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Author Archives : Dave Gardner

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21.May, 2017 0

Design Is For People

“You cannot understand good design if you do not understand people; design is made for people.” ― Dieter Rams I suspect this quote was intended to be applicable to product design. However, it also applies to business process design. Let me give you a few examples: A company offers a wide-array of products and services yet does little to help customers converge on a product or service solution based on the customer’s actual need leaving the customer confused and uncertain. A company uses insider language to describe products or services that is foreign to customers confounding a customer’s ability to…

14.May, 2017 0

“P” is for Perseverance

Babe Ruth said, “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.” We had a perfect example today with the Golden State Warriors beating the San Antonio Spurs 113-111 after being down 25 points in the second half of the game against one of the finest teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Never at any point in the game was I downtrodden about a potential Game 1 Western Conference Finals loss by the Warriors. Never. The Warriors never gave up. I knew they wouldn’t. They have a strong propensity for perseverance and superior execution. Entrepreneurs never give up….

30.Apr, 2017 1

Never Ignore Innovation

People diagnosed with certain serious medical maladies today are lucky that they weren’t diagnosed 5, 10 or 20 years ago. Why? Innovation. Constant innovation in medicine promotes better patient outcomes than were possible 5, 10 or 20 years ago. Constant innovation means Not settling for treatments that have a certain efficacy today. Reducing the cost and healing time associated with treatments. Ability to use genomics to more rapidly diagnose and determine a treatment plan days, weeks or months earlier is promoting far better patient outcomes. It’s also important to consider that some patient outcomes can be positively influenced by treatments…

23.Apr, 2017 0

Why You Need An Independent Expert

The toughest business to consult with is your own business. Why? You have limited perspective beyond the easy issues Your team is often stuck in “this is how we do it here” mentality It’s too easy to “breathe your own exhaust” as my mentor, Alan Weiss, says Change is often seen as daunting even if it isn’t Would you be surprised to learn that I have many experts who help me with my business? It’s critical to my business that I have people I trust to act as a sounding board and call me on issues that need to be…

16.Apr, 2017 0

Remembering My Teacher: Ruth Chapin

There’s a saying: “If you can read this, thank a teacher.” I’ve had a lot of teachers and professors in my time. I’ve not thanked them enough. The standout of all my teachers was Ruth Chapin, my sixth-grade English teacher at L.C. Curtis Junior High in Santa Clara, California, for the 1963-1964 school year. Mrs. Chapin died recently at the age of 96. What made her such a standout? She cared about her students. She wanted to make a difference in our lives not just for the time we were together but for the long run. She was an exemplar…

9.Apr, 2017 0

Tesla Worth More Than Ford?

This past week, the press announced that Tesla has surpassed the market cap of Ford. Upstarts like Tesla often are seen as more valuable than companies with long-held traditions like Ford. Frankly, I’m not sure that Tesla is, today, worth more than Ford. But, that’s what the stock market thinks. That valuation is due to future expectations. Investors see more upside in Tesla than in Ford. Are the investors right? Only time will tell. Tesla has a lot of business execution challenges ahead. This Tesla valuation news reminds of the time a few years ago when Dell decided to “go…

2.Apr, 2017 0

Customer Indifference Undermines Relationships

Studies show that nearly 7 out of 10 customers feel they are treated with indifference by businesses they interact with. 7 out of 10! Yet, customers don’t often change hairdressers, accountants, retail stores, restaurants, etc. Perhaps it’s because they feel that they’ll get more of the same indifference from an alternative offering. Business owners should pay attention to this and insist their employees deliver a service that makes the customer came back again and again for the great experience they receive. If you’re getting lousy service, take your business elsewhere. What have you got to lose? Thought for the week:…

26.Mar, 2017 0

Continuous Improvement For Customers

I was recently invited to be part of a Patient and Family Advisory Team (PFAT) at the medical clinic associated with my hospital. With my passion for looking at businesses and processes from a customer’s perspective–something that eludes so very many organizations–I like the fit and the opportunity to add value. There’s also an opportunity to interact with the senior leadership team at the hospital. Both executives liked my tag line: “Making the complex simple.” They both said (paraphrasing), “Boy, do we need that!” Will this PFAT team move the needle in a substantial way? Probably not. But, we can…

19.Mar, 2017 0

Government Regulations Add Value

Government regulations have their genesis in addressing previously unknown shortcomings or problems. Let’s consider this statistic offered by Human Progress (@humanprogress) on Twitter: “2,373 people died in airline crashes in 1972. With nearly 10 times the airline passengers, only 186 died last year.” The upside in safety is due to regulations. In other words, as we learned about causes, regulations helped eliminate the causes. The Trump Administration has defined a rule stating that for every new regulation being enacted, 2 existing regulations must be eliminated. What is the process for deciding which regulations should be rolled back? What review is…

12.Mar, 2017 0

Lessons From New Stanford University CEO

I had the pleasure of hearing Stanford University’s new CEO, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, this past week here in Silicon Valley with my father, a 1948 Stanford grad. Here are three things he said that caught my attention: It’s important to think about and take action consistently to propel Stanford University to where it needs to be in ten years if the university is to maintain its stature and relevance in the world. Stanford’s competition won’t be sitting still so Stanford can ill afford to become lackadaisical about its future. While there is a building boom on campus, Marc believes that there…