Author: S. David Young

  • Tell us your name, Mr. Auditor

    The typical audit report is signed off with just the name of the auditing firm and the office from where the audit was managed. For example, you will see something like “PricewaterhouseCooper”, and underneath “New York”. Floyd Norris, who writes about accounting and finance for The New York Times, discusses some fascinating academic research on […]

  • A book we like

    Kevin and I have found many books to helpful in writing The Blue Line Imperative. What follows is the first of what promises to be many recommendations for worthy books that touch on at least one of the themes addressed in our own book. Capex Excellence: Optimizing Fixed Asset Investments, by H. Hansen et al. […]

  • The uses and misuses of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principal

    In The Blue Line Imperative, we explain the inherent measurement problems by citing Goodhart’s Law, which is an economics analog to Heisenberg’s famous uncertainly principle. The idea is that by measuring a system, whether electrons in orbit or operating margin for a business division or anything else for that matter, we disturb it. Therefore, the […]

  • Hierarchy in the movie business–Orson Welles edition

    Kevin and I devoted considerable attention in our book to the issue of hierarchy in organizations. We argue that the presence of steep hierarchy can impede the flow of signals from customers, suppliers and other collaborators. It can also lead to perhaps the greatest sin of all in management–decision making by opinion, and not by […]

  • Indicator management rears its ugly head, again …

    Two nurses in Staffordshire (England) are under investigation for having misreported waiting times in their hospital’s emergency room. For example, to get patients out of the waiting room (and therefore classify them as having been served), the nurses would transfer them to rooms that were not ready to receive patients. Their motivation appears to have […]