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  • Out of Touch Executives Damage Companies: Go to the Gemba

    The very first thing that needs to happen is executives need to go the gemba and actually understand what their business units are doing. Only amazingly out of touch executives could sit unconcerned in their offices while Comcast practices are creating results so obviously horrible.

  • Use Urls – Don’t Use Click x, Then Click y, Then Click z Instructions

    In the 1980s software applications had to use click x, then click y, then click z type instructions to get you to a specific location in a software application (or at least they had a decent excuse to do that). Too many web application development organizations forget that they now have urls to direct people exactly where to go: and that they shouldn’t rely on ancient “click here, then there, then in that other place” type instructions.

  • Floating Down River in Yangshuo, China on a Bamboo Raft

    The scenery in Yangshuo (near Guilin), China was great. Floating down the river on bamboo rafts was wonderful. I floated down a second river the day after the first because I liked it so much.

  • "I Know"

    My preferred countermeasure to the "I know" mentality is to ask a question. You can quickly learn you don't know as much as you thought you did when you try to explain what you know.

  • A Vision can be a Powerful Driver but Most Often It is Just a Few Pretty Words

    When the vision is merely a pretty collection of words that doesn’t drive decisions and behavior it is pointless. When it does drive behavior it is powerful. Sadly that is rarely the case.      

  • Children are Amazingly Creative At Solving Problems

    “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.” Daniel Boorstin

  • Angkor Wat, Cambodia

    Angkor Wat is the largest Hindu temple complex in the world, situated at Angkor, Cambodia, built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city.

  • Create a Continually Improving Management System - not the Perfect Management Solution

    In most instances I think a PDSA approach to the approach to use it best. Test out various options in parts of the company. See what works. Build and improve the process and spread it more widely.

  • Root Cause, Interactions, Robustness and Design of Experiments

    A single root cause is rare. Normally you can look at the question a bit differently see the scope a bit differently and get a different “root cause.” In my opinion “root cause” is more a decision about what is an effective way to improve the system right now rather than finding a scientifically valid “root cause.”

  • George Box Webcast on Statistical Design in Quality Improvement

    There is great value in creating iterative processes with fast feedback to those attempting to design and improve. Box and Deming (with rapid turns of the PDSA cycle) and others promoted this 20, 30 and 40 years ago and now we get the same ideas tweaked for startups. The lean startup stuff is as closely related to Box’s ideas of experimentation as an iterative process as it is to anything else.

  • The Education System

    “I read them. Not to grade them. No, I read them to see how I am doing. Where am I failing?”

    W. Edwards Deming.

  • A Healthy Lifestyle is More About Health Care than the Sickness Management That We Call Health Care Is

    It really is important for giving yourself the best chance for health by taking sensible steps to exercise based on your own situation


    Doing small things like using a treadmill while you watch TV or taking the stairs instead of the elevator for short trips can help. Another option is to walk instead of driving your car, or if you drive parking a few blocks away (or at the far side of the parking lot) walking, or if you are running several errands walk between those that you can even if you are using your car. Biking to work is another healthy lifestyle choice (if you city has made this safe – too often they fail to do sensible things).

  • Practicing Mistake-Promoting Instead of Mistake-Proofing at Apple

    Mistake proofing is a wonderful management concept. Design systems not just to be effective when everything goes right but designing them so mistakes are prevented.


    But guess what, the unnecessary steps Apple decided to force me through are broken so I can’t just waste my time to make them happy. No. They have created a failure point where they never should have forced the customer in the first place.

  • Orangutans in Sarawak, Borneo

    The orangutans are free in the forest. They stop by the viewing points because of the tasty food (many were also brought here for rehabilitation so they are comfortable seeing people – though the rehabilitation is largely moved elsewhere now).

    The orang utan is found in the rainforests of Malaysian Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah), Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan) and North Sumatra. It is one of the world’s largest primates, and is almost completely arboreal (tree living). The word “orang” is Malay for “person” whilst “utan” is derived from “hutan” meaning forest. Thus, orangutan literally translates as “person of the forest”.

  • How to Build a Great Software Development Team

    "Without confidence, honest debate about ideas is suppressed as people are constantly taking things personally instead of trying to find the best ideas (and if doing so means my idea is criticized that is ok).


    This is also one of many areas where the culture within the team was self reinforcing. As new people came on they understood this practice. They saw it in practice. They could see it was about finding good ideas and if their idea was attacked they didn’t take it nearly as personally as most people do in most places."