Promises Made, Promises Not Kept

I’m sitting in the waiting room of a major oil change shop.  That’s not special, but the reason WHY I‘m in this one is.  I normally go to a different oil change shop but today when I arrived there shortly after 8:00 am, there was no one there.  Now […]

Where There’s Smoke

We’ve written about sexual harassment before – there’s no secret there.  But I would like to examine the economic benefits and costs associated with harassment today.  This examination is prompted by Bill O’Reilly’s firing by Fox after it was revealed that five women had been paid $13.5 million to […]

When Things Go Wrong, COMPLAIN!

I generally encourage people to lower their voices and think before they speak – perhaps to not speak at all – it makes for more reasoned communication.  But there is one area that I personally violate that rule – when things go wrong.  And when things go wrong, I […]

Keeping Trust with Your Customers

While meeting with a client recently, I was told a story about ordering a bike from Renovo Hardwood Bicycles.  Apparently, her husband is a cycling enthusiast and when he saw the Renovo wooden bikes he had to have one.  So an order was placed immediately with 50% down – […]

Making Good Decisions – Nothing’s New

I read an article this weekend about making good decisions – it seems at a team of scientists examined the way that applicants for the Cirque du Soleil were judged by themselves, managers and also by other performers.  The applicants rated themselves two levels too high while the managers […]

Never Enough

Have you ever considered how many convenience stores there could be? This question came up in the 70’s when 7-11 was expanding using the franchise model. As long as the number of franchises was growing, 7-11 was the darling of investors. But the question of how many 7-11 […]

No One’s Loyal to a Cubical Farm

Enough said!

Murphy is always present and waiting

Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

The updated quality management standard, ISO 9001:2015, is causing a big stir in the quality profession because it requires risk-based thinking. This is really nothing new because risk-based thinking has always been required in any practical operation. There is little […]

The Advantages of A One-Person Business

This last week, the Salt Lake City Bookkeeping Blog had an article about the dangers of running a one-person business. They listed the dangers as:

Absence = Losses
Slow Growth
Losing Customers Hurts
No other perspective
Owner Burnout

And while there are elements of truth in the article, overall I found that it continues the […]

Faster is Slower

I have to admit that today I’m torn – I normally work to do things faster, better, cheaper. Whether I’m discussing Lean, Constraint Theory, Total Quality Management, Six Sigma – whatever quality theory you want to name – one of the key parameters is to do things quicker, faster.

But […]

Learning from Experience

Oscar Wilde was reported to have said, “Second marriages are proof of hope over experience.”  Peter Senge speaks of the illusion of learning from experience.  But so much of our education system and training is based on providing experience in order to facilitate learning.  So we must learn from […]

Learning Disabilities

When my older daughter was born, I discovered a poster in the maternity ward which I wish I had stolen. I didn’t, but now I wish I had because I can’t find it anywhere and, apparently, neither can others who have looked. Three years ago I was sitting in […]

Thinking is the Problem – and the Solution

“Why do these things always happen to me!!!!!!” You may have spoken those words yourself – you certainly have heard them spoken by someone. A problem appears seemingly out of the blue with devastating effect – we call them Godzillas. But are they really that surprising? Peter Senge in […]

Just Write a Program

Many years ago when I was a young officer at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, I got to be friends with the head of the Management Information System (MIS) – what would be called IT today. I was just starting to use personal computers to use information from the mainframe […]

Your Unique Qualifications – Aren’t

Eventually, every business or organization has to answer the question – Why you instead of someone else? What makes you unique? Why should I do business with you instead of XYZ? What are your qualifications?

There are wrong answers to these questions.

We have the lowest prices – is it because […]

Truth as YOUR Defense

On November 17, 1734, the royal governor of New York, William Cosby, ordered the sheriff to arrest John Peter Zenger on the charge of libel because of his criticisms of the colonial governor. After a grand jury refused to indict him, the attorney general Richard Bradley charged him with […]

Have You Considered You Might Be Wrong?

I read a short story once about a king that got down in his cup and wrongly took exception to something that the court jester said. He ordered the court jester beheaded and, the king’s word being law, the sentence was swiftly carried out.

End of story? Not quite, because […]

The Model T or “Now Anyone Can Do It”

106 years ago today, the Ford Motor Company first offered the Model T for sale. The Model T wasn’t the first automobile – Nicolas Joseph Cugnot built a steam-powered “auto-mobile” in 1769 and Karl Benz the first gasoline powered automobile in 1886 – but the Model T was the […]

In Defense of Results

Happy International Coffee Day! Coffee, the elixir that gets a lot of the world moving each day and produce results.

“Just because we can’t do everything doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do something.” – Bill Clinton, President

When my oldest child was 7, I was asked to become the Scouting Coordinator for […]

Why You Might Want to Pass on Angel Investors

  It’s the dream, right – landing an angel investor who believes in your business so much that they’ll just give you money to make it happen? But angel investors are not the answer for everyone. In fact, for many businesses, they’re start up suicide. Case in point: […]