Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Velocity —A Business Novel

Velocity: A Constraints Management Biz Novel Velocity by Dee Jacob, Susan Bergland, and Jeff Cox I cannot wait to get my hands on this book. Mostly for the content. But also because I know each of the authors. My respect for the dynamic duo from AGI (Avraham Y. Goldratt Institute) knows no bounds. First, like many, I read The Goal by Eli Goldratt and Jeff Cox. In preparation for writing my own book, I (again like many) reached out to Cox. Who basically replied, "I am writing my own books now and no longer do that sort of collaboration." To which I must admit, made me sad... then mad. He totally missed the message of the book that made him famous. His first, best destiny is that of co-laborer. Ed McMahon made a fortune playing second banana... but I digress. When I attended AGI in 1998 for Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM), I met Dee Jacob. One of those people that has a talent and is not afraid to exploit it! Then, in 2001 I met Susan Bergland at an APICS event in San Antonio, TX when I published the premier issue of TOCreview magazine. Another Constraints Management force that deserves a lot of credit for advancing the art. Again, I look forward to reading this book. The premise is perfect. In fact, it was a pleasant surprise to see AGI endorse this combination of Constraints Management, Lean and Six Sigma. That would never have happened under Eli Goldratt's watch at the Institute. If you don't own this yet, order it today. Semper Fi Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey (c)2009, Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

748: Indian Chief Dark Horse

2009 Indian Chief Dark Horse Motorcycle 2009 Indian Chief Dark Horse presented by Indian Motorcycle of Pittsburgh "Are you open today?" Sure enough, the closest Indian Motorcycle dealership was open the day after Christmas. About two hours away from my old stomping grounds in Ohio. So we drove over. At 34 degrees, we took the car. The sun was actually out in force for like the fourth day this month. After years of speculation, I actually did not think the investors would pull it off. The relaunch (once again!) of the brand. But I witnessed about twenty brand new Indian bikes on the dealership floor. Mostly 2009, but a few of the 2010 models had started to arrive. The crew at the dealership were most helpful and obviously passionate about the brand. On January 9th, they will celebrate their first full year of operations with a big Open House. One of the brave soul's test riding a Chief remarked he was pleasantly surprised. A number of magazine articles claim there is a lot of vibration from the 105ci motor. The rider said, "Some vibration? Sure. But nothing more than a traditional VTwin engine would produce." So much for the printed word The only model that really caught my eye was the Dark Horse. The one on the showroom floor also happened to be lowered, and so it felt very inviting. And the flat paint treatment worked really well. They do expect to reintroduce the Scout model later in the 2010 production year. The 2003 Scout was basically an American custom Pro-street with an S&S Engine. Rumor has it the new Scout will feature a decidedly more Indian powerplant. Bottom line: If you have a lot of money to throw at a new motorcycle (50% more than a similar Harley), then check out the Indian brand. You might be surprised. Unlike "the other guys", Indian knows less is more. I heard they only produced about 450 bikes for 2009. Law of supply and demand. Less bikes should equate to better margins and also better resale if the bikes prove mechanically sound. And from the fit and finish I experienced today, I would expect the bike to hold up well. Semper Fi Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey (c)2009, Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Going Rogue by Sarah Palin

Going Rogue by Sarah Palin Going Rogue An American Life by Sarah Palin If you want to hear the other side of all those stories about this America Dreamer, read her book. If you want to protect your opinions of who she is, then skip it. A little over a year after Palin was pulled into the national limelight, she clears the air about all those "stupid" things that happened along the way to giving McCain his only real chance at becoming President. Too bad people are an organization's "greatest assets" —it also means that people can cause your biggest setbacks. McCain's "people" (and therefore McCain himself) did Palin a great disservice by not letting Sarah "be Sarah" —the person that drew national attention in the first place. The true maverick on the ticket. He could not have won without Palin. No one short of the Late Ronald Reagan could have given John his "dream shot." Other than Palin, that is. They could have won. -ski

