Thursday, August 30, 2007

Potential Exposure of Personal ID!!!

I wonder if I can sue for false advertising. The big time fake BS AT&T ( sent me a letter the other day. Here are some sentences.

Dear Sir or Madam: - Heck you addressed it to me I’m a man.

This letter is to advise you of a recent theft of a LAPTOP computer containing your personal information.

The LAPTOP was stolen from an employee of a professional services doing work for BS AT&T.

qg says – Are you kidding me? A contractor (who probably took a regular employees job) has my SSN and address and …

BS AT&T is offering you “free” of charge one year of Equifax Credit Watch Gold.

BS AT&T deeply regrets this incident and is taking steps to reinforce that our policies to safeguard your information.


Dorothy Atwood
Chief Privacy Officer AT&T

qg says …

Are you the same Dorothy Atwood that worked for the FCC?
Are you the Dorothy Atwood that lives in D??? Texas?
Are you the Dorothy Atwood that …?

George Costanza says ...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ford: Quality is Job One & Two & Three ...

I thought I was in a time warp this morning when I opened up the paper to read, “There’s an untold story behind Ford’s dramatic improvement in quality ratings.

Ford Motor Company removed 100 top (?) assembly workers out of the plant for months to help engineers, designers. And suppliers identify quality problems in manufacturing.

Say what, I thought you were already doing this since 1981.
  • "I'm proud to say I'm a Deming disciple, and we at Ford are committed to his operating principles, particularly the ethic of continuous improvement and the involvement of all employees." - Donald E. Petersen Chairman of the Board Emeritus, Ford Motor Company.
  • Ford Motor Company called upon Dr. Deming to help. According to Don Petersen, former CEO and Board Chairman of Ford, Deming’s approach was the key to the turn around of the fortunes of Ford. Waste was reduced, labor relations improved, customer satisfaction increased and Ford was able to stay in business and compete again. Petersen is unequivocal about the basis for Ford's success: "People want to do a good job, Dr. Deming's ideas and concepts, as we got them going through our system, gave people more and more this feeling that they had a better chance to do a good job. The rate of improvement, in many ways, was much grater than anything we could anticipate."

I still read articles, books, and magazines and attend conferences on Quality Improvement. I am not very tolerant when it comes to people or consultants that proclaim them selves to be Quality experts, especially those who claim to have created a new Quality Process or Program.

The reason I keep researching and studying Quality initiatives is so I can keep learning. Unfortunately all I find is retread quality material and articles that I used to read and listen to in the 1980s and 1990s.

It has been years since a new innovative approach has been developed or some new school of thought regarding Quality Process Improvement. I include Six Sigma, Lean and Lean Six Sigma as evolutions of Quality. Perhaps they have created a few new steps or ideas but they are far far from being new or innovative.

I have collected Quality Digest and American Society of Quality (ASQ) magazines since the 1979. When I read a Blog or a Post on some Six Sigma Site I often pull out an old article that has already written and provided examples some 20 + years ago.

I’m all for learning and keep learning but I am against people passing themselves and their products off as their own thinking and creations. I often post on these sites and challenge their thinking and claims to be experts, I also provide proof. You should see some of the responses I get, usually by others who are friends or colleagues of the person I am challenging.

Humbly some of my writings and process improvement creations can be found on other sites passed off as original of the author. My only hope is the material is being used for improvement within companies.

There are no quick fixes, no low hanging fruit ( and no new process on the market that can improve a system or process that has already been done and tested.

Dr. Deming told Ford Motor Company (and many many others) in the 1980s on how to improve a system. I guess the new leaders at Ford don’t remember this training and knowledge they received and that is not only their problem it is the problem of many American Companies today. See Below Deming Flow from 1950, it still holds true today from which all other Quality processes originate.
Click on Flow to Enlarge

Friday, August 17, 2007

Dual Disabilities Including "ASD" - GAPS & The Last Week (8/12/07)

July 4th, 2007

I decided to work part-time this summer at a Learning Center that specializes in working with kids and young adults with dual disabilities. The seven young men (ages 17 – 24) in the room where I work have a multiple of problems.

Many are Emotionally and Cognitively Impaired (EI & CI). A few have Autism (ASD) with ADHD, EI or CI. For the past three weeks I have learned so much by listening and asking questions and then observe and taking mental notes on how I can improve each day to help the young men with their daily tasks and education.

