Zigzag Image–Text Layouts Make Scanning Less Efficient

This is a great piece about how people actually take in information.
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In two-column layouts, vertically aligned images support efficient scanning better than images that alternate placement with text.
Source: Zigzag Image–Text Layouts Make Scanning Less Efficient

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Leaders Should Be Adept at Asking Questions

More great tips from David Marquet. I highly recommend David’s “Leadership Nudge” series.
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Let’s talk about how we ask questions as leaders. Some questions are better than other questions. You don’t want to ask a question where your people will have to respond negatively: “Have you completed the project yet?” “Well, no but we’re almost done.” Instead, ask a question that they can respond positively to: “Have you […]

via Leadership Nudge™ – Let Them Say Yes! — David Marquet

F-Shaped Pattern of Reading on the Web: Misunderstood, But Still Relevant (Even on Mobile)

This is great article from the Nielsen Norman Group showing how eye-tracking technology can help us better understand how people look at the messages we are creating.
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Eleven years after discovering the F-shaped reading pattern, we revisit what it means today.

Source: F-Shaped Pattern of Reading on the Web: Misunderstood, But Still Relevant (Even on Mobile)

Bottleneckers, Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit

It sounds like a good idea. One proper role of government is to protect people from charlatans, hucksters, and swindlers. To that end, the state regulates many professions. Doctors, nurses, EMTs, and other career’s require occupational licenses in order for someone to legally engage in that activity. But what happens when the government gets into the business of placing their official stamps of approval on things? You guessed it, competition decreases, prices increase, and consumers have fewer options for a surprising number of goods and services.

Check out this great episode of EconTalk to learn more.
http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2018/01/dick_carpenter.html

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According to Dick Carpenter, “a bottlenecker, as we define it in the book. is someone who advocates for the creation or perpetuation of a government regulation, particularly an occupational license, that restricts the free flow of workers so that those who are in the occupation can enjoy an economic benefit.”

Later in the podcast, Dick goes on to say: “Georgia created a license for Music Therapists. So, now, (as of 2016) in Georgia, if you want to work as a Music Therapist–to earn the license to work as a Music Therapist–you are going to have to–these are all the requirements: You are going to have to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree or higher in Music Therapy; and your Music Therapy Program has to be approved by the Music Therapy Association. That is the very entity that lobbied for the license in the first place. Then, you have to successfully complete 1200 hours of clinical training. You have to pass an examination–which is offered only by the Music Therapy Association–that costs $325 to take. You’ll pay various fees to the state. You have to be 18 years of age or older. And then you have to pass a criminal background check. So, these are fairly high hurdles to work in a job that heretofore had any form of government regulation. And now, all of a sudden, has very severe requirements associated with that license.

Source: Dick Carpenter on Bottleneckers | EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty

The Time for Healthcare Leaders to Implement Lean Is Now – Stat!

This is a great article by Helen Zak from the Lean Enterprise Institute’s blog.

The Time for Healthcare Leaders to Implement Lean Is Now – Stat!

December 7, 2017

“A bad system will beat a good person every time.” These sage words from W. Edwards Deming, sum up what many healthcare leaders face on a daily basis: bad systems working directly against the ability to deliver quality outcomes for patients.

Click to read the entire post: The Time for Healthcare Leaders to Implement Lean Is Now – Stat!

Lean Leadership and Systems Thinking

Another wonderful bit of wisdom from Lean Agile thought leader, Al Shalloway. In my experience, no matter what the organizational problem, the solution is always better leadership.

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Lean Leadership and Systems Thinking

Agile has somewhat left out management. While acknowledging the need for business stakeholders to get involved and leadership at all levels, management is not mentioned even once in the manifesto. But both the role of leadership and management is essential. Agile’s focus on the individual has had us take the focus off where it needs to be – on the organization in which the individual can or doesn’t thrive.

We don’t need to focus on people, they are already good & motivated. but management’s role is to provide them a place within which to shine. This is the essence of Lean-Management. Focus on the workflow and the environment in which people can work better. In other words, create an environment within which teams can work autonomously toward the common goal of realizing business value quickly.

Lean-Thinking is based on leadership and systems-thinking.

The following is a paraphrase of Russell Ackoff from Creating the Corporate Future: Plan or be Planned For

Systems Thinking is a mode of thought that begins with SYNTHESIS before ANALYSIS:

  • Identify the containing whole(system) of which the thing to be explained is part.
  • Explain the behavior or properties of the containing whole
  • Now, explain the behavior or properties of the thing to be explained in terms of its role(s) or function(s) within its containing whole.

Read the entire post here:Lean Leadership and Systems Thinking | Net Objectives

I, Pencil, How Smart are We really?

 “I, Pencil: My Family Tree as Told to Leonard E. Read” originated as an essay by Leonard Read. First published in the December 1958 issue of The Freeman, it was reprinted in May 1996 and as a pamphlet entitled “I… Pencil” in May 1998. It can help us understand that we may not know as much as we think we know about anything, even the lowly pencil.

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