Archive for December, 2003

The Management Bestiary

Tuesday, December 30th, 2003

– J.S. Ninomiya 1988
Bad management never goes out of style. Seven all-too common types of ineffective or destructive executives.

Godfathers typically demand complete control of their organizations and total loyalty from their employees. Subordinates are given freedom in their routine duties, but their goals are dictated from above.

Ostriches love the status quo and fear discord. They always hope problems will simply go away and would rather stick their heads in the sand than face unpleasantness of any kind. Ostriches are more concerned with a superior’s opinion of their job performance than with the morale of their subordinates, who often lack initiative, imagination and productivity.

Do-It-Yourselfers want to handle everything themselves. The only tasks they ordinarily delegate are the ones they find trivial or require special skills. Unfortunately, they often make themselves indispensable.

Detailers want to know everything their subordinates do “in detail”. As they see it, their task is to know more than their subordinates, so they can make correct decisions by themselves. Detailers are so busy trying to keep up with their employees that they are virtually incapable of managing groups of any size.

Politicians tell us what we want to hear. Their superiors like having them around for the same reason. One of the drawbacks to this style is that Politicians tend to overdo it. No one looks forward to the 38th sincere note from the boss.

Arbitrators are often successful at dealing with large groups because they possess a deep understanding of people and human conflict. They believe in teamwork and team decisions. But they have a weakness for compromise at the wrong moment, and they tend to be so friendly with subordinates that they find it hard to crack down when the going gets tough.

Eager Beavers measure their worth by the number of letters and reports they generate and how hard their subordinates work. In the same way that beavers build ever larger dams to interrupt the flow of water, Eager Beavers create ever greater workloads and eventually interrupt the smooth functioning of their organizations.

[Excerpt from HBR Nov 2003]

The Art of the Mix

Saturday, December 27th, 2003

The Art of the Mix – Making Mix Tapes, Mixed CDs and MP3 Playlists

Lulu.com

Thursday, December 25th, 2003

Lulu : Marketplace for a World of Digital Content

Knowledge Management Director

Wednesday, December 24th, 2003

(Requisition 015)

Working in the SM&A human resources group this hands-on person will be an integral member of the headquarter support team located in Newport Beach, California.

Responsibilities:

Promote internal collaboration and provide an integrated means of capturing the knowledge of employees and transferring it to others on an as-needed basis thus improving the moral, performance, client satisfaction and profitability of SM&A
Lead knowledge capture activities through various means including social networking
Lead and direct research, investigations and recommendations of potential technology based solutions/improvements
Direct the design and implementation of techniques and processes to create, capture, protect and use knowledge for the betterment of SM&A
Evangelize the purpose, nature and value potential of knowledge as a resource and embody it thorough corporate initiatives, programs and processes
Drive initiatives to identify, extract, quantify and protect SM&A intellectual capital
Articulate, recommend and implement necessary changes addressing the cultural, behavioral, technological and organizational factors that impede or enhance the use of SM&A’s knowledge assets
Facilitate the development of events and processes that encourage more deliberate knowledge creation and exchange
Lead, direct and control the day to day activities of major SM&A process families.
Other activities as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:
Bachelor degree required
Master degree preferred
15 years working experience in defense related industries (technical and proposal development background a strong plus)
5 years corporate management experience in the defense industry (information technology, business development and program management background a plus)
Have a visible and successful track record of achievement
Posses firm experience based knowledge of aerospace & defense business acquisition practices
Have a demonstrated in-depth understanding of existing SM&A internal business enterprise and practices
Understand how people learn, use information and how knowledge can be used to gain efficiencies in an organization
Have a firm understanding of the existing positive and negative aspects of SM&As information gathering, retention and transfer systems
Posses a firm understanding of SM&A existing knowledge management activities
Demonstrated ability to develop and present complex information in a crisp clear manner
Excellent written and oral communication skills
Superior leadership traits coupled with extremely strong people skills
Demonstrated ability to productively lead large groups of multifunctional work teams
Strong problem solving abilities
Demonstrated ability to productively interact with senior management and work positively toward hard-to-achieve corporate goals
Demonstrated ability to lead multiple complex projects simultaneously
Plan, direct and coordinate resource requirements, organizational requirements and leadership requirements to successfully implement knowledge management throughout SM&A
Posses high moral qualities especially a strong sense of honor and integrity
Demonstrated ability to professionally and in a positive manner interact, communicate and socialize with individuals from varied ethnic, cultural, social, employment, and economic backgrounds

If you are interested in becoming a member of our team, and contributing to our clients’ top-line and bottom-line growth using SM&A processes, tools, and talent, please email your resume and contact information to recruiting@smawins.com. EOE/AA/M/F/V/D

oleaginous

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

marked by excessive and false earnestness; ingratiating; characteristic especially observed in some salesmen in an attempt to get their way.

Fatal Disease

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

You go through life never thinking it will happen to you, and then one day, its staring you right in the face. You can’t ignore it any longer.

A very close friend of mine – I’ll call him Charlie – was recently formally diagnosed with the big “C”. The experts weren’t sure how much time he had remaining, but they are positive that his quality of life will visibly suffer week by week.

I left college in 1973, and wanted to find out what a “real job” was going to be like before I devoted any more time to higher schooling. I decided the join the “school of life” and that’s when I first met him. He and I started work and sharing our lives on the same day.

Over the years, our careers had many changes of direction, many ups and downs, but we still remained close. If you were to ask me, he and I were like blood brothers. Family. Its as if we shared the same DNA.

Things were great, for a long time.

