Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2011

You Can't Continuously Improve Your Way Into Something New

The Total Quality Movement and the notion of continuous improvement has made significant contributions to business, industry, and education. Continuous improvement enables organizations and individuals to maximize the potential of a given product, design, or desired outcome. But what happens when that product or design is maximized to the point of diminishing returns? What happens when the desired outcomes and needs change so dramatically that they call into question the very thing that has been the effort of continuous improvement? Those who continue to hang onto the notion that they can "continuously improve" themselves out of the mess their in find themselves continuously frustrated and increasingly obsolete. In short, when there are dramatic shifts in context and direction, continuous improvement becomes a feckless and expensive dead-end. But it doesn't have to. Combined with the notion of design thinking, continuous improvement can once again be called to action and