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Matt McKenzie
04-02-2009, 08:49 PM
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YWI4ZDcwMzNiZmQ5MmQ4MzkwNjEyOGEyMGU3N2JmMjY=&w=MA==

YardleyLabs
04-02-2009, 09:01 PM
I love people who argue with themselves. If I could put any words I wanted into the mouths of those I opposed, and then use my brilliant rhetoric to lay siege on those same straw men, I might be able to get a job as a columnist on the Nation Review. It was better with William F. Buckley.

Matt McKenzie
04-02-2009, 09:03 PM
Jeff,
I expected better from you. Usually your response are intelligent, reasoned and discuss the issues.

YardleyLabs
04-02-2009, 09:21 PM
Jeff,
I expected better from you. Usually your response are intelligent, reasoned and discuss the issues.

My response to UB left me exhausted and the article you posted didn't include any actual facts or quotes. What can I say. Even a comedian needs material.;)

Marvin S
04-03-2009, 10:47 AM
I love people who argue with themselves. If I could put any words I wanted into the mouths of those I opposed, and then use my brilliant rhetoric to lay siege on those same straw men, I might be able to get a job as a columnist on the Nation Review. It was better with William F. Buckley.

:) - Apparently you are running out of energy in your quest to be POTUS Place's apologist & defender of the Messiah. What I read was decidedly straight talk that may be somewhat offensive to those in the line of fire. But if all else fails, denigrate the messenger.

As for NR's quality sliding I must be behind the curve as I have not noticed that. But then again, I must realize that from your liberal elitist view, no one on this particular forum is fit to dispute your views.

BTW - just got my notice of dividend from CS - one of those Swiss companies in the Europe that you love to tell us does perform better than the US. 35% withholding on dividends - would you explain to me why it is better that the government - any of them - can redistribute the take from my toil better than I can.

You have a nice day - as Matt said, the quality of your postings is fast going down hill. Is that perhaps because you are being required to present original thought? Which would be a 1st for most lefty's on this part of the forum. ;)

cotts135
04-04-2009, 06:29 AM
:) - Apparently you are running out of energy in your quest to be POTUS Place's apologist & defender of the Messiah. What I read was decidedly straight talk that may be somewhat offensive to those in the line of fire. But if all else fails, denigrate the messenger.
Hardly I think. Nobody on this board presents a more reasoned and factually based argument than Yardley. Look back on some of his post's and I think you will find He does not always defend the current President's policies.









You have a nice day - as Matt said, the quality of your postings is fast going down hill. Is that perhaps because you are being required to present original thought? Which would be a 1st for most lefty's on this part of the forum. ;)

I don't think so. Show me a post that is representative of what your saying.
I read the article posted and what Yardley said is correct. The author used the term "some" people to help bolster his argument. Well tell me who they are then. He continued with what he considers important principles and values on how we should conduct government. Again though it failed to show specific instances, and more importantly didn't offer any solutions. This was an opinion piece that's all. It wasn't a reasoned argument showing facts and figures and why we should adopt his viewpoint. Propaganda is a lot like this.

Terry Britton
04-04-2009, 08:43 AM
My response to UB left me exhausted and the article you posted didn't include any actual facts or quotes. What can I say. Even a comedian needs material.;)

BS. There are facts in that article. Here is an example:


If you had little idea of how businesses are created, how they are run, and why they sometimes go broke, and if you thought that the truly talented and sophisticated never go into business but instead gravitate to the Ivy League to be trained as lawyers, professors, writers, and organizers, then you would assume that our present problems are largely the fault of the former, and can best be addressed by putting as many of the latter in your government as possible.

We will be paying for this mistake of a president for years. I am more qualified than this president to get things on track for this country, and he is doing the exact opposite of what needs to be done. His actions will be hindering innovations that will get us back on track.

Obama has shown no understanding of economic cycles or the understanding of businesses.

Why are we in our current situation? Mis-management and lack of new innovations. Companies require innovations to grow, and managers are affraid to give up control to their engineers and leaders to allow innovations. Instead they sold the long term strength for short term greed and control. Another reason management if fearful of allowing innovation, is that is requires hard work into the unknown, and the unknown means less control.

“You can't GROW long-term if you can't eat short term. 'Anybody can MANAGE short. Anybody can manage long. Balancing those two things is what management is.” Jack Welch

We also go through cycles in several industries that sometimes align all at once for a big recession. In 1939, Joseph Schumpeter, the Austrian-born economist who moved to America, published a two-volume work, "Business Cycles: A Theoretical, Historical and Statistical Analysis of the Capitalist Process.“ Schumpeter’s solution to the cycles is the creative destruction of the past through innovations. Be aware of cycles, not just the pattern but what is driving the pattern. Creative Destruction is a long term phenomenon, don’t get caught up the flavor of the month. Innovation is the source of true sustainability.

What companies and the government should be doing and encouraging to break us out of this cycle:

*Having CEO’s that were heavily involved in fostering innovation
*Defining innovation as critical to long-term success
*Attaching great importance to the concept of managing change
*Having the words innovation and creativity in their mission statements
*Demonstrating an openness to outside ideas
*Having formal programs for idea generation and problem solving
*Placing strong emphasis on cross-function communications
*Implementing programs to encourage employees to talk to customers
*Increasing levels of investment in R&D and a strong focus on product and process development

It is up to engineers and innovators to bring our economy back to health through creative destruction of the past.

Having an attorney in office is not going to solve our problems unless he learns to give up control. He is doing the exact opposite of what needs to be done in order to turn this economy around by rewarding failure, and in turn punishing successful businesses along with their new innovations.

YardleyLabs
04-04-2009, 09:20 AM
Your quote is a perfect example of what I mean by saying the article lacks any factual basis. As you quote, it says:

"If you had little idea of how businesses are created, how they are run, and why they sometimes go broke, and if you thought that the truly talented and sophisticated never go into business but instead gravitate to the Ivy League to be trained as lawyers, professors, writers, and organizers, then you would assume that our present problems are largely the fault of the former, and can best be addressed by putting as many of the latter in your government as possible."

It doesn't actually suggest anyone who suffers from this illusion -- it's a pure hypothetical -- and therefore if anyone tries to argue that they don't have this problem the response would be "I didn't say you did." or, even better, "I didn't say you did but why are you so defensive?" However, this "straw man" hypothetical is used to condemn (I'm still not sure what or whom) by association with an idea that seems stuck only in the mind of the author.

In fact, my own experience has been that most people who are highly successful at an executive level in government regularly achieve similar success in private businesses but that the reverse is much less common. It has also been my personal experience that few people who achieve at high levels make the mistake of underestimating the intelligence, hard work, or creativity required to be effective in other arenas.

The area where I tend to find a great divide -- once again in my personal experience -- is between those working in arenas where individual success is based primarily on personal achievement (doctors, trial attorneys, professors, authors, very small businesses, etc.) versus those whose success is based primarily on group achievement where their effectiveness depends largely on leadership and organizational skills.

My first job following graduate school was in the NYC Office of Management & Budget as a policy analyst. Almost every single person that I worked with in the office where I was assigned went on to achieve substantial success in the private sector: Partner at Lazard Freres, Partner in Merrill Lynch's investment banking arm, VP Strategic Development at Citicorp, Partner at Ernst & Young, Partner at McKinsey, SVP at Chemical Bank, etc. Most of these people had graduate degrees from Ivy League (or equivalent) schools and most spent about ten years working in government before going to the private sector. Interestingly, other than receiving much higher incomes in the private sector, the other common observation was that they never again needed to work as hard as they had at the Budget Office where our average work week was close to 80 hours.

Terry Britton
04-04-2009, 09:39 AM
The quote points to Obama's actions in his backwards thinking of turning the economy around. His actions are doing more to lengthen the recession than to let the failing businesses fail, and expedite the profitable businesses that will emerge from the ashes as such that happened with Worldcom.

Rather than forcing us as tax payers to pay for the failures, those that took the risk in investing in or working for those businesses by buying loans and purchasing stock should be the ones assuming all of the risks.

Forget about emotional attachements to either party, and look at there actions. I can forsee a new strong 3rd party in the middle arising up in 2012 from the ashes of both the democrat facist party and the liberal republican party in creative destruction of the past for a stronger part that will honor the constitution and the people. Giving free handouts to failures does not create any honor, and those handouts are not free as our kids may be paying for them with taxes which will hinder their chances at a decent education.

Obama's actions are very Chavez like so far.

Marvin S
04-07-2009, 05:59 PM
*Having CEO’s that were heavily involved in fostering innovation
*Defining innovation as critical to long-term success
*Attaching great importance to the concept of managing change
*Having the words innovation and creativity in their mission statements
*Demonstrating an openness to outside ideas
*Having formal programs for idea generation and problem solving
*Placing strong emphasis on cross-function communications
*Implementing programs to encourage employees to talk to customers
*Increasing levels of investment in R&D and a strong focus on product and process developmen

Good luck with that, innovative employees are considered troublemakers. :)


It is up to engineers and innovators to bring our economy back to health through creative destruction of the past.

We agree here - little happens without constructive engineering input.


Your quote is a perfect example of what I mean by saying the article lacks any factual basis. As you quote, it says:

"If you had little idea of how businesses are created, how they are run, and why they sometimes go broke, and if you thought that the truly talented and sophisticated never go into business but instead gravitate to the Ivy League to be trained as lawyers, professors, writers, and organizers, then you would assume that our present problems are largely the fault of the former, and can best be addressed by putting as many of the latter in your government as possible."

Strikes me as very straightforward. ;)




In fact, my own experience has been that most people who are highly successful at an executive level in government regularly achieve similar success in private businesses but that the reverse is much less common. It has also been my personal experience that few people who achieve at high levels make the mistake of underestimating the intelligence, hard work, or creativity required to be effective in other arenas.

My experience has been they are less than stellar because of their mind set. What do you consider Executive level?


The area where I tend to find a great divide -- once again in my personal experience -- is between those working in arenas where individual success is based primarily on personal achievement (doctors, trial attorneys, professors, authors, very small businesses, etc.) versus those whose success is based primarily on group achievement where their effectiveness depends largely on leadership and organizational skills.

We have some agreement here. But I would say it's dictated by an individuals ability to work within an larger organizational culture. Talent is like toast, even in larger organizations, it will always pop up.




My first job following graduate school was in the NYC Office of Management & Budget as a policy analyst. Almost every single person that I worked with in the office where I was assigned went on to achieve substantial success in the private sector: Partner at Lazard Freres, Partner in Merrill Lynch's investment banking arm, VP Strategic Development at Citicorp, Partner at Ernst & Young, Partner at McKinsey, SVP at Chemical Bank, etc. Most of these people had graduate degrees from Ivy League (or equivalent) schools and most spent about ten years working in government before going to the private sector. Interestingly, other than receiving much higher incomes in the private sector, the other common observation was that they never again needed to work as hard as they had at the Budget Office where our average work week was close to 80 hours.

This is where your New Yorker instincts take over - what policy did you ever institute that provided clarity in what most would consider a dysfunctional city?

As for being a partner - how much was due to ability & how much was due to connections? As one of my miners so eloquently presented In some what cruder terms, "Sex in the right family will beat all the qualifications any one can have."

My experience, which I'm sure rivals yours but would be oriented to the real world, has been that those who come from these elite programs believe that achieving the diploma gives them an advantage over an equally qualified individual with lesser educational credentials. & it shows in organizations that have this culture. How could we fail? All our people are from Duke, Stanford & the Ivy league. :rolleyes: But they failed to have a catalyst that created a productive mindset.

