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Posts Tagged ‘palm harbor’

New TBCtampa.com Supports Tampa Bay Conservatives

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 26, 2020

– For Tampa Bay Conservatives, By Tampa Bay Conservatives.

TAMPA, FL (May 21, 2020) – In an effort to support conservatives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, a consortium of like minded media people have banded together to disseminate conservative related news and opinion. According to the founder, Tim Bryce of Palm Harbor, “There is no doubt the news media in our area has liberal inclinations. Consequently, it is next to impossible to post any news or OpEd pieces pertaining to conservative values. As such, we have started this coalition as a one-stop web site to support conservatives in the Bay area. From it, we expect synergism to emerge by forming a network of cooperation.”

In addition to conservative related news, there is a calendar of events, along with direct connections to media contacts, such as podcasts from Willie Lawson, the conservative voice of Tampa Bay, and Dr. Rich Swier of Sarasota, who publishes a popular and respected e-Zine, with a stable of fine writers. Also, K.P. Leonard’s “Senior Voice America” supports TBC representing a printed monthly newspaper aimed at Tampa Bay seniors. The Editor for the News section is Helena Nunn, long known in the area for her postings of conservative news links.

TBC also includes a research section to check information, a listing of conservative political clubs in the area, along with a section to register to vote in Florida. Political surveys are included and a series of Zoom Town Hall meetings are planned. A “Speakers Bureau” is also available listing conservative speakers available for talks. There is even a “Funny Pages” section to list conservative related humor.

What makes this unique is the site is tailored to the needs of a specific community and ideology. It is hoped this becomes a model for other metropolitan areas in the country. The TBC site is free to use and participation is voluntary. The site can be found at:

http://TBCtampa.com/

Thus far, reaction from Tampa Bay conservatives has been rewarding; to illustrate:

“Congratulations Tim and All! This is such a great idea and so needed in this area. Thanks!”
– B.H. of Clearwater, FL

“Great news! The truth at last. Good luck with your new venture.”
– U.V. of Largo, FL

“Congratulations Tim! Very exciting to see.”
– J.S. of Palm Harbor, FL

“Thanks for doing this. I look forward to using TBC. Leading up to the election this will be a very helpful tool in reaching our voters.”
– J.K. of Tarpon Springs, FL

“Great site. Great stuff!”
– R.B. of Dunedin, FL

“Very good. Much needed.”
– K.K. of Clearwater, FL

“Thank you for this info. And for your constant efforts to share conservative view.”
– M.L. of Clearwater, FL

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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

Mr. Bryce is a freelance writer residing in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

Copyright © 2020 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

 

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

INDIFFERENCE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 21, 2020

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Just “okay” is not okay.

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

Customer Service is generally regarded as the “front-line” for any business. It is their responsibility to service the customer, answer questions, expedite problems and keep the customer happy, thereby encouraging repeat business. It is intended to make money, not lose it. At least, in theory, that is what it is supposed to be.

Not long ago we decided to switch banks, which is no small decision for any company to make. We had grown weary of how our old bank was “nickel and diming” us to death on frivolous charges. Even though we would call to complain, they were slow to correct problems. Such incidents occurred so frequently we decided to take our business elsewhere, but before doing so we gave the bank one last chance by telling them if these trivial matters didn’t cease we would be forced to withdraw our account from their bank, to which the customer service rep said indifferently, “Okay.” We then exited stage right and opened a new account in another bank which we have been pleased with so far.

A few months after we moved, a manager from the old bank called to say he noticed we had moved our account and what they could do to get our business back. We politely told him it was too late, but he should look into getting some new customer service reps.

A similar incident happened with our garbage collection service. Their rates slowly rose to a point where we started to look for another less expensive service. We called our current service and talked to a customer service rep to ask what they could do about lowering their rates. She wouldn’t budge. We said we then had no alternative but to go with another service, to which she said “Okay” and hung up. Again, about a month after we canceled the service, a manager called to ask why we had left them. We explained the problem and the response from his customer service rep.

I have a friend who is a sales manager for a large distributor of industrial supplies. He primarily hustles around the area meeting new customers and checking on existing ones. After a customer is established, they can call in orders, large or small, to the main office who should promptly process and ship accordingly. One day, late on a Friday afternoon, a customer called in a small order for a box of tape. Since it was late in the day on the last day of the work week, the customer service rep figured the order could wait until Monday morning. He thought wrong. The box of tape, as innocuous as it seemed, was actually very much needed by the customer. When he didn’t get it in time, he became very upset and the company lost the customer forever. This did not sit well with my friend who had to discipline the customer service rep for the snafu.

