Volume 11 Number 5 - May 11, 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


KISS is an acronym developed about 50 years ago and still well-known today. Keep it Stupid Simple. The term was developed during the skunkworks design of stealth military jets, to reflect the fact that in war, state-of-the-art aircraft must be repairable by average field mechanics using limited tools.

Apollo 13 was brought safely back to Earth after catastrophic failure of the craft. The solution was urgently developed by a room full of engineers brainstorming how to solve the problem with the very limited space and resources available onboard.

Major challenges are best met by simple solutions.

Parts need to be dried? Maybe a hairdryer or the dry cycle on a dishwasher can do the job as well as a fancy industrial oven that requires major capital expenditure.

Simplicity requires more open-minded creativity than does development of more complex answers, and often less money. As your teams work on solving problems, require them to limit spending and work with urgency, developing more than one potential solution. As they work to prevent problems, insist on similar challenges. The goal is a simple solution.

There's nothing silly, stupid, or unsophisticated about bringing home safely 3 men from space using duct tape, if it works.

Insist on KISS creativity every day.


Unless you're a workaholic with a continually unbalanced life, expect of your employees what you expect of yourself: work 40-50 hours during an average week, continually improve personally and professionally with correlated results (expect no miracles), and care deeply about the organization, but don't sacrifice health or family for it.

Unless you're a proponent of situational ethics (which means none, really), use company resources as you would your own: spend money respectably, work intelligently and honestly, treat office supplies as just that, learn from and teach coworkers for mutual benefit, and invest in your own development.

If you are a workaholic who expects others to live the same way, and/or someone who believes it's not stealing to take advantage of others, be prepared for disappointment.

This is not a religious or political assessment. It simply reflects observations of successful leaders, who I find continually exhibit both self and mutual respect. Seems a fairly easy entry requirement for those who aspire to true leadership.


The Starting Pistol
Leonardo Da Vinci:
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"

The Tape
Rebecca Morgan:
"Anyone can develop complex solutions, but the wise insist on finding simplicity."


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