The Mechanics of Transformation: A View from the Shop Floor

The best way to predict your future is to create it.

—Abraham Lincoln

In August 2011, a large piece of concrete smashed through the windshield of a car being driven in Montreal, Canada. Accustomed as they were to similar events, the people in Montreal assumed the problem was part of the continuing deterioration of the city’s infrastructure. Seeking to calm the public, the city’s mayor offered a rather curious pronouncement: “I want to assure the people of Montreal: the rock that caused this incident has nothing to do with the structure [the Champlain Bridge].”

The fact that the concrete had been tossed by someone rather than had broken off from the body of one of Canada’s ...

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