Newsletter – Q4 2023

On My Mind
I’m always energized during and after the Annual Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices (ASIP) Conference—which was held October 19, 2023 at the Hazeltine National Golf Club—and this year was no exception. “Thank you!” to all who attended and to the following presenters (in order of their presentation): (1) Leah Voigt Potter and Kathryn Lockie of MN DHS Direct Care & Treatment; (2) Shannon Groen of New Flyer; (3) Dr. Rachna Shah of the Carlson School of Management; (4) Kurt Shaw of New Flyer; (5) Dr. Ralph Bovard – Medical Orienteer; (6) Dr. Janna Kenigsberg of MN DHS Direct Care & Treatment; (7) Ping Honzay of the MN Landscape Arboretum; (8) Adam Dickinson of IBM; (9) Dr. Erika Rivers of Wilderness Inquiry; and (10) Vern Campbell of the University of Manitoba and Process Management. Also . . . a big “Thank you!” to the Hazeltine National Golf Club staff – the service was exceptional! The 16th Annual ASIP Conference will be held October of 2024 – I hope you can attend!

Interesting Stories
My presentation at the ASIP Conference was on Dr. W. Edwards Deming who passed away thirty years ago this year. He had a profound influence on my life and career. I recently spent time reviewing my personal notes and his larger body of work in creating my conference presentation. His two classic books—“Out of the Crisis” and “The New Economics”—are must reads. Here are my favorite quotes of Dr. Deming: (1) “How do you know?” (2) “How do I know? Because I was there!” (3) “Planning requires prediction.” (4) “Where do you want to be in five years? By what method?” (5) “New knowledge modifies existing knowledge.” (6) “Everyone doing their best is not enough.” and (7) “That’ll do it!” Those quotes have resonated with me over the years and I doubt I’ll forget them. I first met Dr. Deming in 1987 when I was a Statistical Consultant for Process Management International. He inspired me to learn more theory and I sought his advice when searching for a doctoral program – he recommended that I study with Dr. George E. P. Box at the University of Wisconsin-Madison which I did. If you want to learn more about the life and work of Dr. Deming, then check out his two classic books and search for videos on YouTube.

Company News
I was honored to present on “Enhancing Horizontal Interaction for System Improvement” at the Minnesota ASQ Annual Quality Conference on October 10, 2023 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The attendance at my presentation was strong even though I was competing against the Minnesota Twins baseball playoff game. I will be presenting on the topic, “1987-1997: A Golden Age of Quality & Lessons for Today” at the ASQ Madison, WI Section meeting on Zoom on November 14, 2023. There are several public SIS learning opportunities on the horizon: the Strategy Tools Zoom webinar will be held November 21, 2023; the Strategic Improvement Yellow Belt Zoom course will be held November 28, 2023; the Performance Scorecards Zoom webinar will be held December 13, 2023; the Strategic Improvement Green Belt hybrid course starts January 9, 2024; and the Strategic Improvement Black Belt hybrid course starts January 17, 2024. The brochures are available on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page of this website.

Intriguing Reads
The book, “Kaizen Advantage: Best Practices for Competitive Companies” by Dr. Hiroshi Osada is an excellent resource for anyone tasked with improving organizational performance from a strategic perspective. I especially liked the descriptions of the two types of QC Story—Problem Solving and Task Achieving. Also, the twelve case studies were well-presented and informative.