recentpopularlog in

jerryking : bureaucracies   23

Cake shop management cannot suffice for a modern economy.
Feb 28, 2019 | Kaieteur News | Columnists, Peeping Tom.

Cake shop management cannot suffice for a modern economy.

The style of governance since political Independence has not been conducive to development. It is ill-suited for modernization. Given the expansive nature of relations and issues which governments have to address, there is a need for greater devolution of power. Centralized government can no longer cope with the multiple, overlapping and multilayered aspects of governance.......Guyana, however, is going in the opposite direction. The more modern the bureaucracy, the more swollen and overstaffed it becomes. The more complex government becomes, the more centralized is decision-making. The greater demands on resources, the bigger the bureaucracy.
The public bureaucracy is now a cancer. It is sucking the life out of public administration. Merely keeping this inefficient and revenue-guzzling monstrosity alive is costing taxpayers in excess of 500 million dollars per day. This is wanton wastage. That money could have been put to help boost private sector development to create jobs for the thousands of young people who are unemployed. The more the government implements technology, the more inefficient it becomes. It is all part of what is known as cake shop management........Guyana is going to continue to be left behind the rest of the world. It has seen Guyana retrogress and we will always be in a fire fighting mode rather than ensuring forward thinking and planning. A country today simply cannot be run like a cake shop. The world is too modern, and too many things are taking place to allow for such a style of governance. Once the policy is made by the government, the mechanics should be left to lower level officials who should be held accountable for ensuring its implementation and who should be held responsible for any failures........What is required is for faster decision-making so as to allow for the multitasking.........Plantain chips and breadfruit chips and other small businesses cannot make the economy grow. It cannot generate the massive jobs needed to impact on unemployment. It will not lift large numbers out of poverty. This is catch-hand approach to helping poor people.
Cake shop management cannot run a modern economy. Never has; never will.
bureaucracies  centralization  complexity  decision_making  devolution  Guyana  inefficiencies  modernization  policymaking  public_sector  public_servants  technology  traffic_congestion  forward-thinking  multitasking  decentralization  digital_economy  governance  knowledge_economy  centralized_control  implementation  unsophisticated 
march 2019 by jerryking
The path to enlightenment and profit starts inside the office
(Feb. 2, 2016): The Financial Times | John Thornhill.

Competition used to be easy. That is in theory, if not always in practice. Until recently, most competent companies had a clear idea of who their rivals were, how to compete and on what field to fight.

One of the starkest - and scariest - declarations of competitive intent came from Komatsu, the Japanese construction equipment manufacturer, in the 1970s. As employees trooped into work they would walk over doormats exhorting: "Kill Caterpillar!". Companies benchmarked their operations and market share against their competitors to see where they stood.

But that strategic clarity has blurred in so many industries today to the point of near-invisibility thanks to the digital revolution and globalisation. Flying blind, companies seem happier to cut costs and buy back their shares than to invest purposefully for the future. Take the European telecommunications sector. Not long ago most telecoms companies were national monopolies with little, or no, competition. Today, it is hard to predict where the next threat is going to erupt.

WhatsApp, the California-based messaging service, was founded in 2009 and only registered in most companies' consciousness when it was acquired by Facebook for more than $19bn in 2014. Yet in its short life WhatsApp has taken huge bites out of the lucrative text messaging markets. Today, WhatsApp has close to 1bn users sending 30bn messages a day. The global SMS text messaging market is just 20bn a day.

Car manufacturers are rapidly wising up to the threat posed by new generation tech firms, such as Tesla, Google and Uber, all intent on developing "apps on wheels". Chinese and Indian companies, little heard of a few years ago, are bouncing out of their own markets to emerge as bold global competitors.

As the driving force of capitalism , competition gives companies a purpose, a mission and a sense of direction. But how can companies compete in such a shape-shifting environment? There are perhaps two (partial) answers.

The first is to do everything to understand the technological changes that are transforming the world, to identify the threats and opportunities early.

