Author Archives: Mike Shipulski

The Gravity of Intrinsic Motivation

Work can be exceptionally profitable, work can dovetail perfectly with strategy, and work can make perfect business sense. Though these attributes seem powerful, they’re insufficient for work to carry the day. But there’s a far more powerful force out there, a force that virtually guarantees that work will take on a life of it’s own, that work will go viral. ...

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A Unifying Theory for Manufacturing?

The notion of a unifying theory is tantalizing – one idea that cuts across everything. Though there isn’t one in manufacturing, I think there’s something close: Design simplification through part count reduction. It cuts across everything – across-the-board simplification. It makes everything better. Take a look how even HR is simplified. HR takes care of the people side of the ...

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Why, What, How

New Thinking for the Engineering Community by Dr. Mike Shipulski Sometimes we engineers know the answer before the question, sometimes we know the question’s wrong before it’s asked, and sometimes we’re just plain pig-headed. And if we band together, there’s no hope of changing how things are done. None. So, how to bring new thinking to the engineering community? In ...

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A Call to Arms for Engineers

Engineers make magic. We are the only ones who create things from nothing: cars, televisions, bridges, buildings, machine tools, molecules, software… (You get the idea.) Politicians can’t do it, lawyers can’t do it, MBAs can’t do it. Only engineers. And the stuff we create is the foundation of sustainable economies. We create things, our companies sell them for a profit, ...

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Doing New

Doing new is hard and starting new is particularly hard. Once fear is overcome and new is started, doing new becomes a battle with discouragement. Not managed, discouragement can stop new. Slumped shoulders and a head hung low are the signs and a mismatch with expectations is the source. Expectations are defined in the form of a project plan, but, ...

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Inspiring Work

Inspiring work is art. Inspiring work is rare. Inspiring work is scary. Inspiring work is thrilling. Inspiring work is the reward. Inspiring work is life changing. Inspiring work is easy to recognize. Inspiring work is difficult to recognize. Inspiring work is an acknowledgment of self. Inspiring work’s magnitude is proportional to the fear. Don’t miss an article (1,750+) – Subscribe ...

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Engineering Your Way Out of the Recession

Like you, I have been thinking a lot about the recession. We all want to know how to move ourselves to the other side, where things are somewhat normal (the old normal, not the new one). Like usual, my mind immediately goes to products. To me, having the right products is vital to pulling ourselves out of this thing. There ...

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Emotional Constraints on Innovation

“Constraint” is most often an excuse rather than a constraint. In fact, there are very few true constraints, with most of them living in the domain of physics. A constraint is when something cannot be done. It’s not when something is difficult, complex, or unknown. And, it’s not when the options are costly, big, or ugly. There are no options ...

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The Improvement Mindset

Improvement is good; we all want it. Whether it’s Continuous Improvement (CI), where goodness, however defined, is improved incrementally and continually, or Discontinuous Improvement (DI), where goodness is improved radically and steeply, we want it. But, it’s not enough to want it. How do we create the Improvement Mindset, where the desire to make things better is a way of ...

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Imagination is Dead

An Obituary by Dr. Mike Shipulski Anytown, Any Country – Imagination died on Friday, May 14, 2010, following a long and courageous battle with continuous improvement. Imagination was born in a time long ago in a place we no longer recognize. Nurtured by her parents Individualism and Free Thinking, Imagination had a wonderful childhood. As a youngster, she was known ...

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