Archive for the ‘books’ Category

What Have I Learned? (Part I)

Monday, January 14th, 2013

It has been years since I first learned the Theories Of Constraints philosophy. Like DECADES ago.  And like Total Quality Management and other “flavor of the month” advice that seemed to come our way in manufacturing, you just went along for the ride. Basically,  you were being paid to listen and not DO your job.  A lot of it felt like “fluff”  during those years.  This felt different. We were given  the book The Goal and it stuck with me as did the brainstorming sessions that our company held.

I have long left the manufacturing world and  tho I am still a “marketing geek” now what we are doing seems  (to me) is harder to grasp.  In manufacturing, you can see stuff being made.  You can SEE it. You can SEE when it is made well. You can SEE when it is made not so well.  When it “rolls off the line” you can SEE a finished product.

During my manufacturing tenure, it was first clothing, socks, boys sweaters, belts and accessories and then medical equipment.  In every case REWORK killed us.  Costs money.  Costs of wasted time, costs of frustrated customers and our sales force; then cash flow, revenue suffered. To me, “back in the day”  seemed that it was much more a black and white world – you could SEE results. Engineers and production folks were ACCOUNTABLE for failures because EVERYONE saw them.  Finger pointing existed, but it wasn’t as easy to blame the “wrong guy” and get away with it.

  • Enter technology.
  • Enter communication and technology.
  • Talk about the big black hole of the Blame Game!

TANGIBLE products that look good, don’t break, perform to a customers expectations or when you really WIN – you exceed them! Lots of what is done is hidden in lines of code or done in a way that people don’t see the flaws until it has long passed and it is in the customer’s hands.  Then, it is always something “on your end.”  Your computer, your browser, your email and now your phone.  We’ve all heard it.

Nonetheless, I am reminded of Eli Goldratt and The Theory of Constraints and what really is, The Root Cause Fix?”

The next couple of posts will discuss this. Perhaps if folks read these posts you may see yourself, your family or your coworkers in the words?  This thinking can be applied to work, home life as well as what you are tying to accomplish for yourself.  In marketing research we often say, “WHAT is the PROBLEM?”   Sometimes it is very easy to come up with the SYMPTOMS, but what is the real PROBLEM –  Eli Goldratt would say, if we cannot determine the PROBLEM there is no way in knowing what the “Root Cause Fix” may be.

You may not be in the manufacturing field now or maybe you never have been in manufacturing but it does remain that no matter the industry or situation, fixing a bunch of symptoms may be just that.  The PROBLEM still remains.  That is the hardest part.

 

 

Sea (or River) of Information

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

If you are like me, you remember the whine of dial-up internet when it was quicker to just go talk to your boss than it was to send him an email. Yes, the early days of the “World Wide Web.” Before we even knew about Google and when we did we had no idea that it would be an important or even vital part of our day when looking for information on line.

I actually “googled” the question “How many websites are launched each day?” politely read on the link listed, “No answer!”

But as I read down I did find something from the BBC that was listed:

August 1995 – 18,957 – I can believe that.
December 2001 – 36,276,252 – I can believe that (and it was a long time ago)

Then there is all this geek speak about indexing, pages vs. real websites, blah, blah, blah… my point is to look at the growth of the information available to us in just a few short years and it is going through the roof everyday.

How do you find what you are looking for, especially when you aren’t quite sure exactly what it is that you are looking for?

I mentioned previously in a post about recipes, you have a snowy day on your hands, you have a little time to unwind and cook up something fun, only you don’t know exactly what it may be? Also I did another post about Movies, how do you know you will like the one you choose, or if it is appropriate to take your kids to?

Too many sites, too many choices. Not enough time and you want your choice to be a good one.

The same goes for books. We all know that Amazon is not only a 4,000 mile river across Brazil, but it is also a behemoth of a website that sells just about everything you can imagine including books.

How do you find just the right book?

I have the answer. This gem of a website called Flashlight Worthy self proclaimed as “Handpicked Book Recommendations on Hundreds of Topics” they really are especially good if you are in search of something special for a relative or a friend and you aren’t exactly sure which book to buy!

FLW asks for real recommendations from real people. They ask for people to share their book lists. They are 2 people trying to help people find the right book and I think it works. They have passion.

They also get a referral fee from Amazon for every time you use their site and end up on Amazon’s. (So Amazon sees FLW’s value.) AND you are being good to real people at the same time! (And no, I am not getting paid for this recommendation, nor am I for any!)

Consider this, the next time you think about going to the “Big Daddy” of websites, try out Flashlight Worthy, first – you won’t be sorry!