Keith Sketchley

Engineering & Leadership capability for real investors, producers & users.

Keith's Productive Capability

Aviation Resources

Auto-Truck Resources

Administration Resources

Professional Resources

Enterprise Resources

Contacting Keith

Legalities and link to personal page are at bottom of this page.

(In chronological order - newest at the bottom of section.)

"It was one of those light bulb moments," Fields said.

Fields recalled one early meeting under Mulally, where executives spent 45 minutes arguing about an organizational chart. Mulally finally stepped to the white board and wrote, over their scribbles, "Working Together."

Task for Fields is to keep Ford on Mullaly's path.

Call the boss

One company advertised the name and phone number of the president, inviting customers to call him if they were not getting answers from staff.

Funny thing - he rarely got calls.
(Besides staff knowing they could not get away with hand-waving, I suspect he created a culture of performance, with sound guidelines to deal fairly with customers but not be conned.)

How American Apparel fell into the trap of expansion hype.

Two cases of expanding too fast too early.

Note that their stores weren't especially profitable yet.


Kurmudgeon Keith's Critical Comments:
(In chronological order - newest at the bottom of section.)

Leaders need principles.

About a stable profitable bank that avoided the US government's 2008 debacle, by looking hard at what was best for customers and the bank. (See my Enterprise Resources page for a link to BBandT Bank's principles).

Is your CEO job at risk?

The departure of Target stores' CEO highlights the question of responsibility for administrative quality.

In dealing with current big problems, some of us overlook emphasizing administrative effectiveness, but Target's failure to segregate customer's information from building maintenance functions cost Gregg Steinhafel his job.

(A hacker got into a contractor's computer system then used its energy monitoring access to snoop around Target's computer system. It is alleged that some employees ignored warnings from security software.)

The board likely was also unhappy about the poor startup of Target stores in Canada. Despite great promises from the head of Canadian operations, stores there are badly laid out, uncommunicative, and poorly merchandised. Yet people blame competition for low sales.

How to ensure administrative quality? Enunciate sound values and check they are being practised.
Good employees take proper care of things themselves and tell managers of substantive problems, good managers listen to them.

We've seen this before...

Cases comparable to American apparel and the cupcake outfit have been seen before:
- a phenomenon in "dotCom" failures, in which new companies take on far more office space than they will need in the near future, to keep the team together/look fancy ("successful" to shallow people)/... but don't have the cash flow to pay for it. (Often don't even have a fully developed product in the market place of reality.)

- 45 years ago, the Minnie Pearl's Fried Chicken fiasco in Vancouver BC.
(That restaurant chain was a buzz in media and investing hype circles in the US.
A local university perfessor headed an effort to open several outlets in the Vancouver BC area, with many millions of dollars financing.
It failed, because they didn't get a few restaurants open and selling chicken, early enough.)

The chicken outfit should also have stopped at only a few stores, to see if the local market, already served by two fried chicken chains, would respond to it. (Few people in the Vancouver urban area knew who Minnie Pearl was - a darling of country music in some areas of the US.)




Providing value by professionally applying integrated knowledge of development, installation, testing,
operations, user factors, safety, economics, administration, and people values foundations in the real world.
Product development emphasis includes Vehicle Electronic Systems, Avionics, and user-oriented medical aids.

Methods include TQM, Team-work, Concurrent Engineering, Systems Integration, Fundamental Values Management
- from a perspective of understanding principles for success not as buzz-speak panaceas.

See CAPABILITIES for more information.

I defend what fosters peace & prosperity
- individual freedom
supported by justice & defense.

Personal page content including activities and consumer technical advice is linked from a sub-page of this site.

Page version 2014.07.16. Please advise me of problems you see - thanks.

The Fine Print

Contents of this web site are the Intellectual Property of Keith Sketchley, including terms "Kurmudgeon Keith", "Enterprise Bureaucracy EradiKator", and "The Big C".(Other sites, quoted trade names, organizational logs, and excerpts are the property &responsibility of their owners - while I am discriminating in linking and accepting cross-links, endorsement is only as explicitly stated.)

You may use this site to obtain information, provided that you behave responsibly and fairly - including not using addresses for junk communications. Any other use is fraudulent as it violates terms of the offer you accepted by using it. Use of advice and information contained in this site is at your risk.

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