The whole concept of science is that those involved should be curious and have the freedom to satisfy that curiosity. Once they have
developed a theory or practice it should be received with respect and then subjected to unbiased proofing. There should be no "unacceptable--not invented here" thoughts, or thinking that's locked in the past.
We need to put learning first.
Thomas Edison, the greatest inventor of all, not only produced unique inventions but also developed direct current (DC) to run his machines. Then a man named Nikola
Tesla came along and developed alternating current (AC). This system was easier to produce, control and deliver; DC couldn't even come close. Yet Edison, maintaining that nothing could be better than what he had
created, not only refused to use AC but campaigned against its use. All this delayed the inevitable--the widespread acceptance of AC--for some time.
When I put forth the idea of doing work right the
first time zero defects back in 1961, the established authorities pounced on it, calling it an impractical, highly expensive joke. Yet not a single one of them asked me for my evidence or even did experiments or
analysis themselves. They just rejected and perhaps delayed the use of an idea that has proven to increase productivity and profit worldwide.
When ISO 9000 came out, it was immediately accepted
without any proof as a wonderful asset to companies. Even today, those who promote and support it have little evidence that it changes the way an organization works. To its credit, ISO keeps working on its standards to
find a way to make them useful. The latest version includes requirements for education, which should have been there all along. We will see if that makes much difference. The Quality College is offering courses to that
In these courses, managers will learn a philosophy that lets ISO 9000:2000 be useful. It will also help the companies be recertified. By treating this philosophy with respect and
then letting it be tested for real results, we will be making judgments based on science rather than on emotion.
About the author
Philip B. Crosby, a popular speaker and founder of Philip Crosby Associates--now PCA II--is also the author of several books, including
Quality and Me: Lessons from an Evolving Life (Jossey-Bass, 1999). Visit his Web site at www.philipcrosby.com