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Why it is So Hard to Change Things…

This article shows the difficulty in implementing improvements and changes in Private Industry, just as we in Education have found! This is a post from a colleague. Ruwan is a Technology Coordinator in an LAUSD school.

All,

A good article about the engine industry. It has relevance in our business too.
just imagine a young buck teacher being given a tour by a crusty old AP..

Found here.. http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/10/07/2053232/looking-beyond-detroit-for-engine-innovation

-Ruwan

http://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2011/10/04/pinnacle-looks-beyond-detroit-as-the-market-for-its-opposed-piston-engine/?single_page=true

As if to illustrate Cleeves’ point, Shaw tells a story from his days as a young, just-out-of-college engineer at GM in 1988. “I came up with this change to an internal part of the air conditioning compressor,” he says. It was part of a project to switch over to a new, environmentally safer coolant. “It passed every test. I was rocking and rolling. I was going to change the world. My boss said, ‘Okay, why don’t you get on the plane and go down to the plant and tell them all about it.’ So I go down there and I start to give my spiel. And the plant manager says, ‘Let me give you a tour of the factory.’

“He shows me where the blank aluminum comes in and where it’s machined and processed. And then he takes me down this line of machines. There are 320 steps and each machine does one step and it’s really fast and precise. And at the end of the line this part rolls off. And he says ‘The part you want to change is machined on step number two. And on every machine after step number two, that’s where they grab the part and hold it to do all the subsequent machine steps. So we’d have to retool 320 machines. Is your change that good? How much more are people willing to pay for their cars based on the improved performance from your little part change, versus what it’s going to cost the company?’ That was a really interesting lesson for me.”

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