Wednesday, November 29, 2006

six simple skewed sentiments sez ski

Six sentiments; simple, skewed, sez SKI #06 :: the right people are your greatest asset i talked recently of zig ziglar's bicycle buying experience... hopefully that hit home with folks (other than just myself). but what about leverage? a number of years ago, i worked in a manufacturing environment, that oft worked more than one shift... sometimes, in a crunch, we worked all three shifts. the owner was always buying more equipment in order to return to a one-shift operation. why? in order to better supervise the work. today, i would fight this approach (much more vocally than i did then). why? jim collins taught us that the "right people" are your greatest asset. not more equipment. it takes a lot of effort to recruit and hire the right people. it is a cost of doing business. the problem is when we settle for someone... or wait too long to make a change. fiorina mentioned this as well. without too much effort, it should be fairly simple to chart the cost of acquiring equipment versus the expenses associated with hiring the right person (or people). but remember, we must find and focus on solving the weakest link in our business. but actually, we must draw a line in the sand first. #05 :: there are two types of constraints: internal and external in the fall of 2004 i made a dream come true (hardly the first, hopefully not the last time) by becoming the Director of Manufacturing for Red Horse Motorworks LLC. as mentioned on several occasions, i was able to double production while reducing inventory (both raw material and work in process) by 50%... but what i wanted to really do, was sign up dealers by cruising up and down the eastern USA on a Red Horse Corsair 250 fat tired custom motorcycle... simple question: if sales doubled, could you handle it (within reason) with your existing facilities? another elementary question: are your shipments less than 80% on time? in other words, do you miss due dates a lot? one of the problems with TQM (total quality management) is the empowerment of everyone, without regard for the "weakest link." same with Lean and Six Sigma: great tools, once you know where to aim them. your business is a system. for the most part, a closed loop system. a change in one part of the business will (actually it must!) impact one or more of the other sub components. double shop floor production and the shipping department will scream! switch from low cost provider to the most reliable vendor and your comptroller will pay you a visit. there are only so many hours in the day... spend them wisely. quickly determine if you need more orders or more throughput. external or internal focus? #04 :: improve cash-flow in order to fight another day i gave a great speech a couple of years ago on the importance of selling, and the fact that if there is not enough money left at the end of the month, then focus on sales and marketing. you can always turn your attention to throughput next. an aside is in order. very few otherwise intelligent business people seem to be able to grasp this simple fact: fix the weakest link. until it is no longer the weakest link. then shift your focus to the next weakest link. repeat. they really have trouble with this next statement: not sure what to fix? pick something and take action! one does not have to guess with any real accuracy. any selection is better than no selection. if you guess wrong, so what? you will do better the next time. another reason for my focus on doing this in 90 day segments. the Boyd OODA Loop demands that we loop faster than our competition. fix sales (the external constraint) first, then you have the money to fix any and all internal constraints. why is that so hard to appreciate? #03 :: the mafia offer by cash-flow guru Dr Lisa there are any number of people better at any number of components of constraints management than me... so what? i am happy and pleased to blow their horn. one such guru in cash-flow and creating un-refusable offers (formerly known as "mafia offers" -- too good to refuse!) is Dr Lisa. get to one of her boot camps... buy her materials... do it today! i am more than "okay" at marketing... and have sold six figure (and a lot of four figure) contracts... so i can help in the short term. if your requirements are beyond me, i will be the first to run to lisa for help on your behalf! #02 :: throughput means "what gets measured, gets done" lets save strategy for another day, other than to say if you are not using CMM (goldratt's TOC and Boyd's OODA Loop, as explained by dettmer), you are probably not serious about results... which, basically could be defined as throughput. i would suggest that few are as good as yours truly when it comes to throughput. yet (and maybe 'because') i have had failures... one of the key's to IBM's success under tom sr. was his approach to failure: it is a requirement of success. yes, goldratt is light years ahead of me... and charges accordingly; but prefers to work with the fortune 100. it now takes me a week on-site to determine the weakest link. two years ago, it took a month. a year ago, about 3 weeks. progress! what metric do you study? you can invent reports of everything under the sun... but if that raw sales number is not a focal point, the rest is oft for naught. remember that GAAP is mostly for taxes. managerial accounting has its roots in cash based metrics, not accruals. the business owners that i prefer to work with are interested in putting more money in their pockets, AND the pockets of those contributing to throughput. a friend of the family, many years ago, worked for a company that offered a 10% commission on everything that he sold. until one day... they called him in, and said his checks were too big. they wanted to cut the commission rate. how stupid can people be? they were getting 90% and it was not enough... smartly, our friend said good bye. ever kill the golden goose? #01 :: what is your dream this topic deserves its very own post... but let me set the stage: humans will do very little without a reason. sure, you may run to the mall or over to friends without one, but prolonged efforts need, no DEMAND, a purpose. a goal. a mission. a dream! Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah

Seventh Tenet

Purple Curve Effect -- SKI's Throughput on Command by Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah with Thayer Bennett Available in both trade paperback and PDF, the first book in the "Applying Common Sense" Series, Purple Curve Effect is a "how to" for anyone in business wanting to accomplish more. Hands on exercises help the reader apply the wisdom immediately. Find your weakest link and fix it fast! 186 pages. Our eCommerce store, CCnow delivers via USPS Priority mail, assuring delivery within three to four days in the continental USA. The PDF is a 1.5meg file that is emailed within 24 hours. Order today!
Seventh Tenet The synergy from using the Socratic Method to gain invaluable feedback cannot be overrated.
In the foreword by H. William Dettmer (the foreword alone is worth the price of the book!), he cautions the reader about this method by offering its creator's words from 399 B.C.: "You ask questions, and then they kill you." So... learn the proper approaches to ensure long-life and positive results from the Socratic Method. Only by framing the problem properly and thoroughly, can one hope to solve it with a truly win-win solution. Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Yet Another Year End What have you accomplished? I ask that myself often... and not just at year end! Some of my projects are coming along nicely... others are, well, not. On a positive note, I have started to put thoughts on paper (electrons on magnetic storage devices, to be more correct) for the Constraintless Personnel book. It is shaping up better than expected. The draft on hiring is a pure work of art... but I digress. And yes, a co-author was located... and you will be pleasantly surprised. Heard of the "Peanut Butter Manifesto"? I am toying with using TOC to analyze what Garlinghouse covered, and then use CMM (Dettmer's Constraints Management Model) to create a strategy to obliterate the competition. However, I hate to expend such efforts without a "payer source" as they say... plus, it might fall into the wrong hands. {grin} I love his comment about the loss of focus at Yahoo. Throughput Press will soon have another book in print... Did I mention that we are actively seeker authors that have a message of value to share? So, as I reflect on the year about to end, I am reminded of what the master of profit, Adrian Slywotzky, wrote in "The Art of Profitability":
"I can give you the complete recipe for the secret sauce [to success], and the chances are good that you still won't use it." --David Zhao
What did you do this year? Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Viral Marketing

see "The Bubba Test" link ... Marketing 101 -- Know your target market! This talks to the buyer on a level unmatched by common practice... -ski

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Old West Antiques

Circa 1880 A good friend recently upgraded his eCommerce site, re pleat with a shopping cart and great items at very attractive prices. If you are looking to buy, sell or trade olde west items, check out his web site: Tell him SKI sent you... -ski

Friday, November 17, 2006

Purple Curve Workshop

Purple Curve Effect Workshop Featuring author, educator, and Constraints Management Guru, Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. Details online [here].


