What is metrication?
Throughout history many great leaders have tried to get everyone to use honest measurements to deal with their neighbours, locally, nationally, and internationally.
We now have the best system for measurement honesty ever invented – the metric system.
No previous measuring method was ever developed as a system; there only random collections of measuring words with little by way of organised relationships.
The metric system is the only measurement system that ever existed.
To achieve the level of honesty provided by the metric system we need to understand the process of metrication. That's why I believe that Metrication matters. To achieve the goal of having the whole world using the metric system for all measurements at all times we first need to know how to do our upgrade to the metric system; that is we have to understand the process of metrication.
When you understand how and why Metrication matters you will be able to choose the best, smoothest, and fastest way for you, your family, your friends, and your associates to make your upgrade to the metric system.
You can achieve a smooth transition from old to new by developing your understanding of the metrication process. Metrication can be done in a day or you can take a few hundred years – it's your choice. To succeed quickly:
1 Choose one metrication upgrade to do at a time so you can do it quickly, directly, and successfully. Then advertise your success through newsletters, posters, and word of mouth – overdo your advertising even for every small success. A good order to do the big ones is: temperature, mass, volume, and then length; these will allow you to have the most success most quickly while you improve your metrication strategies. Use the International System of Units (SI) as your standard to avoid internal conflicts about style. See http://www.bipm.org
2 Use a well-researched and well-developed model for change such as the one developed by John Kotter at Harvard. See: http://www.metricationmatters.com/docs/LeadingChangeKotter.pdf
Or use the model described in the fable 'Our Iceberg is Melting' at http://www.kotterinternational.com/KotterPrinciples/OurIceberg.aspx
3 Show that the metric system was developed internationally and is not 'foreign'. See http://www.metricationmatters.com/who-invented-the-metric-system.html and http://metricationmatters.com/docs/USAMetricSystemHistory.pdf
4 Choose metric system prefixes that will give you whole numbers for almost all measures. See http://www.metricationmatters.com/docs/WholeNumberRule.pdf
5 Get your management to make public statements to support your metrication process. Distribute these widely and repeat them often.
6 Find out why 'metric conversion' doesn't work now, and why it has never worked anywhere in the world, or at any time. See http://www.metricationmatters.com/docs/MetricConversion.pdf
7 Promote the truth that metrication is inevitable. Nowhere in the world where a group of people have upgraded to the metric system have they ever gone back to using the complexity of old measuring words. Metrication is inevitable because it is one way and it is honest.
8 Avoid centimetres. For some reasons, centimetres are not friendly to metrication. The use of centimetres will slow down your metrication process dramatically. See http://www.metricationmatters.com/docs/centimetresORmillimetres.pdf where I write:
The purpose of my writing on this issue is to encourage people to make a quick, clean, and economical upgrade to the metric system as soon as they can and as easily as possible.
If you choose millimetres as your small unit for a metrication upgrade then the metric transition is smooth, rapid, and so economical that the companies involved save so much money that their net profits increase dramatically. Typically, metrication upgrades in all Australian building trades were completed in under a year and definitely in under two years with savings of turnover for contractors and sub-contractors of about 10 %. The best transition that I directly observed was a group of plumbers and gas fitters who, with good planning, made their metric transition in less than a day.
On the other hand, if you choose centimetres as your small unit (as chosen by Australian textile industries), then you should expect your metric transition to be painfully slow, bitterly fought and enormously expensive, not only in financial terms but also in terms of ongoing human conflict. It's hard to know how long a metric transition using centimetres will take as no one has completed one yet. Suffice to say that 38 years is too short (1970 till 2008) in Australia and a better estimate might be 100 to 200 years with ongoing annual expenses of (say 10% of gross turnover per year see http://www.metricationmatters.com/docs/CostOfNonMetrication.pdf ). For the latter estimate, I choose the nation of France as an example where they are still struggling with the confusion and expense (in both training and practice) of having two decimal points in building drawing numbers; an example is a building dimension of 1200 millimetres as 1.20.0 meaning 1 metre 20 centimetres and 0 millimetres.
As I said earlier, I believe that metrication matters. The simple choice between millimetres and centimetres has truly dramatic results. It is the metrication process that is most important not teaching about sliding decimal points back and forth to convert from millimetres to centimetres. Minimise these kinds of calculations by choosing metric system prefixes to provide you with whole numbers. See http://www.metricationmatters.com/docs/WholeNumberRule.pdf
9 Research successful metrication programs from all around the world – and then copy them shamelessly. Australia is probably the best generally, but Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and Ireland also provide other good English language models.
10 Beware of people who will choose dishonesty. Avoid them, isolate them socially, do not choose them to act in your metrication management team. Dishonest people will try to protect their own status with arcane jargon, clever conversion tricks that are never necessary, and elaborate debate and discussion about why metrication is necessary. See http://metricationmatters.com/why_metrication.html to help you avoid where previous attempts have delayed your inevitable progress toward the universal honesty available with the metric system. Often failed metrication upgrades failed because of the actions of dishonest people. Fortunately, you can recognise these people easily; ask them how tall they are!