20 July 2005


Some time ago The Jenius made mention of bottlenecks, a concept defined by Eli Goldratt in his Theory of Constraints. Bottlenecks usually occur when an information or process stream encounters a resource whose limitations cannot manage the amount of flow it must handle to create adequate ouput. In simpler terms, it gets overwhelmed.

By this definition, a bottleneck can be a machine, person, system or subprocess that needs to act (make a change) in order to continue the overall process. Goldratt focused on machines as bottlenecks, then on subprocesses, then ultimately on systems. But what happens when a person is a bottleneck?

It seems to Me that more often than not, the true bottlenecks in any process are persons. Complicating the situation is the fact that We are more inclined to change machinery or equipment, subprocesses and systems before We truly focus on "the people problem."

Slow worker? Give him a computer!

Inefficient supervisor? Give her another title and a secretary!

Stupid government? Vote yourselves a raise!

Timeout. The Jenius switched gears on you, but not to confuse you. The point is that Our government has a crushing "people problem" and We are nowhere near trying to solve it. What happens is that We let the system itself--composed of folks whose capacities for effectiveness are highly questionable--make blithering noises about "government reform" while the real supervisors--Us--act generally like opium den dwellers.

The government bottlenecks that threaten to choke Our Future are an imminent and pervasive danger. However, trying to force change is never a good idea, so efforts such as "unicamerality" are bound to fail because they are not based on desire, but whim. (And the less than 23% voter turnout should indicate either mass indifference, cynicism, confusion or lack of knowledge, neither of which is the proper state of mind to implement wholesale changes.) Unless We decide that change is necessary and are willing to act to make it happen, We will continue to have circumstances We tolerate with gritted teeth...or ignore outright. First We have to care enough, then We have to want to make a difference.

It's obvious, even to The Jenius, that when it comes to government, We simply don't care enough to change it. Would that We did. And yet We still expect government to be "Daddy BigBucks" and solve Our problems. Would that We didn't.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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