Genius has been called the result of hard work. If there is a secret to my success, that would be a major component. I have been willing to do the time required to achieve the results. Of course, not every client provides that latitude. But I digress... Last night, I attended a great 'exchange' session hosted by jumpstartinc dot org. The keynoter talked of doing a 40 hour semester. Wow. Ouch! If I can only get the rights to his story... For those that missed it, I took away one key concept (in two parts): "Business is about acquiring customers. And retaining them" -- Frank Griffith Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah P.S. Did I mention that I am actively seeking business books to publish? I will also consider other works that deserve a public voice. But only from those individuals passionate about making a difference in the world. Slack'ers need not apply.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sixth Tenet

You get what you pay for! This wisdom comes from my book, Purple Curve Effect. Zig Ziglar tells of the Schwinn bike that his son wanted. It was too expensive. So they bought a cheaper brand. As I recall, six weeks later, they had replaced so many parts that the money invested in the "cheaper" bike now exceeded the price of the Schwinn. Zig says, "You can spend too little." And loose big time... as he learned the hard way. They ended up buying the Schwinn and it lasted the rest of the kid's bike riding career. As most of you know, I only work with privately held firms. The joy of helping a business owner change the world drives me like few other highs in life. Of course my Super X comes close! I do not come cheap... but if you are a business owner seeking to change the world, and could use some help, drop me a note. I am always looking for the next great challenge! Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

mac mini

Apple mac mini I recently was on a gig where I needed the open source tools that are part of the new Apple Mac Operating System. When the gig was up, I bought my own mac mini. I love it. It has now replaced my love for its forefather, the NeXTstation that I bought back in the early 1990's. And with Intel "inside" -- what more could you ask for? You gotta love the "Front Row" app and the super-slick mini remote... I leave my iPod mini plugged in most of the day, and have "The Big Lebowski" DVD keyed up and ready for that sudden impulse to seek comedic relief. Hit the "menu" button on the remote, and instant relief! Oh yea, back to the apps... I run Apache, MySQL, and PHP for such great Open Source apps as SugarCRM. My iPodScarf app and most everything else of any real value. Need to put the "fun" back into your cubicle? Switch to the mac mini. Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Mac user since March 1984

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Is Six Sigma worth it

IndustryWeek asks, "Is Six Sigma worth it?" The short answer: it depends. Constraints Management oriented leaders understand that first you need a tool to determine the "weakest link" in your business. In order to focus your efforts. Among the tools used to strengthen that link, may in fact be Six Sigma. Or Lean. Or both. However, before one invests a small fortune (or even a large one!) in tools like Six Sigma or Lean, consider learning more about CMM (Constraints Management Model). H. William Dettmer took the power and focusing energy of Goldratt's Theory of Constraints (TOC) and reengineered it with Boyd's OODA Loop, to create an inexpensive toolbox to focus one's efforts on the important issues first, and then repeatedly, faster than your competition. Simple. But brilliant. Where should you start? First things first: "Purple Curve Effect -- SKI's Throughput on Command" Get my insight on TOC and its application to both personal and professional challenges. The two dollar PDF is a great value. Second, buy Dettmer's "Strategic Navigation" Most readers should skip ahead to chapter four. Dettmer gives a thorough history of strategy and tactics in the first three chapters -- too much detail for some folks. Third, buy one of Goldratt's books on TOC. I like "Critical Chain" for most folks. At some point you will want to read "The Goal". The techie or Information Technology folks might prefer "Necessary but not Sufficient". Then consider getting your new talents honed to a razor's edge with my Jonah3+3(TM) course, taught by Dettmer. Then, yes, Six Sigma might just make sense. Of course, you may be making too much money at that point to care. Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sweet Dreams

