Volume 10 Number 10 - October 9, 2012


If you know a company — customer, supplier, friend, or your own — that could benefit
from improved operations, let us know.
Your best interest is our best interest.

The Finish Strong® monthly e-newsletter is for business leaders who recognize Operations as a strategic function that creates competitive advantage, profitability and brand loyalty to the marketplace.

These brief articles, list of events, and amended quote will make you think.
Go ahead: test us


The economics of the music industry have changed drastically in the past 15 years. Of the several reasons two stand out: digitization, and a large contingent of music listeners that see no moral or ethical problem with file sharing all music for free.

The economics of the newspaper industry have changed drastically in the past 10 years. Of the several reasons two stand out: wide access to the internet, and an expectation of instant news better met by other providers.

The economics of the television industry have changed drastically in the past 15 years. Of the several reasons two stand out: the digitization of signal and the alternative distribution models of satellites and cable.

The economics of retail have changed drastically over the past 10 years. Of the several reasons two stand out: new expectations for choice, availability, price, information and fast delivery created by the internet, especially Amazon, and the uninformed service providers in many brick & mortar stores.

The economics of the manufacturing industry are changing right now. China may represent the best known example of differing ethics (aka, respect for copyright and or patents) affecting manufacturers. Digitization is everywhere, which enables the 3D printer to increasingly meet the "I want it and I want it now" aspect of demand. New distribution channels are evolving, impacted by the need for cost reduction and the expectation of immediate supply.

If you assume your industry is immune from these shifts you are wrong. Whether B2B or B2C, your world is morphing into something you haven't faced before. But there are plenty of examples from which we can learn.

Sam Cooke may not have talking about the economics of the music industry, or of the manufacturing industry, but don't stick your head in the sand believing "we're different." You're not. As Sam also sang, "this is a mean old world to try and live in..."


Whether a "life coach," a sports coach, an executive coach, or an employee coach, how can we tell an excellent coach from a mediocre or bad one?

A coach exists to help develop skills, situational awareness, and thinking and behavioral practices that facilitate success. A good coach knows what questions to ask and when, ensures the "student" clearly understands the objective and the strategy for reaching it, knows what behaviors will increase success, and respects how good the student can become. A good coach knows that results can reflect luck, but great coaching will ensure continued success.

"Don Shula can take his'n and beat your'n," said Bum Phillips, then the NFL Houston Oilers coach. "Or he can take your'n and beat his'n."

Now there's a good coach! And a good standard to consider when evaluating our own coaching skills. Do the people we coach consistently reach their full potential? Do they know how to win?


The Starting Pistol
Albert Schweitzer:
"The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings."

The Tape
Rebecca Morgan:
"...so when we focus on differences or selfishness, ethics suffer."


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