FTMT's Favourite Five Top Tenets

Monday, July 06, 2009

Methodist Madness

Kelvin believed that there always was an undiscovered best method for doing anything. There had to be some new approach or some change or improvement that could be made to any task that would take it to some new economical or expedient height. It could be described as continuous improvement of course but that term had become rather debased and tired in the world of modern business. Kelvin liked to refer to his thinking processes and their results as simply “better methods”.

In this state mind, not fevered but normal in his opinion, all of Kelvin’s waking hours were spent exploring and studying other ways to tackle the rudimentary and the basic things in life. At times the copious amounts of lateral thinking were almost painful. He would break into sweats making a cup of coffee or spend thirty minutes trying to decide where best to lay down the TV remote, the position of furniture, groceries placed in cupboards, clothing in drawers and on hangers, mixing laundry and then the optimum amount of time to wear any piece of clothing. Sometimes getting out of the house was a major problem if there was some new approach that he had to test out whilst in the process of leaving. Fifty ways. He soon began to realise that he needed a better method of establishing better methods, his own world was too small and his time available never enough and of course the point of better methods was to get to the place where all these economic methods paid off and the individual became free to other things. That point seemed further away than ever as Kelvin wrestled with mundane activities that continually scream out for his attention.

Sometimes he felt like god hearing the many never-ending prayers for improvement and understanding from the routine tasks: Shower from the head down, only use one shaving product, comb wet hair, just a centimetre of toothpaste on the brush, turn the tap 1.5 turns, socks on last, always put your valuables in the same pockets or bag space whenever you go out- so it went on.

Eventually Kelvin made it outside and into his car and after a short altercation with himself decided on the best route to take to his office. Already tired by his incessant self analysis and questioning he began to day dream in the way that regular drivers do. He was conscious of moving forward, slipping up through the gears, weaving through traffic and obeying the many signs and lights that came into his blurred field of vision when it occurred to him, “Why not get others to do it all for you?” That was it, get others to study the methods, make the improvements and then they’d simply update him in a way that allowed his adoption of their method. Suddenly he was aware of his driving again as he slowed down to join the queue of traffic that was forming up in front. So what was the best method to employ to get others to develop these best methods and then in turn report them. This was something he’d have to research. The best methods to engage and motivate people, the means to inspire them to understand his goals and then for them to have a similar motivation to deliver solutions. This in itself was significant and he’d need more help with it, just to understand the process before he fully embarked on it through his extra hands. It was as if Kelvin’s universe’s boundaries had spurted in growth exponentially, now where could he go and where would this takes him?

Kelvin’s office was very logical in it’s layout, it had taken a few attempts but now once the furniture had been rearranged numerous times a truly methodological balance had been struck, the emphasis being on function and not form. He sat at his desk, switched on the PC and picked up the phone, he looked at a list of numbers on the wall and punched the keys. “Hello is that the First Minister’s Office? Kelvin Bishop here at The Scottish Executive, I’d like to speak to somebody about a slab of new funding urgently required for a very special project that I‘ve recently become aware of.

Almost two months later Kelvin handed in his resignation, there were by now a team of 25 people working on “better methods” on behalf of the people of Scotland. The “Better Usage Methods - Measures Engineering Revisions” or BUMMER Project was taking Scotland and the lives of the common people by storm. Neurotic and irrational behaviours has increased by 50% in the few weeks the project had been operating and domestic violence and personal debt are spiralling out of control. “Excessive social micro-management, change for the sake of it and increased self based absorption are the causes” said an official spokesman.

Kelvin was last seen heading for the international departures desk at Edinburgh Airport carrying a biography of Tallulah Bankhead in one hand and a Chinese “ear” cushion in the other. He seemed to have hit upon a better method.

No comments: