Sunday, August 31, 2008

Talent vs. Patents vs. Employee Turnover

Its Relationships, stupid! Some older posts get a lot of action... And by the way, today is Sunday. Did you do any dream building? Me too. It was great. Then I took the vRod out through the backwoods... almost at the end of this winding country road, a sport bike flies past me headed East. I was West bound... and quick u turn, and in about two miles I caught up to him. The vRod does very well... nearly as well as my Buell. But I digress. Looking over record hits for the month of August (most unique visitors ever!), I noticed a hit to an older post about IBM vs. Apple. But I have been wrestling with turn over issues for some length of time, and today, they seemed to collide into a new vantage point. Remember my post (and the book) "the dream manager" from January? Case Study: You do the requisite "bitch & moan" session looking for the weakest link in your business. You do the logic trees... and determine the weakest link. Well, 90 days later, you find employee turn over is still well over 100% on an annual rate. Now what? Maybe it is nothing, maybe it needs addressed. Consider the case where we determined the original weakest link was a department head position that had been unfilled for months. So, we filled it... and 90 days later the turn over is still too high in that department.
  • Was the new department head wrong for the position?
  • Are the core issues outside their scope of control?
  • Did you select the wrong constraint?
  • All of the above?
Don't you just love multiple choice tests? Look, I preach the 90 day window for a lot of reasons. Most people are willing to give a new manager (or management approach) some time to begin to produce results. Some twisted folks only want to see him (or her, or it) fail. But as a leader, the buck stops with you! People get tired. Especially fighting for the same ground over and over. Its like the poor fellow that thought he had 10 years experience. Seems he had the same one year of experience over and over and over. People are complex, to be sure. But simple victories can move mountains. Maybe you just need a fresh set of eyes. Call me. Together, you will be amazed at the results that await your organization at the end of just 90 days. Of course, without the proper vantage point, you could make matters worse. Why gamble with your future? -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Painting Your Future?

Planning your Strategy? Be sure to use enough color! I would expect that in painting as well as business (and life in general) people talk about balance. The need to lead a balanced life... to weigh our decisions carefully... but how often is that exactly the wrong advice?
PURPLE CURVE INSIGHT #2 Do not seek “balance” in the short term. Seek momentum first. Make something happen!
Take another look at the cover of my book, Purple Curve Effect, in the upper right hand corner of this blog. The "green" curve is the balanced curve. How boring. Now look at that majestic Purple Curve growing ever upward, into untold riches. As we learned, it is a simple decision. Not, it is not easy. But it is also not complex. It is a decision; plain and simple. With huge ramifications. Put on your thinking cap and "think stuff up!" The clock is running... I was reminded of a great quote this morning:
"Time is the scarcest resource and unless it it managed, nothing else can be managed." —Peter Drucker
As true as that statement is, without a dream painted on the wall in front of you, what good is all that time on your hands? Or the lack thereof? -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

If Hillary Clinton only knew

Sarah Palin named John McCain's VP running mate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin Hillary could have saved her supporters millions of dollars that could have been used to fight the GOP ticket, if, like Sarah Palin, Hillary would have simply sat back and waited. Maybe not... In what must be called the biggest surprise of the 2008 election season, John McCain has shown great judgment and a willingness to make the decisions required to secure his presidential bid.

Six Disciplines Execution Revolution

Gary Harpst's new book Gary Harpst on Execution I thought I knew how books made it to the best seller lists... but now, I am not so sure. For every stroke of great insight and wisdom, there is at least one oversight. For example, he talks of the need for accountability. Perfect! But he also explains the rise of Japanese auto sales in the 1970s as due to their superior quality. Wrong. He forget that first significant gasoline crunch that Lee Iaccoca called "and unfair advantage!" Yes, Six Disciplines Execution Revolution is worth buying. But please do not take everything he says as fact. For example, Harpst seems to give a lot of credit to the balanced score card. Again, wrong. Plus, how do you write on execution in business today (or most any setting for that matter) without paying tribute to Colonel John Boyd? You can't. At least one should not try. IMNSHO Harpst has some great insight on methodology and accountability. At least on the need to understand how valuable these concepts are for business leaders. Today. And even more so as we peer into the future. Again, buy it, but skim it quickly for the nuggets that can help your efforts. I loved the fact that Harpst also used the Tower of Babylon to address the challenges in communications (see chapter five in my Purple Curve Effect). -ski P.S. For the best approach to execution: study my Dynamic 4^3 Process™ ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ever wonder why

