The difference between reviewing an article and writing a commentary about it

August 13, 2017

Recently, I was asked to review an article, which I did. I thought the article was impressive but as usual I still recommended some ways to improve it. Upon resubmission, I reviewed it again – my recommendations were implemented – and the article was published (online first). But that’s not the end of the story. A while later I was asked to write a commentary about the article, which would be published along with the article.

In a sense, I had to review it again and this time was more critical. It was (and is) an impressive article but when my commentary is published, I have to be sure that I have written about all of the positive parts of the article and any remaining deficiencies. Hence I found new deficiencies!

It reminds me when I managed a group at Ciba Corning that I always insisted on a written rather than a verbal report. A verbal report is ephemeral but when you put your name on something you think about it much deeper.

 


Limited release for sale

July 12, 2017

When I was in industry, we would have a “release for sale” meeting in order to determine whether the product should be released or not. The person from regulatory affairs was always irksome because he always insisted the product was not ready for release. Yet, two hours or so later he signed the release for sale form. I think he behaved this way to show that 1) he was not some guy who would rubber stamp anything that was put in front of him and 2) if there were product problems he could say, he never wanted to release the product. But he nevertheless always looked bad because basically no new data had been put in front of him, yet he signed the release for sale form without someone putting a gun to his head. If he truly believed the product was not ready, he should have stuck to his guns.

But back to the title…, as a “concession” the marketing guy would say, ok let’s have a limited release for sale implying that fewer units would be delivered than possible. Of course, this was fiction – what the limited release really meant was marketing was limited to selling units as fast as they could, and because of startup issues, product sales usually took some time to get going.

On a more positive note, our release for sale meetings – as I recall – were always unanimous, and not every time was the decision to release – sometimes it was decided to not release the product.


A good vision / mission statement

July 11, 2017

I heard an advertisement from Alere which ended with the statement: knowing now matters. Unlike the vision and mission statements that I suffered through (and no longer remember) while I was in industry, the statement knowing now matters seems to be a perfect summation for a point of care company.


Transferring older posts – complete

July 7, 2017

All posts has been transferred. I deleted one post, which talked about my revised web site (which no longer exists). I also changed all links which referred to my now defunct web site. So with this post, there are 398 posts.

 


Transferring older posts

May 15, 2017

I have started the process of transferring older posts, which were in my now defunct website, to this blog. It will take a little while and additionally it will take some time for the search engines to catch up.


I’ve retired – sort of

May 11, 2017

As of the end of 2016, I stopped consulting. I still follow lab medicine topics that interest me, and will still publish both papers in journals and entries on my blog.

I ended my website KrouwerConsulting.com – it doesn’t work anymore – and I realize that some of my earlier blog entries can’t be accessed because they were on KrouwerConsulting.com (written before I started my current blog). I will fix this and transfer all of these entries to my current blog, as soon as I figure it out!

I want to thank all of my clients. Their problems kept me thinking and I enjoyed both the technical tasks and meeting people to discuss a variety of issues.

 


United Airlines and mission statements

April 29, 2017

Most people have seen the video of a passenger being forcibly pulled off a United flight. After some missteps, one would think that the CEO would say the right thing. But he said the following (as seen on CBS news on 4/27).

“Our policies were placed ahead of our shared values and procedures got in the way of what we know is right.”

To people like me, who have worked in industry, “shared values” sounds like a mission or vision statement. The problem is that a mission statement is supposed to dictate policies and procedures and of course, it is management that defines policies and procedures. Hence, the quote sounds hollow.

What a company does can be considered its mission. If it conflicts with its mission statement, then the mission statement is out of whack.