THE BRYCE IS RIGHT!

Software for the finest computer – the Mind

  • Tim’s YouTube Channel

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,106 other followers


  • "BRYCE's UNCOMMON SENSE SERIES"
    4 New Printed Books & eBooks from Tim on:
    Change/Technology, Management, Politics, and the American Scene
    Click HERE.

  • Categories

  • Fan Page

  • Since 1971:
    "Software for the finest computer - The Mind"

    Follow me on Twitter: @timbryce

    hit counter

     

  • Subscribe

Archive for April, 2011

WHY ARE WE DUMPING THE SPACE PROGRAM?

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 28, 2011

The last launch of the space shuttle program is scheduled for June 28th (Atlantis). Following this, America’s role in space can be described as “foggy” at best. There is talk about a trip to Mars, a return to the moon, but nothing definitive. In these troubling economic times a lot of people are basically saying, “Good riddance,” as they view this as a drain of our financial resources which should be re-channeled to social issues at home. This is actually an old argument as there were a lot of people back in the 60’s who were adamantly against the space race for the same reason. What these people never understood, and still do not, was the impact the space race had on our economy and culture.

NASA’s space program did more than just put a man on the moon. It stimulated innovation in technology, created industries, and forced the country to excel in education. Computer technology alone underwent dramatic changes as a result of the space program, thereby creating jobs and fueled the economy. The same was true in the areas of electronics, aerospace engineering, and telecommunications. Food and clothing also benefited from this research and development, not to mention transportation and construction. Consider this, most of the electronic luxuries we enjoy today can be attributed to the space race of the 1960’s, such as computers, cell phones, photography, microwave ovens, television and radio, etc. Would these luxuries have been created without the space program? Maybe, over time, but it was the space race that forced us to respond and accelerate the pace of development. Only after being challenged by President Kennedy were the American people able to focus on a difficult problem which inspired some rather ingenious solutions. This was truly an instance where “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and the beneficiaries of all this were American workers who learned new trades and prospered in new industries resulting from the program. In addition to creating new businesses, it reinvigorated older companies who had become somewhat staid.

In his memorable speech at Rice University in 1962, Kennedy admonished the country, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and do the other things, not because they are easy; but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills; because that challenge is one that we’re willing to accept; one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win – and the others, too.”

At the time, many people, including members of his own party, thought the president was crazy for announcing such an ambitious goal, regardless if it was perceived as another front in the Cold War. Some simply misunderstood his message. Basically, he was telling the country we could no longer afford to be complacent. True, we had won World War II and prospered in the 1950’s, but America had fallen into a rut and Kennedy used it to not only challenge the perceived Soviet threat but to stimulate the American economy. Not surprising, it worked, and consequently the 1960’s are remembered as the “Go-Go” years in business.

So here we are nearly 50 long years after the Kennedy speech and the country has once again become complacent in terms of our national goals, be it in space, transportation, energy, below the seas, health or whatever. We are drifting without a compass which is unsettling to a lot of people, including yours truly. We have to become less reactive and more proactive in our affairs, thereby controlling our destiny as opposed to having others dictate our agenda. I’m all in favor of helping others, not so much from handouts, but by leadership and giving the country a clear sense of direction. Americans are not afraid of challenges, all we want is a sense of purpose and a game plan for getting to our destination.

Let’s hope the country can find its way after Atlantis returns from space this summer and is mothballed away in a museum someplace.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Tune into Tim’s THE BRYCE IS RIGHT! podcast Mondays-Fridays, 7:30am (Eastern).

Copyright © 2011 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

Posted in Politics, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

ENTERPRISE ENGINEERING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 26, 2011

This past March, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) issued its much anticipated report on “Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs” (click for REPORT). This was the GAO’s first such report to Congress which henceforth will be reported annually. The report uncovered a staggering number of redundant programs in the federal government. As a small example:

Food safety: 15 agencies are involved in implementing numerous federal laws.

