Mike Pierce's blog

Manufacturing in the U.S.: Taking Advantage of a Bright Future

I recently posted on LinkedIn a link to a very interesting study released by Boston Consulting on the current state of Global Manufacturing. It’s a great study, but my take away from it, aside from the obvious information it gives, is the sanity check it delivers on what would otherwise be considered conventional wisdom and how wrong it can be.

Organizational Time Management: Improving Performance with more Efficient Communications

Recently, there have been discussions within our management ranks about email preferences. The topic centers on how much information does one want to see. Some prefer to get copied on everything. Others on a need-to-know basis. But, at the end of the day, we are all trying to find a happy medium of managing time and information. A few of us remember the days of “Goldenrod” – I’ll explain that in a little bit for those not familiar with its meaning.

Built to thrive: What makes a long-surviving organization successful?

One of my favorite sources of thought and contemplation of business is the McKinsey Quarterly.  In case you are not familiar, McKinsey & Company is one of the leading management consulting firms in the world and a top source of global CEO recruits. Many top authors and analysts also have gone through McKinsey’s organization. The Quarterly is a publication of some of their most esteemed thinkers’ works.

Building and Maintaining Company Reputation: Integrity, Honor, Values

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” And reputation in business is not immune to this wisdom. What gets lost sometimes in the day-to-day, give-and-take of work is the loss of focus that the one bad deed that Mr. Franklin was referring to might have just taken place.

Client Communications: Building Presence of Mind

Below is an email exchange (redacted version) between one of our team members and a prospective client, as a follow up to a recent sales presentation:

From: Bob

To: Project sales team

Subject: Our presentation follow up

A True Austinite: In Memorium of Floyd “Brownie” Higgs

As each of us goes through our careers, we encounter individuals who, by the sheer force of their spirit, make our profession and our work lives better. If we’re lucky and end up in the right places, we may encounter more than one or two of these special individuals.

How Early, Clear Communication of Strategy Streamlines Projects

Sometimes, things seem to be more complicated than they really should be. Right? Whether it is home, work, church groups, etc., things just seem to get more complicated than necessary. 

Why is that?

Continuous Improvement: What We Can Learn From Project Personalities

It is interesting how each project develops its own personality.

Some projects have a very positive personality. Communications are great. The project chemistry is great. Everyone on the project seems to click. Other projects are sleepers. They just seem to get done without anyone who is not involved noticing. Then, other projects have more challenges to them. They demand the attention and focus of management and other resources beyond the normal project team.

The Benefits of Unplugging

Quitting something “cold turkey” is very difficult to do, unless the thing you are quitting is no longer available. There are 168 hours in a week. If we get an average of 7 hours of sleep per night, that leaves 119 waking hours. So, if we are working 40 hours per week, it is one-third of our waking hours.

A Lean Approach: How Planning and Understanding Provide Customer Value

I attended a seminar this past week on Lean strategies. The speaker pointed out that while Lean is often thought of as a manufacturing strategy, it is applicable to any series of tasks that make up a process. So any such process, whether it is the manufacturing process, the process for running a loan application through a financial institution, or the process for designing and building a building, is a candidate for applying Lean principles.