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Knowledge Jolt with Jack

Theory of Constraints, knowledge management, personal productivity and many more topics

Last Build Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2017 12:09:09 +0000


Major Account Sales Strategy

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 16:25:21 +0000

Major Account Sales Strategy by Neil Rackham is a follow-on to his classic SPIN Selling, taking that approach and applying to bigger projects that require more and more effort to close the sale. It fits a lot with how I have been seeing the world lately.

TOC in Retail - at liquor stores

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 11:33:12 +0000

The last leg of the supply chain in many systems is the retail store, where the ultimate pull happens: a customer buys the product. Theory of Constraints applied in retail seeks to ensure the right product at the right place at the right time, so that the retailer can continue to stay in business.

Tools are so shiny and pretty

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 01:54:14 +0000

It seems so easy to start with the tools before we think about why and what we are doing. The Agile Manifesto for Software Development provides a suggestion: People and Interactions over Processes and Tools.

The truth about ... flow

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:55:57 +0000

A quick post about flow and the challenge of bringing this idea into organizations - it challenges deeply-held beliefs.

Stretch: working with your constraints, instead of beyond them

Wed, 17 May 2017 20:29:18 +0000

I finished "Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less - and Achieve Than You Ever Imagined" by Scott Sonenshein a few weeks ago, and have had the ideas rolling around in my head since then. I really like the overall premise of the book: lean towards Stretching instead of Chasing. I found that it nicely connects to the ideas of Theory of Constraints and process improvement in general.

Drawing your way to understanding

Mon, 15 May 2017 13:38:44 +0000

A client sent a link to Tom Wujec's TED Scotland 2013 talk, Got a Wicked Problem? First, tell me how you make toast. His idea is to use drawing and visualization to help people bring clarity to their problems. And I pick up on the idea of allowing ourselves to iterate around the visualization as being important to understanding the deeper system.

Physics behind new product development

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:48:14 +0000

I came across "Guest Blog: Finding Science and Success with Lean Principles in R&D" by Norbert Majerus of Goodyear on the Factory Physics website, and it describes the Factory Physics ideas as applied in new product development, and I thought it was a pretty good summary. This is also a lot of what we do with Theory of Constraints concepts applied in product development (and project management) arenas too.

More five whys - Cult of root cause

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 21:37:24 +0000

An old post from Donald Reinertsen on "The Cult of the Root Cause" got me thinking about our use of logic and over-reliance on tools. He describes over-reliance on the Five Whys without applying some common sense. And I add some of my own thoughts on top.

The Five Whys - explained

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 12:41:48 +0000

The Manager Tools podcast has a recent entry on The Five Whys which come out of the suite of tools from Toyota / Lean / Toyota Production System. It's a great root cause analysis tool, but the way the Manager Tools team describe it struck a chord with me.

KM only works if we are looking

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 18:21:03 +0000

So, on top of all the other challenges with developing cool technologies and getting people interested, we must consider whether people believe that they have problem you think you are solving.

Strategy Traps from BCG Perspectives

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 23:27:58 +0000

BCG Perspectives have an interesting approach to publishing thought-pieces. The one I stumbled on is their discussion of "Strategy Traps", where they pair up a number of "traps" that trap organizations - and use a historical figure to highlight the idea.

Making email work better - besides don't do it

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 00:13:19 +0000

Personal productivity writers and thinkers harp on and on about email. And for good reason - our default behavior around email creates a lot of chaos. Dan Ariely has been thinking about this and the result was "A Behavioral Economist Tries to Fix Email" in The Atlantic earlier this month.

Everyone is a Change Agent

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 21:47:25 +0000

April K. Mills' "Everyone is a Change Agent: A Guide to the Change Agent Essentials" is a distillation of several change management approaches into clear and enjoyable approach to change.

You get what you ask for

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 02:02:02 +0000

If you look for something, you will likely find it. If people know you are monitoring or looking for something, they will make an effort to supply that thing.  And on the other side, if you don't ask for that thing / report / result, you won't get it.

Never Split the Difference

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 01:47:39 +0000

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss was recommended by a couple colleagues.  This is a great book on negotiation (and a bunch of related topics). Voss and Raz start each topic with a life-and-death hostage negotiation and then delve into the ideas behind the topic and where these apply in the less dire scenarios people face every day.  The authors use Voss' own experiences in the FBI as the lead international kidnapping negotiator, his research and studies into what makes negotiations work (or not), and his teaching and consulting work.  These elements are combined in a fairly engaging style: starting each chapter with a hostage situation made me want to keep reading to find out what happened, ... and learn a lot along the way.  

Get Lamp - a blast from my past

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 03:36:40 +0000

I stumbled across the text adventure documentary, Get Lamp, in my wanderings and just spent a pleasant 90 minutes watching and reliving some of my teen years. 

Unlocking Innovation ProductivityUnlocking Innovation Productivity

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 15:22:27 +0000

Unlocking Innovation Productivity (Proven Strategies that Have Transformed Organizations for Profitable and Predictable New Product Growth Worldwide) by Mike Dalton is a guide to the challenges of product innovation and how to overcome them. He provides seven cumulative strategies to improve innovation, all based on Critical Chain Project Management and the underlying Theory of Constraints. 

Media Files:

Quality, Involvement, Flow

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 17:22:27 +0000

Quality, Involvement, Flow: The Systemic Organization by Domenico Lepore, Angela Montgomery and Giovanni Siepe. It's a good read for people interested in management and creating ever-flourishing organizations. 

Multitasking video from engineer viewpoint

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:48:59 +0000

A video about multitasking told from the perspective of a design engineer who was lost in the world of multitasking - it took him four weeks to do a 2-4 day design task.

Describing the problem - human terms

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 13:11:00 +0000

The latest DFJ Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders podcast has a great discussion from Julie Zhou, VP of Product Design at Facebook, about creating great solutions to problems. You need to define the problem well!