The Self-Managing Business

If you get enough email from “gurus” and you see enough Facebook ads, you will find yourself reading discussions about that unicorn of unicorns, the self-managing business. It sounds amazing. “You mean I’ll have the freedom to go skiing, hiking, or fishing and when I return, my business will better than it was when I […]

The scary thing about artificial intelligence

The phrase “artificial intelligence” might bring politicians to your mind’s eye, but today, we’re talking about the real thing. Maybe you own an Alexa (or five of them), but I’m guessing many of you don’t have one. As with most “new” technologies, you’ve probably seen a number of articles that seem bent on inspiring fear […]

Ever asked WHY you’ve always done it that way?

In the programming world, there’s a term called “technical debt”. Technical debt is refers to work created by existing systems, processes and methods. You might call it maintenance, upkeep, re-work, refactoring, re-design, etc. The term “technical debt” is typically used when discussing programming, but as a friend reminded me a week or so ago – […]

The one thing you dare not automate

The personal touch your clients appreciated when you were small can get lost in the chaos of growth. It eventually feels like tedious, recurring, mind-numbing work. That’s when someone like me suggests that you automate it. Just don’t automate the wrong things. Why automate? Automation outside of manufacturing environments is mostly about doing tedious things […]

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 […]

Planning got you wrapped around the axle?

It’s that time of year: Time to assess the year as a whole, work-wise, and figure out how to go forward with what you learned. Yes… it’s time to finish next year’s planning. Yes, finish it. If you haven’t started, carve out some time over the next two weeks. I know, the holidays are here […]

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 […]

Went to the gym once. Didn’t work.

You’ve probably heard about things that didn’t work in someone else’s business. The story probably included an assertion that whatever isn’t working for someone else also wouldn’t so won’t work in yours. The tool itself is generally irrelevant. More often than not, the problem is a lack of consistency. Execution isn’t easy. We do the […]

The ingredients of effective criticism

Today we’re going to use a common political event (and some football) to discuss the effective delivery of criticism. Recently a new candidate joined a local political race. The new candidate’s campaign has spent plenty of time pointing out things that are broke, need attention, or didn’t go well. That doesn’t mean the candidate has […]