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 […]

Sexual Harassment, Why So Long?

The news is full of another powerful male’s fall from grace for sexual harassment and/or assault.  It’s a brutal and sad commentary – there’s not enough words to describe the revulsion that’s felt at the description of the events or enough tears to salve the hurt to the victims.  […]

In Disasters, Preparation is Necessary But Luck is Key

I’ve written before about emergency response and preparation here.  But there was one aspect of emergency response and preparation that I neglected to mention – luck.

I bring this up because in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, some Texas politicians are calling for people to NOT donate to the American […]

Lessons Learned From Infamy

December 7, 2016 is the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on the Hawaiian Islands.  There are newspaper inserts and TV specials as well as countless articles and speeches retelling the stories and pointing out the lessons that were learned.  Usually, the lessons can be summed up as “we […]

What Samsung can learn from Chicago-Strength Tylenol*

In September 1982, the world was shocked at the cyanide deaths of seven people in the Chicago area.  It was soon followed with the discovery that Tylenol was the common link.  Johnson & Johnson mounted a total recall of Tylenol, halted production and distribution of the product and broadcast […]

Flint Michigan Water – déjà vu all over again

The crisis in Flint Michigan with their water supply brings back bad memories for me – my family and I lived a similar experience the last year I was in the Navy. We were living on the Yorktown Naval Weapon Station in base housing and our water suddenly became […]

Take a Moment

A while ago, one of my start-up clients messaged me. It began: “You’re probably going to hate me for this…!”

That’s always a good sign, right? Sigh.

She continued: “I just committed to an amazing opportunity for us to triple our advertising exposure,” she went on. “A sponsor dropped out of […]

Three Mistakes for Someone to Die

Back in the late 80’s I fortunate to have the opportunity of attending a submarine design class held by Harry Jackson, CAPT, USN Ret. – perhaps the foremost American submarine designer of the second half of the twentieth century. While I still remember many of the principles of submarine […]

The VW Software Scandal Gets Bigger

The news today is that VW is in bigger trouble – their software evading of pollution testing appears to be not limited to their 6-cylinder diesels but also extends to the their 4-cylinder diesels. The company denies this but I suspect it’s true. Why?

First a little background. I have […]

Inside Cheerios’s Gluten Free Fiasco – Podcast

Confused about the recall? This week, General Mills recalled 1.8M boxes of  “gluten-free” Cheerios — revealing that they were not only contaminated with wheat flour, but that they had failed to perform any final product testing before shipping them.

In these three episodes, Meredith & Frank explain what went wrong […]

VW – Expertise and Trust

Frank and Meredith discuss the Volkswagen scandal – why it happens and how we can protect ourselves.

The basic paradox is that we need experts but how do we know that we can trust them?

Listen to the podcast here.

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 […]

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 […]

The #1 Mistake Business Owners Make

This question came from Sara

You could ask 30 different business people and likely get 30 different answers to this question – reflecting personal experiences of the business people you ask.

Ultimately, the biggest mistake comes down to a very simple concept – making decisions without understanding

The consequences of the decision […]

How to Avoid Getting Hacked on Social Media

This is a question we received at the Spokane Ask Me Anything sponsored by the National Association of Women Business Owners held June 12, 2014.

SpokaneAMA: My twitter account was hacked so I disabled it – how do you prevent this? Or on other social media?

When an account is hacked, […]

Free Speech Ain’t

There have been a recurring theme in the news about executives and celebrities who opened their mouths and inserted their foot down their throats.  And when the inevitable backlash occurs – usually in short order because of modern social media – there is always a minor chorus of “They […]

Spokane Ask Me Anything and #SpokaneAMA Question: YouTube Strikes

By Frank Hutchison
We held the very first (but not last) Spokane Ask Me Anything (#SpokaneAMA) at ITT Technological Institute on April 16th.  We had a blast and all the attendees said they wanted another one!  Well, you will!  We’ll announce the date, time and place when we have […]

Warning Signs

We last spoke of the need to ask questions instead of always making assumptions – it leads to less error and lower risk.  But how do you identify when someone is making an assumption?  Here’s a few markers to help you tell when assumptions are being made: Genius […]

Is it a crisis?

One of my favorite episodes of the original Star Trek is The Trouble with Tribbles.  There are Klingons, grain to be guarded and government bureaucrats which get all the attention but in the end it is tribbles which created the crisis.  It’s a great example of the frogs type […]

Chevron, Fracking, and Free Pizza: Inspiring Confidence in a Crisis

It has all the makings for a blockbuster movie. Just image:
An earnest young engineer (played by a beefy, Chris Hemsworth-type) arrives in an idyllic rural Pennsylvania town determined to introduce the modern wonder that is fracking to the locals. It’ll revive the town’s fortunes! he swears.

A sincere young geologist […]