What if we thought of organization as arranging things in alignment with life? Would we live with a bigger emphasis on getting more organized?
Etymology is the study of words; where they came from and how their meanings have changed over time.
For example, in past cultures ‘awe’ meant fear, but today we use it to mean wonderment. We might use ‘awesome’ to describe something great, but ‘awful’ to describe something bad. So something that is full of awe is bad, but something with just ‘some’ awe is good?
Sometimes thinking a little bit more into the words we commonly use can help us to find different perspectives on what we are trying to say or accomplish.
When we’re working on improving something, the word organize tends to come up often. The words organ and organic are similar in structure to organize.
Organizing is another word for arranging. Organs refer to parts of humans. Organic refers to living organisms, or to life in general.
Thinking of organization in line with life seems to associate it more with nature and humanity, in contrast to a word like efficiency, which usually stirs up images of cold metal machines and robot factories.
Customers and Their Customs
Another word that comes up frequently in Continuous Improvement, and business in general, is the word customer. A customer is someone we sell to. A similar word, custom, is a way of acting or living.
In most cases, customers buy something so that they can live or act in a better way.
Further linking to the word customer, we may think of customizing as something we do when we purchase something. However, from a selling standpoint, customization means making something to a customer’s specifications.
When we are trying to make our product better for customers, we could think of this as ‘customizing’ it to their way of living.
Seeing the Sea
Why are see and sea so closely linked? Is this just a coincidence? When we see things, we more clearly register their existence. When we look at the ocean, sometimes we more clearly register our own existence. The ocean has no bounds, for as far as we can see when we’re standing on the shore. We don’t know where it ends until we learn more about it or we take the risk to travel it.
There are no bounds in sight from the shores of improvement. It isn’t until you travel into the ocean that you find them. See the sea!