Archives for November 2011

Measuring Employee Performance (a Short Cut)

It is an age old problem, your staff aren’t really working the way you want them to, results are at best average, engagement is low. The age old solution to the age old problem is measures: “give them real measures that mean something to them, it will motivate them to perform better” Will it? What […]

Man versus Machine

The cost argument: Asking a man to do something that a machine could do better is a waste of time and money. Why would you ask somebody to do the dishes when a dish washer could do it? Why would you ask somebody to add up rows of figures when a spread sheet could do […]

The Hare and the Tortoise

I read my children a story last night.  It was all about a hare and a tortoise and a race It was a silly story The hare is strong and bold The hare is strategic, he thinks big The hare invests in building the right capabilities The hare is confident in his own abilities The […]

Dangerous Steps and Statistical Process Control

I wrote about process noise and variation, about the way random noise in a system can make it look as if results have changed, when the truth is that the system hasn’t altered at all. This is all very clever, it is interesting to know that the system hasn’t changed but it doesn’t answer the […]

What Happened to Sears Quality and Service?

As a Baby Boomer, I grew up in a generation where the Sears brand name stood for quality, integrity, reliability, and superior customer service.  Among the many products Sears sold, its Kenmore appliances have long enjoyed a solid reputation.  I remember how happy my Mom was the day my Dad bought her her first Kenmore […]

Obvious With Hindsight

A rather unhelpful phrase It implies that you are pointing out the obvious But sometimes the obvious is really worth pointing out Sometimes the obvious is only obvious once it has been pointed out Here is an example for you… The graph shows the number of Google searches for the term “bread” A dip in […]

The Office Tour

Whenever I visit somewhere new I am always given a tour of the offices.  I am not entirely sure why.  I have been in offices in Manchester, London, Glasgow and Swansea and they all look the same. More to the point I have been to Bangalore, Washington, Rotterdam and Sydney and to be honest they […]

Easy Life

Here is a quote I like: Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. – James Baldwin There is a lot of truth in the statement, we aren’t very good at facing into the truth.  We sugar coat issues, we down-play the negative and talk up […]

You are a Very Naughty Boy

I was talking to one of our HR managers the other day. He was ranting about one of our employees. This employee (let’s call him Frank) has been struggling for a while, his attitude is a little, how can I put it, negative, he always has a reason why things can’t be done rather than […]

Nasty Evil Wallboards

Call centres fall into two categories. Some have wallboards, they show how the operation is performing They show call centre agents how many customers are in the queue, how many customers have been answered, how many have hung up, how long customers are waiting… You get the idea Other call centres don’t show wallboards, it […]