Customers do not like to be taken for granted. They want to be assured their best interests are being maintained by their vendors. From this perspective, “Okay” is not okay. The only excuse for indifference in customer service is when the customer is becoming more trouble than he is worth. Even then, he may affect sales simply from a reference point of view. This also means maintaining the status quo will not suffice. Regardless of the policies and procedures in place, customer service reps need to go beyond the call of duty to keep the customer happy. It is what we used to call “hustle.” In other words, they cannot afford to go on automatic, but rather think and take charge of the situation.

Let me give you an example, a few years ago I was flying on American Airlines from Tampa to Seattle, with a connection in Dallas. This was an important business call as I had a sales presentation to make. Understandably, I became upset when the Tampa flight left unexpectedly late. As I arrived in Dallas, I realized I was going to miss my connecting flight. Consequently, I was instructed to get in line to talk to a customer service agent, a line which moved painfully slow and my temper began to rise noticeably. So much so, an older agent read the rage in my face and asked me to step out of line and over to the counter where she was working. Before I could give her a piece of my mind, she raised her hand calmly and said, “Stop. I will take care of you.” I explained my problem and, to her credit, she had me rerouted and solved my problem. I found it remarkable how she was able to read me and defused the situation. She did it professionally and, frankly, with a lot of class. So much so, she turned a hostile customer into a happy one. I think her maturity and experience had a lot to do with it, but “Okay” was not okay with her, nor was the status quo. The process didn’t solve the problem, it was her personality and socialization skills that saved the day.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2020 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

THE POWER OF THE INVERTED TRIANGLE

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 19, 2020

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– For management, which triangle do you follow?

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

Whenever I teach a class in information systems design, I always stress the importance of up-front planning; e.g., study the business problem, specify requirements, develop the system architecture and logical data base, and define programming specs. I am not talking about something as simple as an “app,” but major systems, such as an inventory system, manufacturing, payroll, defense, health care, etc. By taking this approach, you eliminate the guesswork for programmers who will inevitably produce a superior system satisfying the end-User’s requirements, all because we spent more time planning. This approach is essentially no different than the design of any product or construction assignment where it is essential to do the up-front planning.

There is just one problem with this, most companies will not do it. Instead, analysts are encouraged to rush through the up-front planning before passing things over to the programmers. Under this scenario, programmers are given inconsistent and incomplete specs, thereby spending an inordinate time in programming second-guessing what is needed, not to mention rewriting software over and over again. If we built bridges the same way we build systems in this country, this would be a nation run by ferryboats.

This can visually be described through the use of triangles, both an inverted triangle (top heavy) and a normal pyramid (bottom heavy). The approach I endorse is the inverted triangle, which shows more time being spent up front in the planning stages (top half), thereby simplifying programming (as represented by the bottom half). The other approach can be represented using the pyramid whereby little time is spent studying the problem and planning (top half), and more time in programming (lower half). In fact, the foundation is open ended as such projects will continue onward by re-writing programs. Understand this, “No amount of elegant programming or technology will solve a problem if it is improperly specified or understood to begin with.” – (Bryce’s Law)

This perspective on triangles can be applied to other areas; as I mentioned, product development, construction, and particularly management. Here, the inverted triangle represents a “proactive” approach whereby considerable time is spent at the start of a project performing planning activities, such as network analysis, project estimating, scheduling, resource allocation, etc. By doing so, the manager is taking charge of the project’s destiny, thereby avoiding a crisis later on. The bottomless pyramid represents a “reactive” form of management that invites trouble to occur before taking action.

Interestingly, many people prefer working in a “reactive” mode, particularly people in Information Technology. Whereas some cultures, such as the Japanese, South Koreans, and Germans tend to worry about the big picture, Americans tend to be myopic, which explains why we have suffered from disasters over the years, e.g.; Pearl Harbor, Hurricane Katrina, 911, etc.

Hopefully, these triangles will cause you to reflect upon your organization’s approach to management; are you in a constant “firefighting” mode or are you in control of your destiny? Just remember, it’s Ready, Aim, Fire; any other sequence is counterproductive.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2020 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

THE FIRST THING WE DO, LET’S KILL ALL THE BEAN COUNTERS

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 14, 2020

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– With apologies to William Shakespeare.

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

Nope, its not the lawyers; its the “bean counters” that are ruining business. Let me give you an example, I know of a large machine-tool operation in the Midwest who used to be heralded for producing quality products. To this end, the company established an in-house school who taught their machinists how to build products, not just any old way, the company’s way. The school was led by the senior craftsmen of the business who took pride in their workmanship and passed this on to the new employees. When an employee graduated from the school, a machinist not only knew his job, but took pride in his work and became loyal to the company due to its reputation. Even if an employee dropped out and went elsewhere, he would always recommend his former company’s products because he knew they were built with quality. This school went on for a number of years and became a part of the corporate culture. However, in the 1980’s the company hired a team of MBA’s to look over their operations and make recommendations for improvement. You must remember, this was a time when cost cutting was the norm. After looking over the financial statements of the business, the management consultants concluded the school represented a costly overhead and convinced the company to close it down.

Shortly after the school’s closure, the company started to experience a drop in morale, absenteeism and tardiness began to rise, and craftsmanship began to deteriorate. Product quality dropped significantly and the company began to lose customers, so much so, they eventually sold off their machine-tool operations and went into a totally new line of business. Keep in mind, prior to this the company was a leader in the machine-tool industry and generated substantial profits from it.

Obviously this story isn’t unique as we have witnessed several such changes in the corporate landscape during the 1980’s and 1990’s. The point is, the bean counters have taken charge of business which has triggered sweeping changes in how we deal with our customers, our vendors, and our employees.

LOSING THE PERSONAL TOUCH

Under the bean counter approach to business, numbers are all that matter. Of course, paying attention to the bottom-line is always important, but this should not result in a callous way of operating a business. To me, studying the numbers is analogous to watching the dials and gauges of a machine. It is like watching the speedometer of an automobile, but if I observe an emergency vehicle approaching or see a drunk driver nearby, I am going to ignore the gauge and do what is proper. I am going to make a human decision and do what is best for my passengers and myself, as well as the other surrounding vehicles. If I only did what the dials and gauges told me, I would probably harm others.

The bean counter approach to business represents a very mechanical way of operating. Let me give you an illustration. I have a friend here in Florida who is the state sales manager for a home health business (a lucrative business for a retirement state like Florida). The company was recently purchased and a new management team put into place run by bean counters. After studying sales figures, management found a salesman who wasn’t making his quota and, consequently, instructed my friend to terminate his employment. My friend knew the salesman in question and realized he was experiencing some personal problems. After considerable discussion with corporate management, he convinced them to let him (the Sales Manager) work with the salesman a while longer to see if he could help him. He pointed out to management, the alternative was to start the laborious and costly process of recruiting and teaching a replacement. Management acquiesced and granted the salesman a stay of execution. Over the next few weeks, the Sales Manager was able to work with the salesman, helped him overcome his personal problems and rebuilt his confidence. Since then, the salesman has gotten back on track and has been exceeding quota ever since.

Bean counters do not understand or appreciate the true business of a company. They make knee-jerk reactions based strictly on numbers, not on human intuition or social interaction. It is no small wonder the corporate world has become dehumanizing. I know of a medium sized semiconductor business in the Southeast who also experienced a similar phenomenon. The company was founded by a man with little formal education, but a lot of “street smarts.” He took a hands-on approach to the startup of the company which grew in leaps and bounds. As the company settled into maturity, the founder began to slow down and brought in a new management team to take over the reins. His new management team had some pretty slick business school credentials but, inevitably, they were nothing more than bean counters. Under their watch, corporate growth was arrested and the company’s stock diminished radically. Today, a company that was at one time a robust and thriving business with loyal customers and dedicated employees is a mere shadow of its old self.

Conducting business is more about our interpersonal relations with customers, vendors and employees, than it is about watching dials and gauges. As the famed W. Edwards Deming once said:

“Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your product or service, and that bring friends with them.”

Keep in mind, Deming understood the need for statistical analysis and watching the bottom-line, but he also realized they were nothing more than the dials and gauges of the business.

CONCLUSION

Under the bean counter approach we have lost the personal touch for conducting business. Companies have become cold and calculating, certainly not the types of businesses we want to work for or with. Always remember that bean counters believe conducting business is simply manipulating numbers, not in building products or servicing customers. Yet, for some unfathomable reason, we have put them on a pedestal and expect them to competently guide our companies, but the only thing I see them guiding is our foreign competitors who take over our market share.

To paraphrase William Shakespeare, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the bean counters.”

“Business is about people, not just numbers.”
– Bryce’s Law

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2020 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

MIKE PENCE AWAITS HIS TURN

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 12, 2020

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Will he run in 2024?

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

During my lifetime, most of our presidents served in some public office before becoming our commander-in-chief, with the exception of Dwight Eisenhower (former general), and Donald Trump. Some were former Senators, Governors, members of the House, or some other capacity, including Vice President.

Today, the presumptive candidate for the Democrats, Joe Biden, served as VP for Barack Obama. Off-hand, you would think the person who is a heartbeat away from the presidency would be the logical candidate. Not necessarily. In my lifetime, only 38% of the Vice Presidents ascended to the Presidency, including:

* Lyndon Johnson (served under Kennedy)
* Richard Nixon (Eisenhower)
* Gerald Ford (Nixon)
* George H.W. Bush (Reagan)

In terms of Johnson, he became president following Kennedy’s assassination, and Gerald Ford moved up following Richard Nixon’s resignation. Only Nixon and Bush ascended through normal campaigns.

Remarkably, 64% of the former vice presidents did not ascend, including:

* Hubert Humphrey (under LBJ)
* Nelson Rockefeller (Ford)
* Walter Mondale (Carter)
* Dan Quayle (GHW Bush)
* Al Gore (Clinton)
* Dick Cheney (GW Bush)
* Joe Biden (Obama)

So, it is certainly not a given that the Vice President will move up, but it is still a good place to wait your turn and plan your campaign. This leads us to our current VP, Mike Pence, who served six terms in the House before being elected Governor of Indiana. Whereas President Trump is the ultimate Washington outsider, VP Pence is the ultimate insider which materially assisted the President in traversing the government.

Pence was a surprise running mate for Trump. It was thought he would have selected one of the other fifteen GOP presidential candidates of the day, but this didn’t happen as the president most likely wanted someone capable, but with a lower profile.

Today, the press frequently asks the President if he is going to cast the Vice President from the 2020 ticket, and select another, such as former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Time and again, the President refuses the notion and insists the Vice President is his man.

Trump and Pence make an interesting odd couple. Pence may lack Trump’s bombastic personality, but he has learned how to get things done by observing the boss. Instead, he gives the impression of being calm under pressure, unafraid to tackle any assignment the President gives him, and is someone who finds comfort in his spiritual beliefs. It seems rather obvious the President trusts his VP and has made him his confidant. In turn, Pence loyally supports the President wherever he goes and is perhaps his number one cheerleader.

For the President, Mr. Pence has played the role of scout in a tour of the Pacific where he met with representatives in Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and Australia. He has also acted on the President’s behalf when Mr. Trump was away, which is typical for Vice Presidents. He also showed his loyalty to the President during the Mueller probe and impeachment witch hunt, stating, “It’s time for us to come together, time for us to come together around this good man (Donald Trump).” “The choice couldn’t be more clear for the American people. Donald Trump has been completely consistent in his positions.”

His biggest test though, was when he was appointed chairman of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and did an admirable job in the process. In fact, Pence has always acted with great dignity and class in his duties.

Because of their close working relationship, Pence is often criticized by the media and portrayed as a “Yes” man to Trump. The truth is, he is attacked for no other reason than guilt by association. This will follow him should he decide to run for President in 2024.

It is also worth noting, Pence has strong conservative values, which he openly defends, particularly his Christian beliefs which have been ridiculed by the news media.

Should Pence decide to follow Trump’s coattails to the White House, he will be well prepared to pick up where President Trump left off. Even though he is a good and honorable man, he will meet strong resistance from the news media, and it will be interesting to see if he will have Trump’s strength to fight them. Even though Mr. Pence is more subdued than the President, the press will still attack him with the same ferocity they did to President George W. Bush, where they portrayed him as a bumbling buffoon. He is far from this, but it will be interesting to see how Pence matches wits with the press early on, which will be his first test as a leader.

Should be interesting. Stay tuned!

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2020 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

A NEW TYPE OF CONTRACT WITH AMERICA

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 7, 2020

BRYCE ON GOVERNMENT

– Something ALL members of Congress should agree to.

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

Back in 1994, the Republicans in Congress led a movement to implement sweeping government reforms in what was called a “Contract with America.” This was a clever political ploy by the party to elect congressmen and, to their credit, they delivered on their promises. Whether you agreed with them or not is immaterial, the “contract” concept captivated the public’s imagination as the politicians felt compelled to comply with it. Perhaps it is time to implement another “Contract with America,” not so much to enact any particular legislation but to enforce how our politicians will act and behave while serving in office. Think about it, aside from their oath of office and the congressional rules by which they operate, there currently isn’t anything committing an elected official to how he will represent his constituents. Polls tell us the American public believes government is broken and, consequently, have lost faith in their elected leaders. A formal contract would go a long way towards reestablishing trust.

If such a contract existed, what would it consist of? My first reaction is that it should include something to have the politician promise to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, but since this is already a part of their oath of office, it probably shouldn’t be included in a new “Contract with America.” Aside from this, I can think of seven articles to include in such an agreement:

That you, the elected government official, hereby promises and swears to…

1. be mindful that you serve the constituents who elected you (your employer) and, as such, you will put their best interests ahead of your own. Further, you will regularly and consistently report on your activities to them.

