The Factory of the Future Will Have Only Two Employees, a Man and a Dog

Warren Bennis? Fred Lamond? Jerry L. Benefield? British Post Office Engineering Union? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: A humorous and cautionary prediction states that the automated factory of the future will have only two employees: one human and one dog:

  • The human feeds the dog.
  • The dog makes sure no one touches the equipment.

This notion has been attributed to Professor of Business Administration Warren Bennis and others. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: The earliest match located by QI appeared in the trade journal “Datamation” in 1978. Journalist Fred Lamond noted that the development of increasingly powerful microprocessors was facilitating new types automation. Lamond published a wry joke circulating in Britain:[1]1978 November 1, Datamation, Volume 24, Number 11, Europeans Blame Computers by Fred Lamond, Start Page 107, Quote Page 107 and 110, Technical Publishing Company: A Dunn and Bradstreet Company, … Continue reading

“How many people are required to maintain a new System X electronic exchange?” runs a rather bitter joke in the British Post Office Engineering Union. Answer: “A man and a dog.” “What does the man do?” “Feed the dog.” “What does the dog do?” “Make damn sure neither the man nor anybody else gets his fingers on the equipment.”

Lamond did not provide a precise attribution. Thus, droll remark is difficult to trace because of its variability. Currently, the creator remains anonymous. Warren Bennis did employ this joke in 1988 and 1989, but he disclaimed authorship as indicated further below.

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading The Factory of the Future Will Have Only Two Employees, a Man and a Dog

References

References
1 1978 November 1, Datamation, Volume 24, Number 11, Europeans Blame Computers by Fred Lamond, Start Page 107, Quote Page 107 and 110, Technical Publishing Company: A Dunn and Bradstreet Company, Barrington, Illinois. (Verified with scans; Internet Archive)

Efficiency Is Concerned With Doing Things Right. Effectiveness Is Doing the Right Things

Peter Drucker? Elsie Robinson? Warren Bennis? Stephen R. Covey? Glenn J. Shanahan? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: In the domain of business and entrepreneurship two contrasting statements yield a crucial insight:

  • Efficiency is doing things right.
  • Effectiveness is doing the right things.

The most successful organizations require both efficiency and effectiveness. Another version highlights the following two ideas:

  • Management is doing things right.
  • Leadership is doing the right things.

These notions have been attributed to the famous management guru Peter Drucker and the influential Professor of Business Warren Bennis. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: Peter Drucker did present this concept multiple times. Warren Bennis also employed this notion. See citations further below. The elegance of the formulation stems from the use of antimetabole: words in successive clauses are repeated in transposed order. QI believes that the phrasing evolved over time.

In 1869 the “Harrisburg Telegraph” of Pennsylvania printed the following short item displaying antimetabole. The words “efficiency” and “effectiveness” were absent. Boldface added to excerpts:[1] 1869 August 28, Harrisburg Telegraph, (Filler item), Quote Page 3, Column 2, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com)

A DIFFERENCE.—There is a difference between doing a thing right, and doing the right thing. One individual may be engaged in a very bad work, and yet do his work well. Another may be engaged in a laudable undertaking and do his work very poorly. The true maxim is, “do the right thing right.”

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Efficiency Is Concerned With Doing Things Right. Effectiveness Is Doing the Right Things

References

References
1 1869 August 28, Harrisburg Telegraph, (Filler item), Quote Page 3, Column 2, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com)