Newsletter – September, 2017

On My Mind
My thoughts have been with the people in the Houston area, Florida, and the Caribbean as they struggle to clean-up and repair their homes after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Thousands of organizations are now in disaster recovery mode and I suspect that many will not re-open. One-time busy streets in business districts are now passageways for boats. I was reminded of the importance of securing business data and records, having duplicate copies of key business documents off-site (or in the cloud), and having a business continuity plan. It is easy to ignore these practices in good times, but that would be a mistake.

Interesting Stories
There is nothing like a long trip to generate a number of “good, bad, and ugly” product and service experiences. My last trip to California provided me with several of each. My hotel experience on Avila Beach was actually “great” rather than “good.” It was surreal to watch the news reporting of Hurricane Irma on TV while looking out at the ocean. It was a different ocean, but it seemed strange nonetheless. An “ugly” service experience was with a restaurant with outdoor seating. I sat down outside at a table and no server was in sight . . . and finally, after about twenty-five minutes a server arrived. In the meantime, several customers “came and went” without being served. The restaurant wasn’t even busy. They lost some revenue that day.

Company News
I will present my research paper on “Big Data in Hoshin Kanri” at the Asian Network for Quality Conference in Kathmandu, Nepal in September. 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
The updated book by Thomas Davenport and Jeanne Harris titled, “Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning” was recently published. The revised edition contains a new Introduction and a Foreword by David Abney, CEO of UPS. This is a valuable book for anyone interested in the emerging field of analytics and how analytics can be used to create a competitive advantage.