Survivorship Bias (from You Are Not So Smart blog)

Read Survivorship Bias: “The military looked at the bombers that had returned from enemy territory. They recorded where those planes had taken the most damage. Over and over again, they saw the bullet holes tended to accumulate along the wings, around the tail gunner, and down the center of the body. Wings. Body. Tail gunner. Considering this information, where would you put the extra armor? Naturally, the commanders wanted to put the thicker protection where they could clearly see the most damage, where the holes clustered. But Wald said no, that would be precisely the wrong decision. Putting the armor there wouldn’t improve their chances at all. “

Indeed. Thinks are so clear when someone has drawn your attention to it.

What I am missing that I don’t even begin to think about?

Great read from the blog You are Not So Smart


Is it dangerous to do lean when others aren’t

If you happen to work for a company that does not follow lean principles, is it dangerous to apply lean processes yourself?

For the sake of the discussion, let’s assume you run a division with ten people. You have a fixed budget and a mission to fulfill. Together with your staff, you device better ways of interacting with your customers and you are now able to do the same amount of work with eight people.

In a company following lean principles, you would be allowed to redirect those two people to different work, to other challenges. In those conditions, improvements and innovations would be used by the people for the people. For the benefit of all.

In a company run by spreadsheets, what would happen? Your budget would get cut by the equivalent of two people. You might end up having to fire those people.

See where I am going?


And that is a common direction for many companies.

Karen E. Klein – “Help for overworked Business Owners (2)”

Entrepreneurs often hope to gain free time by starting their own businesses, but most find themselves working longer hours than ever. Financial guru Louis Barajas says simple organizational systems can help business owners regain balance in their lives.

(from Business Week — Smart Answers)

In the very same podcast episode “Help for overworked Business Owners” I blogged about earlier, I found another gem:

  • the one thing you can do to up the value of your business is to have your business run *without* you.

Clever idea. And while you are at it, have some vacation too.

Tom Peters – “About Strategic Priorities”

While we all “do a hundred things,” we may not/should not/cannot have more than 2 (or 3) true “strategic” priorities at any point in time. — Tom Peters

One of Tom Peters’ quotes. I like that one because if forces to put things into perspective. Doing many things doesn’t equate to knowing where we are going or how productive we are.

Focus on your true strategic priorities.

John Byrne – “GM’s Challenge”

BusinessWeek’s David Welch tells John Byrne that the lumbering, money-losing giant finally sees gas engines are a losing bet. But is it too late for GM?

(from Business WeekCover Stories)

Key points of this podcast:

GM is behind, and loosing ground. No one to blame but GM. Not Toyota. Not any other business. Just GM.

So stop whining.

Go green.

Do something.

Anything. (but crying)



Jack Welch – “How to Bust into the Big League”

BusinessWeek columnists Jack & Suzy Welch say big companies prefer the devil they know to an upstart they don’t. You’ve got to offer them a deal with the kind of fire they can’t ignore.

(from Business Week — The Welch Way Podcast by Jack and Suzy Welch)

This podcast‘s key points:

  • Go out and change the game. Period.
  • Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Don’t go there with silly tiny improvements.
  • Offer game changing propositions.