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A CORPORATE POLICY FOR PERSONAL ELECTRONIC DEVICES

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 20, 2017

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Is it necessary to write a formal policy for use of electronic devices in the workplace?

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

A couple of years ago I created somewhat of a ruckus when I wrote an article on “Music in the Workplace.” In it, I suggested there should be restrictions on using personal audio devices in the workplace. This created a bit of a stir particularly with I.T. personnel who staunchly defended the use of their iPods and MP3 players while programming. In the course of the ensuing dialog, I asked what companies, if any, had developed a formal corporate policy regarding the use of such devices. Remarkably, nobody seemed to have one, or if they did, they didn’t want to come forward with it. However, recently I received one from an HR Administrator, perhaps the first of its kind. As this is considered somewhat of a trailblazing effort, the company asked to remain anonymous. All I can tell you is that they represent the North American unit of a global manufacturing company. Nonetheless, here is what they came up with:

“It is critical that employees working in the manufacturing areas remain focused on the tasks at hand and do not have any unnecessary distractions. It is for this reason that our policy on portable personal electronic devices such as cell phones, blackberries, computers, I-pods, CD players, MP3 players, radios, video games and pagers are prohibited in the manufacturing areas.

Company issued cell phones, computers, blackberries and pagers are acceptable as long as they do not create a hazard for the environment.

In non-production areas such as an office, the use of personal portable electronic devices are at the discretion of the manager.

Disciplinary Action

Disciplinary action may be taken against any employee who does not adhere to this policy.”

Frankly, I thought this was well written and quite practical; on the one hand, the company highlights the safety issues involved, and on the other they recognize it might be acceptable in other areas of the business where safety is not an issue. As for me, I might have taken it a step further and added some verbiage whereby such devices should be prohibited from customer service situations where it is necessary to pay attention to the customer. It might also make sense to ban such devices from meeting and training situations. Come to think of it, situations where these devices can be used in the workplace without having an adverse effect on business is becoming rare.

A “BusinessWeek” article (6/23/2008) reported that the amount of time the average U.S. worker loses to interruptions is 28%. This figure pretty much jives with the 70% effectiveness rate figure we have reported over the years (whereby in the average eight hour work day in an office setting, 5.6 hours are spent on direct work, and 2.4 hours are spent on interferences). Frankly, interferences are a natural part of office life (nobody can be 100% effective), but now with these personal electronic devices in play while employees are working, one has to wonder what effect it is having on worker concentration. Some people, particularly programmers (who tend to be somewhat introverted), thrive on such devices. However, these devices can be very distracting to other job functions requiring more extroverted personalities, such as Sales and Customer Service.

So, is a corporate policy on personal electronic devices really necessary? Frankly, I think it would be very irresponsible on management’s part not to have such a policy. It must be remembered that the distraction resulting from these devices can impact three areas:

1. Worker safety.
2. Product/service defects and errors (workmanship).
3. Worker productivity.

If it’s between entertaining the workers and putting the company at risk, I think it’s a no-brainer; the employees can wait until break time to enjoy such devices.

I would like to thank the individual for sharing the above policy with us. It may not be perfect but it’s a good start.

First published: July 9, 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:  JUST SAY ‘NO’…TO BUSINESS? – Is the customer always right?

LAST TIME:  IS THERE REALLY A CASE FOR PRES. TRUMP’S IMPEACHMENT?  – The short answer, No.

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.

 

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IS THERE REALLY A CASE FOR PRES. TRUMP’S IMPEACHMENT?

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 19, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– The short answer, No.

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

The short answer, No. The long answer requires an explanation. First, the president can be impeached for committing “high crimes and misdemeanors.” In the case of Richard Nixon in 1974, charges were being prepared for obstruction of justice, but Nixon resigned before he could be impeached. On the other hand, Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice stemming from the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by Paula Jones. He was subsequently acquitted by the Senate. Both were embarrassing affairs, and both were politically motivated.

Today, we are hearing Democrats willing to press charges against President Donald Trump for various reasons, some claiming he obstructed justice in regards to the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Others believe Trump is involved in a political relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia to promote his business interests, his seeming determination to go to war, either with North Korea or Iran, and whatever else is bothering the Democrats at the moment. Despite all of the hyperbole of his accusers, the accusations are groundless. Nothing of substance has yet surfaced from the many Russian probes. James Comey’s actions are still being scrutinized, and even though there has been a lot of saber-rattling, the last time I checked we were still relatively at peace (aside from minor actions around the globe).

