My Originals

PERSONAL/MISCELLANEOUS

In Helping Others, I Help Myself – My philosophy.

Happy Anniversary! – Milestone thoughts on being out of a full-time job for a year.

Tarnished Endorsements – LinkedIn endorsements, and why I don’t want them.

The Rules of Sewage – Water, sewage, and lessons for judging human character.

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations – Thoughts on diversity and tolerance.

Happy Anniversary 2 – Milestone thoughts on being out of a full-time job for two years.

Two Kinds of People – There really are two kinds of people.  I opine on the difference.

Some Interesting News About Health and Weight Loss – Summarizing some recent developments in our understanding of fitness, health, diet, and weight loss.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

The Hairs-Breadth Challenge – Exhorting readers to make the effort to be kinder, better, work towards their goals… even if only by the breadth of one hair every day.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

 

ENGINEEERING – Design, Manufacturing, DFMA, Materials, Problem Solving

Engineering Change Orders – Thoughts on the ECO process and capturing more information in it.

The Value of Analysis (Part I) – Case study of value analysis sessions to reduce costs.

The Value of Analysis (Part II) – Case study of value analysis and the importance of competitive benchmarking.

Fix the Problem I: Eliminate Variability, or Adapt to It – Case study of identifying where variation in a process comes from, and how to handle it.

Fix the Problem II: Medical Blister-Pack Punctures – Case study of finding the location of where a customer-found problem originated, and some proposed solutions.

Fix the Problem III: Ink Adhesion to Plastics – Case study about adhesion to plastics, and how it was solved.

Fix the Problem IV: Water Ingestion into a Headlight – Case study examining a problem at an OEM customer.

Fix the Problem V: Cultural Awareness is Critical – Case study of how an understanding of Japanese culture avoided costing people face.

Case Study: Choosing Plastics for a LEGO Toy Truck – Case study about how to select plastics for an application from my career.

Design for Assembly: A Child Sippy-Cup Cap – Case study of a DFA problem showing how partial symmetry can be a problem.

Fix the Problem VI -The Role of Material Microstructure in an Overmolding Application

Choosing Plastics – Why it’s important to think of the end goal – minimized part cost – and not obsess over price per pound of resin pellets.

Visiting Suppliers – Three examples of why visiting suppliers, whether prospective, established, or best-in-class, is a very good idea.

Fix the Problem VII: Product Launch Crisis – Case study about a product launch going particularly badly, and how we worked to identify the critical areas to focus attention.

Fix the Problem VIII: The Problem Toggle – Two examples of solving a problem by truly understanding the root cause… and how I found those root causes.

Fix the Problem IX: Three High-Scrap Issues on a Product Family – Tracing the root causes and eliminating the scrap on three different automotive radiators.

Fix the Problem X: Learning from Interview Problems  – Three short case studies of problems I was presented with in interviews, as a part of seeing how I approach problems.

Fix the Problem XI: The Measles Chart – A very simple graphic, used as a first-pass data collection scheme in production trouble-shooting, can reveal tremendous amounts of useful information.

Lean Manufacturing: Weighing Theory vs. the POF – Lean Manufacturing in Theory and Practice, with a case-history overview.

Fix the Problem XII: When Chemicals Attack – Three short examples, with lessons-learned, about when chemicals attacked products and/or equipment.

Pegging Out the Nerd-O-Meter: My Morning Commute – A statistical analysis of my morning commute time.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

 

BUSINESS PRACTICES / COMPETITION

From HAL’s Breakdown to Competitive Success – Candor, adaptability… and how they contribute to business competition.

Mercenary Workforce – Decrying the “new model” of more and more consultants and contractors replacing full-time people.

Is Your Washroom Breeding Bolsheviks? – To get employee loyalty, employers must show loyalty, and take into account that small things, and emotions, matter immensely.

Old Age and Treachery – If job-hopping is bad, and Millenials job-hop like crazy, why are companies so obsessed about hiring them? A proposed answer.

