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View Diary: How To Kill A Company (33 comments)

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  •  The art of management is dead, killed by exactly (16+ / 0-)

    what you've described. The spreadsheet has always been a wonderful tool in the hands of a skilled manager. However, prevailing "wisdom" dictates that it is now the only tool and that no skill is required.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:11:15 AM PDT

    •  But the driving force behind this type (21+ / 0-)

      Of decision making has always come back to one source -out of control MBA-ism, where know it alls know how to cut, but not how to grow.

      They treat workers as a variable cost to be minimized, and loyalty to management or company as a quaint ancient idea.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:50:17 AM PDT

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      •  David Halberstam (10+ / 0-)

        Wrote "The Reckoning", about the parallel fates of Ford and Nissan after WW2.  The beancounters led by Robert McNamara do not come off well.

        •  The one bean counter I admired was not (4+ / 0-)

          An MBA. He fell into a senate seat almost by accident, then he became a president when the job was the hardest in the world.

          As a bean counting senator he probably saved 100,000 US groups' lives. They got guns that could shoot and planes that flew. Because of him.

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 12:23:41 PM PDT

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          •  Troops, not groups. Dim spill chicken. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bnasley, Samer

            What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

            by agnostic on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 05:48:01 AM PDT

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          •  Good intentions (0+ / 0-)

            sometimes translate in good actions too...
            Over the last few years i've worked several times on business cases to come to a better way of knowledge valuation..  The "Economics of Abundance" article goes into that, it lays down why a cost focus is not just a little bit wrong. There are some more articles coming which provide fairly solid arguments for 'value accounting' and ways to gauge something's potential. Looking at costs only has its value, but it creates scarcity because it cannot express abundance

        •  nice (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ATinNM

          will look into it. Early work on game theory has brought incredible damage to our society. There are several documentaries by British filmmaker Adam Curtis which follow the flow of ideas.. What is really nice is the footage where John Nash more or less revokes his work on game-theory as being self-fulfilling. Unfortunatelly it assumes "rational self-interest" and via adopting game theory in organizational psychology to give it more credibility via scientific substance and also in public choice theory.. it stimulated "rational self-interest" and we got "self-interest"... without the rationality

      •  No It's the Cutting of Top End Taxes Corporate and (16+ / 0-)

        individual.

        Once you can take most gains home, regardless of size, the only important purpose for either large enterprises or society itself is to seek unsustainably large profits. Because giant profits mean giant compensation at the top, but the recipients being ephemeral humans will become set for life with only a few years' or months' work, and then fuck the company, fuck the nation, fuck humanity, we and our families got ours and we're set for life.

        Human resource depletion is one of a hundred unsustainable practices within and among businesses and finance, all of which serve the cause of hyperprofitability.
        On the other hand if your next million of gain means you must send 900,000 to the feds in taxes, somewhere around a few million a year you stop seeking, and businesses stop offering, huge compensation.

        Then there's more than enough money to pay workers decently, domestic suppliers, invest in long term growth of the business rather than mining and quickly junking it.

        There is such a thing as too much income too fast, and that possibility is the foundation stone all this sociopathic behavior rests on, including climate destruction.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 10:23:41 AM PDT

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        •  Agreed. This sociopathic behavior strategy (9+ / 0-)

          also turns almost all large U.S. corporations into Ponzi schemes.  

          I became a licensed insurance agent a little over a year ago.  I've worked for a half-dozen different agencies since I started.  The first one I got involved with was an actual MLM company.  I stayed with them for about 3 months, lost all of my working capital while generating very little revenue, woke up one day and realized what a mistake I'd made, and walked away.  But, hey!  I was My Own Boss!

          What I've come to realize about the insurance business is that all agencies are Ponzi schemes.  The principals may have been strong sales closers at one time, but now all they want to do is move higher up on the pyramid/income stream, and build their downlines.  And you'd think that by wanting to do that they would invest in growing the talent in their downlines.  But if you thought that, you'd be wrong.  Apparently, it takes one year (or less) of good income for most manager/producers to lose the fire in their bellies.

          Management consultants have always been real big on trying to convince employees that they, themselves, are entrepreneurs, responsible for their own destinies, etc, and that it's their own choice whether or not they move up the pyramid.  Of course we all know that's bullshit, but it's a major part of the pyramid management strategy.

          And by the way, if you don't have the fire in your own belly, how can you possibly build it in somebody else's?  You can't, which means that you just keep churning employees with the hope that you'll one day win the "good closer" lottery.  But even if you do stumble on to a good closer, he or she is only going to stay with you as long as it takes to build up some capital and start his/her own competing business.

          I used to fantasize about becoming CEO of a major corporation just so I could, on Day One, fire all the management consultants.  But that was when I was a lot younger, and still had the proverbial f.i.t.b.  Now that I'm  older, I just focus on staying at or near the top of the sales board, knowing that if I don't get a call from a head hunter today, I'll absolutely get one tomorrow.

          "What are we afraid of, and why are we holding back, when nobody's gonna listen to this shit anyway?" -- magic mitch

          by oldmaestro on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 04:36:36 PM PDT

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        •  egotism doesn't quite add up too.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radarlady

          One of the shocking things i've found out doing the research for these articles is that derivative trade has yielded about 30% per year on average since about 2000.. this is however high-frequency trade where about 10% of the derivatives with a $660 trillion nominal value are traded so often that the whole exchange inflates to about $5 quadrillion. Derivatives were a nice financial instrument in other times, but with the speed of today it has become a monster.. not just for the monetary value they represent but the fact if looking closer they aren't trading goods or even detailed company performance, but coarse grained impressions in the news.
          So, we have been caught up in a system that rewards investing in "impression management" much more than investing in any sort of innovation, as in business model or technology. That is surely bad but that wasn't what this article was about..

      •  You're exactly right. I use that as a working (14+ / 0-)

        title for a book I've been writing at for years. The Tyranny of the MBAs: Why America Can't do Anything Anymore.

        Management, like economics, is far more art than science. Mostly, IMO, because human beings are integral to the subject. Each case is unique and and must be dealt with in the context of the whole.

        Maybe that's the bottom line (;-D), contrary to what the corporate diploma mills would have us believe, good management is very hard even for highly skilled people. Idiots like our most famous Harvard MBA holder will never be good enough to do it well.

        "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

        by Greyhound on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 10:53:56 AM PDT

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    •  MBAism (2+ / 0-)

      MBAs did not kill business. Teaching MBAs to apply calculus to all of their problems did that. Pseudoscience with math is still pseudoscience.

    •  squeezing a dried lemon (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radarlady

      Agree.. what i've seen all too often is that people don't know where to stop. Systems which added enormous value in uncovering new ways of business were brought to the verge of extinction because after the initial project things went in maintenance mode and lost its spark. In order to keep the more talented people engaged new rollouts were started but because it was additional to the first big hit the value was just marginal and so the costs had to be low as well..

      Mergers and acquisitions make it ten times worse, as most feel threatened by solutions as there is no budget for the extras and costcutting is too high up the agenda to actually solve a crucial problem and make oneself redundant. What remains is some very sad behaviour...

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