Friday Fun: “Bronze Orientation” Video


I sometimes try to share some light or funny on Fridays to get into the weekend with a laugh.

I want to thank @BrianSJ on Twitter for his tweet pointing me to a hilarious video from a British TV show “That Mitchell and Webb Look.” I've enjoyed clips on YouTube, including the “well, it's not brain surgery” video that's embedded in this post from a few years back:

Preventing Brain Surgery Errors… Not Exactly Rocket Science

He appropriately posted the link to the “Bronze Orientation” video in response to my recent post on “resistance to change.”

Here is the video from YouTube… “it's bronze orientation day” for workers who are happy to stay in the Stone Age.

The chipper says: “I'm so sick of hearing about bronze. Bronze bronze bronze bronze bronze. What's wrong with stone? Does stone not work all of a sudden?”

The bronze orientation guy says: “My message for you… don't be afraid of bronze!”

“Bronze is brilliant! Bronze is your friend. Every day we're finding new uses for bronze…. bronze shoes… and bronze windows!”

“And bronze doesn't even need to be chipped!”

That's not good for, of course, the chipper.

The chipper asks:

“When you say bronze doesn't doesn't need to be chipped… my question is… doesn't it?”

The bronze guy says: “Well, I'm not going to lie to you: chippers are going to go the way of the saber-toothed tiger. Have you thought about re-training as a smelter?”

The chipper says: “No, I haven't. Smelting might be fine for the lads, but I'm not a smelter.”

He asks why his tribe can't just continue with stone axes. The response:

“Because the tribes with the bronze axes will kill you. And then take your stone axes. And then throw them away. Because they're rubbish.”

Do we sometimes make the same mistakes when introducing “Lean” to people?

Looking back, I can think of times when I've been guilty of overenthusiastically introducing Lean to a room full of people who didn't share my excitement. I've tried to get better with change management over time, including focusing on the why instead of the what and the how.

Does the same thing happen with new technologies like EMR/EHR systems? The “medical records” department in a hospital would react like “the chipper” in that video, right?

Even when introduced to something new that's logically positive, people are going to struggle with change. That's why we need to be empathetic and work with them. Engaging them is a better approach than labeling them as “resistance to change.” I kept expecting to hear that phrase in the sketch.


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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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