Category Archives: curiouscat.com

Post Number 1,000

This is the 1,000th post to the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog. Here are some highlights:

Management Seminar in May

The Deming Institute is sponsoring, How to Create Unethical, Ineffective Organizations That Go Out of Business, 12-14 May, 2008 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Kelly Allan and I will be presenting the seminar. Please let me know if you sign up.

Twenty-seven faulty management and corporate governance practices create most of the problems in any organization. These practices will be identified, and better practices recommended. It will be shown that as better practices are introduced, quality of products and services increases, costs decline, and you create a globally competitive advantage for your organization.

Learn how governance practice leads to the heaviest losses, how inconsistencies between policy and strategy create sub-optimal outcomes, how mismanagement of people leads to unethical and ineffective behavior, and how to overcome these problems. Study the theory and practice of management. Not quality management, not good management, not excellent management, not knowledge management, not risk management, not process management, not performance management, not supply or asset management, not technology management, not time management, not emergency management, just plain management.

Related: Deming on ManagementCurious Cat Management Improvement CalendarDeming Seminar and ConferenceDeming Companies

NCAA Basketball Challenge 2008

Once again I have created a group on the ESPN NCAA Basketball Tournament Challenge for curiouscat college basketball fans. To participate, go to the curiouscat ESPN group and make your picks.

This year we also have a second challenge, using sportsline, that rewards picking upsets. So those that enjoy the tournament please join the fun. The password for this one is cat

Go Badgers and Go Davidson,

Lean Six Sigma Case Studies

ValuMetrix Services provides some really nice lean six sigma case studies. Simple short but still with enough detail to actually provide some sense of what is going on.

While on the topic of online case studies let me plug the Curious Cat management improvement library. I think it is one of the more valuable resources for management improvement offered on the Curious Cat sites. Library shelves: health care articles, lean manufacturing articles, six sigma articles, newly added articles

via: Daily Kaizen

Related: Curious Cat Management SearchManagement Consulting, what does the web site show?Lean Management Case Study

Capital Crescent Trail Photos

I have posted some photos from my walk last year on the Capital Crescent Trail in Washington DC.

3 Vultures on the Potomac River photo of Blue Flower

The Capital Crescent Trail goes along the Potomac River in Washington DC (on the C&O towpath). I hiked first along the Arlington, Virginia side of the Potomac (starting at the north end of the Teddy Roosevelt Island Parking lot) then crossing over at Chain Bridge and heading back down the Capital Crescent trail and over the Key Bridge to and making a loop hike out of it.

More photos: Egypt Photo EssayBoston (Museum of Fine Arts, Science Museum, Boston Commons…)Glacier National ParkGreat Falls National ParkOlympic National Park Photos

Using Capitalism to Make the World Better

I have mentioned Kiva before: Microfinancing Entrepreneurs (on our Curious Cat Economics and Investing blog). In addition to being a good cause Kiva really shows some great management strategies. The use of Information Technology to connect people directly is a wonderful example of using IT effectively (understanding psychology).

Kiva lets you loan money directly to an entrepreneur of your choice. Kiva provides loans through partners (operating in the countries) to the entrepreneurs. Those partners do charge the entrepreneurs interest (to fund the operations of the lending partner). Kiva pays the principle back to you but does not pay interest. And if the entrepreneur defaults then you do not get your capital paid back (in other words you lose the money you loaned). I plan to just recycle repaid loans to other entrepreneurs.

I have just placed an additional $150 in loans to 6 business entrepreneurs (in Honduras, Indonesia[2 loans], Tajikistan, Uganda and Ukraine), along with a $100 donation to Kiva (adding to my previous Kiva loans of $350). Since our last post the Oprah Winfrey Show, President Clinton’s newly released book Giving and others have sung the praises of Kiva and made it a challenge to find entrepreneurs of Kiva to lend to (Kiva is working on building their capacity – to keep up with the demand. That seems to have been partially fixed (for awhile the supply of the entrepreneurs was completely exhausted) in last few weeks (though still they limit you to no more than $25 per entrepreneur – in order to allow the large numbers of people that want to lend to at least have the chance to loan something).

If you lend through Kiva, add a comment with a link to your Kiva page and I will add you to our list of Curious Cat Kivans.

Related: Kiva: Microfinance Loanshelping people succeed economicallyThinking About the Future

Early History Of Quality Management Online

I started looking at quality management resources online in 1995 (maybe 1994). At the time I was on the board of the Public Sector Network – what would become the American Society of Quality (ASQ) government division. When we started working with ASQ it took something like 2 months from the time I wrote an article until people received it. Now in 1995, the internet (outside of universities) was in its infancy. I was writing a column on the resources online for quality management – these consisted of bulletin boards (that you used your modem to call directly) and “gopher” and “ftp” sites and email lists a very few web sites. Ftp and gopher are internet protocols (as is the hypertext transfer protocol – http – we all use for the web now). Well things changed frequently back then and by the time my article would be published phone numbers wouldn’t work, addresses would be out of date, etc..

So I figured I should post my article online so people could just go there and see the updated phone numbers, addresses, etc.. That wasn’t so easy to do back then. But several of us at a W. Edwards Deming Institute conference decided to create a Deming Electronic Network (DEN). And one of those people was Del Kimbler who worked at Clemson and had access to a web site where he agreed to host the DEN. So I asked about posting the Online Quality Resource Guide there and he agreed.

Del is retiring from Clemson and so we are moving some of the material off Clemson to curiouscat.com. As part of that I ran across this November 1995 edition of the Online Quality Resource Guide. There really was a small number of good online resources for managers back then. We forget how lucky we are today. The first article I can find (right now anyway) is from the Spring of 1995. It listed a total of 2 web sites in addition to a BBS and several email lists. Clemson was listed as a gopher site and web site.

We have recently moved the Public Sector Continuous Improvement Site and Community Quality Electronic Network to curiouscat.com. Some history on PSCI and CQEN.

Related: John Hunter historyUsing Quality to Develop an Internet Resource by John Hunter (1999)Management Improvement History

The Importance of Management Improvement

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 than ever tell me anything like that about myself. 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.

The photo is of dad and me a few years ago.

Related: Quality in the Community: Madison, WisconsinStatistics 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

New York City Travel Photos

Photos from my trip to New York City last year are now online. Photos include: The Cloisters (part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art – though located far uptown) art and architecture of medieval Europe, the remodeled Museum of Modern Art, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building and Flatiron Building.

Related: New York City Photo EssaysParis Travel PhotosPacific Northwest photosCurious Cat Travel Photos

photo of stained glass window - The Cloisters, NYC
Continue reading