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 August, 2017

WHERE DID ANTIFA COME FROM?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 31, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– The evolution of Occupy Wall Street.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Unless you have been living under a rock lately, you are probably now familiar with the term, “Antifa,” but are not too sure what it represents. In a nutshell, it is an abbreviated form of “Anti Faschists,” and is at the heart of the violent protests plaguing America. Antifa was there at Charlottesville, VA, in Phoenix, AZ for the Trump rally, at the desecration of several Civil War monuments, and more recently at the heart of the violent Berkeley, CA protests. These were ugly hostile environments the police had difficulty controlling.

Make no mistake, Antifa promotes anarchy, and proudly proclaims itself as such in their literature and web pages. They are also communists with a deep aversion to capitalism. They claim their group descends from a like-titled European group of the early 20th century. However, I could find no evidence today’s Antifa knows what Fascism truly means. They claim to want to destroy what they call the “American Plantation.” From their perspective, they see slavery in every minority group and abhor their white Christian “masters.” Yet, many of their members are middle class whites. They want liberation and freedom ON THEIR TERMS, not as defined by the Constitution. As such, they advocate the overthrow of the United States government and are committed to combating any sign of support for the government or any other opinion conflicting with their own. And, No, they are most definitely not advocates of free speech as prescribed by the First Amendment.

In reality, Antifa’s roots are planted in the Occupy Wall Street Movement of 2011, a group of people seeking social and economic reform. Interestingly, the Occupy movement quickly faded from view following the re-election of President Barack Obama in 2012. However, after Donald Trump was elected in 2016, a period of social unrest grew, all aimed at resisting the new president at every turn. The tactics, unfortunately, were less peaceful and more militaristic. Consequently, Antifa began to flourish.

Antifa’s numbers are relatively small, but they are getting organized and beginning to recruit impressionable millennials either in school or fresh out of college. Many professors preach Socialist dogma to their students thereby influencing their motivation and perspective. As a result, they foster Antifa recruits.

Currently, the tactics of Antifa appear to be based on a “Minute Man” approach whereby whenever a major demonstration is led by Republicans, such as a pro-Trump rally, they rush to the scene and engage in vocal and violent confrontation. The theory is that if they do this enough times, they hope to suppress any outward signs of support for the president. It’s called “intimidation.” They also hope to spin the media to promote their values.

Antifa is now in the process of creating a network of chapters throughout the United States, the latest being in Philadelphia. Such meeting places are used to recruit and train new members in various organizational and communications tactics. The concern though is the teaching of terrorism, complete with military training.

The mouthpiece for Antifa is the web page “It’s Going Down,” which spreads information and encourages support for the group. The main web page for the group is titled, “Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement,” which articulates their purpose and activities. They also claim to rely on donations and have established an Internet Fund drive. The irony here is that Antifa are devout anti-capitalists, yet when asked “Why do we ask for money?”, they claimed, “Sadly we have not freed ourselves from capitalism. We too need to eat and pay the bills.”

Antifa makes no pretense they are unwilling to use violence to serve their needs and have demonstrated their willingness to do so. Photos on their web site and elsewhere proudly display a variety of weapons and recruits learning how to use them. However, these are predominantly young people who want to graduate from playing “Call of Duty” on a computer to actually facing violent confrontation. I suspect many are naive about what they are doing and do not realize the consequences of their actions. This becomes a dangerous scenario that could lead to the deaths of either themselves or their opposition. Should they develop a well equipped arsenal, someone is bound to eventually pull a trigger and all Hell will break loose.

As real as the prospect of violence is, Democrats have been slow in condemning Antifa; only recently has Nancy Pelosi spoken against them, but we have yet to hear from Chuck Schumer, the Clintons, and former President Barack Obama. Their silence only serves to encourage the Antifa movement, not to suppress it. Even the Main Stream Media appears reluctant to take them to task.

Make no mistake, Antifa is worse than all of the left-wing nut jobs combined, including the Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter. They are misguided, armed, and view themselves as international terrorists. This is not about “American Plantations”; it’s about the overthrow of the United States government. If you hear someone sympathize with Antifa, be sure to straighten them out.

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&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  THE SFB QUOTIENT – A test to measure yourself.

LAST TIME:  TWO TYPES OF LEADERS  – Which one do you work for?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Advertisements

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

TWO TYPES OF LEADERS

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 30, 2017

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Which one do you work for?

