Newsletter – December, 2016

On My Mind
I visited two UNESCO World Heritage sites during my recent trip to Bhopal, India: the Great Stupa (dome-shaped Buddhist shrine) at Sanchi and the Bhimbetka Rock Shelter. The rock sculptures and inscriptions imbedded in the Great Stupa and the pre-historic cave paintings in the rock shelters made me think about messages that endure. I imagine the people who created those “messages” possessed deeply held beliefs which they wanted to endure for a very long time. It seems the opposite of the feelings I have today related to “things that are trending” on the internet and social media platforms where messages are meant to disappear. I’m now thinking about what messages related to Strategic Improvement I would “inscribe in rock” or “paint on a cave wall” meant to last forever. One of my goals in 2017 is to create more enduring messages instead of messages that are likely to rapidly disappear in all the noise of the now.

Interesting Stories
Magnus Carlsen (age 26) successfully defended his World Chess Champion title recently in New York against Sergey Karjakin (also 26). It took extra (“tie breaker”) games for Carlsen to successfully defend his title – Karjakin proved to be a formidable opponent. Carlsen let his emotions get the best of him after he was defeated in Game 8 leading to him storming out of the post-game press conference. However, he bounced back with a draw in Game 9, a dramatic victory in Game 10, and draws in Games 11-12 to force the “tie breaker” games where he won three games to one. It will be interesting to see whether Carlsen learns to control his emotions as he matures past his youthful age of 26. He will next defend his title in 2018.

Company News
My group visited three outstanding organizations in India: a TAFE Eicher Tractor Plant near Bhopal; the Mahindra Finance Office in Bhopal; and the medical clinic in Bhopal who treats those affected by the 1984 chemical disaster. Each of those visits will be remembered for the wonderful hospitality we were shown and the excellent ways in which those organizations are managed and improved. I also presented on Quality, Analytics, and Big Data at the Global Quality Futures Workshop Conference.

Intriguing Reads
There are several good options available for a “foundation” book on business analytics. If you want a basic textbook, then I recommend the book by Albright and Winston titled, Business Analytics: Data Analysis and Decision Making (5th ed.). The book is based on Microsoft Excel and contains the best of what used to be called business statistics with excellent enhancements to reflect the current rapidly evolving topic of big data analytics.