Friday, October 31, 2008

SKI rants

SKI rants I forgot how much I love bloglines Ever want to make a quick comment on someone's blog or web site? With the free RSS Reader at bloglines, you also get a free blog. So, when I want a quick shout out on something, the tool makes it easy to accomplish. Still not using bloglines for your home page? How sad. -ski

Opportunity Clock for Mac

Zig Ziglar has it Right Robbie Hanson too! I am amazed at the clock and alarms in my iPod touch, very close to what I would build if I had to roll my own iPod apps... but for the Apple Mac, I love this basic alarm clock. Or, as Ziglar tells us, the "opportunity" clock. If you set it for an important event, and it goes off, you have the opportunity to act. Plus, I set the tune to a Harmonica solo from Blues Traveler from the Blues Brothers 2000 sound track. Enjoy Hanson's Alarm Clock If you like it, do give serious thought to making a small donation. Even if just a buck or two. -ski P.S. It also has two much needed functions: timer and stopwatch. Did I mention that the app is free?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Do you know Wallbuilders?

Are you an American? Then you should know Wallbuilders dot org and David Barton. I heard David at an event back in the 1990s... bought some videos, and "The New England Primer" (which I mentioned when I launched TOCreview magazine many moons ago). I had mentioned Wallbuilders earlier this month. Then on the radio this morning on my way to coffee (that would make it "Coffee with SKI" right? {grin}), I hear an interview on 640 WHLO — AM with David Barton. So few of us (me included) know the facts concerning the founding of this great nation (under God). How sad. One of the Wallbuilders videos I bought talked about the "bullet proof" George Washington. I loved it more than the kids. David tells how the Indians in one battle gave up "wasting" bullets firing at Washington because they had no effect! If you are one of our country's misinformed citizens calling for "separation of church and state" (especially as we head into the Christmas season), you might want to check your facts. I wholeheartedly suggest you spend a couple of days (yes, DAYS) on the Wallbuilders web site. It is that chock-full of facts. -ski P.S. Not sure where to start? Begin with this video: The Foundations of American Government ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Which way do you lean?

Our guest blogger is Chris Bryan of www.CJBcorporatecoaching.co.uk and his post on Lean caught my google alert this morning. Prior to establishing CJB Corporate Coaching, Chris was a Director of Consulting with Gartner and provided strategic guidance and advice to public and private sector organisations across the globe. Chris Bryan on Lean

Which way do you lean?

I was at a networking talk recently on Lean techniques and how they can be applied to non-manufacturing processes. Manufacturing companies, following the thinking of people such as W. Edwards Deming and Eliyahu Goldratt, realised a long time ago that costs can be taken out of systems by ensuring that waste is kept to a minimum and quality is built in to the process.

Waste is a broad concept that includes everything not directly related to achieving the desired outcome such as unnecessary work, movement, scrap, cost, expenditure, research, etc. In manufacturing terms this equates to ensuring that stock and work in progress are kept to a minimum. This has some interesting side effects. For instance a common belief is that an expensive piece of equipment, a computerised (CNC) lathe for example should be working all the hours that are available; i.e. the asset should be sweated. However, if you step back a bit and think of the whole process, it becomes clear that in any process there is always one step that is the slowest in the system and that dictates the overall throughput. Once the bottleneck is identified, it can be eliminated, machines can be added, manpower can be employed etc, but the overall effect is merely to move the bottle neck somewhere else. In effect what happens is that raw materials are consumed at the rate of the fastest step in the system, partially worked materials (Work in Progress or WIP) build up at each station in the process and the system still only creates finished goods at the rate of the slowest step with the additional bonus of now lots of money is tied up in the system in the form of unfinished parts. If you also consider that if a quality failure occurs somewhere and there is a lot of WIP this will equate to a large amount of money being wasted. The lessons here are all about understanding the bottleneck and running the system at the speed of the slowest step.

How can we apply this to non manufacturing processes?

Firstly, understand the process, this is sometimes called As-Is. [SKI: in the Constraints Management world, this is called a Current Reality Tree, or CRT.] Map it out, analyse it, find the bottleneck, identify the inefficiencies, determine where the organisation supports the process and where it doesn't. Is there IT involved? Does it support or hinder the process. Where is the work in progress building up, for example is there a pile of unpaid invoices, are the contracts department struggling to match invoices to contract numbers? What does this mean in terms of your business. Especially in terms of cash flow, liquidity and staff morale.

Next determine the metrics associated with the process and actually measure them. Metrics are good for a number of reasons, firstly they allow you to determine if any changes actually make a difference, and secondly they enable you to drive behaviour by encouraging the fleshy part of the organisation to understand what constitutes "good" and to focus on achieving it. Consistently.

