When problem solving, look for simple solutions

Problem solving discussions on news broadcasts, in newspaper op-eds, on social media, and in political speeches have a consistent thread: “We can fix it by changing (one thing).” Most problems are not particularly simple. Societal and economic problems are incredibly complex, even in a small community. Winning a game of chess against Bobby Fischer or IBM’s […]

Quality management’s slow ROI

We talk about numbers, metrics, & dashboards from time to time. One of the more difficult things to measure, much less manage, is quality. Is there a single measure? Some might suggest Net Promoter Score as an ideal single measure. NPS ranges from -100 to 100. It represents the willingness of a company’s customers to […]

The importance of performance metrics

Last time, we talked about metrics that answer questions to help you increase sales. Metrics aren’t solely about sales and marketing. Quality and performance metrics drive your business. Can you identify a few that would cause serious concern if they changed by as little as five percent? If there are, how are you monitoring them? Monitoring […]

Earning Return Business, part three

In the last year, we’ve experienced the joy of moving. Twice. Yes, twice on purpose. Apparently our lives are in such dire need of adventure that one move wasn’t enough. Census you asked Why do I bring up these moves? According to U.S. Census data from 2010, Americans move about 12 times in their lives – and […]

What surprises say about your business

photo credit: HÃ¥kan Dahlström What does being professional mean to you? To some, it means “Not being an amateur”. So how does the public differentiate amateurs from professionals? In some circles, money is the key. Amateurs don’t get paid, professionals do.  For example, an amateur golfer typically isn’t eligible for prize money in tournaments. Once […]

Perfect is the enemy of done – or is it?

A couple of weeks ago, NASA celebrated the one year anniversary of Curiosity Rover landing on Mars. As someone who has been taking pictures since the ’60s, I still find it amazing that we can tell a satellite orbiting Mars to take a picture of a Jeep-size spacecraft parachuting to its landing 62 million miles away […]

Help them help you

During a recent road trip, I encountered this sign in a rest room entryway at an Oklahoma Turnpike rest stop. Below the sign was a standard wall light switch. While I didn’t test it and hang around to measure response time, it’s a nice idea that allows customers to help a business’ staff become aware […]

Tell your fish story, Mr. Limpet

During a recent trip to Oregon, our journey took us to a dockside seafood restaurant in Newport. As you can see from my photo, this restaurant offers fresh local seafood in addition to meals made with the local catch. Take a close look at the sign used to describe this salmon. We know that the […]

Can you find the quality in this kitchen? It isn’t the bacon.

Photo credit: Chicago Serious Eats People send me bacon links and/or bacon photos on Facebook almost every day. I’m not sure what started it. You’d think they see me around town with a fistful of bacon all the time (they don’t, I rarely have any) but it’s entertaining nonetheless. Today, I found my own link […]

What’s that work mean to your staff?

photo credit: AlexPears Yesterday, we talked about Roger Ebert and how his TED talk was such a great validation for the Apple speech synthesis team. I asked you about your work and talked a little about finding meaning in it no matter what you do – as well as considering where your current work is […]