Friday, August 22, 2014

Evolutionary v. Revolutionary Management Improvement

My post on this topic goes live next week: Revolutionary Management Improvement May Be Needed But Most Management Change is Evolutionary.

My comments on other ASQ Influential Voices posts on the topic: Future of Quality: Evolutionary or Revolutionary?

I agree both have great value. Revolutionary management improvement is really hard though. Evolutionary management improvement is hard, and rare, enough. Revolutionary management improvement is very rare and while doing better in that way would help I am skeptical.

Technological change that benefits performance can provide great leaps. It can seem revolutionary but really just keeping the same management mindset and adopting a couple really useful tools or concepts is most likely evolutionary; and where so far most improvement benefit has come from in my opinion.

ASQ InfVoices – Quality Evolution and Revolution (QUALITRIX)

I do think both are needed. But I also think we exaggerate our revolutionary management changes - I just think it is really rare. We normally keep pretty much the same management system and tweak it will a couple new tools and maybe some new concepts.

The change provide using a few tools (PDSA, flowcharts, control charts) and concepts (mistake proofing, true customer focus) can be huge. But usually these big gains are evolutionary it seems to me. Most often the basic management system remains as it was.

Viva Quality!

The consistent application of evolutionary change can result in revolutionary results (birds provide evidence we can see every day - they evolved from dinosaurs). Luckily, evolutionary management improvement takes less time than evolution in animals to provide revolutionary results. It still isn't quick. But another few decades of evolutionary management improvement may provide us revolutionary outcomes in the practice of management in the executive suite.

Growth of Quality: Revolutionary or Evolutionary?

I agree with the idea that most change is evolutionary. The accumulation of evolutionary gains can result in revolutionary results over time. We still have quite a way to go to achieve revolutionary results in the practice of management, in my opinion.

The Future of Quality: Evolutionary or Revolutionary?

I like your thought that quality will be 80% evolutionary and 20% revolutionary and that 20% revolutionary quality will provide 80% impact to our society. I think that one of the tricks is these changes get muddled together. So that the interaction of lots of evolutionary improvement results in revolutionary practice. It wasn't any single revolutionary change that got us there but the results of the continued evolutionary progress.

That dramatic result for management can be seen in much the same way that dinosaurs evolved into birds. It didn't happen in one revolutionary change but at some point the result of continued evolution becomes revolutionary. But each step is often small and difficult to see as revolutionary.

Wordpress wouldn't let me post the last one as a comment as they claim "You do not own that identity." while I am actively logged into my open id account (what bozos). Wordpress have blocked me from making lots of comments over the years. Wordpress blogging software is great. Their commenting processes are horrible and I would suggest anyone relying on them validating people stop. They have had 5 years of failures I have seen, it is time to abandon them and use providers that don't consistently fail for years (for 5+ years Wordpress validation failure revolved around email signins an their messing up the gravatar merger now it has extended to open ID failures by Wordpress). The commenting solutions they offer are sensible in concept just pitiful in practice.

Related: Continual v. continuous improvement - Most of what claims to be management innovation amounts to declaring old ideas as new innovations

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