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

There seems to be two types of leaders in the corporate world these days; on the one extreme is the micromanager who supervises everyone’s work, and on the other end of the spectrum is the person who wants everyone to love him. Interestingly, neither approach is effective for true leadership. Whereas the micromanager tends to turn people off simply because he doesn’t respect the workers ability to do their jobs properly, the “lover” commands no respect either as he tends to avoid taking a stand on any issue; he just wants to keep everyone happy and hopes they will somehow work together towards some common goals. Inevitably they do not and chaos ensues. I am reminded of what former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said, “Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.”

Frankly, to be an effective leader, I think you have to find a medium between the two extremes. As many of you know, I am an advocate of worker empowerment where you manage from the bottom-up, not just from the top-down. I think it is important to treat workers as professionals, such as giving them responsibility and holding them accountable for their actions. If they believe their voice is heard, they are more inclined to accept responsibility and direction. I think this is an important part of leading a worthy life, both personally and professionally.

I’m also smart enough to know that a manager is not in a popularity contest and is responsible for delivering results. This means the leader has to know the right direction to be heading, be able to articulate it to the staff, and motivate them to get the job done. As such, it is more important for a manager to be respected as opposed to loved. People will simply not produce the deliverables you want if they do not respect you.

One classic example of how you cannot lead through love is exemplified in NBC’s hit comedy, “The Office.” In the show, Michael Scott (as played by actor Steve Carell) is a regional branch manager of an office that sells paper. Here, the manager desperately wants to be loved by his staff, and the more he tries, the less the staff respects him and the office just stumbles along.

When it comes to leadership, there can only be one captain, you cannot lead by democracy. You have to be able to give an order, and you have to have confidence the workers will respond accordingly. This doesn’t mean you have to sit over people with a whip and a chair as exemplified by micromanagement. It is about empowerment and respect. If you haven’t got respect, you won’t be leading anybody anywhere anytime.

Perhaps the best interpretation of leadership I’ve come across is from President Harry Truman who said, “Leadership is the ability to get men to do what they don’t want to do and like it.”

First published: June 11, 2007

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&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  AUTO DEALERSHIP ADS – Do they really have to be so bad?

LAST TIME:  BEWARE OF OFFICE POLITICS  – There’s no avoiding it, regardless of the type or size of company.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

BEWARE OF OFFICE POLITICS

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 28, 2017

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– There’s no avoiding it, regardless of the type or size of company.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

When we join a new company, we’re all hoping for a fresh start and clean slate. The last thing we want is to get embroiled in political intrigue, regardless of how petty it might seem. Most of us just want to do our work and move along with our lives. Even if this were so, which is rarely the case, we must still deal with “political correctness” as defined by society; we have to recognize certain protocols in our mannerisms, language, and conduct. So, even before we get started in a new job, we have to recognize there is going to be some form of politics, like it or not. I remember visiting a manufacturing company in the Midwest where a Vice President proudly said to me, “You’ll like this place Tim, there’s no politics here whatsoever.” And I think he firmly believed it too. In reality, they had more cutthroat politics than I had ever seen before.

Whether you are a new employee or a visiting consultant, one of the first things you have to determine about a company is its pecking order. An organization chart makes a convenient road map in this regards, but it doesn’t truly define the power structure in a company. For example, a weak manager may actually draw his strength from a powerful assistant. Nonetheless, it is important to identify the fiefdoms of the company, who the key players are, and who the allies and adversaries are. Without such knowledge, you will inevitably trip into some political dispute or become an unwitting pawn in a power play. The best advice in the early going is to simply keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth shut.

Aside from the power players in an organization, the three most common types of political animals you will encounter are the Suckup, the Radical, and the Saboteur. The Suckup (aka “Brown Noser”) essentially has no spine and is the perennial “Yes Man” to the boss. The boss says “Jump” and the Suckup says, “How High?” But the Suckup has a political agenda of his own which typically is an advancement through the assistance of the boss. He therefore bends over backwards to please the boss at the expense of losing the respect of his coworkers.

The Radical represents “the bull in the China shop” or “loose cannon” and is best known for revolting against the status quo, not quietly but loudly, and is not afraid of stepping on a few toes along the way. In many ways he is like Sherman’s march to the sea. Perhaps his mission is correct, and perhaps it isn’t. Regardless, this type of person has a slim chance of succeeding as his detractors will work overtime to undermine him. When dealing with such a person you basically have two choices: either join him and hope for the best, or get the heck out of his way so that you are not run over.

