Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is a term used to reference the next phase of the industrial revolution.  My preference at this point is to call it an industrial evolution.  Technology continues to advance at rapid rates, but it has, for the most part, been compartmentalized.  In other words, cloud computing has primarily been applied to software services and file storage.  Industrial connectivity has focused on the collection of data and remote access for diagnostic purposes.  The Internet of Things (IoT) has not been leveraged in the industrial world.  Artificial Intelligence has largely not been leveraged in the industrial world either.

 

Industry 4.0 brings these technologies to industrial applications, allowing increased connectivity among devices and controllers.  If applied correctly, this increased connectivity will allow for decentralized decision making to take place.  These decisions will be made in real-time based on the communication between...

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You’re Crazy (Stop Playing It Safe!)

personal development May 23, 2018

Have you ever had anyone tell you you’re crazy?  If so, congratulations!  If not, why not?  When my friends tell me I am crazy, I know I am pushing beyond the standard norm.  I know that my dream is big and makes them uncomfortable.  Living boldly is not conforming.  Living boldly often results in folks telling you that you are crazy.

We begin life with zero constraints on our potential.  In time, we conform.  Our parents tell us something that sticks with us for the rest of our lives.  This is how the box we keep ourselves in begins to form.  Society tells us that everyone in our race is a certain way, so almost unconsciously, we begin to conform.  We grow up in a certain region that has a particular stigma, so we adopt it unknowingly.  The box continues to shrink in on us and further defines our behavior.  Someone told you that you were lazy once, so you became lazy.  Someone tells you that you will never...

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Capital Project Mastery

After college, I had my dream job.  As a boy growing up in southern Indiana, I wanted to work at Cummins Engine Company.  Not only was Cummins the largest employer in the area, but it also paid the best and all my friends that had parents working there seemed to have money.  So, I was delighted to have an opportunity to work there as a manufacturing engineer.  I had only been working at Cummins for a week or two when my boss came to me about a new project.  The area I was responsible for had a need for a new wash system and they needed me to handle it.  I was elated about the opportunity at first.  After all, the company was trusting me with a six-figure budget and freedom to make it happen.  There was a problem.  I had no idea where to begin.  There were no classes in college that instructed me on how to manage a capital project.  How do I find potential vendors?  What and who would determine if the project was a...

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The Happy Ending

Maya Angelou said “I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It occurred to me that this statement applies to more than just conversations or interactions with others. It can be applied to nearly all aspects of life and work. If you want to leave the person you are interacting with feeling good about themselves, or a customer feeling good about your company, just focus on a happy ending.

 

First let’s go over the fundamentals of attentively interacting with another person or company:

 

  1. Be present when they are present. What comes to mind when a person you are talking to looks at their phone or watch?  They aren’t paying attention, or maybe there is something more important for them to tend to. Wherever you are, being there is fundamental to building meaningful relationships and maintaining sanity in this ultra-connected world. Think of your...
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Fundamentals Of A Capital Project

Every capital project is different, yet every capital project has similar components that are the fundamentals to excellent execution.

 

Every project should have a measurable return. Most of the time, this will be a return on capital. However, there are exceptions that focus on safety and quality. It is important that as a project manager you have a clear understanding as to why the company is making an investment in the first place. When you know why, you can make certain to align expectations and communications accordingly.

 

Developing an Executive Summary for the project saves time and becomes a reference point throughout the project. The executive summary is a roll-up of all the major aspects of the project including justification, timing, cycle times (if applicable), budget, stakeholder commitments, and other key aspects worth noting in one spot.

 

The Ideal Partner Summary defines the ideal partner for your company. The ideal partner should be clearly...

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Doomed: The Long-Term Impact Of Mental Laziness

Our society’s lust for comfort and entertainment is insidiously reducing its ability to observe reality.  The further society moves away from observing reality, the faster it will collapse.  History has demonstrated that societies rise and fall as do businesses.  The battleground in a democratic society supported by capitalism appears to be between government and business.  What are they battling for is the question?  Our attention is the answer!  They apply different strategies for capturing our attention.  For example, the media (media is a business posing as a third-party informant) knows that negativity and sensationalism appeal to our primal nature.  Humans are hard-wired for fight or flight at every turn.  The media (and politicians) exploit this natural tendency at every turn.  Businesses exploit this tendency by limiting quantities through supply management.  Nothing sells better than scarcity.

 

This article...

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Yes or No?

Opportunities and activities abound.  Everyone is ready to occupy our time with this or that.  In my studies of success and high performers, a common thread has emerged.  Learning to say “no” is a significant contribution to their long-term success.  Saying no is difficult.  We naturally desire to please others or take advantage of what appears to be an amazing opportunity that could further our career or grow our business.  Opportunities come at us left and right, so how do we choose?  Why should we say “yes” to this opportunity, and “no” to that activity?  Is there a strategy that can help us say no with confidence that we are making the right decision?  I have developed a strategy that has become helpful to me and I hope it is helpful to you.

 

Step #1 –

Have a list of goals and priorities accompanied with a list of non-negotiable core values.  When we have a clear vision of...

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Personal Stock

Uncategorized Apr 04, 2018

If you were to consider a valuation of your personal stock, would you be excited?  Has your personal stock value increased in the last year or has it been flat?  Maybe you lost a job or went through a divorce that has your personal stock at an all time low.  If you are familiar with the stock market, you might know there is only one reason to invest in a stock: future value.  We invest in a company because we anticipate its value will rise over time.

 

 

With this concept in mind, would you invest in you?  If not, why not? And if you said yes, now what?  I want to be clear that we all have equal value in the sight of God, but our value in the markets vary greatly.  My bet is that you have the capacity to increase your value to the market by 10X.  You only lack a clearer strategy of how to get there. This article will offer a framework for you to begin growing your personal stock.  Warning: it will not happen overnight.  You...

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I Quit

Recently, I quit a professional group that I had been a part of for several years.  In this professional group, I had built intimate relationships with fellow members.  The perceived social pressure to continue with this group can be significant.  I dreaded the decision.  What would my group mates think about me quitting?  I was concerned about how the conversation would go.  I avoided the decision for several months even though I knew it was the right thing to do given my availability.  Finally, I quit.  It turns out nobody gave it a second thought except for me.  Their lack of shock doesn’t mean they don’t care that I won’t be with them but I had built it up in my head as though it would. It is truly a microcosm of life itself.  We think everyone is watching us.  We think that our decisions to serve our own lives will get extra scrutiny.  The truth is, nobody cares but us.  No one has invested in...

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Serve

personal development Mar 21, 2018

My father battled depression for many years. This drug, that drug, this therapy, and that therapy. He struggled as his enthusiasm toward life became non-existent. He was excited about nothing. The medication seemed to flat-line his emotions. We would be planning a fishing trip and he would be apathetic. Fishing is a passion for him, but not while medicated. Eventually, he was off the medication but still having ups and downs. Then something remarkable happened. His hobby of making pen holders out of mesquite wood blossomed into a service. He began to give pen holders that he had made to service men and women. First, it was one here and one there. Over time, it has grown to hundreds each month. He goes to the VA each week to express his gratitude to our veterans and present them with a pen holder. He began to serve others. His transition from depression to gratitude has resulted in relief from the depression that haunted him for years. His regular expression of gratitude toward...

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