Newsletter – July, 2020

On My Mind
What are some “To Dos” now for leaders of organizations on the backside (fingers crossed) of the pandemic peak? Here are five actions to consider: (1) Revisit the organization’s mission, philosophy, values, and vision to see if they still make sense, (2) Conduct a Strategy Reboot session for course corrections if necessary, (3) Conduct some Voice of the Customer analyses to learn how customer needs have changed – especially concerning health and safety, (4) Engage employees to redesign workplace policies, procedures, practices, and layouts to assure employees remain healthy and safe, and (5) Create a safe and open environment for discussions to occur – employees probably have a lot on their minds given social unrest and COVID-19. Best wishes as you lead in a pandemic world.

Interesting Stories
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” I’m not certain of the original source of this famous quote, but the central idea can be traced back to the philosopher George Berkely. Once upon a time there was a professional baseball league called Major League Baseball (MLB). If an MLB game is played in 2020 and there are no fans there to witness the game due to COVID-19, will it count? Apparently, yes! The MLB schedule has been released for the thirty clubs – each will play sixty regular season games. We’ll see if the season goes as planned and if any fans will ever be allowed to attend games. The statistical records that are broken this year will probably have an asterisk (“*”) next to them.

Company News
I conducted three Zoom webinars in June: Customer Segmentation on June 12, Timeless Quality Concepts on June 19, and Time Series Performance Analysis on June 25, 2020. Five public Zoom webinars are scheduled for July: Value Stream Leadership on July 7; Creating Standard Work on July 10; Ideation & Creativity Techniques on July 17; Visioning on July 24, 2020; Advances in Strategic Planning on July 31, 2020; and Leading in a COVID-19 World. The next Strategic Improvement Systems, LLC public courses are the following: Small Business Strategic Planning will be held July 22, 2020; Strategic Improvement Green Belt starts August 4, 2020; and Strategic Improvement Black Belt starts August 11, 2020. The webinar and course brochures are available on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page of this website.

Intriguing Reads
I’m using Apple as one of the four case studies for my current research project on Shaping Organizational Culture. I discovered a great book during my literature search titled, Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs by Ken Kocienda. He is a former Principal Engineer of iPhone Software at Apple. The author provides personal, in-depth stories and accounts of his experience as an engineer at Apple and how the Apple design process worked during the time of his employ. I especially liked the detailed description of the “demo” concept and demo reviews. If you want a great book on the Apple design philosophy and process, then this is the book for you.