Chain of Events Why is "systems thinking" so rare? Anyone who stops and thinks about most any subject matter for more than about five minutes will appreciate the interconnectedness of the various components of any entity. Like a chain link fence or a decorative row of landscaping rocks, the whole is made up of the pieces parts... I met two gentlemen yesterday during the evolution of Rhino Island Media and came away with one thought (and frankly, it is the most important thought): they are the "right" people, as Jim Collins might remark. At one point in the conversation, one gentleman pointed out how we had dropped our vantage point during the discussion into the realm of "too much detail" when the fifty thousand foot view had not yet been properly framed. Shows wisdom beyond his years! At another point, the other gentleman suggested a key connector might be consulted for a variety of reasons, chief among them: to increase our rate of progress. How refreshing! He understands my focus: Throughput! Every wonder why your projects are not going better (faster, more effective, etc.)? Get the right people on board It makes connecting the dots not only easier, but much more rewarding! Remember (and never forget!): Life is too short to waste it on the wrong people. -ski P.S. Need help finding the right people? Give me a call. ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Its Wednesday

Lisa Loring as Wednesday Addams My favorite Wednesday: Lisa Loring As someone semi-addicted to the TV set, for me, Lisa was the perfect Wednesday Addams. I still stop my cruising the channels when I happen upon a rerun of the original Addams Family TV series. I have been told that in certain cultures, the newborn child's name will have a reference to the day of the week that they were born. I know some Sunday's but glad that schema was not used on my name. What plans do you have for the day? It has been a series of almost endless meetings for me of late. Getting Rhino Island Media off the ground. Editing sessions. Production meetings. Searching for on air talent. Advertising adventures. And so forth. But I made time to jump on the vRod for about 3 (whole!) miles yesterday... and then the rain came this morning. Makes me long for the desert called Las Vegas. Yes, the heat can be a bit much, especially on a motorcycle... but I am amazed how much I miss the 24/7ness of Vegas. Jumping on the bike at midnight for a blast through Henderson. Up with the sun and off to Red Canyon. But I digress... Life is too short Make something happen today. Or take it off and enjoy life. But please, do not wish it away. -ski

Monday, August 25, 2008


Luke Short's Bootjack Luke Short's Bootjack post Is that anything like a car jacking? No. Check out the latest on the Olde West from my good friend (and client) Luke Short on his Old West Antiques blog. Tell 'em SKI sent me.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Small plug for vBuzz dot org creates Buzz you can Bank(TM) Sign up before your competition does! Just a short and sweet plug for my virtual Buzz company, and the neat clients that have signed up. Maybe you are next? If you have a product that I can whole-heartedly endorse, I would love to help create some buzz for your company. Like the Cadillac CTS, Motor Trend's "Car of the Year for 2008"... okay, so maybe GM feels that I have been too tough on them. But I could promote the right Cadillac dealership. Or the Apple Mac... the list may not be endless, but there are plenty of opportunities. So check out, and let me know Oh yea, one final thought, concerning pricing. My fees range anywhere from $500 per month (three months minimum, in order to be able to actually test enough variations) to $2000 per day. Of course if money is tight, we can talk about "results based" pay as well as simple mentoring. But first things first, we must determine whether your constraint is internal or external. Call me. -ski P.S. And yes, I have proven strategies for both. ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

U.S. Marines love the A-10 Warthog

A-10 Warthog I awoke with the remnants of a Dream... That I was building an airplane in my spare time. Yea, right. But the more I thought about it, and this being Sunday (official dream building day), my thoughts ran to simply buying an airplane. Then, my mind raced to the most beloved aircraft of the Marine Corps 'grunt': The A-10 Warthog Now, if I only had that winning lottery ticket. -ski