Defense: Numerous redundancies in the purchasing of tactical wheeled vehicles, procurement, and medical costs.

Economic development: 80 different programs spread across numerous agencies, often with similar goals.

Transportation: More than 100 programs run by five divisions within the Department of Transportation deal with surface transportation.

Energy: Eliminating duplicate federal efforts to increase ethanol production could save $5.7 billion each year.

As taxpayers this was something we all suspected for a long time, but never had any proof, until now. From all outward appearances the work of the GAO should be applauded as it has lifted the veil of incompetency of the government as a business. As feared, the GAO report shows the Federal Government for what it is, Parkinson’s Law run amok. As any businessman can tell you, redundant work effort is not only costly, but the work of one may negate the work of others. It also opens Pandora’s Box for people to exploit the system.

Regardless of how this bureaucratic nightmare was created, there is no excuse for perpetuating the madness. Failure to clean up the mess is simply reprehensible as the cost of government waste is in the billions of dollars which, of course, affects our federal budget. We would be derelict in our duty to allow the government to continue in this manner. The question to the president thereby is, “What are you going to do about it?” Throw up our hands and admit our situation is untenable? Correct it by simply reducing numbers? This may work for a while, but you run the risk of not properly serving your constituents. How about a little Enterprise Engineering instead?

Enterprise Engineering is a methodology we introduced back in 1988. One of its prime goals is to provide an organizational analysis of a business. To do so, we develop two models of an enterprise, logical and physical. The physical model tends to be easier to assimilate as it is conveyed through such things as organization charts, job descriptions, human and machine resources, and a skills inventory. The physical model reflects scopes of activity and administrative relationships.

The logical model is a hierarchical organization of business functions defining the fundamental duties and responsibilities of the business, thereby defining its mission as an enterprise. In developing this concept, we discovered that within any enterprise, be it business or government, there are only three high-level business functions which can be subdivided into no more than three levels of abstraction (for more info, click HERE). In fact, there is probably no more than 50 business functions in any enterprise, including the various departments of the federal government.

The logical model is relatively stable and will only change if the mission of the business changes. The physical model is much more dynamic and changes more frequently, even daily. In essence, the physical model represents how management elects to implement the logical. The real payoff in Enterprise Engineering is when you compare the logical model to the physical. This is when it becomes apparent that there are such things as: too many layers of management, overlaps and redundancies in work effort, omissions in properly implementing business functions, as well as inadequate skills and proficiencies. Only by developing and analyzing both models do we get a true idea of how well we are satisfying the business mission of the enterprise.

Regardless if you believe in flattening government or not, you cannot ignore the GAO’s report providing an extensive list of examples of work redundancies and waste. The organization of the government can surely be corrected, but instead of by guess or by golly, why don’t we employ a scientific approach for a change, such as Enterprise Engineering?

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Tune into Tim’s THE BRYCE IS RIGHT! podcast Mondays-Fridays, 7:30am (Eastern).

Copyright © 2011 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

DOES TECHNOLOGY RULE?

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 24, 2011

Have you seen the Verizon commercial recently where a father loans his young daughter, Susie, his smart phone for use at her lemonade stand? The father thought she would be able to use it as a calculator. She, of course, learns to use it for many other things, such as maps, credit card processing, tracking sales, etc. Within 30 seconds we watch her simple lemonade stand turn into a major corporation. It’s a rather clever and enjoyable ad (click to watch). The commercial ends with the announcer proudly proclaiming, “The small business with the best technology rules.”

Personally I like the Verizon ad but I am disturbed by their message at the end as it is one of the oldest cons in the world. It contends that machinery alone can improve a company’s productivity, which is suggesting something as simple as a cash register will automatically cause you to earn money. This, of course, is certainly not true, but it is interesting to see how many gullible people fall for this clever subterfuge.

