A magic glass of water

The Mars missions remind us that life can’t exist without water.  Here in the United States, you can easily fill your glass with safe drinking water, without giving it a second thought.  But consider the complex systems needed to make that happen.

Reservoirs and aqueducts are constructed.  Water is purified, and distributed by piping systems or bottling plants.  Infrastructure is built and operated.  Construction materials are developed and transported.  Even your drinking glass comes from a commercial system that traces back to raw materials.

All through this, there are people doing their jobs, enabled by many intricate systems.  Morning traffic is filled with those people, traveling to do their part in this harmony of activity (yeah, even the guy with his blinker on the whole way).  As part of that traffic scene, I recently saw a Highway Patrol car safely bring all lanes of a freeway to a brief stop, so a hazard could be quickly removed from the roadway.

You can depend on having your magic glass of water and all your other necessities because of successful networks that stretch beyond the horizon in all directions.  Sure, our society has many problems (much loved by the media) and we have to continue to fix those.  But we enjoy many essentials and luxuries because of systems that consistently work well.  Let’s learn from those good examples to help improve the world around us.

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2012. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “A magic glass of water

  1. Mining the “good” is really where the gold is found. Years ago we solved our persistent lack of profitable projects by trashing the standard “project review meeting agenda” (which was basically a what went wrong discussion) and asked what were the best projects ever done? Old-timers nominated two. We then asked what they remembered about those projects that was outstanding. Pretty soon we had two lists, one from each project, and nine items appeared on both lists. I then asked each project manager to review his project to see if these steps had been included or left out, and then to make sure that these steps were included before going forward. Problem solved, organization energy up, and so was profitability!

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