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Consultant "Selling" Style

Please help me welcome guest blogger, Nicos Leon, of Leon Consulting. Selling Secrets for Consultants "Selling" Consultant Style Consider the proper mindset required to get the sales order. First, I must convince myself that my goal is not to get the order. I am an independent business consultant, selling consulting services, and my ultimate goal is to make more money now and in the future. In order to make that happen I need orders from clients. Contrary to what a significant number of my peers do, the first thing I do is to change completely my mindset. I must realize that my goal is not to get an order. My goal is to form a relationship whereby a customer feels at ease to buy from me. It is a completely different vantage point. In the fist case I am pushy. The preferred approach: the customer buys (and pulls) a solution from me. How then can I make a customer buy from me? What must I achieve? What are the "Intermediate Conditions" I must achieve in order to meet my goal? In other words “What are the steps a customer must take before deciding to give me the order?" There are 6 steps in my process:
  1. They must accept that there is a problem
  2. They must accept that the problem is so acute they cannot live without solving it.
  3. They must understand that this problem can be solved
  4. They must realize that after this problem is solved they will be in a better situation
  5. They must be convinced that I can help them solve the problem
  6. They must be convinced that I can help them solve this problem better (and/or faster) than my competition
These 6 intermediate objectives are hierarchical in nature, and must be achieved in the order listed. If one of the steps has not been achieved, it would be useless to jump to the next one. Furthermore, I must guide the customer closely through this process; I have to employ adequate strategy, tactics and execution to achieve each step. Each step requires its own unique tactics. Make sense? We must understand this framework before attempting to implement the process. Nicos Leon Senior Business Consultant Athens Greece

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Looking for Good Help

Need a great employee? I know this guy... Or gal. Young. Old. Tall. Short. "Just right!" My "connecting" skills (ala The Tipping Point) are probably my greatest skill. I have done at times a lot of recruiting over the years. But never held the title. Pop quiz: Are there more companies look for great talent? Or more "best in class" employees looking for the perfect job? I vote for more companies seeking the right people. Why do I say that? I know a few things about results. Or "throughput" as I prefer to call it. Like the fact that the wrong people can put you out of business. Quickly. That as cries from the news media about a tough economy continue to escalate, great leadership skills are going to be in ever decreasing supply. Yes, I know that almost no one understands the ramifications of layoffs, and Peter Drucker must turn over in his grave almost daily. Have you heard the statistic that small business is responsible for 70% of the jobs in America? I would suggest that the 80/20 rule is closer to the facts, but I digress... If so, why does Wall Street matter? The gyrations of the stock market are the noise within about 20% of the employers in America. Sure, there are lessons to be learned. But lets not assume that, "as goes Wall Street, so goes America." Remember too that a lot of large businesses (especially the ones taking advantage of the weak dollar) are doing well in spite of the media coverage of the poor performers. Bottom line: I know some great people that might be convinced to trade teams for the right opportunity at an organization that "gets it" as we say. When you have used up your Monster dot com credits, give me a shout. -ski P.S. And no, they typically will not use your offer as a stepping stone to something better. ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Lowes and Home Depot beat Street

Lowes and Home Depot beat Wall Street Estimates But that is not the AP news headline... Show of hands, how many think that these two household names, usually found across the street or shopping center from one another, might, just might have some relationship to the housing sector? Anyone? Anyone? Right. Home Depot expects sales to be off 5% for the YEAR! Hardly sounds like a recession to me. It is amazing what passes for news... -ski

