“Orwellian” is an adjective describing a situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society. Orwellian can be deceptive and manipulative use of language. It is Orwellian when words do not convey meaning but corrupt meaning. This causes us to alter our perception and create a false reality. (see video)
Most of us know this happens when many politicians speak. It is however very common in our language. Health Centers are Orwellian because they are not where we go for health, “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being”, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) but are places to treat sickness. Health is “…not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.” There are many more examples. For instance I am reading more about quality management methods and a recent section discussed best practices and another talked about specifications. These are examples of Orwellian terms.
Best practices and meeting specifications are the same idea in different contexts. Best practices are generally for a service organization and meeting specifications is for a manufacturing organization. Do these practices produce the best outcome?
If we review the idea, at best, these methods would help the employee and organization achieve what is considered the minimum acceptable, NOT THE BEST. Despite being called best practices, what would you call practices that are not the best but acceptable? The idea of “Best Practice” also halts a search for improvement because if it is the best practice, why search for better ways?
Higher quality or quality management practices as espoused by W. Edwards Deming means lower costs and increased productivity. This definition is different than the general understanding and is another example of Orwellian talk. High quality is not just meeting specifications or doing what is considered best practices it is instilling continual and never ending improvement through innovation.
Meeting specifications, therefore, is the bare minimum, NOT high quality.
Innovation is the way to improve. Innovation, however can only happen after statistical control is achieved through reduced variation. This means the process will produce a predictable outcome, something not possible without stability. Innovation comes from improving the process with better methods.
Whether we are discussing products, services, or life, it is all about the process. Do not let Orwellian speak keep you from taking action that will result in better outcomes. Our lifestyle is our process. By continually improving our lifestyle process, the product of a better life will take care of itself. Study, learn, and experiment so you can innovate and improve the process of your life. As you continually improve the process, the result will be a better and better outcome.
For me the way to continually improve my process is to find ways to cause all good by generating comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic, interactions so everyone and everything benefits or the Practice of Paneuegenesis. I encourage you to engage in the practice so you can “Make it a Great Week!
Contact me at: