Entries by Richard Walton

The One Best Way (Part 1)

Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856 – 1915) was one of the founders of scientific management and probably the first modern management consultant. He believed that all tasks could be reduced to “one best way”. Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny (perhaps not one of literature’s great managers) said, “There are four ways of doing things on […]

Needed – A Sense of Humor

I have written about the difficult odds of success in product development. Moving past failure requires a strong ego (something I will comment on specifically in a later post), but most of all, it takes a good sense of humor. Sometimes it is not easy to find anything funny going on. The media seems to […]

The Rumsfeld Matrix Has Implications (Rumsfeld Part 2)

If you are working in a world that depends on rigorous use of verifiable data (the bottom left quadrant), it is likely that your innovations will be incremental; that is, product improvements rather than breakthroughs. Conversely, if you are really working “out of the box”, you are most likely in the top right quadrant. What […]

Rumsfeld Matrix (Part 1)

”Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — […]

Good Books (Part 2)

About fifteen years ago I was chatting with Michael Porter author of the classic —Competitive Strategy at a field hockey game where our daughters were playing. I could not resist asking him if he had read Clay Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma, and if so, what he thought about it. He said (with a big grin), besides his […]