2. constantly seek to improve the livelihood, well-being, prosperity, and standard of living for your constituents.

3. be mindful of your fiduciary responsibilities, whereby you pledge government will live within its means, in accordance with an approved budget.

4. lead by example. This means you will not engage in illegal activities or moral turpitude. Violations of ethical standards will not be tolerated and you will be held accountable for your actions.

5. deliberate the issues of the day with honesty, candor, courtesy, and a professional attitude. You will do what is best for your constituency and not your political party.

6. not vote to place military or public personnel in harm’s way without first being absolutely convinced of the necessity to do so.

7. endeavor to do what is fair and equitable for the citizens of our country.

There is nothing startling here. This is how we expect all of our elected officials to behave, and why we become disillusioned when they do not live up to these standards. Perhaps if this became an official document though, such as the type of contract employees regularly sign in business, they may be more inclined to abide by it.

Come to think of it, maybe we should include having them read the Constitution now and then. I can’t imagine it would hurt anything, can you?

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2020 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Government, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

FINDING PERFECTION IN IMPERFECTION

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 5, 2020

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Beware of the perfect potato chip, peanut, or person.

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

I do not know what kind of potato chip you like, but I tend to avoid the national brands and enjoy the local variety. For some reason, I have a problem with a perfect potato chip. You know, it is perfectly round and pure in color without a blemish. To me, it seems rather sterile and too good to be true. It lacks imagination (and taste). Instead, I prefer a chip with a little character. Maybe it is slightly burned on the edge or the skin somehow survives the cutting process and remains on the chip. Either way, I find them tastier than the perfect chips.

The same is true with peanuts. If there is a can of nuts on the table, I’ll zero in on those peanuts that are browner than the others or perhaps still have the skin on them. Likewise, I’ll do this with a can of mixed nuts. I’m also not a fan of plain white bread, particularly those soft loaves of bread we typically feed to kids. I like something with a little more imagination, such as rye, pumpernickel, sourdough, or a nutty whole wheat. And, Yes, I love the crust and heels of such breads. As for the crust, the crunchier the better. As to the heel, it is something all fathers have to eat whether we like it or not (I think it is in our job description).

I guess what I am saying is, while most people desire purity, I tend to gravitate towards a little imperfection. In terms of food, imperfection offers a bolder taste; it takes a typically bland pure product and gives it some character, thereby perfecting the taste. In other words, imperfections can lead to perfection.

The same is true with people. Those who seem to have perfect teeth, skin, hair, smile, who always say the right thing at the right time, and seem too be good to be true, I find rather boring. Maybe such people make me cognizant of my own imperfections, but I tend to prefer people with a gap in their teeth, balding, possess an interesting accent, or have some distracting foible. To me, such people are aware of their imperfections, work to overcome them and, by doing so, are much more interesting than the perfect people. The world would be very bland and uninteresting if everyone was perfect. Again, here is where imperfection leads to perfection.

I have also found there is no such thing as human perfection. We all possess some mental or physical blemish we do not want others to know about, or perhaps an embarrassing incident in our past. You will find this in all social classes, especially the elite. We go to great lengths to hide our imperfections from others as we find them painful to reveal. Consider this though, without such imperfections there would be no need for psychoanalysis. We should spend less time worrying about our frailties, and more time trying to rise up and improve ourselves. The only solace in possessing an imperfection is knowing others have them too. This is why I find it interesting that even though we constantly seek perfection, we never truly find it and learn to overlook imperfections. Life is too short to burden ourselves with our perceived weaknesses, particularly those invisible to the naked eye. Let’s be mindful of our inequities, but move on to better things.

I am certainly not suggesting we should all become nonconformists and dress avant-garde, or go out of our way to distract others by drawing attention to ourselves. Instead, we should just understand our imperfections, do not become obsessed by them, and enjoy the company of others. I think there is a tendency for people to focus on people’s shortcomings as opposed to their strengths and assets. When we do this, we miss the delicious brown peanut.

Some time ago I came up with the Bryce’s Law, “Never trust a person who doesn’t have at least one known vice (e.g., drinking, smoking, swearing).” If they do not exhibit at least one imperfection, they are probably too good to be true and masking other imperfections. As for me, I’ll keep looking for the brown potato chip, dark peanuts, and the guy with the bald spot. They may be imperfect, but they will likely have more character and are more interesting than those who purport themselves to be perfect. They aren’t. Although we may constantly seek perfection, we should rejoice in our imperfections as it challenges us to improve ourselves.

As my father liked to say, “Don’t forget, the last guy that was perfect they hung on a cross.”

