- John Hunter
- professional life
- John Hunter
- professional life
- John Hunter
- John Hunter
- The Importance of Critical Thinking and Challenging Assumptions
Critical thinking is important to applying management improvement methods effectively. It is important to know when decisions are based on evidence and when decisions are not based on evidence. It can be fine to base some decisions on principles that are not subject to rational criticism. But it is important to understand the thought process that is taken to make each decision. If we are not clear on the basis (evidence or opinion regardless of evidence) we cannot be as effective in targeting our efforts to evaluate the results and continually improve the processes in our organizations.
Changing the culture to one that values understanding and learning takes time. That process must be done with an understanding of psychology and the challenges of getting people to evaluate decisions. Creating a culture where it is expected that people think about the evidence and are comfortable explaining and defending the reasoning behind decisions is extremely important.
- Follow me on Twitter @aJohnHunter
- Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park
Sometime during the late 1190s, after primarily living on the mesa top for 600 years, many Ancestral Pueblo people began living in pueblos they built beneath the overhanging cliffs. The structures ranged in size from one-room storage units to villages of more than 150 rooms. While still farming the mesa tops, they continued to reside in the alcoves, repairing, remodeling, and constructing new rooms for nearly a century.
- Elephants Learn to Cooperate to Reach Their ObjectiveThis clip shows elephants learning to work together to achieve what they can’t achieve alone (from BBC’s Super Smart Animals). It is interesting to see what animals are capable of.
- Technological Innovation and Management
Organizations need to be designed to be robust and to cope well with the increasingly rapid pace of transformative innovation. This again reinforces the importance of management improvement practices that I have been writing about here (on the Curious Cat Management Improvement blog) for more than 10 years. Organizations that do not delight customers, know the jobs to be done that their customers have, focus on the future (long term thinking), understand how to use data, have well designed processes that allow those at the gemba to know what to do and know how to rapidly adjust based on new realities and possibilities are at great risk.
- Lessons on Competition from Mother Nature
Too often I see simplistic thinking used to accept that the results were good so what we did was wise or the results were bad so what we did was unwise. Sometimes those conclusions have merit. Sometimes they don’t. The results matter but understanding the nature of those results is important. Was it due to luck (did our company due well because the overall market boomed and we were taken along for the ride). Was it due to taking risks that happened to work out well now but is likely to result in bad results in the future? Is it just random variation that we attribute to good luck?
- Testing Smarter with Matt Heusser
Hexawise: You have written about the benefits of lean thinking in software testing. What advantages do organizations gain when they adopt a lean thinking view of software testing?
Matt: You know that thing that happens, where you can't do your job because you filed a ticket and it will take the DBA's a week to add a column to a table, so you can't do your job, for a week?
Or whatever else it is? Right now I've got a contractor billing on my team with no laptop. He'll have it nine days after he started ... if we're lucky.
Typically, when a company goes to lean thinking, that kind of stuff stops happening.
- New International Banking Solution for Small Business and Digital Nomads
One of the significant hassles of a the new digital economy is that national borders are largely irrelevant to digital businesses but the banking infrastructure is still stuck in the past. Dealing with international payments is a hassle and can be expensive.
New businesses are disrupting the old banks.
- Improving Management with Tools and Knowledge
Both the tools and the underlying principles are catalysts to better management. Alone each can result in a bit of improvement. But when they are used together is when you see remarkable improvement. The effective integration of the principles and the tools is what separates the remarkable companies we respect (and maybe envy) from all the others that are having some success but that are also struggling in many ways.
- The Johor Bahru, Malaysia Luxury Condo Market Needs the MRT to Singapore to be Completed Quickly
In 2015 the timeline for extending the Singapore MRT to Johor Bahru was extended to 2020. Now, the latest I have read is that it is being delayed further – until 2022. There is likely no other factor more important to reduce the supply demand imbalance for luxury condos than getting a good MRT solution into operation. Next would likely be a 3rd road link. Next is the need for adding many more high paying jobs in Johor Bahru than has been the case so far. These 3 areas should be the main areas of focus.
- Organizations as Social Systems
Organizations are social systems made up of people.
Social systems often amplify what happens.
If good things happen, more good things often follow.
When bad things happen, more bad things often follow.
To improve it is wise to this into account and design elements of the management system to encourage the amplification of what is good and that seeks to stop what is bad from being amplified.
- Testing Smarter with Ajay Balamurugadas
- Creating a Deep Commitment to Delighting Customers
Those organizations that can delight customers today and take the steps today that position the organization to delight customers in the future will prosper and grow. But building and maintaining a management culture that reinforces delighting customers and long term thinking is quite difficult.
Successfully delighting customers requires much more than a wish that customers were delighted with our organization. It requires knowing what your customers want and creating system that can reliably delivering that to customers.
- The Transformation is Everybody’s Job
There are quotes you can pick to make it seem like executives are responsible for the system and individuals workers have little impact on overall results – “A bad system will beat a good person every time.” This shows the limitation of isolated quotes more than anything else.
Complex systems have many leverage points and can be influenced in many ways. It is unreasonable to have a broken management system and blame those working within it for the naturally poor results than such a system creates. And executives have more authority and thus more responsibility for creating a good management system that is continually improving. But such a management system requires that everyone in the organization is contributing.
Those with authority must modify the management system to allow everyone to contribute. But that doesn’t mean everyone else just sits by waiting for those with more authority to transform the organization. Transformation doesn’t work that way. It is a dynamic, interconnected process. It isn’t as simple as turning on a light (or declaring this is our new transformed management system).
- We are Not Us Without The Microbes Within Us
Avoiding bacteria is not feasible. Our bodies have evolved with this constant interaction with bacteria for millions of years. When we are healthy bacteria have footholds that make it difficult for other bacteria to gain a foothold (as does our immune system fighting off those bacteria it doesn’t recognize or that it recognized as something to fight).
Human health is a fascinating topic. It is true antibiotics have provided us great tools in the service of human health. But we have resorted to that “hammer” far too often. And the consequences of doing so is not understood. We need those scientists exploring the complex interactions we contain to continue their great work.
Curious Cat blogs
Sites I Manage
- Good Process Improvement Practices
- How to Get a New Management Strategy, Tool or Concept Adopted
- Building a Great Software Development Team
- Using Quality to Develop an Internet Resource
- Encouraging Curiosity in Kids
- Purpose of an Organization
- How to Effectively Use of the PDSA Improvement Cycle
- Financial Market Meltdown
- Economic Strength Through Technology Leadership
- The Toyota Way - Two Pillars
- Diplomacy and Science Research
- Dangers of Forgetting the Proxy Nature of Data
- Awesome Cat Cam