Newsletter – March, 2014

On My Mind

There are three performance concepts I find useful: the ideal performance level, the theoretical performance level (“The Wall”); and a project team target. The ideal performance level is the ultimate or ideal level of performance. This level of performance is sometimes not achievable. The theoretical performance level (“The Wall”) is the level of performance it is impossible to go beyond without a fundamental breakthrough in knowledge or technology. This is sometimes considered, “the best anyone has ever done for an extended period of time.” The project team target is the level of performance a project team is expected to reach by the project deadline (expected results). A “bankable” target is one a project team should be able to reach by the project deadline. It can be both rigorous and realistic. It is common to develop stepping-stone targets towards the ideal performance level or “The Wall.” Renaud Lavillenie recently went beyond “The Wall” by breaking Sergei Bubka’s pole vault record of 20 feet, 2 inches. He amazingly cleared 20 feet, 2.52 inches. Bubka was in attendance at the event and witnessed the record-breaking vault. I wonder what was different. Was there a breakthrough in knowledge or technology?

Interesting Stories

Some victories mean more than others! Mitchell McKee, St. Michael-Albertville High School, recently won the 120-pound State of Minnesota Class AAA wrestling championship by defeating Malik Stewart of Blaine High School. McKee embraced his father Steve McKee shortly after winning the title. Steve is battling cancer. Malik Stewart also embraced Steve McKee after losing the match—a rare display of pure class and sportsmanship.

Company News

There are three public seminars coming up: Creating Successful Standards on March 20; Advances in Hoshin Kanri on April 10; and Advanced Lean in Service on April 20. All three seminars will be held at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth, MN. Seminar brochures can be found on this website by selecting the “PUBLIC SEMINARS” tab on the homepage.

Intriguing Reads

Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel B. Rasmussen’s new book titled, “The Moment of Clarity,” puts forth a unique perspective given the onslaught of attention to the analytics movement. They describe how the human sciences can be used to improve organizational performance by using a process they call sensemaking. There have been very few silver bullets in the history of organizational improvement and analytics is no exception. This book offers practical ideas on how to complement a data analytics approach.