One last thing, so long as humans control the world, we will always have imperfection.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2020 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

THE MEDIA’S ROLE IN THE CORONAVIRUS

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 28, 2020

BRYCE ON THE NEWS MEDIA

– It is largely responsible for creating discontent.

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

We began hearing of problems with the media covering the presidential coronavirus briefings in late March when KUOW radio, the NPR affiliate in Seattle, said they would no longer carry the live briefings as they contended the president was either spreading misinformation or lying to the public. Instead, they would interpret and report the briefings as they see fit, not necessarily in line with the president.

This went much further as MSNBC and CNN followed suit by presenting their interpretation of the briefing as opposed to showing it live. If you watch the live briefing and listen to the network analysis, you would think they were two separate meetings altogether. In other words, the news media is spinning the briefings to their liking, and not necessarily in alignment with what was actually said. Back in 2016, when I attended the Trump campaign rallys in Tampa with the press corps, I saw a similar phenomenon whereby what the press reported was unlike anything I saw or heard at the rally. It was a deliberate misrepresentation of what had occurred.

In a recent New York Times OpEd, “Stop Airing Trump’s Briefings!”, the writer contends, “Under no circumstance should these briefings be carried live,” and encouraged other media outlets to filter the briefing news a la CNN and MSNBC.

Likewise, Katie Couric tweeted, “Under no circumstance should these briefings be carried live. Doing so is a mistake bordering on journalistic malpractice. Everything a president does or says should be documented but airing all of it, unfiltered is irresponsible.” Couric later retracted her tweet, but her political leanings to the left are well known.

All of this is to be expected. Since the coronavirus became a major issue, President Trump has sucked all the political air out of the media, leaving the Democrats gasping for recognition. Knowing this to be a problem, particularly in a presidential election year, the news media is now working overtime to refute and demean the president, thereby compounding the problem. In other words, the main stream media’s coverage of the briefings have less to do with the coronavirus, and more to do with defusing the president’s political juggernaut. By spinning the news falsely, the press is stoking hate and division in the country and should be held accountable for their libelous actions.

The people understand this, and because they are frustrated with the fake news, they do not know who to believe and trust. Inevitably, a backlash occurs, such as the recent anti-shutdown demonstrations in Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, states all under Democrat control. Whether the demonstrations were justifiable or not is immaterial, but such a reaction is understandable as the people want their lives to return to normal and believe there are forces working overtime to stop them, including the press.

The people particularly do not trust the media’s spin on the news as they know the press openly opposes the president. It is no secret. Their interpretation may be eagerly received by the far Left, but everyone else dismisses it out of hand. People want the ability to access live coverage instead of depending on the press to interpret their news, often unreliably. This explains why people tend to trust news received by social media more than the press, which is also not the best, but considered more reliable than the news media.

The war with President Trump started during his campaign, and will continue unabated well into his retirement, whenever that may be. As the president represents the ultimate outsider to the nation’s capitol, the press considers it their duty to rein him in any way possible as he represents a threat to the Washington establishment, including Democrats, Republicans, lobbyists, the Deep State and, Yes, the news media.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2020 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Media, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

WHAT WE DRIVE IS HOW WE DRIVE

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 23, 2020

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What we buy affects our driving habits.

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

I have always found the relationship between humans and their automobiles interesting. I contend what we drive greatly impacts how we drive. To illustrate, I believe there are basically three distinctively different classes of people who drive: those who just want a basic form of transportation, those who use it as a status symbol, and those who have a love affair with their vehicle, a sort of connoisseur. Each group sees the automobile differently and, as such, treats it differently.

BASIC TRANSPORTATION

Those who just want a basic form of transportation are more impressed by the functionality of the vehicle as opposed to aesthetics. Price, reliability, gas mileage, maintenance, and safety are more important than contoured lines, paint, and leather bucket seats. To them, the automobile is a necessary evil; it is nothing more than a tool to move them from point A to point B. As such, it is essentially no different than the role the horse played in the 1800’s. You feed it, you give it basic grooming, and you ride the heck out of it.

I find these types of people do not establish any emotional ties to their vehicles yet tend to hold on to them a lot longer than most as they wish to get their money’s worth out of it. If the car is to be used for nothing more than transportation, they typically buy small to mid-sized cars. However, they are more inclined to buy something bigger if they have to transport samples and paper work, such as what salesmen do, or children. Construction workers are more inclined to buy trucks.

The “basic” people represent the lion’s share of drivers on the road. As such, you must remember they are only interested in reaching their destination. Some will be overly conservative, particularly our seniors, some will go with the flow, some will be hell-bent on reaching their objective, and others will be preoccupied on the phone, shaving, reading, applying makeup or fixing their hair as they consider driving a horrendous waste of time. It is this last group that is the most dangerous as they are more interested in their distraction than driving the car.

