Archive for December, 2007
“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
People, process, and technology. It’s a simple formula that describes what makes any business operate. For decades, those who shape business thinking have ranked them as follows: 1. Businesses are collections of processes. 2. Businesses hire people to perform roles in those processes. 3. Businesses use technology to automate processes or process steps. Process is […]
ManagementSpeak: We’re transferring you to the help desk.Â We’d like you to mentor them in your free time between calls, so that they can solve problems better. Translation: Is your resume up to date? Thanks to this week’s anonymous contributor for mentoring us in the subtleties of problem-solving.
In the beginning was Deming. Deming introduced measurement to industry in the 1950s. A statistician, he relied on sophisticated multivariate techniques. He encouraged those who didn’t understand sampling theory, analysis of variance and multiple regression to stay away and let the experts handle the data collection and math. American industry ignored Deming and his theories […]
ManagementSpeak: Don’t think of it as breaking up a high performance team but rather distributing your team’s expertise throughout the Enterprise for the greater good. Translation: Your team is too successful and is showing up my whole division. You didn’t think I’m competing against another company, did you? When it comes to recognizing nonsensical utterances, […]
Asked if the study of creation could provide any insights as to the nature of its Creator, the great biologist J. B. S. Haldane replied that clearly the Creator has ” … an inordinate fondness for beetles.” Coleopterans account for about a quarter of all animal species on this earth. Mammals, in contrast, contribute about […]
ManagementSpeak: I don’t want yes-men. Translation: You don’t have to agree with me, as long as you don’t disagree with me. KJR Club member Charlie Matthews doesn’t care if you agree with him.
Can an organization learn? In response to the last two columns, which talked about the barriers to organizational learning and how to overcome them, a subscriber challenged me on this point. Learning, he said, is something people do, not organizations. I agree, organizations aren’t just people, only bigger. As has been pointed out in KJR […]