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Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Posse is forming

OK, got the first member of my posse. Who else wants to join? Changed to posse, instead of entourage. Coolness factor, you see. Thank you, new peep Wendy!!

I'm busy with an APICS meeting this weekend. All afternoon today and all day tomorrow. Will let you know why I choose to sit in a cold hotel conference room for a day and a half instead of doing other fun things, but it's past my bedtime now and I need all the beauty sleep I can get.

Rugby season starts tomorrow here in Hawaii. Games at Kapiolani Park. Tomorrow's schedule:

1:00 pm - UH vs. Hawaii Harlequins
2:40 pm - Islanders vs. Barbarians
4:20 pm - Samoan Warriors vs. Kalihi Raiders

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Small Money makes Big Money

Thanks to Ma’afu (David) Wendt for this. We were having a meeting for Hawaii Youth Rugby over dinner when Ma’afu told us about how a former boss long ago told him that “small money makes big money”.

We’re all looking for the big payoff, the big win, but business usually doesn’t work that way. It’s usually slow and steady, incremental gains over time. It takes hard work and dedication, but the chances for success are greater.

If you’re a service provider, like me, you dream of that big client that will give you a lucrative, long-term contract. You can then spend all your energy on that one job. But that’s rare. It’s usually a steady stream of smaller clients and smaller jobs. That takes a lot more work. You have to keep track of all the jobs and all the clients. You have to schedule your time and move from place to place. Instead of tracking one job and preparing one invoice, you have to track and prepare many. And you’re constantly working to develop new clients and maintain your relationship with all your existing clients. It’s hard work and it takes commitment and dedication. But the odds of success are greater. For one, if you lose one client or finish one job, you have others already in place. If you lose that one big client or that one big job ends, you’ll have to start over with building relationships and signing up new clients. Small money makes big money, over time.

Another way to look at this is with cost savings. Again, we’re always looking for the big fix, the big saving, that one big cut that solves all our problems. But that’s even rarer than the big win. It’s just not as simple as finding a hole in the ground that’s mysteriously sucking up all your money. It’s a lot of little things. A process that doesn’t perform as effectively as it should. Mistakes that require you to fix, or rework, something you’ve already done. Misplaced paperwork that delays a delivery. Fix the little things and they’ll add up to something big. Make something that works well work better, a little bit at a time. Small savings make big savings is the same as small money makes big money.

There’s nothing wrong with trying for the big payoff or the big savings, keep trying. Just don’t overlook the small money. Work on the small money while you’re working on the big money, and maybe you’ll have both.


I need an entourage. I stopped at Starbucks before my presentation last week (which went well, by the way). There was a gentleman who had two women just following him around. They stood there while he ordered, then they followed him as he went out the door. They did not get drinks. I need peeps to follow me around and handle all the little things. People who will write down all the wonderful ideas I get, before I forget them. Want to join my entourage?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I like to hear myself talk

I gave a presentation today to the Honolulu chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI). The topic was Effective Strategic Planning. It went well. I know I tend to talk faster than normal when I give presentations, but it seems to be OK. I usually get good feedback. No matter how many times I give a talk, I still get nervous beforehand. Not too nervous that I couldn't eat my lunch, and deserts (plural).

Impressive.... Most impressive.... But you are not a Jedi yet

The Hawaii State Rugby Union held a team meeting last night, prior to the season starting. I am very impressed with everyone who is involved. There are a lot of dedicated people working hard to take rugby to the next level here. Here's just a few of the things going on:

The Hawaii State Rugby Union consists of the following teams (adult):

Founding members

UH Rugby Club
Kalihi Raiders
Samoan Warriors
Islanders Rugby Club

New members

Hurricanes Rugby Club (North Shore)
Hawaii Harlequins

The schedule for the season is being developed and will be posted to the Hawaii State Rugby Union website soon. Contact info for all the teams and Union officials will be posted too.

The Referee Society, which installed officers last weekend, will fall under the Union administration umbrella. The newly certified referees will have a chance to get some game time in at this weekends pre-season round-robin tournament (at Kapiolani Park starting at 11:00 am, Saturday).

A Disciplinary Committee for the Union was established, to clarify existing rules, enforce them, and modify them as needed, as well as handle all disciplinary matters.

This Friday we're having a meeting for the Hawaii Youth Rugby. We're all working together towards the same goals. Woo hoo! There's a lot of organizations out there who could take some lessons from what's going on here.

So, things are looking pretty organized, we've got good people in all the key positions, we're good to go.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pacific Rim Tournament

We've got the Six Nations and the Tri-Nations tournaments for the rugby powerhouse nations (with poor Argentina left out in the cold), but what about the rest of us? How about a Pacific Rim Tournament for the U.S., Canada, Japan, Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji? To be held in Hawaii. In the winter (northern hemisphere winter). Lot's of people would love to come to Hawaii in the middle of winter to watch rugby. All the teams would feel at home, given our diverse population which includes Japanese and Pacific Islanders.

You can thank me later. I'm an idea guy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Referee clinic and other lessons

Completed the referee clinic and passed the test. So I guess that means I'm an officially certified ref at level 1, the lowest level. I wasn't quite sure of the levels and what they mean exactly. My brain was filled with rules and I couldn't fit much else in there.

The course was excellent. The instructor, Josh Tameifuna, was outstanding. The only problem is that after the class I feel less qualified then ever to actually referee a match. My brain still hurts from trying to remember everything. You think you know the game and have a good understanding of the rules, and suddenly you realize you know a lot less than you thought you did. Everybody in the class really knows their rugby, and now more than ever.

So now Hawaii has 16 certified refs, though some probably won't really do any reffing, for various reasons. But the people who have already been reffing will be better than ever, and now they'll be new refs. Excellent! Not only that, but we now have an official Referee Society or Committee, with elected officers. A President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer were elected by the newly certified referees. I'll report more on that as things develop. My thoughts are that the Hawaii State Rugby Union be the top level administrative body, with the Referee Committee falling under them for administrative purposes. Integration, integration, integration. We all have to act as one cohesive unit; the Union, the Youth Rugby, the Referees. Things look good so far. There are a lot of talented and dedicated people involved and working hard. Tuesday night is a Union meeting for all the adult teams.

One of the key concepts that Josh talked about all through the course was the management of the game as the referee. As the referee, you're the sole judge of the laws of the game. How you apply those laws during the game is how you manage the game. You want play to flow, but you also want to control the game. Sometimes you need to keep a tight grip on things, so instead of giving someone a warning, you immediately penalize them, or you're more forceful in telling the players what you want and what you expect. Sometimes you can give the teams more free reign, because things are going well, so you let play flow more freely and give lighter warnings.

Those same principles can, and should, be applied to your business or organization. Sometimes you need to exert more control, keep a closer eye on things and check up on certain things more often. Other times you want to just let thing flow along on their own to encourage free thinking among your employees and foster innovation.

Isn't it just amazing the business lessons you can learn from the rugby field?

Oh, they're still trying to recruit more women (adults) and ideally grow some more women's teams. So if you know any women who are interested, or just curious, about rugby, contact Mindi at

And, of course, Adopt-A-Rugger and Hug-A-Rugger.

Cut of my Jib

I fantasize that when people talk about me, they say things like "I like the cut of his jib".

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Referee Clinic - Day 1

Wow! What a great clinic. Learning all kinds of things I didn't know. It will certainly enhance my rugby watching experience, if nothing else.

I'm the least knowledgeable in the class. I guess that means I'm getting more of my money's worth.

Got a ref's whistle and red and yellow cards. Told my wife she better watch out, because if she's bad, she's going to get a whistle and a yellow card. Exhibited my whistling and card holding prowess to her. I think she was impressed, and she'll be on her toes now.

Since lunch went overlong today, we're having potluck tomorrow. Anyone who's lived in the islands can understand the importance of this. Bringing food, I mean. I volunteered to bake bread. Haole food, but that's all I know how to cook. It's rising now, and I'll pop it in the oven in the morning. One batch of Focaccia and one batch of Olive Bread.