The next step is to create the picture of the ideal process, the To-Be state. [SKI: in the Constraints Management world, this is called a Strategic Intermediate Objectives Map, or SIO Map.] This is best done in a group, with a shared understanding of the goals of the process, the variations that occur and the peaks and troughs in demand. The key is to be pragmatic and to ensure that the process can really work in practice.

Implementation is the difficult part. Managing the change encourages and supports people to adopt the new approach and make it work. A key element of this is eliminating waste. This means taking away all the encumbrances that stop the process from working slickly and ensuring that everything needed to do the job is to hand. So, necessary files should be close to hand and easy to search. Clutter that adds nothing to the job should be removed. Where possible standards should be adopted, so that roles can be mixed and matched without a need to get to grips with someone else's way of working. Encouraging a culture that always looks for improvements will pay dividends once the initial pain is overcome. Now is the time to take another look at the metrics and trumpet the improvements. If bonuses or benefits are aligned with the metrics the performance can only improve.

The things that struck me about this approach is that it really is obvious. If a clerk costs the organisation 20,000 a year and spends 20% of their time searching for information that equates to a wastage of 5,000 that potentially could be eliminated by merely tidying the filing. Multiply that across all the processes in an organisation and the potential for savings is considerable. The approach is also very simple.

This blog post has only scratched the surface but nevertheless, think about it for a couple of minutes. How much could you save by improving your processes. Would that mean that there is more free time to do more profitable tasks? Does this let you get on with the projects that have been on the back burner? Would you get paid faster? There are any number of ways in which this type of study can very quickly hit the bottom line of your organisation.

If this has piqued your interest. Give me a call.

Chris Bryan

---- Phone: +44 1420 588172 Skype: chris.j.bryan ©2008 Chris J. Bryan. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint to Throughput.us LLC.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Value Pak: Goldratt and SKI book bundle

Get Eli Goldratt's latest book. Just $29.95USD plus shipping Get Eli Goldratt's latest book, The Choice, and my book, Purple Curve Effect, for the great bundle value pack USA price of just $29.95USD plus $5.00 shipping. This is a savings of over twelve dollars ($12.00) off retail price when you purchase the bundle from my google checkout... Limited time Offering: www.ApplyingCommonSense.com/buynow ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Choice by Eli Goldratt

Eliyahu M. Goldratt's newest book: The Choice Another must own book by Goldratt The Choice The working title was "Inherent Simplicity" and here was a post introducing the book. Not sure why the delay, but I received my copies on Friday. There still are a few copies available, for FREE, so email me with your physical mailing address and acknowledgment that you will complete a brief survey in return for the free paperback. jeff@vBuzz.org Why must you own this book? Great question! I thought you would never ask... First, Eli Goldratt approaches business challenges unlike anyone that I have ever met (or read about). When I first met him in November 2000 for his last big book roll out (in 'naptown for Necessary but not Sufficient), during the workshop he had us all work several cause and effect logic problems. He commented that before anyone should assume that they had quickly solved one of the challenges, he mentioned that it had taken him years to reach the conclusion. Years! What business challenges have you been searching for the perfect answer to; and how long have you worked on that one best answer? I thought so. Me neither! Why own the book? It will jump start your brain! All of us face one major gap in our ability to solve problems: we do not know, what we do not know. This book charts a path to the thought process that Goldratt uses to create solutions. Solutions that, as he points out, are common sense from the vantage point of hindsight! This book will help you duplicate his approach. Well worth the price of admission... even if you must pick it up at the bookstore. Open query to Eli: May I reprint Chapter Two "Uncommon Sense" to promote both your book and my consulting efforts? This case study beautifully highlights the value of rigorous logic in business. Plus, it aroused sentiments that I first felt when I read The Goal in 1992. That simple elegance that planted a seed that I too could make a difference in the world. The Choice starts with an appreciation of the concept, "inherent simplicity", but then your business novel presents an entertaining look at yet one more way to question our vantage point, in order to better understand the potential within each of us. Sharing your thoughts (and unique prospective) with us in book form is probably your first, best destiny. Then encourage the practitioners in the Constraints Management world to apply them. IMNSHO, you should return to the point where you require Jonahs (masters of the Logical Thinking Process) for all implementations. But I digress... Thanks Eli, for a great book. It was worth the wait. -ski P.S. When I first heard about this book in November last year, it was promoted as a "how to apply Goldratt's efforts in the world of Constraints" to one's personal life. As I said then, and repeat today, my book, Purple Curve Effect, is much better for that explicit purpose. My book is big on motivation, and getting the reader to take action right where they are, today. However, The Choice is a great addition to the body of knowledge to help the reader understand how easy it is to make logic a part of one's toolbox. Yes, it requires effort... but again, there are some great examples (one could borrow) in Goldratt's latest book. ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

