Simon Says: you can learn from toilet humour

An illustration from Simon Guilfoyle, a renowned cistern systems thinker, which shows managers how; counting inputs and continually requiring workers to report back on routine activity is misguided and superfluous to achieving purpose!


Welcome to what amounts to Episode 4 of ‘Bad Performance Measurement on Tour’.

(Other titles subsequently suggested to me on Twitter include the hilarious ‘Cisterns Thinking’, courtesy of Ian Gilson, as well as the brilliant ‘Check – Pan – Loo’, by Rob Wilson).

Stooping to new lows for material, this post examines the underlying assumptions behind those charts you sometimes see in pub and restaurant toilets that record how regularly they have been cleaned, and by whom. At face value, they would appear to be a transparent method of demonstrating that the company cares about keeping their facilities clean and hygienic. Nothing wrong with that is there?

I’ve seen a couple of contrasting examples of this type of thing recently; however I am not in the habit of lurking around public toilets taking photos (despite what you might have heard in the press), so I’ve…

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