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LinkedIn Groups for Customer Support

Recently, an acquaintance invited me to join his local LinkedIn Group. I needed to do more networking, so I gave it a try, even though I’m skeptical of generic LinkedIn Groups without a focused market niche. [click to continue…]

Unwiki Wiki and the 1% Rule

If you’re thinking about an enterprise wiki, you’ve probably heard the success stories. One noteworthy example is the manufacturer whose wiki helped it fast-track ISO certification. Unfortunately, wiki adoption seems anecdotal while low participation and lack of management buy-in feel like the norm. [click to continue…]

Consumer Surplus and Unemployment

On Saturday night, August 28, 1830, farm laborers destroyed a threshing machine in Elham Valley, 69 miles southeast of London. By the third week of October, they had destroyed over 100 threshing machines in East Kent alone. They were protesting low wages and unemployment. “Swing Riots” quickly spread to almost every county south of the Scottish border. [click to continue…]

Why Curriculum Is Important

Curriculum may not be at the top of your list when selecting an external training provider. Perhaps you’re focused on price or the qualifications of the instructor. Regardless, it would do you some good to take a moment to consider instructional design. [click to continue…]

Deming’s Chain Reaction Revisited

In September of last year, Hedrick Smith wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times entitled “When Capitalists Cared.” He put forward Henry Ford as the hero who, with other high-minded executives, helped to create the postwar American middle class. They promoted a “virtuous circle of growth” built on “stakeholder capitalism.” [click to continue…]

Twenty-five Percent Better

I have something that I call my Golden Rule. It goes something like this: “Do unto others twenty-five percent better than you expect them to do unto you.” … The twenty-five percent is for error.
– Linus Pauling

Nice quote; seems legit to most. Do better to others than you expect them to do to you. Add it to the to-do list, like eat better and save more money. Now imagine that you’re a small business owner. What should you do? Should you ignore it? Nice guys finish last or something like that, but let’s take a closer look. What may appear on the surface to spell your undoing may hide the secret to your success. [click to continue…]

Setting the Table for Deming’s Chain Reaction

In the first chapter of Out of the Crisis, W. Edwards Deming outlines the business case for quality. Deming’s Chain Reaction is one of his more famous revelations to American management. The blackboard diagram infers a causal chain between quality, cost, productivity, market share, business survival, and job creation. [click to continue…]

What is the ideal firm size for your business?

It seems like an academic question. Everyone likes to think that they are unique. “Large numbers don’t apply to us,” but it’s a good idea to at least recognize the forces behind those large numbers. [click to continue…]

Welcome to Vulkans Forge Consulting!

I’ve been lax about the blog. As a new business that supposedly knows about marketing, this is a big mistake. I’m hoping that my audience will forgive me. I think most business owners will understand. You wear many hats and sometimes stuff that you know you should be doing just falls off the table. [click to continue…]