Many folks have asked me if this is harder than working with the young boys (ages 6 – 9) that I work with during the school year who are higher performing and mainstreamed (

It’s hard to say which is harder at this point because each person has different triggers and stages of development they are it with their disabilities. Some of the young men live in Group Homes and others with their families.

Some of the boys with dual disabilities are much more physical with their outbursts than the younger mainstreamed boys but no less lovable with their affections.

This is a great setting for my on-going learning. I smile a lot during the day because I am pleased that so many people work for small wages and give so much of their time and expertise in working with these children and young adults.

One lady asked me after a young man slapped her and grabbed a chair he was about to throw at her if I missed the working world. In all honesty I said “ I would rather be here than working with high level executives and officials who put greed and selfishness above humanity.” I also added “You should try managing a large number of Direct Reports, if you think these kids have issues, those working in the so-called real world have choices and still choose to make very bad decisions.”

July 16, 2007

I am learning so much working at the center this summer. All of the staff people are very giving and care deeply about the program. Observing, questioning and taking mental notes along with practical application is a great learning method.

What alarms me the most are the large numbers of children and young adults that attend this program. I can't imagine what it must have been like 20 years ago and longer when programs like this did not exist. I counted the buses this morning - 24! Not all are filled but even if there was just one child in each bus that is too much.

As I was waiting for the students to arrive last week I was reading the list of names of the people who come on the bus from the city where I grew up. Much to my surprise I read a name of a young woman who I knew as a baby as consider her parents to be two of the finest people I know and are proud to call them friends. God could not have given a child better parents and siblings.

I remember seeing her as a baby and buying her a "Baby's First Christmas Bulb" when she was born. With some moves to other cities and raising a family of our own I only sparingly saw her parents over the years at a store or outing. Always saying we will get together but somehow it never happened.

As I entered her room I asked the teachers and workers if "AW" was here? I introduced myself and told them I had not seen her since she was a baby.

A very loving teacher walked me over to where she was and I looked down and a beautiful girl dressed in a yellow dress with yellow ribbons in her hair as she laid there in a bed. She looked the same to me as I saw her in her crib after she was born. I sat down next to her and whispered to her how we met and how happy I was to see her. She turned her head to acknowledge she knew someone was there and allowed me to continue our conversation without getting upset or startled at a new person.

I walked her off the bus in her wheelchair the next day and talked to her some more before school started. I plan on visiting her every day. What a great week. 23 years later and I have found an old friend.

July 25, 2007

One lesson I have learned over the years is to respect the Perimeter requirements of my ASD students. When they get upset to many people with good intentions rush to there aid and are often met with a big surprise - "WHACK" right across the face and then the fun really begins.

So far six workers have felt the WHACK from one of our ASD students. The reason being because we entered his Perimeter and if you watch him he will give you verbal and physical warnings to back off.

We had a Sub yesterday and it's like telling a child not to touch hot stove - WHACK across the face. I was able to get him in control and then take him to a safe spot where we sit before he goes home each day. Keep your distance when he says no a couple of times to different requests and do not Box him in at his table. He needs space and will get it if you go over the line.

Today we got a little (actually a lot) noisy surrounding his table. I was one of the culprits. I could see he (Whacker) was getting agitated and the next thing he got up walked over to me and slapped me on the shoulder shouting my name and then walked calmly back to his seat. He was trying to do what we have been working on and that is tell me (I can now say VOCALLY) when you start to get upset and I will correct the situation. Well, he told me and I cleared the pathway and lowered the noise and all was fine.

Following a few guidelines will result in the student to do what you initially requested (At least most of the time) and you will not look like Chuck Wepner (fight fans will know what I mean). See his sight at



TLC does not stand for Tender Loving Care in this post; it is the initials of the Center I’m working at this summer. However, TLC is what the staff, teachers and aides do for each and every child and you adult.

Each day brings a new learning experience by either observing, questioning and listening. Last week one of the boys who is not in my class but is on the bus route I am responsible for (getting on/off bus) had a seizure while we waited in the gym for his bus. At first he slid to the side of his wheelchair, as I sat him up he seemed fine (he does not speak) and I turned to wipe up the drool of another student I turned back and he was slumped over again and I immediately called for help and was assisted with in nanoseconds of my request.

I could feel his body and extremities going rigid very quickly. As I helped him up in his chair the lady assisting me began to squeeze the pressure points in his thumbs. Within a few minutes the seizure was over I asked her why the pressure on his thumbs? She told me his Mom is a therapist and this helps him relive the pressure of the seizure. In fact he was trying to squeeze his own thumbs during the seizure so he knows this will help himself.

