Newsletter – April, 2016

On My Mind
Speed is sometimes essential when executing a task such as filling a critical open position, bringing a new product/service to market, or conducting a Lean Six Sigma project. How can we quickly get from Point A to Point B? Several factors can help make a difference: (1) Make sure there is at least one senior executive who cares about the task, (2) Recruit team members with speed in mind, (3) Develop a plan, (4) Keep the team laser-focused on the task, (5) Use data to measure progress, (6) Make sure the team has access to resources and experts, (7) Identify and solve problems that stand in your way, and (8) Enlist a couple of senior executives to conduct periodic progress reviews. We should always be aware that a blind focus on speed can adversely affect safety and quality. Here is the key question: “How can we move quickly while achieving superior quality and safety outcomes?” Although this balancing act is task-specific, the conversation should occur throughout the entire A to B journey. Best wishes the next time you feel the need to speed.

Interesting Stories
Two of the most highly-regarded tabletop games of strategy are Go and Chess. There has been some exciting news related to both games. AlphaGo, the computer program owned by Google DeepMind, recently defeated Lee Sedol four games to one. Sedol is the world Go champion from South Korea. The victory by AlphaGo is said to represent a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. On the chess side, Hou Yifan of China reclaimed the Women’s World Chess Champion title by defeating Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine. Sergey Karjakin—the Russian chess grand master who was born in Ukraine—came out on top of the field of eight elite grand masters for the chance to challenge Magnus Carlsen of Norway for the Men’s World Chess Championship in New York in November. Learn more about elite grand master chess at

Company News
The public seminar on “Quality, Analytics, and Big Data” will be held April 28, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth, MN. A brochure is available on this website on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page. The research report of the same title and other research items are available on the RESEARCH page of this website.

Intriguing Reads
Lou Schultz—the quality improvement consultant extraordinaire—recently had his book “Basic Business” published. It is aimed at leaders of small businesses, but leaders at all levels of an organization can benefit from the lessons contained in the book. The chapters are arranged around a five-component model: Leadership, Strategy, Process, Marketing, and Culture. If you are interested in content that has enduring substance instead of content that is momentarily trending, then give this book a try.