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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…

5.Mar, 2017 0

Following Your Passion

I’ve just returned from seeing the movie La La Land with my wife. It’s a fantastic movie. There’s an important lesson in this movie about passion. The leading man (played by Ryan Gosling) finds himself in the position many musicians find themselves in: to eat and live, you sometimes have to play music that is counter to what you really want to play. I know this first hand. One Winter, I had to play trumpet 6 nights at a German beer house in Palo Alto, California. Do you know what it’s was like for a jazz musician to dress in…

26.Feb, 2017 0

Race Horse Or Plow Horse?

Is your company more like a plow horse or a race horse? A plow horse is a plodder that can never generate great speed. It can work all day at its own pace and accomplish much that the owner alone could not accomplish without the plow horse. Conversely, a race horse has considerable speed. It is optimally used for short spurts of a mile or a mile and a half and then must rest for days between races. A race horse is a sprinter; a plow horse is a marathoner. The plow horse can’t become a race horse nor can…

4.Dec, 2016 0

“A” Is For Acceleration

We’ve all heard the expression “cheaper, better, faster.” Let’s focus on the “faster” aspect. “Faster” is critical as nothing gets better with additional time. “Faster” means: Costs are lower Processes are built with speed of execution in mind Information to support critical processes is readily available–the need to track down subject matter experts is a rarity rather than the norm Capacity increases as a function of acceleration–you can do more with the same staffing level, factory floor space, etc. Here are some questions you should be asking: Where are there bottlenecks in your processes or supply chain that negatively impact…

27.Nov, 2016 0

Leadership–What’s Next With Fidel Castro Gone?

If I had suffered from (or knew people who had suffered) under the oppression of Fidel Castro, I suppose I’d be dancing in the streets as we’ve seen in Miami. I’m not so inclined. It is clear that Fidel had lost his grip on power in the last decade or the progress the U.S. has made in opening relations would never have happened. The U.S. should continue to move forward and expand on progress made, not erase progress made in the last few years by Barack Obama and Pope Francis in collaboration with Raul Castro. As one door closes–the passing…

20.Nov, 2016 0

Adding Value By Making The Complex Simple

A few weeks ago, I got this note from a client I had 16 years ago: “You know I didn’t realize it until we were talking; software is constantly being updated, I get a new computer each year, all to keep up with technology. What’s amazing is that the processes that you implemented remain constant and thriving!!!!!” This made me blush. Here’s my mindset when I embark on a project: There is no “one-size-fits-all” set of processes–you have to create enduring processes that have a long life and accommodate product needs that aren’t known today. The information technology needs underlying…

13.Nov, 2016 0

Grubhub CEO Inspires Inclusiveness

This is not about our recent election, who won, etc. This is about encouraging inclusiveness and accepting diversity in our workplaces. I live and work in one of the most diverse regions in the U.S.: Silicon Valley. I have been alarmed by people being singled out for their ethnicity, religion, etc. Some seem to believe that it is no longer necessary to be “politically correct.” This is showing up as people being attacked, verbally, physically and emotionally. This is reprehensible. Matt Maloney, Grubhub CEO, decided to tackle this issue with his team. Here are portions of an article that appeared…

29.Oct, 2016 0

8.8 Billion Reasons Why On-Time Delivery Is Important

According to the Seattle Times, Qatar Airways announced on October 7th a firm order from Boeing for 30 787-9 Dreamliners and 10 777-300ERs widebody jets and an additional letter of intent to order a further 60 single-aisle 737 MAX 8s. The total order would be worth about $8.8 billion at discounted prices. This announcement came as no big surprise to me. Qatar Airways has been signaling its displeasure with the Airbus order execution for some time now. I had read this was reaching a boiling point and it finally happened. Here’s a statement from Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker…