Tag Archives: Diagnosis

Please Tell Me All About Me

For many years we’ve been helping our clients sort out how to create and sustain value for their customers. Few would argue that the Voice of the Customer is essential. We all too often find that the Voice of the Customer collected and reported is more about the organization, how well they are liked, or opinions on performance (not real performance), rather than those that focus on the customer’s world. Hearing and understanding the actual Voice of the Customer has too often been interpreted from gathering data that feed survey instruments, reports, dashboards or scorecards. By searching for and producing data that can be rolled up, opportunities for critical insight are lost. Feeding the tool or report can become the goal and by the time the report comes, the customer might be gone. Are we missing something? “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina. Count Leo has a point.

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Going Nuclear

Over that last couple of years, we’ve highlighted the evidence and perspectives that our business world is increasingly more dynamic, interdependent, highly networked, dangerously complex, and managed by tools and traditions built on much more stable process experience. Business models and algorithms, control systems, enterprise tools and performance improvement technologies derived significant power from the likelihood that behavior repeat sufficiently to enable the power of statistics to improve decision making. I many cases, that stability and value remains and I expect that that will go on beyond any horizon I can conjure. In fact, Dr. Deming encouraged us to look at the world through the lens of Plan, Do, Check, and Act, and his truism remains eternal.
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Swan Lake and Nutcrackers

2010 was a year where much of our attention and anxiety were held captive by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It was a sobering reminder of our dependence on fuels that support our lifestyle, commerce, defense, and essentials to life today. Moratoriums on deep water drilling ensued followed by hearings and probes into why it happened and who we need to blame and subsequently seek a means of exacting some comforting justice. It’s been months since the topic has had front page coverage, almost forgotten much like the devastation and impacts of Katrina, the earthquakes in Haiti, China, and Chile.

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What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

“Could have, would have, and should have”, or, “if I knew then what I know now”, or, “hindsight is 100%.” This last weekend, through a very agile collaboration between governments, agencies, public and private sectors, an attempted act of cowardly terrorism was averted; a bomb did not take innocent lives. It hinged on a decision from a former terrorist to come forward and alert Saudi authorities of the despicable deed and the cascade of information and resource deployment worthy of commendation. Of course, the media chimed in and warned that all passenger flights may be in danger of carrying explosives in the baggage holds.

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What’s Luck Got To Do With It?

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” Dwight D. Eisenhower
How much depends on the yearly business plan? For many, it triggers budgets, funding, capital approvals, sanctioned projects, operating targets, salaries, product launches, support activities, hiring, office renovations, perks, …, lots of movement and a myriad of decisions, hopes, dreams, and nightmares. It is often the summary of what we expect, maybe wish or hope, to happen, commit to do, and the outcomes that the world of business should see, translated into the language of finance.
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