May 2010

Monthly Archives

  • Natural Balance?

    May 20, 2010 A recent EPA party-pooper report estimated that 63% of all methane and 36% of all nitrous oxide (N2O) in the atmosphere is man-made. Despite imprecision, these suggest pushing nature out of balance. The National Academy of Sciences just released a report on how to deal with emissions – but few other issues […]

  • Prepping Ourselves

    May 20, 2010 In a recent speech, Dick Schonberger packed a PowerPoint slide with a list of techniques associated with lean operations, a looooong list, in fine print. That’s why organizations that regard lean as a collection of techniques can never master them; nobody lives long enough. And if management “runs the organization” by principles […]

  • Routine Disruption?

    May 13, 2010 Major disruptions in industrial societies liven the news. Dense populations and properties fatten the damage, and complex industrial societies are highly vulnerable. Imagine New York City without electrical power for a week. Natural disasters include eruptions, earthquakes, hurricanes – even epidemics. Human error disasters are typified by the Gulf oil spill. Deliberate […]

  • Making Your “Business Model” too Important to Fail

    May 13, 2010 “Too Big to Fail” justifies bailing out companies so big that discontinuing operations would disrupt everyone’s lives. But if their mission is that vital, they have a public service obligation. We should expect excellent performance; perhaps demand it. “Too Important to Fail” describes many modest-sized organizations. For example, a community cannot allow […]

  • The New Fable of the Bees

    May 4, 2010: The Fable of the Bees, written by Bernard Mandeville in 1705, is a poem which observed how each bee serving its own interest contributed to the common good. Adam Smith took up Mandeville’s themes, which are the bedrock of capitalist philosophy to this day, but it does not frame systemic, collective problems in a […]