2017 Holiday Season

“Oh! captive, bound, and double-ironed,” cried the phantom, “not to know, that ages of incessant labour, by immortal creatures, for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little […]

Conflict is Inevitable, Happy Resolution Isn’t

I’ve been struck by the story of Samson found in the Old Testament Book of Judges, chapters 13-16.  With the gift of unusual strength, he was the spark to freeing the Israelites from Philistine domination.  Be he had a fatal flaw – a rampant narcissism – that lead to […]

Why Do We Think We Are So Great?

It’s a modern arrogance to assume that the ancients were idiots because they believed the world was flat, witches could cause your cow to go dry, frogs caused warts to appear, or other beliefs we know to be false.  But they weren’t – they just started with less than […]

No, I Won’t – Why I Took a Hiatus

Over the past five years, my business partner and I have written more than 300 blog posts – more than one a week.  Usually we would post a new entry on Tuesday while having a Throwback Thursday re-post.  But we’ve recently skipped several weeks because our production system was […]

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 […]