Gavin Patterson , chief executive of BT, the British telecoms group, says one of the functions of corporate leaders is to scan the horizon as never before. "As a CEO you have to be on the bridge looking outwards, looking for signs that something is happening, trying to anticipate it before it becomes a danger."

To that end, BT has opened innovation "scouting teams" in Silicon Valley and Israel, and tech partnerships with universities in China, the US, Abu Dhabi, India and the UK.

But even if you foresee the danger, it does not mean you can deal with it. After all, Kodak invented the first digital camera but failed to exploit the technology. The incentive structures of many companies are to minimise risk rather than maximise opportunity. Innovation is often a young company's game.

The second answer is that companies must look as intensively inwards as they do outwards (e.g. opposing actions). Well-managed companies enjoy many advantages: strong brands, masses of consumer data, valuable historic data sets, networks of smart people and easy access to capital. But what is often lacking is the ambition that marks out the new tech companies, their ability to innovate rapidly and their extraordinary connection with consumers. In that sense, the main competition of so many established companies lies within their own organisations.

Larry Page, co-founder of Google, constantly urges his employees to keep being radical. In his Founders' Letter of 2013, he warned that companies tend to grow comfortable doing what they have always done and only ever make incremental change. "This . . . leads to irrelevance over time," he wrote.

Google operates a 70/20/10 rule where employees are encouraged to spend 70 per cent of their time on their core business, 20 per cent on working with another team and 10 per cent on moonshots. How many traditional companies focus so much on radical ventures?

Vishal Sikka, chief executive of the Indian IT group Infosys, says that internal constraints can often be far more damaging than external threats. "The traditional definition of competition is irrelevant. We are increasingly competing against ourselves," he says.

Quoting Siddhartha by the German writer Hermann Hesse, Mr Sikka argues that companies remain the masters of their own salvation whatever the market pressures: "Knowledge can be communicated. Wisdom cannot." He adds: "Every company has to find its own unique wisdom." [This wisdom reference is reminiscent of Paul Graham's advice to do things that don't scale].

john.thornhill@ft.com
ambitions  brands  breakthroughs  BT  bureaucracies  competition  complacency  constraints  Fortune_500  incentives  incrementalism  Infosys  innovation  introspection  irrelevance  large_companies  LBMA  messaging  mission-driven  Mondelez  moonshots  opposing_actions  organizational_culture  outward_looking  Paul_Graham  peripheral_vision  radical  risk-avoidance  scouting  smart_people  start_ups  staying_hungry  tacit_knowledge  technological_change  threats  uniqueness  unscalability  weaknesses  WhatsApp  wisdom  digital_cameras  digital_revolution  historical_data 
april 2016 by jerryking
Water Data Deluge: Addressing the California Drought Requires Access to Accurate Data - The CIO Report - WSJ
April 22, 2015| WSJ | By KIM S. NASH.

California, now in its fourth year of drought, is collecting more data than ever from utilities, municipalities and other water providers about just how much water flows through their pipes....The data-collection process, built on monthly self-reporting and spreadsheets, is critical to informing such policy decisions, which affect California’s businesses and 38.8 million residents. Some say the process, with a built-in lag time of two weeks between data collection and actionable reports, could be better, allowing for more effective, fine-tuned management of water.

“More data and better data will allow for more nuanced approaches and potentially allow the water system to function more efficiently,”...“Right now, there are inefficiencies in the system and they don’t know exactly where, so they have to resort to blanket policy responses.”...the State Water Resources Control Board imports the data into a spreadsheet to tabulate and compare with prior months. Researchers then cleanse the data, find and resolve anomalies and create graphics to show what’s happened with water in the last month. The process takes about 2 weeks....accuracy is an issue in any self-reporting scenario...while data management could be improved by installing smart meters to feed information directly to the Control Board automatically... there are drawbacks to any technology. Smart meters can fail, for example. “The nice thing about spreadsheets is anyone can open it up and immediately see everything there,”
lag_time  water  California  data  spreadsheets  inefficiencies  municipalities  utilities  bureaucracies  droughts  vulnerabilities  self-reporting  decision_making  Industrial_Internet  SPOF  bottlenecks  data_management  data_quality  data_capture  data_collection 
april 2015 by jerryking
Toronto’s school board isn’t just troubled. It’s rotten - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 16 2015

It is just as hard to imagine how a government that balks at breaking up a ridiculous and wholly unnecessary commercial monopoly such as the Beer Store is going to undertake a root-and-branch reform of the country’s biggest school board. Yet that is what is called for – nothing less.