Monday, December 21, 2009

Introducing RhinoGATOR Job Board

Nine months of labor Delivers RhinoGATOR™ It starts out innocently enough, like any other idea that might just someday change the world. Or at least America. That "what if" thought that one awakens with, not really sure if the premise was a dream or a nightmare. The unofficial pre-launch occurred last Thursday with little fanfare. Those familiar with software development know that if it took nine months to launch (what some call the first 90% of any great project), the remaining 10% will take another nine months! Only time will tell. Check it out. Let me know what you think. RhinoGATOR™ was conceived and built for one purpose: To put America back to work! Designed and built 100% in the United States of America. By Americans. For All Americans. RhinoGATOR™ —Best Job Aggregator on Planet Earth™ Semper Fi Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey (c)2009, Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Number 746: Smart friends

Michael A Boylan on getting in the door The Power to Get In by Michael A. Boylan On January 1, 2008 Dr Lisa Lang bought me a present. This book. I have skimmed it over during the last two years, but did not need the message. Until today. I have repeatedly had smart friends recommend books to me. A few actually bought them for me. Books that changed my life. And yes, occasionally books that did not seem relevant (at least at the time). I knew this was a great book. But "getting in" the right doors was not problem. It was not the weakest link in my system. Until today. Do you know anyone looking for a job? Me too. But are they really looking for work, or are they just kidding themselves? You know the type. We have all been that type! We sit at the computer, searching for jobs, and sending off Résumés somehow convincing ourselves we are honestly searching for a new career. How bogus First, let me say that I am talking to myself. You simply have the privilege of listening in to my conversation (with myself). I will "flat out" guarantee you that no one needs this message today, more than yours truly. Honest. Given this new economy of zero job growth (why do you think it was called Porkulus? But I digress...), the rules have changed. What worked in the past, worked just fine. Until today. The rules have changed If you are not getting in front of the right people with your message, then Boylan's book may hold the answer. I am a huge fan of frameworks designed to produce results. Like H. William Dettmer's Constraints Management Model (CMM) which takes Eli Goldratt's Theory of Constraints (TOC) and turbocharges the implementation phase with the late Colonel John Boyd's OODA Loop (actually, more of a process than a loop). But I digress... Deming said it best, "Success is 94% the result of the system." Not enough results? Change systems! Right after you buy and consume my book (and buy an extra copy to give away to a friend in need), pick up The Power to Get In by Michael A. Boylan. Especially, if your job search is not going well. Semper Fi Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey P.S. Speaking of job searches, do check out my new tool for solving one of America's employment challenges, finding enough suitable job openings: RhinoGATOR Best Job Aggregator on Planet Earth™ (c)2009, Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Can you miss a car?

Merkur XR4Ti Merkur XR4TI "XRAT" It has been over seven years since this baby burned to the ground on US-250... and the Nationwide agent said, "No, you are not covered." Need I mention that I no longer use Nationwide? This was my second XR4Ti. The first was black. I am still looking for photos of it. This was a stick and the extra horsepower was simply amazing as the turbo revved past 3000rpm. Too bad the electronics in the dash were so sensitive to the cold. But otherwise, this was almost the perfect rear wheel drive sports car. Jackie Stewart even said so! It handled like you cannot imagine. Rumor has it that I got each and every MPH from those "H" rated Yokohama's... Until the Audi Quattros came on the scene. But I digress... Who knew that I have Bob Lutz to thank for some of the most fun I ever had behind the wheel of a car. -ski

Sunday, December 13, 2009

744: Advertising with Tokens

Nonno's Tailors & The Tux Shop In 1979 I opened my second location. The Tux Shop expanded from the Mall to a downtown location, and added the services of my partner to provide tailoring and custom made men's suits. One of the advertising tools employed was the use of the token. Anyone catch the huge mistake I made when I ordered the custom imprint? Yep. Should have dropped the phone number and went with something along the lines, "Limit one per transaction." Of course there were only one or two that insisted on using all tokens to pay for a Tux rental... so maybe it was not that big of deal after all. Live and learn My good friend Luke Short recently launched his Saloon Token web site, and that caused me to seek out an old token from back in the day. As I mentioned in Purple Curve Effect, I learned a lot about business the hard way. Spent a lot of my own money experimenting... but I digress. As King Solomon said, "There is nothing new under the Sun." I am working on a new project and the token might just be appropriate. Semper Fi Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey (c)2009, Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