The Saboteur is perhaps the most viscous of the three and can probably best be characterized as the “conniving weasel” or “backstabber” who schemes to make the lives of others miserable. He is driven by petty jealousy and wants desperately to be seen as a power broker in his institution. Since he has no real life of his own, the Saboteur gets his jollies by undermining anybody that garners more attention than he does. Whereas the Suckup and the Radical can be dealt with politically, the Saboteur is a pest that must be exterminated.

Office politics is about loyalty and trust. At some point, you will be asked to choose sides and this to me is what makes office politics ugly. I might understand this in government politics, but not in a company where we are all suppose to be on the same team. Politics is an inherent part of the corporate culture; some companies deplore it, others thrive on it. I guess it’s a matter of whether a company values the concept of teamwork or rugged individualism. I have found there is much less politics in companies promoting the former versus the latter. Either way, my advice to anyone joining a new company, be it a corporation or nonprofit organization, is actually quite simple: “En Garde!”

First published: March 31, 2008

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&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  TWO TYPES OF LEADERS – Which one do you work for?

LAST TIME:  OFFICE GOSSIP  – Does your business promote or squelch idle gossip?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

OFFICE GOSSIP

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 25, 2017

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Does your business promote or squelch idle gossip?

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I have a problem with gossip in the office but I think we are all guilty of some infraction of it at some time or another. Petty gossip is one thing, viscous slander is something else altogether. Not surprising, there is a lot of misinformation floating around in an office regarding people and corporate direction. We often hear of rumors of people bucking for a certain job, looking to leave and join a competitor or customer, to sabotage a key project, or that the company is going to down size or outsource the operations to Timbuktu. Naturally, such rumors can put a damper on employee morale, making it harder to concentrate and see assignments through to completion. Managers should be sensitive to rumors and squelch them as soon as possible. If not, productivity will suffer. To do so, the manager should always keep in ear open as to what is being said around the water cooler or lunch table. Meeting with key members of the staff periodically for a drink after hours can also be useful for detecting what is being said as well as to build camaraderie and trust with the staff.

Perhaps the best way to overcome gossip in the office is for the manager to keep an open line of communications with his workers. This means the manager must be viewed as approachable and trustworthy by the staff. In addition to an open door policy, managers should hold routine meetings and issue memos on what is going on. This can be done through such things as bulletins, e-mail or a private departmental discussion group, but if the manager maintains a closed-door policy, rumors will inevitably circulate.

If rumor control is left unchecked, it can turn particularly nasty. No doubt we have all met people who are past masters at spreading rumors for political maneuvering. Some people thrive on political back stabbing which, unfortunately, I believe is a part of the fabric of our society. If it were not so, we wouldn’t have the tabloid media which thrives on drama, intrigue, and innuendo.

Like it or not, office rumors affects the corporate culture. We can either have peace and tranquility through open communications, or a lot of backbiting and finger-pointing. Interestingly, I have met managers who prefer the latter and use it as a means to set one employee against another in order to determine who is the stronger of the two. Kind of sounds like a new version of “American Gladiator” to me, and something I do not believe any of us signed up for when we were hired. As far as I’m concerned, there is no room in the office for malicious smear campaigns or character assassinations. Any manager promoting such an environment is simply an idiot and should be removed from power. But I have to be careful, it kind of sounds like I’m starting a rumor of my own doesn’t it?

First published: March 17, 2008

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&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  BEWARE OF OFFICE POLITICS – There’s no avoiding it, regardless of the type or size of company.

LAST TIME:  DEALING WITH OFFICE CLUTTER  – The fundamentals are not as complicated as you might think.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

MY SPEECH ON THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 24, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– An impromptu talk which garnered considerable applause.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Recently, I was asked to give a talk at a local Republican Club meeting regarding my experiences with the press. Actually, I was a last minute substitution for a gentleman who was suddenly called out of town. Having only fifteen minutes to prepare, I jotted down some notes and “winged it.” Fortunately, it went well and I was heartily congratulated afterward. Herein, is the reconstructed talk based on my notes from the back of a cocktail napkin:

First, let me begin by saying we (Republicans) are not the party of hate or discrimination. Nor are we fascists, Nazis, or the “alternate right.” These are characterizations invented by the Main Stream Media (MSM) to try and stereotype our party. We are the party of Lincoln who freed the slaves; the party of Theodore Roosevelt who carried a “Big Stick” and preserved our national parks, and; the party of Reagan who brought down Communism and the former Soviet Union. We support and defend the Constitution, believe in liberty, capitalism and smaller government, as well as the rights of the individual.

During my talk I will describe my experiences with the press and make some observations.