Will report back tomorrow. After I practice my whistle technique.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New links

Added a couple of new links. Put me in Coach, where you can find all sorts of good info and links for rugby coaching. And KR Connect, a blog by Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi, and a member of the board of directors of USA Rugby. His blog is similar to mine, in that he blogs about business and rugby. Quite different from mine, but similar. Check them out.

New Restaurant

Just tried a new Mexican restaurant. Actually a "New Mexican" Mexican restaurant. I didn't have high hopes, since there was only one Mexican restaurant in Hawaii that I consider OK. After living in New Mexico, you get a little fussy about Mexican food. But we tried Tio's, a new restaurant serving New Mexico style Mexican food. I was pleasantly surprised. I had the enchilada (flat, or stacked, not burrito style) with an egg on top. Quite good. We had sopapillas, which were not bad, but not what we're used to. Worth another trip to try the red chile.

Monday, January 7, 2008

New Feature - New Link List

I'm adding a new feature to this blog, and new link list. The links will be to businesses that are owned by rugby players, former players, coaches, and referees. I'm limiting it to ruggers who own their own business. Besides rugby family being able to find businesses owned by ruggers, this will also help to show the general public that rugby players come in all sorts and we're a respectable bunch.

If you're a rugger who owns your own business, please let me know and I'll add you to the list. I know I don't have to say it, but legitimate businesses only; meaning legal, and no porn or other unsavory types.

First addition to the list is Pacific Tour Directors, owned by David Wendt of Hawaii State Rugby Union, former Hawaii Harlequin, and all around Hawaii rugby force of nature.

And, don't forget to Adopt-A-Rugger and Hug-A-Rugger. The infant clothing seems to be popular.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Another Rant

Went to Waikiki last night to meet some friends at The Yard House. There's a reason I try to avoid Waikiki. Way too crowded for me. Our friends got a traffic ticket. Seems the police were having a ticket fest at one particular intersection. Had to wait an hour and fifteen minutes to get a table. It was too dark to read the menu. I couldn't hear anything the waitress or the people at the other end of the table were saying. I ordered a Salvator, but they brought me something else. They tried to convince me it was a Salvator, but I knew better. So they took it away and admitted it was a mistake and brought me another. It still wasn't right. I know my Salvator. Had to pay to valet park because there's no parking anywhere within a reasonable distance. Last time I go there. The soup was good, I have to admit. Clam Chowder. Too full for desert.


I've been writing lately. My next book is close to completion. Not as close as it should be, but I'm trying to get it finished up as soon as possible. I was doing pretty good with the writing, but then I had a few distractions. I'm getting back at it now, but it can be a struggle at times. The working title is Compete - and Win! Your Guide to Business Operations Excellence. That might change, but I like it. I think it conveys the content pretty well too. Its about how to achieve a level of excellence in the business operations areas of your organization so that you can effectively compete in today's global marketplace.

I also just posted another new article on my website and on If anybody wants to pay me to write articles like this, please let me know, 'cause for now it's just for ego. The current article is titled How To Work With A Consultant. Useful tips for anyone hiring or working with a consultant, in any area of your organization.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Referee clinic

The Hawaii State Rugby Union website is up and running. The information for the upcoming referee clinic is posted there, so if you're interested in attending, check it out.

I was also contacted by someone at Hawaii Youth Rugby yesterday. Seems they had a meeting here on Oahu sometime last week, but because of technical reasons I didn't find out about it until yesterday. Sounds like they're still growing, and need help in different areas, but I'm still concerned about the disconnect between the Hawaii Youth Rugby group and the Hawaii State Rugby Union.

There needs to be one overriding body acting as the focal point and top administrative unit for all of rugby in Hawaii. Since Hawaii Youth Rugby is already well established and doing well, they need a fair amount of autonomy and a lot of control over their own organization. That can be accomplished while still melding with the adult teams governed by Hawaii State Rugby Union. To market, promote, and raise funds, without confusing supporters, fans, and the general public, there has to be one primary point of contact. If that point of contact then directs interested people to the appropriate sub-unit or group, that's OK. Any confusion is eliminated, all of rugby in Hawaii acts, or appears, to be governed as one cohesive unit, and greater success for all is more likely.