BlogRush: Close, but no cigar

BlogRush fails to deliver I hate it when great ideas fail BlogRush offered huge potential for delivering traffic to my blog. The premise seems viable enough and the UI (user interface) seems easy enough to navigate. At first glance, it appeared to be a nice addition to the social media scene. Even builds on the network marketing "downline" concept to help build traffic... However, there is one significant flaw. It provides a "filter" tool that promises to keep offensive blog posts from appearing on your site. But it does not work. Even worse, my cry for help yesterday went unanswered. Whereas eBay is too big and profitable to worry about personal interaction with customers, methinks BlogRush has made a mistake in duplicating that customer service model. I failed to notice that there was no phone number for support. How stupid. Back to the drawing board. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Is there a Banker in the Audience

The attorneys over at PowerLine want to know This is a scary blog post One of the attorney's over at PowerLine points out that it seems likely that "illegal campaign contributions" are flowing into a certain liberal Presidential campaign. That would explain the war chest... Are there any bankers around that might could shed some light on this matter? -ski

Meet Francois Brosseau

I am a fan of LinkedIn The Q&A feature can be of great value if you are of a mind to do some testing. Of course, those that have read my book, Purple Curve Effect, do a lot of testing. If they took the time to read and study and apply my book. But I digress...
"What are you doing differently in your business today, from just 30 days ago?"
That is the sixty-four dollar question that I asked on Tuesday. Within 24 hours, I had 17 good answers, but I selected Francois Brosseau's as the best of the best. Here it is:
Two things come to mind in reading your question. First I started actually using LinkedIn after being initially invited and doing nothing about it earlier this year. I must admit, thinking back, convincing myself that I was much too busy to begin using it as a networking tool. Your question today has made me realize that the economic anxiety has been the cause of a mind shift towards being much more receptive to using LinkedIn as an effective tool. Like any tool, what you get out of it is proportional to the effort you put into it. Secondly, late today I received an email from a surf shop in California where I spent 3 weeks surfing with the family this summer. "Killer Dana" operates 3 shops in the southern state and they do a brisk internet sales business as well. Instead of the usual promotional email, this one was a personal note from Steven, Killer Dana's "CEO". Reaching out to his clients, he was admitting to spending a lot of time in the water. "Great waves these days", he says, "but also in an attempt to avoid news of the turmoil." With that kind of thinking this could really be a banner year for surfing, I thought. But he went on to admitting that things were challenging and that he was focused on running a tight ship, while still providing clients with great service and selection, as he described: - by providing further markdowns, even on surf boards, something they had never done in the past - by continuing to offer free shipping, despite rising costs - by completing a company-wide inventory to make sure clients aren't disappointed due to lack of availability, backed up by a "free stuff" guarantee And to my surprise, - by vastly Expanding its product offering, this to make sure clients have incentive to shop in one place, Killer Dana He finished his personal note by not only thanking clients for their loyalty, but by showing his appreciation for allowing he and his colleagues to live an incredible lifestyle - like coming to work in surf trunks and sandals, holding board meetings on surfboards, taking mid-day trips to the beach.... He completed on a more serious tone, sincerely thanking clients for allowing them the opportunity to continue doing what they love to do. The Killer Dana message is simple: maybe this is a great time for reaching out to clients and personally telling them just how much we have appreciated their business and their loyalty, over a period of time which has proven to be a very incredible period of growth. We can do it by email, by regular mail or even better, in person. Check out killerdana dot com Francois Brosseau (via LinkedIn)
It pays to have smart friends... what are YOU doing differently? -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ben Stein speaks up

Good stuff, Ben But you missed a spot Great article by one of my favorite money men over at Yahoo! Ben, I know that you did not intend for this to be all encompassing, however, it should be added that a major accelerator (making the problem much larger than almost anyone could sense) was the bonus calculation used at Fannie:
"The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, Fannie Mae's regulator, has suggested that the accounting errors may have been willful, in part to increase Fannie Mae's earnings per share and thus increase the bonuses available to senior executives." By Terence O'Hara Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, March 31, 2005; Page E04
So, let us not forgot greed when trying to understand exactly where the wheels came off. -ski P.S. You (nor your assistant) ever did return my last email...

Do you own PCE yet?

The greatest book since the Holy Bible Purple Curve Effect—SKI's Throughput on Command Have I mentioned this book is a "must read" leadership guide for business professionals? Yea, I did. Did I mention that I have made the PDF available for free? Yea, that too. When I head out most every morning for coffee, I take a book (or two) with me. That can be tough to do with a PDF... did I mention that this is a great time to buy the paperback version? It is priced at just $14.00USD plus $3.00 shipping. Check out this intro to the infomercial. WANTED: Reviews of Purple Curve Effect Please email them to me: ski@throughput.us I will be sharing them on this site and others (like vBuzz.org), so be sure to include a statement along the lines, "I give SKI permission to publish my review." Most American's own a Holy Bible. At least the ones that remember why this country was formed... which might be easy to forget given all the misstatements that continue to make the news. Like "separation of Church and State." I find it amazing that otherwise intelligent people think this is in our Constitution. It is not. In fact President Thomas Jefferson was actually talking about preventing the State from creating a national denomination. Get the facts from reliable sources like Wallbuilders. But I digress... Guess what? Purple Curve Effect has some great common sense for today's decision-maker. Like the tenets and Purple Curve Insights. Plus, it is filled with real life case studies in producing results. Or, throughput as I call it; which I define as "more money in your pockets." Need results? Get this book. Today. -ski P.S. Yes, I offer a 100% money back guarantee on the purchase of the book. P.P.S. Did I mention that I used the book to create Coffee with SKI? What effort are you trying to birth? ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.

