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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, March 26, 2008

Do you have a plan? -- From Seth Godin, Managing urgencies...
"...Add up enough urgencies and you don't get a fire, you get a career. A career putting out fires never leads to the goal you had in mind all along.

"...If you work in an urgent-only culture, the only solution is to make the right things urgent."
If you don't have time to fix the processes that result in fire-fighting, you may as well plan for a career in fire-fighting.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tell Me How You'll Measure My Conversations...and I'll tell you how I'll converse.

From AdWeek, Conversation Quotient talks about the difficulty in measuring the infant social media channel for reaching interacting with your potential customers.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

It's the Relationship, Stupid --

The Break Up
by geertdesager

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Concentration --

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Value is in the eye of the guy who's paying -- From Joe Ely, What is Value, anyway?, where he passes along a story about a shop making a value-call for the customer, that diminished that value in the customer's eyes.

I ran into a similar situation on my last visit to my Hong Kong tailor. Decided to invest in what I've been calling (to my wife's distress) "my last Navy blazer", and asked the tailor to base the initial cut on the last jacket they made me, plus some new measurements for my extra couple pounds.

Went in for the first fitting, and "huh?" How come the jacket feels short?

"But sir, that's the current style, shorter jackets."

That school boy might look OK on some little skinny 20-something, but not on my 6'2, 235 pound body. (Plus, I wanted something to last 20-30 years, worn a few times a year, not something in the current "style" that'll look dated in 5.)

Fortunately, they listened to me and made it suitably long, eventually satisfying my parameters of values.

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Even for online advertising, there's always a constraint -- A potential problem for online advertising, which is made possible by high-speed internet access, lies in the bottleneck constraints uncovered by higher-speed internet access. From Doc Searls: Subtractvertising
"If youíre going to be in the advertising business, either as a site or as a service that puts ads on sites, at least make sure that the damn server gets the ads on the pages.

"Now that our home is served by a Verizon FiOS connection that gives us 20Mb both upstream and down (and a big high five to Verizon for being the first in symmetry as well as speed), itís getting easier to tell where the bottlenecks occur. And itís usually not in the pipes. Itís in the ad servers...

"...Hereís a bet. As more people get faster connections, tolerance for time- and space-sucking advertising is going to go down.

"And eventually the advertising-pays-for-everything bubble will pop."
Something that advertising systems will need to address.

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Busy vs. Productive -- Read it.


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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ramblings on NCFOM, The Wire, and Change --No Country for Old Men DVD last night (forgot how really good it was in theatre - nothing else needed, nothing felt unnecessary), The Wire finale last week -
"'Deserves' ain't got nothin' to do with it." - Snoop
And if "deserves" doesn't matter, then cause-and-effect is hard to discern from outside the mind of the perpetrator, hence difficulty solving, effecting, changing from the outside. Sheriff Bell recognizes that Anton might not be a lunatic, but still, he also feels he's "too old" a man to suss out what feels like a new world. And if you can't understand the complexity of modern urban life, it's a lot easier for police and schools to "juke the stats" than rebuild the institutional system.

Sometimes, companies too. Hence Enron, the housing bubble, and today's credit crisis.

Once again, "Tell me how you'll measure me and I'll tell you how I behave."...most of the time. And it's the rest of the time as well as the unintended consequences of the measures that can feel "lunatic" from the outside and fuck up the intended chain of cause and effect.

(Mind of a blogger...This started as a short tweet - then was headed for my Unfocused blog because I thought it was about a movie and a TV show, but stumbled on a "business" connection in the "juke the stats" sentence, so it ended up here.)

By the way, great summary of The Wire finale by Sepinwall of the Star-Ledger.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Talent Supply Chain - Again from Jack Vinson, more on Ricketts' book Reaching the Goal and resource management in services - Another view on Services and Talent Management:
"Carry too many people on the bench, and the company is sluggish. The same as if you carry too much inventory. Carry too little, and the company can't respond to consumer demand."
If services rely on talent the way manufacturing relies on inventory, why not manage them in a similar manner, allowing demand to "pull" on an understood replenishment chain? I think I'm starting to get it.

(Also starting to like that word "talent" as a replacement for "resources".)

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Twitter in Plain English --

On Twitter, I'm @fpatrick. Trying to use it more, but still looking for my 140 character voice.

(via Jim McGee)


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Friday, March 07, 2008

Memos are like meetings --
Bureaucrats write memoranda both because they appear to be busy when they are writing and because the memos, once written, immediately become proof that they were busy.
- Charles Peters
...kind of like the flurry of emails I sent out yesterday, justifying the past few days of work, I must admit.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Competence - Playing off the Peter Principal, my old blog buddy Clarke Ching has come up with something that I predict will become a classic - The "Clarke Principle".
In most organizations most employees are not allowed to rise to the level of their competence.
Yes. A classic.

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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
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Defining Project Success (But for Whom?)

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End of Project Review

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In Defense of Planning

It Ain't the Tools

Lessons Learned, Revisited

Predicting Uncertain Futures

Project Conflicts

Project Determinism (and other myths)

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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"
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Invisible Dogma - Perpetuating Paradigms

Nothing But Value

On Assumption Busting

Personal Productivity - An Excuse?

The Psychology of Change Management

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