Volume 11 Number 2 - February 5, 2013


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


This weekend I had the pleasure of attending Breakthrough Bash, a fund raising event for the Breakthrough family of charter schools in Cleveland, OH. Breakthrough is a fairly recent partnership of three previously separate local charter school systems. The leaders of those systems knew that they could improve the education of children more cost effectively by joining forces, and made it happen.

There are 3 distinctly different models of education in Breakthrough because both students and teachers thrive in different environments. But what is common to each is the high expectations for everyone, from kindergartners through the board chair.

A Stanford University study just named Breakthrough Schools number 1 in reading in urban charter schools, and number 4 in math.

What does this have to do with you?

By believing in kids others had written off as hopeless, by passionately committing energy to teaching those children how to learn and succeed, the leadership that created each of the 3 charter school systems that are now Breakthrough provides the framework for hundreds of personal success stories.

Commitment to a vision, high expectations that never waver, and energy to help everyone succeed combine to create leadership. Every successful organization has that kind of leadership. Real leaders are building personal success stories with those they lead. How many amazing stories have you helped create?


Let me start by saying I am not a trainer. I am a consultant. I observe, listen, question, challenge, and advise. Very little of what I do for clients would be called training.

Why on earth do many executives consider training the first budget item to cut? If your company isn't continually improving, why would anyone want to do business with you next year? If a business chooses not to develop its own employees, how does it expect to improve? If it considers improvement a budget item easily cast aside, how will it be competitive in the future?

Would you go to a medical provider who had decided s/he couldn't afford training? Would you use an attorney or accountant who had decided s/he couldn't afford to stay current with changing laws?

Those professions have requirements of minimum education and ongoing training to protect the public. Incompetence still exists, but there is at least some requirement intended to weed out the worst. Business has a way of weeding out those recalcitrant to improvement as well.


The Starting Pistol
"Not every difficult and dangerous thing is suitable for training, but only that which is conducive to success in achieving the object of our effort."

The Tape
Rebecca Morgan:
"And that which is conducive to success expands constantly; knowledge cannot be left to atrophy."


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