Steve Moore’s picture

By: Steve Moore

In this year’s April issue of the Bridge Bulletin, the ACBL (American Contract Bridge League) unveiled a new logo as part of a rebranding campaign to promote the beloved game of bridge to a wider audience. Included in the new logo is the tagline “Dealing Infinite Possibilities.” It is this tagline that prompted me to write this article after several years of performing probability calculations applicable to bridge.

My background is engineering, probability, and statistics. I spent much of my career in the pulp and paper industry leading projects that required statistical design of experiments, statistical process control, data mining, and neural network analysis. So you can imagine that the ACBL tagline piqued my interest.

Tad Haas’s picture

By: Tad Haas

According to Forbes, employees whose voices are heard are nearly five times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.

Every team leader must keep their employees engaged and motivated so that they can benefit from their expertise. They can achieve this by taking a holistic approach to managing their employees’ ideas and by using tools such as ideation software to facilitate collaboration across departments.

This article gives a quick overview of what your approach to engagement should consist of and how idea management software can help make it a possibility.

Empower your team to solve existing problems

A perfect way to empower your team and significantly improve engagement is to encourage them to provide solutions to existing problems.

By asking for your teams’ advice in solving challenges that affect the business, you make it clear that their opinion is valued. An employee who feels that they can truly make a difference will be more motivated to put their suggestions forward.

Donald J. Wheeler’s picture

By: Donald J. Wheeler

First, let it be known that all charts for count-based data are charts for individual values. Regardless of whether we are working with a count or a rate, we obtain one value per time period and want to plot a point every time we get a value. This need to plot the current data is why the specialty charts for count-based data were developed before a general approach for charting individual values was discovered. The question addressed in this column is when to use the specialty charts with your count-based data.

The first of these specialty charts, the p-chart, was created by Walter Shewhart in 1924. At that time the idea of using the two-point moving range to measure the dispersion of a set of individual values had not yet reached the professional literature. (John von Neumann would introduce the use of successive differences to the mathematical world in 1941, and W. J. Jennett would have the idea of an XmR chart in 1942.)

Art Petty’s picture

By: Art Petty

Imagine you have the opportunity to serve as the proverbial fly on the wall for various organizations across different sectors to observe the process of strategy creation.

When asked to share what you observed, I'm confident you will highlight a confusing morass of discussions, political debates, arguments over resources, glorified attempts at operational planning, and the gross abuse of something called SWOT. I’m equally confident you won’t have a better understanding of the actual work of defining strategy as a result of your adventure.

While we live and work in interesting times where traditional elongated planning processes no longer fit, leaders still have the responsibility to define a coherent strategy. After all, organizations must determine how and where to apply resources to serve stakeholders, beat competitors, and navigate the unexpected twists and turns of shifting business models and accelerating change. An organization’s leaders must develop competence as strategists.

Gleb Tsipursky’s picture

By: Gleb Tsipursky

Surveys show that anywhere from two-thirds to three-quarters of all employers intend to have a hybrid workforce after the pandemic as part of their return to office plan. Employees would come in one to three days weekly to work on collaborative tasks with their teams. The rest of the time, they would work on their own tasks remotely. Many of these employers also intend to permit employees to work fully remote if the employees want to and can demonstrate a high level of productivity.

Jim Benson’s picture

By: Jim Benson

Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences. In fact, for short periods of time, it is actually valuable to us. The hormones our brains release during stressful moments were designed to protect us by preparing us to react quickly in dangerous situations.

Unfortunately, when these hormones start kicking in, we become exposed to a wide variety of potential health problems, both physical and psychological. Some of the most vivid examples include depression, insomnia, high blood sugar, and even heart attacks.


Millions of people around the world are suffering from chronic stress that puts their health in danger every day. For many of them, the biggest contributors to accumulating stress are their jobs.

We all know the feeling of being overwhelmed by the long list of tasks that await us at the start of the workday or the urgency of a last-minute request from a stakeholder. However, we are far from powerless against it.

Let’s explore several ways to achieve a stress-free workday.

Bruce Hamilton’s picture

By: Bruce Hamilton

Just a little over a year ago we lost Hajime Oba, one of the great pioneers of Toyota Production System (TPS) learning in the United States. In 1992, he was the founding manager of the Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC), a nonprofit affiliate of Toyota Motors of North America (TMNA), established to share TPS knowledge with North American organizations that showed a sincere commitment to learn and apply what he referred to as “true TPS.”

My company, United Electric Controls, submitted a request to TSSC for assistance in 1995, and it was our good fortune to begin our TPS journey with Oba. During the next several weeks, I’ll share a few stories to honor his rare leadership. Here’s the first, which represented my first meeting with Oba, just before TSSC agreed to work with us:

Jason V. Barger’s picture

By: Jason V. Barger

Did you know that 7.6 million people quit their jobs during the months of April and May of 2021? Reports of loneliness at work are as high as ever. Divorce rates are up 34 percent from last year. To say people have been a little stressed would be an understatement.

Let’s dig a little deeper into what the research is also telling us. Nine out of every 10 employees say they want to work for a more meaningful culture. People want to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves; they want to feel appreciated, valued, and cared for. In the midst of so much angst, division, and uncertainty in a world that seems out of our control, people need to be reminded about what is within our control.

Teams and companies need a reboot.

Most teams and companies are still figuring out how to help support their people and engage with them remotely, in hybrid settings, and in-person gatherings. With all that people have been navigating—differing modes of communication; the expansion of remote workers; global health; issues of racism, social injustice, and equity; political and economic uncertainty—they are also expected to maximize the experience, product, or service that you are delivering to the marketplace.

Here are six mindsets to help you reboot your team.

Innovating Service With Chip Bell’s picture

By: Innovating Service With Chip Bell

Necessity is the mother of invention. And few things are more necessary to the success of an organization than customers. Leave that thought on the page, and we will return to it shortly.

Napoleon knew that a military force’s success directly correlated to the food it was provided. He offered a large prize ($75K in today’s dollars) to any person who could figure out a way to get better, healthier food to his army. In 1809, a candy maker named Nicholas Appert stepped up to the challenge and discovered a process to hermetically seal food in glass jars. Appert’s technique led to an 1810 patent and spread to the United States, where the first foods sealed and shipped were salmon and lobster! Why not start with the best?

We are in a fast-paced, rapidly changing business world. “As globalization gives everyone the same information, resources, technology, and markets, a society’s particular ability to put those pieces together in the fastest and most innovative manner increasingly separates winners from losers in the global economy,” wrote bestselling author and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman.

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

Like it or not, work-from-home (WFH) is here to stay. This is not just a perk that employers might offer, but a requirement on which many employees, current and future, are demanding. According to several surveys, between 30 and 50 percent of employees surveyed said they would leave their jobs if they could not work remotely.

This pushback against return-to-work has left employers, those who were planning on full return-to-work for their employees, to quickly pivot and reconsider at least hybrid work for their workforce. Fortunately, several studies and employers’ own experience has shown that productivity has not flagged during the past year, and in many cases has soared. Coupled with the ability to get rid of expensive office space and its overhead, even those employers who were at first reluctant can feel a bit more confident with some amount of work-from-home.

But what will this look like as companies switch from “no choice” to “now we’ve got options” when it comes to remote work? According to Mike Morini, CEO of WorkForce Software, “As we transition back to the office, companies must consider how they can support their employees in the new modern workplace, including those they haven’t met yet, and create hybrid work success.”

Syndicate content