All the Pundits Were Wrong—Again!

    November 16, 2016 7:40 AM by Dr. Scott M. Shemwell

    Volume 5 Number 22—November 17, 2016

    Twice this year a political system has been shocked.  First the United Kingdom BREXIT vote and more recently the United States 2016 election cycle.

    Why does this continue to happen?  In an era of sophisticated polls, unlimited campaign spending and Big Data analysis, not just a few but most missed these social earthquakes.

    Some are now suggesting that the President Elect had tapped into something that the defeated party did not see—and many of his own for that matter!  If this is so, how did this individual recognize this tsunami when the political pros on both sides could not?

    We started researching this phenomenon in the early 1990s.  Following primary efforts, “integrating structural and process components into a dynamic system model” as part of systems analysis of human interaction, we coined the term Structural Dynamics.[i]

    Other early publications in the form of articles and speeches were formalized into our “Beta” White paper which was released in 2012.[ii]  In 2015 our first Monograph in Changing the Dialogue: A Series on the New Business Dynamics formally documented Structural Dynamics: Foundation of Next Generation Management Science.[iii]

    We have defined Structural Dynamics as, “The morphology or patterns of motion toward process equilibrium of interpersonal systems.”[iv]  This is founded in the hypothesis that structure and process are intertwined and often the latent or unseen variables only manifest themselves at a (now visible) tipping point.[v]

    At this point, it is often too late for a successful response.  Strategic and often long-term competitive advantage then go to those who more successfully read the structural dynamics tea leaves.

    Earlier this year, we posited that the electoral go to market strategy; significantly different for each candidate, might illuminate whether older marketing processes would continue to prevail over a newer more disruptive model. [vi]  The post-mortem will probably reveal the extent to which social media supplanted television advertising, or not.

    It appeared to this pundit that one of the data analysis culprits at work for both of these political decisions was the roll of the polls.  As an arm’s length observer it often appears that pollsters often violated the requirements for valid and reliable data collection and analysis.[vii]

    Moreover, individuals will misunderstand the question and/or actually lie to the pollster.  Polls often have a subjective component and can be influenced by the interviewer.  Finally, the sampling problem can bias their analysis and hide real data.[viii]

    Structural Dynamics is well suited for the Big Data era.  It’s very construct is one that looks at a number of relationships, behaviors and conditions among variables, including those that are latent.  The more data, the stronger the business model.

    Using advanced analysis techniques such as Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), the Structural Dynamics algorithm is robust and can provide insight into latent variables.[ix]  With sixteen major criteria categories, complex dynamic and fluid social/business systems can yield their secrets to astute management.

    In 2016 there were two seminal events where many got it wrong.  Can you and your organization afford to be on the wrong end of a pivotal occurrence?  Structural Dynamics suggests there is no reason for that to happen.

    Do your Competitors Know More about the Structural Dynamics of your Industry than You Do?

    About the Author

    Dr. Scott M. Shemwell has over 30 years technical and executive management experience primarily in the energy sector.  He is the author of six books and has written extensively about the field of operations.  Shemwell is the Managing Director of The Rapid Response Institute, a firm that focuses on providing its customers with solutions enabling Operational Excellence and regulatory compliance management.  He has studied cultural interactions for more than 30 years—his dissertation; Cross Cultural Negotiations Between Japanese and American Businessmen: A Systems Analysis (Exploratory Study) is an early peer reviewed manuscript addressing the systemic structure of social relationships.

    See our Operations Management System solution to obtain Operational Excellence

    Free Economic Value Proposition Matrix version 2.0 (Realize the value of your investment)

    End Notes

    [i]  Shemwell, Scott M. (1996). Cross Cultural Negotiations between Japanese and American Businessmen: A Systems Analysis, (Exploratory Study). Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale. p. 17.

    [ii]  _______ (2012, June). Structural Dynamics: The Foundation of Next Generation Management Science—βeta Version of the Construct. Version 1.0. Author.

    [iii]  _______ (2015). Structural Dynamics: Foundation of Next Generation Management Science. Houston: RRI Publications. http://www.amazon.com/Structural-Dynamics-Foundation-Generation-Management-ebook/dp/B00U0JKMT0

    [iv]  Shemwell, Scott M. (1996).

    [v]  http://gladwell.com/the-tipping-point/

    [vi]   Shemwell, Scott M. (2016, September 6). Memories. Governing Energy. PennEnergy.

    [vii]  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19020196

    [viii]  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/opinion/sunday/whats-the-matter-with-polling.html?_r=0

    [ix]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structural_equation_modeling

    Pasteur Forgotten?

