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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Islanders Rugby Club Fundraiser

The Islanders Rugby Club is having a fundraiser and dance this Saturday.

Place: Kathy's Bar, 1336 Dillingham Blvd, Honolulu (that's in Kalihi, by the Zippy's)

Date: Saturday, June 28, 2008

Time: 6:00 pm - 2:00 am

Entertainment: DJ Kelemeke

Cost: Whatever the cover charge is at Kathy's (didn't get that info)

Should be a fun time, so stop on by.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

In Training

I am officially In-Training for this year's Honolulu Marathon. Training is going very well, which is a bit of a surprise after taking 3 years off and gaining 30 pounds. But so far I've dropped about 15 pounds (maybe 20 depending on which scale at Don Quixote's is accurate), am not afraid to look at my naked self in the mirror, and my endurance is picking up. On Sunday I ran for 1 hr. 40 min, then walked home for a total of 2 hrs. out. On Monday I ran on the beach with a friend, mixing a relatively short (about 1-1/2 miles) run in soft sand with sprints and various other exercises. Then yesterday I ran a fast (for me) 50 minutes. Couldn't make my 1-hour, but needed a faster paced long run even if for a shorter time. Today is a rest day. Trying to mix in some weight lifting workouts, rope jumping, and other things for variety. Oh, and Sunday nights I'm back in dance class (which I've also missed for 3 years). All that and back on a healthy diet too. Not one bit of junk food in over a month, smaller meals, no between meal snacks, and cut down on the beer. In fact, I haven't had a beer in a week now, but I don't want to get too carried away.

Now I've got to start looking at some races to start getting more prepared for the marathon (this will be my 4th, by the way). I'm going to sign up for the Marathon Readiness Series of races, as it's the perfect marathon prep. It sure made a huge difference in my performance the one year I did it. The series of 5 races starts in August and runs through early November, with the marathon in early December. Race distances are 15K (9.3 mi), 20K (12.4 mi), 25K (15.5 mi), 30K (18.6 mi), and Half-Marathon (13.1 mi). Marathon distance is 26.2 mi, if you don't know (and those last point-two miles are killer!).

So, wish me luck, and send donations for new (smaller) clothes, since my fat boy clothes are too loose on me now.

Upcoming Webinar Series

I'm going to be presenting a series of Webinars over six weeks in July and August. Webinars are web-based seminars. Meaning that instead of me standing in front of a room full of people and giving the presentations, I'll be sitting in a room in front of my computer giving the presentations to people all over the world.

I'm doing the series for APICS - The Association for Operations Management, and registration information can be found here.

The series is titled Management System Selection - Selecting the Right Tools for the Job, and it's based on the subject of my book, The Small Manufacturer's Toolkit. This series is designed for any organization, NOT just manufacturers, so don't let the book title scare you off. The content of the series is as follows:

Steve Novak has developed a new APICS Webinar series to help managers and high-level executives sort through and select the systems, or tools, that will help drive their organization to success. A brief discussion of several of the most popular tools, including what they are designed to do and how they are designed to help, will provide additional knowledge that is needed in the selection process. Popular tools include lean, six sigma, sales and operations planning, enterprise resources planning, the Baldrige criteria, and more. Sign up to participate in this APICS Webinar series and increase your odds of success. Registration opens in June.

Session 1: Introduction
Date: July 10, 2008, at 1:00 pm CT

Session 2: Lean & Six Sigma - Promises & Expectations
Date: July 17, 2008, at 1:00 pm CT

Session 3: TOC & S&OP - Promises & Expectations
Date: July 24, 2008, at 1:00 pm CT

Session 4: ERP & Criteria for Performance Excellence - Promises & Expectations
Date: July 31, 2008, at 1:00 pm CT

Session 5: The Basics, and more
Date: August 7, 2008, at 1:00 pm CT

Session 6: Wrap up
Date: August 14, 2008, at 1:00 pm CT

Please sign up and join me.

Strange Days Indeed

I haven’t made any posts recently (if anyone's noticed) because these are strange days and I’ve been occupied with other things. Depending on your personal philosophical leanings, you might interpret things differently, but also remember that as a reader you are an outside observer, and things look different from the inside.

I don’t believe in coincidence. Everything is connected. And sometimes all that you can do is Trust the Universe. If you’re a student of Quantum Physics you’ll understand how everything is connected and seemingly unrelated events can have an effect on each other, and not everything is as it appears. Also, merely observing an event can effect that event.

Right now there’s a big wind blowing, and it’s surrounding me, a friend of mine, and some others who have been sucked into the vortex. I fear the storm isn’t over, and right now I’m just waiting to see what falls out in the end. I have little control over events as they happen. I do feel that good will come of this, but in what form I do not know. Trust the Universe.

There are too many things going on at once, “weird” things. Some might call it coincidence when the same thing happens twice, but what about a third time? And how about when other things happen at the same time, as if they’re attracted to the preceding events? I don’t call it coincidence. The Universe is acting in ways that I don’t yet understand. But if we’re not careful and observant, we might miss the answer when it appears. I’m waiting, and watching.

So how does all this mumbo-jumbo relate to business? In business we try to control things; our processes, our employees, our suppliers. Sometimes we try to control things too much. We often don’t understand what is happing at certain times, but we feel the need to do something, to act, to control. During these strange and confusing times, sometimes the best thing to do is just sit back, watch, and see what comes out in the end. You can’t control everything. Your employees have personal lives that affect their work, and many times you have multiple employees, or even entire groups of people, who have personal issues that are affecting their work. Add your suppliers, customers, and everyone else to the mix and the issues grow. You can’t control all of that, and if you try the results are often disastrous. So just sit back, wait, guide things when you can, and see what falls out of the storm at the end. You might find that what comes out is better than anything you could have planned or could have done on your own if you tried. Trust the Universe.