All of Mr. Trump’s detractors claim their calls for impeachment are not politically motivated. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is all about politics, just as it was with Nixon and Clinton (and, for that matter, Andrew Johnson back in the 19th century).

Since losing the 2016 presidential election, the Democrats have been in a state of denial, specifically that a Washington outsider such as Mr. Trump could win and implement an agenda in stark contrast to their own. Instead of admitting defeat, the Democrats accuse the president of foul play, even going so far as to concoct a myth about Russian influence. In reality, Mrs. Clinton and the Democrats should be investigated for selling political influence.

All of this is part of the left’s plans to try to discredit Mr. Trump and derail his agenda. Calls for impeachment are simply a farce aimed at attracting media attention but going nowhere fast. The question though remains, does anyone honestly believe they have a legitimate case against the president? Aside from the liberal zealots who would like to see this happen, No, nobody is buying it. Even the authors of such legislation know it is nothing but a charade and going nowhere fast. They simply cannot stomach his victory and are bound and determined to remove him from office before his term is over.

All of this jealous rage by the Left leads me to believe they are suffering from an acute case of penis envy. Maybe this explains their sense of inferiority and why they possess a castration complex towards Mr. Trump. Oy!

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:  A CORPORATE POLICY FOR PERSONAL ELECTRONIC DEVICES – Is it necessary to write a formal policy for use of electronic devices in the workplace?

LAST TIME:  SOME MONOTONOUS WORK: JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED  – The therapeutic effects of collating and punching paper.

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.

 

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SOME MONOTONOUS WORK: JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 18, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– The therapeutic effects of collating and punching paper.

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

The original purpose of our company was to develop and market a methodology to walk people step-by-step through the design and development of information systems, from soup-to-nuts. We implemented this as a series of manuals and forms for people to reference during the process. Actually, there were three manuals in the set which were housed in 22-ring binders: a manual to explain the methodology, another to show examples, and a third with training materials and an installation guide. This was done at a time before there were quick copy shops. Based on our artwork, a printer would produce copies of the manuals and forms on an offset press which was returned to us for coallating, punching, and insertion into the binders. This was certainly not a glamorous job, but it had to be done regardless. To implement it, we setup long tables and organized the pages around them. We then began the arduous task of coallating and inserting the paper by encircling those tables for hours. On a good day, we could assemble forty manuals which was considered a respectable pace. Inevitably, we began to experience the effects of monotony and boredom. You couldn’t go on autopilot completely during this assembly as you didn’t want to make a mistake, but it certainly wasn’t complicated either. We did this for several years until we were able to automate our manuals for access via the computer. I cannot honestly say I miss those days, but I appreciate the necessity of the work.

We’ve probably all performed some form of monotonous activity, be it collating and punching paper, stapling, folding, photocopying, applying adhesive labels, or some other task that doesn’t require a lot of brain power, but still has to be done nevertheless. Every now and then, I find such work to be a welcome departure from the trials and tribulations of the day, where you can “zone-out” for a while and yet do something productive in the process. Some might call this “idiot work” but that does a disservice to the necessity of the task and those performing it. Actually, it is rather remarkable how people can become somewhat robotic in performing repetitive tasks over and over again without frequently making mistakes. Occasional breaks help clear the head and allows the worker to re-focus.

Some “professionals” consider it beneath their dignity to perform such work. Actually, it can be rather therapeutic. Not only is it a good distraction to clear the mind, it should also be a reminder of the dignity of work in general. It may not be rocket science, but it is still necessary. For those who suffer from an inflated ego, there is nothing better than a little “idiot work” to bring them back down to earth.

Monotonous work may not be glamorous and seem somewhat boring, but we must be mindful of the fact that just about every business or nonprofit has some form of repetitive task to be performed. I, for one, am cognizant of the need for it and certainly do not demean anyone having to perform such work. My company would certainly not be here today without it. Whenever someone asks for some help in this regard I am glad to assist if time permits. As I said, I see it as a great stress reliever and do some of my best thinking under such conditions. It’s just what the doctor ordered.

By the way, for those asking, “Why did you use 22-ring binders?” Actually, this was done by design. Most binders only have two or three rings, which means it would be easy to insert additional pages into them. We didn’t want that. In fact, we wanted to make it as difficult as possible to insert more pages, hence the 22-ring binders. You see, there is a method to our madness.

