Blended Values Strategies

Blended values strategies are choices about all the usual aspects of strategy — but with a twist: neither the pursuit of value (money, profits, winning, wealth) nor the pursuit of other values (social, family, political, technological, environmental, spiritual, creative, legal or medical) is the trump card for all critical (or even non critical) decisions. In blended […]

Rope A Dope

Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it. It’s a famous — and wise — adage. Too often, though, the assumption is that one must be deep into scholarship to identify the themes, patterns and strategies to be avoided. Not so. Even sports fans in high office might find warnings to avoid — if […]

Thresholds Of Decency

In our complex 21st century, tens of millions of us experience what has traditionally been meant by the word community in the organizations where we work. It is in that context that we depend on other people we know for critical aspects of our lives: security, affiliation, meaning, and more. Each day we go to […]

Buy Clean Energy for $29.95

TerraPass is a wonderful idea. You can go to the website and, after calculating the emissions from your car or truck, purchase clean energy offsets for as little as $29.95. And, yes, nothing prevents you from purchasing clean energy well in excess of your car’s emissions. According to the website, TerraPass customers have helped reduce over […]

Both News And Advertising

“News is what someone wants to suppress. Everything else is advertising,” said Reuven Frank, a former head of NBC news. Insightful. And, incomplete. Frank’s comment reflects the widespread bias for either/or certainity. Either news or advertising. If only things were so simple. We live in a both/and world. Every item you read, hear, and see — whether […]

Performance Madness At Ford

Here’s an astonishing factoid from Laurence Haughton: “In 2005 Ford executives spent over 4.4 million management days tracking and assessing their company’s performance. That’s just short of 100 days per manager on average, over 19 work weeks looking at how everyone in every department was doing and creating new plans to hit budget. And if you […]

Science Update

Earlier posts have pointed to the corrosive effects of ideological claims of Truth (with a capital T) on the empirical and democratic (free speech) requirements of science. Whether it’s a fascistic young man without any science education dictating science policy or market researchers turning their fact-based findings of their own science on unwanted facts from other sciences, the […]

Back Story to Next Year’s 24

This week’s New Yorker has a wonderful review of TV’s long running show 24 and it’s protagonist Jack Bauer. As fans know, each season, Bauer, with others, defeats terrorists bent on havoc and do so over the course of a single day divided into 24 TV shows, one for each hour (actually, as the NYer points out, closer to 44 minutes […]

Headline: Some Shareholders Motivated By Self-Interest

The passion for uniformity sometimes induces otherwise sane folks to utter astonishing words. Or so it seems with these comments captured in an article at Institutional Investor about shareholder friendly corporations. First, the author of the article: “The presence of some unsatisfied owners at companies otherwise deemed the most friendly to shareholders highlights a growing concern among […]

The Stan Test

Whether you work at a for profit, non-profit or governmental organization, you might want to gather a group of colleagues and take the “Stan Test”: Do you have customers — whether consumers or businesses — who have done business with you over the long term? Would your customers be so shocked and disappointed if you […]

Competence Is As Competence Does

Any sincere politics directed at governing our complex world of markets, networks, organizations, friends and families would find its way to some minimum threshold of competence as a prerequisite to office. Minimum competence has no partisan home. A person either qualifies by exceeding the minimum threshold or does not. Minimum competence is also a prerequisite to performance. […]

Removing The Deck Chairs From The Titanic

That’s what is happening at General Motors. Having cast tens of thousands of families into financial jeopardy, eliminated tens of thousands of jobs, shuttered plants across the country, and reduced health and other benefits for current and prior employess, the weakened auto giant yesterday announced a cut in dividends for shareholders as well as reductions in pay […]

Best Super Bowl Ad

Kudos to Unilever and Dove soap for this year’s best Super Bowl Ad. These ads run just under $90,000 a second. Unilever, a multibusiness unit company whose brands are known the world over, chose to spend it’s millions on promoting self-esteem in young girls. It’s all part of Unilever/Dove’s ‘campaign for real beauty’ and, no surprise, offered […]

Hitler Youth

A 24-year old Republican campaign zealot with neither science credentials nor understanding is setting policy for the National Aeronautic and Space Administration. The policy is directed against the free inquiry and empiricism on which science rests. Put differently, the policy is aimed at destroying science in favor of fundamentalism. The odd thing, of course, is that so […]

Patriotism

“Give me liberty, or give me death.” — Patrick Henry rallying support for independence from the English military in 1775 “I would only point out that you really don’t have any civil liberties if you’re dead.” — Senator Pat Roberts rallying support for unlimited military power of the Commander-in-Chief in 2006 Posted by Doug Smith on February […]

Accuracy and Truth

When we share an understanding about roles such as customer and employee (or parent and child), the values we share — the predictability of our beliefs and behaviors — rises. For example, when you walk into a clothing store, there are a variety of highly predictable beliefs and behaviors that you as customer and those […]