Newsletter – August, 2012

On My Mind

You wouldn’t know that economic growth has slowed in Asia by visiting Hong Kong. This Special Administrative Region of China is bustling with activity as visitors shop and construction workers operate their cranes. There are numerous luxury goods stores in Kowloon whose waterfront is a magnet for people who want their picture taken with the magnificent cityscapes in the background. The energy and optimism is noticeable. I was especially impressed with the innovation activities that are occurring at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology and the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks.

Interesting Stories

I toured several laboratories at the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks where I noticed red and black notebooks at some of the work stations. This seemed strange—pen and paper used in high tech labs. The person who gave us the tour said the lab employees tried computer entry, but they thought it was too slow. They felt it was more efficient to make handwritten entries in notebooks. Will any of us be using pen and paper in five or ten years? Moving on to the Olympics in London . . . we were again privileged to witness Usain Bolt from Jamaica easily win the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints just as he did in Beijing in 2008. His performances were again inspiring. I wish he wouldn’t slow down near the end of his races so that we could get a better sense of “the wall” associated with sprinting performance. Perhaps a more interesting story concerns the Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang. He won the gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles in Athens in 2004. However, he had to withdraw from competition in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London due to injury and an unfortunate encounter with a hurdle. According to Bloomberg News (August 8, 2012), “Praise and compassion in China for hurdler Liu Xiang overwhelmed criticism . . .” Let’s hope he and Usain Bolt compete in Rio De Janeiro in 2016.

Company News

I presented my paper on The Application of Policy Deployment (Hoshin Kanri) in Indian Companies in Hong Kong on August 1, 2012 at the Asian Network for Quality Congress. The Fourth Annual Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices Conference will be held October 16, 2012 at the BayView Event Center on the shore of beautiful Lake Minnetonka. There will be presenters from the Carlson School of Management, MN Department of Human Services, MN Department of Natural Resources, Nortech Systems, Cargill, Hormel Foods, 3M, Seagate Technology, Mayo Clinic, Loram Maintenance of Way, and The Toro Company.

Intriguing Reads

I’ve been searching for a book that explains the history of the Digital Age so that I might better understand information technology and social network developments and I’ve found it. The book titled, Computing: A Concise History by Paul E. Ceruzzi, details the historical events and key players from the invention of the early computers to the World Wide Web. The book is short, interesting, and supplemented nicely with pictures. This is a book I will refer back to frequently.