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Frank Patrick's Focused Performance Business Blog
This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Not Just New Jersey -- DigitalGrit - The Best Place to Work in America. After a couple years on a state-wide list, we're now recognized nationally. Next, the world. Seriously.

We're also a good company to work with, so if you're in need of interactive marketing services or web development, check us out.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Smart = Stupid
Smart = Busy = Distracted = Stupid
Wish I remembered where I picked that up.

Must have been distracted.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I Worked There -- But only for a couple years, so I didn't think it would touch me the way it did to read that they're going to tear down Bell Labs' complex in Holmdel. What a waste. Just think what a great facility it would be if it were resurrected as an incubator for the 21st century, housing scores of individual entreprenureal endeavors, as it was in the 20th, housing scores of efforts for one company.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Marketing Questions -
If you starting a company from scratch, would you create a marketing department?

Or should marketing be distributed throughout the whole company, in its DNA? But how do you maintain a point of accountability? Or does the word "marketing" need to disappear -- something rather linked to strategy, or to customer? A department of customer experience?
(From Fast Company Now)

To me, it's a question of distinguishing the communication of value (advertising and "outgoing conversations"), which are too often thought of as "marketing" from the analysis of and "true conversations" with the market (market analysis) which is used to define the parameters of value offered by the company.

Marketing needs to be about understanding market segments and crafting offerings appropriate to their needs.


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On Leaders and Builders -- From an episode of Engines of Our Ingenuity...
"'Leadership' has become the new buzzword -- a few more years of overuse and we'll all be shrinking from it. Maybe then we'll catch on to the fact...that the world truly is built from the bottom up -- that being part of that creative under-world is how any of us carve our presence upon history."
While the U.S. is filled with people obsessed with being "leaders," China and India are turning out engineers (builders) in droves.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Saving vs Spending -- According to the title of a Fast Company Now piece, "GE's Immelt May Have 'ecomagination,' but He Needs Project Managers for Jumbo-Sized Ideas. Quoting Immelt's HBR interview...
"If there's a $100 million investment project, we might, out of the 310,000 people in the company, have 30 who really know how to spend that amount of money effectively. That's probably not enough. It has presented an organizational weakness."
GE's vaunted Six Sigma reputation might have helped them develop skills for saving costs but, it seems, not for spending to grow the top line.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Lies, Damned Lies, and... No, not statistics, but Resumes (from Forbes, via Wired)

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Looking for Some Technical Help --As some of you know, Iím involved in some pro bono work supporting the Global Virtual Classroom as its webmaster (donít laugh Ė the foundation is owned by my sister, who thinks I have technical abilities Ė and donít laugh at the circa 1999 site design inherited from the original AT&T program Ė I cringe every time I open it, but havenít had time/energy to come up with a more modern design).

Our primary program is a website building contest in which schools around the world team up to build sites. During the building phase of the contest, they use temporary domains on our Linux-based server. Once done, I move them to directories within the GVC domain.

The problem Iíve run into is that the combination of whatever site development tools theyíve used plus the Linux server has allowed them to use file names that differ only by the text case (index.html and INDEX.HTML are accepted as different files), and more than a couple teams have done this with multiple pairs of files this year.

The way I move the files is via ftp download from the temp domains to archive them locally on my Mac and on CD-ROM, then re-upload them to their final resting place. The problem is that during the ftp process, my machine sees the two similarly named files as the same file and wonít let me save them in the same directory, forcing me to choose between keeping the first one downloaded or overwriting it with the second. I ran into this on one or two sites last year and was able to go in and tweak the names and links, but this year, the situation became more common Ė and too daunting to go in for manual fixes.

Would using Windows-based ftp allow these files to live together, or is there some other solution that might work?

Any ideas would be appreciated.


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TOC for Cost Control --
"A study released in the May, 2006 APICS magazine demonstrates that TOC is twenty times as effective as Six Sigma, and nearly ten times more effective than lean at causing cost savings. I find this remarkable result especially interesting because cost savings are a side benefit of TOC...TOC focuses on increasing Throughput."
We all knew that, didn't we? (read Larry's summary with the math).

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Strategic Thinking and Improvement

Enterprise PM - It Starts with Strategic Interdependence

Face Reality

How to Think With Your Gut

Hugger-Mugger and Helter-Skelter

Managing for Murphy, Satan, and Yourself

More of the Same (Local/Global)

PMI Congress Notes: Using Risk Management for Strategic Advantage

Tell Me How You'll Measure Me and Ah, But What to Measure?

What's in Your Strategy?

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Why TOC Works
Project and Multi-Project Management
Critical Chain and (not or) XP

Defining Project Success (But for Whom?)

Down 'n Dirty w/TOC and PM (Part 1 of 5 consecutive posts)

End of Project Review

If Project Management is the Answer, What's the Question?

In Defense of Planning

It Ain't the Tools

Lessons Learned, Revisited

Predicting Uncertain Futures

Project Conflicts

Project Determinism (and other myths)

Project Portfolio Management

Promises, Predictions, and Planning

Removing Bottlenecks - A Core Systems Design Principle

Stage Gates and Critical Chain

Ten Top Sources of Project Failure (The Executive Version)

The Meaning of "Schedule"
Leadership and Change Management
Consistent Leadership Behavior

Invisible Dogma - Perpetuating Paradigms

Nothing But Value

On Assumption Busting

Personal Productivity - An Excuse?

The Psychology of Change Management

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