Definitely an interesting observation and story. As a none gun industry related manufacturer I work with and supply to several company's who are so formally process oriented (ISO, Kiasan, 5-S's, take your pick) I can definitely see how that could happen. Myopic. A manufacturer has to maintain a certain level of processes and procedures to function properly but many of the systems in use today take it way too far in my opinion. To the point were I sometimes question if the process is the mission or is it really production output for sale at a profit.
The result is often a work force that can't see beyond the process and engage in real problem solving without consulting the oracle. What happens when the oracle doesn't have the answer? It's funny but true. The antidote is striking a balance between process and the real difference maker which is the talent, intelligence and work ethic of the work force in question. As good as some hand books, processes and procedures may be they cannot think beyond the boundaries of their origin. A good employee can.