contract analysis, developing financial targets, organizational change management programs (new one year after year), balanced scorecards and performance appraisals.  Like sheep they follow the "leader" or best practice making assumptions that these directions make sense and copying the leader has to be good for their business.  The focus is on results and corporate cost reductions almost always leading them to higher total costs.

The systems thinker focuses on customer demands looking at the organization from the outside-in (not top-down or bottom-up).  They realize that giving the customer what they want (value) will reduce costs, not increase them.  Systems thinkers understand that studying this demand in terms of type and frequency and value/failure will lead to a better system.  They understand the concept of variation and the difference between common and special causes of variation in the analysis of data. Systems thinkers understand that the worker is responsible for 5% of the performance of the organization and 95% of performance is the system . . . stupid.

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