Thursday, March 29, 2007
What's evident here is that Fed Ex isn't thinking about solving my problem (i.e. 1800-Fedex-Fit-It) they are thinking like a big company who has an integration problem.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. – William Shakespeare
If you are going to do something, for the love of God, do it right.
This novel concept means that you take the time to have the correct phone number on your website. This prevents me from calling someone who really doesn’t care about me buying your product. It means that you don’t list the birdbath as heated when it is not, causing me to buy the darned thing to find out that all I’ve learned is what a giant hassle this endeavor now is. It means don’t offer me a free flexible heater design kit, tell me you are out, and then point me to a place where I can buy a kit. Buying a kit defeats the point of free.
My old English teacher had it right. When we didn’t do the assignment she preferred us to write, “I am a scoundrel” on the quiz, rather than waste everyone’s time with a vague answer.
If you don’t care about your customer, fine, but please don’t make me learn that. If you would kindly just write, “We are scoundrels” on the top of your websites it would make it a lot easier on the rest of us.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Image Credit: Lego
Friday, March 23, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Well, the programs themselves don’t fail. It’s the intrinsic motivation of using the program that wears out. Think of the weight loss program as a computer application. The program itself is fine; it’s the bad processor that caused the crash.
And so it is with all of the systems that are out there to make you richer, happier, or thinner. None of these programs (Skills 1.0) will work on the computer (You 1.0) if the processor is broken (Belief System).
Now since Organization 1.0 is made up of a bunch of You 1.0’s the analogy scales. No system (Core competency 1.0), be it Six Sigma, \Lean, or SAP, is going to work on the network (Organization 1.0) if the processors are broken (Culture 1.0).
The tool’s not the problem, it’s the culture.
It takes a certain organizational slant in order for Innovation to work right, so when Innovation doesn’t stick it is not because Innovation is broken. Innovation isn’t broken, it hard.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
- Mary Masterman, 17 years old, who built a working spectrograph for only $300.
Two thoughts here: 1. Getting it to work is always the challenging part. That's why things you should never plan a vacation when you expect first production parts in. 2. It's truly a wonderful thing that 17 year olds can do things that entire industries can't. What's even better is that this happens all the time.
credit BoingBoing: Link
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
1. Honesty, even if the news isn't good.
2. Competency, please know what you are talking about.
3. Inspiration. Not false hope or bravado, but a credible vision of a better future.
4. Forward Looking. Look beyond what us in the yolks are looking at.
All the data that I've seen continually reinforces tha tpeople want these four things from management.
The implications of this? When you see someone do something different than these four things they are going the wrong way. Other people won't say anything when this happens, but unless they are drastically different than those people in the studies - and they aren't - their fur has been rubbed the wrong way.
Wrong way fur rubbing makes it harder to make things better, not easier.
Monday, March 12, 2007
- Julian Bond, chainman of the board of the NAACP referring to Bruce Gordon former Predident Bruce Gordon. USATODAY, 3/5/2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
It is easily one of the coolest applications I have seen on the net so far. A blend of satellite imagery, practical map features, Star Wars- esque user interface and video game smoothness make this so much more than a map application.
You do have to download an applet to your computer, but the features (did I mention the ability to fly through New York City at street level in 3D) are so worth it.
Here are a couple of screen shots.
Here's a picture of the house that I grew up in.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Senior Vice President, Office Products North America, Avery Dennison
An Innovative Culture
Greenhouse Partners’, a Brand Consultant, solution to creating an Innovative culture:
Hire the absolute best
Encourage risk taking and challenging of
Super simple concept, extremely difficult to execute well. To enact it requires the willingness and ability to have tough conversations. It sounds like a great place to work.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Monday, March 05, 2007
I can buy an o-ring, made in China, from a US distributor cheaper than my China Regional Office can buy an o-ring from a local supplier who supplies the US with o-rings.
I can get any amount of o-rings that I want. China has to order 20,000 pieces
I can get them tomorrow. China has to wait 8 weeks.
I can have the distributor bill me. China has to pay cash, upfront.
It is instances like these, and there are many of them, that put the US at a distinct advantage over China. Imagine you are a Chinese engineer and you need a 1000 o-rings to complete your validation testing. You need cash money, upfront, and then you have to wait eight weeks. The US engineer has tried a hundred different o-rings in that eight weeks.
China is full of talented, motivated people who given the right tools would rival any country in the world with their innovation talent. But, because the system is so vertically integrated the infrastructure hasn’t been fully built yet and as a result the seemingly simple things are hard to accomplish.
Don’t get me wrong, China Innovation will rival the United States' someday, but that day is not as close as the headlines would lead you to believe.