Well, it shouldn’t have surprised me. Looking back, in the mid 90’s, I could spot a few early warning signs that something wasn’t quite right with my friend. Every so often, for no apparent reason, he would take some outrageous position on a topic, and end up triggering confused glances shared among his close friends. He wouldn’t listen to reason, and oftentimes struck out at us with verbal and physical attacks. We figured that the stress of the job, or some unforeseen pressure, might be creating his fits of “spontaneous combustion” since once he calmed down, things seemed to return to normal. At least as far as outside appearances went for most people. But Charlie and I were close and I could tell by the lack of spark in his eyes that something inside him had changed.

In 1998, in an amazing feat of self-awareness, Charlie contacted the medical experts. He finally realized he wasn’t well, and he believed that by getting analyzed, poked and prodded by people that were well paid, they would provide him the diagnosis and prescriptions that would cure his ills. Well, he took the medicine religiously and his energy did return. Good old Charlie was back! He rarely referred to the bad times publicly, and it looked like we were back on track to living long and fulfilling lives.

Then, there must have been a relapse.

I hadn’t seen or spoken to Charlie for over a year, but rumor had it that he had decided to once again seek medical help. Sources said that he felt he had become tremendously obese. Although he had tried many self-help, weight-loss diets, they all failed miserably. Some say it was due to the fact that he didn’t really follow the rules. He applied them indiscriminately. As a result, it turns out that this weird personal chemistry experiment had permanently altered his metabolism. There was no longer any relationship between his food intake, exercise programs and weight gain. He had once been a strong competitor, and this inability to perform was now destroying him.

A month ago, desperate, Charlie decided to take matters into his own hands – literally. He had a plan. He went away – he called it a retreat – and commenced to physically cut the offending weight off of his body. He took with him a set of surgical steel knives and an intense desire to force change on himself. His first cuts went into his arms and legs, slicing away the extra fat that had accumulated under his atrophied skin. He then started trimming away the extra fingers. After all, he only needed two fingers on each hand to manipulate his knives.

We don’t know who called them, but when the paramedics burst in and found Charlie – blood and body parts surrounding his nearly lifeless body – they were able to grab the scalpel from him just before he severed his aorta.

In his pocket, they found a handwritten note, entitled “mission statement”. It read: Efficiency is Key. Objective: Cease all unnecessary body functions.

In spite of the physical damage, Charlie survived. He remained in stable condition in the hospital – albeit on life support systems. Psychiatrists have not yet started their sessions, and are waiting until he regains some of his composure. They are referring to his condition as “Corporatitis”.

Well, I heard Charlie was missing from his room last night, along with a scalpel.

Poor Charlie.

What? Was that someone at the door?

HIP WAX (hipwax.com) VINYL RECORDS

Sunday, December 21st, 2003

HIP WAX (hipwax.com) VINYL RECORDS — Home Page/How to Order

Show and Tell

Saturday, December 20th, 2003

show and tell music – Interesting concept :)

Both Sides Now

Saturday, December 20th, 2003

Both Sides Now Publications’ Home Page

Saturday, December 20th, 2003

Google Search: epiclectic – Within 1 week, arrived at top spot on Google!

Oooo He Spoke French

Saturday, December 20th, 2003

weidemannia.com.fr – for those of you with a taste for French cuisine

Anagrams

Friday, December 19th, 2003

Noticable shills. Mash a head thin. Jane heals it. Never yell “horn”.

Who’s next?

Sweet Ride

Saturday, December 13th, 2003

Could this be shades of things to come in future automobiles? Considering the trend by the big car manufacturers to learn from where we’ve been – by designing “retro”, I wonder if grandma would be seen tooling around town in one of these – instead of her PT Cruiser woodie?

Avocado Memories

Saturday, December 13th, 2003

Wes Clark’s “Avocado Memories”

BigBlueNetwork

Friday, December 12th, 2003

BigBlueNetwork – destined to become the center of something really big. Mark my words. You go, Jeff.

Monday, December 8th, 2003

“No honking, Joseph.”

powwowwow

Friday, December 5th, 2003

– a bunch of corporate dogs participating in a meeting, conference, get-together or ceremony featuring dances, feasting, fair, etc.

Rhino Records Westwood

Friday, December 5th, 2003

Rhino Records Westwood

high-kmucky-kmuck

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2003

an important, high-ranking person, especially one who behaves in a pompous or arrogant manner.

zipper approach

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2003

used to describe the manner in which members of a self-preservation cult link themselves to one another to give the impression of strength and impenetrability; reality is such, that when a zipper has been opened, neither side of the zipper has any remaining purpose – they only exist to link to each other; also known as noseinass

Lost and Forgotten

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2003

Spent the weekend sorting through a dozen boxes full of paperwork and trinkets from my past business endeavors. It was very therapeutic for me to browse these historical (re: hysterical) documents and read things that seem to have been written only yesterday. On the other hand, its disappointing when when you realize that the many great ideas that were eagerly shared with enthusiasm and energy ended up falling on deaf corporate ears.

Their legacy – they reside in a box full of pendaflex folders in one of many overcrowded, dusty garages. How many hundreds of thousands of similar boxes are scattered around the world with a similar destiny? I’m reminded of the final scene from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark… the miles and miles of crates – sealed and never to be seen again.

Well, since I openly embrace change, I decided to “liberate” the material. Methodically, I went through box, each dog-eared manila folder, scanning for those documents that made me smile, shake my head and mutter. Those that didn’t pass this emotional criteria, ended up in the recycle bin. The rest now live proudly clearly marked box now located in a freshly cleaned spot on a garage shelf. THESE are the “keepers”. I don’t know what I’m gonna do with them, but they are MY diamonds in the rough.

Vinyl Lives

Monday, December 1st, 2003

Vinyl Lives

Welcome to Vik’s Lounge

Monday, December 1st, 2003

Welcome to Vik’s Lounge

The Space Age Pop Music Page

Monday, December 1st, 2003

The Space Age Pop Music Page