Want to reinvigorate US manufacturing? Make it suck less

The chattering classes are all atwitter over the decline in US manufacturing jobs. And rightly so; the hollowing out of our manufacturing sector is a social problem, a fiscal problem, and even a national security problem. Now, there are a whole lot of factors that have contributed to the decline in US manufacturing employment, so […]

Andrew Jackson Higgins, industrialist and war hero

Photo by Robert F. Sargent, US Coast Guard It’s one of the most iconic images from WWII. Usually it’s used to highlight the impossibly courageous men shown storming Omaha Beach during D-Day, and quite appropriately so. This article, though, focuses instead on the boat, and its inventor and manufacturer, Andrew Jackson Higgins. Who’s ever heard […]

You! Start treating people better right now!

As I’ve increasingly published my thoughts about the proper way, the moral way, to treat the people we’re privileged to lead, I’ve seen an interesting phenomenon among some of those who agree with me. They’re waiting for someone else to do something about it. Look at the comments to this LinkedIn post by Caroline Fairchild, […]

Do away with all the time clocks

I’m halfway through Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia. It’s affirmed something I’ve felt for a long, long time: that most business leaders are doing it all wrong. This passage hit me like a ton of bricks: I remember a conversation I had […]

You must read this book! Fed Up: An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America by Danielle DiMartino Booth

“I dedicate this book to every hardworking American who wakes up in the morning asking themselves what went wrong.” Danielle DiMartino Booth worked on Wall Street and as a financial columnist at the Dallas Morning News, then worked her way up at the Federal Reserve District Bank in Dallas, eventually advising Dallas Federal Reserve President […]

Inclusion for me but not for thee

Reports this morning say that Google has fired the engineer who anonymously published a screed against the company’s diversity and inclusion dogma. I find the furor over the article rather informative. Most telling of all has been the response from those invested in the status quo, evidenced primarily by the official Google response to all […]

Sorry, activist executives – you’re wrong about the Paris Climate Agreement

I started out several times to write a caustic post addressed to America’s business elite about their histrionic reactions over the past two weeks to President Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Paris Climate Agreement. But what’s the point? It’s not like they’re going to listen to little ol’ me. Perhaps for other folks who’ve been cheering […]

Ariens: the real deal

Some years ago, when I was working at General Mills headquarters in Minneapolis, I began a new project and had as a Sourcing Department team member a young man named Nick Ariens. At dinner during our first project business trip, I asked him if he was related to THE Arienses, of mower and snowblower fame, […]

A hometown manufacturing success story

To those who poo-poo the notion of a manufacturing renaissance in the USA, I give you Bob Jacquart and the Stormy Kromer. Bob’s dad ran the tiny little local fabric and sewing shop in my hometown of Ironwood, Michigan. Bob took it over many years ago and steadily expanded it into a full-fledged sewing factory. […]

Hamdi Ulukaya, my new hero

As a former Yoplait guy, I find it a bit strange to have such a liking for someone who beat the snot out of us. Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of Chobani yogurt, did just that – to upstart peers like Fage and industry giants like my erstwhile employer and Dannon alike. Earlier this year Chobani […]