If Abe Lincoln had been a marketing manager today, well, the US would be a whole lot worse off. But if he were, he might say “You can please some of your customers all of the time, and all of your customers some of the time, but if you try…

“Big Data” is big right now. It offers the promise of turning vast amounts of data into profits. Often, however, this promise is not fulfilled, because in order to reap the benefits of big data, you first have to know what the right data is. …

Joseph Heller’s dark satire Catch-22 proposes the term for problems that inherently prevent their own solutions. Creating good metrics can be seen as a Catch-22: Good metrics take time to create, but until you have good metrics there is no time to create them. …

I lived in Western Europe for a year after college when I was a Watson Fellow. Adapting to new cultures and mores was difficult, but I was surprised at how much more difficult it was returning to my own country afterwards.

As we near the milestone in the US of…

You’ve seen the situation — a manager makes the same mistakes over and over, an executive reads a book or article and decides to implement it at their organization. Why do they fail when they try to use their own or someone else’s experience? It’s because experience alone teaches nothing.

Even a small business is pretty complicated. I have heard some people say that business is so complicated that no one can really understand or control one. While the former might be true, you don’t need to understand everything about a business to manage it. …

Most businesses know the importance of using metrics to manage, but a lot of them struggle with creating metrics that actually fulfill their purpose. How do they go wrong, and how is hiring an external consultant to tell you the “right” metrics like getting an organ transplant that fails?

The…

One thing I run into at many clients is that they don’t differentiate between metrics for a project and metrics used in management. How does confusing the two reduce your effectiveness and how can you fix it?

“Management,” in this case, is supporting the people who report to you in…

I was looking for a quick source to give a client an overview of what statistical process control (SPC) is. I found an article on Wikipedia, but, as is usual with SPC articles, it made a common, but in my mind crucial, omission.

Wikipedia is a great place to start…

Creating and translating metrics to every level of a business is essential to get and stay competitive. But don’t be overwhelmed and think that you have to get everything up and running all at once. As a wise man is misquoted to say, “Anything worth doing is worth doing half-assed.”

Steven Ouellette

Consultant, writer, educator, speaker, thinker.

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