Worthwhile Reading

David Brooks argues that the crime wave of the 1970s has had a long-term effect on the American psyche, and especially on parenting. (via FFOF)

Victor Davis Hanson reflects on small-town America.

Paul Levy describes redesign of the pharmacy in the hospital he runs, making use of Lean principles, including mock-ups and heavy participation from those who will be using the new space. (via Lean Blog)

Here’s an economics paper suggesting that when politicians are successful in obtaining large earmarks (aka “pork”) for their districts, the implications for most area businesses are generally not good. (via Newmark’s Door)

Guy Sorman wonders what California’s awful business climate will do to Silicon Valley.

Steve Blank doesn’t think much of the business plan competitions that are becoming popular at many b-schools.

Here are a couple of guys who feel that the skills and orientations they learned on Wall Street were the opposite of helpful when they decided to start a start-up.

2 thoughts on “Worthwhile Reading”

  1. I started to write a comment on Paul’s project but it got too long so I made it a post above. There has not been enough industrial engineer type planning in medicine. Kaiser does it but it needs to be better. Ironically, the Los Angeles County General Hospital, which opened in 1928, had some of the best hospital design ever.

  2. Paul Levy’s post is interesting.

    We use similar approach (w/o buzzwords ), in Programming Phase of master planning; it could be very detailed or very brief – depending on funds allocation for the project. Unfortunately, many Client’s PM do not understand the importance of this phase and wouldn’t want us to spend time and resources on conducting in-depth interviews with employees, or exploring various furniture concepts and then presenting them to a wider audience: they usually see it as a “power structure” issue, and limit the category of people “in the know” to department heads (and their secretaries and/or wives…), or other leading management positions. And those people often have no idea about minute details of operations side within their departments – but the employees do, and them when something uncomfortable or counterproductive is built, they blame the architect or designer for it.
    It all depends, as usual, on human factor: if a manager has strong ties with production staff of his/her department, they usually include them into Programming process, in one form or other: it might be as simple and inexpensive as a distributed questionnaire or more complex, up to constructing several mock-ups of typical workstation, in various configurations.
    General note: I don’t know what the hospital’s standard practice is, but in corporate world all this is handled by Facilities, and they have a very detailed procedures and intricate software for conducting studies in Programming stage.

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