As many of you will remember, in 2016 I was writing for News Talk Florida who sent me on assignment to cover the Trump Rallies in Tampa, specifically at the State Fairgrounds, at Lakeland Airport, and at the Tampa Amphitheater. This was a first for me as I had never been with the press corps on a large scale. In addition to the print media, both national and local, all of the television media was present, including ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC, and local programming.

At all three venues, the Trump Rally began with an invocation, a non-denominational prayer asking for guidance from Deity. Aside from myself and maybe one or two other individuals who stood up for the prayer, the rest of the press corps sat and continued to type on their computers. Next, the rally performed the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Again, aside from myself and a couple others, the press corps continued to sit and type. I guess they had better things to do than to stand a few moments for God and country.

Interestingly, I observed all of the members of the printed press completed their articles prior to Mr. Trump taking the stage. When I read some of the copy the next day, it had nothing to do with what happened at the rally or what the candidate said. As a writer, I understand the necessity of getting copy out the door as quickly as possible, but I found it makes more sense to prepare the article as a template that can easily be completed based on what was actually said. However, I didn’t observe this happening with the writers I saw present. They were not interested in reality, just producing copy that sells.

As I sat with the press corps behind the safety of metal fences, I could feel the heat of anger from the audience towards the press, particularly CNN who was considered persona non-grata. I quickly learned to keep my distance from the television news, including NBC, ABC and CBS. While the press ignored the people in attendance, I went out of the press area and talked to some of the attendees who gave me their thoughts regarding the rally. Interestingly, they were surprised a member of the press would stop and talk to them.

From this initial experience, I concluded the MSM was not patriotic, had no appreciation of Deity, and their journalistic ethics were highly questionable. Their Achilles heel is they are pseudo intellectuals who honestly believe they are smarter than most Americans. I also feel they are being manipulated by their superiors. For example, we recently heard a lot about North Korea preparing to strike America with nuclear-tipped missiles, the defacing and destruction of American statues and monuments, and the anti-Hate movement. I predict this will all fade from view rather quickly and the MSM will refocus on Russia again.

Bottom-line, the MSM has lost the trust of the American people. Even the Associated Press (Apr 17, 2016) reported, “just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions.”

This research was conducted by the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The report also stated, “Trust in the news media is being eroded by perceptions of inaccuracy and bias, fueled in part by Americans’ skepticism about what they read on social media.”

In fact, people are turning more to social media for news as opposed to official news outlets. Social media may not be the most reliable news service, but it speaks volumes of how the American people feel about the integrity of the MSM.

I blame the behavior of the press on the 24/7 news cycle they operate under which has resulted in fierce competition for the almighty dollar. The result is sensational news intended to sell papers and advertising as opposed to honesty and truth. Americans understand this which explains why they are frustrated with the news media.

I also made some observations regarding the companies who conduct polls. This was based on a study I performed in 2016. From my research, I discovered most of the polling organizations were owned or controlled by Democrats. Just about everyone predicted Mrs. Clinton would defeat Mr. Trump, some said by a landslide. I believe this was done to give the Clinton campaign the appearance of momentum. Not surprising, they got it horribly wrong thereby doing damage to their credibility and reputation. I don’t see any reason why anyone should trust the polls anymore.

There is something horribly wrong with the MSM and it is up to the public to take them to task. For example, I had no problem with people picketing CNN’s office recently demanding truth and honesty. Frankly, I’m surprised such demonstrations aren’t more commonplace.

The Fourth Estate has evolved from watchdogs of government to a formidable political power of their own. If they side with a candidate, usually a Democrat, they will attack his/her opponent viciously often using “Fake News.” This is obviously not fair and balanced, which is another reason why Americans do not trust the press. If President Trump shares anything with former President Theodore Roosevelt, it is they both were despised by both the New York Times and Washington Post.

I concluded my talk by saying, “No, we are not the party of hate; the reality is, we are the good guys.” As we approach the 2018 Midterm elections, I believe the anti-Trump movement (aka, “Resistance”) will cost the Democrats the election. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (“Pocahontas”) D-MA recently announced the progressive liberals now run the Democratic party. The only problem with this is, Middle American Democrats now feel deserted by their party and are migrating to the GOP.

However, Republicans have no time to sit on their laurels, it is time to fix Health Care, clean up our taxes, reduce the deficit, move towards a balanced budget, and defend the country. Frankly, Congressional Republicans need to get off their duffs and conquer the problems facing us, and if this means new leadership in both chambers, so be it.

The speech lasted approximately thirty minutes and I received a nice round of applause as well as congratulations afterwards. I didn’t consider this too bad for a spur of the moment presentation. Maybe I should do this more often.

