New: Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capacity

Selected Posts from January to March 2012

  • How Could They Know? - They could take responsibility to learn. If they chose not to do so that is their choice. They chose not to know. I guess some can see that as an acceptable excuse. I don't.
  • Massively Unjust Executive Compensation Damages Companies and Investments - Excessive executive compensation is one of those new deadly diseases. Our outdated and harmful laws, regulation and tolerated behavior relating to patents, copyright and "intellectual property" is the other.
  • 60% of Workers in the USA Have Less Than $25,000 in Retirement Savings - Saving for retirement is a personal finance requirement. If you can't save for retirement given your current income and lifestyle you need to reduce your current spending to save or increase your income and then save for retirement.
  • The Potential Benefits, Risks and Folly of Stretch Goals - I think stretch goals are fine when people understand - they are giving scope to the effort. If I want breakthrough improvement quickly it may mean considering radical solutions. That can be helpful to shape people's vision.
  • Star Stuff: The Universe is In Us - Ever since I learned the atoms we are made of were created inside stars it has never ceased to amaze me.
  • Keys to the Effective Use of the PDSA Improvement Cycle - An organization using PDSA well will turn the PDSA cycle several times on any topic and do so quickly... The plan stage may well take 80% (or even more) of the effort on the first turn of the PDSA cycle in a new series. The Do stage may well take 80% of of the time - it usually doesn't take much effort (to just collect a bit of extra data) but it may take time for that data to be ready to collect.
  • Which Currency is the Least Bad? - The safest play I think is the US dollar (as lousy as it is on an absolute basis the options make it look almost good). It could get clobbered. But that seems a bit less likely than the others getting clobbered.
  • Individual Earnings Levels in the USA: Top 1% $343,000, 5% $154,000, 10% $112,000, 25% $66,000 - interesting data shows that the top 1% earn 16.9% of the total income and pay 36.7% of the total federal income taxes. Those in the top 1-5% earn 14.8% of the total income and pay 22% of the income taxes.
  • Agile Story Point Estimation - The discussions were educational and helped provide guidance on how to approach the story. The value of discussions around estimations was probably the biggest surprise I have had in implementing any agile ideas.
  • USA Spends $7,960 Compared to Around $3,800 for Other Rich Countries on Health Care with No Better Health Results - Not only does the USA cost twice and much as it should and perform poorly compared to countries doing an excellent job, but the USA performs that poorly compared to countries that themselves have quite a bit of improvement to make. Which makes the state of the USA system even worse.
  • Apple's Impossibly Good Quarter - You can't grow quarterly sales from $26.7 billion to $46.3 billion. $26 million to $46 million, fine that is possible, billions however - not possible. Except Apple did. You can't grow a $6 billion quarterly profit to $13 billion in 1 year. Except Apple did. You can't generate a cash flow of $17.5 billion in a quarter. Except Apple did. You can't have a stockpile of $100 billion in cash. Except Apple does. These figures would not have been seen as unlikely just 3 years ago. They were impossible. But Apple achieved them.
  • Money Is Corrupting Our Political Process - We have allowed our politicians in the USA to focus on money instead of doing the business of the people. The corruption is fundamental and endemic. The liberty the founders of the USA gave us an opportunity to enjoy has been greatly impinged upon and the system continues to do harm.
  • Health Care in the USA Cost 17.9% of GDP, $2.6 Trillion, $8,402 per person in 2010 - As a result of failing to address this issue for decades the problem is huge and will likely take decades to bring back just to a level where the burden on those in the USA, due to their broken health care system, is equal to the burden of other rich countries.
  • Looking at GDP Growth Per Capita for Selected Countries from 1970 to 2010 - Korea grew the most 1,430%; China grew by 1,17%; Singapore by 901%, Indonesia by 543%, Brazil 453%, Japan 370%, Germany 251%, USA 102%.
  • Anti Liberty Sentiment in Congress (SOPA blackout) - Given past conduct I would expect them to bow to the current pressure and just sneak in most of the bad policy (to pay back those giving them cash) into future bills.
  • Trust But Verify - You trust the people at the gemba to do the improvement. They predict what will happen. But they verify what does actually happen before they run off standardizing and implementing.