- John Hunter
- professional life
- John Hunter
- professional life
- John Hunter
- John Hunter
- 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.
- Marissa Mayer Webcast on Google Innovation
- Ideas come from anywhere (engineers, customers, managers, executives, external companies – that Google acquires)
- Share everything you can (very open culture)
- You’re Brilliant. We’re Hiring [Google Hiring]
- A license to pursue dreams (Google 20% time)
- Innovation not instant perfection (iteration – experiment quickly and often)
- Data is apolitical [Data Based Decision Making – this is true but as an operating principle requires people that really understand data. See: Data can’t lie.
- Creativity loves Constraints [process improvement and innovation]
- 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
- Finding Great Investments Keeps Getting Harder
In some ways investing recently has been pretty easy, anything you have bought (almost) goes up – and usually goes up a lot. But when looking for bargains to invest in, it just keeps getting more and more difficult in my opinion.
Overall I am going much more into cash as a safe haven than I have before. Normally I am extremely overweight stocks. Even today I am still overweight stocks compared to the conventional wisdom
While the markets are giving investors great returns finding good buys is becoming more and more difficult (at least for me). For example, my 10 Stocks for 10 Years (2018 version) has done very well. But several of those stocks are much less a bargain today that they were. Apple is up from $225 to $450. Danaher from $103 to $206. Amazon from $2,000 to $3,150. Tencent from $43 to $68...
- I Have Published an Update to Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability
I have published some edits and additional content for my book – Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability.
One of the things I really like about how I have published the book (with Leanpub) is that anyone that has previously purchased the book gets these, and all future, updates for free. So if you have purchased it, go get your free update. If you haven’t purchased it, please consider buying a copy...
- US Savings Bonds – Actually a Good Investment Option
I will admit I have only recently looked at US Savings Bonds as an investment option. Series I USA savings bonds are based on the inflation rate and given how strongly the Fed has been surpassing interest rates this offers an option to get a higher rate of interest. The rate is calculated as follows:
Composite rate = [fixed rate + (2 x semiannual inflation rate) + (fixed rate x semiannual inflation rate)]
2.22% = [0.0020 + (2 x 0.0101) + (0.0020 x 0.0101)]
This is calculated based on a fixed rate of .2% (showing how depressed interest rates are) and 1.01% inflation rate for a 6 month period (which also is low but compared to interest rates pretty high).
You may buy series I US savings bonds online via TreasuryDirect. In a calendar year, you can acquire up to $10,000 in electronic I bonds.
- Huge Growth in USA Corporate Debt from 2005 to 2020
There are many problems with the extremely low interest rates available in decade since the too-big-to-fail financial crisis. The interest rates seem to me to be artificially sustained by massive central bank actions for 12 years now.
Extraordinarily low rates encourage businesses to borrow money, after all how hard is it to invest in something that will return the business more than a few percent a year (that they can borrow at). Along with the continued efforts by the central banks to flood the economy with money any time there is even a slowdown in growth teaches companies to not worry about building a business that can survive bad times. Just borrow and if necessary borrow more if you are having trouble then just borrow more.
- Retirement Portfolio Allocation for 2020
The markets continue to provide difficult options to investors. In the typical market conditions of the last 50 years I think a sensible portfolio allocation was not that challenging to pick. I would choose a bit more in stocks than bonds than the commonly accepted strategy. And I would choose to put a bit more overseas and in real estate.
But if that wasn’t done and even something like 60% stocks and 40% bonds were chosen it would seem reasonable (or 60% stocks 25% bonds and 15% money market – I really prefer a substantial cushion in cash in retirement). Retirement planning is fairly complex and many adjustments are wise for an individual’s particular situation (so keep in mind this post is meant to discuss general conditions today and not suggest what is right for any specific person).
This post was written before #covid19 became the enormous economic clamity it has become. Based on the poor preparation to fight Covid19 by the USA and Europe I sold some stocks and reduced global exposure and emeriging market exposure. I didn't reduce it to zero or anything close to that, but as I say I am usually overweight stocks and I had reduced how much I was overweight due to high stock valuations and with the likely Covid 19 problems I further reduced stocks to make my portfolio probably even a little bit underweight stocks (but still over 50% stocks).
I am more active than most people should be with their investments (I think it works for me but maybe I should be less active too, I just pay much more attention than most people and feel I can make some adjustments that are sensible.).
Curious Cat blogs
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- 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
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