First published: May 11, 2012

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:  IS THERE REALLY A CASE FOR PRES. TRUMP’S IMPEACHMENT? – The short answer, No.

LAST TIME:  A TRIBUTE TO TYPEWRITERS  – In praise of the look, feel, and smell of a typed letter.

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, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

A TRIBUTE TO TYPEWRITERS

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 16, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– In praise of the look, feel, and smell of a typed letter.

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

I have been using a variety of computer word processors over the last thirty years and produced some rather fine looking documents using them, but for some reason I still miss the typewriter. Maybe it’s because you can quickly type up an impressive looking envelope or fill out a form; Yes, many organizations still use paper forms, particularly nonprofits. The look and feel of a business letter seems somehow more impressive when prepared on a typewriter, more professional and authoritative if you will.

Some people have an aversion to typewriters and generally dismiss them as dinosaurs in the office. I certainly am not of this opinion as we still have an aging IBM Wheelwriter 30, Series II in our office which we would never dream of losing. We don’t type a lot of letters with it anymore, but when we do, they still look first class. When compared to today’s computers, the keyboard is starting to show its age, but there is a crispness to the letters it produces as well as a smell, which I attribute to the printer ink and carbon paper which was used to make duplicate copies. In most companies today, you are expected to print an adhesive label to put on an envelope, which pales in comparison to an envelope with a typed address. It looks rather impressive with a touch of class, something you do not see much anymore in the corporate world.

I learned to type in Mrs. Weldman’s class during my junior year in High School. Most of us typed on manual typewriters where pressing a key forced a metallic arm to rise up and strike the paper with a letter. Only a handful of the students in my class were allowed to use the electric models which didn’t require as much umph in pressing the keys. Our teacher would often have us perform three minute tests to monitor our typing speed and accuracy. Repetitive exercises forced us to improve in both, e.g., “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.” Because a typewriter is less forgiving than a word processor in terms of correcting mistakes, you tend to develop better typing habits. I’ve carried these habits forward to this day and consider myself a rather good typist (Thanks Mrs. Weldman).

Since then, I’ve used a variety of manual and electric typewriters, everything from the classic keystroke, to print balls with different fonts, to daisy wheels which spin to the desired letter and prints the character. As good a typist as I consider myself to be, I thank God somebody created correction tape and liquid paper. Letters produced using word processors may be easier to correct and have impressive spell checkers, but they somehow seem plain to me regardless of the stock paper you use or the variety of available fonts. There’s simply a feel to a typed letter that makes it seem more important. Maybe it’s because it takes more effort to create a typed letter, and by doing so it means the typist is more thoughtful of the person who will receive it. To me, it’s just plain classy.

I also go back to a time when I found the tickety-tack sound of the typewriters to be strangely melodic. I’ll admit a room full of typists clicking away could make quite a racket, but it also seemed to suggest to me some serious business was being conducted. It was like going into the nerve center of a newsroom where important stories were being written. It was quite invigorating. Now, when you go into offices where people quietly work away in the privacy of their cubicles, you wonder if anyone is awake. Somehow I miss the hubbub of business, it felt like something was actually happening.

Surprisingly, there is a bit of a Renaissance going on with typewriters these days as it has somehow become hip to be seen as a struggling writer who lugs a portable typewriter around. I think it’s an Ernie Pyle kind of thing. Nonetheless, there is renewed interest in typewriters and devotees are showcasing their classic equipment in museums, both physically and virtually on the Internet. One of the best I’ve found is Mr. Martin’s Typewriter Museum, be sure to check it out. I’m also told that because of their rarity, a typewriter repairman can now make a decent living. Who’da thunk it.

Like music, fashion, and the media, we tend to develop a close association with the technology of our youth. My kids probably have as much trouble understanding my fascination with typewriters, as I have with their smart phones. We appreciate the technology of our era. As much as I would like to believe I am digital, in all likelihood I am more analog in nature.

One last reason why I owe my allegiance to the typewriter; it was in Mrs. Weldman’s class where I first met my wife.

First published: April 27, 2012

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:  SOME MONOTONOUS WORK: JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED – The therapeutic effects of collating and punching paper.

LAST TIME:  THE FOUR STEPS FOR AMERICAN SUBVERSION  – A warning from a former KGB agent.