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lean Six Sigma Training

Lean Six Sigma Training Why do you want the training? I am not opposed to learning or most forms of training... but I am opposed to people not doing their jobs. Take someone in a position of some authority. A "working" team leader on afternoons, supervising a workgroup of six skilled laborers (in addition to their own active role in day to day operations). Is their job to become a master at the finer points of Lean Six Sigma or is their job to be the "go to person" in the Demand Planning department on the afternoon shift? See my concern? For me, that is where the Chicago 2008 Trade Events program fills a real need. Forget for a minute that I am speaking (in session 204 with S. "Mani" Manivannan from Rolls-Royce) on Real Time Performance Management issues. If you are in manufacturing, you ought to be at this event. At least those of you with reasonable access to Chicago. I preached (among other things) in Purple Curve Effect (PCE) that the combination of a SME (subject matter expert) and a good consultant is the best way to quickly make improvements. From there, steps would be taken to make the improvements of the "lasting" variety. But if you are a Demand Planner (or whatever!), and you love your job (when things go as planned — no pun intended), you should be free to explore the bounds of your chosen profession. And therefore, not be required to morph into something you are not. -ski P.S. There is still time to register for Chicago 2008. Plus, PDFs of my book are available for FREE as a download. Paperback copies are now just $14.00USD plus three bucks shipping. Should I mention that all books go out USPS Priority Mail? Yes, I am paying $4.80 to ship your book ASAP... but only charging you three bucks. Why? The material is that good. And, there are so many idiots screaming "the sky is falling" that you need to hear a voice of reason. Sooner, rather than later! Bulk pricing available for companies that want everyone to hear the good news. Free round of golf on Hilton Head Island to the person that gets Bob Nardelli to buy my book for Chrysler LLC employees. Yes Bob, The Ice Cream Maker was a good choice. PCE is now the perfect catalyst to make something happen with that new-found knowledge. IMNSHO. ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

SKI to Speak in Chicago September 23rd, 2008

SKI to speak at National Manufacturing Week in Chicago Where are you headed? Me? Chicago, for National Manufacturing Week! When? Tuesday at 9:00AM on September 23rd
"Join 40,000 manufacturing professionals from the United States and key international centers of manufacturing activity at the industry’s premier event—National Manufacturing Week, September 23-25, 2008."
I will be presenting a case study during session #204: Manufacturing Quality Improvement by Real Time Performance Management and Continuous Improvement

This session will cover:

  • Need for Lean Real Time Performance Management to days marketplace
  • How do you link with Six Sigma / Lean application?
  • RTP with Key Performance Indicators monitoring
  • Linkage with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
  • Case studies of RPT/PLM integrated with Lean/Six Sigma
-ski P.S. There is still time to register. ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

IndustryWeek Biz Challenge

IndustryWeek Monthly Business Challenge Great idea; it just does not translate You do it. I do it. Your customers do it. Your suppliers do it. The "yea but"... as in, "Yea, I follow your example, but we are different." Having boldly made this announcement, now what? SKI's Dynamic 4^3 Process™ Take this month's IndustryWeek biz challenge (a generic "theoretical" problem) and the well intentioned response. First, is the challenge plausible? Sure. The response, appropriate? Sure. Now don't you feel better? Do you know know everything that you need to know to "win new business?" I didn't think so either Yes, your challenges are different. Yes, you may share many of the traits of the case study. But I would suggest that you mostly care about your challenge. Your goals. Maybe your challenge is what to do with all the sales you have now that you cannot ship! I guess you have to wait for next month's challenge? Or, you could investigate my "dynamic" process. Today. Maybe even pick up the phone and ask some pointed questions. Maybe search through my blogs for answers to the most pressing needs facing your business (or department or work group) today. Should I assume that every business leader has read (or heard) of Stephen Covey? Probably not. One "story" Covey tells of the lumber jack (an interesting profession that I experienced at age 16) ... oh yea, this lumberjack (not me) was the best of the best. The first day he cut twice as much as anyone else. The second day, not so much. Only an increase of 60%. The third day, his performance fell even more, to the point where he was more or less just "average". Have you guessed the problem? He failed to stop and sharpen his saw. I have repeatedly helped businesses double throughput in just 90 days. Yes, my Dynamic 4^3 Process™ is that good. And yes, I had clients not do so well. It is not up to me. It is up to them. It is up to you. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Reminder: U.S. exports hit high

SKI reminds there is no Recession Unexpectedly to whom? There is no recession. Yes, we need a strong dollar. However, there is money to be made (mostly via exports but not entirely) with a weak dollar. Your strategy should not require much revision, however, the tactics and execution required at this moment in time are vastly different than just six months ago. Still doing the same (old) thing and expecting different results? Stop. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Due Date Performance

