John Hunter
Photo of John Hunter at Arches National Park
  • Metrics and Software Development - rather than the measure up view, I find looking at outcome measures (to measure overall effectiveness) and process measures (for viewing specific parts of the system) the most useful strategy.
  • Antibiotics Too Often Prescribed for Sinus Woes - Physicians choose to act just like politicians, choosing to give the voters what they want today and let someone else deal with the consequences later.
  • Exposing CEO Pay Excesses - As I mentioned earlier, I would add excessive executive pay to Dr. Deming's seven deadly diseases of western management. We need to drastically role back the luducrous pay packages.
  • Credit Card Tips - By following a few simple rules you can avoid the missteps and use credit cards to improve you personal finances instead of falling into the credit card traps.
  • Motivating Employees - When a manger views the problem as one of motivating workers that puts the problem within the worker. The worker needs to be changed. That is the wrong strategy. People want to do a good job; the job of a manager is to remove the de-motivation within the system.
  • Science and Engineering Internships - Find science internships and engineering internships via externs.com (another site I manage). Organizations listed include: Google, Intel, NASA, Dell, NIST, Scripps Research Institute, US Navy, National Cancer Institute, Microsoft and the International Crane Foundation.
  • Write it Down - Russell Ackoff also has some great stuff on the importance of documenting decisions - both to serve as guide posts to future action and to serve as documentation that can be examined over time to find historic weaknesses and strengths with decision making in the organization.
  • Firing Workers Isn't Fixing Problems - Exorbinant executive pay exacerbates the problem. Failure to understand systems exacerbates the problem... And adopting lean thinking, Deming's management methods etc. reduces the problem.
  • Transformation and Redesign - Read about an organizational transformation effort undertaken at the White House Communications Agency beginning with a Deming-based approach to continuous quality improvement through implementation of a total organizational redesign using systems thinking concepts.
  • Urban Planning - It is easy to look around the country and see how poorly planned development has been: resulting in huge wastes of time through long commutes. But it is not surprising, smart planning requires long term thinking which is often lacking.
  • What does your product do? - Knowing what job the customer is using your product for lets you focus on improving your product for that market.
  • SWAT Raids: Systemic Failures? - Trying to improve systemic failures using special cause problem solving methodology is going to be ineffective.
  • More Lego Learning - I believe people naturally learn and the largely learn to suppress that desire when subjected to bad formal education as they learn to equate learning with bad experiences.
  • Illusions: Optical and Other - Understanding the ease with which we can reach false conclusions can be a powerful aid in improving management decision making.
  • Lean Six Sigma Efforts - Successful lean efforts reduce waste, improve value creation, improve productivity, expand sales and expand jobs.
  • Compensation at Whole Foods - Whole Foods really acts like "people are the organization's most important resource."
  • Invest in your future with an IRA - There are few investment opportunities as valuable as IRAs (tax sheltered retirement accounts) - nor many more critical to successful personal financial success
  • Encourage Improvement Action by Everyone - Take the time to help people see the systemic effects of change and understand variation. They will then make more effective simple changes and be able to determine when systemic problems require a more thorough process improvement process be used to improve the system.
  • The Future of the Scholarly Journal - The funding mechanism for peer review needs to change. If the Journals want to stay in business they need to find a way to add value that doesn’t keep public funded information from the public.
  • Top Manufacturing Countries: USA, Japan, China... - The newest data shows that China continues to grow dramatically and that USA manufacturing has stagnated the last few years: the USA remains, by far, the largest manufacturer.
  • Knowledge Management: Management is Prediction - The technology discussed here eventually could help lead to the adoption of Dr. Ackoff’s ideas on capturing corporate decision making. Then that will allow evaluating decisions for systemic weakness and strengths to improve decision making.
  • Create Your Own Book - I received a custom made photo book from my brother. It is amazing. It is a hardcover book, full of photos. The quality of the printed book is amazing.
  • Performance Appraisals - Is Good Execution the Solution? - No
  • USA Healthcare Costs Now 16% of GDP - The rate at which healthcare spending continues to increase is decreasing. That is better than increasing at an increasing rate. However, it is already a huge drag on the economy and the need is for the expenditures to actually decrease.
  • Making Better Decisions - Another key is to examine and improve your ability to use your improvement process (PDSA, A3...). Getting better at it is exactly what making better decisions is about.
  • Epidemic of Diagnoses - It sure seems to me this tendency to over-diagnose leads to Tampering. Lets assign a special cause to some instance and then implement a counter-measure (it seems to be "take this drug" is a common one).

   

 

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