It’s not about your technology, stupid, it’s about your systems. If you have well designed systems, you can apply any suitable technology, but if you do not know how to properly collect, store, and process data in a timely manner, no amount of elegant technology will solve your problem. Little Susie may have the best intentions and technology, but if her systems are producing erroneous or redundant data, she will inevitably make some rather bad business decisions.

Similar stories abound in the business world where companies have learned this lesson the hard way. Billions of dollars have been wasted on projects over the years by people throwing technology at a problem as opposed to thinking the system design through first. In my 30+ years of consulting in the corporate world I cannot think of an instance where the mere application of technology guaranteed success. Yet, this is precisely what vendors like Verizon want you to believe.

Technology may be good at improving efficiency, but it is your systems that defines your effectiveness (doing the right things). Regardless of how fast your technology operates or how pretty it may appear, if it is processing the wrong things, it is counterproductive. Technology will come and go, but your systems are with you for a long time. Those companies who have been successful in terms of implementing new technology are those that understood their systems first. No, the company with the best technology certainly doesn’t rule. The companies with the best systems do.

By the way, what they don’t show you at the end of the Verizon commercial is little Susie being led off to jail in handcuffs for fraud and bankruptcy.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Tune into Tim’s THE BRYCE IS RIGHT! podcast Mondays-Fridays, 7:30am (Eastern).

Copyright © 2011 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Posted in Systems, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

PRIME TIME MORALITY

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 21, 2011

I came home from work not long ago and decided to watch some prime time television on one of the major networks. I’m not going to mention which one as I think they are all basically the same. It was a sitcom night and my wife and I watched three of them. Over the next hour and a half it occurred to me the network was transmitting some rather disturbing messages:

  • They discouraged smoking, but promoted recreational drug abuse and alcoholism instead.

  • Pre-marital sex, lesbianism and a ménage à trois was portrayed as okay, and marriage was for suckers (and will most likely end in divorce).

  • Profanity and lack of manners and courtesy was considered the norm, not the exception.

And this was just one evening’s worth of prime time.

In 90 minutes I learned my sense of the world was all screwed up and I should be more like these hip young characters in the shows. I am certainly not a prude, but these messages disturbed me in terms of what Hollywood is telling our youth.

It wasn’t always like this of course, as censors watched prime time content carefully. This all changed with the advent of Cable-TV which could offer more risque programming for its viewership. Profanity and pornography quickly crept into our consciousness. It seemed the more lewd and obnoxious the program was, the better. Cable-TV became such a powerful force that the prime time networks could no longer resist and lowered their standards in order to remain competitive. This of course marked a significant change in our culture as our vocabulary, humor, customs, and morality was greatly affected.

Some would argue, “What’s the big deal? The kids are going to learn it anyway.” This may be so, but I question the media’s role in advancing it. Think about it, whereas the “Big 3” networks at one point offered programming rated “G”, today they would easily earn an “R” rating regardless of the day of the week.

Television signals have been traveling through the cosmos since we started transmitting in the 1940’s. Distant worlds are just now receiving pictures of “I Love Lucy” and “The Honeymooners” among others. I wonder what their impression of Earth will be when they finally receive episodes of “Will and Grace”, “Two and a Half Men,” and just about everything else we show these days. I wonder if they will understand any of it, as I know I have trouble making any sense of it myself.

As I have written in the past, our sense of comedy has changed radically over the years. Whereas, we were more “suggestive” in the past, which would cause viewers to use their imagination, now it is all “in your face,” leaving nothing to the imagination. I am just questioning the wisdom of having the networks drive home dubious moral values over and over again every night. Is there no self-control or sense of responsibility in the media anymore? Evidently not.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Tune into Tim’s THE BRYCE IS RIGHT! podcast Mondays-Fridays, 7:30am (Eastern).

Copyright © 2011 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Posted in Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

OUR CHANGING TIMES

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 19, 2011

My background is in systems and computing. 2011 represents my 35th year in business.and I have witnessed a lot of changes over the years. Since I entered the field, I have had the privilege of seeing quite a bit of the world and consulted with just about every kind of company imaginable. This has provided me with an interesting perspective on the corporate world.

