Faster, better, cheaper. Isn’t that the goal of every manufacturing process? It sounds hubristic to even try but, thanks to Moore’s Law, that’s what the semi-conductor industry has achieved year after year – for nearly 60 years.
And it’s Moore’s law that predicted that trend towards smaller, faster, cheaper, and more energy-efficient computing.
Indeed, chip manufacturer Intel calculates that, if the automobile industry had performed as well as Moore’s Law, we’d now be driving cars that:
- Cost us around $0.04 (£0.04 or €0.04)
- Get almost 2 million miles per gallon (700,000 km/litre)
- Can travel at nearly 300,000 mph (500,000 km/h).
But there are clouds on the horizon. Inevitably, for physical reasons, Moore’s law must reach an end. But strangely, this makes it a good time to look at it.
Continue reading Moore’s Law: Faster – Better – Cheaper Computing
The quest to understand human personalities has been going on for 3,000 years, or more. The Big Five Personality Traits are just the latest in a long line of models that take us towards that understanding.
And, it would be as absurd to think that the Big Five Personality Traits will be the last word on the matter as it would have been to stick with the four humours. But perhaps what the centuries of scientific development, and acres of statistical analysis, can assure us of is that we are honing that understanding.
How like the Big Five our 22nd Century model will be, we cannot know. But, for now, the best representation we have, of the fundamentals of human psychology, are the big Five Personality Traits. So, what are they?
Continue reading Big Five Personality Traits
Key Performance Indicators – or KPIs – stem from an insight that is most often attributed to Peter Drucker, in his 1954 book titled, ‘The Practice of Management’:
‘What gets measured gets managed’
That attribution may be contested, but the central assertion seems pretty sound. If your organisation measures performance against a specific metric, then its managers feel an incentive to manage their parts of the business, so that they perform well against that metric. KPIs are nothing more nor less than the key – or most valuable – metrics.
Continue reading Key Performance Indicators: KPIs
Voice of the Customer, or VOC, is a process for systematically listening to the perceptions, needs, wishes, expectations, and fears of your customer or end-user. We do it to ensure that the new products, processes or services we are developing will truly reflect what they want and need.
This means we’ll be able to expect people will want what we produce, and so buy and use it.
When you listen to the Voice of the Customer, you learn what the market demands are, and can develop new products to meet them.
Continue reading Voice of the Customer (VOC)
The Cone of Uncertainty is a concept from the world of Project Management. But, as an idea, it is so compellingly simple and so widely applicable, that it deserves a place of its own in our Big Ideas series.
So, in this article, we’ll take a look at what the cone of uncertainty is, and how it makes a helpful mental model in many contexts.
Continue reading The Cone of Uncertainty
What better way to start the year than with an introduction to the science of Happiness?
And it’s not just a thriving area of scientific research. It’s also a predictably fertile topic for popular science books. On my shelf, I have:
- Authentic Happiness, by Martin Seligman (2003) (US|UK)
- Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, by Richard Layard (2005) (US|UK)
- Happiness, The Science Behind Your Smile, by Daniel Nettle (2005) (US|UK)
- The Happiness Hypothesis, by Jonathan Haidt (2006) (US|UK)
- Happier, by Tal ben-Shahar (2008) (US|UK)
- The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor (2010) (US|UK)
And I have stopped collecting.
Continue reading Happiness: The Pursuit of a Good Life
Christmas Eve. Hardly the main event, is it? So, does it stand, as a Big Idea?
Well, hardly on its own. Without Christmas, there’d be no Christmas Eve.
But, it does have enough cultural attachments of its own, to justify a place on our list of Big Ideas. Especially as, once every 7 years, we publish on Christmas Eve.
Continue reading Christmas Eve: ‘Twas the Night before…’
The acronym VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity. It may be a military coinage, but it seems to sum up so much of what the modern world feels like.
But, never fear: linguistic fluency and creative ingenuity have conjured a number of strategies to counter the prevailing VUCA environment we inhabit. Best known among them is Bob Johanson’s ‘VUCA prime’. It is an alternative acronym with four ripostes to Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity.
Continue reading VUCA and VUCA Prime
Is Business Process Reengineering (BPR) a Big Idea whose time has passed? An historical footnote for managers to be aware of; but of little use?
Or will we still have a use for the ideas of Business Process Reengineering in the 2020s?
That’s the question I will tackle in this article.
Continue reading Business Process Reengineering | BPR
Only in a world where so many of us want to be ever more productive, can a simple formula just for getting things done become a Big Idea.
But a big idea it has become. Dave Allen’s branded approach to Getting Things Done (GTD) has attracted the attention (he claims) of over 2 million people.
So, we need to take a look at it. We’ll consider:
- Why do we need systems for managing our time?
- What is the Getting Things Done approach? and
- Who is it well suited to?
Continue reading Getting Things Done: Deliberate Time Management