Content By Barbara A. Cleary

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By: Barbara A. Cleary

When W. Edwards Deming urged managers to “institute training on the job” in his Fourteen Points for Managers, he undoubtedly meant far more than simply teaching workers how to use specific equipment or procedures involved in their work. Indeed, developing an organization’s culture demands a commitment to bringing all employees along in their learning—and this includes teaching managers how to help employees pursue continuous improvement in their work lives.

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By: Barbara A. Cleary

Taking time off for vacation seems to be a diminishing phenomenon among U.S. workers. Each year, Americans fail to use 662 million vacation days, and with those days $236 billion in economic opportunity is lost, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

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By: Barbara A. Cleary

If you get off the highway and take an alternate route when traffic slows to one lane, you are making a prediction. Likewise, if you decide to invite someone to dinner, that too is a prediction. The scientific method? Predictive in nature. Every time you make a decision, you are making a prediction of an outcome, and choosing one over another based on this prediction.

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By: Barbara A. Cleary

In a 1995 interview, tech guru Steve Jobs posited that empires could crash and burn if the emphasis is on sales rather than on product. “Companies forget what it means to make great products,” he said. Instead, they direct resources to selling, rather than improving and innovating.

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By: Barbara A. Cleary

Complying to requirements and standards is sufficient to meet the objectives of injury and accident prevention, and ensure the health and safety of all employees—right?

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By: Barbara A. Cleary

When Frederick Winslow Taylor advanced the principles of “scientific management” in 1909, he was hailed as a master of efficient production. In the context of the new century’s focus on science, his principles were met with the approval of manufacturers, who saw opportunities to improve productivity and enhance profitability.

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By: Barbara A. Cleary

Statistics has gotten a bad rap. People love to quote Mark Twain (“There are lies, damn lies, and statistics,” alternatively attributed to Benjamin Disraeli), Vin Scully (“Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination”), or Stephen Leacock (“In ancient times they had no statistics so they had to fall back on lies”).

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By: Barbara A. Cleary

Among the “10 top business trends that will drive success in 2016,” reported in an end-of-2015 Forbes article by author and consultant Ian Altman, was the point that “Top performing companies will focus on connecting customers.”

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By: Barbara A. Cleary

In a rapidly changing business environment, it’s sometimes hard just to keep up with everyday demands—never mind having time to develop new and better approaches to changing requirements, needs, or markets. Staying ahead of the curve sounds as if it might demand working longer hours, hiring more people, or cloning oneself, none of which seem likely in the short term. So how does one manage to innovate in this environment?

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By: Barbara A. Cleary

Approaching the end of the school year means focusing on graduation rates, dropout rates, and other data suggesting trends for students. Opportunities for considering statistics abound, but one must examine the way that these statistics are actually used by asking the right questions about the data.