Newsletter – May, 2021

On My Mind
President John F. Kennedy addressed a Joint Session of Congress on May 25, 1961 where he laid out his vision for placing humans on the moon: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieve the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” This was an almost unbelievable vision at the time, but it became a reality in 1969 during the Apollo 11 Mission. The Apollo 11 spacecraft was launched on July 16, 1969 from the Kennedy Space Center in Houston with three crew members: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. Armstrong became the first human to step foot on the moon on July 20, 1969 after which he announced: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Aldrin shortly followed. Collins was the spacecraft pilot who orbited the moon while Armstrong and Aldrin were on the moon’s surface. The three astronauts returned to Earth on July 24, 1969 after a successful mission. This historic human achievement represents a classic example of someone having a bold—and almost unbelievable—vision which was eventually achieved. I’ll feature this vision example and others in my Visioning paper which will be published in September.

Interesting Stories
Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger held court on May 1, 2021 during the 2021 Annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting which was livestreamed on Yahoo Finance from Los Angeles, CA. Buffett is the 90-year-old CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Munger is the 97-year-old Vice Chairman of the company. The two were in top form – they answered a multitude of questions on diverse topics for several hours interspersing serious answers with words of wisdom, humor, and admissions of mistakes. I hope that I’m functioning that well—both physically and cognitively—when I’m in my 90s. If you haven’t heard or seen Warren and Charlie before, then I suggest you invest some of your time. They are truly amazing. You can now watch a replay of the annual meeting on YouTube.

Company News
There are several upcoming public SIS events: the Strategic Improvement Green Belt course which starts May 4, 2021; the 60-minute webinar on Managing a Project Portfolio on May 6, 2021; the virtual Strategic Improvement Yellow Belt course on May 17, 2021 and May 24, 2021; the virtual Statistical Methods for Performance Improvement short course on June 15, 2021; and the 60-minute webinar on Visioning on June 21, 2021. The brochures are available on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page of this website. I’ll soon finalize the schedules for the next Strategic Improvement Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt courses.

Intriguing Reads
Chess has long been considered one of the world’s greatest strategy games and it is well-known that it develops a player’s critical thinking skills. One of the most highly-respected chess periodicals is called Chess Informant which is published four times a year. I recently received a copy of Chess Informant 147 Awakening and am now deep into studying it. There are two sections in every issue that I especially like: (1) The best game of the preceding volume which in the last issue was Levon Aronian vs. Fabiano Caruana at Stavanger 2020 and (2) The most important theoretical novelty of the preceding volume which in the last issue was Leinier Dominguez-Perez vs. Magnus Carlsen at Internet-Rapid, 2020. If you want to improve your critical thinking skills, then give the game of chess a try and order the latest issue of Chess Informant.