Newsletter – Q3 2023

On My Mind
AI has been on my mind and seemingly everyone else’s mind. The AI hype cycle is in full swing – it reminds me of the hype cycles for TQM, Six Sigma, the Internet, Lean, Big Data, Agile, Bitcoin, and numerous others. AI—which is not new—has reached the hype cycle stage where “every organization is doing AI” and yet there does not appear to be a commonly shared definition of AI. One unique aspect of AI relative to some of the others is the expressed potential risks of AI which include the replacement of humans with machines at work, machines taking over the world, and AI being used for sinister purposes. AI is a technology that shows much promise in making organizations more efficient and effective. There will most likely be more regulations and application restrictions in the next year. It will be fun to look back in ten years to see if AI lived up to all the promises and if some of the dire predictions came true.

Interesting Stories
One of the highlights of my trip to Alaska was a whale sightseeing excursion out of Juneau on Captain Graham’s new boat. The key is to spot a whale’s spout (exhaling of air) or fluke (two lobes of a whale’s tail). We spotted humpback whales within 30 minutes of leaving the marina. The fluke of each humpback whale is unique and they are recorded in a central registry. If you see a fluke, then the whale is most likely going to do a deep dive. We were standing in the back of the boat when we heard a spout immediately behind us – it was from a humpback whale that was right next to our boat. It was unnerving and surreal at the same time. If you are ever in Juneau, then consider spending some time searching for humpback whales. You won’t be disappointed.

Company News
I have two presentations on the horizon – the first will be a presentation on “Enhancing Horizontal Interaction for System Improvement” at the Minnesota ASQ Annual Quality Conference on October 10, 2023 and the second presentation will be on “1987-1997: A Golden Age of Quality & Lessons for Today” for the ASQ Madison, WI Section on Zoom on November 14, 2023. There are several public learning opportunities on the horizon: the Strategic Improvement Black Belt course starts August 29, 2023 and the next Strategic Improvement Green Belt course starts in January of 2024 (dates TBD). Several 60-minute Zoom webinars have also been scheduled: Performance Scorecards on July 18, 2023; Customer Segmentation on August 22, 2023; Analytics Strategy on September 25, 2023; and Scenario Analysis on October 17, 2023. The brochures are available on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page of this website.

Intriguing Reads
The Robb Report publishes a Best of the Best issue each year and this year was the 35th Edition of the Best of the Best. I enjoy this issue each year because it features ultra high-quality items. The featured categories in the 35th Edition include Auto, Style, Watches, Water, Travel, Wine, Jewelry, Dining, Art, Spirits, Real Estate, and Wings. I found the following three items very interesting: (1) the Blue yacht by Lürssen, (2) the Bombardier Global 8000 ultra long-range business jet, and (3) the Artura sports car by McLaren. If you want to see a sampling of ultra high-quality items and want to be inspired, then checkout this Best of the Best issue.