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 | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

THE FOUR STEPS FOR AMERICAN SUBVERSION

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 13, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– A warning from a former KGB agent.

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

The premise behind Hitchcock’s 1935 movie classic, “The 39 Steps,” was not about a staircase, but rather a series of clandestine tasks to ultimately overthrow the government. It was an intriguing movie but as it turns out, it actually takes considerably fewer steps to subvert a government, four to be exact, at least according to Yuri Bezmenov, a former KGB agent. Throughout the 1960’s, Bezmenov served the KGB primarily in India where he spread Soviet propaganda and disinformation to the Western world. He eventually defected to the West in 1970 and settled in Canada where he lectured and wrote about the KGB’s techniques for subverting the West.

In 1985 he was featured in a television interview which is still available on YouTube. During the interview, Bezmenov explains the KGB’s activities are less about espionage in the classic James Bond sense (only 15%), and more concerned with “Ideological Subversion” (85%) which is used to secretly undermine the American government through psychological warfare. Key to this program is to change the perception of reality using subliminal brainwashing techniques over an extended period of time. As I’ve written in the past, people act on their perceptions of reality, regardless if it is correct or fallacious. They are not so much concerned with facts as they are in perspectives and self interests. By controlling the perceptions of people, they become more prone to make erroneous conclusions thereby simplifying the manipulation of the masses. The objective of the KGB program, therefore, is to program people into dismissing true facts as fallacious even in spite of the obvious.

As Bezmenov explains in the interview, there are four steps to transform the thinking and behavior of the population:

1. Demoralization – this is a process which can take about 15-30 years to perform (a generation). During this stage, the moral fibre and integrity of the country is put into question, thereby creating doubt in the minds of the people. To do so, manipulation of the media and academia is required to influence young people. As the younger generation embraces new values, such as Marxism and Leninism, the older generation slowly loses control simply through attrition. Again, true facts no longer matter during this stage, but rather creating perceptions are of paramount importance.

2. Destabilization – the purpose of this step is to change the status quo, particularly the country’s economy, foreign relations, and defense systems. The intent is to create a massive government permeating society and becoming intrusive in the lives of its citizens. This can take from two to five years to perform, again with the active support of academia pushing youth in this direction. Here, entitlements and benefits are promised to the populace to encourage their support. Basically, they are bribing the people to accept their programs.

Bezmenov claims after this stage is completed, the naive college professors are no longer needed and since they will undoubtedly protest government policies when they discover the truth, they will be disposed of quickly. He cites examples of this occurring in Nicaragua, Grenada, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

3. Crisis – this is a major step lasting up to six weeks and involves a revolutionary change of power. This is where a cataclysmic event upsets and divides the country thereby creating panic among the citizens. Recent examples include the 2011 upheavals in the Middle East, most notably Egypt and Libya. To Americans, symptoms would include circumventing the Constitution and altering the checks and balances of government, and possibly martial law.

4. Normalization – the final stage is where the populace finally acquiesces and begins to assimilate communism. This can take up to two decades to complete.

Bezmenov claimed the first step, Demoralization, was completed well before his 1985 interview. In fact, the Russians were surprised how easily it had been performed. One clear indicator of the moral decay of the country is the decline of organized religion which, historically, has been a beacon for morality, but now it is in retreat. He also thought step two was nearing completion in 1985 but I believe he underestimated the rise and popularity of Ronald Reagan as president, which led to the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union in 1991, and the shift to the War on Terror following 9/11. Nonetheless, many would argue America is now realizing Bezmenov’s scenario in 2012, particularly as the November elections loom ahead. This means the third step is in the offing which has a lot of people frightened for America’s future.

Yuri Bezmenov died in 1993 never realizing his prophecy, and hopefully it will never come to fruition, that we will remain a free and democratic Republic bound to the U.S. Constitution. However, as Bezmenov reminds us, communism requires simple patience and perseverance to alter the perceptions of the people. The only way to thwart it is to practice due diligence and not let it go unchallenged.

“America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life.
If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.”

– Joseph Stalin

“The press is our chief ideological weapon.”
– Nikita Khrushchev

First published: April 25, 2012

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:  A TRIBUTE TO TYPEWRITERS – In praise of the look, feel, and smell of a typed letter.

LAST TIME:  MANAGEMENT A LA 1961  – Some management lessons from the past.

