How To Keep A Job Today

Posted by Herb7734 2 months ago to Business
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Four Rules:
1. Encourage conformity
2. Don't take chances
3. Discourage innovation
4. Be satisfied with mediocrity
This is the way the USA seems to be going. What do you think?


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  • Posted by Fish 2 months ago
    I live in Chile and thought that it was different in the US... The other day I heard on the radio a business consultant saying that the prevailing emotion in chilean executives is fear. Sad, and I agree.

    Contributing my two cents, I'm writing right now a book about how to manage systemically, and the conclusion is that innovation is the way forward. By the way, the first innovation is a cultural change from silo mentality to systems thinking. Sorry, the book is written in spanish. Maybe I can translate it sometime in the future.
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    • Posted by khalling 2 months ago
      sounds very interesting. Are you willing to share more of your premises?
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      • Posted by Fish 2 months ago
        In a nutshell, companies are systems. I define a system as a collection of interdependent elements with a purpose.

        The purpose of any company is to generate profit now and in the future.

        The profit is produced as an emergent result of the interactions of the elements of the system. (The well know phrase of holism: the whole is more that the sum of the parts).

        The prevailing belief in management today is that any idle resource is a waste. I say that this belief is anti-systemic and wrong. The proof is easy but long for this post. It is based on the interdependency and the fact that there is always statistical fluctuations.

        These are the premises. The cause and effect reasoning is longer, but it leads to the conclusion that almost all the undesirable effects seen today (unemployment, bankruptcies, poor service, slow innovation rate, others) are due to this wrong belief. The only way out is to embrace systemic thinking (abandoning a lot of practices that stem from the old wrong belief) and to embark on the knowledge driven path on innovation.

        By the way, innovation is possible for many companies today just understanding the implications of systemic thinking. For example, it is an innovation to offer ~100% reliability in delivery for most of make to order manufacturers. I've guided many companies through the years achieving this "miracle". After that knd of innovations, as knowledge is unlimited, not even the sky is the limit, right?
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        • Posted by CircuitGuy 1 month, 4 weeks ago
          "The prevailing belief in management today is that any idle resource is a waste."
          There is an odd book call The Goal that's a mixture of a book on business process management and a dramatic fiction story. It touches on your point in that the protagonist is struggling to reduce bottlenecks and the resulting idle resources. An expert consultant, a Mary Sue for the author, explains to him the goal of the business is to make money, not to maximize resource use efficiency.
          Update: I just read your profile and see you're already a fan of The Goal. :)
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    • Posted by coaldigger 2 months ago
      I had a great friend and business associate from Chile. He was a VP of International Sales and Marketing for a company in Spain. He passed away about a year ago but I have many memories of him and our travels throughout the US and Europe. He was part Spanish and part native Chilean, a very smart architect and businessman but could be very volatile. His wife was Swedish, his mistress was French and I don't think he feared anything.
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    • Posted by  $  Snezzy 2 months ago
      Tell us how to get the Spanish version, then.

      No es tan difícil aprender a leer español. Yo mismo conozco sólo unas pocas palabras de español, pero tengo la pronunciación buena y tengo la habilidad tremenda para dar sentido a las traducciones computarizadas como Google Translate.
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      • Posted by Fish 2 months ago
        I just interrupted the writing to see these comments :)
        When I'm done with the book and ready to publish it in amazon (as I did with the other two) I will send an update here.

        As an old friend told me, I'm old for deadlines, so I can promise that I will finish it, asap, but I don't know when.
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        • Posted by Fish 2 months ago
          Sorry, I forgot to tell you my name in case you want to look for the books. I'm Matias Birrell, Fish is a nickname that Dr. Goldratt gave me... a story for another time.
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    • Posted by 2 months ago
      I'm not familiar with the phrase "silo mentality." However, I think I can figure out the meaning. I'm afraid that my knowledge of Chile is very limited. It consists of pronouncing it Chee-Lay, It has the Andes mountains, it is a narrow country along the wast coast and they have a lama-like beast called an alpaca. Here I am, parading my ignorance.
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  • Posted by coaldigger 2 months ago
    After a really bad experience, I adopted these principles for reasons of safety and security. The problem was, it was not my nature and as old wounds healed, I broke all these rules, and more. Alas, another disaster occurred which despite the scars I continued to repeat my drive to satisfy my need to express myself. At 76, I have retired from the field of battle and reflect proudly on my foolishness.
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    • Posted by 2 months ago
      You and I have much in common. I keep trying to retire @ 82, but when I see or read something so horrid, I am compelled to comment, which then gets me involved and I feel like the iconic line from The Godfather, "Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in."
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  • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 2 months ago
    Probably closer to the truth than most would admit. I'd add not feeling comfortable or allowing yourself to feel reliant for very long.

    (sorry for the typo and repost. Damn cellphones and thick fingers.)
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    • Posted by 2 months ago
      That might be part of a B list.
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      • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 2 months ago
        There is no pension anymore, no gold watch, no loyalty. You have to be Tarzan in the job market, grab a new job(vine) before you let go of the one you have. Almost impossible to stay with any company for 20 years.
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        • Posted by 2 months ago
          Company loyalty can be found in some small organizations, but I doubt that there's any in any outfit larger than 50 employees.
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          • Posted by  $  DrZarkov99 2 months ago
            I think the employees of Hobby Lobby would respectfully disagree. They're treated with real respect, like a good family, and they experience some of the best pay and benefits in the market. The family that owns the firm are those rare Christians who really live up to their faith.
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            • Posted by 2 months ago
              Hobby Lobby is a relatively small organization and as I understand it, family owned. There are thousands of them in the USA having the blood squeezed out of them under Obama. Hopefully, they'll be making a comeback. Most organizations such as Hobby Lobby are closer to their employees and tend to have a more friendly personal relationship with them. There are even a few big corporations that treat their employees well, but the bigger they get, the further away from the help, until they are no longer people but digits. Digits that sometimes are an annoyance.
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              • Posted by  $  Dobrien 2 months ago
                In 1970, David and Barbara Green took out a $600 loan to begin making miniature picture frames out of their home. Two years later, the fledgling enterprise opened a 300-square-foot store in Oklahoma City, and Hobby Lobby was born. Today, with more than 750 stores, Hobby Lobby is the largest privately owned arts-and-crafts retailer in the world with approximately 32,000 employees and operating in forty-seven states.
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                • Posted by 2 months ago
                  I knew they were a chain, but didn't realize how big they were.
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                  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 2 months ago
                    One hell of a success story.
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                    • Posted by 2 months ago
                      There was a radio show called Hobby Lobby. In Detroit, a fellow opened a camera shop called Lobby Hobby, because the radio show had the name copyrighted I suppose. So, he Hobby Lobby we know started up after that show was long gone. Just read up on them. A very cool story. You're right (as usual).
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                      • Posted by  $  Dobrien 2 months ago
                        That is interesting I looked that show up.
                        Hobby Lobby allowed listeners everywhere to write in about their unusual hobbies so they could come on the radio and "lobby for their hobby." Many of the hobbies were actually people's professions like a female gorilla trainer, a scientist that makes robots, and a beekeeper (whose bees escaped during the show).
                        As a side note:

                        During WWII, the FBI recived word that Nazis were attempting infiltrate the show and use Hobby Lobby to covertly send messages to other Nazis over the radio. The agency sent Dave Elman a list of potential Nazis who might try to get on his show by pretending to have a hobby. Eventually threats were made on the lives of Elman and his family requiring 24 hour FBI protection.
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                        • Posted by 1 month, 4 weeks ago
                          As I remember, the name Hobby Lobby, at least in Detroit, was taken more literally. A lobby in which hobbies were exhibited. The lobbying was understood, but a dual definition didn't seem to be off-putting. As an aside, in the Detroit suburbs there were hundreds of manufacturing businesses feeding the auto industry. Many of them grossing numbers in the millions with hundreds of employees, many of whom were my customers. The relationship between these owners and workers could not be compared to the "big 3." By and large they were closer and better. One place I know of made a tubular device that fit on a torsion bar. In those days, a $5 item. But they turned out millions. That is no longer going on, from what I understand.
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                          • Posted by  $  Dobrien 1 month, 4 weeks ago
                            Herb the current economic environment is stacked against the entrepreneurial family . I am sure many of those companies were family businesses , the owners would roll up their sleeves to get the job done . Innovation was rewarded as was a job well done. Soon Amazon or Walmart will be our only source of goods. The costs of starting up a small business is over the top and with govt meddling on wages increases the risk of failure .
                            The incredible economic engine that was Detroit.
                            During the fifties and sixties the auto industry probably many thought it would prosper indefinitely. Bit by bit union demands , regulations
                            skyrocketing healthcare cost( that continue
                            for us all today) unfair foreign trade ,not to mention aging factories careless quality control and managements arrogance.
                            Many lessons that have been lost on today's arrogant anti-upwardly mobile congress..

                            Edited to add, as this came to mind.

                            ”Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
                            Maurice Strong,
                            Founder of the UN Environmental Program

                            ”A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-Development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
                            Paul Ehrlich,
                            Professor of Population Studies,
                            Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”
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                            • Posted by 1 month, 4 weeks ago
                              Nothing can compete with stupidity.
                              I have, in just my short (relatively speaking) lifetime seen the economics of this country of ours go through several revolutions with capitalism still hanging on by its fingernails. Vast changes of attitude or the next evolvements will lead us closer and closer to another Dark Ages, and it will not be a Mel Brooks style era.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 2 months ago
    If these rules be followed then there would be no other way to bring value to investors but to cheat.

    They have been there and already doing that for a while now.

    That is not to say that your outline might keep one employed and the status quo unchallenged.
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    • Posted by 2 months ago
      Which is why it would be a good idea to take it out of the unspoken understanding and bring it out into the open. Every one of the Toohey types keep the 4 rules as a hidden understanding, how would it be if everyone just came out and admitted it.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 2 months ago
    Having tried to sell new technology to American businesses, I agree.
    Avoidance of risk by managers far overrides almost any conceivable benefit from new technology unless that technology is incremental (not disruptive) and owned by a large corporation with lots of lobbyists (pull.)
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  • Posted by term2 2 months ago
    I havent gotten a job in 30 years, but I think this analysis is right. I got summarily fired in a parking lot from a company I sold to Baxter for not conforming to their idea of an employee. I did the opposite of all the "rules" noted above. I just started other companies, and things seemed to go ok.
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    • Posted by 2 months ago
      Exactly. Which is why, with application, there's no such thing as unemployment. With thought, ambition, and work ethic there is always a way to make money. The only stymie to that is the government. It can foil the most ambitious and hard working person through regulation and taxation. But even in the most restrictive of governments, people have found ways to make a living.
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  • Posted by chad 2 months ago
    When I was young I worked hard and always worked at finding more efficient methods and doing my job well. Now that I am semi-retired and living on less than 1/3 my expected income because of Obama I am still working a part time job (thanks to Obamacare) and still working with the same ethic. I found myself called in by the head school maintenance for a little scolding; "You are doing too much and it is causing problems!"
    "What?"
    "The other maintenance staff can't keep up with you and it is causing complaints from those on her side of the building because their rooms don't look as nice as yours!"
    "What?" (Thinking to myself, don't you want me to teach her to be more efficient?)
    "To stop the complaints I want you to do less so that the other staff member doesn't feel bad."
    "What do you want me to do with my extra time?"
    "Work slower, take it easy. I want you to do less!"
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    • Posted by 2 months ago
      And they say Marxism doesn't work.
      As a former employer I can cite many cases of exactly the opposite. The one I remember most vividly was a part-time Teen who was goofing off. I re-explained his duties to him and urged him to do better. His reply was classic: "Is this some sort of a test?"
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  • Posted by mmb 2 months ago
    Appreciate and encourage diversity.
    2. Consult in a group and reach a consensus.
    3. If one person's idea seems to be the solution to a problem, encourage him/her to develop it .
    4. Consultation, co-operation and collaboration seem to be the trend in forward thinking companies. When someone presents an idea you don't agree with, remain silent until all ideas are out on the table. The right one usually pops up without being snarky and negative.
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  • Posted by  $  CBJ 2 months ago
    These "rules" apply today to government jobs (and government-protected jobs) but no others. In this age of disruptive technology, most any private company abiding by or enforcing these rules is asking to be chewed up by its competitors, after which its "conformist" employees will be looking for new jobs.
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 2 months ago
    That is not new, or even new to America. We know that the telegraph companies saw no need for the telephone and that the telephone company was not interested in radio and on and on. It is more than true. It is a truism that every organization seeks stability.

    Yes, for some in some times and places, there have been paradigmatic moments. Hewlett Packard is an easy example. Or was. But they are not like that now.

    You are closer to the truth when you identify "managers" of other people's assets as your culprits. However, the opposite would be failures of fiduciary responsibility as managers invest other people's resources in their own dreams and schemes. The solution of course is outside-the-box "management" i.e., entrepreneurship.

    Corporations tried to sell "intrapreneuring" in the 1990s, but it did not work well. The failure was of the same nature as the inability of MBA programs to teach entrepreneurship. It must be learned, but it cannot be taught.
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    • Posted by 2 months ago
      Freezing progress in place is a key characteristic of a totalitarian sate. Dictators hate innovation because keeping up with it means less money for them.
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      • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 2 months ago
        You do not understand the psychology of your enemies. You project yourself on them. Really, each of us only knows himself inside. Even a psychologist who interviews clients all day only sees "through a glass darkly." I believe that Ayn Rand accurately portrayed the psychology of the second-hander, also of the mystic, the looter, and the "muscle-mystic."

        And, of course, "freezing progress in place" is a claim, as you say, but, as we know, it is impossible: if you are not moving forward, then you are sliding backward.

        Yesterday, Google celebrated the discovery of the Antikythera device. Following Ayn Rand's essay "For the New Intellectual" many here claim to admire ancient Rome. They do not see it as a dark age compared to the Hellenistic era or the previous Classical era.
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        • Posted by 2 months ago
          No one can know what goes on in the consciousness of another person. But they can certainly react to their actions.
          "We'd free the incarcerate race of man,
          That such a doom endures,
          Could you but creep into my mind,
          Or I could enter yours."
          Part of one of the few serious poems of Ogden Nash, called "Listen..."
          As to understanding their psychology, if I were still active in the arena, it would be helpful, but it also would require a certain strength of intellect to keep it from making you feel unclean. I had to deal with my own crap enough without dealing with theirs.
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        • Posted by khalling 2 months ago
          I appreciate you bringing up one of my favorite literary phrases of all time "through a glass darkly." But I disagree with your statement that we are bound by only understanding what is in our own mind. This smacks of the Austrian premise that we cannot know reality. In the end, a person (or group)'s intention may be less relevant than the result of their actions. It happens within any political spectrum, but the idea that vetting the writings of an individual is only valid with known, secondary sources, completely ignores how others react to those writings and then act. For example, one could say, Von MIses never really meant that-yet there is a whole group who use his name as an Institute who act on his writings. Same could be said of Objectivism. Ultimately, the psychology s not as important as the ultimate result. Do I need to understand Chomsky's brain in order to see that the result of his writings are to encourage chaos?
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