Blinded By Science

Now, being a management gonk, I do also pride myself on having a fair-to-middlin’ grasp of engineering, math, and other similar weapons of the Devil.  But there are some times when you can’t rely on cold, hard facts…

Like many dysfunctional high performance organizations, my business group will seemingly randomly occasionally embrace the latest bullshit touchy-feely self-help tool*.

You may have heard of some:

–  some are for use at the organizational level—Total Quality Management (TQM) and Six Sigma for example.

–  others are more attuned to improving performance of the employees by enhancing their personal understanding of interactions with other human beings—Meyers-Briggs, for example**.

While this sounds noble and proactive on the part of our leadership, there has consistently been a lack of consistency*** in the application of these new methods.  More often than not, the initial excitement of promised improvements gives way to the reality that “this shit takes work to keep going and we’re not seeing much benefit”.

While we haven’t suffered enjoyed just such an opportunity to excel at improvement of late, a recent organizational meeting gave us a new chance to try the latest smoke-and-mirrors improvement tool*.  And, as I type this from home, for the life of me I can’t remember what the hell it’s called (thus showing just how big of an impact this made on me.  But…

The huddles worker masses assembled, the leadership designated guru of this new process pontificated on its glories.  Basically, this new method requires us to take a survey to subjectively determine what our strengths are (from a list of some 20), the goal being to maximize our strengths, not try and “teach up” our weaknesses. I was actually intrigued by the possibilities here.

Being as how this was subjectively surveyed and applied, that intrigue was shattered, sending me back into an abject funk, by the guru’s statement, said with a plastic smile:

“The results are calculated on a computer, so you KNOW it’s scientific.”




…next guru, please…


*hur-hur-hur…i said, “tool”!

**ISTP…yep, you heard me right…ISTP.

***…if you’ll forgive the non-redundant redundancy


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11 Responses to “Blinded By Science”

  1. daisyfae Says:

    ENTP/J… me and hitler….

    and the only way to avoid the gurus? become one! start your own consulting business, preach some random bullshit, and rake in the cash!

  2. Dolce Says:

    I got as far as Six sigma and I had to go and rock in the corner for a minute.

    One classic moment though; I was working at Boeing in a building filled with geeks and plane boys…and I took one of those ENT blah blah tests…I was the only human in the room who had the fluffy letters. Everyone else was hard core. They all looked at me like I was from space. Quite cool actually. *grin*

  3. Sassy Miss P Says:

    Oh we’ve been through the gamut when it comes to this bullshit. Sixma Six. The 20keys. LEAN. Who moved the cheese. Who’s ice-berg is melting. Myers-Briggs. VISA [sadly not the card version], good to great. Why good orgnisations will never be great ones. Yackity-schmackity. The latest is centered around music and being alive to the art of possibility *puke*. That and one buttock playing [don’t ask].
    I agree with Dolce, rocking in the corner is the way to approach it …

  4. hisqueen Says:

    These classes cause me to rock in the corner and I don’t even go to them.. Hubby has one that the entire administrative group is going to for the next few fridays.. Of course I find out the night before that everything I talked about for the last week is up in smoke–had to make the 7hr round trip to cleveland in 6 to take care of business that he couldn’t because of that stupid class.
    Hopefully he will learn something about communication from it…like don’t tell the wife to find a babysitter with only 12 left…

  5. hisqueen Says:

    oopps 12 hrs that is–like at 7pm for the next morning

  6. Stephanie of Stopbouncing Says:

    um, I’m now in TQM… does that make me a tool?
    Can I be a wisk?!

  7. kyknoord Says:

    That’s almost in the same league as “but I read it on the internet”.

  8. silverstar98121 Says:

    Are they really still doing this crap? The only thing I ever found that it did was create more paperwork. You have my empathy.

  9. Rob Says:

    INTJ for me (if I recall correctly. been awhile since doing that particular exercise).

    I’ve dodged the “Six Sigma” certification bullet for nigh onto a decade now. But I don’t think I can run much longer. I will have to become “certified” (or is that certifiable) this year or next. *Sigh*

    One of the (many) things I hate about working for a large corporation are these furschlinger flavour of the month efficiency/productivity/whatever enhancement/improvement programs.

    Ultimately, it becomes about maintaining the program rather than realizing any real gains/savings/whatever.

    Looking forward to that retirement/self-employment/lottery winner vision that I’m imagining (and that sustains me…..)

  10. Megan Says:

    INFJ…the rarest. I wouldn’t have pegged you as an introvert.

  11. UncleKeith Says:

    All that money I spent being hypnotized to forget TQM has all been shot to Hell!

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