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

MANAGEMENT A LA 1961

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 11, 2017

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Some management lessons from the past.

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

Recently, I was going through some of my father’s old papers back when he worked as Product Planning Manager at Remington Rand in New York City, the makers of the UNIVAC computer at the time. In particular, I came across a training manual entitled, “Creative Management Development” from 1961. Evidently it was used as part of a training class to groom managers for the company. Being curious, I picked through the manual carefully to see the perspective of management back then.

The manual was rather thick and consisted of several sections featuring different lessons. In particular, I came across a chapter entitled, “Elements of Effective Supervision” which included the following:

“The most effective supervisor is the one who…

1. Delegates authority

2. Makes definite assignments and supervises by results

3. Minimized detailed orders

4. Uses low pressure

5. Trains subordinates

6. Does different work from that done by his subordinates

7. Spends his time on long-range rather than short-range problems

This is the pattern of what we call general supervision.

As superiors intrude on matters that rightfully should be handled by their subordinates, problems have a tendency to snowball. One subordinate described the situation this way:

‘As long as the boss gives us the right to make our own decisions, we cooperate with him. We report to him all the information he needs to answer to his boss, but the little things we don’t bother him with. But if he doesn’t give us any freedom we can make his life miserable. We can bombard his office with reports on everything we do. We can refuse to make a decision until we talk to him about it. We can stop saving his time by sifting the important from the unimportant and we can keep him on the run.’ “

Each of the seven sections were then explained in greater detail in the manual. The only problem I had between then and now was the distinction of supervisor versus manager. Whereas I tend to see a supervisor as someone working more closely with workers to assure work is performed properly, I tend to see a manager as more as a leader assessing priorities and plotting direction. Although the chapter referred to a “supervisor,” I believe they were actually describing the duties of a “manager.”

For some rather old management advice from over a half century ago, I found it rather refreshing and interesting. It confirms what we’ve been saying for years, that managers need to learn to manage from the bottom-up, not just top-down. Employees should be properly trained, empowered, and allowed to assume responsibility. In other words, managers should manage more and supervise less, which is just the antithesis of today’s micromanagement philosophy.

The management advice from 1961 is every bit as applicable today as it was back then, making it something we should reconsider. Fascinating.

First published: April 16, 2012

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:  MANAGEMENT A LA 1961 – Some management lessons from the past.

LAST TIME:  THE FOUR STEPS FOR AMERICAN SUBVERSION  – A warning from a former KGB agent.

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 »

OUR CHANGING VALUES

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 9, 2017

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– “You cannot treat a patient if he doesn’t know he is sick.” – Bryce’s Law

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

Each year, the Gallup organization checks the pulse of the country’s morality. According to their annual study, for the last few years, many people believe America’s morality is deteriorating. In their May 2017 report, Gallup noted, “Americans continue to express an increasingly liberal outlook on what is morally acceptable, as their views on 10 of 19 moral issues that Gallup measures are the most left-leaning or permissive they have been to date.”

Some people will laugh at this observation, others will look at it more seriously. Coupled with this is the reality of declining attendance and membership in organized religion and traditional civic minded institutions such as Scouting, Freemasonry, Knights of Columbus, and other charitable organizations. This denotes apathy and indifference to the values these organizations embrace. Historically, our values are learned around the dinner table, but parents today have abdicated teaching values to school teachers and the entertainment industry. This reflects a change in parenting skills and a decline in the cohesiveness of the family unit.

Patriotism is also changing. Fewer people are standing for the pledge of allegiance and national anthem, offering a symbolic gesture of protest instead. Some people believe this is an acceptable form of protest, others do not, but it is gaining in notoriety and further dividing the country. There are those who still relish a hometown 4th of July parade with some John Philip Sousa thrown in for good measure. There are others who find this comical and dismiss it out of hand. The same is true when “Taps” is played on Memorial Day or Veterans Day. This denotes a split in our perceptions of what America is suppose to represent and love of country.

There are many other indicators of conflicting values in this country. For example, some state governments are resisting attempts by the federal government to investigate voter fraud. Further, states and cities desperately cling to the concept of Sanctuary Cities, which is commonly viewed by others as havens for illegal immigrant criminals.

It is also worth noting a recent FBI report noting the rise of violent crimes over the last two years (2015, 2016). Such crimes include:

* Murder and non-negligent manslaughter offenses, which increased 8.6%.

* Aggravated assault, which rose 8.6%.

