Monday, April 16, 2012

Big Company Disease - The Worst Case Yet?

By Pascal Dennis

Akio Toyoda made headlines a few years ago when he attached the above label to his family's iconic company.

Subsequent events, sadly, proved he was correct.

Toyota has been cleared of any wrong-doing. Not a single claim of unintended acceleration proved to be justified.

Nonetheless, Mr. Toyoda believes his company has Big Company Disease & has dedicated himself to a cure.

Sony, another iconic brand, has also acknowledged the problem.

Sir Howard Stringer, Sony's CEO, has cited BCG and disconnected silos, as a root cause of their malaise.

In my book, The Remedy -- Bringing Lean Out of the Factory to Transform the Entire Organization, I tried to make the symptoms of BCG tangible and visible:
  1. Fog,

  2. Silos,

  3. Invisible problems,

  4. Absence of learning

The book is the tale of one company's battle with BCG, the obstacles they encounter, and countermeasures they apply.

But recently, I believe I may have found the worst case of BCG I've ever seen -- Japan's nuclear industry.

The following piece from The Japan Times speaks for itself:

"Considering the result (of the test), we are quite certain that the thermometer is not working properly."

"It is nearly unthinkable that the temperature of the pressure vessel can go up this high at this point."

Not only are problems invisible, but we consciously ignore those that are painfully, catastrophically visible.

Mama mia...

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