Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Report from Six Sigma West Summit: George Land on Innovation
Dr. Land is the world-renowned systems scientist and consultant who developed many of the ideas that we now use in understanding change in systems. His model of change is that all systems start in chaos, patterns emerge, then continuous improvement reinforces the pattern. Most systems die off in the chaos phase, but those that succeed challenge their environments in the second phase, and in the third phase they bring in elements from the environment and integrate with the environment. His vocabulary
First phase is Invent (chaos until the patterns emerge, goal is to find the pattern)
Second phase is Improve (this is when rules and management come into play)
Third phase is Innovation
New invent phase starts and goes eventually to a higher level.
Land’s biological models of non-nucleated cells progressing to nucleated (makes replication possible) then rapid evolutionary progress were extremely interesting (our biomimetics colleagues please note) but were somewhat mystifying to some of the audience of Six Sigma participants from banks, government agencies, oil companies, etc., who came to learn how to bring innovation into their organizations through the Six Sigma process.