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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.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Learning Lessons -- Good point...
We need to be learning lessons continuously, not documenting lessons learnt. -- Dave Snowden
...via McGee.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Busting Assumptions - Africa -- I recently did a series of posts about busting assumptions, double-checking "facts", and generally being open to new information about what you know that you might really not. A TED Global conference earlier this year in Tanzania does this for the subject of Africa.

Think about what comes to your mind when you think of Africa, then watch this conference-opening presentation.
Made me think about researching something like GAF for my IRA.

More TED Talks from Tanzania.

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Out of the (Mail)Box Thinking -- Self-service magazine subscriptions using coupons rather than costly snail mail, via BusinessWeek Blogspotting.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Old News: Multi-tasking is Dead --
"Multi-tasking is dead. It never worked and it never will. Intelligent people love to sing its praises because it gives them permission to avoid the much more challenging alternative: focusing on one thing." Ė- Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek
Of course you already knew that.

Also, related, from Michael S. Hyatt...
"Most of us don't spend enough time thinking. We are so busy doing that we have, I fear, almost forgotten how to think. Yet it is our thinking, more than any other single activity, that influences our outcomes.

"The problems we face will not likely be solved by working harder. New gadgets won't really help either. In fact, I sometimes fear that our many gadgets have only added unnecessary clutter to our lives. What we need is better, more profound thinking.

But how can we find more time?"
He goes on to offer a few answer about finding more "head time."

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Scrutiny of Statistics -- More "scrutiny".

A recent Wired/AP News article on Live Earth targeting China for greenhouse gases falls prey to the use of a number in one dimensions - total amount of emissions. It points out that China surpassed the US as largest source of emissions in 2006 with 6.2 billion metric tons of CO2 vs 5.8 from the US.

However, if the same numbers were given one more dimension and given a per capita perspective, we 300,000,000 in the US would be shown to be putting out about four times as much as our 1,300,000,000 Chinese brethren.

Yes, the total is what matters, but..........

Here's Hans Rosling showing us how to look at such statistics.
These Ted presentations are required watching.

(And Seth Godin makes an "other side of the same coin" point in his post about "times a million math" yesterday. It's not worth it for me to give up my 98 Corvette - average 22 mpg - to go to a 4-banger or hybrid to save a few hundred dollars a year, but..."multiply that by a million.")

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

On Scrutiny of Information -- A bit of a theme this week, on givens, assumptions, beliefs and instincts...
"If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way." -- Bertrand Russell, British author, mathematician, & philosopher (1872 - 1970)

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Four-Letter Words -- Related to Monday's post about givens and assumptions, ashok at 37signals points out that certain rour-letter words...
  • Need
  • Must
  • Canít
  • Easy
  • Just
  • Only
  • Fast
...are also worthy targets for some skepticism and clarification. (I'd also include a 5-letter and a 6 - Never and Always - in this group.)

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Givens or Assumptions? -- Jeffrey Phillips suggests that when you hear "That's a given", you translate it to "That's an assumption."
What givens do we hold as sacred? If they were repealed or overturned, what would happen to our business? Someone, somewhere is working to overcome your givens. Some competitor somewhere sees your givens as assumptions that can be violated or changed. Will your firm be ready when the change comes?
What's a "given" in your world?

Your "beliefs" need to be given the same skepticism and held up to the same scrutiny that you would give any other information that comes your way. Probably more so, with more conscious effort, since entrenched givens or beliefs are too easy to ignore. In this case, ignorance might be bliss for the short term, but not necessarily for around the corner.

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FP's Recommended Reading
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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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