Newsletter – September, 2016

On My Mind
One mechanism for integrating Analytics and Strategy activities is to conduct an Analytics JAM Session early in the strategic planning process. This can be an effective action-packed, fun-filled event where insights are created and breakthrough ideation occurs. Here are some keys to success: (1) Invite an extremely diverse group of up to 30 people (use the max-mix strategy); (2) Have everyone thoroughly prepare for the event; (3) Have everyone bring data; (4) Have a wide variety of multi-media capabilities to accommodate all the different types of data such as standard databases, videos, blogs, pictures, and audio; (5) Have several dynamic facilitators; (6) Allow as many as 50 five-minute presentations; (7) Thoroughly document the discussions; and (8) Save at least one hour at the end of the day for a summary discussion. The insights and ideas from the session are then used throughout the strategic planning process. You can learn more about Analytics and Strategy at the Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices Conference on October 6, 2016. The brochure is available on the ANNUAL CONFERENCE page of this website.

Interesting Stories
What should you do if you break your baseball bat during a baseball game because you are frustrated with your performance? If you are Ichiro Suzuki, then you write a letter of apology to the person who made the bat by hand. Such is the respect Ichiro has for the game and his bats. This actually happened in 1999 when Ichiro was playing professional baseball in Japan. He recently became only the fourth non-U.S. born Major League Baseball player to accumulate 3,000 career hits. Ichiro had an outstanding career in Japan before coming to the U.S. to play. He is known for his hard work ethic, intense focus, discipline, consistency, and reverence for the game. He will surely be voted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame as soon as he is eligible. If you want to see someone who has mastered their craft, then catch a Florida Marlins game before the end of the season.

Company News
The Eighth Annual Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices Conference will be held October 6, 2016 at the beautiful Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, MN. The purpose of the conference is to assemble experts from various types of organizations in a beautiful setting to learn with each other how to improve organizations from a strategic perspective. There will be twelve presentations each related to one of four themes: Strategy, Analytics, Innovation, and Lean Six Sigma. The brochure is available on this website. There will be two public seminars offered yet this year: Multivariate Analysis for Understanding the Voice of the Customer and How to Lead a Successful Kaizen Event. Brochures will be available late September.

Intriguing Reads
Chess is considered one of the best games for developing a person’s strategic thinking capabilities. The 42nd World Chess Olympiad is in progress in Baku, Azerbaijan. Teams from 175 countries are competing for the Gold Medal. The winner will be determined at the end of an eleven round Swiss System tournament. India is currently in the lead with the United States in second. They battle head-to-head in Round 7. One of the more interesting matches occurred early in the tournament where Ukraine defeated Russia. You can follow the tournament online by searching for “Baku Chess Olympiad.”