John Hunter
Photo of John Hunter at Arches National Park
  • Why Isn't Work Standard? - Fix the system. What needs to be worked on is the failure of the management to create a system where standard work is the way work is done, not blaming everyone for not following the standard in various ways.
  • 12 Stocks for 10 Years Update - Jun 2007 - The returns for the stocks in the portfolio: Google up 134%, PetroChina 127%, Amazon 92%, Templeton Dragon Fund 73%, Toyota 69%, Tesco 14% [purchased Dec 11th 2006], Templeton Emerging Market Fund 15%, Intel 6%, Pfizer -6%, Yahoo -12%, Dell -23%.
  • Mistakes in Experimental Design and Interpretation - We have tendencies that lead us to draw faulty conclusions from data. Given that it is important to understand what common mistakes are made to help us counter the natural tendencies.
  • People are Our Most Important Asset - I want to have employees delighted (all of them ideally, but at least those that are most critical). As Deming said it is easy for competitors to take away satisfied customers - it is not easy for a competitor to take away delighted customers. The same holds for employees.
  • Tilting at Ludicrous CEO Pay - Even as they spout defenses for such unjustifiably pay packages they know the pay is not defensible and so try to confuse the issue with byzantine explanations. Lets look at the CEO pay versus total earnings for several companies: Yahoo! earned $751,000,000 and paid Terry Semel $71,660,216 - 9.5% of all profits (and he was relieved as CEO since the initial post in June)
  • Fourteen Fold Increase in 31 Years - From 1975 to 2006 house prices in the UK increased 14 times. At 14 times that works out to about a 9% annual rate of return which is doesn't sound nearly as impressive as a 14 fold increase...
  • This great project, CatCam, involved taking a digital camera and some additional equipment to create a camera that his cat wore around his neck which took pictures every 3 minutes. The pictures are great. You can now get a CatCam for your curious cat and see what it does while out of your site.
  • Bad Management Results in Layoffs - Management must create and develop an organization that succeeds over time in a world that will undoubtedly be undergoing dramatic changes. Claiming some "outside" shocks as evidence of something outside of their control is very faulty thinking.
  • Six Sigma Outdated? No. - Execution of six sigma often focused too much on cost reduction, optimizing short term projects (which resulted in sub-optimizing the entire system), ranking and rating employees... But innovation is not harmed by a good six sigma program
  • Evolution In Action - technology now allows scientists to watch bacteria evolve to counter antibiotics in real time. Given our failure to systemically successfully address the overuse of antibiotics this is a hopeful sign (both to help deal with the consequences of our failure and one more piece of evidence to help to change our behavior.
  • Reduce Computer Waste - The net result of these changes is a dramatic improvement in efficiency (including the power supply and the regulators) to about 85%, at virtually no cost. In other words, you won't have to pay more for a higher-efficiency PC, because the power supply is actually getting simpler, not more complicated.
  • Financial Illiteracy Credit Trap - One very simple but powerful personal finance tip: save money to buy what you want, don’t borrow to buy what you want. And a related tip, save money to act as an emergency fund.
  • Keeping Track of Improvement Opportunities - serving double duty, getting the job done and serving to provide a task that provides some employee development, these tasks often may not be picked due to priority alone but a combination of priority, educational lessons and available time, skills...
  • Be Careful What You Measure - People will often react to what is measured and make adjustments to how the work is done to make the numbers better. The danger is that those attempts to make the measures look better can actually harm the overall system (when poor measures are used).
  • Information Technology and Management - I believe in the value of in-house IT resources to create IT solutions that support the organization (rather than buying off the shelf solutions that end up making the organization conform to the software).
  • Standardized Work Instructions - processes need to be standardized and continually improved (kaizen). Without a documented standard process variation normally increases over time as processes drift away from the desired standard.
  • When Fair Use Isn't Fair - many of the for profit publishers seem to have mistaken their mission to promote science (which would then generate funds to sustain their organization) for a mission to make money with no concern for science.



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