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Wednesday, June 12

How many intelligent people does it take to change a lightbulb?

The lightbulb joke, originally a sneering racist American gag about Polish people, is a bit formulaic, but quite a neat way to get insight into the traits of a group or a situation.

So, how many intelligent people do you need to change a lightbulb?

It's the same as the answer to my own lightbulb joke:

Q. How many lightbulbs does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. One.

You only need one person to do a one-man job, especially if they're of average or above intelligence.

Now how about this. How many intelligent people operating under an enterprise-wide process does it take to change a lightbulb? The answer is, it can't be done.

Sadly, the presence of a process often means people are not empowered to act and feel disinclined to think. Clearly having no process is bad, but having a poorly understood, or an overblown process is a sure-fire route to nothing happening.

Edison wasn't following a process, thankfully.

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