Newsletter – April, 2014

On My Mind

Just when you thought you had a great strategic plan . . . something happens! Some organizations have already come to the conclusion that their 2014 strategic plan is out-of-date and their strategic objectives unrealistic. Game changing events impacting organizational performance can happen quickly such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April of 2010; the Arab Spring uprisings which began in December of 2010; and the earthquake and subsequent tsunami off the coast of Japan which caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Many organizations were affected by those events. More recently, Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea region has many organizations worried about their investments and access to energy resources. Dr. W. Edwards Deming stated that planning requires prediction. We should keep in mind that some of our planning predictions will be wrong—but which ones? Wouldn’t it be nice to know. The moral of the story is that deliberate planning can be useful, but be prepared for emergent events and develop adaptive capabilities.

Interesting Stories

Chess is considered by many to be the ultimate game of strategy and the next world championship event is set except for the details. It will be déjà vu all over again . . . Viswanathan Anand of India, former world chess champion, recently won the Candidates tournament for the right to a rematch later in 2014 against current champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway. Carlsen defeated Anand last year to become the world champion at the age of 22. The Candidates tournament field of players was strong with current #2 Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and current #3 Levon Aronian of Armenia. It will be interesting to see whether Anand can reclaim his title from the young Norwegian.

Company News

I will be presenting a paper at the International Conference on Quality this coming October in Tokyo. The title will be Applying the Four Student Model During the SDCA Cycle. There are two public seminars coming up: Advances in Hoshin Kanri on April 10 and Advanced Lean in Service on April 20. Both 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

Thomas H. Davenport, one of the leading authors on analytics, has just written another informative book titled, Big data at work: dispelling the myths, uncovering the opportunities. I especially liked Chapter 4 on Developing a Big Data Strategy. This is an excellent book for those leaders who want to stay on the edge of the analytics movement.