April 2016

In 1943 the Army Air Force met with Lockheed.  They needed a jet fighter to counter the rising German jet fighter threat.  And they needed it fast.  Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson and his team of engineers designed and built the XP-80 aircraft in only 143 days.  They went on to become famous for developing aircraft such as the U-2, SR-71, and F-117.

Kelly had 14 rules for how this new team of engineers needed to operate.  At first glance it reads like good program and project management practices.  Upon closer inspection you see how it changed the game in terms of collaborative problem solving.

Continue reading Kelly Johnson’s Rules

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Yesterday I heard an intriguing illustration.  A pastor had visited Africa and during his stay he visited a river.  He sat high above the river on a hill overlooking the river and the plain beyond.  He saw wild crocodiles, elephants, impala, and even lions.  Now I’m not sure that he actually saw all of those beasts at the same time but nevertheless it was a mouth-opening, frightening, awe-inspiring experience.  Now he was using it to make a point in his sermon, but it got me thinking about problem-solving (not during the sermon of course).

Continue reading On the Hill? Or in the Water?

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