The problem at the TDSB goes far beyond a few trustees with swollen heads. The rot at the board is deeper than that. Teachers’ unions and custodians’ unions have far too much power, individual teachers and principals far too little. The dead hand of the education bureaucracy stifles innovation and creativity.
TDSB  education  mediocrity  Marcus_Gee  mismanagement  schools  performance  bureaucracies  dysfunction  reform  root-and-branch  unions  autonomy  leadership 
january 2015 by jerryking
Why Congress, India’s political elephant, fell from grace - The Globe and Mail
DOUG SAUNDERS
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 17 2014

The world’s political elephants are slowly dying off – those huge, all-encompassing political parties that dominated nations for decades.

If there was any doubt that the age of the mega-party is over, observe the fall of grace this week of the mighty Indian National Congress. It is the world’s most elephantine political party; no other is so large, so old, so possessed of long memory, so respected for its stability and grace, and so plodding, slow-moving and changeless....What unites these parties is that they were generally celebrated for having ushered in their countries’ independence, then provided people with security against outside threats, oversaw the establishment of industry and the birth of a middle class, and provided at least some unity among competing clans, faiths and factions. Then, they stalled and turned inward.

Most became protective of their ruling families and cossetted bureaucracies, employing the language of progressive change to deliver regressive stagnation.
Doug_Saunders  India  politics  ANC  clans  bureaucracies 
may 2014 by jerryking
Fear the military with a timetable of its own - The Globe and Mail
Doug Saunders

The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Nov. 30 2013

We used to think that wars were triggered by heated tribal animosities, by the hubris of madmen, by struggles for resources or by powerful economic forces. None of these ideas have been much use in explaining the wars of the past century. All of them were swept away, during my student years, by the new concept formulated by British historian A.J.P. Taylor: the “timetable theory.”

Studying the First World War, Mr. Taylor found that none of Europe’s political leaders had sought a larger war, nor did it serve any of their national interests to enter one. But their huge military bureaucracies had drawn elaborate, clockwork plans to mobilize millions of soldiers on multiple fronts at short notice, and a minor confrontation in Bosnia set all these plans in motion on a continental scale.

This theory is given its ultimate test in Margaret MacMillan’s new book The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914, in which the Oxford University historian provides a definitive (and gripping) examination of the factors that led Europe into 30 years of largely unnecessary war. The timetable theory remains important though not crucial to her interpretation, but Dr. MacMillan adds a new dimension.

The danger, she finds, is a military that sees itself as autonomous from the country’s political leadership and civil service, combined with political leaders who are weak, self-interested or too eager to acquiesce to the military’s demands.
Doug_Saunders  timelines  WWI  Margaret_MacMillan  books  clockwork  history  bureaucracies  national_interests 
december 2013 by jerryking
How Torontonians can get their hands dirty and improve their own parks
Mar. 29 2013 | The Globe and Mail | IAN MERRINGER.

The key, he says, is for residents to play a role in day-to-day park life – to organize, and perhaps run, the sorts of events and programs that should be animating their patches of ground.

Four weeks ago, this do-it-yourself model got a big boost when the W. Garfield Weston Foundation announced a grant of $5-million over three years to spur grassroots initiatives improving Toronto parks. The money bolsters an effort that has already been a runaway success. In those two years, the number of organized citizens groups – “Friends of” this or that park – has doubled from 40 to roughly 80.