* Rape, which increased 4.9%.

* And robbery, which rose 1.2%.

Overall, the 2016 violent crime rate rose 3.4% as compared with 2015, a significant uptick. Chicago represented the largest metropolitan area for violence, easily outpacing New York City which has approximately three million more people.

So, the question becomes, do these changes in our values represent an improvement or a decline in our society? As indicated by the Gallup study, liberals will see this as positive while conservatives will argue its harmful effects, and therein lies the true reason for divisiveness in America. And when you add intolerance for opposing views, you’ve got a recipe for violence.

If you believe these changes are positive, there is nothing much for you to do as the pendulum is rapidly swinging your way.

However, if you believe these changes are negative, the first thing to do is simply recognize a problem exists. After all, “You cannot treat a patient if he doesn’t know he is sick” (Bryce’s Law). Second, it is time to speak up, either in group settings, in letters to your local newspapers or Congressmen. A dialog about the moral values in this country is long overdue as the country appears confused as to what is right and wrong. For religious and civic minded institutions, such discussions are vital before they close their doors permanently. Apathy and indifference will not suffice, now is the time to act before it is too late. Remember, silence represents acceptance of the status quo.

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:  MANAGEMENT A LA 1961 – Some management lessons from the past.

LAST TIME:  GAMES WE PLAYED AS KIDS  – Anybody remember “Red Rover”?

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 Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

GAMES WE PLAYED AS KIDS

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 6, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Anybody remember “Red Rover”?

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

It’s interesting what you can learn just sitting on a park bench. Not long ago, I was down at Crystal Beach, a local park and pier on the Gulf of Mexico where I was enjoying some Florida sunshine and waiting for the sunset when I happened to overhear some kids who were bored and looking for something to do. In the course of the conversation they talked about their favorite games; they mentioned: “Call of Duty,” “Batman: Arkham City,” and “Portal 2.” Only then did I realize they were talking about computer video games and got me thinking about the games I played as a child growing up in Connecticut.

Back then, the emphasis was to get out of the house and get some fresh air. We were fortunate to live in a wooded countryside with a stream running through our backyards in the community. We spent a lot of time swimming and fishing in the stream, where we mostly caught brook trout. The only organized sport we played back then was Little League baseball, but it seemed we were always playing a pickup game regardless where we were.

We drove our bicycles everywhere; to school, to the baseball fields, and to the store. One of our favorite endeavors was to canvas the neighborhood to collect used soft drink bottles and take them to the grocery store where we turned them in for the deposit (two cents for a regular bottle, three cents or a nickle for a quart bottle). We would then take the money and play a round of putt-putt golf at a nearby range, and stop off at a country store to buy penny candy; e.g., root beer barrels, paper strips of dots, rock candy, jaw breakers, pixie straws, wax candy, licorice sticks, and a myriad of other delicacies.

Living in a wooded setting, one of our favorite games was Hide and Seek, and we all learned some rather devious places to hide. So much so, it would take a couple of hours to play just a handful of games. We would also play Tag, Red Rover, and Red Light/Green Light. Our fathers tried to teach us “Buck Buck” (aka “Johnny on the Pony”) but this never really caught on with us.

One time, the neighborhood was planning a Clam Bake party and the adults were all charged with various responsibilities, be it preparations, cooking, dessert, entertainment, cleanup or whatever. The father next door was charged with keeping the kids out of everyone’s hair so the adults could do their jobs. To do so, he devised a scavenger hunt whereby he placed clues all over the neighborhood, at certain landmarks in the woods, and at our school. He broke us up into teams to make it competitive. The hunt began in the morning from a massive boulder in his backyard. After he explained the rules, he turned us loose where we had to find the carefully hidden clues and and decipher them which was rather devilish as I recall. This went on for several hours until late in the afternoon where the hunt finally led us back to his boulder in the backyard where he sat enjoying the day by reading a book. We all thought it rather ironic that the hunt ended at the same place it started. He just laughed.

Afterwards, we had dinner and were now too tired to do anything but go to bed, which the parents had hoped for as their Clam Bake was about to begin. Afterwards we realized it was a brilliant bit of strategy by the parents.

There were many other things occupying our time in those days: we whittled, we caught fireflies in mason jars, built forts in the woods, picked apples in a nearby orchard, and played a lot of Dodge Ball (we called it “German Dodge” for some unknown reason). When it rained, a group of us would get together and play marathon sessions of Monopoly. In the winter, we slowed down a bit, but still found time to ride our sleds down hills, ice skating, build snow forts, and of course engage in several snowball fights.