Terry Britton
04-07-2009, 07:09 PM
Good luck with that, innovative employees are considered troublemakers. :)



We agree here - little happens without constructive engineering input.



But management that blockades innovation get downsized when the company begins to shrink. Management that allows innovation replaces what is shrinking with a new technology in a growth phase.

Remember that innovation does not have to be radical such as beer has been around 5000 years, but the distribution and storage along with tweaks of the recipe has changed drastically in competition. Does anyone remember the Royal Oil cans? Royal didn't think of innovating and got replaced by the paper lined oil cans who were replaced by the all plastic oil quarts.

It is a manager afraid of his own shadow that doesn't allow contructive innovation.

Terry Britton
04-07-2009, 07:25 PM
As for being a partner - how much was due to ability & how much was due to connections? As one of my miners so eloquently presented In some what cruder terms, "Sex in the right family will beat all the qualifications any one can have."

My experience, which I'm sure rivals yours but would be oriented to the real world, has been that those who come from these elite programs believe that achieving the diploma gives them an advantage over an equally qualified individual with lesser educational credentials. & it shows in organizations that have this culture. How could we fail? All our people are from Duke, Stanford & the Ivy league. :rolleyes: But they failed to have a catalyst that created a productive mindset.

All the degree does is show a tool box much like a hunt test title on a dog. It doesn't mean the individual knows how to use the tool box in the real world just like real hunting is not the same as a hunt test. Also, advanced degrees are nothing more than advancing experience. Sometimes they will bring a set of tools to the company that will help them run more effecient that experience alone won't cover.

Sometimes those with the Ivy league degrees discount the experience, while those with experience underestimate the work and tools gained by the education. It really takes multiple types of people to run a company.

Where many problems with the Ivy league graduates create is they are placed into companies with high positions because of who daddy is, or who daddy is friends with. I have seen these problems first hand, and sometimes the kids made it through without learning how to work because of $$$.

YardleyLabs
04-07-2009, 07:32 PM
My experience has been they are less than stellar because of their mind set. What do you consider Executive level?

People responsible for strategic and executive direction of hundreds of millions or billions of dollars and thousands of employees.



This is where your New Yorker instincts take over - what policy did you ever institute that provided clarity in what most would consider a dysfunctional city?
Many. One that you might appreciate was that I was the architect for hospital closings. Literally on the back of an envelope, I did an analysis of hospital bed and occupancy rates for existing hospitals in the Bronx and hospitals under construction along with a cohort analysis of projected population trends over the next 20 years. It was apparent that there would be too many underutilized hospitals requiring massive investment in maintenance of unneeded buildings. That became the basis for halting construction of two new hospitals for which land had already been acquired and to a series of policies in which ultimately resulted in closure of about 30 public and private hospitals in a manner that reduced costs while improving health care. For Medicaid, I designed and implemented system changes that resulted in spending reductions of more than $300 million over a period of 18 months at a cost of less than $200k. Thos same systems provided the basis for identifying and tracking down fraud resulting in multiple prosecutions and millions more in savings.



As for being a partner - how much was due to ability & how much was due to connections? As one of my miners so eloquently presented In some what cruder terms, "Sex in the right family will beat all the qualifications any one can have."

Individual situations varied. In my case I was hired in the hope that my political connections would help sell more public sector work. I agreed on condition that I did not have to work on public sector projects and would not be prevented from selling work to private corporations. Initially, drawing on my public sector experience, I built a practice in which we reviewed the effectiveness of insurance companies in managing the employee health benefit programs in small companies like Mobil Corp and Western Electrick. Subsequently, and also based on my experiences in the public sector, I became one of the first successful developers of what were then called decision support systems. It grew into one of the most profitable practices we had. The customers were all private sector -- primarily investment banks, brokerage firms, and law firms in involved in major litigation. None of that business was based on any personal or political connections and that was the business that got me promoted to Partner.

The reality is that most successful careers -- whether in the public or private sectors -- rest on a mix of successful networking and outstanding performance. Few businesses are stupid enough to keep hiring incompetents just because they are friends or slept in the right families.



