It's interesting to compare how advertising creative teams operate vs consulting teams. The creative teams will generate a vast quantity of ideas that they will never use. But these are not viewed as "waste", simply natural by-products of that process - much as respiration produces carbon dioxide and water vapour. Most of us don't seek to breathe less to reduce this "waste".

Part of the issue is that our models of work are based on industrial factories - e.g. Lean originates in Toyota, Six Sigma in Motorola. Factories are deeply unnatural places - and expecting the rest of the world to behave like them gets things backwards.

Also: https://blog.gardeviance.org/2015/06/why-agile-lean-and-six-sigma-must-die.html

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Agreed! I think part of the agile movement is motivated by this desire to turn knowledge work into "widget work" so it can be managed using the same methods that made industrial factories so efficient.

Interesting you highlight the role of "waste" (e.g. potential solutions that we're successful or weren't used) as key in marketing. Blair who originally developed the Innoficiency Principle works a lot with marketers and creative agencies. And yet he still observed this tension between efficiency and innovation.

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The tension that Blair observes is a oft-noted one between "inefficient" creatives on the one hand and 1. the holding companies that acquire them and attempt to drive a shareholder return thru cost cutting & efficiency and 2. client procurement teams that likewise seek to cut costs to reduce spend. In both cases, Blair is trying to shield the innovative inefficiency of creative teams from the conservative efficiency of other groups.

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