One Class Act

Marie Cutlip of Better Financial Solutions Marie Cutlip, CPA Marie owns Better Financial Solutions in Jackson Township, Ohio. I was privileged to interview her for tomorrow's Coffee with SKI on WIVM cable TV. Here is the intro for tomorrow's broadcast. Coffee with SKI is my "shop local" focused attempt to make a difference in the local economy. It airs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays at 6:30PM. Did I mention that there are commercial spots available for purchase inside the show? We take two breaks during the half hour program. For exactly 60 seconds each. Get your message out to Northeast Ohio for just $350 for a 30 second commercial. Assuming that you already have a TV spot produced. If not, we can help with that too. Want the whole half hour to promote your business? Can do. Check out our interim Media Kit for details and pricing. It is more affordable than you might guess. So why guess? Get the facts. As important as the internet is for business today, most decision makers find themselves in front of the tube for several hours each week. Some to be informed and others to simply unwind. Regardless, Coffee with SKI is a media buy worth investigating further. Give me a call. Today. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chainsaw Al Dunlap

Mean Business by Al Dunlap Another "must own" business book As King Solomon would say, "We only know half of the story on Sunbeam's meltdown at the hands of Al Dunlap." I can find no public record of Dunlap telling his side of the story. Yes, there is a SEC litigation and final judgment against Dunlap and Sunbeam's former Chief Financial Officer, Russell Kersh.
"Without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission's complaint, Dunlap and Kersh agreed to the entry of judgments: (1) permanently enjoining each of them from violating the antifraud, reporting, books and records, and internal controls provisions of the federal securities laws; (2) permanently barring each of them from serving as officers or directors of any public company, and (3) requiring Dunlap to pay a civil penalty of $500,000 and Kersh to pay a civil penalty of $200,000."
So without an explanation from Dunlap, I will remain a fan, but endeavor to keep a close watch on my passions. The tenets in Dunlap's book Mean Business are still valid today. It is the contents of this book that I find refreshing and of great value. His "Four Simple Rules" provide great insight.
  1. Get the right management team
  2. Pinch Pennies
  3. Know what business you are in
  4. Get a real strategy
What many people fail to comprehend is the damage that is done to organizations by having the wrong people employed—regardless the position or level of authority. In the 1989 movie Road House (rated R), Red West delivers this classic dialog on how he got stuck in bad situation:
"I got married to an ugly woman. Don't ever do that. It just sucks the energy right out of you."
The same is true for employing the wrong people, "it just sucks the energy" out of your business. Good people might leave; smart people that you need to turn things around. But rather than fight the "system" they find it easier to move on to greener pastures. I personally have done this on more than one occasion. How sad. There has never been a better time to get the wrong people off your payroll. But you have to build the trust that you know what you are doing. That by removing the deadwood, the remaining organism will live. That is what happened at Scott Paper Company during Dunlap's rein. That is the insight available in this book. A lot of good people were let go... because the corporation was in danger of dying and taking everyone's job. In health care, sometimes a limb must be removed to save the body. What tough decisions have you failed to make? Is your business at risk of death? There is hope... -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.

