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  • Location Independent Living Can Be In Your Comfort Zone and a Good Experience

    I think way more it is about this type of thing being in your comfort zone. When I hear people talking about how they stepped out of their comfort zone it seems to me they just aren’t comfortable plodding through an office for 40 years. Doing that is outside their comfort zone. The reason they did something else was because it was in their comfort zone.

    I think there are benefits to shaking things up and trying things you are not comfortable with. I think way more often when people talk about that being successful for them what they really did was shake off the shackles of an uncomfortable situation and found one that is more in their comfort zone.

  • Great Food in Chiang Mai, Thailand

    I found lots of very good food in Chiang Mai. I found 3 places I really enjoyed a great deal (I went to each weekly, or more often). Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant is one of the places I would suggest everyone try. I see it as a highlight of being in Chiang Mai. I rarely find restaurants I feel this way about. To reach this level they not only have to provide great food, atmosphere and service but also capture some of the essence of locale.

  • Don’t Use Short URL Services

    I am against using url shortening services to redirect urls for 4 reasons.

    1. Short urls add a point of failure – they go out of business and the urls go bad (or even worse get redirected to whoever buys the url service domain) or sometimes the short urls just expire and are reused (which is really lame)...
    2. You lose the tremendous information value that a real human readable url provides users...
  • Medical Tourism

    Medical tourism (traveling overseas to get medical care) is growing and likely to continue to do so. The USA’s extremely high costs of medical care push people to find more reasonable health care solutions. Also in some countries the very rich seek out advanced treatments outside their country.

    Seeking more cost effective and more customer focused health care options are likely to lead to booming markets in catering to these customers. Many countries have seen this as a smart market to focus on. And I think they are right.

  • Utopia (Dreamland in the USA) is an Amazing TV Program

    Utopia is an amazing, biting, satirical look at modern office life at the Nation Building Authority of Australia.

  • Spend More Time Doing What You Do Well

    I think often the most productive thing is to spend time working on the system to maximize the use of people's strengths and minimize the use of their weaknesses. This often has a big impact without much effort.  Changing the system can be a better solution than pouring resources into changing people so they fit the existing system better.

  • Standardization Doesn’t Stamp Out Creativity

    Standardization (and reducing variation) are means to improve performance. They are not means to dehumanize the workforce. W. Edwards Deming presented a management system that emphasized the importance of joy in work and encouraged the creativity everyone brings to work. Thinking that creating standardized work processes to bring that about are about making everyone be the same is to completely miss what Deming proposed.

  • Beautiful View of Limestone Karsts in Yangshuo, China

    This is the view from a guesthouse I stayed at in Yangshuo, China. It was a wonderful place, and I also hired the owner as my guide.

    It was a wonderful place to stay. I ate dinner with the family one night. Her son was the driver when we needed a car. I used a bike for some exploring and a guided trip with Amy. I also talked with her high school daughter though I don’t speak Chinese and the daughter’s english wasn’t so strong. We used Google translate to help.

  • Ron Moen and Cliff Norman Discuss the Evolution of Deming’s Management Ideas

    I share the believe about the management system expressed in the system of profound knowledge and the interaction of the components as the most powerful aspect of Deming’s message. It is hard to convey that idea easily.

    Many other powerful messages Dr. Deming gave are also important, things like: control charts, the fallacy of blaming or rewarding individuals for system performance or variation, PDSA improvement cycle, respect for all employees, viewing the organization as a system, the importance of long term thinking with constancy of purpose, aspects of theory of knowledge (confirmation bias, seeing “patterns” where they don’t exist, accepting special cause explanations for system results…), customer focus, innovation, etc..

  • Before Deming’s 14 Points for Management

    (principles 16 to 21) The consumer is the most important point - Performance of a product is the result of interaction between three participants: (1) the product itself; (2) the user and how he uses the product; (3) instructions for use, training of customer; service provided for repair.

  • Riding a Bike and the Theory of Knowledge

    This video is a wonderfully visual example of how hard it can be for us to drop our ingrained habits and pick up new ones. When you watch this think about management concepts that are so difficult to drop that managers feel like this person trying to ride a bike.

    The bike looks just like any other bike but reacts in a different way to the bike riders actions. But that small adjustment on how the bike reacts is very challenging to overcome and makes you very uncomfortable while you try to make sense of this odd new system.

  • Quitting, Habits and the Examined Life

    Treating others fairly is admirable. Being true to your beliefs is admirable. Sacrificing in order to achieve more important long term goals is admirable. Quitting is admirable when it supports those interests. Quitting is not admirable when it is sacrificing your long term happiness to avoid some short term effort.

  • Change and the Management System

    The most important thing though is the entire management culture. Tactics can help change efforts be more successful. But if the culture is hostile to continual improvement (fear based, performance appraisal based, target based, blame based, imposing from on high...) the tactics are working in a difficult situation. Still a good idea, but no matter what tactics are used it will be a challenge.

  • Highest Paying Fields at Mid Career in USA: Engineering, Science and Math

    The top 15 bachelor degrees by mid-career salary were all from engineering, science and math. And the median salary was $168,000 for petroleum engineering degrees (at the top) to $107,000 for Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science and Mathematics (tied for 14th).

    The starting salaries for those with these degrees ranged from $58,000 for Actuarial Mathematics (though by mid-career salary they were in 3rd place at $119,000) to $101,000 for petroleum engineering.

  • People Copy Examples and Wonder Why They Don’t Succeed

    Learning from what others do well can be effective if done properly. To improve your practices you can see what works for others and then abstract the principles for that success and then determine how to adopt those principles to your situation.