Newsletter – August, 2017

On My Mind
Some of my clients have just completed their mid-year strategic planning review and the fourth quarter is in sight. I always enjoy these reviews because of the knowledge that is created. Which of our assumptions were correct and which assumptions weren’t correct? Which of our milestone targets were unrealistic and which milestone targets were too easy? Which of our strategies were effective and which strategies weren’t effective? What did we miss? These are some of the typical questions that are asked during such reviews. You can learn more about how to conduct an effective strategic planning review by attending the Advances in Strategic Planning course on November 9, 2017. Best wishes as you strive to accomplish your strategic objectives.

Interesting Stories
When is it time to retire? For some, the answer is clear because of a mandatory retirement age. Some professional athletes are simply “cut from the team” or their contract is not renewed and no other team is interested. Usain Bolt, the famous sprinter from Jamaica, apparently has made the decision to retire. He won the 100 meter and 200 meter sprints in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympic Games. He recently competed in the IAAF World Track and Field Championships 2017 in London – hoping to end his career with one final epic victory in the 100 meter. Justin Gaitlin and Christian Coleman of the United States had other plans. Gaitlin finished first in 9.92 seconds, Coleman finished second in 9.94 seconds, and Bolt finished a very close third in 9.95 seconds. It was a photo finish. We’ll see if Usain Bolt follows-through on his promise to retire from competitive racing. This might be a difficult decision for the greatest human sprinter ever.

Company News
I finished writing my research paper on “Big Data in Hoshin Kanri” which will be presented at the Asian Network for Quality Conference in Kathmandu, Nepal in September. A one day Creating Successful Standards course is scheduled for August 31. The next public Strategic Improvement Master Black Belt course is scheduled to start October 10. The 9th Annual Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices Conference is scheduled for October 19. The one day Advances in Strategic Planning course is scheduled for November 9. The next public Continuous Improvement Green Belt course is scheduled to start November 16. The next public Strategic Improvement Black Belt course is scheduled to start January 9, 2018. The brochures for most of these events are available on this website.

Intriguing Reads
My current research project is on “why employees are reluctant to express their improvement and innovation ideas” and so the book “Creativity, Inc.” by Ed Catmull is turning out to be a useful reference. Catmull is the President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. He worked closely with Steve Jobs when Jobs was the CEO of Pixar (and CEO Apple at the same time). I especially liked Chapter 13 titled, “Notes Day” where it was described how employees were involved in the ideation process for determining the strategic direction of the company.