Biz Connection HowTo

Nicholas Boothman's How to Connect in Business Some ideas just ring true Nicholas Boothman's "how to Connect in business" is one of those books that I find myself returning to, over and over. Almost two years ago (wow, how time flies!) I wrote this review on the book. A book that I bought as a Christmas present to myself when I was on a consulting assignment in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The client was in the hotel (hospitality) business and in the wake of the events of 911, throughput (money in the pocket!) was scarce. One of the secrets in this book is the "Eye Color Test" — and I offered it up to the front desk staff as a way to build trust with guests checking in, or just as importantly, prospects shopping prices on the grand stand. This morning's review over coffee brought this passage to light:
"Trust must come first."
That is not just a theory, it is a law! Break it at great risk to your effectiveness. Most have heard of southern hospitality and, it is a real and ever present mindset for a lot of people raised in the south. However, as more and more northerners (me included) settle in the warmer climates of America, this brand of treatment is in danger of joining the dinosaurs. How sad. But I digress... The other day I was reviewing some of my notes on a sales training program, and the first step in the process was "building trust" with the suspect. The method even had a very simple rule: you cannot proceed to the second step, until the first step builds some level of real trust. Ever notice the connectedness of the universe? I have never been more excited for the future. Many of us have heard the misquote from Richard M. Nixon, Condoleezza Rice and Al Gore that the Chinese symbol for crisis is formed from the symbols for "danger" and "opportunity". The truth according to Wikipedia is that it is formed from the symbols for "danger" and "crucial point". Even better! In other words when faced with danger, we get to decide! The old adage, fight or flight. When you hear that Wall Street is gyrating in huge 700+ point loops, yes, there is danger. But there is also great opportunity for gain at this crucial point. But again, Wall Street is only 20% of the picture down on Main Street. Need help making sense of your business? Get help! I am looking for businesses in Northeast Ohio to purchase. Or to consult with. Basically to "turn around" in the strict sense of generating more throughput. And that throughput will most likely take the form first, of creating more cashflow which should lead to more profits. But only if that is one of the primary goals of the organization. As Zig Ziglar says, we need to start asking ourselves the tough question: "Does this decision before me take me closer to my goal, or further away?" -ski P.S. As one method for building trust, I offer a "results-based" pricing option for clients... ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Increase Advertising, Spend Less

DO NOT cut back on advertising Negative phrases are wrong This article talks of ways to avoid cutting back on advertising. I would go one step further and suggest that you should increase your advertising. Negative phrases (like "don't") are not effective. I am always looking for the inverse approach... like "do"... as in what positive action can we take? Yes, you heard me... increase your advertising! Why not? You can get more bang for the buck during uncertain times. This is a great article on how to get more for less. What could be more American? We love the view from the catbird seat! Over at Rhino Island Media, we are launching one of the greatest cable TV talk shows ever: Coffee with SKI. By the way, I am only willing to host the show until we get enough revenue to replace me. In fact, I was talking with Dean at WIVM about possible hosts to interview to take over the reins. But I digress (and that discussion is still a few weeks away)... We have standard published rates for air time on the program, but right now, today, I am flexible. Why? The Law of Supply and Demand. I have not made a case good enough to create adequate demand, so we are not yet turning away business. Someday we will. Plus, we just got our very first three episodes produced. Check out the trailers on the Coffee with SKI web site (on the masthead down the left, under "Upcoming Episodes"). It is hard to sell an idea without a prototype. Ask Dan Hanlon. We now have three great prototypes, featuring:
  • Tom Kolp; President of Kolp Real Estate
  • Marie Cutlip, CPA; Owner of BetterFinancialSolutions.net
  • Alan Plastow, MAT, PMP; Founder of BizTechNet.org
So, looking for ways to extend your reach into Northeast Ohio? Call me. Today is a great day to get more coverage for less dollars. -ski P.S. If you are an agency representing clients in Northeast Ohio, lets talk. There is a great branding opportunity for the right B2B company. ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tom Kolp of Kolp Real Estate

Coffee with SKI interview of Tom Kolp Preview the first episode of Coffee with SKI Tom Kolp, President Kolp Real Estate 328 Cleveland Ave. N.W. Canton, Ohio, 44702 (330) 456-4739

