Populism, LEAN management, and the Scientific Process.

For those of you who don’t know, LEAN management is a organizational method which relies heavily on team building, group decision making, and making sure all parts of a process have input and accountability in that process. My opinion of it is that when it is implemented correctly, it can be very effective in certain circumstances.

That said, that really isn’t what this article is about…but rather it defines an argument that annoyed me recently.

A fellow I know, (who is a bright guy and a great person- but we have fundamental differences in our natures) posted a meme which basically said that the problem with science, and scientific knowledge is that it is a top down process that doesn’t allow group think to make decisions.

This is not only incorrect, it misunderstands every single concept of the scientific process.

To start, let’s take a look at my friends argument. Sure, a random person making a statement is not treated equally to the statement of a scientist. So on the surface, what he is saying is true. But we have to dig a little deeper.

What is a scientist?

All a scientist is, is a person who conducts experiments using a scientific process. This just means they start with a hypothesis (an idea), bounce it around in their head (and against previously PROVEN scientific facts) to form a theory, and then conduct a regimented experiment to test that theory. Then publish your findings for peer review. If they are repeatable, they are accepted as fact. If they are not, the findings are discredited.

Do that, and BOOM!, you are a scientist.

Understanding that alone, shows science not a top down process. Anyone can perform any step in the process. Its only true authority lies in regimented experimentation and peer review which makes it a fairly solid LEAN process in and of itself.

I mean, anyone can theorize, conduct experiments, publish, or verify others experiments. Science is a wholly populist activity.

But what about the random guy. Why aren’t we listening to what he says?

The answer to this is harsh, but real. It is because he is not known to be speaking from a fact based position.

It isn’t even saying he is wrong.

It is saying that we have no idea where his words fall on the spectrum of right and wrong.

Unless he is stating facts from a peer reviewed study, everything he says has an unquantifiable value. I don’t know about you, but my personal preference is that when we make decisions about how to function in the world, and what we teach children is true….so that they can build on that knowledge, function in the world, and make it better for their children just like WE ALL want to do; well, I want those decisions to be made based on hard, quantifiable, provable facts. Not opinions.

TL:DR LEAN is a great process, but when we are making big decisions, I will place my trust in the scientific process every time. It is the only sensible way to approach important decision making.

Share this:
Follow me here!

About Robb

A husband, Dad to 5, and Grandpa to 9. US Navy Vet. 18 Year Postal Employee turned full time Realtor. I enjoy a wide variety of things, but you will find that here I mostly write about Indianapolis, government/politics, recent news, and whatever book I am reading or have just finished at the moment.
This entry was posted in Culture, Science, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.