The Cost of Crazybusy – While it’s understandable to want to do more with less, there are hidden costs to this approach.

Pianos, Cost Savings, and Innovation – Thoughts on the in-the-news innovation crisis, what I believe is causing it, and a few suggestions on how to fix things.

Daleks in the Workplace  – There seems to be a denial of emotions in the workplace; everyone is to be neutral.  This will result in uncompetitive companies.

Show Me the Stupid – A collection of short and anonymous case studies of where silos, blinders, and “we’ve always done it this way” costs companies big-time.  Presented in an educational mode.

Employee Engagement: Not One-Size-Fits-All – To truly engage and motivate a person you need to do it one-on-one, while understanding each person’s individual needs and priorities.  And a conclusion about my priorities.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

Show Me the Stupid 2 – More mindboggling moronity in the business world.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

Corporate Success in a Hypercompetitive World – Resurrection and editing of an essay on competition from my old blog.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

 

HR/RECRUITING/HIRING

Casting the First Stone – Thoughts on using social media to vet candidates

The Lazlo Emergency Commission Report – The dangers of trying to hire people based on an idealized profile.

Check the Foundation First – Ethics and Intelligence are the foundational aspects of considering a person’s fit.

Where the Money Is – Why are companies ignoring networking groups?

Whacking the Nerve Again – More questions of why companies are avoiding networking groups when looking for candidates.

Thanks. Now buzz off. – The treatment of candidates; what goes around will come around.

A Jedi Craves Not These Things – Experience matters in life and in work.

Force and Counterforce: Equilibrium – Proposals for new metrics in the hiring process.

Vanishing Herds – Is the supply of candidates really endless? Or will it disappear faster than is conceivable?

The Moccasin Mile – Musings about only hiring people who have jobs, and the need to think “There but for the grace of G-d go I.”

The Perils of Social Media (Long) – More musings on using social media to vet candidates.

Social Media Vetting: Proposed Standards (Long) – With candidates being given the once-over (and more) through the internet, here are some thoughts on guidelines for doing so.

Are Recruiters Inhibiting Recruiting? – Some recent experiences with recruiters, prompting some observations and predictions about the recruiting industry.

Recruiting Essay: Further Thoughts – Clarifications on the previous essay and further thoughts about the state of recruiting.  And an open apology since my intent was not to impugn recruiters in general.

Jurassic Park Hiring – Musings on ATS software and its limitations – with some proposals on how things could be changed to find more and better candidates.

Is No Loaf Really Better than Half – Thoughts and questions for why companies just can’t seem to hire – and don’t seem to be concerned about it.

Fuzzy Limits – Since we don’t have telepathy or gauge readouts of others’ emotions, we need to have fuzzy limits as we judge others and their personalities.

Peeing in the Candidate Reservoir – The poor treatment of candidates does not stay isolated, but spreads through the whole workforce.

What’s Wrong With This Picture? – There are oodles of skilled, educated, accomplished, intelligent, articulate people looking for work.  Why can’t they find work?  And a challenge to companies seeking people.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

The Quest for the Purple Squirrel – A series of WHY questions leading to a theory of why hiring managers are obsessed with finding the Purple Squirrel candidate.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

Boomer Averse Employers – Digging in to why employers are so averse to hiring Baby Boomers.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

Wrong Pictures and Difficult Conversations – A young woman I met can’t find a job… which led me to thinking about how a conversation at a company should go (and hypothesize why it never happens).  (Published on LinkedIn.)

Amalgam Employment – How today’s habit of running anorexic for so long has created “smushed-together” job descriptions… that cannot be filled.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

 

FOR JOB SEEKERS

Done In Seven Seconds – Why first impressions matter so much.

The Thinnest of Margins – How small improvements helped my life, and can help yours too.

The “O” Word – Musings about being called overqualified.

Ask – Questions to ask in an interview.

Fit to be Tied – Thoughts on business attire.

Ask 2 (More Penetrating Questions) – More questions to ask in an interview.