My experience, which I'm sure rivals yours but would be oriented to the real world, has been that those who come from these elite programs believe that achieving the diploma gives them an advantage over an equally qualified individual with lesser educational credentials. & it shows in organizations that have this culture. How could we fail? All our people are from Duke, Stanford & the Ivy league. :rolleyes: But they failed to have a catalyst that created a productive mindset.
Great colleges tend to attract great students and they give them great educations. An immediate advantage of graduating from one of the great schools is that almost no one ever asks for a transcript to find out how well you actually did.;)

The last guy I worked for before buying my own company graduated fairly far down in his class at C. W. Post. He was very shrewd and successful enough to buy as many people like me as he wanted. He became CEO of a $400 million NYSE firm at the age of 21 -- it was a temporary staffing company controlled by his father and my boss had worked there since he was 14. He sold it before he was 30 and purchased a Sioux Falls based environmental testing lab that was bankrupt. He managed to turn that into a major national environmental engineering company which he then sold for a massive profit. His comment to me was that most people made the mistake of thinking that a great acquisition was based on buying a great brand. Instead, he said the secret to a great corporate acquisition was simple: buy it for too little and sell it for too much.

Outside of consulting firms, law firms and investment banks, I've known few companies that have employed large numbers of people from the "great" schools. If anything, they were suspicious of "those people" figuring that somehow their achievements were based on smoke and mirrors. I'm not sure what you call the "real world", but I think the world in which I've worked is pretty darned real.

Marvin S
04-08-2009, 12:42 PM
People responsible for strategic and executive direction of hundreds of millions or billions of dollars and thousands of employees.

This would partially explain your fascination with the existing POTUS. Managed to spend $50 Mil with zero accomplishement, but did get a $Mil earmark so his wife could have a $317K position specifically created for her hi ness. Now he wants to mortgage the future of our country on some very much unproven theories. :confused:

I did not like our 43rd POTUS for his spending ways so that sets me up to really dislike this guy.



Many. One that you might appreciate was that I was the architect for hospital closings. Literally on the back of an envelope, I did an analysis of hospital bed and occupancy rates for existing hospitals in the Bronx and hospitals under construction along with a cohort analysis of projected population trends over the next 20 years. It was apparent that there would be too many underutilized hospitals requiring massive investment in maintenance of unneeded buildings. That became the basis for halting construction of two new hospitals for which land had already been acquired and to a series of policies in which ultimately resulted in closure of about 30 public and private hospitals in a manner that reduced costs while improving health care. For Medicaid, I designed and implemented system changes that resulted in spending reductions of more than $300 million over a period of 18 months at a cost of less than $200k. Thos same systems provided the basis for identifying and tracking down fraud resulting in multiple prosecutions and millions more in savings.

Several things not quite right here. This is not to belittle your efforts but, you picked the low hanging fruit. ;-)

Why would you input into private hospitals? or were they private in title only? The government has had their hand in this cookie jar too long & we all get to see what it is costing.

Now if you had created a model to allow a competitive atmosphere with substandard care providers being allowed to fail, then I would be very impressed. :o



Individual situations varied. In my case I was hired in the hope that my political connections would help sell more public sector work. I agreed on condition that I did not have to work on public sector projects and would not be prevented from selling work to private corporations. Initially, drawing on my public sector experience, I built a practice in which we reviewed the effectiveness of insurance companies in managing the employee health benefit programs in small companies like Mobil Corp and Western Electrick. Subsequently, and also based on my experiences in the public sector, I became one of the first successful developers of what were then called decision support systems. It grew into one of the most profitable practices we had. The customers were all private sector -- primarily investment banks, brokerage firms, and law firms in involved in major litigation. None of that business was based on any personal or political connections and that was the business that got me promoted to Partner.

Is this why everything costs so much, too much specialization? During my management career we were expected to make these decisions in the course of doing our normal work.