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Drill Baby, Drill

Sarah Palin calls for more drilling for Oil I awoke at 5:14AM thinking, Sell Baby, Sell™ Everyone knows (on some level) that unless someone, somewhere, makes a sale, there is no free enterprise system. Right? Common Sense, right? Just not much common practice. How sad. Part of the dream that awoke me so early this morning had to do with a business that I am consulting with in the retail space. What a great time to be in retail. As I mentioned earlier today, when I bought The Tux Shop it was obvious that advertising was necessary. Like most new business owners (note however, that I managed the business for a year before buying it), my approach to advertising was "more of the same." What the manager (who hired me) did for advertising, is what I did for advertising. First as the manager when she was fired. Then as the owner. Great plan, right? Wrong. What does your plan for advertising look like this month? Do you have an "open to buy" budget available that could be used for advertising? If not, why not? Oh, you are one of those... one of the mental giants that has decided to cut back on advertising. Well, if you have been running your business without much of a plan, or any planning, you probably won't make it through the next three months. Unless you wake up. Now. Before I tell you this next statement, I must share that the thought of it made me laugh. I used to sell advertising. Actually, I still do. Both for the greatest business show in Northeast Ohio (Coffee with SKI), and for my good friend Charlie "Mellow Tones" Jones and his Big Time Sports of Ohio. I actually met Charlie when I bought advertising for The Tux Shop. But I digress... Laughing? Well, I made this new friendship in Minnesota this past winter while conducting my Dynamic 4^3 Process™ workshop for his employer. And as you can tell, I love to tell stories, and most of them are based on my real life adventures. Trust me, I have had a lot of adventures. So every time I told of another one of my adventures, this gentleman (lets call him Dave), would roll his eyes and challenge me. He had worked for this company his whole adult life. More than 20 years as I recall. Just one employer. The thought that someone might have had more than say, ten jobs, plus owned all those various businesses, sounded a little braggadocios. That was not my intent. I love the concept of "wisdom" as I understand it. Wisdom is learning from the successes (and failures) of others. That was my intent: to impart wisdom. Most everyone loves Sarah Palin. A large number of folks question if she is right for a national ticket, but the fact remains most people find her refreshing. And this battle of political wills needed some fresh air. Palin's "Drill Baby, Drill" is a great sound byte. Sell Baby, Sell Is even better. Especially if you are in business. Everyone knows that I am against lay offs. They are simply stupid for 80% of businesses in America; most of which are not traded on Wall Street. A lay off should be the course of last resorts. Here is an idea: call a company wide meeting for 5pm today (or even right now!) Union shops will have a few more hoops to jump through, but schedule it ASAP. Ask these three questions of the group, but not to anyone in particular:
1. Is there anyone here who does not belong here?
Go on to explain that you will do everything possible to help that person (or persons) find more suitable work. Consider getting them professional "out placement" help. Note however, these people are extremely busy right now. But call an agency and see what advice they offer.
2. Is there anyone here that would be willing to sell?
This could be a short term arrangement. Maybe long term if it works out. Ask them to follow up with you first thing in the morning. Suggest that everyone consider this question seriously. Sleep on it. Do not be too hasty as to discount the idea too quickly. I am not thinking of "sales" the same way you probably are when you hear this question. Unless you know who Justin Roff-Marsh is, you do not understand sales in the modern free enterprise system. But I digress...
3. How many of you can be here Saturday morning at 7AM for a Crawford Slips session?
Say what? Yes, Crawford Slips. Not brainstorming. There is a huge difference. Especially when it comes to producing results! Not sure? Check out either one of H. William Dettmer's books on Crawford Slips: Strategic Navigation or Brainpower Networking. -ski P.S. You might want to call me and schedule some time for me to assist in your efforts... before my calender gets too full to help. I have a retainer starting as affordable as $500 per month. ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.

sphere blog hit

sphere blog google alert finds sphere hit This morning I was greeted with a new hit on my Coffee with SKI adventure via google alerts. First, let me suggest that if you are in business and you do not use google alerts, you are not really serious about your business. But I digress... I can relate to the guys over at sphere... the virtual nature of the adventure... the strategy session over coffee... selling out to AOL. Well, okay, to be honest, I have a little trouble getting my head around that last item. Many years ago, I did sell out of a business. My partner and I decided to part ways. As I have mentioned, it is neat to drive down the boulevard and see the sign for "The Tux Shop" low these thirty years later. Yes, I sold out in 1979. But I digress. Check out sphere. Tell 'em "SKI sent me." -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.

gimp power

SKI on Throughput Powered by gimp Ever get busy? I keep forgetting to mention that 80% of the images in use on this blog (and all my blogs, for that matter) are created and/or edited on the Apple Mac Mini running the X11 windows version of gimp. Support your Open Source Software freedom of choice: www.gimp.org -ski

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Great Wall Street bounce

Wall Street bounces back big time Over 11% Gain Yesterday Are we out the woods? Of course not. But things are not all doom and gloom.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Coffee with SKI gets some Ink

Coffee with SKI gets some Ink New cable TV talk show gets some Ink Can you do good things in the local community and make a profit? Sure. Check out our web site Coffee with SKI for details. -ski

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sting like a Bee

Float like a Butterfly, sting like a Bee Chapter III "Sting like a Bee" Certain to Win by Chet Richards Colonel John Boyd is reported to have extracted four significant factors from his study of the Blitzkrieg, and called it creating "an organizational climate for operational success:"
  1. Einheit: Mutual trust, unity, and cohesion
  2. Fingerspitzengefuhl: Intuitive feel, especially for complex and potentially chaotic situations
  3. Auftragstaktik: Mission, generally considered as a contract between superior and subordinate
  4. Schwerpunkt: Any concept that provides focus and direction to the operation
Those that have studied the Toyota Production System (TPS also known as Lean Manufacturing) in any depth have reported the cultural aspect of Lean that is extremely difficult to duplicate. Especially in the West where we have more concern about the next quarter's numbers than building victory upon victory towards a long term vision of success. One of the reasons I have been so interested to see what Bob Nardelli is going to do at Chrysler LLC (now a privately held firm). But I digress... Chet Richards states that it is "no accident" that mutual trust heads this list. It is also the biggest reason that I and most other Constraints Management gurus are so oppossed to lay offs. For me, two reasons are core: first, lay offs send the wrong message. They say, "You are not worthy." At breakfast last week, the conversation at the next table was about the slow down in the local economy. One gentleman commented that he was gearing up for the "I can do my job and Fred's job, whereas Fred can only do his job." How sad. Competition not against other companies in the marketplace, but for one another's job! The concept of trust within the firm goes right out the window! Second, lay offs costs thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars in waste. Anti-Lean to the max! As I have mentioned before, Jesse Jackson is right when he says that America cannot afford to throw people away! Several times in Certain to Win, Richards explains a concept that I had not given enough thought: there are people in your organization that do not belong. Even if your payroll is four people! Before studying this book at length, I would have made this statement to all the employees of any company that I might purchase or lead as interim CEO: "There will be no layoffs. Period." Today, I would state it differently. "There will be no layoffs. However, there are people on the payroll that do not belong here. During the next 30 days, I will identify who you are and out place you, or, your attitude will make a sharp 180 degree turn and you will become a positive force to advance the mission of this company." In order to create an agile force in the marketplace, trust is required. FYI: Our collective trust has been broken by Wall Street. Wanted: Leaders to restore that trust. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Urgent request for Biz Owners in NEO

