Volume 14 Number 2 - February 9, 2016


Negative interest rates. China as economic mystery. Oil and stock prices plunge. An American election year with many unorthodox candidates for president. The war torn Middle East and resultant raging refugee stream into Europe, which isn't quite sure what to do about any of it.

Feeling nervous?

Succeeding in volatile times is really no different than during stability. Success always requires conviction.

Conviction, however, does not mean immutable. Every business makes a bad decision now and then. Whether witnessing irrational exuberance or desperate despondency, knowing how, when and where to change is indispensable.

Regardless of market conditions, it is always wise to identify assumptions most critical to the success of a decision, and those most precarious. Changing nothing is also a decision and should be subject to the same process.

Then identify trigger points for key assumptions. When reached, reassess the decision. It may be wise to limit your investment, or to double down. I've seen too many companies discount trigger values because they simply wanted too much to believe. Stick with facts — not hope or excuses.

Once in a rare while we get totally blindsided, but it's much more common to find a misguided assumption at the root.

Whether it's a calm sunny day, or stormy, if you can't swim don't dive into the deep end; even if you can, never dive into the shallow end. If you're not sure of the depth, get data. Never swim alone. And before you get wet confirm that water is the best of alternative paths. And if the waters rise, know how to get to shore.

Business is no different.

The Starting Pistol

"Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.”

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"and truth the medium between facts and opinion."

February 17-18, 2016: Salt Lake City, UT: One of the best cultures and manufacturers in the United States, O. C. Tanner, is opening their doors to executives and managers of companies that want to learn how to create A Lean Transformation That Never Stops Improving. This E&Y Master Entrepreneur of the Year winner will share strategy, key tools, and coaching to enhance employee participation.

April 12-14, 2016: Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business presents its 4th annual Leading Through Excellence Summit. Join your peers in this opportunity to learn. Keynotes, breakout sessions, and simulations are augmented by workshops and plant tours.

April 19-20, 2016: Akron, OH: This two day AME workshop presented by Goodyear, "Lean Product Development: From Idea to Profitable Product," demonstrates how that international business dramatically improved both the speed and success of converting ideas into profitable products. Goodyear executive Norbert Majerus will lead the workshop as we examine Lean Product Development processes and make the "fuzzy front end" crystal clear.

May 3-5, 2016: Rosemont, IL: The Industry Week Best Plants Conference is now the Manufacturing and Technology Conference. This two day event continues to offer keynotes, plant visits, and insights from leaders in the manufacturing industry, along with increased focus on technology advances of importance.

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