A Presumption Of Imperfection.
The phrase comes from a Fast Company report about Toyota manufacturing techniques.
"You can't solve problems unless you admit them. At Toyota, there is a presumption of imperfection. Perfection is a fine goal, but improvement is much more realistic, much more human. Not a 15% improvement by the end of the quarter, a 1% improvement by the end of the month."
It ties in with my philosophy of accentuating the negative and, in our fast-moving times, seems to me to be much wiser than searching for the step-change because the step-change may, in an increasingly quick time, prove to have been a step in the wrong direction.
The article also provides a good example of truly effective internal marketing predicated on the appreciation that various groups of workers are themselves the customers of their colleagues.
"So a team of assembly employees made a real decision. Don't make the worker pick the parts; let him focus on installing them. The idea seems obvious in retrospect: Deliver a kit of presorted visors and seat belts--one kit per car, each containing exactly the right parts"
What follows is obvious - the workers feel appreciated and realise that the management doesn't do dumb things and a culture becomes inculcated by a process of a thousand cuts rather than by some consultant-driven initiative with a name that no-one understands.
"Toyota's competitiveness is quiet, internal and self-critical."
Just like marketing should be.