Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Worst Consultant of All Time

Well, I just had the least productive morning in the history of mankind. Well, maybe not quite - but it was up there. We have a consultant coming in now who, in theory, is supposed to teach us all about Total Quality Management. In theory, that's great. I think a lot of companies can benefit from it, as demonstrated by places like Toyota. Nevertheless, to implement TQM, you first have to learn what TQM is, and this is where our consultant, Doug Warren is having problems. I was in this meeting for two and a half hours this morning, and maybe heard 5 minutes total about what TQM actually is and what it does. The rest of the time, I heard nothing more than factual inaccuracies. Really, to call them that is being generous. It was more like out and out BS. I think the easiest way to do this will be to break it down by subject.


Apparently I got stuck in a time warp back to the 80s, because as far as Mr. Warren is concerned, Japan is the boogeyman.

Factual Error 1

Japan is the best economy in the world!
Actually, that is false. According to one of the best internet reference sites out there, the CIA's World Factbook, Japan's GDP was $3.7 trillion, and grew at 1.9% last year. Meanwhile, the "inferior" US was at $11.5 trillion, and grew at 4.4%. By every economic indicator, the US' economy is better. There isn't any disputing that, and actually the US has been pulling away from Japan, so the gap is getting wider.

Factual Error 2

Total Quality Management (well, the Japanese implementation of it) and W. Edwards Deming were the cause of the fall of the Soviet Union!
Really? Why hasn't anybody pointed this out before? Certainly Japanese textbooks would toot this horn if they felt that it was the case. Of course, it's a lie. I think that liberals and conservatives can agree that Deming and the Japanese had very little to do with the fall of the Soviet Union. Instead it was (conservative opinion) Reagan or (liberal opinion) Gorbachev who caused it. Nope, according to Warren, we should be paying homage to Deming because he's the greatest man in history!

He has this irrational view of Japan as some sort of Superman, when anybody who has lived there, or even seen the movie Lost in Translation would know that it's not exactly paradise.

World History

I really don't know where to begin with this one. Perhaps I'll just give you a broad sweep of The World According to Doug Warren®, which is even less accurate than Mel Brooks' History of the World.
Okay, so the reason that our history comes primarily through the Greeks and Romans is becasue The Man is keeping Northern Europeans and their TQM achievements down. That's right! The Goths, Vandals, Vikings, and other assorted Barbarians were actually TQM masters, but the Romans kept them down. This was in part because of Charlemagne, who was an English general that the French appointed to be emperor of the Roman Empire. He moved the Roman capital to Constantinople and started the Crusades, which can be learned about by watching the movie Sahara (yes, Clive Cussler is now a noted historian!).
Then we found out that The British started out in 449 AD when the Mongol hordes under the combined leadership of Genghis Khan and Atilla the Hun pushed the northern Europeans out on an island (England). There, they practiced TQM and moved to New Foundland, where Henry VIII broke away from the church, became the leader of it, and defeated the Spanish Armada. Following this, he colonized the American continent. He also, along with nomadic peoples from elsewhere, drew up the Magna Carta. Then the king of England decided to have a war with France, which he won, which made him the king of France. Samuel Adams (the brother of John Adams) didn't like that, so he wrote a letter to the king. The king then said that they couldn't cross the Appalachian Mountains because all the land out there was his, so Sam Adams wrote 7 more letters, and then got the colonists to start the Revolutionary War. Following this, the Romans ended up in the South and the Northern Europeans in the North. Well, Abraham Lincoln read the Magna Carta, decided that the South wasn't following it, and started the Civil War, which apparently the South won (because they were the Romans, and as we all know, The Man is still keeping TQM down).
I'm not going to do a point by point rebuttal, because none of it is true, and all those Wikipedia links should rebut just fine for me. Then in his CV, he has the gall to call himself a historian!

Final Thoughts

He also fluffed himself more than anybody this side of Donald Trump. Of course, Trump can back it up, but Warren can't. Take a look at the electronic version. Try as I might, I can't find anything about how influential he was, being a political appointee, a powerful member of the Nixon advance team, and so forth. In addition, he's written a history (supposedly non-fiction), a book (that will be bigger than Harry Potter), and a musical. I could go on, but I think you get the point. This guy was a meatball! And I have to listen to 6 more sessions of this!


Michael 聖 Brady said...

I can't read black font on a dark blue background.

Beau Sorensen said...

You're getting a blue background? I'm showing a cream color.