Category Archives: Management

Faced with the recent onslaught of drug price increases, hospitals are using some old school methods to hold down costs — reducing inventories, using smaller packaging, and switching to low cost substitutes. Barry Ritholz has a good podcast interview with Michael … Continue reading

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Fredrick Winslow Taylor Gets a Bum Rap

Fredrick Winslow Taylor is recognized as the father of scientific management, sometimes called “Taylorism”, the application of which has been responsible for tremendous increases in productivity and standards of living for millions of people. “Frederick W. Taylor was the first man in … Continue reading

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This 100-Year-Old To-Do List Hack Still Works Like A Charm

From, the story of a simple to do list strategy from 1918, effective enough that it motivated Charles Schwab (at the time president of Bethlehem Steel) to reward an efficiency consultant named Ivy Lee $25,000 ($400k today) for improving the productivity of … Continue reading

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Collaboration overload is degrading our organizations

Harvard Business Review has a must-read article on a phenomena that some of us have already started to notice:  Too much collaboration degrades an organization’s ability to get work done.  The rise of matrix organizational schemes, dual reporting structures, and the large amount of … Continue reading

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Teleconferences — the mute button is on, and people are off doing yoga or the laundry

“Much of what we call work is noise” – Nassim Taleb Here’s the latest example of that, from the New York Times:  The Modern Meeting: Call In, Turn Off, Tune Out.  Backed by personal observation, data from consulting firms, and tons … Continue reading

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Anyone else find it curious that Burning Man has a rigid, logical city plan that is strictly enforced?

Burning Man, the annual free and open creative festival in the desert — where no one is allowed to use money, and anything goes — has a very logically organized and strictly enforced city plan (see above).  With a population of over 60,000, “Black … Continue reading

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Tutorial: Measuring the Efficiency of Equipment Utilization

There are two common Lean metrics for determining just how efficiently equipment is being utilized, and both are relevant for scientific research operations.  Equipment covers a wide variety of capital items, including automation platforms (liquid handlers, integrated robotics, etc.), scientific instruments (e.g. microscopes, … Continue reading

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Management Lessons on an Aircraft Carrier at Sea

Bill Reichert’s top ten management lessons from the US Navy. h/t Stacie Sherwood & Jeff Griffin via LinkedIn.

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Beware Institutional Mimicry

One of the most common management pitfalls is the trap of institutional mimicry. Companies that are falling behind, or otherwise need to reinvent themselves, look around at the competition and other relevant benchmarks, and try to copy “what works”.  But instead of … Continue reading

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Fortune Cookie Leadership Advice

“A leader is a person you will follow to a place you wouldn’t go by yourself.”

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