Due Date Performance I can't be the only one... am I? Do you ever wake up in a cold sweat wondering what is happening with your company's due date performance? If not, why not? Is it always heads and shoulder above the competition? Is there someone on staff that gets paid to do your worrying for you? Is it a non-issue in your business (and if so, what business on earth would fall in that category)? I guess I just don't see enough focus on this metric. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Safety in the Multitude

Safety in Numbers Some of the best advice is old Proven too! Preparing for an upcoming presentation in Chicago next month (wow! time flies), working on the case study, making some phone calls, and getting a sense of direction so to speak, this passage from mentor King Solomon came to mind. The guy that "has done it" is never at the mercy of those who think they know how it should be done. Consider the parable of the master and his old boxer dog (Spike), a young boxer offspring (lets call him Junior), and the Frisbee. Ever throw a Frisbee? A good throw will go on for what seems like a long, long time. Spike is catching everything that the master throws. Junior, not so much. The old boxer knows from experience that the Frisbee will tail off to one side or the other. Junior is a little slow to pick up on this fact. Yes, the problem with "youth" is that it is wasted on the young! Boxers must use a form of communication similar to that used by consultants and clients. No amount of barking can get Junior to anticipate the tailing off at the end the Frisbee flight. It is rare when the client hires a consultant and then listens to the advice. Life is too short. -ski

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Lets talk Education

From the "way back machine"... This clip from 2002 is an oldie but a goodie. The topic: Eli Goldratt's Theory of Constraints applied for the pursuit of encouraging holistic thinking in education. The organization is known as TOC for Education dot com. Want to see the rest of the half hour program? Drop me a note:

Friday, August 08, 2008

Mind Games

SKI talks Mind Games

Open for Business

Relocated my office from one end of the building to the other... and made it a priority to get this great poster up where I can reflect on it at will.

A business associate recently asked on LinkedIn about thinking; I commented that not enough critical thinking takes place in business today. Somewhat surprised, he ask me to explain. Fair enough.

I heard that on the LSAT, one of the questions went something like this: "You are exploring the South Pole, and discover two bodies frozen in the ice. Immediately, you know that it is Adam and Eve. How?"

In business life, it is important to figure out answers to questions... maybe not this exact question, but how does you mind work? Do you "think it through" so to speak? One of the things that make Colonel John Boyd's contribution to business profound, is how his mind worked, and then his ability to share those profound thoughts with others. Like the snowmobile example.

Need help with your own mind games?


Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah
Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV
Cell: +1 330.432.3533

©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tribute to IndustryWeek magazine

IndustryWeek magazine Without this magazine... You probably would not know my name. In 1992 they did a review of the 2nd Edition of Eli Goldratt's book, The Goal. Which I read, then found the book in my local library. Read the book over (and over again!), then when Its Not Luck came out, read it over and over. Seems like yesterday while it also feels like a hundred years ago! But it was my brush with Charlie "Tremendous" Jones circa 1982 that gave the discovery of Constraints Management any impact in my life. As you will recall, Jones said:
"Five years from today, you will be the same person that you are today, except for the people that you meet and the books that you read." —Charlie 'Tremendous" Jones
A small number of us (that I know of) have been heralding the return of manufacturing in America. IndustryWeek has picked up on the trend as well. With the value of a sawbuck around five dollars and some change, U.S. Manufacturers should have orders from abroad coming out their ears! If not, time to revisit "free trade" agreements and foreign support. And yes, as Steve Forbes (and others) have been screaming, we need to fix the dollar... but I digress. Hats off to IndustryWeek. -ski P.S. Need help with internal bottlenecks? Strike while the iron is hot! Give me a shout... today. ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Don't blame the Economy

