I recently was interviewed for a podcast by Len Epp with Leanpub: Leanpub Podcast Interview #9: John Hunter. I hope you enjoy the podcast (download the mp3 of the podcast).
In the podcast we cover quite a bit of ground quickly, so the details are limited (transcript of the interview). These links provide more details on items I mention in the podcast. They are listed below in the same order as they are raised in the podcast:
- John Hunter’s professional life highlights
- This blog, the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog
- The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog – to advance commerce, prosperity and peace
- Posts on appropriate technology on my Curious Cat Engineering blog.
- Respect for people: Practical Ways to Respect People Within an Organization – Create a Workplace That Lets People Take Pride in Their Work – Respect for Everyone – Optimize for Developer Happiness at Etsy
- Executive pay: Massively Unjust Executive Compensation Damages Companies and Investments – CEOs Plundering Corporate Coffers – Too Much Leverage Killed Mervyns – Losses Covered Up to Protect Bonuses – Taking What You Don’t Deserve, CEO Style – More on Obscene CEO Pay – Turning Up the Heat on CEO Pay (Drucker Institute): “Drucker asserted that the proper ratio between a chief executive’s pay and that of the average worker was around 20-to-1. That’s a far cry from the current ratio of more than 260-to-1 found at major U.S. companies.”
- Understanding data: Forgetting the Proxy Nature of Data Leads to Incorrect Conclusions – Managing to Test Result Instead of Customer Value – Seeing Patterns Where None Exists – Confirmation Bias
- What to do? Building Adoption of Management Improvement Ideas in Your Organization – How to Get a New Management Strategy, Tool or Concept Adopted
- Experimenting: How to Most Effectively Use of the PDSA Improvement Cycle – Encourage Improvement Action by Everyone – Google: Experiment Quickly and Often
The last 15 minutes of the podcast I talk about some details of working with Leanpub; I used Leanpub to publish Management Matters. I recommend Leanpub for other authors. They don’t just have lean in their name, they actual apply lean principles (focusing on the value chain, eliminating complexity, customer focus, etc.) to operating Leanpub. It is extremely easy to get started and publish your book.
Leanpub also offers an excellent royalty plan: authors take home 90% of the revenue minus 50 cents per book. They publish without “digital rights management” crippling purchasers use of the books. Buyers have access to pdf, kindle (mobi) and epub (iPad, nook) format books and get access to all updates to the book. All purchases include a 45 day full money back guaranty.
Related: Business 901 Podcast with John Hunter: Deming’s Management Ideas Today – Interviews for Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability
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Comment from LinkedIn post by David Ranney
I found your comments about increasing an organization’s capacity for critical thinking very interesting. I agree that an increase in critical thinking would pay huge dividends to any organization.
The problem is, increasing an organization’s capacity for *anything* is generally a challenge, let alone something as fundamental as critical thinking.
Training classes wouldn’t help, in my opinion. Critical thinking has to be part of a person’s core. It’s the sort of thing someone should have learned in middle and high school. That’s one of the reasons we learn English and History.
I wonder if another approach would be to make looking for an ability to think critically a necessary part of the hiring process. If, over time, you hire candidates who think critically, it will eventually work its way into the DNA of the organization.
I do think it is helpful to seek out critical thinking traits in hiring (it still isn’t easy). I think you can build up critical thinking habits in organizations; again it is not easy. You can do thing such as debate evidence for making decisions, have leaders explain why decisions are made… but it is very hard (and probably getting harder as so many people don’t even have an interest in evidence).
I have some posts related to critical thinking.
I do think by emphasizing the value of critical thinking you can make it part of the culture of your organization but it take a long term commitment to practicing critical thinking. Some additional posts
Building a Great Software Development Team
Good Process Improvement Practices