Category: Operational Excellence

Pressure Differential

Managing Tension at the Margin As September draws to a close the Houston metropolitan area has dodged two hurricane bullets; Laura and Beta.  Fingers crossed that this very active season draws to an early and quiet close.  The beauty and downside of the 24/7 news and weather reporting is that lay people learn more jargon

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Radar: Technology Game Changer!

The battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944 with over 200,000 individuals involved is possibly the largest naval battle in history.  Hopefully, one of the last ones. In that battle, the submarine USS Darter initially detected (on radar) the Japanese task force early on October 23.  Other US naval vessels spotted that armada shortly thereafter on

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Data Bias: The Latent or Unobserved

In statistics a Latent Variable can be defined as, ‘a variable inferred from observed or measured data.’ Its analysis is often used psychology, economics, and predictive modeling.  This author used Structural Equation Models (SEM) in his 1996 doctoral dissertation, Cross Cultural Negotiations Between Japanese and American Businessmen: A Systems Analysis (Exploratory Study). From that abstract,

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man with burning stick while moving in darkness

Agility, Resiliency, Sustainability

In a recent Harvard Business Review, I was struck by an article about Best Practices for small businesses.  From that piece, “To successfully navigate Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) challenges like Covid-19, family business leaders can look to best practices from another organization that specializes in VUCA situations—the U.S. military’s Special Operations Forces (SOF)”

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Tumultuous Decade: What’s Next for Oil & Gas?

April 20, 2020 marks the tenth anniversary of one of the most horrific incidents in the upstream oil and gas sector—Deepwater Horizon.  In addition to the tragic loss of eleven lives, the sector forever changed.  Immediate restructuring of federal oversight resulted in the establishment of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and their

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to . . . Innovation!

The anecdote, ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to’ wherever manifests itself for a number of paths.  One interpretation; we often end up somewhere other than expected. We find ourselves at another historical precipice.  Some suggest Armageddon, the end of life as we know it and the emergence of a new normal.  This writer

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remote working

Home Base During a Crisis: ‘get up, clean up, and dress up’

In the middle of a global pandemic, all of us who can are advised to work from home.  Many of us have worked remotely for a while now.  Whether traveling, dealing with sick children, avoiding traffic or dealing with a natural disaster remote management has become part of our business DNA. Yet, this pundit was

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fractal

To KISS or Not?

According to legend, the term KISS or ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’ was coined by Kelly Johnson, lead engineer at the Lockheed Skunk Works and noted by the US Navy as early as 1960.  Subsequent phrases such as ‘Less is More’ followed. At first glance, it makes sense not to overly complicate a product, process or

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Hanging App?

By one measure, the US presidential primary season is off to a rough start.  In a small state, counting the ballots became a challenge.  Wasn’t technology supposed to solve the problems of past confusions? Yet the mechanism seemingly failed—again!  How is this different from the Boeing Max 8 disaster?  In one sense it isn’t. Disclaimer: 

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10, 20, 30, 40, 50 or More!

The advent of 5 G so soon after 4 G—Humm.  What’s next?  How many G’s are there? In 1965, Gordon Moore put forth the construct that the density of transistors in integrated circuits doubled each year.  The so-called Moore’s Law has governed technology growth ever since.  However; over 50 years later, some argue that we

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Reflection: Are We Near a Digital Tipping Point?

Generally, this time of year humans are wont to look back on the closing year and assess the good and the bad, and dare I say the ugly?  We celebrate successes, review the not so successes, and what is left undone.  This process prepares us for the New Year’s resolutions that are often then broken.

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Lessons in Servant Leadership: What Did You Say?

Watch almost any media talk show and the interviewer will often interrupt the guest trying to answer the question just posed.  This is such a common phenomenon that it is accepted behavior perhaps driven by ratings that come from on-air confrontation.  It is part of the culture! Why ask the question if you’re only going

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Running Across an Open Field: Strategy for Disruptive Technology?

Several weeks ago, as an amateur history buff, I was watching a documentary about World War I.  During one segment the commentator discussed the apparent fact that if soldiers refused to charge out of their trenches across an open field into the teeth of waiting machine guns they would be shot. The brutality of such

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Lessons from the Seventies

At lunch the other day and for whatever reason, the history of the 3M Post It Note became a subject of our conversation.  This technological marvel unveiled in the 1970s is still widely used today. As with other new or disruptive technologies, the ‘sticky note’ was panned at first and for some time.  According to

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Want – Like – Need

Years ago, as part of a never-ending series of company reorganizations, a team of our change management consultants headed to the ‘field’ to interview users.  Upon their return, they presented an extensive list of technology investments deemed necessary to remain competitive. Their list focused on technology and not business concerns.  Wondering, I asked who they

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