Friday, July 29, 2011

Change Tolerance (Part I)

With Obama and his cronies passing policies and legislation at the speed of light, it would be a good time for me to give my personal observations about individual’s tolerance for change and why it is not tolerated. People are creatures of habit and routine and do not like anything that will ruin their daily structure. People are so set in their ways they will for example sit in the same seat at church every week. Now Congress and the President have passed several bills in a short period of time that will adversely affect every Americans daily routine. The bills include the stimulus, SCIP, Cap and Trade (EPA), and now health care.

Granted, Americans need to be more open minded about change and not use it as an excuse to polarize. As the times change, Americans need to adjust. However, I would be the first person to admit that too much change in a short period of time is counter-productive. Unfortunately, that appeared to be the policy that my former employer followed on a regular basis. During the last seven years of my employment, my position was reorganized fifteen times. New bosses would have different priorities. Therefore, they would cancel some projects and create new ones. We went from a group that was introducing eighteen new products a year, to an organization that was only averaging one new product. The company would get frustrated with the lack of progress and make changes, not realizing it was the constant change that was paralyzing the organization. Ironically, shortly after I left the company, they had yet another reorganization, and the new group created was the same as the original organization seven years ago. In other words, after seven years trying to properly align my former organization with customer markets, it had gone in a complete circle. This is what can be referred to as “paralysis by over analysis”. Production is paralyzed because of the constant change. Managers felt they were aligning organizations better to support customers based on marketing data. However, data would vary and change dramatically in a short period of time, and it fluctuated depending on the source of the data. In effect, the seven years of reorganization could have negated over one hundred new products being introduced into the market place. The end result could have been millions in sales and profits. These bureaucratic policies support the “theory of mediocrity” because they prevent companies from maximizing their production output. Instead it forces companies to settle for lower production goals.

Another example of detrimental change is when companies paralyze productivity by adding layers of bureaucracy. My personal experience was that there was a group of employees working hard to get a product released to production, but there were ten other groups within the company putting up barriers to prevent them from completing the job. This sounds moronic, but departments such as manufacturing, human resources, project management, yield improvement, security, quality assurance, etc., created barriers that made it difficult to complete the job. Many of these organizations did not talk with each other and created redundant requirements. The bottom line was that over a twenty-one year period, the time required to finish a project job doubled. It is true that projects got more complicated, but at the same time, our experience, tools, and resources to do the job vastly improved. Some of the tasks that prolonged our job included more meetings, more paper work, more training, and more reviews. A lot of these checks and balances were put in place to deal with inefficient workers who were procrastinators. When I started my employment, there were no checklists to fill out. By the time I left, there were over fifteen checklists that had to be completed and reviewed with the corresponding department.

Do these problems sound familiar? They should. Inefficiency and bureaucracy can be seen in every piece of critical legislation the Obama administration has passed to date. Thus, the public will not tolerate these changes.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Barnes and Noble,

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