Archive for August, 2002
ManagementSpeak: In this uncertain business climate we find it necessary to take actions that will enable us to maintain our position in the industry. Translation: We’re certain that by laying off another 10% of our employees this quarter we’ll avoid another 20% drop in our stock price. IS Survivalist Ken Ries explains how to be […]
Times change, and few programs warrant eternal life. Take, for example, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Established to encourage innovation, it now encourages patent holders to use attorneys instead of engineers to protect their marketplace position. Close the Patent Office and companies would have to win by getting to market first and innovating the […]
ManagementSpeak: I am confident our company will be exonerated of all charges. Translation: We can afford better lawyers and more of them. This week’s contributor prefers anonymity to exoneration.
Marilyn vos Savant, the professional genius, proved that the egg came first. Heritable mutations happen only in sperm and ova, she reasoned, so something that was almost a chicken laid a true chicken egg. Makes sense to me. As we sit in the rubble of Enron, ImClone, Worldcom, Tyco, AOL, and other, as-yet-undiscovered or unpublicized […]
ManagementSpeak: Thank you for your insightful suggestion. Translation: There goes your next performance appraisal. We thank this week’s anonymous source for an insightful translation.
Given current sexual harassment law, you probably can’t show Akira Kurosawa’s brilliant film, Rashomon at your next off-site staff meeting, because the plot involves a sexual encounter (mentioned, not graphically depicted or discussed in detail). It’s too bad. Rashomon provides a powerful metaphor for your attempts to find out what’s really going on in your […]
ManagementSpeak: We are reworking our employee survey instrument to give more useful results. Translation: We’re going to keep rewriting the questions until we get the answers we want. IS Survivalist John Pfeifer got his translation right on the first try.
Bad news doesn’t improve with age, or so I learned in a leadership training program I attended some years ago. And it doesn’t, even though modern business leaders have learned another important lesson: If they hide bad news — or hide from it — for a few fiscal quarters they can bank a big enough […]