Newsletter – January, 2020

On My Mind: I’ve experienced six decade transitions during my life and it seems like I’m attaching more significance to them. My first was the transition from the 1960s to the 1970s which I remember from the mind of a child. The most memorable was the transition from the 1990s to the 2000s which was when the world was going to end because of the Y2K computer phenomenon. I noticed that I was doing more self-reflection during this last transition as my thoughts were on two general questions: (1) What did I learn from the 2010s? and (2) What must I do differently in the 2020s to move towards my vision? Sometimes it is easier to come up with the questions than the answers and I’m still processing my thoughts. Best wishes to you and your loved ones in the 2020s! May you experience happiness and achieve success. Interesting Stories: Where is Carlos Ghosn? He is supposed to be in Japan under the watchful control of Japanese authorities, but he allegedly escaped Japan in a large musical instrument box to Lebanon via Turkey. Lebanon—where Ghosn has a history and home—has no extradition agreement with Japan. Ghosn was at one time one of the most revered and respected CEOs in the automobile industry (Renault & Nissan). He is now a fugitive from the Japanese justice system who continues to vehemently proclaim his innocence. The rise and fall of Carlos Ghosn is stranger than fiction. Company News: I will be presenting on Quality, Analytics, and Big Data at the Minnesota American Society for Quality (MN ASQ) January 2020 Program meeting on the evening of January 14, 2020 at the Sheraton Minneapolis West in Minnetonka, MN. The details for the event can be found on the MN ASQ website. The next Strategic Improvement Systems, LLC public courses are the following: Innovation Techniques & Tools will be held February 4-5, 2020; Strategic Improvement Black Belt tentatively starts April 7, 2020; and Strategic Improvement Green Belt tentatively starts May 4, 2020. The brochures for all the courses will be available on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page of this website by January 15, 2020. Intriguing Reads: I read several biographical books over the holidays which ranged from poor to excellent. The most impressive was the book What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence by Stephen A. Schwarzman, the Chairman, CEO, and Co-founder of Blackstone. I’m now re-reading the book focusing on particular sections. I especially enjoyed Schwarzman’s thoughts on hiring new employees; the Monday meeting process, risk management, and his 25 rules for work and life. Strangely, I also enjoyed reading the extensive Acknowledgment Section. If you want an inspiring book filled with valuable business lessons, then this is the book for you.