Saturday, 23 October 2010

Royal Society got there first

Those of you who are into the Lean philosphy will probably know of the term 'Go To Gemba' which means that you should never simply trust what you are told; you should go and see for yourself. (Gemba is the japanese for 'truth', so by observing things for yourself, you get to the truth.)

Of course those of you who are not into the Lean philosophy will probably just be thinking ... "Well, that's common sense" ... but it is surprising how often we fail to abide by the rules of common sense.

The neutrals (and perhaps even the rest of you) might be interested to know that the Japanese were certainly not the first to codify this particular piece of common sense. The Royal Society - formed in London in 1660 and still very much alive - has as its motto ... "Nullius in Verba" ... which the Latin scholars amongst you will know translates (very roughly) as "Don't take someone's word for it - check it yourself".

So the Royal Society got there first - by a few hundred years. That's the thing about common sense - its usually been around for a long time!

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