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Still Just a Cog in the Machine
If you are looking for a silver bullet or a new technique to bring back and try in the office next week, this is not that presentation. This presentation takes the long view and claims the shift from a process perspective to a systems perspective in product development has consistently failed to embrace the most essential element of that shift. Looking through the lenses of systems thinking and workforce management, the presentation will explain why managers in product development systems are prisoners in a system trap and how they can escape the trap.
Graduating from MIT’s Media Lab, my career began at Sharp Corporation in Japan as a research engineer. It was the early ‘90s, before web browsers. I was immersed in a research laboratory with 998 Japanese researchers and 2 Americans. I took for granted the autonomy I was given and the responsibilities I was entrusted with. Reality hit on my return home; I understood why Deming’s Principles grew from 10 to 14 based on western practices and why Taiichi Ohno’s 7 wastes expanded to 8. After career executive roles in product development and engineering, as general manager of a strategic business unit, and as leader of the consulting practice at a new product development boutique, I left to found F&A Consulting and to teach in the Business Administration Department at Augsburg University.
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