STATUS SYMBOLS

Those who see their vehicle as a status symbol are trying to make a statement of some kind; either they are “sporty”, filthy rich, or use it as a means of attracting the opposite sex thereby acting as a phallic symbol. Unlike the “basic” people, looks are of paramount importance. Consequently, they either buy the fastest gas guzzlers, the most opulent luxury vehicles, or something in-between. Electronic trinkets are important here as the vehicle is considered more as a toy than anything else.

The status people have emotional ties to their vehicles only until the next model comes out whereby they trade-up at every opportunity. In other words, owning a car for one year is considered an eternity.

On the road, the “status” people have two different driving personalities: they are either fast and reckless, thereby giving the impression they are eccentric and have plenty of money to burn, or they drive rather conservatively, conscious of their investment.

CONNOISSEURS

Those who truly love cars possess an in-depth understanding of automobiles and a deep seeded appreciation for the design and engineering of the vehicle. Guys like Jay Leno come to mind, as well as people who participate in the many classic car shows across the country. They buy rare cars for several reasons; to remind them of a bygone era, the sheer love of automotive engineering, and as an investment. They drive their car not because they have to, but because they want to as they truly appreciate the automobile as a remarkable engineering achievement.

The “connoisseurs” are passionate about their vehicles and develop strong attachments to them. However, most will reluctantly part with them if the price is right, and will buy something else to work on. They spend their idle time scouring eBay looking for spare parts, visiting auto auctions, and carefully inspecting different vehicles at car shows. To them, it is a serious hobby, requiring them to possess an in-depth knowledge regarding their subject and a close attention to detail.

Those that fall into this category are perhaps the best drivers on the road. They are acutely aware of the capabilities and limitations of their vehicles and drive defensively in order to protect them. They are typically the safest drivers on the road.

DIFFERENCES

The basic difference between the three schools of thought is how the human being perceives the automobile, either as nothing more than a tool or commodity, an expression of one’s personality, or as a prized investment. These perspectives ultimately dictate our driving habits and how we treat the vehicle. We either see it as nothing more than a mule or workhorse, a stallion out to stud, or a fine quarter horse suitable for racing.

These distinctively different perspectives present an interesting dilemma for automotive manufacturers in terms of what types of cars they should be building. Do they develop something for the masses whereby what they lack in profit-margin can be made up for in volume? Or do they develop a line of luxury cars which will feature a much higher price tag? Or do they try to design a “classic” which will stand the test or time? I guess it ultimately depends on who you want to sell to: basic people, the status seekers, or the investors. Each has a different perspective and each wants something different.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2020 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Automotive, Life | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A TALE OF TWO PROJECTS

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 21, 2020

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Does this story of systems development sound familiar?

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

The following is a true story; a vintage “Dilbertism.” Because of this, the names have been changed to protect the innocent (as well as the guilty). Interestingly, I do not believe this story to be unique and similar stories can be found in countless IT shops around the world.

Our story begins just a couple of years ago in a large manufacturing company in the American Midwest. At the time, the company was interested in replacing two aging, yet important, systems; an Accounts Payable System (“AP”) and an Accounts Receivable System (“AR”). The IT Director selected two of his most seasoned veterans to manage the projects, we’ll call them “Steve” and “Bob.” Both project managers were charged with their responsibilities on the same day: Steve to build the AP system, and Bob to build the AR system. Both were given approximately the same amount of human and machine resources to accomplish the work.

Steve was a very organized and disciplined manager. He found it essential to organize and train his staff upfront so everyone understood the development process, the deliverables to be produced, and their assigned responsibilities. Recognizing the large scope of his project, Steve felt it important to methodically attack his system and meticulously worked out a plan and schedule to implement it. In Phase 1 he spent what appeared to be an inordinate amount of time studying the business problem, specifying information requirements, and developing a rough design of the system solution. Steve’s people actively participated in this early phase and thought the problem through carefully before proceeding with the project. Following the Phase 1, Steve’s team finalized details of the overall AP system architecture, and divided his group into teams to tackle the various sub-systems in parallel. To complement this effort, his data base people oversaw the logical data base design to accommodate the needs of the whole system, not just any one portion of it.

Steve also recruited the support of the AP Department and had key personnel from this area participate in the development of the system. The input from these users was vital not only in Phase 1, but also in succeeding phases where the business processes were designed.

By concentrating on the overall system architecture and then by gradually refining the design over succeeding phases, the Software Engineers were given detailed specifications which were easy to follow and implement. Consequently, the programming phases went smoothly, including testing.