I have seen us go from mainframe computers (such as the IBM 360/370 series under MVS, Burroughs MPE, Honeywell GCOS and MULTICS systems, UNIVAC Exec, CDC 6600 Series, even the ICL 1903 George III o.s.);

To midrange computers (such as IBM’s AS/400, the DEC VAX/VMS, DG AOS Eclipse series, HP-3000 series using the MPE operating system and on to UNIX;

Then on to the PC’s where we went from megabits, to gigabits, to terabits, to smart phones which actually has more computing power than some of the mainframes I started with.

Yes, I can speak “Geek.”

But the more things change, the more they stay the same. In my industry, for example, companies still have trouble developing information systems on-time and within budget. End-users are still starving for the correct information to support the actions and decisions of their businesses. There is considerable data redundancies, work redundancies, no documentation, and a lot of sloppy programming. It may look slick on the surface but I think you would gasp in horror if you knew what was really going on behind the scenes.

Interestingly, these problems are no different than back in the early 1970’s when we started our company.

So, are we really any smarter than what we were 40 years ago? Sadly, the answer is No.

The only thing that has changed in this business, from my vantage point, is that we now think smaller. We no longer think about doing anything of substance. For example, we no longer build enterprise-wide systems; now we are content to build nothing more than “apps.”

You know, if we built bridges the same way we build systems in this country, this would be a nation run by ferryboats. Nobody looks at the big picture anymore. At least, that has been my experience.

When I entered the work force in the 1970’s, men wore suits and ties to work, and women wore dresses. In offices, everyone was neat, clean, and tidy. If you weren’t you heard about it from your boss and, No, he certainly wouldn’t be politically correct about it.

Just about everyone in the office smoked, drank black coffee, and worked their butts off. True, companies had formal working hours they were supposed to adhere to, but I didn’t know anyone who worked just 40 hours a week. You didn’t watch the clock, you focused on the work product you were assigned to complete, and you put in whatever time was necessary to get the job done. There was a sense of urgency shared by everyone, not just a handful of managers. In turn, your boss gave you latitude to make your own decisions and assume responsibility.

Today it is a little different: suit and ties are long gone, and replaced by a grunge look. “Casual Fridays” became casual weeks, then, months, then years. Nobody smokes in the workplace anymore; more people today drink tea and bottled water as opposed to coffee. Workers now watch the clock closer than before. And people are micromanaged in part because the boss doesn’t trust their judgment, and in part because workers resist assuming responsibility.

Yes, a lot has changed over the years:

Our speech has changed, our dress, our humor, our customs, common courtesy, our priorities, and our work ethic. Instead of craftsmanship, we prefer “quick and dirty” solutions. Oh, I’m sorry we now call that being “Agile.”

So, how did this happen? How did we get here? Well first, it didn’t happen overnight did it? Can you imagine waking up one morning and going, “Hey, what the heck is going on here?”

No, these changes were quietly slipped in on us over time and were not visible to the naked eye. Frankly, the changes are based on our technology and how we applied it.

Consider this:

35 years ago, there were telephone land lines, telex and twx machines. True the Internet was born in 1969 by the DoD, but there wasn’t any commercial application yet. There were no cell phones, no voice mail, no faxes, and certainly no VoIP. Long distance calls were considered expensive and you were careful when you placed one so you wouldn’t waste money. Today, we expect to talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time, and costing us next to nothing.

35 years ago we were still putting roles of film into cameras, all of which we processed at drug stores. If we were lucky, we might enjoy the “60 second excitement” of a Polaroid print. There were no scanners, print duplicates were available, but certainly not free. Instead of the hundreds or thousands of digital shots we take today, we may process only three or four roles a year representing approximately 100 pictures. Oh yea, most of us were still using 8mm or “Super 8” to make home movies.

35 years ago there were only three major networks on television (ABC, CBS, and NBC), plus PBS and perhaps an independent TV station if you were lucky (usually on UHF). Color television was established but there were still a heck of a lot of people who had black and white sets with rabbit ears. Beta Max and VHS video tapes were still on the horizon. Today, of course, we have cable or satellite High Definition TV. Instead of three of four channels, we now have hundreds or thousands of channels. But is programming any better? That is highly debatable.Keep one thing in mind, one of the promises of cable was that there would no longer be any commercials. Since we would be paying for cable, there would be no need for advertisers to support them. Well this didn’t exactly happen did it?

35 years ago in the field of medicine, hips and knees were being replaced with steel as opposed to ivory, later that would change to titanium. Heart replacements were rarities and artificial hearts were still in the experimental stages. Today we expect to have a procedure and be back out on the golf course within days.

Let’s face it, we are no longer an analog generation; we are now quite digital.We are beyond having a dependence on technology, we now have a serious addiction, and I mean this in every sense of the word.

Technology has dramatically altered how we access news, our eating and sleeping habits, even how we learn which, in turn, affects our mental acuity, such as our alertness, our attention span and our sense of work ethic.

Technology has conditioned us to be intolerant of inefficiencies and limitations thereby causing us to think faster, virtually, and to multitask. Think about it; we don’t like to wait in traffic, we want information at our fingertips, we expect to be able to listen to any song or watch any movie whenever we’re in the mood, we want to get in and out of hospitals, we want instant food, instant pictures, instant credit, instant money, instant everything. We drive faster and talk faster because we have been conditioned to do so. The pace of business has also picked up considerably because it is driven by technology. We want things to be built faster and cheaper, and have no patience for anything less.

If things are this hectic early in the 21st century, imagine what we’ll be like by the 22nd.

Something that disturbs me greatly as a result of technology is that we are much less disciplined than we were before. I think this is because we now rely on our technology to do the thinking for us and are impatient for results. As I mentioned earlier, we no longer think big; we now think “quick and dirty.”

I paint a pretty grim picture don’t I? I don’t believe in criticizing without offering some form of suggestion or alternative. I’ll offer three recommendations:

1. Don’t just ask for people to become more disciplined, demand it. There are too many offices in corporate America today operating as a heterogeneous environment where everyone is allowed to do their own thing. As managers, our goal should be to create a homogeneous work environment whereby everyone is pulling on the same oar towards common objectives. To do so, there is nothing wrong with implementing a uniform code of conduct. It gets everybody on the same page, improves communications, trust, and creates a spirit of cooperation, or as we used to call it, “teamwork.” It is very important that as managers, we lead by example.

2. Manage more, supervise less. Delegate responsibility, and hold people accountable for their actions. You do not have time to hold everyone’s hand. They’re supposed to be grown ups and professional in attitude. We call this, “managing from the bottom-up.” This gives people a sense of purpose and ownership in the company, thereby promoting craftsmanship and corporate loyalty. Some people will have a problem with this as they tend to shirk responsibility so they can avoid blame. No, it’s time to get everyone involved, not just you.

One of my favorite quotes from Ronald Reagan comes from when he was asked about his management philosophy, to which he said simply, “Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere.”

3. Some of the best managers I have met over the years are those who understood the need for controlling the corporate culture. All companies have a culture, a way by which they conduct business. In order for employees to function and succeed they must be able to understand and adapt to the corporate culture. If they cannot adapt, they will flounder and be rejected by the culture.

There are both logical and physical dimensions pertaining to the culture. The physical is easier to understand and implement. It involves creating a work environment that affects the workers’ sense of sight, sound, touch, even smell and taste. Cleanliness and organization tends to promote discipline as opposed to chaos and filth. The logical side is much less tangible and is an appeal to the employee’s intellect. It involves ethics, values, decorum, and acceptable forms of behavior. Ideally you want to create an environment where employees have a sense of purpose and take pride in their work. The intent is to make them believe that their place of business is their home. As British historian Arnold Toynbee pointed out years ago, “The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.”