Call for Action: Needed, Business Owners in Northeast Ohio Help Are you a business owner? Do you have a "brick and mortar" business in Northeast Ohio? Lets chat. Today. Now. Twitter: consultski Skype: TMXhelp Cell: 330.432.3533 -ski

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

More Facts on Throughput

SKI speaks out on generating Throughput Great primer on the evolution in Constraints Management Or so I think... -ski

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Power of Assumptions

Take our Survey on Assumptions Survey Monkey A great tool, free for use by one an all... with an upgrade available (for a fee) for those that need more power in their survey methodology. Please take this survey on "assumptions" before reading this blog:
Take the Survey Now
Honest. Please take just ten seconds before proceeding. I will share the results in the next few days. Assumptions Challenging my assumptions is not my first reaction. At least not most of the time. Like every other human on planet earth, I tend to get caught up in the situation that is unfolding. Not a good thing. Not at all. Too many years ago, I was the first car on the scene of what I recall was a single car accident. Near Dogwood, Alabama of all places. No, not the Dogwood that comes up on google maps, the one North of Montevallo University (which is south of Birmingham). (Hi AJ!) Well, I see this car roll over and I rush to the scene. Jump out of the car and run over to the ditch. It does not look good. I look around and the road seems deserted. So I yell that I will go get help. This was before cell phones. The point? I might have been of some help, but did not have any flares or even a first aid kit in the car. I was not sure when another car might come along (not a very populated area)... so my problem solving approach suggested that I needed to quickly get to a phone and call the professionals. Which I did. How do you react? Today, I have hundreds (if not thousands) of real life examples to draw upon in order to determine the best course of action. And, a cell phone. Okay, here is the $64 question: "If the same scenario played out today, on a deserted back road someone, would I still inform the victim that I was going to get help?" No. I would turn on my four way flashers, park in a safe spot, call for help on my cell phone, and attempt to offer first aid. In this second case, technology has changed the rules. I now have a cell phone. How does this discussion address our theme of assumptions? Have you challenged your assumptions in light of any (and all!) new technology at work? One of the great benefits when using a toolbox of great tools for solving problems, like the Constraints Management Model (CMM) advanced by H. William Dettmer (in his book, Strategic Navigation), is that they allow (if not demand) you challenge your assumptions! In our survey, the example offers a number of opportunities to challenge the assumptions. Consider just one minor twist. Say that the young gentleman in the case study reports the problem to his mom. She offers a possible solution, "The steering wheel is probably binding the lock, preventing the ignition key from turning. Try turning the wheel." Now, the lead character has several options to explore before taking action. Say that he tries "turning the wheel" and it does not work. What might his assumption be at this point? Mom was wrong! Unless his mom is Danica Patrick, he may not trust his mother's opinion when it comes to finer points of automobiles. Forget that mom has been driving for 20 plus years. Forget that she must have some experience in a similar situation. How else could she quickly offer an opinion? Trust The oft hidden component of assumptions. Who do you trust? If you have been recently burnt, your trust quotient might be lower than normal. If there is a "normal". What if you have been successful your whole life, but now your business is facing huge losses? Do you still "trust" yourself? Today, I strive to challenge the assumptions first. The graphic tools in the CMM toolbox (like the Strategic IO Map or the Current Reality Tree) serve to put a face on the challenge, allowing my mind to wrestle the assumptions to the ground! Until you come to a basic understanding of the holistic nature of business (and the econometric model we call free enterprise in the United States of America), you will be unable to challenge your assumptions. Until you explore your "trust" quotient, you cannot effectively deal with your problems. I grew up in Ohio, near an Amish community. They have an expression that speaks volumes:
"Trust me until you can."
For me that simply says, lets proceed as if I have won your trust. In other words, why not assume that I am trustworthy, at least until I prove myself trustworthy? Or until I violate your trust? It makes life a lot easier. Do I get burnt more often? No. Most people tend to live up to your expectations. So I tend to expect more from my business connections. Yes, there are set backs. Methinks it is called life. However, as I continue to challenge the assumptions, of which trust is just one component, I gain a more complete understanding of the problem. And when trust is broken or abused, action is required. Nothing new in that statement. The Power of Assumptions? For me, the power is in challenging assumptions. What breakthroughs await you on the other side of status quo? So, take the survey and I will report the results in a few days. -ski P.S. Need help challenging your assumptions? Call me. ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah ski@throughput.us Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.

