Kevin sent me an article some of the kids over at McKinsey wrote asking me for my expert opinion on just what drug they had been smoking. Knowing that I am a bit older than he is and, having grown up in the Woodstock days, I have seen quite a bit that qualifies me to assess such things, he often calls on my storehouse of knowledge.
They weren't smoking anything, Kevin. The article in question is clearly the product of window pane - LSD - and large quantities of it. While there are a number things one might smoke that could cause hallucinations of the sort in this article, most of them induce paranoia, rather than delusions of grandeur apparent in this piece of work. Nope, this is the product of a good old fashioned acid trip.
Notice the inability to connect time and space - taking a relatively new concept like value stream mapping and deluding themselves into thinking they had discovered something original - calling them "product line pathways" - then abruptly time traveling with ease back before lean accounting, before activity based costing, to the early 1980's and making the case for using regression analysis to determine cost behavior along the pathways. Typical acid induced thinking - kind of like believing you saw Thomas Edison and Bill Gates eating lunch together and being unable to grasp the fact that such things cannot be - or believing you saw a huge purple spider morph into your grandmother and having a talk with her even though she has been dead for twenty years - you know - LSD stuff.
The article is introduced by some basics that were cut and pasted from elementary lean accounting literature, but they make no effort to connect it to the pathways, regression analyses, purple spiders and other incredible visions in the article, and stick a completely incoherent boilerplate of change management principles in the middle - again with no apparent link to anything else.
The icing on the cake is that portion of the article which was clearly written during that stage of the acid trip when 'the giggles' set in. It is easy to see the authors gleefully consumed in the challenge of trying to describe weighted averaging without using the term"weighted averaging". The notion that there is value in accomplishing that feat is another classic symptom of LSD abuse.
So there you have it Kevin. It is nothing more than garden variety, psychedelic, 1970's insanity expressed in a similarly incoherent jumble of words.
By the way, the senior economist at the Federal Reserve you asked about who said that, due to lean manufacturing the state of Wisconsin should resign itself to a permanent loss of manufacturing jobs was dearly just smoking pot - good stuff, no doubt, and smoked through a very well designed bong - but just weed. Same with the guy at the New Yorker who wrote that lousy customer service is basically an unavoidable consequence of lean. Just the usual result of mixing pot with Microsoft Word - nothing to be concerned about.
let me know if there is any other strange behavior I can help you understand. You know I am always glad to help.