742: If you are all alone, it ain't dancing

SKI: Mentor to the Entrepreneur Look at the image... What does it say to you? There are few things that I love more than business. Who was it that said that the "business" of America is business? That is a great line. It speaks to the point Here is what I see when I study the chart above: The business started out "taking on water" so to speak. So the owner jumps in and props it up. Great. Or, perhaps it is a startup and the owner starts to get some traction, so things get headed in the right direction. But if you have been shaving for any number of years, you know "stuff happens" whether you plan for it... or not. So you search the world over and find a mentor to help. Not only to bail water, but to offer insight that you could not gain without hundreds of hours of personal efforts. Hours you just don't have. Not and advance your business. What world changing adventure have you started? Need any help? No, not in the form of an employee or a manager or even a service provider. Yes, those are all important. But without inspiration from a distance, you might not ever make it through the challenges. Look around your community. The economy has never been better for the entrepreneur that knows who her Jeromes are, and how her good or service solves real (and significant) challenges for each and every Jerome on her list. I know. I hear you. You are saying, "Sure SKI, you tell a great story. But give me an example. Real life, down home on the farm, proof that you can help me." Great idea But first, let me set the stage. I trust you recall that King Solomon said, "Iron sharpens iron." One of my heroes and a mentor, comes to me one overcast day, and states that he is at the end of his rope. Not a great position of strength from which to launch that dream where you get to change the world. Or is it? It is not where you are today that determines your location tomorrow, it is the size of the dream within. But I digress. So there is my hero saying, "life is tough" and admitting that he is stuck. Not just in the mud, but stuck so deep that "in the natural" ruminations of man, there is no escape. So my hero says to me, "I believe you have my answer." This happened over twenty years ago and yet I remember it like it was yesterday. Well, long story, short: I did have his answer. What challenges are you facing? Need a little help? Start by downloading my "stock" response in the form of my one page explanation of my mentorship program, and then give me a call. As I mentioned, it ain't called dancing if you are alone. Semper Fi Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey (c)2009, Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

#741 Doing your best is not the answer

Its all about YOU I love the new Star Trek movie Like most Trekkies, I was concerned about a movie going back into the history of Star Trek and Captain James T. Kirk. The possible ways to ruin the experience must have been endless. However, J.J. Abrams pulled off a masterpiece, and I would hope relaunched the cash cow. Doctor McCoy was most impressive. They did an excellent job of bringing his home-spun "down on the farm" approach that made his character memorable to life, on this latest big screen edition. In the classic, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, McCoy delivers a line that I oft repeat (mostly to myself) when confronted by actions of others that simply are so stupid, they make me want to cry.
"My God man! Drilling holes in his head is not the answer." —Dr. McCoy
Suggesting that you are "doing your best" is likewise just as stupid. However, it is even more insane to tell others to "just do your best." Producing results when facing challenges is the true test of leadership. Anything less, dare I say it, "Is not doing your best" ... Semper Fi Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey (c)2009, Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

#740 Prove it: Chinese Fortune Cookie Management

Prove it: Chinese Fortune Cookie Management You are capable, competent, creative, careful. Prove it.☺ Colour me amazed when I read this fortune the other day. It really hit me right between the eyes. Why? The better question might be why did someone create this exact expression? Especially for a something as light-hearted. This crazy fortune reminded me of that great Jessica Tandy line in the movie Nobody's Fool where she asks Paul Newman if he is not disappointed that he has not accomplished more with his God given talent? Paul first responds, "No!" But then he mutters to himself, "Maybe." That was me as I sat there in the mall food court. My mind raced to the economy and the simple fact that it has never been easier to prove one's ability. And yet, it has never been more difficult. Another one of those dichotomies my dad loved. Do you have any idea of the talent that is presently sitting the game out in the penalty box called "unemployment"? No, really. Stop and think about it for two minutes. Two whole minutes. Of course my mind then jumped to the lack of common sense in the world today. But I digress... Instead of surfing the net in search of the latest "juicy detail" of the Tiger and his golf club toting wife saga, use the "force" for good. Find someone (or something) to partner with (in the casual sense of the word, not a legal partnership) and "prove" your talents. If to no one else but yourself. I love that quote:
"The only person I have to impress, is me. —Reggie Jackson
I can assure you that when your head hits the pillow after a long day of soul-searching and applying the Golden Rule (and some common sense), peace comes fast. Sweet dreams.
Semper Fi Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey (c)2009, Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.