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&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  BEWARE OF OFFICE POLITICS – There’s no avoiding it, regardless of the type or size of company.

LAST TIME:  DEALING WITH OFFICE CLUTTER  – The fundamentals are not as complicated as you might think.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Media, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

DEALING WITH OFFICE CLUTTER

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 23, 2017

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– The fundamentals are not as complicated as you might think.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I cringe when I hear someone say, “A cluttered desk is the sign of a brilliant mind.” I don’t know who invented this little gem, some claim Albert Einstein, but I can’t seem to find any record of it. More likely, it was some slob who got called up on the carpet by his boss for running a pigpen.

It has always been tough to run an organized and efficient office, but this seems to have been compounded in recent times when PC’s started to pop-up all over and we allowed employees to eat at their desks. Now it is not uncommon to see a number of wires running everywhere, overloaded electrical sockets, and empty fast food bags and cups laying around. We used to complain about ashtrays, but this appears to be a thing of the past. Instead, we find cigarette butts on the ground just outside of the office or outdoor ashtrays overflowing with them. Very professional.

Since I believe our work is an extension of our personal lives, I tend to think of the office as our home away from home. This makes me wonder what we might find if we visited some employee homes. Are they as big a slobs at home as they are at work? If not, why do they find it necessary to trash their office as opposed to their homes?

Office clutter is indicative of management’s organization and a part of the corporate culture. Some believe the sloppier they look, the more they give the appearance they are hard at work. Not necessarily. More likely, sloppiness is indicative the person is trying to hide something and is actually quite lazy.

The military understands the need for organization and keeps their facilities spotless; you are expected to either work on something, file it, or throw it away. If you need new file cabinets, buy them. Your work is obviously not important if you keep the same clutter on your desk all of the time. In fact, such clutter will grow over time. For example, have you ever seen someone with a plastic tray on their desk? Theoretically, such trays are used for work in progress, but you’ll notice the trays never empty and, if anything, the paperwork grows. Every now and then you have to simply throw the contents in the plastic tray into the garbage can.

Programmers typically like to keep a cluttered desk. To overcome this problem we warned our programmers to clean them up or they might find the debris in the trash. At first, they thought this was a hallow warning. They found we were serious when they came in one day and found their desks spotless (and their paperwork in the garbage). We didn’t have a problem with office clutter after doing this a couple of times. Some programmers are aghast when I tell this story, but following our cleanup of the office we actually experienced an increase in productivity simply by enforcing a little discipline in the workplace. This required the programmers to organize themselves better and they were able to focus on the problem at hand as opposed to wading through the mess on their desks. I guess I see programming as a profession in the same sense as I see engineers, architects, and accountants as professions. They also require discipline in order to productively perform their work.

Office clutter is a reflection of a person’s professionalism and, as mentioned, a part of the corporate culture. It can be remedied if management is so inclined to do so. I admire an office that is well run and organized. It tells me the people are serious about their work and a company I want to do business with. Just remember, a cluttered desk is the sign of a lazy mind, not a brilliant one.

First published: February 4, 2008

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&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  OFFICE GOSSIP – Does your business promote or squelch idle gossip?

LAST TIME:  SMALL BUSINESS OWNER CONCERNS  – Are they any different than large companies?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

SMALL BUSINESS OWNER CONCERNS

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 21, 2017

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Are they any different than large companies?

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I was recently at a gathering of independent consultants from around the Tampa Bay area and we got around to talking about the concerns of owners of small businesses. From this, we devised a list of concerns commanding the attention of small-to-medium sized business owners, to wit:

* Employees/Human Resources – staffing and allocations, payroll, benefits, and management.

* Work environment – facilities and equipment, corporate culture.

* Systems – implementing business processes productively, and staying abreast of technological developments for competitive advantage.

* Regulations – complying with rules as established by government and industrial concerns.

* Time Management – scheduling and devoting time to the proper set of priorities.

* Financial Resources – managing and planning cash flow and investments for optimal return on investment.

* General Planning & Strategy – both short term and long term, including an analysis of the market and competition.

At the end of this session, we discovered the concerns of small business owners are essentially no different than large corporations, except on a much smaller scale. The only difference was the small business owner has to move faster than his corporate counterparts simply due to the size of his operation. For example, he doesn’t have time to read voluminous business plans and financial statements. Instead, he requires summary reports which get to the point in a couple of pages. He needs good, sound supporting advice to make his life easier.