His family was called and we made sure he was OK (Nurse arrived) before putting him on the bus. Since it was a 90-degree day we got ice packs and had his bus aide make sure he was cool on the way home.
I have decided to recertify my Red Cross Certifications for infants, children and adults in First Aid, CPR and AED.

Why is it all buses have heat for the kids in the winter but not air conditioning for the extremely warm days from May to September. I know most of the general ed kids don’t go to school in the summer but one bus to transport these children should be a requirement. I suppose the Basketball Floor needs refurnishing or the practice Football Field needs new Sod.

The young men in my room continue to provide daily learning experiences and fun. We had a bus trip to a park where we have a small garden that gets watered, two guys went Bowling and two others were taken on a Boat ride by the local yacht club where they were treated to pop, chips, hot hogs and treats. I knew they had a good time when one of the boys said a girl was driving by in a boat with a lot of hot babes. They were each given cowboy hat too – Whew Baby Now!

I now call them “The Magnificent Seven!”


GAPS & The Last Week

I am really going to miss the M7 when the Summer Program ends this week. It has been a wonderful experience that has taught me so much about the Different People who often go unnoticed or uncared about by the general society except for their parents and loved ones.

One the most useful things learned was the labeling of the four behaviors that most commonly cause outbursts by the ASD folks. I knew these prior to my learning but they were put in such a useful Acronym by David Angel ( a highly respected author on Autism from the United Kingdom.
I "urge" you all to visit his site for a wealth of information on Autismm & Aspergers

G - Give Something

A - Avoid Something

P - Pain

S - Sensory (Hyper/Hypo)

One of the young lady teachers for the summer who is going to get her own permanent job in the Fall asked me for advice. I just told her to "Be Humble & Be Confident."

We had our Pizza Party yesterday to celebrate the completion of our summer school program. Everyone ate their fill and we even had one large pizza left over. I am sorry to see it end but I know I can stop by and visit the class during the school year.

I really enjoyed the people I worked with and I am fortunate to be able to continue our friendship because we all work in the same school district.

Everyone gets a two week break before school begins after Labor Day.

For me I will be back at the same Elementary School hopefully continuing my work with Justin, Jeremy and the others as I continue my search for establishing socialization for the boys I have worked with for the past 3 years.

I look forward to working again with the teachers from last year (EB & AL) and also the new teachers that I will hopefully serve in the best capacity I know how.

To read my other posts on ASD simply click on the ASD Label below and they will all be pulled up in order - Thank You

Friday, August 10, 2007

Is it No Child Left Behind (NCLB) or No School Left Behind (NSLB)?

"Both the NCLB and the Higher Education Act are up for renewal this year"

I have finally come to the conclusion that No Child Left Behind really means No School Left Behind. Why do I say this, because when I really stratify down into the interviews I hear, the television shows I see and the newspaper articles I read there is a common theme that most if not all are more concerned about the rating of their school first, teacher penalties second and then yes then the students.

So what happens when a school “fails”? According to the US Department of Education Website in a nutshell it means - If a school falls short of its AYP (Average Yearly Progress) goals two years in a row, it becomes a “Program Improvement” (PI) school. Program Improvement Schools become the focus to an intricate, high-pressure timeline in which they are set up to fail. By law, if Program Improvement Schools don’t make satisfactory progress--as measured by NCLB--at the end of four years, they face major restructuring.

One of the big points is teacher’s will also be looked at with great scrutiny and possibly could lose their jobs. My question is which teacher? The ones who had the students before you did and did mot prepare them or the current one who concentrated on learning instead of testing.

Problem – I don’t know of any public school (not charter) or teacher in trouble because of NCLB? I always read about the penalty but I never hear or see an example.

Another question I have is “Does our education system promote Testing or Quality Learning?” – Testing is an independent point in time type measure (like a snapshot). Learning is ongoing (like a motion picture) that tells the story of one’s life in gaining knowledge and understanding. Please don’t confuse the two and one does not represent or validate the other.

Here is a good site for many opinions and stories about NCLB -

Our education system always seems to have it backwards. Even if the Child does poorly in school (including state tests) they are more than likely promoted to the next grade. In fact I can’t remember the last time I saw a student held back other than at the kindergarten level. We don’t do it anymore because we don’t want to label the child. However, there is no problem labeling special education students by the dozens and oh yes they get promoted too.