So, as I thought about the young men talking about their video games, I kind of felt sorry for them. Here we were sitting on the Gulf of Mexico on a beautiful day and they were bored. It never occurred to them to drop a fishing line off the pier or even a simple game of catch or “pickle” (running bases). They just wanted to go home and play their favorite video game. I was tempted to teach them how to play Red Rover, but like our fathers who tried to teach us “Buck Buck,” I knew this wouldn’t really catch on with them. Pity.

Whenever I hear a youngster lament, “There’s nothing to do,” I just role my eyes and think back to my youth. There is much more to being a child than just playing with electronic gadgets. Maybe the parents just need to throw the kids outside and force them to discover the world around them.

First published: March 30, 2012

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:  OUR CHANGING VALUES – “You cannot treat a patient if he doesn’t know he is sick.” – Bryce’s Law

LAST TIME:  JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS  – How the Internet has altered the way we argue.

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 | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 4, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– How the Internet has altered the way we argue.

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

Recently I came across a local news story having to do with road rage. Evidently, two men in their twenties got into a highway dispute in the wee hours of a morning which led to a physical confrontation whereby one man finally pulled out a gun to defend himself and killed the other person. The shooter has not been charged with a crime as he is protected by Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. This resulted in a firestorm of letters commenting on the story, most criticizing the shooter and claiming the victim was a really nice guy. Interestingly, most of the people springing to the defense of the victim appeared to be of the same age (in their twenties). Those who came to the defense of the shooter appeared to be older. This led to a rather toxic debate on the Internet with the two sides arguing which person was at fault in the incident. So much so, I got the uneasy feeling the issue started to become as ugly as the initial confrontation, maybe more so.

As for me, I felt it was an unfortunate incident but I certainly didn’t have enough information to form an opinion one way or another, just an article where the reporter pieced together a story from law enforcement reports. This is why I was surprised by the vicious discourse resulting from the article. Some of the commentators were familiar with the location where the shooting occurred, some claimed to know one or the other person in the incident, and others played detective or attorney. All had a definite opinion which they fervently argued, some even going so far as to attack anyone possessing an opposing opinion. I was actually more aghast by the comments as opposed to the actual accident itself. Obviously, none of them were present at the time of the incident, nor knew the sequence of events leading up to it, nor the evidence or testimony compiled by the police afterwards, yet they were hellbent on defending their position which struck me as rather strange. The same can also be said about the Trayvon Martin incident where the public became a lynch mob before allowing the police to complete their investigation.

Actually, these incidents typify how Americans tend to argue in the 21st century. It is not so much a matter of civil discourse anymore as it is spin, attack, ridicule, deceive, and assassinate character; a sort of “Sherman’s march to the sea” mentality where everything is destroyed that gets in the way of the person arguing. This approach has been facilitated by the Internet where it is easy to snipe at your opponent under the cloak of anonymity which seems rather cowardly to me. This is why I have always tried to maintain my true identity on the Internet as I am willing to stand by my words. You may not always agree with me, but you know where I stand on an issue.

In both my writings and pursuant correspondence I avoid saying anything I wouldn’t be afraid to say to a person’s face. I know a lot of people on the Internet who cannot make this same claim. I am also mindful of the old axiom, “If you haven’t got anything good to say about a person, do not say it.” As such, I do not engage in arguments where I know the other person is trying to bait me. If I were to take the bait and allow myself to argue in the gutter, I would lose my dignity and respect, which is something my opponent may be willing to risk, but I am not. When it is apparent we are at loggerheads, and we will obviously not change each other’s opinion or perspective, I simply drop the matter recognizing it is futile to continue. In other words, a lot of people need to learn when to “let it go.”

Understand this though, my way of arguing is considered old school. Today’s Internet savvy kids do not possess this school of thought and, consequently, do not abide by any rules whatsoever. As far as they are concerned, all is fair in love and war, and show no restraint in their arguments or ethical compunction. Somewhere along the line we have forgotten that arguments are a very personal form of communications. We can either do it with a little style and respect for the other party, or simply go for the jugular. Unfortunately, the era of gentlemanly debate ended with the 20th century. It may be considered a bygone era, but we didn’t have quite as many Road Rage incidents back then either.

