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Posts selected fromManagement Blog - Engineering Blog - Investing Blog and other blogs

  • Interview with Investing Blogger John Hunter
    • Minimize costs on investments, use Vanguard or similar low fee funds. Buying individual stocks reduces even the costs of Vanguard. There are tradeoffs to diversity of your portfolio when buying individual stocks.
    • Pay attention to the overall risk of the portfolio, and even beyond that, your entire financial picture. For example, in the USA we have extra healthcare expense risk that is outside our portfolio risk, but is part of our entire financial picture. Building your portfolio with extra-portfolio risks in mind is wise.

     

  • Reverse Budgeting: Money that Must be Spent

    "Some people will put some amount into a checking account each month to limit their spending to say $2,000. I do something similar but for the opposite purpose to segregate money to spend. I move the decision from whether I am better off saving or spending that money to this is the money that has already been allocated for spending, so now go spend it on whatever is the best use for it."

  • Patient Centered Doesn't Mean Patient Directed

    We need to have systems that are patient focused but that doesn’t mean patients dictate treatment. And we need to see a much wider system than we normally do. We need to be focused on healthy living not just disease treatment. And given the mess that is the USA health care system we need to focus on reducing the burden of coping with the horrible USA health system bureaucracy - that system does great damage to those having to deal with it (and it is nearly all waste that shouldn't be creating such hardship).

  • A Bad System Will Beat a Good Person Every Time

    So what was Dr. Deming trying to convey with this quote? It wasn’t an attempt to get people to give up trying because failure was certain. It was a attempt to get people to understand the importance of the system and the futility of trying to focus on blaming people for failures.

  • Influential Women in the Field of Quality Management

    Joyce Orsini and Gipsie Ranney have done lots of good stuff. So has Clare Crawford Mason.

    Gertrude Mary Cox isn't known so much for "quality" as statistics but she was an impressive person and a generation or two ahead of others (and it really is related to quality).

    Mary Poppendieck has really good stuff at the intersection of quality and software development.

    Meg Wheatley...

  • Knowledge, Personality, and Persuasive Power

    These traits, while providing a guide to understand your means to influence the organization also provide a guide for potential weaknesses in your management system. There is really no advantage to having decisions unduly influenced by those with persuasive power while ignoring ideas from those without much ability to persuade people. What you really want it to follow the best course of action, not the course championed by the most persuasive person.

  • Peter Drucker Advocated a Ratio of 20 to 1 for CEO to Average Worker Pay

    I agree with Drucker’s reasoning and the Drucker Institute’s continuing to take a stand against the bad practice of so many CEOs today. If someone wants a lot of money to lead your organization and they are qualified, fine. If they won’t run your organization for less than a king’s ransom find someone who is more interested in leading your organization than in treating it as their personal bank account.

  • Using The Building of Robots to Engage Students in Learning

    Fundi bots has a mission to use robotics training in African schools to create and inspire a new generation of problem solvers, innovators and change-makers. I believe strongly in this type of effort. We waste so much human potential by killing students design to learn. Instead we need to create systems that not only don’t kill that desire but allow it to flourish.

  • We Need to Consider Changing Conditions When Looking at Historical Stock Returns

    Just to over simplify the idea if lets say the market valued the average stock at a PE of 11 and everyone found stocks a wonderful investment. And so more and more people buy stocks and with everyone finding stocks wonderful they keep buying and after awhile the market is valuing the average stock at a PE of 14.

    Within the market there is tons of variation those things of course are not nearly that simple, but the idea I think holds. Well if you look back at historical data the returns will include the adjustment of going from a PE of 11 to a PE of 14. Now maybe the new few decades would adjust from PE of 14 to PE of 17 but maybe not. At some point that fundamental re-adjustment will stop.

  • A Good Management Culture Encourages the Debate of Ideas

    I believe much of the reason for fear of critical thinking is insecurity and mistaking respect for people with not making anyone uncomfortable. When people are insecure or unconfident they often take criticisms of ideas, plans, results, etc. as personal attacks. Then misunderstanding of don't be "dis-respectful" to people comes into play.

  • Jianshui Wet Market in Yunnan, China

    Jianshui, Yunnan, China has several tourist destinations including an old town with a restored Qing Dynasty mansion and garden and the Jianshui Temple of Confucius. The Jianshui wet market is primarily for the locals with a few tourists, like me, that take in some local culture.

  • Appeasing Rude Selfish People Just Makes them Behave Even More Selfishly

    Allowing the rudest people to abuse society degrades the public square and tears at the benefits that can strengthen the social contract. Sadly it seems to be a pretty dominate trait in our society these last few decades and it seems likely to just keep getting worse. Hopefully I am wrong.

  • Helping Others

    I have long used TrickleUp, Kiva and Global Giving to help (and they each do a good job of engaging donors (tugging on their heartstrings and making them happy to give).

    I try to give back to the places I visit. So I integrate this into my digital nomad life. As with many digital nomads I have an affinity for entrepreneurs and my charity often focuses on helping them (Global Giving does other things too – such as providing clean water, electricity, education and training…).

  • Wealthiest 1% Continue Dramatic Gains Compared to Everyone Else

    The least trust-fund-baby favoring country cultures are Scandinavian countries. The USA has been moving to an increasingly trust-fund-baby favoring focus over the last few decades with the expected increase in kids incomes being more related to their parents income than any other factor. In the USA now nearly 50% of someone’s income can be “explained” by their parents income.

  • Quality Comes to City Hall

    Changing to a culture that has a Deming perspective on customer focus is not easy. When you succeed though the way people think is profoundly changed. The City of Madison police department even did customer surveys for those they arrested and used the results to improve the process in ways that make sense. Obviously there are restrictions on what you can do to please those being arrested but this is really always the case – you can’t give all your products and services away for free even if that would make customers happy.