As we enter a new year and we begin a new round of postings to the TLS Continuum blog series, I want to wish you and your families a very happy new year. Further if you are experiencing some humps in the life road, as I am, I hope they are short lived.
During our end of the year respite we saw both a Facebook post and a media posting that was very disturbing to me on several planes. George Washington University has joined a small number of ivy-league colleges who have determined that because of the globalization of the world history majors will no longer be required to take a course in US history.
So let me see if I completely understand this trend of thinking. The world has changed dramatically as the world moved to global markets. The basis of our strategies must be angled towards the key performance indicators to what makes the globalization successful. Therefore the past is of no consequence. We do not need to learn what we have done in the past in order to determine how we move forward into the future. Our elementary and secondary schools must believe the same philosophies since we have virtually eliminated civic courses from the schools.
I can carry this misguided perspective over to the application of the TLS Continuum to your organization. Einstein is credited with saying that if you keep doing the same thing, expecting different results it borders on insanity. Many managers demonstrate this same attitude. We have a problem so just fix it. We have a problem it must be a person problem. The history of the country, the world and our organizations is littered with examples of where we have tried to resolve issues without taking into consideration what transpired in the past.
The TLS Continuum provides the escape if you will from this global perspective. The TLS continuum requires us to look at the current state of the organization and its operations. That current view must be based on the culture, mission and value of the organization. The culture comes from learning what the founders of the organization envisioned when they created the organization. Think of culture as the history lesson of the business. So it is incumbent upon the organization of today to look back at the organization of yesterday.
Whether we are talking about the history of our country or the history of our organization, we need to have a clear understanding of what we have tried before and failed. We need to have a clear understanding of what we have tried and succeeded. The history major that fails to study the history of our country fails to gain that understanding. The manager who fails to understand the history of their organization and tries to resolve issues in a shotgun manner does not understand the charge.
Successful process improvement requires your organization to have a clear picture of where you have come from as you move toward resolving your organizational issues. Like the history major your past provides the ground level support for your future. If you truly are committed to quality as your primary focus you need to ensure that you understand the past, present and future. Don’t short change your stakeholders by shortchanging their view of the organization.