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  • Duoyishu Village, Yunnan, China

    Duoyishu Village is in Yuanyang County, Yunnan, China. I took a private tour for my travels through Yunnan to make things easy on me (China and Kenya are the only places I have done this – because they are more difficult to travel by yourself than most places are).

  • The Amazing Reality of Genes and The History of Scientific Inquiry

    The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee is a wonderful book. He does a great job of explaining the history of scientists learning about genes as well as providing understandable explanations for the current scientific understanding of genes and how they impact our lives.

    As I have mentioned before, I find biology fascinating even though I found biology classes utterly boring and painful. I wish everyone could learn about biology with the insight people like Siddhartha Mukherjee provide.

  • Should I be in the Check Phase of PDCA Daily?

    The check/study phase should be reviewing the results of the experiment done in the Do the experiment phase. "Checking" how things are going during the experiment makes sense but that isn't the check/study phase of PDSA .

    ...

    Remember one key to using the PDSA cycle is to turn through the whole cycle quickly. Daily would be exceptionally quick. Moving through the whole cycle in 2-6 weeks is more normal. Organizations successful using PDSA will quickly turn the cycle 4+ times for a specific effort (often the 2nd, 3rd... times through are much faster than the first time through).

  • Don’t Assume All Web Users Have a Fiber-like Connection

    I have pointed out for more than a decade how poorly many web pages are coded. They often assume a very low latency connection and without it the user experience is poor.

    ...

    I can only assume they just test the pages on their fiber connection and if it works they are ok. This is a very bad idea for nearly every website.

    Learn to get a deep understanding of your customers and potential customers with focus on the customer’s “Jobs to be Done.”  Otherwise organizations find themelves creating solutions that work in test conditions but that don't work for their customers (or potential customers).

  • Use FI/RE to Create a Better Life Not To Build a Nest Egg as Quickly as Possible

    Financial Independence/Retire Early (FI/RE) is about creating conditions that allow you to focus on what you value. Some people do focus too much on saving money quickly as though the goal is to save as much as quickly as possible. But that isn’t what FI/RE means. FI/RE doesn’t mean make yourself a slave to saving quickly in order to remove yourself from being a slave to a job until you are 65.

    To me what is most important about FI/RE is examining the choices you make and taking control of the decisions instead of just floating along as so many people do without considering the choices they make.

  • Bayon Temple, Angkor, Cambodia

    Bayon temple was built in the late 12th or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII.  The Bayon temple is well know for the many (216 actually) smiling faces adorning the temple.

  • Intrinsic Motivation and the Danger of Overgeneralization

    by creating systems that let people take pride in their work we take advantage of more of their potential and thus create more value

  • Pepper – A Social Robot from Softbank

    Pepper has been designed to identify your emotions and to select the behavior best suited to the situation. Based on your voice, the expression on your face, your body movements and the words you use, Pepper will interpret your emotion and offer appropriate content.

    Pepper will also respond personally to the mood of the moment, expressing itself through the color of eyes, tablet or tone of voice.

  • Guadalupe Peak Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park

    The Guadalupe Peak Trail in Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a 8.4 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 2,930 feet.

    The hike was fantastic. Lots of great views and interesting plants and insects.

    This park is one of the many wonderful, less known but still great national parks.

  • Solar Energy Capacity Continues to Grow Rapidly (Chart of Data by Country)

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates Italy has the largest percentage of electricity needs capable of being produced by installed PV systems at 8%, with Greece at 7.4% and Germany at 7.1%. Japan is ranked 5th at just under 4%, UK is 12th at 2.5%, China is 22nd at 1%, India 24th and the USA 25th at close to .9%. They estimate the total global percentage at 1.3%.

    The global percentage is rapidly increasing each year as solar costs have shrunk and the benefits of reducing climate change causing pollution are known to be extremely important for the future of the planet.

  • Unpacking the Components of Hard Work to Design Better Work Conditions

    “Hard work” is often code for “work I despise doing.” If you create a system where people take pride and joy in their work the same time spent working is not nearly as “hard.” If they are proud of what they accomplish a difficult task is often rewarding, and not seen as working “harder.” As is so often the case “hard work” is really packing together numerous ideas in one phrase.

    • long hours
    • difficult tasks (physically, emotionally or intellectually)
    • unrewarding work
    • unpleasant tasks
    • inflexible work (It is a “hard job” if it prevents you from for example, seeing your child’s basketball game. If you were able to see the game and finish up 2 hours of work after they went to bed that is less hard.)
  • Don't Claim Your Customer's Suffering from Your Management System Results are a "Learning Opportunity"

    If you force the consequences of mistakes on your customers making up excuses about how this failure is a learning experience for you is only ok if you actually spell out how you are changing to assure you don't fail your customers due to this same management system failure again.

    You need to design your systems to minimize consequences to customers when something goes wrong.

    Acting as though a problem is due to some specific issue only with the exact circumstances that created the consequences is exactly the message you expect from businesses that have no respect for customers.

  • Countering Confirmation Bias

    In most organization we need to introduce changes to the management system that reverse the current pressure to go along and to not question or ask for evidence of current practices. Most management systems would benefit from encouraging the challenging the accepted beliefs. They would benefit from encouraging the testing of beliefs and the examining of the results of those experiments.

  • Wat Mai Suwannapumaram, Luang Prabang, Laos

    Photo of golden relief wall on temple in Luang Prabang, Laos.

  • Examine the Results of Your Testing Practices and Continually Improve Your Methods

    The idea of delibrately examining your software development and testing practices will be familar to those using agile retrospectives. The power of continually improving the development practices used withing the organization is hard to appreciate but it is immense. The gains compound over time so the initial benefits are only a glimpse of what can be achieve by continuing to iterate and improve.