Kakonomics

There is an interesting scene in Frank Capra’s 1961 comedy Pocket Full of Miracles that offers valuable insight about a common yet often unspoken attitude many people have toward quality. The setting is 1930s New York City, and in the scene, a Spanish count and his entourage who happen to be visiting New York City are prepared to host a […]


Doing Things Right or Doing the Right Thing

Are we managers or leaders? Some say “Managers do things right; leaders do the right thing” suggesting that there is a profound difference between managers and leaders. Scholars add more details to the distinction: “Managers deal with people and performance, while leaders deal with setting goals and creating a vision,” or “Managers deal with complexities, and leaders deal with change.” […]


Bring Your Coffee Mug: Thoughts On Collaboration, Trust, and Engagement.

  Those of us who work with clients in the business world knows how much harder the challenge to deliver solutions is without client trust. How can we create client trust? Here is the story about one of my favorite coffee shops. I first visited the Morning & Night coffee shop at the farmers’ market in Los Angeles because it […]


Think Portfolio!

Portfolio Management is a universal principle. It helps people make the best decisions towards achieving specific goal under given constraints by optimizing for the bigger picture. Portfolio Management is a universal management principle. It may differ slightly based on the organization culture and goals, management style, country of operation, but universal it still is. Finance defines a set of processes […]


Dialogue and Debate

There is an old joke about a judge presiding over a legal case. He listens to the plaintiff’s eloquent argument, thinks for a moment, and says with authority, “You are right.” “Wait a minute,” cries the defendant. “You didn’t hear my side.” So the judge listens to the defendant’s equally eloquent argument, thinks for a moment, and says, “You are […]


Observe and Absorb

In management consulting, unlike photography, quantity can’t replace quality. On a sunny Saturday morning, I sat at the neighborhood market café, entertained by people watching. At the next table, a young guy with a funny hat and reddish beard was working on his Mac Book, feverishly editing some artistic picture. On his table he had an old, boxy Canon camera […]


Simple, Sincere, and…

Careful: Your Acronyms Define You. Professionals love to use acronyms: PMP, EPT, IPA, ROM, EFT, FTE, TOC, just to list a few that are under the belt of project and portfolio managers. It is tempting to use them: acronyms give the impression of knowledge, that the issue at hand is known, the subject is clear and simple, tamed and controlled. […]