You think you're cold?

The U.S. Men's Under 20 team beat Queen's University in Belfast, Ireland. In the snow. Lot's of snow. I've played when it was snowing, but never in conditions like these. How did they know where the lines were? Don't know, but I saw these pictures and thought of Jim in Kobe. Just another reason to play in the pack, where there are 15 other warm bodies in close proximity, rather than out in the wing were you're just standing around getting cold.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

My Radio Experience

Sometimes I’m easy. I loved my experience of being on the radio yesterday, on ThinkTech Hawaii on Hawaii Public Radio (here’s the link to the online mp3 file, I start at about 15 minutes). For one, it was just plain cool. I’ve never been on the radio before, never been in “the studio”. I just love to see how things work and to experience new things. I especially love touring manufacturing plants to see how different companies do things, but seeing how a radio show that I listen to every week works was fun.

I also love to see things that work well. Besides just the joy of seeing things that work well, I learn from it and try to help other organizations get to that point of performance. The folks at HPR know how to do things well, at least from my brief experience. Cheers to ThinkTech host Jay Fidell, who is an excellent host. Besides being a bundle of energy and an exceptional host and moderator, he makes you feel welcome and comfortable. Producer Kayla Rosenfeld keeps everything on track. Everything from being prepared and welcoming the guests, to explaining the process and how things work to the guests, to telling Jay to “watch your P’s” when he’s speaking, she makes the whole thing work seamlessly. Also involved is Lillian Tsang. Besides reading the introduction, I wasn’t quite sure what she was doing, but it looked important. She sat outside the studio booth at a sound board (or something), and kept an eye on what was going on inside. Sorry I didn’t pay more attention. This group made the whole thing seem effortless, which I know it is not.

Many businesses and other organizations can learn a thing or two about how to manage their operations by watching how the HPR and ThinkTech crew produce their shows. Everyone is prepared, they know what they’re doing and when they’re doing it. When things are supposed to happen, they happen. Guests are made to feel welcome and comfortable. They live what I preach – Plan, plan, plan, execute. Have everything planned and prepared, ensure everyone is trained and know what they’re supposed to do, then do it. Excellent!

So how was I on the show? Well, I imagine that it’s just a matter of time until they invite me to host my own show. Yeah, I give good radio. As I mentioned to Jay, I’ll be famous after my appearance on his show. The millions and millions of listeners will read my blog, and next thing you know, I’ll be on Oprah. I won’t forget you little people.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Tips for Managing Your Small Non-profit Organization

I was prompted to write this article, Tips for Managing Your Small Non-profit Organization, by a post by Wendy at Your Scrumhalf Connection. It seems that USA Rugby has started this new feature where people who want to volunteer in some capacity can sign up in a database at USA Rugby, and, I'm guessing, rugby clubs, territorial unions, and other rugby groups can search the database for people in their area, then contact them. A good idea, but I'm wondering about the execution of it. I read about in Wendy's post, but when I went to USA Rugby's site, I couldn't find it anywhere. It needs some heavy marketing to make it work, but we'll see what happens. I signed up, just to see what happens, and so far I got one nonsensical email. Hmm.

But I digress. If people are volunteering to help with administration of rugby clubs and unions, there are bound to be people who haven't worked in this type of organization before. There are also many other types of similar organizations, small, non-profit organizations. And they all face similar issues. So I wrote this article to help. Even if you've worked in a non-profit for a while, these tips should help you. Give it a read, and contact me if you have any questions. I'm offering to help any rugby clubs and other rugby organizations, free of charge, with operational and organizational issues, until I get overwhelmed with requests.

Since it's a several pages long document, I saved it in PDF format. And, since there isn't a way to add a PDF document to this blog, you'll have to follow this link to my website, where I've posted it, or to, where I've submitted it, but it won't show up there for a few days.