Mad @ Mgmt

with Walter Simson


Blondes, banking, and banana peels

I am speaking at Manufacturing Matters!, the annual conference sponsored by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP). Thank goodness for WMEP. They see the challenges to American manufacturing and are setting their sights on a turnaround – of skills, R&D, exports, and funding.

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Personal training and the ring

I often use personal training as a metaphor for consulting. I tell clients that I aspire to be, for them, what a personal trainer has been for me. A motivator, an objective observer, an expert.

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The C'mon Academy

As it happens, just as the recent magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami hit the northeast coast of Japan, I was finishing Confucius Lives Next Door, T.R. Reid's account of social harmony, clean schools, and no crime while living in Japan and traveling to the rest of east Asia. He finds that the Japanese characteristics of respect and group unity spring directly from the teachings of Confucius, the Chinese sage whose teachings made him famous in his lifetime.

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The business with two brains

In the 1984 comedy All of Me, Steve Martin plays a go-go lawyer whose body has been taken over – not completely successfully – by the spirit of a fussy old lady, played by Lily Tomlin. Rather than achieving female immortality, as she had hoped for, Tomlin achieves an eternal struggle for control over a man's body.

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I feel a drift

The comedian Jackie Mason used to tell a story about a New York couple arriving at a fancy restaurant. The maitre d' showed them to their table, but the woman objected. "Too close to the kitchen." So he moves them, but she's doesn't like the replacement table. Or any of the subsequent ones. Too sunny, too dark, too loud, too hot. Finally, the host shows them to the last table in the restaurant, and she finally seems satisfied.

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