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Showing posts from March, 2008

It's instinctive

Dear Members and Constituents,
Where does the urge we feel -especially on Fridays- to have a donut come from? I would argue it's instinctive. Instinctive? The skeptic would argue donuts are too refined (refined sugar, refined flour...) to be associated with an instinct. That they have not been around long enough for our species to create an inherent disposition towards their consumption. I will not deny donuts have only been around for a couple-hundred of years or so (161 years for ring-shaped donuts). So, if I admit these tasty treats have not been a staple of our diet since the dawn of our species, then how can I argue the need to consume them is instinctive? It all comes down to what's inside these tasty circular treats. Yummy goodness an active body needs. You see, despite the prosperity we've experienced in this part of the world for the better part of the last century, the natural condition our species has existed in for thousands of years is one of scarcity. Our tast…

It's shaping up to be a Good Friday

Dear members and constituents,What do laser, radar and scuba have in common? (No, the answer does not involve the plot to a James Bond movie). Give up? They are all acronyms...Laser = Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of RadiationRadar = Radio Detection And RangingScuba = Self-Contained Underwater Breathing ApparatusSure, the world of telecommunications is fraught with them (try to think of the last five sentences you uttered, I'd be extremely surprised if at least one of them did not contain one or more acronyms), however they've been around longer than you may realize. Early Christian inscriptions in Roman catacombs used the image of a fish as a symbol for Jesus because of an acronym—fish in Greek is ΙΧΘΥΣ (ichthys), which stood for Ιησους Χριστος Θεου Υιος Σωτηρ (Iesous CHristos THeou Uios Soter: Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior). In case you're wondering, donut is not an acronym (although, understandably, geeky scientists and engineers have from time to ti…

The ultimate productivity boost

Dear Members and Constituents,A recent visit to the BPMCOE (that's extended TLA for Business Process Management Center of Excellence) triggered an interesting idea: Donuts are the key to process improvement. I may be reaching a little, but hear me out.Six Sigma: The lower case Greek letter "sigma" looks like a donut with a little finger reaching for itLean: Everybody knows that donuts contain less calories than, say, bagels... if instead of eating a bagel people would eat a donut, they would be a lot leanerKaizen: Started by Toyota, whose logo looks like, yes... nested donutsOperations Science: Again, starts with the donut shapeTheory of Constraints: Looks for process bottlenecks. If people were energized by the consumption of donuts, their productivity would increase, preventing them from becoming the proverbial bottleneck.Not convinced? Think of the energy a donut provides you. Now imagine that multiplied by all the company's employees... think of the productivity …

What a difference a chain makes!

Dear members and constituents,
I must admit I've succumbed to peer pressure (thanks a lot, Mack!). Yes, this morning I went to Carol Lee Doughnuts, a perfectly good little donut shop without a line of people going out the door, and purchased two dozen circular pastries. I would have plenty of time to question the wisdom of that decision as I stood in line at LaMar's, waiting to complete the other half of the magic quantity. Ever wonder why chains have taken-over America? As I see it, a battle line has been drawn between individuality and predictability (and predictability is creaming individuality). You know what you're going to get at Good Times Burgers, not so much at Joe's Burger Shack. Clean restrooms? Swept floors? Mom's secret sauce? And so it is that the weakening of the spirit of adventure has led to the rise of the franchise.

So, what will it be? I have posted a survey on the blog http://fridaydonuts.blogspot.com/ to ask a simple question: Whose donuts were …