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  • 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).

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  • 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.

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  • 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...

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  • 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%.

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  • 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.

    ...

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  • 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...

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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).

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    If all those involved understand how to draw conclusions from data it is not easy to mislead them.

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