Yes, the times they are a changing, but are we changing them, or are we allowing external factors to change us? I would like to believe we are in control, but lately as I watch us become more inebriated with technology, I can’t help but believe someone else is pulling the strings, such as the media.

Since 1971 our corporate slogan has been “Software for the finest computer – the Mind.” Now, if this is true, I know a lot of people out there who need to be rebooted. But what we were trying to imply by this slogan is that regardless of the sophistication of our technology, in the final analysis we should never lose sight of the fact that technology pales in comparison to the brilliance of the human mind. After all technology was created by man, to serve man. It would be awfully embarrassing if we became subservient to it.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Tune into Tim’s THE BRYCE IS RIGHT! podcast Mondays-Fridays, 7:30am (Eastern).

Copyright © 2011 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Posted in Business, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

BRIEFCASES

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 17, 2011

I recently had to buy a new briefcase. My old one served me well for over twenty years, but the locks finally broke off, and I was forced to replace it. This made me feel truly bad, as it had become an extension of me as I carry all of my business belongings in it, such as my business papers, legal documents, photos of the family, stamps, computer accessories, and other pertinent items. Having to throw the briefcase out was a lot like putting down a horse, and I was reluctant to pull the trigger, but it was time. It was a classic brown Samsonite “box” with twin latches which was basically the style of such bags for many years. It was like the one used by James Bond in “From Russia with Love,” except without the hidden dagger, gold sovereigns, and tear gas booby trap. When I went to purchase a replacement though, I was surprised with what I found.

I went to one of the office mega stores to look for a replacement. For years, I used to love visiting small luggage shops to look over briefcases, which I think is a guy thing. Most were covered in leather which offered a pleasant smell. You could have any color you wanted, as long as it was black, brown, or gray. At the time, Samsonite and American Tourister were the big guns in the business. Come to think of it, I think they were the only guns in the business. When I went to the mega store, I was startled by the variety of carrying cases now available. I discovered things had radically changed over the last twenty years.

Thanks to the laptop and the grunge look of the business world these days, I saw nothing that looked like my old “box.” First, I discovered they aren’t even called “briefcases” anymore, preferring the term “murse” to represent a hip new man’s purse. Most, if not all, were soft bags made of either canvas, leather, or some sort of artificial composite material (I really don’t know). There were also a couple of hard plastic offerings, but these were on wheels and had a retractable handle so you can drag it behind you in airports. Most had long straps so the bag would hang over your shoulder, but there were also backpacks for those who still see themselves as students or plan on hiking in the great outdoors. I’ve got to admit, there were many imaginative designs and in a wide variety of colors. They either looked like a PC carrying case, a shopping bag, a tote for wine, or something to carry onboard the S.S. Enterprise, none of which I could visualize myself sporting around town with.

Not seeing what I wanted, I asked the store clerk, “Don’t you have a basic briefcase anymore?” He looked at me oddly, I can only suppose he had never met anyone from the 20th century before. After thinking about it for awhile, he rustled through his inventory and lo and behold produced a black leather Samsonite box with twin latches (the last one of its kind in the store). “Aha!” I exclaimed, “There is a God!” and I snatched it away from him. I opened it to find all of the organized compartments I was familiar with. I honestly think my mouth was watering by this time, and I bought it on the spot. Frankly, I think the sales clerk was puzzled why I wanted the fossil, but I didn’t care.

When I got it home I cleaned out my old briefcase and transferred the contents to the new one. Finally, I closed the lid on my old briefcase for the last time and bid it adieu. It was all rather sad.

I am very pleased with my new briefcase, but I think this will be my last one as they have become an endangered species. Consequently, I think I’ll take better care of this one. To safeguard it, I have added a special security feature to it, a hidden dagger. James Bond would certainly understand.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Tune into Tim’s THE BRYCE IS RIGHT! podcast Mondays-Fridays, 7:30am (Eastern).

Copyright © 2011 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Posted in Business | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: