John Hunter
Photo of John Hunter at Arches National Park
  • Accuracy of Manufacturing Data - The measures are suppose to be the amount added at the point of measure. So the output of the local plant does not count the total value of, for example, the car, but of the value added at the plant.
  • Management Blog Tag - I spent a year in Singapore and another in Nigeria while I was growing up. Follow the link for 4 more things about me.
  • Why Extrinsic Motivation Fails - Extrinsic motivation is easy but not effective. It is really just abdicating management and using extrinsic motivation in place of management.
  • Starbucks: Respect for Workers and Health Care - Fixing the health care system is a difficult task, but after 30 years of excuses it is time for people to get past declaring it difficult and get to work instituting workable improvements.
  • USA Still Leads In Innovation - Those winning Nobel Prizes normally made their breakthrough decades before they received the prize. My guess is the United States will not have as large a percentage of winners from 2020-2029 as it did from 1990-1999.
  • How to Improve - I am not focused on getting the best result this minute, I am focused on finding the best methods that will produce the best results over the long term (predictable, repeatable system performance).
  • Start Young with 401k and Roth IRA - the advantages of starting to save for retirement before 30 are huge, even if you start modestly.
  • Customer Focus and Lack Thereof - Ritz-Carlton's motto is "We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen." And they actually turn those words into reality. They are not platitudes with no action. The system is guided toward achieving that vision.
  • Increase Science and Engineering Fellowships - The economic benefits of wisely devoting significant resources to improving science and technology infrastructure is why so many countries have been doing so.
  • Common Cause Variation - you should study the whole system and figure out what systemic changes to make. One method to encourage this type of thinking is asking why 5 times. It seeks to find the systemic reasons for individual results.
  • What Could we do Better? - To encourage useful feedback, specifically give the customer permission to mention something that could be improved. What one thing could we do better?
  • European Blackout: Human Error-Not - Why design a system where "human failure to check whether the outage of a second transmission line" would cause such a loss of power across Europe?
  • Illusion of Explanatory Depth - It is important to understand the systemic weaknesses in how we think in order to improve our thought process... Many things that we believe we have good reasons for, we will find we don't if we question those beliefs.
  • Trying to Keep up with the Jones - People in the USA make a great deal of money. There are many who make huge amounts of money so many who make a great deal think it is unfair they don't make more.
  • Management Improvement Search Engine - searches, using Google technology, those management improvement sites that I have selected.
  • Amazon Innovation - Innovation often involves taking risks. Bezos is willing to do so and willing to pursue his beliefs even if many question those beliefs. That means he has the potential to truly innovate, and also means he has to potential to fail dramatically.
  • Don’t Let Credit Card Companies Play You for a Fool - Business Week has a good article on this topic: Cap One’s Credit Trap. And PBS, Frontline, has a good show on it too: The Secret History of the Credit Card.
  • What is Wrong with MBA’s - management’s responsibility is to work on improving the system (to allow everyone in the system to do great work). This encompasses a wide variety of things. Creating sensible hiring processes. Designing systems that allow people to do great work and take pride in what they do...
  • Click Fraud = Friction for Google - Engineers in general love to work on making things work well. They don’t like inefficiencies and friction in systems. Fraudulent web click are friction in Google’s business. Google engineers will do whatever they can to find ingenious ways to reduce that friction.
  • Great Webcasts: Nanotechnology, science and engineering. Great stuff, and an example of universities providing open access content.
  • Tom Nolan on PDSA - write down the key outcome that is desired. Then list the main drivers that impact that outcome. Then list design changes for each outcome to be tested with the PDSA cycle...
  • 2006 Nobel Peace Prize to Economist - It is great to see the Nobel Prize honor an economist who helped create a system that provide opportunities for millions of people to change their lives. The people are given some capital and then get to use their ability and knowledge to change their own financial lives.
  • Science and Engineering Degrees and Career Success - Fortune magazine has selected the 50 most powerful women in business and selected 4 rising stars. It is another example (granted just an anecdote) illustrating that science and engineering degrees can pave the way to career success...
  • Hiring the Right Workers - However, it seems to me that the visible waste (time and money spent on the hire process) is seen as the only waste and the much more difficult to see waste of hiring the wrong people is ignored.
  • Evidence-based Management - A recent post - Hand Washing and Evidence-based Management, includes some good advice on data and process improvement. It is not easy to get people to change their habits. You often need creativity to give power to the data...


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