In an era when all levels of government are pleading poverty and reducing services, Mr. Harvey’s Park People has hit upon a working method of do-it-yourself community activism: engaged volunteers seeking permission to do things on their own. This approach of co-operating with bureaucracy to get results could serve as a model for the future of advocacy in Toronto.
Toronto  parks  DIY  volunteering  community  community_support  activism  engaged_citizenry  bureaucracies  grass-roots 
march 2013 by jerryking
Ford’s treatment of TTC chief sends a terrible message - The Globe and Mail
Marcus Gee | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Feb. 17, 2012
TTC  Rob_Ford  Marcus_Gee  Toronto  transit  bureaucracies 
february 2012 by jerryking
Why big businesses are bad for business
Oct. 19, 2011 | The Financial Times. (): Business News: p12.|
Luke Johnson
too many executives in large public companies actually have more in common with various arms of government than they do with entrepreneurs and start-ups. I used to believe that the great divide was between the public and the private sector: between state and commercial interests. But in truth the real difference is between giant and small organisations, whether they are for profit or not; between huge bureaucracies and owner-run outfits.
Luke_Johnson  size  large_companies  small_business  bureaucracies  Fortune_500  owners 
november 2011 by jerryking
The U.S. Postal Service Nears Collapse - BusinessWeek
May 26, 2011, 5:00PM EST
The U.S. Postal Service Nears Collapse
Delivery of first-class mail is falling at a staggering rate. Facing
insolvency, can the USPS reinvent itself like European services have—or
will it implode?

