Newsletter – February, 2018

On My Mind
Japanese-Style Hoshin Kanri (a.k.a. Policy Management) is a global best practice strategic planning system. The Japanese Society for Quality Control published the English translation (from Japanese) of the “Guidelines for Policy Management” late last year. I served as an editor for the document which contains the most leading-edge content on the subject. You can access details on the document by visiting and then using the search function on “Guidelines for Policy Management.” I’ll be covering Hoshin Kanri content during the public Advances in Strategic Planning course on May 30.

Interesting Stories
Once in a while an organization does something so profound that I’m a bit stunned and left speechless. This was the case recently when Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX)—which was founded and currently led by Elon Musk—successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket on February 6 only to have the two rocket boosters return to earth and land side-by-side. The main rocket carried a red Tesla sports car. Elon Musk is the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. You can watch details of the event on YouTube. SpaceX continues to push the envelope on rocket performance while dramatically reducing mission costs. This will continue to be an exciting company to watch for years to come.

Company News
I attended the SportCon conference on February 2 at Optum in Eden Prairie which was sponsored by MinneAnalytics. The timing was perfect given the Super Bowl was in Minneapolis on February 4. MinneAnalytics is a professional network that promotes analytics. Membership and conferences are free and there are several analytics user groups that meet. I’ve been preparing for my trip to Japan in early March where I’ll be presenting on Big Data. The next public Strategic Improvement Green Belt course kicks-off April 17, 2018. The public Advances in Strategic Planning course will be held May 30, 2018. The venue for both courses will be the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth, MN. The course brochures are available on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page of this website. Other planned public courses in 2018 include Basic Analytics for Strategic Improvement and Strategic Improvement Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt courses.

Intriguing Reads
I try to read as many annual reports as I can from “world class” organizations. Three that I always read each year are Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, and Toyota. The “Letter to Shareholders” by Warren Buffet has become a “don’t miss” annual article for CEOs and analysts. The annual reports I’ve been most interested in the past year were the three mentioned earlier plus Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Tesla. I’m also looking at the last three annual reports from General Electric to see if there were any predictive signals for the current major problems the company is experiencing. The best thing about annual reports is that they are free. Happy reading!