Archives for June 2012

Process Design and Human Nature

Mothers were dying In 1840’s Vienna they were dying of “childbed fever”.  In one hospital the death rate was alarming, roughly 1 in 10 mothers perished after childbirth, some months this statistic climbed to a horrific  30%. A young doctor, Ignaz Semmelweis, working in the maternity hospital noticed that in a neighbouring hospital death rates were a far […]

What is the Kano Model and Why Should You Care?

Customers are selfish people. They want everything, they usually want it now, and worse still, what they say they want and what they really want are not necessarily the same thing.  Customers aren’t known for being clear. This is a bit of a problem. Fortunately in the 1980’s a very smart Japanese gentleman called Professor […]

Are you a Manager or a Couch Potato?

couch po·ta·to Noun:  A person who spends little or no time exercising and a great deal of time watching television. What can you learn in the Midlands? I live in the Midlands, We make cars in the Midlands. A while back I thought I’d go and have a look, see what I could learn from […]

What Can a Three Year Old Teach You About Strategy?

My daughter came home from nursery this afternoon singing a song about a skeleton called “Ezekiel’s dry bones”. The lyrics go like this: The toe bone connected to the heel bone, The heel bone connected to the foot bone, The foot bone connected to the leg bone, The leg bone connected to the knee bone, […]

15 Things You Should Never Say in a Meeting

I sat in a management meeting the other day. In 3 minutes flat one person came out with all of these phrases… Massive logistical challenges Validated value chain split Delineated RACI Dynamic discussion Controllership  (Search me) Parallel conversation Standardised view Strategic road-map Take it forward There wasn’t room for that discussion Validated hands on time  […]

How to Be as Good as You Can Be

Here is an analytical question, where can you see variation?  It sounds like a dumb question, you are probably looking at the screen wondering what on earth I am smoking.  Let me ask it another way: When you are shopping and try on two pairs of jeans, identically sized, do they fit exactly the same […]

Why Service Operations are So Much Harder to Manage

We can be a little elitist in the service industry.  We look down our noses at our manufacturing cousins.  We deal with intangibles, they deal with things, and let’s be honest, they tend to be dirty noisy things at that. But pride comes before a fall.  Here are a handful of prejudices about our uncouth […]

10 Things You Really Should Know if You Run an Operation

I am now a published author That is not strictly accurate, but why let the truth get in the way of a good story? Let me try again I have written an e-book; well it is more of an e-pamphlet It is available at all good book stores; well OK it is self published and is only […]

7 Ways to Make Your Own Luck

I am all for a bit of process improvement, it moves the world forward, but sometimes process improvement by itself isn’t enough.  As the man said: If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses ~ Henry Ford If you really want a breakthrough there is a bit more to […]