Do I dislike the NCLB Act? By my writings you would think yes. In concept it has potential but you can’t wait several years until it’s up for renewal (this year) to make changes or bombard the media with visits from Secretary Spellings and President Bush to many public schools this year advocating its success.

We cannot afford to lose another generation of children to a less than full-rounded education system (State & Federal tests) that relies on just-time labeling type measures (Math, Reading & Science). We need a system that creates a full rounded creative and innovative student that becomes a valued member of society through a process know as education (life long learning in all subject areas) and not a data point called Standardized Test (i.e., MEAP, NCLB).

For more posts by qg on NCLB please go to this site -

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Chrysler Cerberus – Can the Outsider (Nardelli) turn the corner fast enough?


Robert Nardelli ex-boss at Home Depot and at one time in line for Jack Welch’s job at GE was just hired as Chrysler Cerberus (CC) new CEO.

Being from Michigan I always chuckle when I see the same quotes and sayings when a new CEO takes charge, especially if they don’t know the industry they are now running. In fact I have heard it and lived through these type of changes in my career.

The first one was when The Central Region of phone companies became known as Ameritech. A flood of top executives from outside the phone industry were hired to turn the Bell shaped heads into salespeople and marketers with “Rat Like Agility (SN) since we are now in a competitive business.

After slicing and dicing the company for about two years and removing former phone executives and hiring Presidents and VPs from companies like Proctor & Gamble, General Mills and a bunch of other companies Ameritech now was all about awards and quotas and not production and cost effectiveness. Oh yeah the employees were never in the mix regardless of what anyone says.

They were expendable and they were fired and let go by the thousands (you see that is the only way a CEO can keep his promise to turn the company around. The people from the outside were hired to get rid of the current people plain and simple.

Many of the Execs that were from the phone side resigned because of the way people were being treated and what was happening to the company were they spent most of their lives. The new execs did not care, they were hired to get rid of people and make a name for themselves as great managers because of the short-term and easy(cowardly) way to look like your making money and that is to get rid of employees (even though they were experienced). After a few years or less they left with a star around their name and the next company gobbled them up and then those company's were in trouble.

Quote from Mr. Nardelli about Chrysler “It’s not about creating a new strategy. They’ve got it. We’re going to have LASER focus on the EXECUTION of that strategy."

Two words standout – Laser – this refers to the speed at which things will change (Can anyone say “Slix Stigma (G.E. & Home Depot – used the process improvement strategy as their means to move quickly on solving problems and making solutions quickly – NOT).

The next word is Execution – now that is a great word for scaling and trimming a company down to be lean and mean (Spare ME).

Leading all this was Bill Weiss with the advice from Consultant Noel Tichy from the University of Michigan and former Consultant at G.E. Jack Welch.

The next time I was at AT&T when Mike Armstrong became CEO. Motorcycle Mike was also from the outside (Hughes Aircraft). I can’t go into that again (trying to forget). Let me just say it was brutal and bloody as thousands of employees hit the streets and were replaced by Consultants and Contractors.
Watch for Chrysler Cerberus (Don't end up like AT&T) to begin buying up small companies, selling current businesses (Alla General Electric) and merge with others to grow rapidly ( This makes the fools on Wall Street happy for the short-term and they will say you are the best CEO of all times). Jack

Armstrong did this too and then he sold them to soon because he had bad advice from the people he brought in from the outside. They had no allegiance to AT&T, they only had allegiance to themselves.

Guess What? Both companies were eventually bought up by SBC (Still traditional phone company) at very low prices.

Why did Chrysler Cerberus make these changes now? I believe it has to do with the upcoming Labor Talks. It is going to be bloody and nasty with the Union losing big time.

Mr. LaSorda will leave a short-time after the negotiations end a very rich man. First up will be a number of current executives that will be replaced by Nardelli hench/yes men.

Below is a post I wrote a few years back that pertains to the type of Leadership Mr. Nardelli was taught and managed in for many years at G.E.

"Manage their own destinies." When I read this I thought of the Noel Tichy and Jack Welch book - "Control Your Own Destiny or Someone Else Will." Anyone who "truly" knows the history of GE's early days. (In the early 1980s he was dubbed "Neutron Jack" (in reference to the neutron bomb). The chapter "the neutron years" in his book says that GE had 411,000 employees at the end of 1980, and 299,000 at the end of 1985. Of the 112,000 that left the payroll, 37,000 were in sold businesses, and 81,000 were reduced in continuing businesses).

