Spock and Genchi Genbutsu


I am a big fan of Spock, a key character from the classic Star Trek show. He is a great inspiration for me, and I have already written a post about him here.

Recently, I came across another gem from him that I would like to share.

This is taken from the episode “That Which Survives.”

SPOCK: I note it, Mister Scott, without necessarily understanding it. I propose to run an analysis through the ship’s computers, comparing the present condition of the Enterprise with her ideal condition.

This in my eyes is a good example of Genchi Genbutsu via Grasping the Current Condition. Spock came across a potential problem on the star ship, and he is using the scientific approach to first understand the problem.

If you do not know the ideal state, how will you know what the scope of the problem is?

One should always know the ideal state. This is a form of calibration, a way to know if there is indeed a problem or if it is a false alarm. Humans tend to exaggerate when they try to approximate. When the entirety of data is lacking, one has to approximate, and this can lead him/her to underestimate a threat or overestimate a gain.

Do you know your ideal state at work? At home?

Always keep on learning…


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