Change = Progress ?

After more than a decade our old tea cooker became a bit too old and used up and my wife and I had to buy a new one. After using the new one for a while we realized it works much worse than the old one:

  • It is hard to mount and un-mount the cover correctly,
  • While cooking the cooker makes strange and loud noises,
  • It is hard to fill and later on clean the tea filter
  • Since it is difficult to mount the cover properly there is a high chance to cause some mess when attempting to spill some tea into a cup

Thus for us some sort of negative progress In terms of cooking tea. This triggered some thoughts and discussion around the topic of “change”. Apparently human mankind has made some negative progress in providing good tea cooker during the last 10 to 20 years. Negative innovation, so to speak. A step backwards in terms of technology evolution and knowledge and experience gain in the realm of cooking tea. Why didn’t they just take over a good design and replaced it with a worse one  – not to speak about any real improvements, if possible. Okay, I would not have expected any improvements, but I would have expected that the new cooker works at least as good as the old one.

Why do things always have to change ? And why isn’t change always an improvement ? “

Change is part of nature and part of our culture and business world. Not changing anything actually means standing still, being conservative, being lazy, not being innovative. New products have to change so that they differ from already existing products, otherwise how would a new company entering the market and providing that product be able to gain some market share ?

Look at the company you are working in. Everything is on the move. New people, new projects, new software and systems, new processes every day. Nothing ever stabilizes, you have to be educated again and again, you again and again meet new people who don’t have the proper experience yet. “We have a new computer system”, “We are not used to the new software yet”, “I just started in this new job” are most common excuses you hear day by day. I wonder how many billions of dollars are wasted every day in companies and our cultures just because we fail to stabilize our environment, just because we favor change just for the sake of changing, not necessarily for the sake of progress.

We are probably not brave enough to wipe ideas from the table if there is no evidence that they actually would buy us some advantage. Implementing bad ideas seems to be better than not implementing any ideas.

Posted in change. 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Change = Progress ?”

  1. My favorites for week 1, 2011 « Axel’s Travelog Says:

    […] is not always good, and change does not necessarily mean progress. Anyway, things are changing permanently, the entire world is changing all the time, whether we […]

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