The AI Craze-Beware

Does anyone remember the TQM (total quality management) craze, which was a cure-all for everything from faulty service, poor recruitment, shitty products and poor planning? *

What ever happened to JIT-just in time-the  Olympic gold-medal planning process, rendered totally irrelevant by changing circumstance?**

And MBO, management by objectives-a scheme which died of a heart attack cum stroke when things started changing so quickly that goals are now defined almost ex post facto.***

If you storm forward, you either become a war hero or come home in a box. If you wait a while, you lose the financial benefits that many early adapters get, but when the going goes sour, you don’t sink with the ship. And the going ALWAYS goes sour. ALWAYS. No wars end all war; all total solutions fails and breed a new set of problems.

AI does not replace human intelligence. It’s a change and  a meaningful one. But it is just another change. But it is not a game changer for the complexity of human organizing.

I prefer to wait and see what damage AI does, and help clean up the mess. I do not want to be vaseline used admister AI. For me, that is not OD.


*The software industry taught us that releasing products that don’t work well is a very good business.

**Oh yes, disruptions to global supply chain can occur. It takes years and years to fix. Wars also break out, which ruin all assumptions.

***I do not know of one industry that can define goals a year in advance and stick to them.







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One thought on “The AI Craze-Beware

  1. I remember the TQM movement very well. I was in the thick of it as a Training & OD manager for the Celanese corporation (then part of Hoechst) circa 1990. A major piece of TQM for that company was the implementation of Quality Circles and self-directed work teams. The business unit ODers were key players in providing training as well as team facilitation. Where I was, at the R&D center in New Jersey, I had the opportunity to work on several transformation initiatives that were very challenging.

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