Open letter to Chet Richards

Certain to Win by Chet Ricahrds Chet: Please accept my sincere apologies for not taking the time to completely and thoroughly read your book over two years ago when I bought it. It was my birthday present to myself, like so many other books in my library. Little did I know its true value. As you know, it came highly recommended by none other than H. William Dettmer. Three of his guest posts here (on SKI on Throughput) contained one or more references to your book, Certain to Win. I should have known better. There is a concern among some in business community that the use of military examples should not be used in business. I brought some of that baggage with me when I skimmed your book. Yes, I am a USMC veteran (served two years as 0844, advancing to E4, and received a Letter of Commendation). Yes, I have used military examples for profit in my businesses and those businesses of my clients. Yet on more than one occasion I have heard world renown business educators share of their concern, "that business is not war." Perhaps they seek to reserve the term "war" for describing the death and destruction that accompanies war. I cannot say. I will not guess. Allow me to simply suggest that I am sensitive to the issue. I was overly sensitive. I would ask that others seek to understand the matter for themselves. Gather facts and make an informed decision. I love to make "snowmobiles" as Colonel John Boyd called it. This post by Dettmer, Destruction and Creation: Analysis and Synthesis, does a great job of exploring that process of creating snowmobiles. As does your book, Certain to Win. Over the next few days, I will share some out takes from your book with my readers, and show how they have influenced my thinking. Or will.
"Not only were their processes quicker, but Honda knew or learned how to exploit this advantage to achieve a decisive result in the marketplace" —Page 27, Certain to Win
This passage was in regard to Yamaha's 1981 attempt to become the world leader in motorcycle manufacturing. As I am sure you recall, during this battle for the marketplace (approximately 18 months), Honda introduced over 110 new bikes to Yamaha's 37. In the first chapter, your point that victory is not always to the strong is well taken. Your introduction of "time" as a construct throughout the affairs of all business starts to take shape. The highest praise that I can bestow is simply that having just completed a thorough reading of your book, I will begin to read it afresh tomorrow morning. Again, thanks for taking the time to share your unique insights with the world through this book. I now understand how little I have understood the power of Boyd's work. You have made it come alive in ways that I am only now beginning to appreciate. Thank you. I am a new person today, because of Certain to Win. Enthusiastically, Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey

More un-Systems Thinking

Financial Meltdown Predicted in 1999 And the reason I am so mad This is a great unassuming article from The New York Times back in 1999. Hopefully Malcolm Gladwell (or someone with solid credentials) is researching this financial meltdown as I write this post. Willing to explore the lack of holistic or "systems thinking" and will report back to us the true cause, the tipping point, and some suggestions on fixing the core problem. What has me so mad is the fact that this exact bailout was predicted as a direct result of the Clinton administration's actions. In 1999. From the article:
''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''
Hopefully at least one political candidate will seek to understand the complexities of the world around us before demanding more of the same stupid changes... Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey

Friday, October 03, 2008

SKI via iTunes Podcasts

SKI on Throughput Press Podcast on iTunes Throughput Press Podcast on iTunes Watch for new episodes to start to appear later this morning. Plus, it is our intent to put up portions of the new talk show, Coffee with SKI, once an episode airs on WIVM/WIVN. If you have a message on throughput, lets do a show and get it up on iTunes... -ski P.S. Or, perhaps you have an idea for a completely new show? Lets talk. ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah ski@throughput.us Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

What does Warren Buffett know...

SKI asks, What does Warren Buffett know that you don't?border= ... That you don't... A lot, perhaps. Why invest in GE when as most analysts suggest, Jeff Immelt has done little else at the helm, except run it into the ground? I would suggest Warren Buffett knows something that a friend and client tried to teach me many years ago: "Cash is king." The more chaotic the business climate, the more important your cash reserves. In order to weather the storms like the financial mess President Bill Clinton (et al) created in 1999 when he ordered Fannie and Freddie to make home loans to those unable to repay them... which as I understand was reinforced by the Democratic Senate in 2005 when the minority Republicans could not get enough votes to attack such a hair-brained scheme. But I digress...
UPDATE: Here is a link to the story from September 30, 1999
Buffett knows a bargain when he sees one. What are you doing with your extra cash? -ski P.S. Did I mention that the bailout/failout may now be the lessor of two evils? How sad. ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah ski@throughput.us Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 ©2008 Throughput.us LLC. All rights reserved.