:Lake Wobegon is a fictional town in Minnesota, the invention of author Garrison Keillor, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average . The remarkable statistic relating to the children is the significance of Lake Wobegon’s presence in this Glossary – in manufacturing quality, as Deming never tired of saying, there is an average and, as a result of common causes of variation, there is a statistical distribution above and below it. If the manager doesn’t like the lower boundaries of performance of a system under his control, he should get to work and improve it. See The Manufacturing Manager, Ch. 13.

(Glossary of Manufacturing.com)

Other Definitions

Lake Wobegon Effect,The: The “Lake Wobegon Effect” takes its name from Garrison Keillor’s town where “where the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and all of the children are above average.” In short, everyone tends to think they are above average.(From Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing by Harry Beckwith)

Lake Wobegon Effect,The:
People value that which they do well and tend not to notice that which they do poorly.  This explains the “Lake Wobegon” effect:  most workers think of themselves as above average.  A problem often occurs when managers try to get employees to do their full job, which includes things that the employee does less well.  A way to address this concern is to use the employee’s strengths to solve the problem of that which is a weakness.  Acknowledge that the employee is above average in strengths and ask his/her input in a problem-solving mode to help devise strategies to ensure that the job aspects currently getting low priority get a higher priority.  This reduces defensiveness on the part of the employee and helps her/him realize the value of a task which tends to be done poorly.  It also increases the likelihood that the solution developed will be practiced.  As people practice skills, they get better at them, taking pride in doing the whole job we (http://www.synergisticorganizationalsolutions.com/pointers.htm)

J. Jerrald Hayes
I am ex-architectural woodworker and general contractor turned IT, Business and Project Management consultant, software developer wannabe senior division triathlete and ski racer, Yankee fan and founder of Paradigm-360.com, 360 Difference Mac4Construction.com,iOS4Construction.com and now TheBuildingAndRemodelingWiki.com too.
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