Just ’cause I don’t have time to blog anymore doesn’t mean I have stopped noticing the rampant stupidity running amok through the business intelligencia. As dumb as they come seems to be a guy by the name of Dale Dauten who writes by the cutesy pen name of The Corporate Curmudgeon, spewing nonsensical advice through a syndicated column across the country. His latest is an article titled, "Quality Control is perfectly OK until you find you have no sales".
"The corporate brain can absorb only one big idea a year," he blathers. In his opinion, quality and innovative products are mutually exclusive – you can have one or the other, but not both. I guess he sees manufacturing as a choice between good products made in a crappy way, or perfectly made crappy products that no one wants. It seems to me that the business writer brain is the one with the severe limitations – not the ‘corporate brain’. (No shortgage of folks who will tell you that I am walkng proof of that notion.)
This is the typical mantra of the ‘innovation’ gang. They see a focus on manufacturing excellence as some kind of threat to their agenda. Perhaps it is because the lean companies don’t see ‘innovation’ as the over-arching priority, and are not particularly eager customers for their ‘innovation’ agenda.
The truth about innovation versus lean is buried at the end of an article from CNN entitled, "Brighter Times Ahead For Automakers." The piece talks about some of the new products the auto companies are rolling out, but concludes with what reads as almost an afterthought: "As one analyst puts it, ‘If cars were a fashion business, Toyota would be toast. I can’t remember the last time someone asked me if I had seen the new Toyota.’ High ratings for quality and reliability are what has propelled Toyota to near the top of the sales charts."
So much for the Corporate Curmudgeon.
Of course a company has to crank out lots of good new products. That is common sense. And of course the manufacturing processes have to be as lean as possible, and quality has to be near perfect. That much should also be common sense, but it seems to be all too uncommon in all too many expert business circles.