Doctor Who – Change Agent with a TARDIS

Contributor: Jon Wetzel
Posted:  01/14/2013  12:00:00 AM EST
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Tags: lean | lean business knowledge | lean pharma | Jon Wetzel

What lean business knowledge can we learn from a fictitious doctor that travels through space and time in a shiny police box?  Let’s discuss.

Doctor Who is a Time Lord but he doesn’t waste any time

The good doctor is always on the go.  As someone who has all the time in the known universe he tries to always be working on something productive.

This should be a wake up call to the work place.  The doctor doesn’t believe in wasting time and he as an unlimited amount.  Maybe we should be more attentive to what we utilize our time for.

He’s always trying to solve a problem

I know it’s a TV show so there always needs to be a plot however the doctor is always working through a problem. He uses deductive reasoning and the facts to help guide him to some solution.

While working through even the smallest of problems, Doctor Who often uncovers much larger issues. In the doctors case it’s usually the destruction of a planet. However, the mileage may vary at your company.

He rarely works alone

The doctor almost always has a companion that he travels through time with. Besides having someone around to share his experiences, it is important for him to have someone to do Q&A with.

Even a Time Lord with the knowledge of the universe needs someone to bounce ideas off of.  I wish more managers would take this as an important learning point.  No one does their best work in a vacuum.

Even the doctor makes mistakes

The doctor is all about trial and error. By trying he can see what will happen and then he can adapt and try something else.  It’s like seeing a lightning fast PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Adjust) cycle.

In the work place you should try to implement a faster PDCA cycle especially when the cost to test is very low.  That way you can quickly come up with faster iterations and improvements.

The doctor is a teacher

The doctor’s companion isn’t just there to watch and listen but also to learn.  He wants them to be passionate and excited about the limitless possibilities that are in front of them.

A good manager can learn from this and help foster the same emotions from their employees.  This in turn helps them reach their fullest potential as well as create successes for the company.

YES – I think we can lean quite a bit from the doctor.  Wouldn’t you agree?

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Contributor:   Jon Wetzel


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