By Devin Leonard
unions  bureaucracies  postal_services  USPS 
may 2011 by jerryking
THE BIGGEST GROUPS ARE ILL WITH INEFFICIENCY
April 06 2011 | FT | Luke Johnson
● Sunk cost fallacy:
● Groupthink:
● An obsession with governance:
● Institutional capture: the phenomenon whereby mgmt. end up running an
enterprise for their own benefit, rather than for the real owners. Also
known as the principal/agent problem.
● Office politics: self-destructive infighting for power within large
businesses is endemic, and perhaps the biggest value destroyer of all.
● Lack of proprietorship:
● Risk aversion: in large corporates, the punishment for management
failure is greater than the rewards for success. So, rational
individuals pursue cautious strategies to avoid damaging their career
prospects. (aka "playing it safe")
● The burden of history: many older companies have legacy issues such as
pension scheme deficits, union contracts, inefficient equipment and so
on.
● Anonymous mediocrities: there is nowhere to hide in a small company –
if you can’t deliver, you’re out.
● Commodity products: large companies need large markets,
playing_it_safe  start_ups  inefficiencies  size  groupthink  Luke_Johnson  large_markets  large_companies  bureaucracies  risk-aversion  mediocrity  owners  office_politics  commodities  self-destructive  brands  legacy_tech 
april 2011 by jerryking
Flaws in Japan’s Leadership Deepen Sense of Crisis - NYTimes.com
By KEN BELSON and NORIMITSU ONISHI
Published: March 16, 2011
Never has postwar Japan needed strong, assertive leadership more — and
never has its weak, rudderless system of governing been so clearly
exposed or mattered so much. ....Japan’s leaders need to draw on skills
they are woefully untrained for: improvisation; clear, timely and
reassuring public communication; and cooperation with multiple powerful
bureaucracies.
Japan  leadership  crisis  crisis_management  bureaucracies 
march 2011 by jerryking
Barbarians will always storm the gates of complexity
Oct 6, 2010 | Financial Times pg. 13 | John Kay. Why do
societies and seemingly indestructible empires collapse? Because as the
empires grow, the costs of central organization rise (complexity?) and
the benefits of further expansion became ever more marginal. The
phenomenon of multiplying complexity is not confined to ancient
civilisations. The nature of bureaucracy is to generate work for other
bureaucrats to do. C. Northcote Parkinson describes how the # of people
in the British Admiralty increased faster than the number of ships, and
continued to increase even after the # of ships declined. See Edward
Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, The Collapse of
Complex Societies by Joseph Tainter, and Jared Diamond's book Collapse.
complexity  collapse-anxiety  ProQuest  Jared_Diamond  Romans  books  bureaucracies  scaling  societal_collapse  sublinearity  Edmund_Gibbon 
october 2010 by jerryking
Be More Like Ike: Republicans should heed Robert Gates
August 16, 2010 | Newsweek | by Fareed Zakaria. "Robert
Gates’s latest efforts at reforming the Pentagon are modest. He is not
trying to cut the actual defense budget; he merely wants to increase
efficiency while reducing bureaucracy, waste, and duplication. The
savings he is trying to achieve are perfectly reasonable: $100 billion
over five years, during which period the Pentagon will spend
approximately $3.5 trillion. And yet he has aroused intense opposition
from the usual suspects—defense contractors, lobbyists, the military
bureaucracy, and hawkish commentators. He faces spirited opposition from
his own party, but it is the Republicans, not Gates, who are abandoning
their party’s best traditions in defense strategy."
Robert_Gates  Pentagon  Fareed_Zakaria  conservatism  GOP  cost-cutting  bureaucracies  SecDef  military-industrial_complex 
september 2010 by jerryking
http://www.newsweek.com/2010/09/12/what-gates-plans-to-do-before-he-leaves-office.print.html
September 12, 2010 | Newsweek | by John Barry and Evan Thomas.
Gates is not trying to cut the actual defense budget; he merely wants
to increase efficiency while reducing bureaucracy, waste, and
duplication.
Robert_Gates  overhead  Pentagon  efficiencies  bureaucracies  SecDef 
september 2010 by jerryking
The End of Management - WSJ.com
AUGUST 21, 2010 | Wall Street Journal by Alan Murray.
Corporate bureaucracy is becoming obsolete. Why managers should act like
venture capitalists.
Alan_Murray  Clayton_Christensen  Peter_Drucker  21st._century  Coase's_Law  bureaucracies 
august 2010 by jerryking
Gates Seeks to Slash Military Bureaucracy - WSJ.com
MAY 10, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By YOCHI J. DREAZEN.
Gates Talks of Tough Choices Ahead . Defense Secretary Robert Gates said
the U.S.'s worsening economic problems meant the Pentagon had to slash
its bloated bureaucracy and purchase cheaper weapons systems, moves that
would dramatically change the DoD's normal ways of doing business.
Gates warned that the long run-up in defense spending in the aftermath
of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was coming to an end, forcing
the Pentagon and the nation's military services to become far more
disciplined about how they spent money on manpower and materiel.
Pentagon  Robert_Gates  cutbacks  bureaucracies  SecDef  hard_choices  military-industrial_complex 
may 2010 by jerryking
Why boards fail
Spring 1995 | Business Quarterly Vol. 59, Iss. 3; pg. 71, 7
pgs | by Thain, Donald H, Leighton, David S R. Highly leveraged
companies have become overextended, exposed, and riddled with bloated
bureaucracies. These things are not supposed to happen in well-managed
companies, and directors are the shareholders' first line of defense to
make sure they do not. Six key, interrelated factors determine the
success or failure of boards of directors: 1. legitimacy and power, 2.
job definition, 3. board culture, 4. competence, 5. board management,
and 6. board leadership.
boards_&_directors_&_governance  overextended  failure  CEOs  executive_management  Ivey  bureaucracies  legitimacy 
february 2010 by jerryking
Harnessing creativity to power up the economy
Creativity is underrated – at least that is what Fredrik Haren,
author of The Idea Book, believes.
"We want to be thought of as being creative people, but, by and large,
companies are not fostering creativity, but practically killing it ...
through bureaucracy, through process-driven organisations," Haren told
INSEAD MBAs at the school's Asia campus in Singapore.
creativity  innovation  economic_development  book_reviews  bureaucracies  books 
january 2009 by jerryking

Copy this bookmark:





to read