The Eurythmics Sweet Dreams An amazing sound. One of my all time favorite tunes. A reminder that, "... everybody is looking for something ..." For me, it is simple: results. I am always looking for results. There, I said it. Revealed the inner workings of my mind. Or at least the driver to my actions. Like Dr. Robert Schuller, I played Golf until it threatened my religion. I wanted results: a lower score than last time. Not always possible. What do you want out of life? From your business? The end of yet another year approaches. What are you going to do about it? Sit back, and wonder, "what happened?" Or make some plans? Guess what, if you want something that you have never had before, you will most likely have to do some things differently. Common sense, right? Not at all. It is just not that common! Plus, it is a lot like work. Want to change the world? Drop me a note. I am looking for something to do in my spare time... and as Einstein said, "small plans have no ability to motivate." Start with my book. Available for just two bucks ($2) in PDF, and learn the seven (7) steps to accomplishing everything on your "to do list" before the end of the year. Then together, lets tackle something worthy of our God-given talents. Want to "run on ahead" by yourself? Start with the proper training: the Jonah3+3™ by H. William Dettmer. Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Tough Choices

Tough Choices by Carly Fiorina Yes, I read a lot. Mostly biz books and magazines. And yes, there are a lot of books that I never finish. Although it may seem that I say it often, I am sincere when I say Fiorina's book is a "must read!" It is important to me to understand how and what successful leaders think, and their decision-making processes. To what do they give credit, for their accomplishments. I was surprised when there was little media coverage immediately following the boot of Fiorina. I was not a big HP fan, and so her exploits rarely reached my threshold for serious investigation. Not because she was a woman. Some of my most successful clients have been female CEOs and business owners. There is a great expression: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." Working with my co-author on our personnel book for Constraints Management oriented business owners and managers, one topic that repeatedly comes up, "metrics", is covered on numerous occasions in this book (309 pages -- but a fast read). As always, your mileage may vary. Some could read this book and remark, "what is the big deal?" Others, maybe at HP or Compaq during her tenure may have a different vantage point. But as I said in my Amazon dot com review, until you have been in the role of CEO, you may be unable to appreciate the demands. Another reason to adopt Constraints Management: we see lay-offs as the last resort. But overall, this book helped me understand more of the inner workings of the Fortune 500, and those executives that lead their organizations to this elite grouping. Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah November 2006 P.S. Here is a great speech that Fiorina gave last year on Economic Development.

Veterans Day

Veteran's Day November 11th It seems that everyone gets today off. Well maybe not everyone. Bankers. State and Federal employees mostly. All in my honor, and the honor of those that came before me, and those to follow that have served our great country. To protect the freedom we oft take for granted. Enjoy the holiday. Please try to remember that most of us have very little input in the selection of missions. Ours is simply to do or die. That may help to explain my love of Constraints Management: the requirement to focus. In the Marine Corps, everyone is taught first how to be a highly effective and motivated killing machine. Then comes your MOS (military occupational skill) training. Once you the get priorities right. So few understand or appreciate the power of focus. On the weakest link, and only the weakest link. Until it is no longer the weakest link. After three months of constant training and conditioning in boot camp, you become a key component of one the world's most elite fighting machines. Little room for debate. Or questions. Or second thoughts. Simply execute. Einstein and Goldratt call it "inherent simplicity." The building block of complexity. Take a minute today (maybe even go slightly out of your way) to thank a veteran. Male or female. Old or young. Marine or not. We do not do it for the praise. But it is nice to hear every now and again. Semper Fi Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Meteor Crater Arizona

Amazing Recently, I drove past the meteor crater near Winslow, Arizona. Amazing is the only word that comes to mind. They say a rock about 150 feet in diameter hit the ground, and left a crater 4000 feet across and over 500 feet deep. I thought $15 a head to see it was a little steep. I heard someone ask where the original meteor was now, and the reply was, "it vaporized on impact." Wrong. Ted Turner has it. I bet the price of admission is going into a Nixon-like slush fund to buy the meteor back. Only problem, I doubt Ted will part with it! -ski

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Harley V-Rod

The 2004 Harley-Davidson V-Rod is a work of art. In fact, this one hung in a Las Vegas casino for a year as the possible prize for a slot machine payout. With numerous chrome updates, I was able to purchase the bike for a huge discount. Officially three years old, but still a "new" bike with only 14 miles, I rode it to Modesto, California and then back to Vegas three weeks later. I guess the purchase of the BMW K1200S will have to wait. -ski