- John Hunter
- professional life
- John Hunter
- professional life
- John Hunter
- John Hunter
- Huge Proposed Increases in USA Government Science and Engineering Support
The Biden administration has proposed greatly increasing USA government spending on science and engineering. They are proposing levels last seen in the 1960s when the USA was most committed to science and engineering spending (as most visibly seen in support for NASA).
- Data Based Blathering
I am tired of seeing the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) promoted as if it were some encouragement for better management when all it seems to do to me is encourage superficial, non data based claims. And since it my blog I can rant if I feel like it.
They think a flat American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) reading is going to lead to weak consumer spending? I doubt it. I really doubt it. What data, or theory is that based on? Jeez this whole thing just makes me crazy. Trying to use a index to promote the “importance of quality principles” (ASQ is one of the “sponsors” of this effort) and customer focus in this way – ARGH. It does the opposite – showing people how to misuse numbers. How to overreact to variation. How to compare one dot to another dot and make claims from those 2 dots. I am sure I will make mistakes in my statements but the ACSI has bugged me since it was started with the way it ignores sound quality practices and promotes the opposite of what people like Dr. Deming taught.
- The Importance of Management Improvement
If organizations just adopt management improvement practices I firmly believe customer service, financial performance and employee satisfaction could be improved. This was a big part of the reason I started to use the internet to share management improvement ideas back in 1996 (plus I find management improvement interesting).
On the note of making a difference in people’s lives. I have had far more people tell me how my father (Bill Hunter) made a huge difference in their lives than ever tell me anything like that about myself...
- New Health Care Insurance Subsidies in the USA
Under the new law, nobody will have to pay more than 8.5% of their income on health insurance. The government will also pick up 100% of COBRA premiums through September. COBRA is health insurance for people who’ve lost their jobs.
The Kaiser Family Foundation calculator lets you get a quick idea of what your approximate subsidy benefit. A 55 year old earning $55,000 would be entitled to a subsidy of $4,700 about 50% of their health insurance costs (based on the USA average). For a 50 year old the subsidy would be $2,900 or 38%. For a 60 year old the subsidy would be $6,800 or 59%. For a couple of 35 year olds and 2 children the subsidy would be $12,100 per year or 72%.
- Learning from Customers
Create a management system focused on continual improvement that is engaged in seeking out customer feedback and continually improving the value provided to customers.
Most organizations do the opposite of this. They make put many barriers in the way of customers speaking to anyone that will listen. They put systems in place to discourage feedback from customers.
- Individual Stock Portfolio Investment Planning
Early last year when studying my portfolio I decided my two biggest positions (Apple and Google – those ready the blog won’t be surprised due to my 10 stocks for 10 years posts) continued to warrant the large portion of the portfolio they held. I also decided that I would systemically sell say 1% of Apple and 2% of Alphabet a year (the Apple dividend was also paying about 1% – actually it was more then but is much less now).
That was just a long term plan that helped me think about the long term portfolio management. But that, like all investment decision, was subject to revision. As both continued to soar I decided it made sense to sell more but maintain a similar plan, just maybe selling 2% and 4% a year...
- Creating Low-cost Construction Materials Using Recycled Plastic Waste
Nzambi Matee is a materials engineer and head of Gjenge Makers (in Kenya), which produces sustainable low-cost construction materials made of recycled plastic waste and sand. For her work, Nzambi Matee was recently named a Young Champions of the Earth by the United Nations Environment Programme.
- Stop Demotivating Me!
...What should a manager do? Eliminate the de-motivators. Provide coaching (building the capacity or employees and the organization). And manage a system to allow people to take pride in what they do. Holding pizza parties, pep talks, displaying posters and annual performance reviews are not what is needed. But those actions are really easy so that is what some people do – instead of what is needed. How sad.
- New York City in 2007
Photos from my trip to New York City in 2007, photos include: The Cloisters (part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art – though located far uptown) art and architecture of medieval Europe, the remodeled Museum of Modern Art, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building and Flatiron Building.
- Data Can’t Lie
Many people don’t understand the difference between being manipulated because they can’t understand what the data really says and data itself “lying” (which, of course, doesn’t even make sense). The same confusion can come in when someone just draws the wrong conclusion from the data that exists (and them blames the data for “lying” instead of themselves for drawing a faulty conclusion).
The data can be wrong (and the data can even be made faulty intentionally by someone). Or someone can draw the wrong conclusion from data that is correct. But in neither case is the data lying. It is also common to believe the data means something other than what it does (therefore leading to a faulty conclusion).
If all those involved understand how to draw conclusions from data it is not easy to mislead them.
- Interview of Bill Hunter: Improving Quality and Productivity in Organizations
Bill discusses the parallels to how a manager applying management improvement principles is very similar to an educator facilitating adult learning. Rather than an authoritarian approach where the boss tells subordinates what to do a manager helps employees achieve better results by supporting their efforts.
- Seek to Improve How You Learn, Don’t Just Accept That You Can’t Do Better
Learning about how people learn and remember is important to allow you to communite well. And most people seem to understand this. But they also seem to have no shame in not improving their performance in relation to these common weaknesses...
What I see is people spouting these statistics, not as a way of learning what they need to improve themselves but as a way of explaining that it is inevitable and they won’t do any better (or even bother to attempt to do so). It just isn’t true that you can’t do better. You can train yourself to learn more than most people when the material is presented in a less than perfect manner by learning how we commonly fail to learn and making efforts to do better yourself.
- Photos of China in 1982
My father, Bill Hunter, taught summer courses on statistics and industrial engineering in China when China was still mostly closed to foreigners. After the courses he took a week or two vacation to visit a China few foreigners had seen to that point. See photos of China in 1982.
- 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.
- Resources for Using the PDSA Cycle to Improve Results
Curious Cat blogs
Sites I Manage
- Good Process Improvement Practices
- How to Get a New Management Strategy, Tool or Concept Adopted
- Building a Great Software Development Team
- Using Quality to Develop an Internet Resource
- Encouraging Curiosity in Kids
- Purpose of an Organization
- How to Effectively Use of the PDSA Improvement Cycle
- Financial Market Meltdown
- Economic Strength Through Technology Leadership
- The Toyota Way - Two Pillars
- Diplomacy and Science Research
- Dangers of Forgetting the Proxy Nature of Data
- Awesome Cat Cam