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  • Protecting Your Privacy and Security

    I suggested a way to make credit cards more secure and useful. When Apple Pay was announced I learned they are doing basically what I suggested.

    Apple Pay doesn’t share information that can be used to steal your credit card. Apple Pay gives the retailer a 1 time use code for that purchase.

  • Transforming a Management System – A Case Study From the Madison Wisconsin Police Department

    You may ask what the role of Quality Leadership was in the transformational process? To put it bluntly, unless Madison changed their top-down leadership style within the organization they knew they were not going to be able to sustain any of the other changes.

    This may be the major finding of Madison’s experience!

    To get a snapshot of what went on within the Madison department during this time of intense organizational transformation, see the following ten years of organizational effort (1981 to 1993) that occurred and the steps that were taken.

  • Lowering Expectations Isn't Practicing Respect for People

    A big problem we have (at least in the USA) is the opinion some people develop that respect has to do with not making anyone uncomfortable. That isn't respect, that is creating a dysfunctional mindset.

    Fear driven culture that give mouth service to "respect" often create a climate in which managers find themselves fearful of being blamed for "disrespecting people" (which often means making someone uncomfortable). If they truly are being dis-respectful their boss needs to be dealing with that and helping them improve

  • Creativity Inc. – Using Deming’s Ideas at Pixar

    Ed Catmull (co-founded Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter): "As we struggled to get Pixar off the ground, Deming’s work was like a beacon that lit my way.

    it wasn’t until the 1980s when a few companies in Silicon Valley, such as Hewlett Packard and Apple, began to incorporate them. But Deming’s work would make a huge impression on me and help frame my approach to managing Pixar going forward."

  • Looking at Real Estate in This Challenging Investing Climate

    I continue to believe the choices for investors are much more challenging than they normally are, as I have written about several times. Though maybe soon, this will just be the new normal (in which case investors won’t have the fairly easy choices they have had for much of the last 100 years).

    In previous posts I have discussed the value of real estate investments in this investing climate. Real estate is one way to cope with the challenges of extremely low yields today.

  • 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.