Time for Crisis Recovery

I’ve written in the past about how we gauge crises with our 3 x 3 matrix.  As a company, we focus on the long, slow occurring crises (the frogs) and the unforeseen, come-out-of-the-blue crises (the godzillas) as these are the crises that most people don’t, won’t or can’t plan […]

Unforeseen Consequences

I had a fascinating discussion with my son-in-law the other day.  He is transiting to a new job with a new employer and one requirement was to have a drug test.  He easily passed but he described the discussion he had with the person administering the test.  It appears […]

Don’t Attribute to Malice What Can Ascribed to Incompetence

The title of this post is a reference to a quote by General Curtis Lemay about not being about to tell the difference between treason and incompetence – the results were the same.  And results are really what we deal with every day.  Something happens and we immediately start […]

Volunteers are Golden

I recently participated in the Artistry in Wood show sponsored by the Spokane Carvers Association.  It’s an event showcasing the talents of the wood carvers in the Inland Northwest.  This year, the Inland Northwest Woodturners (INWT) participated by having a single table with wood turned objects, mostly bowls, vases, […]

It’s Expensive Being Cheap

I recently received an email from a client that asked:

“Our quality teams are floundering. I’d like to do training for each team on how the team should function and the roles of each person on the team. I am sure you have a lovely infographic in your library of […]

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 […]

Persistence – or How to be Successful

When I was a young man, I would read Analog magazine – every issue. In one issue, there was an editorial by Robert A. Heinlein.  He wrote about a time he was invited to address the cadets at the US Naval Academy.  When he got to the Academy, he […]

Authority Can be Delegated, But Responsibility Can’t

The news this week reported that the captain, executive officer and the senior enlisted sailor were removed from their positions aboard the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) which suffered a collision with a civilian ship on June 17, 2017.  It’s not unusual for the captain and senior personnel to be relieved […]

Who’s REALLY to Blame?

Unfortunately, we’ve had a wonderful opportunity to see human behavior at its worst this weekend.  There’s no denying that any rational, emotionally feeling human won’t be repulsed by the events that occurred in Charlottesville with the deliberate murder and attacks on people doing what they are guaranteed the right […]

Is Perfection Holding You Back?

We have many paintings in our house – most by professional artists that we have picked up over the years from art galleries during our travels.  But there is one painting by that hangs in our living room which is not by a professional.  Depicting a set of iris […]

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 […]

Secrets Aren’t Secret

Because I’ve spent a lot of time in the Washington, DC area working in and for the federal government, I’ve been asked frequently about recent news reports coming from the national capital.  Most of the questions are of the type, “Can the President/FBI/CIA/NSA/etc. really do ___________________ and keep it […]

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 […]

The Misuse of Audits

Two things happened that involved me within the last 24 hours that concern audits:  I completed an audit of an organization and I read a column in the SpokesmanReview about audits in Medicare.

I’ve been doing audits, and their cousin, inspections, for more than 30 years.  I remember what it […]

Highly Satisfied

I’m a big fan of customer surveys.  Not of giving them because mostly the results are skewed by the apostles and terrorists – I’ll explain later.  I’m a big fan of filling out the surveys for several reasons.

First of all, so few people actually fill out the surveys at […]

Five Questions to Ask

Recently, my business partner (and daughter), Meredith, was describing the products she saw at a craft trade show.  There were many wonderful products that she was excited about but, at the same time, there were products that left you scratching your head because they were neither innovative (the theme […]

Tactical Thinking vs. Strategic Thinking

Last week I wrote about the need to look ahead.  Today, I thought I would amplify my thoughts considering recent news reports without mentioning the specific actions but looking at the difference between tactical thinking and strategic thinking.

Tactical thinking is focused on the here and now or what’s close.  […]

Look Ahead

My wife and I go through a ritual most days – I’ll ask her sometime in the morning or early afternoon if she has given any thought to what to have for dinner and does she want me to get something out of the freezer?  Invariably, she’ll say no, […]