The core sub-systems satisfying the operational needs of AP were on schedule and being installed with great support from the user community.

While Steve’s project was coming along smoothly, Bob was facing chaos with the AR system. Instead of studying the problem upfront, Bob’s group began by building a core data base. Shortly thereafter he set his programmers to work building some basic input screens and some rather simple outputs. In no time, Bob had something to demonstrate to the user community (and his boss) to prove progress was indeed being made.

But Bob’s group had not done their homework. The AR community was not consulted and requirements were not defined. As a result, programmers were left second-guessing what the users really needed which started a long round of “cut-and-fitting” the code. Further, the integrity of the data base came into question. False assumptions were made about calculated data elements which cascaded throughout the program code. In addition, data validation rules were not established. This forced the programmers to invent their own rules and formulas for calculations in each of their programs which led to data redundancy issues and even bigger headaches for the development staff. As users were given glimpses of the programs by Bob, data integrity issues became an issue and the users didn’t trust the information being produced by the system (e.g., calculations were computed differently by the various programs). Bob’s group touted the AR system as “state-of-the-art,” but the users were not convinced it was reliable or intuitive to use.

All of this lead to a redesign of the data base and programs, not just once but several times. Consequently, the project schedule started to slip and costs exceeded budget. To overcome this problem, Bob and his staff worked overtime to play catch-up with the schedule (which he never realized). Regardless, the IT Director began to take notice of the long hours Bob and his team were putting into the project and complimented them on their dedication.

Bob finally delivered a portion of the project to the AR department, but in testing it the users found it fraught with errors. To overcome this problem, Bob’s group was ever ready to jump in and modify the code as required. Even though the users found the programs buggy, they commended Bob for how quickly his group would be able to fix them.

The difference between Steve and Bob’s groups were like night and day. While Bob operated under a “helter-skelter” mode of operation, Steve’s group operated quietly and began to deliver the system on time and within budget, much to the user department’s satisfaction.

Steve understood the enormity of the system and its importance to the company, and, as such, took the time to organize and train his group accordingly. Bob also understood the importance of his application but took the tact of producing something management and the user community could “touch and feel” thereby demonstrating something was happening in his department, right or wrong. Further, his SWAT team approach to putting out fires made him a favorite with corporate management. As a result, Bob enjoyed a high profile in the company while Steve was a relative unknown.

Unfortunately, Bob’s project ran amok, unbearably so. Recognizing he had to do something radical in order to get Bob’s project back on track, the IT Director made an unusual move; he swapped Steve and Bob as project managers. Steve was charged with cleaning up Bob’s mess, and Bob was charged with finishing Steve’s project. Offhand it sounded like a shrewd move. Steve had proven to the IT Director he could get things done, regardless of the application size. And the IT Director figured Bob could simply close-out the AP project. The IT Director figured wrong. While Steve started the arduous task of bringing organization and discipline to the AR system, Bob quickly dismantled Steve’s organization and brought chaos to the AP system. This did not sit well with a lot of people, particularly Steve’s former project team who felt they had grasped defeat from the jaws of victory. Steve was also growing disenchanted as he had almost completed one system and was now charged with cleaning up his predecessor’s mess. To add insult to injury, because of Bob’s high profile status, he was given an increase in pay and job promotion, and Steve didn’t receive likewise.

Steve got the AR system back on track and finally implemented it much to the satisfaction of all concerned. Bob lost control of the AP system almost immediately and it spun out of control until Steve was finally called back in to finish it. Not knowing what to do with high-profile Bob, the IT Director made the classic move of promoting Bob and transferring him to another area where he could do no harm.

LESSONS LEARNED

Is there a happy ending to this true story? Not for Steve. Although he cleaned up the mess and ultimately managed both projects to a successful conclusion, he became disenchanted with how he had been treated by the company. Subsequently, he left and started his own consulting firm who was ultimately hired by his old company to develop new systems (at substantially higher rates). As for Bob, he enjoyed the perks and pay resulting from his new position for quite some time. Eventually, he got the hint and moved on to another company where he made a similar name for himself.

Although Bob was a fine example of the “Peter Principle” (rising above your level of competence) he recognized results were not necessary on the road to success but rather, image was everything. He learned early on that “the squeaky wheel gets the oil.”

As I mentioned at the outset, this is not a random incident, but one that could probably be told by a multitude of corporations who have “promoted the guilty, and prosecuted the innocent.”

Have you got a similar story? Please do not hesitate to send them to me.

“Beware of your firefighters; they are probably your chief arsonists.”
– Bryce’s Law

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2020 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Management, Systems, Technology | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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