This got me thinking about the amount of time and money corporate executives invest in managing their company’s affairs. True, some things require considerable time and effort to investigate, such as researching new products/services and checking market conditions, but most of what is done is what I refer to as “meatball” type analysis which should be easy and relatively inexpensive to prepare. Let me give you an example; a couple of years ago I was working with a Fortune 500 company who had contracted with another firm to produce a Business Systems Plan. This took several months to perform and resulted in a substantial document over four feet thick (I kid you not) costing the company $1.5 million. I was asked to flip through the document and give an opinion. It only took me a couple of minutes to discover the authors had reused narrative from other client projects in the document and most of it was superfluous. The fact it was incredibly thick and printed on some pretty impressive looking paper gave the company the feeling they had gotten their money’s worth from the consultants. Interestingly, the company never acted on the information contained in the document simply because it was too voluminous and they couldn’t find their way through it. In reality, a ten page report could have satisfied the company’s needs, but I guess you cannot charge $1.5 million for a ten page document can you?

The point of all this is the size of a company really has no bearing on the concerns of those charged with running it. They are all essentially the same. In addition, the business owner doesn’t have the time or inclination to be devoured by detail. Although such detail may be important, summary reports are more effective for supporting the needs of business owners. They simply want accurate and reliable information to act on regardless of the form it takes, but preferably not four feet thick.

“Regardless of company size, the concerns of executive management are all essentially the same.”
– Bryce’s Law

First published: December 17, 2007

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&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  DEALING WITH OFFICE CLUTTER – The fundamentals are not as complicated as you might think.

LAST TIME:  LIFETIME WARRANTIES  – They make good business sense.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Management | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

LIFETIME WARRANTIES

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 18, 2017

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

– They make good business sense.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Let me begin by saying I genuinely believe Zippo Lighters and Cross Pen and Pencils are the best products of their kind in the world today. I know there are more expensive products out there with more elegant designs, but for my money it’s Zippo and Cross. Now let me explain why. I’ve enjoyed these products for over thirty years now and in that time I’ve learned that as good and durable as these products are, they will inevitably experience normal wear and tear, thereby requiring maintenance. In this era of disposable products, our first inclination might be to simply throw such products away and purchase new ones, but both companies offer lifetime warranties which they stand behind. And I have taken them up on their offer to repair products on more than one occasion with no questions asked. Each time I send in my lighters and pen and pencil sets, they come back like new, and the only thing I paid for was postage to ship the products to them.

It is comforting to know there are still companies out there who stand behind their products through thick and thin, a rarity in today’s disposable society. Some people think that such warranties are no longer practical to implement anymore, that it is cheaper just to buy a new lighter or pen. What these people fail to realize is that lifetime warranties mean lifetime customers; that consumers such as myself develop loyalties to the products, not just because of how they look and work, but because they know the vendor is prepared to maintain their products. This instills a sense of confidence in the consumer which leads to loyalty and repeat business. Not only are lifetime warranties good business, I can’t imagine why there aren’t more companies with comparable products offering such support.

Understand this, Zippo and Cross are also playing the odds. If everyone were to send back their lighters and pens for repair they might swamp the companies and cost them millions. But they realize most people tend to dispose of such products and buy new ones instead. So, although they generously offer a fine lifetime warranty, they recognize that only a fraction of their customers will actually take them up on their offer. Nonetheless, the lifetime warranty stands out in the consumer’s mind and causes repetitive business.

It’s nice to know there are still companies in the United States who understand what customer service means and the effect it can have on the bottom-line of a company. So, next time you are checking out that fancy new lighter and pen and pencil set, do yourself a favor, go and take a look at what Zippo and Cross have to offer. They stand behind their products. Do their competitors?

First published: December 10, 2007

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&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  LIFETIME WARRANTIES – They make good business sense.

LAST TIME:  SMALL BUSINESS OWNER CONCERNS  – Are they any different than large companies?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

WHAT THE ATTACKS ON OUR MONUMENTS TRULY MEANS

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 17, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– It’s certainly not about history.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

The attacks on our national monuments have less to do with history and social consciousness, and more to do with control over today’s political climate. Allow me to explain. We hear of statues in the south pertaining to the Civil War being removed or defaced, particularly those depicting Generals Robert E. Lee and J.E.B Stuart. As a youngster growing up in the north, I was taught of the evils of slavery and the costly war to end it. However, as I grew up and moved around for my profession, I learned of the culture of the South and the pride of its citizens. They knew they lost the war and learned to live with it. For over a hundred years, they honored their dead for their spirit. Now, suddenly, such symbols are under attack. Even this misplaced Yankee, who now resides in the South, is alarmed by the determined push to deface our history.

