A MIND FOREVER VOYAGING THROUGH STRANGE SEAS OF THOUGHT, ALONE


This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.



The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

PROCESSES AND OUTCOMES

Something has been bouncing around inside my head of late and tonight when watching Season 3  of DCI Banks, it took shape.  In the story, police burst into a home after a gun - England don't you know,   and a guy gets tasered  in the chest and has a heart attack.  The investigation into the tasing is all about discovering who didn't properly follow a process.

And that hit the nail on the head.

I don't talk about work much nor where I work, but this is something that has bothered me greatly of late - this total obsession with process.

Hypothetically, of course, let us say a company spends a few hundred K to a consulting company that recommends that a conversation should begin with a four step process.  More money is spent rolling it out - all designed to make happier customers who fill out happy surveys.

So, what is the goal - happy surveys and happy customers.  And the company is so into this that they dedicate employees to listen to every call to grade employees on how they do the four wonder steps.

Now picture an employee who routinely, month after month, gets over 2.5 times the number of surveys as the group mean and over 90% are happy - in fact , has gone three months without an unhappy one.  But this employee has a small issue, he can't remember to do those four steps if his life depended on it.  The results are there, the process is not.

So what do you do with this person?  Ignore it because the results are being achieved?  Nope, because today the process is king - it rules.  And do you know why?

It absolves the individual of responsibility.  "Hey, I followed the process, the process we were told would guarantee results, not my fault!"  If you succeed without following the process, one day you fail and it will be because you did not follow the process - but not just you, your manager gets questioned, that managers manager and so up the line it goes.  The fact the failure would have occurred whether the process was followed or not is irrelevant.

Think about it.  Think to the last time at work the royal crap hit the fan, what do they look for? The person who didn't follow the process steps to the letter.

Herein lies the problem - the assumption that a single process fits all situations.  Problem two is actual root cause analysis is never done as to what actually caused the failure, guaranteeing a future repetition.

This all stems from Fredrick Taylor's time motion studies in manufacturing and the nearly 100 year attempt to apply it to every human job.  What started in the plant has blossomed to every human endeavor possible.  That every job can be broken down to a step by step process that repeated over and over will produce identical results.

Jobs become menial repetitions repeated over and over, the results come secondary to following the process, and people see their individuality disappearing, their uniqueness blended to match the process and tension builds, the desire to just one day damn the process and color outside the lines and laugh and giggle.

Is it a wonder so many people medicate?

We can see the results daily, an issue that falls outside the process guidelines and what happens?  No
one knows what to do, no one can make a decision. You can see the solution is to simply do X but X option does not appear anywhere in the process so it won't get done.

This ties to the subject of zero tolerance, the application of rules and processes regardless.  Well, unless you are the elite type of course.

Something's wrong in this house today
While the master was riding the servants decided to play
Something's wrong in this house today
Something's been going on, there may be a price to pay
There's evil brewing, getting out of control
And I'm helpless, I can't put it right
Something unrighteous is possessing my soul
And it's cold in the heat of the night
Something's wrong in this house today
While the sorcerer slept the apprentice decided to play
While the master was hiding the servants decided to play
Might be too much sun or too much of something in the air
Whatever's happening nobody else is aware
There's evil brewing, getting out of control
And I'm helpless, I can't put it right
Something unrighteous is possessing my soul
And it's cold in the heat of the night
Something's wrong in this house today
Something's been going on, there may be a price to pay


Alan Parsons


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