Please help me welcome guest blogger, Cynthia Kyriazis, of Productivity Partners, Inc. Time Management Guru Cynthia Kyriazis Don't blame the economy... As a professional organizer, time management consultant and certified Coach, I keep busy and in this type of economy I’m VERY busy. I’m usually working on helping someone de-clutter their office, identifying and working on priorities and generally getting people out of their own way. I’ve come to realize my clients basically breakdown into three groups. The first group doesn’t know what to do or how to do it – that’s a matter of education. The second group knows what to do but now how – that’s a matter of training. The third group knows what to do and know how to do it, but they’re not. This is a matter of performance And their performance is based in how they think…which trumps how we behave, because thought comes first. My entire year has been spent working with the third group. Business owners claim business this year isn’t: A) as good as it has been in the past or; B) as good as it could be today because of all the talk of a slow economy. Top and bottom lines aren’t looking healthy and they begin thinking of new ideas. It raises questions about breaking old habits that die hard. Some actually think about what they ‘should’ be doing. Most of the owners I work with have been in business long enough to know what they should be focusing on and consistently doing…they’re just not. Other things get ‘in the way’. They moved away from the basics and their priorities got lost in the fray - assuming they even identified and marched towards those priorities to begin with - and now it’s hurting more than ever before. If business owners aren’t calling me for their own challenges, they are calling about their sales staff. Some sales pros have simply gotten into old, non-productive habits over the years yet have continued to make their quota, but their old approach isn’t working so well anymore. Those who want to cherry pick accounts no longer have that luxury. And those who are too young to have ever worked in a slow economy are listening to everyone and everything. Result? Less sales. No sales. Enormous ‘head trash’—I realize not a very technical term, but you get the point. They have let their thoughts sabotage their ability to do what they need to do in order to get what they need to get…more sales, the ability to earn and living and keep their job. They have quit focusing on basics and started focusing on fear. So if you’re thinking that this economy is to blame, I would suggest that it’s just another challenge we face in the business of life. Go back to basics, identify priorities, keep the gremlins at bay and see what happens. ©2008 Cynthia Kyriazis

Conflict Clouds

SKI on Conflict Clouds

This diagram from Purple Curve Effect

It frames a classic conflict. After years of effort perfecting the business plan for an eCommerce startup in the late 1990s, it came down to this conflict. Not really "good vs. evil"... it was more about what I personally wanted out of my life.

Serial Entrepreneurs are people too

I get bored easily. A two-edged sword. Pros and cons. Yet life goes on. In the late 1980s I recall another startup in computer consulting. I vividly recall adding the fifth employee. The fifth desk. File cabinet. Another Wyse terminal (we used SCO Xenix, having understood that Novell was not going to survive). But I digress...

I wanted a simpler business model. The Linux computer operating system had changed the business landscape in 1997. So I framed the issues facing me in this "conflict resolution diagram" in order to visually see the playing field. It is read as follows:

In order to enjoy my newest "Self employment" gig, I needed a "talented staff" of eCommerce experts, and I needed to be free of "staff hassles". Furthermore, If I needed a talented staff, it would require "great employees". However, in order to limit staff hassles, the best solution was to have "no employees" at all!

We see the conflict between two necessary conditions: Great employees vs. No employees. My gut reaction was to do it all myself. But that would have limited my throughput ("money in my pocket!")... so I had to break the constraint.

What if I could tap the network of eCommerce experts that had high end computer systems at home and enjoyed either self-employment themselves or were looking for additional income on the side? That was exactly my solution to the conflict.

Using sub-contractors, I launched a successful eCommerce business and we crafted some great world-class solutions. Some of them running for years with very little "care or feeding".

How do you tackle conflicts?


innie or outie

Internal or External Constraint?

Internal or External Constraint?

That is the $64,000 question. If your throughput (read as "money in your pocket") is not sufficient, the first order of business is determining which side of the line in the sand needs your attention first.

Recall that "internal" means that you cannot ship to meet existing demand, or cannot quickly scale to ship more goods or services in the here and now. "External" constraints mean that you have too few sales, and therefore, you have excess capacity.

It is important to determine which challenge you are facing. Why? Each type of constraint requires a different approach and often a different throughput guru.

The illustration paints a great picture: there are businesses making obscene amounts of money (the Purple Curve). But the companies on the green curve (or even worse, the red curve) cannot tell from this simple tool where the biggest breakthrough lies... it takes a little more insight.

Eli Goldratt gave us the "bitch & moan" session. I give you the Purple Curve.

Need help? Call me.


P.S. The first step is to buy my book. The PDF is even free. Once we are "on the same page" so to speak, you will be amazed how quickly results can be achieved. Usually in less than 90 days. Often in just 30 days. Need Proof? Call me.

Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah
+1 330.432.3533

©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sir Charles Barkley

Sir Charles Barkley

Why "Sir" Charles?

Nicknamed "Sir Charles," for his aggressive and outspoken demeanor, and "The Round Mound of Rebound," for his unusual build and talent as a player...wikipedia

Once again, allow me to share a book that I have just started to read. I own and love Barkley's first book, I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It. His is a unique prospective.

The introduction by Michael Wilbon sets the stage quite well. I have just read the first chapter with Tiger Woods and came away with a lot of details that I did not know about one of the greatest athletes on planet earth. Of his challenges that he does not often share.

I discovered Barkley from his appearances on late night TV talk shows. After his basketball career was over. His enthusiasm and passion are to be commended. I love the work ethic that won him all those rebounding records. And the outspoken personality that drew me to him.

I hate "me too" non-thinking apple polishers...

Need more throughput in your business ventures? Study the thoughts and musings of Sir Charles Barkley. I have not been disappointed. I look forward to reporting back after I complete his latest book on the "biggest cancer" of his our lifetime.

Not a subject that I explore out of my own curiosity... but one that my mentor compels me to better understand.

"Yes sir, Sir Charles!"


P.S. Have you read the book? Care to offer a post on your thoughts?

P.P.S. To Sir Charles, that offer is doubly extended your way; should you like to further advance the discussion.

Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey
+1 330.432.3533

©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Ask SKI :: Tenet #11


A fellow Throughput Consultant asks...

In Purple Curve you wrote:
TENET #11: Only by fixing cashflow can most businesses survive long enough to find and fix the true weakest link.

"I can’t agree more with that. The question is how you can do that as long as you didn’t find and fix the true weakest link. Isn’t it a chicken and egg situation?"

Great question. The short answer: "No."

Remember that we are dealing with cause and effect logic. Recall the proverb "For want of a nail?"

There is order in the universe. One event does cause others to occur. However, you are exactly right when suggesting that it may not be easy to find. This is another area where I give Eli Goldratt credit for a simple yet profound tool: "the bitch & moan" session.

I also touched on it in another portion of Purple Curve Effect relating Suzie in HR's problem to Todd the Throughput Guru. It has been my soapbox for years that most business owners know the general area of concern and therefore the weakest link; they are just good at explaining it away or downplaying its ramifications.

In one case, it took me a week to determine the weakest link, but after five months, the owner continued to refuse to address this fact, and we parted ways. It was in an area that he considered outside his span of control (as VP of a family owned business).

But, there are times you cannot be 100% positive that you have identified the true weakest link. So now what?

Give up?

Hardly. Are you ready for the secret? Sitting down?


I hear you, "Guess?" Yes, make your best guess. One of the hidden virtues of Constraints Management Model (CMM) is that if you guess wrong, in very short order, you will sense that the constraint has moved, and you then may tackle the new weakest link.

Actually, it will become apparent that you did not "choose wisely" your first time out. No big deal. Within days (if not hours, depending how dynamic the environment), the real bottleneck will raise its hand and say, "Yo, over here!"

This is where Goldratt the physicist was not clear enough for business practitioners; however, H. William Dettmer made it clear in Strategic Navigation: We need Colonel John Boyd's OODA Loop! We must take action!

Get moving!

Take action. Now if your gut is telling you (or the client, which is your SME — Subject Matter Expert) that you may not be 100% sure of the weakest link, do not spend a lot of money attacking your first guess. Again, as most Throughput gurus know, often the solution requires very little capital investment. If it does, consider a pilot implementation. Remember that I also advocate testing, and then testing some more!

As this questioner knows, the most damaging constraints are stupid (but well intentioned!) policies... W. Edwards Deming taught us to consider solutions regardless the rules that might need changed. That is the only way to bring holistic thinking to bear.


P.S. Do you have a question concerning making money in your business? Ask!

Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah
+1 330.432.3533

©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 01, 2008

What happen to July

August 1st?

Where did July go? I remember waking up to this neat graphic from google just the other day! Turns out that was almost a month ago...