Let me be clear, the Civil War, which regrettably led to thousands of deaths and destruction, ultimately defined who we are as a country. It should have been fought many years earlier, but we wouldn’t have had a Declaration of Independence had we done so. In other words, the war was inevitable and costly to both sides.

Aside from the Civil War monuments, we are also hearing of other national monuments being defaced, such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Viet Nam War Wall. I suspect the Jefferson Memorial or Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta will be next. Undoubtedly, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington will be safe as it is considered politically correct.

Here’s the problem; why are these monuments under attack today? Most have stood for several decades without any concern for their safety. Why not last year when Mr. Obama was still in office? It seems rather obvious the people calling for the removal or destruction of the monuments are the same people who hate President Trump. In other words, this is more of a protest to the President than it is about the social/historical significance of some aging statues. Ever since the Liberals lost the White House, they have felt free to vent their anger which is widely reported by the press.

If you will recall, a few years ago the Taliban destroyed ancient Mideastern artifacts in order to change history and focus attention on themselves. The same is now true in America where the Left wants to erase American history and culture in order to put the spotlight on their social agenda. Their callous disrespect for our history is predictable and we will likely see more guards in our Park Service protecting our treasures.

In all likelihood, we will soon hear objections to former presidents appearing on our currency and coins. The national anthem is already under attack by NFL stars, but we’ll see growing disrespect for it, not to mention other patriotic marches which will come under attack. I, for one, will certainly miss John Philip Sousa. Other established American institutions may also come under scrutiny, such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, Arlington Cemetary, and any museum describing our past.

The President has called for cooler heads in this conflict and has criticized neo-Nazis and the KKK, but this will not pacify the Left who will continue to resist Mr. Trump’s actions and criticize his every word. I’m afraid the situation is only going to get worse before it gets better. To the Leftist movement, this is all out war and will stay contentious until the mid-term elections next year. Should they lose more Congressional seats, as I suspect they will due to their behavior, they may finally snap and violent anarchy will erupt.

No, the attack on our monuments is not so much about our history as it is about the anti-Trump movement.

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&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  LIFETIME WARRANTIES – They make good business sense.

LAST TIME:  SMALL BUSINESS OWNER CONCERNS  – Are they any different than large companies?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in History, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE DRIVING TOP TEN

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 16, 2017

BRYCE ON TRANSPORTATION

– What drives me wild on the open road.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I recently drove from the South to the Midwest and back again. It has been quite a while since I’ve driven a long distance (about 1,000 miles each way) and it caused me to remember why I don’t like to take such trips anymore. We all have our own little idiosyncrasies for driving; for example, older people tend to move more slowly and cautiously than younger people who race pell-mell down the highway; and people tend to drive according to the customs of the geographical region they come from. Nonetheless, I have assembled a “Top 10” list of the basic driving habits irritating me and, if corrected, would make driving a lot more bearable for all of us. There is nothing earth-shattering here, just some observations on common driving deficiencies:

10. TURN SIGNALS – I guess I’m among the few people who still know what that little stick to the left side of the steering column is all about. It amazes me how many people do not use turn signals anymore. Maybe its because most of us are driving with one hand on the steering column and talking on a cell phone with the other. I guess letting another driver know where you are turning pales in comparison to asking Aunt Edna what to pick up at the grocery store. I tend to believe people who drive with a stick shift are more inclined to use turn signals as they are less likely to be talking on the phone as they are shifting (although I have seen it done). As trivial as the turn signal appears to be, it is a simple and effective means of communicating to other drivers what your intentions are, be it a turn or a lane change, but I think most drivers just want to keep others guessing what they are doing.

9. TAILGATING – You see this a lot in situations where younger and more aggressive drivers are frustrated with the old codgers driving below the speed limit. Its a little nerve-racking seeing someone draft another car like it was the Daytona 500. It makes you wonder why there aren’t more accidents. Maybe the best way to overcome this problem is to assign times during the day when we are allowed to drive, thereby overcoming the problem of different driving speeds; for example:

AgeMorningLunchtimeDinner

16-22 6:00am – 7:30am 11:30am – 12:00pm 3:00pm – 4:30pm
23-65 7:30am – 9:00am 12:00pm – 1:00pm 5:30pm – 7:00pm
66-90 9:00am – 11:30am 1:00pm – 3:00pm 4:30pm – 5:30pm

You are on your own anytime between 7:00pm – 6:00am.

