Archive for June, 1997
ManagementSpeak: Wrong answer. Translation: You didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear. Reader David Pepper isn’t alone, I’m sure, in having heard this magic phrase.
A few weeks ago we talked about the hiring process being badly broken. I expected a flame war. Instead, large numbers of you wrote to express your agreement and relate anecdotes in support of the article’s premise: that in too many companies, Human Resources screens out those applicants most likely to succeed in favor of […]
ManagementSpeak: Our new organizational strategy addresses the goal of recognizing differing customer needs by moving accountability, authority, and resources closer to local markets and local caregivers, where it belongs. Translation: We want to shift the blame. Reader Joe Cumpian offers this interpretation of a popular business strategy.
Whenever I take a personality profile I ask myself a Microsoft-like question: “Who do you want to be today?” The technique is simple: Just choose a self-image and role-play as you fill out the personality assessment survey. I once got myself into considerable trouble this way: As the facilitator reviewed our team results he looked […]
Management Speak: I appreciate your contribution. Translation: @#%* you! Thanks to reader Drew Harris for clarifying the situation.
Back when the earth was young and I made a living writing Fortran, SAS, and Cobol code (in order of personal preference) I learned a technique called “pseudo-conversational” coding, well-adapted to the IDMS-DC programming environment at my place of employment. Pseudo-conversational code inverts the intuitive sequence of events. The final event of a pseudo-conversational program […]
Management Speak: It’s not possible. It’s impractical.Â It won’t work. Translation: I don’t know how to do it. Reader Tom Warburton provided this week’s contribution.
The world of ideas is a very fractal place. Fractals, you’ll recall, are geometric constructs in which the same forms recur at different levels of magnification. At close range boulders look like mountains, rocks look like boulders, and grains of sand look like rocks. You have a hard time recognizing which scale you’re looking at. […]
“We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.” — Robert Wilensky, University of California
When I was a kid growing up in the Chicago suburbs I loved westerns. Maverick was my favorite, of course, and James Garner — along with Mad Magazine, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and the Cubs — did a lot to shape (warp?) my personality during my formative years. When I grew out of Mad Magazine I […]