John Hunter
Photo of John Hunter at Borobudur temple in Indonesia

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Management Matters

by John Hunter


Selected posts from my blogs:

  • Backyard Wildlife: Blue Jay - This is a picture I simply could not have taken before I bought my new camera (a Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Digital Camera with 65 times optical zoom). Birds are still hard to photograph but now at least occasionally I get a decent photo of birds.

  • Reverse Budgeting: Money that Must be Spent - "Some people will put some amount into a checking account each month to limit their spending to say $2,000. I do something similar but for the opposite purpose to segregate money to spend. I move the decision from whether I am better off saving or spending that money to this is the money that has already been allocated for spending, so now go spend it on whatever is the best use for it."

  • Companies Trumpet Stock Buybacks and Act as Though Stock Givaways Don’t Matter - "One of the things that annoy me as an investor is how happy the executives are to grant themselves huge amount of pay in general and stock in particular. The love to giveaway huge amounts of stock to themselves and their buddies and then pretend that isn’t a cost.

    Thankfully the GAAP rules changed a few years ago to require making the costs of stock giveaways show up on official earnings statements. Now, the companies love to trumpet non-GAAP earnings that exclude stock based compensation to employees."

  • Analysis Must be Implemented by People to Provide Value - "The greatest statistical analysis is nothing if it can’t be implemented by people. But people learn in different ways."

  • Deming and Software Development - "Dr. Deming’s ideas are about finding ways to improve the effectiveness and reliability of delivering value going forward. That idea is natural for many software developers. I find that software developers understand the value of designing the process to achieve repeatable success over the long term more than others (including managers)."

  • Kleptocrat CEOs and Their Apologists - "These CEOs act like kleptocrat dictators, taking what they can and challenging anyone to do anything about it. As with the kleptocrats they surround themselves with apologists and spread around the looting (from corporate treasuries for the CEO and the countries for the dictators) to those that support their kleptocrat ways.'

  • Photos of Little India in Singapore - The image shows Masjid Abdul Gaffoor.

  • Support of Top Management is Not Sufficient - Adopting a new management system can’t happen unless executives change their daily work and change how they manage.

  • Iskandar Malaysia Economic Development Zone - What I see as the top priorities

    • reducing speculation in luxury housing in Iskandar
    • reducing government debt levels
    • reducing consumer debt levels
    • increasing the number of high paying jobs in IM – focus on health care is good (I more could be done there I would try), finance is another good target, manufacturing is decent but I seriously doubt IM will have huge numbers of high paying/high skilled manufacturing jobs (some yes, but limited). I would also target high tech, software development etc. I would work closely with organizations in Singapore and KL. I would focus a significant amount of effort on this area). Education is good (and worthily of continued effort) but provides limited high paying jobs.
  • Better Health Through: Exercise, Not Smoking, Low Weight, Healthy Diet and Low Alcohol Intake - These 5 activities/state reduce the risk of chronic diseases: regular exercise, not smoking, healthy bodyweight, healthy diet and low alcohol intake. How these were defined: ...

  • Thoughts on the Risks of Violence while Traveling - Not getting drunk at bars likely proactively addresses a significant portion of issues.

    Second, if you are coming from the USA or many other fairly high personal crime countries there are many places you are much safer while traveling. If you are coming from Japan, Singapore, Scandinavia you probably are much more likely to be the victim of crime than at home.

    If you are not drunk the most likely crime is theft, while not good, it is much better than being attacked in my opinion...

    The biggest concern in a new environment is that you don't pick up on the clues of danger that you would in your home environment.

  • Lazy Golfer Portfolio Allocation - The Lazy Golfer Portfolio (Annually rebalance the fund on your birthday and ignore Wall Street for the remaining 364 days of the year) contains 5 Vanguard index funds

    • 40% Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
    • 20% Total International Stock Index Fund (VGTSX)
    • 20% Inflation Protected Securities Fund (VIPSX)
    • 10% Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBMFX)
    • 10% REIT Index Fund (VGSIX)
  • Silicon Valley Shows the Power of Global Science and Technology Workforce - Even with the challenges created by the culture in Washington DC against non-European foreigners the last 15 years Silicon Valley continues to prosper due to the talents of a pool of global science and engineering talent. Other countries continue to fumble the opportunity provided by the USA’s policies (largely a combination of security theater thinking and a lack of scientific literacy); and the strength of Silicon Valley’s ecosystem has proven resilient.

  • Global Workplace - I see an increasing number of opportunities for countries that encourage entrepreneurship and high skill jobs. I relocated to Malaysia and in doing so did a bit of research. It is difficult to get a long term visa in most countries without a full time job (and given the complexity of hiring foreign workers this often means dealing with companies that do a lot of it...

  • Phased Retirement - I have long thought the binary retirement system we have primarily used is less than ideal. It would be better to transition from full time work to part time work to retirement as people move into retirement.


John Hunter has experience in management improvement (customer focused continuous improvement, process improvement, systems thinking) and related areas. Since 1995, I have used the internet and internet technology to improve the results of management improvement efforts.

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