Background Image

Thank God It’s Monday

Home  /  Thank God It’s Monday

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…

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…