First published: October 4, 2012

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:  GAMES WE PLAYED AS KIDS – Anybody remember “Red Rover”?

LAST TIME:  WHY THE REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS ARE BLOWING IT  – They only have themselves to blame.

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 | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

WHY THE REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS ARE BLOWING IT

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 3, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– They only have themselves to blame.

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

It’s not much of a secret Americans are growing frustrated with the slow pace of the Republican led Congress, particularly members of their own party. It was hoped legislation would be on the president’s desk immediately following his inauguration to repeal and replace Obamacare. It wasn’t. Instead, the House and Senate fumbled the ball and the bill stagnated until the Graham-Cassidy Bill which still doesn’t solve the problem effectively. Even though they campaigned for several years to oust Obamacare, they have suddenly come down with an acute case of the stupids.

Now in October, it was hoped we would have also rewritten the tax code by now, passed the 2018 budget, and addressed the construction of the southern border wall. Alas, nothing. Even though Republicans control both chambers of Congress, they give the distinct impression they are reluctant to do anything. The question is, Why?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell claims the President doesn’t understand how the Congress works, that there are political protocols to be observed. In contrast, the President is perfectly cognizant of the political gymnastics involved, but ran into a stumbling block of a lethargic Congress. On the campaign trail, he repeatedly called out the Congressional establishment of both parties by saying it was time to “drain the swamp.” This was a slogan the American public embraced and helped catapult the President to the White House.

The slow pace of today’s Congress lies in sharp contrast to the “Contract with America,” offered in 1994 by then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich with Dick Armey. Back then, the Republicans articulated an agenda and made sweeping reforms. Not so today. The reason is simple, establishment Republicans consider the Trump agenda a threat to their political existence.

Instead of rallying around the President, Congressional politicians are primarily concerned with getting re-elected in the 2018 midterm elections. As such, they see Mr. Trump’s populist agenda as a political football which they are hesitant to run with. Because of the controversy surrounding the President, GOP politicians perceive Mr. Trump as a political liability, not an asset. If they support the President, they are convinced the news media and “resistance” movement will unseat them. They also believe if they can demonstrate their independence, their chances for winning re-election will improve, and this is where they are wrong.

It is rare to have a single party control both the executive and legislative branches of government at the same time. When this happens, it is presumed they will work together to achieve goals such as those in the “Contract with America.” Whereas Mr. Trump has undone a lot of the Obama-era executive orders, he is frustrated by a Congress that moves painfully slow. The Congress knows what Mr. Trump wants, as based on his “Contract with the American Voter,” they are just hesitant to give it to him as they perceive it as a threat to their livelihood.

The Republicans were aghast Mr. Trump recently sat down with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in September to work out deals on hurricane relief, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and border security. First, negotiating with the opposing party is something a President should do, as exemplified by Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s and Bill Clinton in the 1990’s. Unfortunately, Barack Obama did not follow suit. Second, the President has grown frustrated with the inability of the Congressmen from his own party to get anything done, so talking with the opposition seems rather obvious. According to polls, it appears the American people agree with him. It is pretty sad when the President has to battle members of his own party as well as the opposition, but such is the state of politics in Washington, DC.

Should the Republicans lose the Senate and/or the House in 2018, they will only have themselves to blame, not the President. Instead of bucking his agenda, they should seize the day. The American people are tired of talk and desperately want the type of decisive action Mr. Trump campaigned on. So far, they haven’t seen it in 2017 and view Congressional Republicans as roadblocks, not movers and shakers.

Congressional Republicans are having difficulty coming to grips that it is a new day in American politics. As evidenced by Mr. Trump’s victory, the populace no longer accepts the status quo. Should Congress continue snubbing the President they will continue to be perceived as a part of the Washington “establishment” which will ultimately cost them their re-election. As much as they may hate the President, they do not seem to grasp their political future is dependent on him. They must decide to either rally around the President or face losing their jobs in the midterm elections.

This exhibition of weakness by the GOP will haunt the party for years to come. As long as they continue to think short term, their tenure as leaders of the Congress will be brief. All because they want to thwart someone perceived to be an outsider of their political clique.

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:  JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS – How the Internet has altered the way we argue.

LAST TIME:  INTUITIVENESS, THE SIXTH SENSE  – Some recognition for the Radar O’Reillys of the world.

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

 
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