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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…).

  • Ranking Countries by Scientific Publication Citations: USA, UK, Germany…
    Country h-index 2010
    % of World
    % of World GDP total cites  
    USA 1,518 1,139 793     4.5%   22.2% 152,984,430
    United Kingdom  918 689 465  0.9  3.5 37,450,384
    Germany  815 607 408  1.1  5.0  30,644,118
    France 742 554 376  0.9  3.8  21,193,343
    Canada 725 536 370  0.5  2.4 18,826,873
    Japan 635 527 372  1.8  7.8 23,633,462
    Additional countries of interest (with 2013 country rank)
    16) China 436 279 161  19.2  11.7  14,752,062
    19) South Korea 375 258 161    .7  1.7  5,770,844
    22) Brazil 342 239 148  2.8  3.0 4,164,813
    23) India 341 227 146  17.5  2.6 5,666,045


  • Who Inspires Your Management Thinking and Action?

    My largest influence by far is my father, William Hunter. Here is a good example of why: Managing Our Way to Economic Success, Two Untapped Resources: potential information and employee creativity. In another post I also wrote about my early influences related to quality management as I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin.

    From an early age I learned to experiment, appreciate and understand data, respect people and continually improve.

  • How to Start Applying Deming’s Ideas on Management

    There are many different ways to start applying W. Edwards Deming’s ideas on management. There isn’t a cookbook on what should be done first. This is helpful in that you can avoid trying things that would be very difficult given the current state of your management system. However, it is also very challenging in that you have to decide what to do yourself instead of just following a recipe.