A little Math goes a long way!

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June 4, 2015- ISSN# 1545-2646




A little Math goes a long way!

I remember owning a Texas Instruments calculator back in the day when it was cutting edge to have one for science and math class.  Gone were the days of the slide rule. (for those not old enough to know what a slide rule is, Google it) (it was basically a manual multiplication stick) I can remember Mr. Roth telling us that although we were allowed to have such a device, we had to first learn how to do the calculations on paper so we actually know what was going on. None of the students were very happy with this extra set of steps to write down all of our calculations vs. simply punching in a few numbers on the calculator and magically the value appeared through those eye piercing red numbers on the calculator.

I can now look back on those days and appreciate what Mr. Roth was trying to do in his method of teaching.  Although he new calculators would eventually be the device of choice, he want us to be able to achieve the end result even if we were not so fortunate to have or own a calculator in the future.  He wanted us to have the “Skills” necessary to stand alone with out technology to get us to the answer.

Today the world has now passed well beyond calculator for addition and subtraction but in the business world we still have problems with people not understanding basic math.  As one colleague of mine says 1+1 always equals 2.  The problem is, our employees did not have Mr. Roth.  I’m not really sure who they had or even if or what they were taught regarding basic math.

The next time you go to the grocery store or restaurant, give the person some dollar bills and some change and just look at their face.  They are terrified.  They have to think and do math.  The problem is they don’t have a calculator and their point of sale only gives them back what they tell it to do. 

Want to have a little fun with the situation, introduce another couple of coins into the mix once they ring up your initial monies.  Your extra change would actually make it simpler to give change but they get all flustered. They can’t add pennies, dimes, nickels etc.  Heaven forbid they would have to use fractions or the metric system for weights or volumes.

This week take a look at all the items in your business that require some form of math use.  You will be surprised what gets touched by the 1+1=2 formula.  Then look at the technology in place to enable those employees to make it through the day to do the math.  Even with all this in place, you would be surprised how many cash drawers at the end of night don’t balance.

We wonder why foreign country are eating our lunch in science and math.  No wonder for me, we as business leaders must drive home the need for future students to come into the workplace ready and not require us to do the schools job of re-educating them on 1+1 always equals 2.

Not sure math is an issue at your business?  Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 to discuss.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945

Copyright – JKL Associates 2015

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18530 Mack Ave #242
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