Numbers matter

Posted by Philip Smith on 9 August 2019
Until they don't. We live in an age of numbers. From quarterly results, production efficiencies to the good old KPI's ( aka KBSI ). The real question we have to ask is whether these numbers mean anything. Do they add value to our decisions or clarify a problem or provide better service to our customers or just what is the purpose of the numbers we seek. By way of example Toyota management has an interesting approach to numbers and I will quote a short section from &quot...
Posted in:Lessons  

Fear & Habits

Posted by Philip Smith on 7 July 2019
Are some of our habits driven by our fears or are our fears driven by some of our habits? A Harvard study "Do I dare say something" shows how people are often driven by fear of consequences, in determining whether they should or should not mention an idea or make a suggestion. Whether or not we make the effort to contact a new client, is often subject to this same set of conditions of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, the good old FUD factor. Fear can easily become a habit...
Posted in:Leadership  

The Value of knowledge

Posted by Philip Smith on 3 June 2019
It's never about what we know or think we know, it's what we do with what we know.  Our assumptions and actions are always based on the "knowledge" we think we have or the "knowledge" we perceive others to have, but we should stay aware that there might be same major blind spots in this mix.  Our assumptions are also often based on perceived wisdom or "truth" we have adopted from others ( experts ) and this is frequently wrong, if not...
Posted in:Lessons from a 5 year old  

Are organisations getting struck in fads, fantasies and popular opinions?

Posted by Philip Smith on 8 April 2019
Are we prepared to learn ? Experience shows that asking the wrong question will always result in negative outcomes. It would be prudent to assume that we should spend enough time on formulating the correct questions before we take any action. This raises the question of where we get our information, how frequently we update our knowledge and what other factors influence our thinking.  As a reader, I can think of no better way to continuously stimulate the imagination t...
Posted in:Lessons  

Cost vs Value - again

Posted by Philip Smith on 5 March 2019
I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth, will starve in the process. -  Benjamin Harrison It would be safe to assume that most people perceive their capacity to observe, analyse, reach reasonable conclusions and act accordingly, to be of a high order. No doubt much of that might be true, but I suspect a bit of caution might be warranted.  For more years than I wish to recall, I have been beating the drum of Cost vs Value a...
Posted in:Lessons