It pays to stand on the shoulders of giants, those who have come before and exposed eternal truths. You get to see further, you have a reference point to test your own understanding and insight and it gives you the confidence to continue, even when you are not sure of the ground you’re standing on.
Think of a production system and you’ll probably conjure up some kind of assembly line. Whether you imagine humans or machines doing the work, this mental model feels wedded to manufacturing. It needn’t be—production principles are universal. An airline’s check-in desk is part of a production line. So is the hospital’s procedure for admitting patients.
The real cost of any decision is what you forego by making that choice. In economics, the cost of a decision based on the cost of the next best option is called the opportunity cost. At its most poetic, Henry David Thoreau put it thus: ‘the price of anything is the amount of life you
All improvement is change, but not all change is improvement. Organisations typically change because they want to improve their competitive advantage. How do we give ourselves the best possible chance of success?
In Part One, I wrote about the kind of challenges we all face when trying to define the human, material, information and financial resources available to us. In small groups, we can estimate what is reasonable and possible simply by talking to people and seeing what they have on their plate. But as our projects
Most organisations vastly underestimate how wasteful they are with their resources. We need to get much better at thinking systemically and acting systematically in the planning and performance of our work.