Tag Archives: Travel photos

Applying Improvement Concepts and Tools to Your Daily Life

This month the ASQ Influential Voices is taking a bit different approach. This month we are looking at applying quality tools in our personal life based on the post from other influential voice, Sunil Kaushik: How Lean Helped Me Travel To Egypt With Just $500.

Sunil is on a nomadic trip around the world to learn and enjoy the experience while also helping others applying lean thinking.

I just returned from my own nomadic adventure.

John Hunter at Marble Mountain - Buddha  statue in background

John Hunter, in a cave at Marble Mountain, Da nang, Vietnam. This is one of my last stops before returning home. See more of my travel photos

I have experience applying quality tools since I was a kid being guided by my father. Another influential voices author, that I met in Hong Kong when I presented a a Deming seminar, included a mention of that connection in his post: Quality Life and Succession.

In this blog I write about using management improvement thinking in my personal life. That extends from management concepts such as optimizing the entire system and not getting trapped by habit or convention, for example in: The Aim Should be the Best Life – Not Work v. Life Balance.

My father applied these ideas in our family life and so naturally they formed my way of thinking. At the core was a focus on experimentation and focusing on what was important. It is easy to spend a lot of time on things that really are not that important and questioning if the actions we are taking is really what we should be doing based on the most important aims was a natural part of how we thought growing up. In order to experiment effectively you need to be able to understand data and draw appropriate conclusions (post on an experience with my father as a child: Playing Dice and Children’s Numeracy).

Also we would look at what wasn’t giving the results we desired and experiment on how to improve. I include in “results” the happiness or frustration the process causes (so as a kid this was often the frustration my brother and I had in doing some task we didn’t want to do – cleaning our room, doing homework etc. and the frustration our parents felt at having to continually bring us back onto task). Much of this effort amount to setting the understanding and incentives and process to get better results (both the end results and increasing happiness and reducing frustration of all of us in the family).

A concept I use a good deal in my personal thinking on a more concrete level is mistake proofing (or at least mistake making less easy). Many people do this, without really thinking that is what they are doing. But by thinking of it consciously I find it helps you design processes to be most effective.

Continue reading

Management Improvement Blog Carnival #158

The Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog Carnival has been published since 2006. We find great management blog posts and share them with you 3 times a month. We hope you find these post interesting and find some new blogs to start reading. Follow me online: Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, instant management consulting, and more.

  • For complex systems there is no root cause by John Allspaw – “We like to simplify complex problems so we can work on them in a reductionist fashion. We want there to be a single root cause for an accident or an outage, because if we can identify that, we’ve identified the bug that we need to fix.”
  • Get Ready to Fall Off the Cliff by Ron Ashkenas – “Managers of successful firms tend to become complacent and even arrogant, assuming that past performance will continue and that the formulas that worked previously will work in the future.”
  • photo of beach and trees, Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park

    Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington, by John Hunter

  • Walter Isaacson’s ‘Steve Jobs’ by John Gruber – “Apple is an experience company. That they create both hardware and software is part of creating the entire product experience… [Jobs:] ‘That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.'”
  • Use heijunka, don’t reduce takt time by Michel Baudin – “Keeping your work force intact and prepared for the next upturn is just as essential. So you stop using temps, cut all overtime, go on four-day weeks, or three-day weeks, and use the available time to solve nagging engineering problems,
    experiment with new technology, etc.”
  • Continue reading

Mount Timpanogos Trail, Utah Photos

Photo on the Mount Timpanogos Trail by John Hunter

In 2007, I kept failing to plan for a vacation, finally I just booked some tickets to Utah without much of a plan. And still had done little to plan as I departed. So I bought some travel books and started on the trip while I was figuring out where I should go. I did know Utah offers amazing hiking options and I found many great hikes that made for a great trip.

The first day of the trip began in Salt Lake City and then a visit to Antelope Island State Park in the Great Salt Lake. The next day I hiked the Mount Timpanogos Trail (where the photos on this page are from). The following morning I enjoyed the Timpanogos Cave National Monument. The Mount Timpanogos area is about an hour from Salt Lake City. My trip continued to the Dinosaur National Monument. Once I add more of the photos to my travel site, I will add a new post here.

Related: Curious Cat photos while hiking through National ParksWind Cave and Jewel CaveGrand Teton National Park Continue reading

Management Blog Posts From September 2005

photo of North Cascades National Park

Here are some posts from the blog 3 years ago, this month. I took the photo on my visit to North Cascades National Park.

I have added a page to my personal web site with links to my pages on social web sites: LinkedIn, Reddit, Kiva…).

National Museum of the American Indian Photos

photo of the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC photo of a Mayan Calendar

Photo of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC by John Hunter. The museum is the newest addition to the collection of Smithsonian museums on the Mall. The second photo is of a Mayan calendar. Photos can be used with attribution.

Related: Botanical Garden, Washington DCMount Saint Helens National Volcanic MonumentThe Cloisters Museum, Manhattan

Parfrey’s Glen, Wisconsin

John Hunter Durwood Glen

photo of Yellow Flower in Parfreys Glen

See more photos from my visit to Parfrey’s Glen Natural Area in Wisconsin, about an hour outside of Madison. It really was amazingly beautiful – the pictures do not do it justice. The Parfrey’s Glen trail is under a mile but well worth visiting. If you want to hike more try the Ice Age National Scenic Trail or nearby Devil’s Lake State Park. The top photo is of me (John Hunter) at nearby Durwood’s Glen. The yellow flower is from Parfrey’s Glen.

Related: Coopers Rock State Forest, West VirginiaMetropolitan Museum of ArtSouth Carolina travel photosThe Importance of Management ImprovementHoh Rain Forest and Ruby BeachNorth Cascades National Park

Parfrey’s Glen is Wisconsin’s first State Natural Area, is a spectacular gorge deeply incised into the sandstone conglomerate of the south flank of the Baraboo Hills. The exposed Cambrian strata provide excellent opportunities for geological interpretation. The walls of the glen – a Scottish word for a narrow, rocky ravine – are sandstone with embedded pebbles and boulders of quartzite.

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve in Ohio

photo of Tree at the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve
The Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve in Ohio is quite a nice short hike. Photos by John Hunter. If anyone knows what the green beetle is please add a comment.

I visited the preserve last year. Other sites from the trip include: Rocky Gap State Park, Maryland and Coopers Rock State Forest, West Virginia.

More photos: Rocky Mountain National ParkMount Rainier National ParkCapital Crescent Trail (Washington DC)travel photo directory

photo of a green beetle

National Parks

I just returned from several weeks visiting National Parks in the Northwest USA: Olympic, Mount Saint Helens, North Cascades, Glacier and Mount Rainer. I will post photos of the parks to the Curious Cat Travels section as I have time.

A CNN.com article, from yesterday, discusses the use of National parks and comments on camping declining at the parks. I have always preferred to hike around during the day and then eat good food, sleep in a warm bed and take a warm shower. So maybe I am ahead of the trend the article argues is taking place. I found the most interesting part of the article to be:

There were 276.9 million visits to the National Park System last year… By comparison, combined attendance at Major League Baseball, National Football League and National Basketball Association games last season was about 110 million.

One of the surprising things about my recent trip was the lack of foreigners. Often, of past visits (Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains, etc.) close to half the people I see hiking seem to be foreigners . This time I would estimate less than 10%. My guess is this is just an anomaly of the time and places I visited but it was interesting.

New (added 2015): Curious Cat travel photos – National Parks