Fly on the Wall

From a recent Wall Street Journal article about the Dutch takeover of JFK airport's international arrivals building.

In Amsterdam's Schiphol airport the tile under the urinals would pass inspection in an operating room, but nobody notices. What everybody does notice is that each urinal has a fly in it. Look harder, and the fly turns into a black outline of a fly, etched into the porcelain. "It improves aim," says aid Kieboom, "if a man sees a fly, he aims at it." Mr. Kieboom, an economist, directs Schiphol's own building expansion. His staff conducted fly-in-urinal trials and found that etchings reduce spillage by 80%. "We will put flies in urinals - yes," Jan Jansen says at the arrivals building. He is the new Dutch general manager, the boss as of noon today. "It gives a guy something to think about. That's the perfect example of process control. Fine, laugh at me. It works."