Kaizen oder Kai’Zen bei Covid-19

Die Buchveröffentlichung zu Kaizen bei Pan Macmillan (Bild unten) hat mich erneut mit persönlichem Gewinn an die altbekannte Managementmethode anknüpfen lassen. Für viele ist Kaizen, ich mag lieber Kai’Zen als Wortspiel und konkretere Vorstellung zu den japanischen Kanji-Zeichen. Laut einem Wikipediaeintrag steht “Kai” für Veränderung und Wandel, “Zen” = zum Besseren, zum Guten. Der daraus resultierende kontinuierliche Verbesserungsprozess wurde in der Privatwirtschaft und dem öffentlichen Dienst geradezu zu einem neuen Mantra. Bei der Wahl der richtigen Indikatoren wie Patienten- oder Kundenzufriedenheit und eben nicht nur Kosten(senkung) kann das Anstoßen von Kai’Zen mittelfristig und langfristig wahre Wunder bewirken. Deswegen ist der Vergleich mit dem auf Schumpeter zurückgehenden Prozess der “kreativen Destruktion” d.h. dem Erfolg von radikalen Veränderungen stets sinnvoll. Viele Start-ups können von dieser Methode lernen, anwendbar bei sich selbst, in Gruppen oder für ganze Gesellschaften. In Zeiten von Covid-19 könnten wir auch sagen “von Viren lernen”. Kai’Zen ist “Bionics” pur. Aber genauso mit dieser Methode werden wir den Virus eindämmen und einen Impfstoff entwickeln. Die Viren bleiben gut in Kai’Zen, wir auch. Bleiben wir dran, wir haben den längeren Atem ;-). Einen der führenden Virologen Peter Piot hätte Covid-19 nun dennoch fast erwischt.


E-Car Market and Sharing

2020 is supposed to bring many new E-Cars to the market. Car-Sharing with the retreat of DriveNow and ShareNow from several cities with only moderate prospects. The Brussels Motor Show, also called Auto-Salon including the #WeAreMobility hall is still going strong right at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in early 2020. Some of the established car-sharing companies like Cambio.de or Cambio.be are not even present at such events. Poppy.be has few visitors as relatively unknown sharing-company yet. Not many more visitors I spotted at europcar.be with the attached scooter-sharing in Brussels and Antwerp.
The Auto-Salon gives a preview on E-Cars from most major companies. The E-go alternative has no presence there and competition of the big established companies from Europe and Japan take most of the space.
Most Consumers seem to want a practical solution to their mobility at a reasonable price, few seem to search for cars to show-off with. There is more “rational choice” around than in previous years. I should have done a survey to measure this, last time and this time round. This could be a worry to the industry as they are more used to sell “dream cars” than practical day-to-day mobility solutions.

Speculation bubbles

Learning about bubbles is exciting. As kids we jump in the air to burst bubbles, as adults we are delighted to taste sparkling wine. It is easy to know that a bubble has burst (ex post).  Many examples can be quoted in economic and social history on this. When bubbles burst hitting many persons this becomes an issue of political economy. Are we just behaving like “apes” with basic “animal instincts” as suggested by “Jan Bruegel d.J.”? Tulip mania is a part of European history and Bitcoin mania the most recent example of a bubble-like development of a specific market. How about creating your own currency. Here is how to do it. How to get drawn into a bubble can be physically experienced at Floralia-Brussels until 5.5.2019. You won’t look at tulips the same way afterwards.

more images here

Continue reading “Speculation bubbles”

737 Max 8 and Science

The 346 persons who died in crashes of the fairly new airplanes of Boeing 737 Max have nothing to gain from the ex-post evaluation of the crash. The journal “Scientific American” published an interview with a former Boeing employee who puts a relationship of the two crashes into doubt. The article in the online version of the 13th of March by Mrs. Gohd is full of stereotypes rather than scientific information. This puts science or science journalism into a bad light. Please read for yourself (Link here).
Let’s wait for the black box to be read! and then judge, but not wait for further casualties please. The “precautionary principle“, to protect persons from harm for example by introducing not suffienctly testes new technology, makes a lot of sense in the aviation industry. That’s why the EU might be slower in the adoption of some innovations, but is more likely to avoid fatal accidents as a consequence of hasty innovation.

Rodin’s famous sculpture sums up the need and grief to think twice before you act. Mourning of the dead due to neglect of sufficient thought prior to action included. At least, this is  my modern interpretation of this piece of art with respect to responsibility and the precautionary principle.
(Foto taken in Stockholm, Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde  art museum).

Fukushima, Nuclear Waste and Fusion

7 years on from the Fukushima disaster promising research from a team including Physics Professor Thomas Heine reports that Cu(I)-MFU-4l is a material that “could significantly enhance our ability to treat radioactive waste”. The original paper appeared recently in Nature Communications LINK .

3He and tritium which are used as fuel in fusion reactor technology are produced at the same time. The battle about the energy provision of the future is still on. My teaching and research on “Society and Technology” takes on such challenges. The “Open Society” needs “open science and technology” to advance on major challenges. Open access is also part of this process. This is surely a nice additional topic for the University Study Course “Society and Technology” Thomas Heine and myself taught when we were both at Jacobs Universtiy Bremen.


Opportunities using Digital Technology

A new research paper dealing with digital technologies is now published in the Open Journal of Social Sciences. The major impetus of the small scale project was to identify the potential of digital technologies to foster democratic procedures and decision-making. The paper investigates the role of new technologies to support employees and the trade union movement.

The pdf-download free of charge is here.