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  • 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.

  • Why Do People Fail to Adopt Better Management Methods?

    It is confusing to know that better methods exist but to see those better methods being ignored.  It seems that if there were better ways to manage, people would adopt those methods.  But this just isn't the case; sometimes better methods will be adopted but often they won't.  People can be very attached to the way things have always been done.  Or they can just be uncomfortable with the prospect of trying something new.

  • Educate New Managers on Their New Responsibilities

    Far too often companies promote employees into management positions and expect them to fulfill the obligations of their new position without helping prepare them to meet their new responsibilities. People who excelled at doing their non-supervisory job often have little education or experience to succeed with their new responsibilities.

    Managing a software development team is a completely different job from being a great software developer. Most everyone would acknowledge that: but if you look at what actually happens in many organizations the management system is not setup with this fact in mind.

  • 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.

  • Jobs to be Done

    If you see your job from the customer’s perspective you may change the scope of your offerings. You can add services that help the potential customer chose you. In the book, they explore the example mentioned in the article in more detail. They also discuss how an online university changed their processes to address the issues their potential customers faced in the “hiring” process. They changed, not the “product” (education), but the processes supporting potential students making the decision to hire Southern New Hampshire University.

  • 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

  • Cater to Customers Desires to Achieve Customer Delight

    Customer delight requires understanding your customers needs and desires. Often even your customers don’t understand these well. Businesses that have a deep appreciation for what their customers, and potential customers, desire and that create systems to deliver solutions that delight those customers benefit greatly from that effort.

    To build a sustainable enterprise you must provide value customers will appreciate.

    Your customers do not have one unified set of desires. Some customers may want as good an experience as is possible and if that costs substantially more they are happy to pay. Others want to pay the least possible while having an acceptable experience.

  • Deadly Disease of Management: Emphasis on Short-term Profits

    The games played to manipulate earnings are enormous (and no surprise to those who understand likely outcome of pressure to meet short term goals is a desire to manipulate the figure rather than improve underlying results). In Profit Beyond Measure by H. Thomas Johnson and Anders Broms, the authors provide many good thoughts on the problems of accounting measures and management.

  • 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.