    November 10, 2016 8:36 AM by Dr. Scott Shemwell

    Volume 5 Number 21—November 10, 2016

    A recent fortune cookie revealed the following guidance, “There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation.”  How many of us have gone into a meeting in this state?  How many sales people have headed to a key client call in this state?

    We do it all the time!  Running from chore to chore, multi-tasking like the preverbal chicken with its head cut off, much of our day is like this.[i]

    Whatever happened to, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure or “A stick in time save nine;” phrases that our mother’s taught us when we were young.[ii]  It seems as though in our chaotic and so-called fast pace environment, these quant statements are no longer relevant.  Not so fast!

    Among his long list of accomplishments, Louis Pasteur is most remembered for the Pasteurization process as well as developing vaccines for anthrax and rabies.[iii]  Products of science that we still use to this day.  In his relatively short life, Pasteur was very prolific.

    He is credited with saying, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”[iv]  The very antithesis of my fortune cookie and most multi-tasking behaviors.

    Hypothesis: if prolific producers of high value are organized and prepared, that model should apply to the rest of us as well.  If the empirical evidence supports this hypothesis (which it seems to), then it follows that our multi-tasking model is broken or even wrong!

    One example of society’s belief that we do not multi-task well is the common ban on using our cell phones while driving in a school zone.  If we can talk and drive effectively, why would society impose this regulatory constraint and associated traffic ticket fines?

    There is no excuse for not preparing for life events.  A wedding is planned, retirement (sometimes planned), college and the list goes on.  Business events should be planned and prepared for as well and not as a function of running from meeting-to-meeting.

    Shareholders, your superiors, your subordinates and colleagues deserve more than being ill prepared and getting the probable (likely) results.  While “even a blind dog can find a bone every so often,” hope with a lack of preparation is not a strategy.[v]

    If chance favors those who are prepared, just imagine if the statistical probabilities of your next meeting or sales call are more certain given appropriate preparation?  The Scout motto, “Be Prepared” is over one hundred years old.[vi]  It seems to have stood the test of time.

    But enough of the clichés, or maybe just one more.  Now is the time for action.  Prepare and “just do it!”[vii]

    Isn’t Using Pasteur’s Guidance Time Well Spent?

    About the Author

    Dr. Scott M. Shemwell has over 30 years technical and executive management experience primarily in the energy sector.  He is the author of six books and has written extensively about the field of operations.  Shemwell is the Managing Director of The Rapid Response Institute, a firm that focuses on providing its customers with solutions enabling Operational Excellence and regulatory compliance management.  He has studied cultural interactions for more than 30 years—his dissertation; Cross Cultural Negotiations Between Japanese and American Businessmen: A Systems Analysis (Exploratory Study) is an early peer reviewed manuscript addressing the systemic structure of social relationships.

    See our Operations Management System solution to obtain Operational Excellence

    Free Economic Value Proposition Matrix version 2.0 (Realize the value of your investment)

    End Notes

    [i]  http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/like+a+chicken+with+its+head+cut+off

    [ii]  http://www.dictionary.com/browse/an-ounce-of-prevention-is-worth-a-pound-of-cure

    [iii]  http://www.biography.com/people/louis-pasteur-9434402

    [iv]  http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/9178-chance-favors-the-prepared-mind

    [v]  http://www.inspiringquotes.us/quotes/5gKP_YnM48Zpa

    [vi]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scout_Motto

    [vii]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_Do_It

    So What’s the Problem?

    October 26, 2016 2:56 PM by Dr. Scott M. Shemwell

    Volume 5 Number 20—October 25, 2016

    Following the discussion in the previous edition of this blog, the publication Beyond Compliance makes the case that while some industry economic actors have developed strong Cultures of Safety, many other have not.[i] This begs the question, why haven’t more organizations aggressively adopted a Culture of Safety? This should be a no brainer, right?

    No one wants to work in an unsafe environment and no manager wants to have incidents on his or her watch. All have a vested interest in a strong Safety Culture.

    Perhaps what is missing is the Business Case for a Safety Culture? A Business Case will turn recommendations and generalities into Actionable Procedures with associated Risk Mitigation strategies against a Portfolio of Options.

    With a well-developed Business Case supported by senior leadership, this transformational process is on firm ground. Moreover, since the team developing the Business Case is a cross section of the organization, “Buy In” is one of the byproducts.

    There are generally considered to be five elements of a great or compelling business case.[ii] These are originally taken from the book, Good to Great.[iii]

    However, as depicted in the following figure, we be