Newsletter – July, 2019

On My Mind: I’ve been enjoying the media coverage of the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Space Mission. Neil Armstrong became the first human to step foot on the moon on July 20, 1969 shortly followed by Buzz Aldrin. Michael Collins was the third astronaut on the mission. I was a young boy at the time, but I vividly remember watching the coverage of the mission on TV. The Apollo 11 mission brought to reality the bold early 1960s vision of President John F. Kennedy. Do we have any such bold visions today? Interesting Stories: Three people passed away recently who were quite well-known years ago in part because they were one-of-a-kind and unconventional. Lee Iacocca (1924-2019) was an auto industry legend who was involved in the development of the Mustang and Pinto cars at Ford and then he later served as the CEO of Chrysler for many years. He was one of the most well-known CEOs of his day and he had a knack for finding the spotlight. Ross Perot (1930-2019) was also a high-profile CEO and a two-time Presidential candidate in 1992 and 1996 as an independent. I remember him as being practical, folksy, funny, and wise. Jim Bouton (1939-2019) was a Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher who became famous for his controversial 1970 book titled Ball Four. I’ve re-read the book many times because of its humor and (then) controversial behind-the-scenes look at MLB. Company News: I conducted the public Advances in Strategic Planning course on June 20, 2019 where I shared my preliminary research findings on the state of strategic planning. The full paper will be available on October 29, 2019. The next public Strategic Improvement Systems, LLC courses for the Summer/Fall time frame are the following: Strategic Improvement Master Black Belt starts August 14, 2019; Strategic Improvement Green Belt starts September 11, 2019; Strategic Improvement Black Belt starts November 5, 2019; and Strategy Techniques & Tools will be held November 25, 2019. The brochures for these courses will be available soon on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page of this website. Intriguing Reads: The new book by Bernard Marr titled Artificial Intelligence in Practice: How 50 Successful Companies Used AI and Machine Learning to Solve Problems is an excellent reference if you want to learn how leading companies are applying AI. The author has five categories of companies: (1) Trailblazers, (2) Retail, Consumer Goods, and Food and Beverage Companies, (3) Media, Entertainment, and Telecom Companies, (4) Services, Financial, and Healthcare Companies, (5) Manufacturing, Automotive, Aerospace, and Industry 4.0 Companies. A similar format is used for each chapter (company) which makes it easy to make comparisons across the 50 companies. I especially liked the chapters on the Trailblazers: Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Baidu, Facebook, IBM,, Microsoft, and Tencent. If you want to better understand how companies are applying AI, then this is the book for you.