The Importance of Management Improvement

Posted on August 23, 2007  Comments (9)

John and Bill Hunter

If organizations just adopt management improvement practices I firmly believe customer service, financial performance and employee satisfaction could be improved. This was a big part of the reason I started to use the internet to share management improvement ideas back in 1996 (plus I find management improvement interesting).

On the note of making a difference in people’s lives. I have had far more people tell me how my father (Bill Hunter) made a huge difference in their lives (far more than ever tell me anything like that). Now there is the sensible explanation, that he actually had a big impact on people’s lives (but you also have to figure most of those people never saw me so the chance for them to say anything didn’t exist…). I believe far more people told me (after he died) than ever told him, which says something about psychology in the USA, I think. But I don’t really know what people told him – so I could be wrong about that.

Anyway the point of this is that many people have told me their life was significantly changed by working with him on management improvement initiatives (mechanics talking about how he changed the workplace they had been in for years, people who saw that they could contribute more and changed careers, managers that realized how much damage they had done but now were on the right track…). There was obviously a great deal of emotion for many people. And it was largely about applying concepts like Deming’s management system, Toyota Management practices, statistics (yes even that)… and his ability to talk to everyone and make them comfortable (tons of people mentioned this – that this university professor would ask me questions and talk to me like a person, not talk down to me and be interested in my answers and…). As I continue through life I realize that this management improvement stuff really can matter if done right.

I have grown to enjoy maintaining the management improvement resources and other Curious Cat web sites but this is the reason I started and continued these efforts over the years. Today there is a great amount of useful management information online – but for years the pickings were quite slim.

Photo is of Dad and me a few years ago. Related: Quality in the Community: Madison, WIStatistics for ExperimentersDoing More With Less in the Public Sector: A Progress Report from Madison, WisconsinManaging Our Way to Economic Success: Two Untapped ResourcesInvest in new management methods not a failing company

9 Responses to “The Importance of Management Improvement”

  1. Management Improvement Carnival #18 | Lean Six Sigma Academy
    September 2nd, 2007 @ 11:20 pm

    […] The Importance of Management Improvement by John Hunter from Curious Cat Management.  As I continue through life I realize that this management improvement stuff really can matter if done right. […]

  2. CuriousCat: CMU Professor Gives His Last Lesson on Life
    September 20th, 2007 @ 9:11 am

    For me personally, it reminds me of my father: Bill Hunter who honestly believed, as he was stricken with cancer, he was luckier than most people that have ever lived. He was able to do many things that no-one, not even Kings, could have dreamed of even a hundred years before. I can’t manage such an outlook most of the time, but I do try and keep that spirit alive in me at times…

  3. CuriousCat: 2007 William G. Hunter Award
    October 19th, 2007 @ 8:18 am

    I had not realized Dad was helping set up the first school of engineering in Singapore.

  4. Curious Cat Engineering Blog » William G. Hunter Award 2008: Ronald Does
    October 22nd, 2008 @ 8:42 am

    For the past 15 years I have been the managing director of the Institute for Business and Industrial Statistics… The interaction between scientific research and the application of quality technology via our consultancy work is the core operating principle of the institute

  5. Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog » Appropriate Management
    October 25th, 2008 @ 11:44 am

    […] Great post. My father, Dr. William Hunter, did a great deal of work with appropriate technology (he was a chemical engineering, industrial engineering and statistics professor) and in management improvement. […]

  6. Curious Cat Management Blog » ASQ William Hunter Award 2008: Ronald Does
    November 22nd, 2008 @ 9:30 am

    “The first advice I received from my new colleagues was to read the book by Box, Hunter and Hunter. The reason was clear. Because I was not familiar with industrial statistics I had to learn this from the authors who were really practicing statisticians.”

  7. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Soren Bisgaard 1951-2009
    December 20th, 2009 @ 1:31 pm

    […] cancer. Soren was a student (Ph.D., statistics) of my father’s who shared the commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by using applied statistics properly. I know this seem odd to many (I tried to describe this idea […]

  8. Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog » Positivity and Joy in Work
    October 14th, 2010 @ 10:15 am

    […] After my father died, for years (at least 10), people I never had met before would emotionally share what a positive influence he had on their lives. He did great stuff helping organizations improve. But the majority of people were not telling me how much he helped the organization improve [there were also a bunch of engineers and statisticians that were more impressed with his insights and expertise]. But most people talked about was how much happier they were because of the changes he helped them see they could make in their lives. […]

  9. Respect for Everyone » Curious Cat Management Blog
    November 7th, 2012 @ 9:38 am

    The two pillars of the Toyota Way are: respect for people and continuous improvement…

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