Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Goldsten's Law

Murphy's Law, and its variations are pessimistic. Why should anybody adopt such a negative adage as having truth, when really there is no reason why the opposite is any less true.

Anything that can go right will go right.

If something bad, wrong or problematic happens, it was inevitable. While being just as true as Murphy's, its not as funny as Murphy's, which reduces its usefulness significantly. I suppose it could have use as a motivational poster of some sort.


jocko said...

Many years ago, I contributed to a magazine by creating subdirectory versions of Murphy's Law.

Here is one version:
Weiss’s Words on Wise Government

1. When trying to manage by objective, more precise management cannot make up for fuzzy or flawed objectives.

2. Government always prefers to manage a problem rather than to solve it.

3. A true bureaucrat believes the best solutions to a problem are policy or procedure.

4. Things are rarely as good as they look when they look good or as bad when they look bad.

5. Process in the most important product.

6. Left to itself, many things get worse. Usually, with more intense management interest they get worse faster. In fact, many things won’t go bad until management gets interested.

7. There is little chance of ever having a permanent solution to any problem. However, temporary solutions frequently become permanent problems.

8. Government provides powerful means for turning individual wisdom into collective foolishness.

9. Government service makes managers mistake motion for movement and movement for progress.

10. In government, the typical way to deal with a problem is to deny its existence. Failing that, one can attribute it to another department. Failing that, the problem usually needs to be made worse so top management notices. When the problem then is reduced to its original scope, it leaves the impression of being solved.

and here is another
Weiss’s Nine Nevers

1. Never assume a high level action is based on malice when it can be explained by stupidity.

2. Never assume a compliment is sincere if the compliment also implies the virtue of the complimenter.

3. Never stop beating a dead horse until the boss buries it.

4. Never confuse organization policy with organization intent, nor expect either to correspond with organization practice.

5. Never assume priorities transcend any organizational change no matter how minor.

6. Never believe a policy decision flow chart which has a feedback loop.

7. Never claim a particular piece of organization collected data was necessary for a policy since such data frequently doesn’t reflect reality.

8. Never use all your data in supporting a decision. If someone challenges it, you may need more data to support it.

9. Never believe a sentence reflects reality if it contains the following phrases: ‘comprehensive review’; ‘cooperative process’; ‘total analysis’; ‘management system’; ‘final decision’; ‘final budget’; ‘long term policy’; ‘everybody turns out a winner’; ‘worst case’

Fish Goldstein said...

cute. very useful ideas. thanks for sharing.