The reality is that most successful careers -- whether in the public or private sectors -- rest on a mix of successful networking and outstanding performance. Few businesses are stupid enough to keep hiring incompetents just because they are friends or slept in the right families.

These people are hidden in the structure, generally behind or in front of, someone who is competent enough to cover for them.


Great colleges tend to attract great students and they give them great educations. An immediate advantage of graduating from one of the great schools is that almost no one ever asks for a transcript to find out how well you actually did.;)

I'm well aware of that because of my engineering & mining careers but, all too often the student/graduate assumes they have some status. The last company I worked for vetted their engineers quite well, but on occasion would let an applicant slide because of the school they had attended. On more than 1 occasion I had to point out to my supervision that some of the people they were hiring did not fit our requirements. In each case it showed on the transcript so they were counselled into other areas, as the company had many needs.


Instead, he said the secret to a great corporate acquisition was simple: buy it for too little and sell it for too much.

That is the secret to any business transaction, some very smart people in other areas can't seem to fathom that simple rule.


Outside of consulting firms, law firms and investment banks, I've known few companies that have employed large numbers of people from the "great" schools. If anything, they were suspicious of "those people" figuring that somehow their achievements were based on smoke and mirrors. I'm not sure what you call the "real world", but I think the world in which I've worked is pretty darned real.

Those kind of people are very good at selling themselves. I graduated with people who on paper, were much better than my puny resume, who could'nt serve as my waterperson when it came to performance, both mental & physical. It really bothered them that "real life" was not collegial.

The "real world" is one where there is a risk-reward ratio that is not out of kilter. Screwing up may send you down the road kicking "road apples" but if you perform well there will be a reward.

YardleyLabs
04-08-2009, 01:34 PM
Why would you input into private hospitals? or were they private in title only? The government has had their hand in this cookie jar too long & we all get to see what it is costing.
Most hospitals depend on the government for most of their revenues. Hospitals also regularly require government approvals for changes in their operations. We did not "close" private hospitals that we deemed unnecessary, but we did nothing to preserve them either. That was sufficient to cause most to close or merge, with closure of the outdated and unneeded facilities.



Is this why everything costs so much, too much specialization? During my management career we were expected to make these decisions in the course of doing our normal work.

In the case of my first client where we reviewed health benefits, the company employed over 250,000 staff receiving medical benefits at a cost of about $1 billion per year. Our first assessment cost $30k and took three weeks. Our client estimated that they had saved over $3 million during the study itself based on our findings. Half way through the project I told them what I had found and said that there was no need for me to review operations that would have required me to fly to San Francisco. However, the client knoew I had been planning to take my family with me for a vacation and insisted I do that part of the project and take a little extra time doing it at their expense.:) Ultimately the study resulted in a complete reworking of the systems used to process their employee health benefits. We worked with them and their insurance companies over a three year period to evaluate those activities. In that time the incidence of processing errors was reduced from 54% of all claims processed to less than 2%. The dollar impact of the original errors was a net overpayment of over 5% of claims processed (about $50 million per year). That was reduced to a net effect of 0% in erroneous payments. At that point I suggested that it was not worth continuing to pay us for continuous monitoring. The fact is that part of a manager's job is to know when to ask a specialist to come in to help, not to try to pretend that they are capable of doing it all for themselves.




Those kind of people are very good at selling themselves. I graduated with people who on paper, were much better than my puny resume, who could'nt serve as my waterperson when it came to performance, both mental & physical. It really bothered them that "real life" was not collegial.

The "real world" is one where there is a risk-reward ratio that is not out of kilter. Screwing up may send you down the road kicking "road apples" but if you perform well there will be a reward.
I agree that one of the benefits of good education is an improved ability to articulate your thoughts more clearly. This can help you sell yourself and your ideas better. However, there are clearly some people who sell better than they deliver and they normally in trouble. I agree with your definition of the "real" world. Unfortunately, rewards and punishments are frequently out of kilter in both the public and private sectors.