Perhaps it is the trees that came with our cottage in Michigan that account for the thoughts I’m about to share. One of the trees is an antique Northern Spy apple tree and the other is a Bartlett pear tree—both are full-grown. For the past ten years or so, the largest, most fully developed, healthiest, and most luscious fruit has always been at the top of the trees.
This article will have a special meaning to those of you who, having attained a certain level of physical maturity, remember the days when playing marbles was a popular, warm weather activity. I’m talking about a particular variation of the game—the one where you dug a hole in the ground with the heel of your shoe (smooth gravel was best) and won the game by shooting all of your marbles into the hole on your turn.
It was a brisk fall morning, and I left home with the intention of getting to the office earlier than usual. Turning onto one of the busier roads on my way to work, I soon caught up with the traffic in front of me. The cars in both lanes were stopped for some reason.
Looking around, I saw no evidence of an accident, no police or emergency vehicles. Finally, after several minutes of waiting, I got out of the car and walked over to where the hold up had begun.
Much is being written and spoken these days regarding quality: quality improvement, total quality management, continuous quality improvement, etc. These concepts are followed by such names as Juran, Crosby and Demming, to name a few.
In some companies and organizations, the concern is genuine, and the efforts are bringing about desirable results. In others, however, the quality efforts are just the latest attempts to stay contemporary and be organizationally correct.
I was looking for socks, any socks that fit sizes 10 to14. Being in a hurry, I rapidly made my selection and stepped up to the sales counter. I was pleasantly greeted by a young sales clerk. (It was 7:30 in the evening, and I was again reminded that, after six o’clock, our country is run by teenagers.)