To Make Change, You Have to Make Trouble

Change is hard – I know because I’ve made a lot of changes in my life.  But while change is hard, in the business world you can often make a very good case for change by citing money – making money, saving money, and not losing money.

When I was […]

Who Rules Who?

As a new officer in the US Navy, I was assigned to be the Command Duty Officer on a rotating basis.  The Command Duty Officer’s duties were to spend the night at the command, answer the phone, investigate any security breech, and respond to any occurrence of any nature […]

$20 an Hour

What would you be doing if you had to pay $20 an hour to do it?

In the early twentieth century, physicists devised a technique to test the new theories of relativity and quantum mechanics dealing with the very large and very small – places where you couldn’t actually go.  […]

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 […]

Looking Like a Professional

I’ve been an adjunct professor for most of this century, teaching graduate students quality and operations management as well as entrepreneurship.  Now, mind you, these were GRADUATE students.  For the most part, they had experience in the workplace after college.

And yet, they weren’t professionals.  By that, I mean they […]

“I am my position”

In my wife’s family, there was one phrase that would end all discussion on any topic, “My name is Father and…” His position as father allowed him the ultimate disposition on any topic.
Now, my father-in-law usually used this phrase to end those discussions where everyone has had their say […]

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 […]

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 […]

#SpokaneAMA Question: Where to find free photos and images?

By Frank Hutchison and Deanna Tiemann, Guest Blogger

#SpokaneAMA Question: Where do you go to find free photos and images?
First of all, we have to make a distinction between personal and business use of images, whether they are photos or graphics.
Personal use is given greater latitude primary because it’s just […]

The Role of Experience

When I was stationed at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, one of my goals was to qualify as a docking officer.  The docking officer is responsible for the preparations and actual conduct of bringing a vessel into a dry dock.  This entails making sure all the blocks that the […]

Creating Loyalty

We hear a lot about people wanting loyal employees. The expectation that employees will be loyal because we give them a paycheck is common.  Here the definition of a loyal employee is an employee who considers the benefits for the company before the benefits for themselves.  However a […]

Gold Nuggets and Diamonds: Using the Pareto Principle to Increase Returns

I heard a story once about a consultant that was called in to help a team of top executives be more productive. After observing the executives, the consultant suggested that each executive write a list of things to do the next day before leaving the office. The […]

5 Reasons Entrepreneurs Should Let Others Help

I once had a client I’ll call Joe – whose business consisted of scanning a lot of documents and compiling them on DVDs. Joe, being a small business owner, used his own scanner – a single-page-at-a-time scanner – which required eight or more hours per job. I […]

Email & Micro-transitions: The Stress and Time Saving Secret

When I meet an overwhelmed entrepreneur, the first thing I look for is e-mail backlog. E-mail is most people’s first resort for communication, and – like paper mail – most people have crappy systems for handling it. It grows and grows until they can’t find e-mails, struggle to keep track […]

Efficiency Means Saving Hours, Not Minutes

When I worked in financial counseling, I often counselled people who spent hours each week clipping coupons and pinching pennies to save $20 on their grocery bill. When I looked at their bills, I’d discover that they were being overcharged for their car insurance or cell phone bill. Most […]

Red Pens and Submarines: When Prevention is Worse than the Problem

One of the most powerful lessons I learned began one day in 1988 when I got a call to see the Deputy Director of a shipbuilding project management office. His opening statement summed up everything: “Hutch, the Captain is getting his ass chewed by SP over at Kings Bay.  I […]

Personal Lean Day 5 – The Ultimate Secret to Being a Successful Entrepreneur and Better Person Starting Right This Very Second

Photo Credit: jmv via Flickr

Are you ready? Because this is pretty intense stuff. This week, I’ve talked about how self-care, communication, understanding denial, and asking questions can help you cut waste and live better. But this is The Honest to Goodness Ultimate Secret for Being More Awesome Starting Right […]

Personal Lean Day 2: Four Deadly E-Mail Sins That Waste Time and Make You Look Dumb

Photo Credit: kajarno via Flickr

1. Never, ever use email to avoid 
having a difficult conversation with someone. 
A lot of people do this, and they usually give the same excuse: “I feel that I express myself better in writing.”  It’s a self-centered justification that doesn’t actually improve communication. What they’re really saying […]

Q&A: Help! I Have Too Many Ideas and Too Much to Do!

Photo Credit: csm-web via FlickrHey, Mer -My business is really starting to take off and I’m getting lots of feedback from my new customers. I have so many ideas for the new products and services they want, but I’m trying to bring on my new employees so I don’t […]