How Can I Possibly Focus On…Everything? (Part 1- A Revelation)

In the world of Performance Improvement (PI), it appears we’ve worked ourselves into quite a ‘pickle’. While doing my research for our latest Special Report (REPS: Next Generation Performance Improvement), I came to a stark realization- in spite of massive resources...

Cutting the Andon Cord

The Toyota Production System, often more affectionately referred to as “TPS, is built upon a set of underlying principles, embodied in what became known as the “Toyota Way”. This ‘system’ is largely responsible for the company that Toyota has grown into over the past...

The Sirens of Performance Improvement

“Next, where the Sirens dwell, you plough the seas; Their song is death, and makes destruction please.”               -Homer (The Odyssey) Have you ever left port on a ship and traveled into the open sea? Casting off, you head outward, slicing smoothly yet...

Here’s to the Crazy Ones- the Ruckusmakers

Today would have been Steve Jobs’ 60th birthday. In his honor, TODAY is the first official Ruckusmakers’ Day, being celebrated all over the world. Here’s a [very] partial list of Ruckusmakers… Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Martin Luther King had a dream....

What’s Wrong with Pursuing Excellence?

“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.” –Voltaire I’ve been scoffed at by the leaders of “Centers of Excellence.” Been cast aside by those launching “Corporate Excellence” initiatives. I’ve even been called a “heretic”...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

After a day of pre-Christmas shopping this past Sunday, my wife and I returned just after 7PM to a dark (and growing colder) house.  It was 17deg F outside; down to 52 inside.  Our generator had already been scheduled to be repaired…the next day.  Being the brave and...

Things to Avoid (part deux)- the “Shiny Box Syndrome”

“People will do anything to cure a trouble, but little to prevent it.    -Claude Hopkins I continue to be baffled by the over-reliance of organizations upon software programs designed to accumulate data on the errant performance of…people. Decision-makers are...

Things to Avoid [Part I]- “Analoculitis”

There are (2) predominant pitfalls into which organizations plummet in their efforts to improve human performance.  See if this one sounds familiar to you... It's called ANALOCULITIS, and it is currently at epidemic levels in many sectors. ANALOCULITIS defined: Gross...

It’s ‘Counterintuitive’

I just returned from Santiago, Chile. There is a restaurant in the financial district on Av Isidora Goyenechea called “Tiramisu”.  Suzette and I ate there three times in one week.  Why?  They served the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life. The BEST pizza I’ve ever...

From WHAT to HOW

Are you stuck in the WHAT at the expense of the HOW? In man’s early efforts to fly, he attempted to mimic the best practices of the best fliers. He crafted wings made of feathers, strapped them to his arms, jumped off a [cathedral] and flapped like crazy. When earlier...

A Tribute to My Hero

Ray Autrey 11/12/23 - 01/01/13   One of the things that each of us must face at some point in this thing called life, is its end.  Many of you are aware that my dad, Ray Autrey, has always been my hero.  He was my hero not because of what he did, but because of...

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” ­ - Cicero  If you’re in the United States, it’s time to turn off your monitor, and head home to what’s most important.  And as I prepare to end my week and do the same, on...

BRIEFING #5: Cultural Hypnosis

“There’s not a single one of you who’s ever had an original thought.” When I was in high school, my US Government teacher (yes, such study was required back in the day) told our room filled with twelfth-graders, “There’s not a single one of you who’s ever had an...

BRIEFING #4: History Does NOT Repeat Itself

"History does not repeat itself.  People repeat history." It’s been written about and generally accepted for centuries that…history repeats itself. Polybius (ca. 200-118BC), an early Roman historian, was one of the first to proclaim this observation. And look around…...

BRIEFING #3: It’s [ALL] in the Marketing…

This is the third of a SIX-PART BRIEFING SERIES to help you bust through barriers you might be confronted with as a performance improvement (PI) professional. During a meeting in Denver last week, I told a team of senior leaders, “It’s all in the marketing.” This may...

BRIEFING #1: Third-Dimension Thinking

Note: This is the first of a SIX-PART BRIEFING SERIES to help you bust through barriers you might be confronted with as a performance improvement professional.  Each BRIEFING will build upon the previous BRIEFING(s).  Stick with them, grab the parts that make sense to...

What is Your “Next Level”?

Here is a question of great significance for your future:  If you and I were having a conversation 18 months from now, looking back over those 18 months, what would have had to happen in order for you to feel happy about your progress? Why is your answer to this...

The Best Way to Predict Your Future

As your pace of life and work continues to accelerate- As government regulation, global competition and uncertainty continue to rise- As demands upon you accelerate while the means to get things done seem to stagnate or diminish- There is a fundamental truth available...

This is Why We Do What We Do…

The wreck of the Costa Concordia... Four miles off course. So far, eleven confirmed dead, 23 still missing... "It must've been an extraordinary sequence of events..." (video link) Here are a few of the comments from Pier Luigi Foschi Chairman and CEO of Costa Cruises:...

Family, Friends, Love, Giving, and…Gratitude

To our dear friends and colleagues... 2011 has been very good to us, and it is my fond hope that it has been very good to you as well. As we turn off our computers and head to our homes for the holidays, we at PPI want to wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy...

CHOICES

"THEY never listen anyway- I chose not to open my mouth." "I had to rush the pre-job brief...we were behind schedule." "We had no choice but to discipline the person." "I had no options- THEY chose to do it this way." FACT: The choices you make dictate the life that...

Thank You

On October 3rd, Abraham Lincoln began his proclamation of an official day of thanksgiving… “The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.  To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we...

Calculating Return on Investment (ROI)

Can you see a solution to your organization's current safety / human performance issues, but simply cannot get the attention (or approval) of senior leadership? There's one (very) common denominator that speaks to virtually every senior leader / decision-maker in...

Your Most Valuable Commodity Pt. 1 (think…ROI)

I'd been taught (and believed) for years that our most valuable commodity was- time.  After all, "there are only 24 hours in a day," right?  Well guess what- the earth rotates at the same speed for all of us.  A shocking revelation. Just because you have someone in a...

Natural Laws

Reality:  No matter how smart, dedicated, or good lookin' you are, if you step off a cliff- you're [very likely] to get hurt. It's a Natural Law.  It's called gravity.    It applies to everyone on planet earth...equally. Just like natural laws, there are Natural...

“It’s not practical”…

In 1988 I was developing (and presenting) Operator training programs at a nuclear generating station in Louisiana.  My [highly technical] development tools at the time included pencil, paper, scissors, and tape. Those of us with keyboard skills knew that having access...

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