When other companies were implementing TQM, GE was removing employees (how come GE didn't use Six Sigma). What Quality folks (especially fly by night consultants) won't admit is in the early 80s to mid 90s many of the leading Quality companies had already removed "low hanging fruit" (please read @ and identified which processes needed to be fixed. Once you do that you are left with very complex fixes to correct and stabilize processes that were neglected for years.

When GE started the Six Sigma rush in the mid 90s they were removing "low hanging fruit," which gave the perception that the other companies quality efforts were all wrong. Now in the mid 2000s go to any of the major Six Sigma related chat rooms and tell me if you are hearing anything different as to why it won't work (i.e., leadership won't support, not producing fast enough results, costs to much to train everyone, mid management feels threatened, and of course teams don't have time to meet because of their "regular" jobs, Blah, Blah Blah!

Very wise words "control your own destiny." You have to go out and find your destiny, search for what it is in life you wish to accomplish and go after it. No one is going to knock on your door and tell you it's waiting for you on the front lawn.

Example, when you lose your job, no one is going to call you and say "please come work for me." You have to get off your butt and make it happen, that is destiny. If you don't then you can go on welfare and let the Government control your destiny.

The saddest part about an Outsider bringing in all his or her people it takes years after their gone to filter through all the bad managerial decisions that were made that affected the employees and the bottom line.

Good Luck Chrysler Cerberus & Mr. Nardelli, I really want you to do well. Trust your employees and not your cerberus moneychangers.

Since writing this post I have received Emails providing a number of examples where outsiders have made a postive impact on their Company and Stock.

The most Emails were about Ford Motor Company and Mr. Allen Mullaly. All I can say is it's too early to tell. I also wish Mr. Mulally (formerly of Boeing) good wishes.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Is Customer Perception Reality?

Customer Perception is truth. Maybe the customer has never experienced (nor anyone else) a situation but they believe it to be true anyway (Faith). Is it not the same as believing there must be additional species of fish yet to be found/discovered? I perceive this to be true even though I or no one else has seen the species as of yet.

I perceive the Universe to be expanding based on the works of people much more smarter than me. But how far will it expand? If it is true all stars are pulling away from our Sun at a speed relative to the distance it is from our Sun does that not mean eventually they will all meet at a certain starting point? Do they collide because they get into each other’s way? Or do their starting points for this to be true predetermine it?

I perceive this to be true because if I started to walk away from the home I live in and go due West or East or North or South would I not eventually come back to my starting point? Taking it a step further if my neighbor did the same thing at the same time would we finish at the same time? Obviously this is no, but none the less he too would return to his starting point based on the size and speed of his steps compared to mine.

Mathematical equations probably prove my thoughts to be false, but are they? Can my perceptions be so simple? Why not? Does it take an Astrophysicist to explain that if I plant a seed and care for it and make sure it gets water, light and good soil will it not grow?

Is it any less perceptive to command the seed to grow if I stand on my backyard deck and tell it to do so? Your perception would say that can not be true, but I say the perception is not in the command of my voice, but that nature in its simplicity (water, light & soil) may allow this to happen.

So if I look to the sky and command the galaxies of starts to meet at their starting point it will happen? Perception tells me yes this will happen, not because of my command but by the simplicity of nature.

Does it really matter if my perception is correct or not? Not really, the outcome will be the same because of the simplicity of common sense. But whose common sense, yours or mine, does it matter? I say not.

My knowledge is limited by my understanding of data, facts, information and application, but my thoughts/ imagination can perceive anything to be true.

Now tell me that Customer Perception is not Reality and I will tell you to start walking. In business you should use your customers imagination, perception and creativity to create new products even if you believe that you know more than your customer.

Below is a related recent post by qg on Customers. To see all posts on Customers click on Customer located next to LABELS at the end of the post.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Challenge the Status Quo & Conventional Wisdom

by qg

If one does not challenge Conventional Wisdom then how does one get to the next level of knowledge or understanding?

I am not content with the Status Quo, why should I believe that everything is, is what everything will/or should be?

What is important is that one continues to build on what/was is so that one can say what’s next.

Religion and Philosophy are examples of not asking What’s Next, they are content with what was, is. Spirituality allows one to continue the quest of What’s Next with Religion and Philosophy being held back by man.

Other Related Posts/Quotes by qg -

"Challenge Conventional Wisdom with Profound Knowledge to seek Creativity and Innovation." - qg