Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-05-21 - 7:32 a.m.

Maybe I mentioned that I joined an e-service with the Economist yesterday to get my hands on a decent copy of an article about how Japan is tackling the future of manufacturing. It is worth the money to have a clean copy of this article which explains inter alia how the Japanese are coping with their big neighbour. We can put it to various good educational purposes. Apparently last year China accounted for one third of the growth in world GDP. And this growth had a significant positive impact on Japan.

Today an extra came through from the same service. It included some streamed interviews with leading US practioners in the management of innovation and a link through to some material from a leading US consultancy.

I downloaded four articles from the consultancy – two about the generalities of supply chain management which I sent to Mike who is doing something on this at the SUMMIT a week today, One was about the parallels between automotive and aerospace - a theme which is very salient at the ranch these days.

The fourth was about the organisational aspects of the acceleration new product development, I mailed Alan about this last one especially the connection between the main elements in the article and the global automotive quality standard for which we are the lead body for in this country and which Alan teaches. This standard is the topic that I have to deliver on the Cambridge Automotive Leaders programme early next year – the development of which is my fallback for chargeable time this quarter.now that the first contract has been invoiced.

The nub of the matter is that the standard mandates a set of processes and behaviours which the consultancy, independently , conclude are essential to reducing new product development times - the holy grail in the innovation game, Meanwhile within the national skills strategy everyone walks around wasting money and scratching their heads and wasting more money on how to achieve the link between these two of the five factors which promote productivity growth. The five factors are innovation, investment, skills, enterprise and competition. Anyway this will all usefully flesh out my presentation

The broadcast from St Martins has just finished, It was an Ascension Day eucharist with the music of Duke Ellington. I started the day with the Duke – a very adventurous mix of caravan with heavy new percussion blocking out everything from the older track except the vocals – put together by some London DJ. As I listened to the broadcast I read about the death of Elvin Jones two days ago – and how he had played with Duke’s band on an Earl Hines date in 1966. This must have been him getting closer to the tradition after the increasing wildness of the great Trane 4tet,

I saw Hines – who had done some stunning duets with Louis Armstrong at the end of the 2Os with Louis Armstrong - at Osterley either that year or a year later – ie 1967 which was the year I did a floor spot there with Linda Peters. The same paper that had the Jones obit had a commentary by her son on Leonard Cohen as a songwriter. He seems to have reached grand old man status.

I saw Jones at Ronnie Scott’s in the early 7Os.He really was a force of nature - probably the greatest jazz musician that Detroit produced in the 2Oth century. I have a video of an interview him where he says that anyone interested In the fundamentals of music would do well to give very detailed study to the music of Coltrane that he helped bring into being. I have taken these words at face value – right up to an experiment I did today in Wavelab. I can certainly say it works for me.

He comes across as a very mild mannered man – although there are stories that when he was on tour with the Trane 4tet sometimes he would get out of it. Trane would indulge this behaviour because he himself had been like that during the early part of his time with the Miles 5tet – the first one.

I have just put a couple of good articles up on the News page on the Highveld site - button at the top of this page - on econonics and stability in Africa,

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