December 2005

Thought Provoking Books and Articles

The Most Offensive Mind in Football

by Michael Lewis
NY Times Magazine, December 4, 2005  pp. 58

The article highlights how Mike Leach, football coach at Texas Tech, is redefining offensive strategy.  There are some ideas that are very applicable to outclassing the competition.

1.  Use the entire playing field - Coach Leach noticed that the effective playing field is decidedly smaller than its physical dimensions.  He saw that he could disrupt and wear down the competitive defense by using more of the field in any play.

2.  Run experiments against the competition - Coach Leach uses the 1st half to run a broad variety of plays and see how the defense responds.  He then focuses on variations of plays where the defense has shown weakness.

3.  Give the quarterback the authority to change every play - The person on the field is in the best position to spot in-the-moment opportunities.  So, Coach Leach works with the QBs to have them develop the 'eye for opportunities'.


Teaching the Big Box New Tricks

by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones
Fortune Magazine, November 14, 2005 pp. 208[B],15704,1124992,00.html

The authors offer a very simple yet elegant perspective on supply-chain logistics.  They suggest "let's take a walk" and follow a product through the entire logistics process starting with the consumer and working backwards.  At every step you ask "Why? Why? Why?"


Fortune Magazine ...December 12, 2005

Two very stimulating articles.  The first, an upclose perspective on Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel, entitled The Education of Andy Grove.  The author captures the essence of Andy as he confronts some defining moments in Intel's history.   The second article, Throw It At The Wall And See If It Sticks, provides insight into how Intuit has built customer-centric innovation into its organizational DNA.



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