Cultural Splinters – Corporate culture is critical; where it comes from, and how to get clues about it before you’re in it.

The Butlerian Jihad – Get thee out from behind thy computer and smartphone… and go meet people in person.

The “O” Word 2 – More thoughts on being called overqualified.

Am I A Fit? – How to close out an interview and ask for objections without actually asking.

Why Am I Here? – How to answer questions in an interview; a new approach. SPARTACUS!

The Name’s The Thing – People’s names are important; don’t assume you can use a nickname.

If They Say “Dead” You’re Buried – What to think if an employer puts you on an “improvement plan”; also, the ephemeral nature of jobs these days and steps you should take to protect yourself as a matter of course.

Resume AVeNReTYA – Your resume is a marketing document. Make it easier to parse your accomplishments and thus move from being skimmed to being read.  This post was edited and re-published on LinkedIn: Give Your Resume Bullet Points High-Caliber Impact.

Ask 3 – Five more penetrating questions to ask in interviews.

To Picture or Not to Picture – That is the Question – Discussing pictures on resumes, in social media… and a possible marriage between resumes and social media.

Ask 4 – Still more penetrating questions to ask in interviews.

Differentiate Yourself in an Interview: Beyond Your Background – Thoughts on how to differentiate yourself from the herd during the interview process.

Resume Ruminations – Hopefully adding to the collective wisdom and advice on writing and handling resumes.

Ask 5 – Some more questions to ask on interviews.

Job Seekers: Watch Your Back(ground) – About how I discovered an error in a private criminal background database, what I had to do to get it removed, and how I think it was costing me job offers.

Ask 6 – And more questions to ask on interviews.

Ask 7: Eight (More) Unique Questions to Ask During an Interview – And more penetrating questions.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

Is Networking Losing its Moxie? – Networking is still the best way to try and find a job, but it doesn’t seem to be as effective as it used to be.  I give some examples and speculate as to why.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

Networking Commandments – Rules for networking and for developing relationships, not points-of-contact.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

 

ECONOMICS/OFFSHORING/OTHER

Risk and Reward – Economic policy thoughts; how to get more jobs.

Offshoring: To Insanity… and Beyond – There are other considerations besides the macroeconomic benefit to offshoring; here I look at national security implications.  This essay was edited and republished on LinkedIn as A Fly in the Free Trade Ointment.

Reshoring: Throwing Down the Gauntlet – There are numerous hidden costs in sending production offshore; I list some of them and challenge companies to trust American workers.

Offshoring – Don’t Breed Bolsheviks – Regardless of the “cold numbers” benefits of offshoring, the emotional impact – not only on families but on entire communities – is driving an emotional backlash.  What happens when that reaches a tipping point?

Juggling Economic Eggs – More thoughts on how the American economy might grow… if some changes are made.

Future Shock – What dangers lie ahead as we rush to automate more and more?

The Threat of AI: The Slow Fade – While others discuss Terminators or other dangers of AI, I’d like to opine on a potential, and far more subtle, worry.

The Robot/AI Curve Accelerates – The tidal wave of automation is almost upon us, and it’s not just First World jobs at stake.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

Observations from a Trade Show – Several observations and conclusions based on my recent attendance of a trade show in Boston, MA.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

The Soft Underbellies of our Tech Mania – We are racing to connect and integrate everything into one world-wide tapestry; but there are multiple ways to yank on the threads, and people eager to do so.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

Old Dogs Learning New Trumpets – Technology has now become the master – with change being pushed, unwanted and untested, to the public.  And it’s done out of sheer arrogance on the part of those developing it.  (Published on LinkedIn.)

Explosive Growth: Thoughts on Revving the American EconomyAll essays are copyrighted; “fair use” is allowed, and posting of links to these essays is encouraged, so long as proper credit is given. (Published on LinkedIn.)

Kryptonians, Vampires, and the Coming Robotic Calamity – Projecting the future looking at trends in home delivery, medical advances, and AI / robotics.

 

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