Newsletter – March, 2018

On My Mind
I recently enjoyed watching some of the Winter Olympics held in PyeongChang, South Korea. One of the things I paid attention to was the reactions by the athletes once they knew the final outcome of their event. The reactions were all over the map and it was fun to “guess” each athlete’s pre-event performance expectations. For example, one athlete was extremely disappointed to win a silver medal (second place) whereas other athletes were elated to win a bronze medal (third place). There were also reports in the newspaper that “so and so athlete” was happy with their 8th place, 13th place, etc. What is the lesson? Not every athlete expects to win a gold medal and “success” can sometimes be an outcome quite different than first place. Perhaps leaders should pay more attention to how they set and communicate performance expectations – and then be prepared to manage the emotional aftermath.

Interesting Stories
I have two memories from the Winter Olympics that I won’t forget for a long time. First, when Jessie Diggins of the U.S.A. came from behind to win the Women’s Team Sprint Cross-Country Skiing Event. It was almost as if she willed herself to win. The second was when one of the German two man bobsled teams became aware that one of the Canadian teams had just tied them for the gold medal. The two Germans—without hesitation—rushed off to celebrate with the two Canadians. The four athletes later stood arm-in-arm for pictures and more celebration. It was one of the most remarkable displays of sportsmanship that I have ever seen.

Company News
I’ve been preparing for my trip to Japan in early March where I’ll be presenting on Big Data and touring some factories. 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 plus Strategic Improvement Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt courses.

Intriguing Reads
The Japanese Society for Quality Control (JSQC) recently published the English translation (from Japanese) of the “Guidelines for Policy Management.” Policy Management is also known as Hoshin Kanri. I served as an editor for the document which contains leading-edge content on the subject. You can view details on the document by visiting and then using the search function for “Guidelines for Policy Management.” I’ll be covering Hoshin Kanri content in the public Advances in Strategic Planning course which will be held May 30, 2018 at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth, MN. The course brochure is available on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page of this website.