8. OBNOXIOUS TRAFFIC LIGHTS – This is more of a problem with the Department of Transportation than a particular set of drivers. I don’t know who programs the traffic lights these days, but someone seems hell bent on gnarling traffic during rush hour. Maybe its a game someone is playing with us as to who can cause the biggest traffic build up. I’ve had people tell me that traffic lights are becoming very expensive. If this is true, maybe it would be more economical to replace them all with traffic cops who at least know what they are doing. I realize we have some pretty sophisticated computer technology to help us with traffic but I for one don’t see how it is helping us. When it comes to traffic control, I still don’t believe a computer can match the commonsense of a human being.

7. WEAVING – No, I’m not talking about drunk drivers driving erratically on the highway. Instead, I’m talking about the younger people who are weaving between lanes at breakneck speed, either on motorcycles or high performance vehicles. Weaving has become somewhat of a national pastime on our interstate highways, a dangerous game of “Chicken” that could kill not just the drivers, but the other innocent drivers who are trying to mind their own business as well. Why can’t they just stay home and do this on their X-Box or Playstation as opposed to driving the rest of us crazy?

6. LOST “OUT-OF-TOWNERS” – You know what I mean; those people who are just plain lost and instead of reading a map, they are content to slow down at every intersection to see if this is the road they should turn into. Wouldn’t it be nice if the out-of-towners simply drove in the right-hand lane with their emergency signals flashing to let us know they are lost and to avoid them? It will never happen.

5. RUBBERNECKING – This drives me particularly crazy as I have been tied up in miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic too many times only to discover that drivers were rubbernecking to look at some insignificant problem on the highway. I don’t care if the problem is large or small, keep your eyes looking forward and drive the car. You can always read about the accident in tomorrow’s newspaper. Hey, maybe that’s it: Instead of sending out a tow-truck or emergency vehicle to the site of a problem, let’s rush a news team to the site first so they can report on the accident which the other drivers can tune into on their radios.

Rubbernecking turns small problems into larger ones.

4. LACK OF COMMON COURTESY – How many times have we seen people cut off others, or someone not allow another driver to enter traffic? Far too many I’m afraid. I tend to believe how we drive is a reflection of our socialization skills. As opposed to cooperating, we tend to viscously compete on the roadways which, of course, leads to road rage. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had some other signal to use other than the one finger salute?

3. SLOW TURNS – Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of drivers who don’t seem to know how to make a turn. Instead of just slowing down a bit before making their turn, I’m seeing people come to almost a standstill; kind of like having an invisible red light they are obeying. I hope they are not seeing something that I’m not.

2. EXPRESS LANE DRIVERS – Another name for the express lane is “passing lane” which perhaps more accurately describes the intent of the left lane on our highways. It disturbs me when it isn’t used for this purpose. For example, some people get into the express lane and do nothing more than the speed limit, if that. They act like a pace car when the danger flags are out. I don’t know why they do this other than they want to deliberately irritate the other people driving around them. It is kind of like them saying prissily, “Well the speed limit is 55 and I’ll be damn if I’ll let anybody go faster than that.” I just wish I had a James Bond type of car where the rear axle would extend with knives on the end to rip out their tires.

1. CELL PHONES – Well, Duh!! What did you think my number one would be? I wish I had a jamming device which would shutdown all cell phones around me when I’m driving. This would force the other drivers to use both hands on the wheel and concentrate on traffic.

The rules and regulations of the road are really not that complicated. I remember when I first took the written test when I turned 16. The one section I found humorous is where they asked you to identify various street signs. For the “Crossroad” sign they gave you the following multiple choices: 1-Crossroad ahead, 2-Church ahead, 3-A person died on this spot. I wonder how many people got this wrong? Interestingly, I remember the Valedictorian of my High School class (a real “Brainiac”) failed the written test three times. I guess he was looking for the meaning of life in a stop sign.

Driving should be a simple and pleasurable experience. Unfortunately, it’s not. It seems we go out of our way to misinterpret the rules or devise our own on the fly. Which makes me wonder who is passing out the drivers licenses: 1-Homer Simpson, 2-American Foundation for the Blind, 3-Your local gas station attendant (Hint: we haven’t had gas station attendants in 30 years).

Back in 1965, CBS aired the National Drivers Test during prime time, the purpose of which was to educate adults and try to determine the level of driver competency. This was well received and helped improve awareness of basic driving techniques. Sounds like it’s about time CBS ran it again.

First published: August 13, 2007

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&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  LIFETIME WARRANTIES – They make good business sense.

LAST TIME:  EMPTY NESTS  – What happens when your children finally leave home.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

Posted in Life, Transportation | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: