-- [ From: Geof Fountain * EMC.Ver #2.10P ] --
In reference to Rick's LO3146 note partially snipped below . . .
> I have been reading Winograd and Flores who report: Humberto Maturana and
> Francisco Varela invented a new way of thinking about life and gave it a
> name "Autopoiesis." The scientists feel that giving it a name has been
> very important in the success of the concepts. (See one of my favorites,
> _The Tree of Knowledge_, Maturana and Varela, Shamballa Publications 1987,
> ISBN 0-87773-642-1).
> Mike Hammer told me a couple years ago that he hoped one day to have
> contributed a word to the language and that the official judge should be
> the Oxford Dictionary. His word: "Reengineering."
> I think, in net, that inventing new words is a gamble, one that sometimes
> pays off. There are some examples where the payoff has been big. But, be
> careful of the downsides along the way. Mucking around with the language
> is not something to be taken lightly!
I have struggled with accepting the word "re-engineer" even while
acknowledging it is an appropriate descriptor of the meaning it
represents. It just seems so faddish, similar to the 80s TQ terms.
While listening to National Semiconductor's presentation at the Systems
Thinking conference, one of the presenters used the term "redesign"
rather than "re-engineer". It sounded great ! It struck me that the
term "redesign" conjured up no ill feelings or airs of faddishness.
Perhaps the reason why is the term "redesign" has always been around -
ask any engineer. Whereas "re-engineer" is a new term - at least to me.
And the act of redesigning seems very appropriate for describing the
activity meant by re-engineering.
So the term "re-engineer" has been flushed from my vocabulary, not that
I ever really used it. After having thought about it some, I have
probably used the term "redesign" quite often though.
One other thought. The term "re-engineer" seems to focus on an
external agent (engineer for a hardware system or manager for a
organization system) imposing change on a system. Whereas, the term
redesign seems to focus more on the process of the system change, not
on "who" is doing the changing. Perhaps that's why I struggle with
accepting use of the term "re-engineer". Yucckk.
I don't think the term "autopoiesis" will ever suffer from faddish
death. I have studied The Tree of Knowledge - give me ten more years
to finish - and I don't believe it will get read by enough people
(takes too much effort) to become a faddish term, thank goodness !
-- Geof Fountain TFYY93A@Prodigy.com