Entries by Richard Walton

There Must Be a Pony Here Someplace …

There are many versions of this story, which is often attributed to Ronald Reagan, but it also serves as a good metaphor for those in Product Development. There are twin boys of five or six. Mom was worried that the boys had developed extreme personalities — one was a total pessimist, the other a total […]

The One Best Way (Part 2) The Grand Strategy:

I admire leaders who are able to create a Grand Strategy. My admiration is boundless for those who actually succeed. By definition, it is very difficult to see how you are doing on a Grand Strategy until you are well along the path toward implementation. The path is full of doubt, questioning, and also requires […]

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 […]