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Finding Good Work over Age 50
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Who We Are: THE GOLDEN RULE of NETWORKING is "help someone else first." We are a group of motivated, capable people practicing our networking skills and working toward excellence in serving our customers, growing our businesses and the special challenge of Finding Good Work Over Age 50.
Our Mission - Through Covid-19 and Beyond is to help People in Two Situations:
1. If you are looking for a JOB or CONTRACT WORK: Our primary focus is NETWORKING skills and helping people "find their focus, find their niche, up-skill or re-skill". We can also connect you to job leads groups for your specialty.
2. If you are looking to GROW YOUR BUSINESS, FIND NEW CUSTOMERS, START A CONSULTING PRACTICE or BUY A BUSINESS we will practice our primary skill of NETWORKING by trying to connect you to people who can help.
We focus primarily on BUSINESS to BUSINESS. If your focus is Business to Consumer, we'll suggest some other groups.
Face to Face Meetings and Regular Contact with Professional Peers (when we can do so safely) is important in this post-Covid "work from home" world that we are all living in.
Cost: There is no charge, but everyone is expected to serve, contribute and conduct themselves professionally with respect for all.
News, Article Summaries
In Process, Archive...
8/25/20 Operational Transparency - Possible Breakthrough in Communicating the Value of Software Development.
Airline Booking Site Study: Instantaneous service perceived the service to be as valuable as people who waited 25 seconds with a progress bar, and as valuable as people who waited 55 seconds with operational transparency. Customers preferred websites that showed them the work over ones that did other things to distract from the wait-like providing entertaining pictures.
Cost Transparency: Wallet that sold for $115 included costs for raw materials ($14.68), construction ($38.56), duties ($4.26), and transportation ($1.00). Revealing the costs enabled the company to showcase to customers the otherwise hidden work that went into creating the wallet. In the process, of course, it also revealed that customers were paying $115.00 for something that cost $58.50 to make. The company further informed customers that its 1.9x markup compared favorably with the 6x markup charged by competitors - sales of the wallets with operational transparency went up by 26% relative to wallets where the costs were not shared.
Improved perceptions of Government – 40% ish
Improved patient compliance with doctor instructions
Domino's, customers can use the company's Pizza Tracker app to watch as the kitchen workers prep, bake, and package the pizza for delivery.
Food prep: 20%+ improvement in productivity, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction
by Ryan W. Buell Click
7/4/2020 Buffett Looses $10 Billion+ on $13 Billion IBM Investment over Seven Years. Small Comfort to Those of Us Struggling with IT industry careers. For the period 2011 to 2018, he disclosed a loss of $2 Billion. (Dividends of $1.7 bb were paid but not sure if included in his loss calculation.) The OPPORTUNITY COST was a much bigger hit. Berkshire earned 15.9%/year return over the same period. If he had invested the $13 billion in Berkshire, he would have gained $10.34 billion. (($13bb x 15.9% x 5 years (he did not hold $13bb all 7 years) = $10.34bb in lost investment returns.) Sources: CNN Business David Goldman November 9, 2015: Purchased $13bb over 4 years beginning in 2011. Announced loss as of this date. The Motley Fool, Jeremy Bowman Feb 18, 2018. Exited IBM - sold down to just $300 mm.
March, 2020 Tom Quick Survey on GENERAL DECLINE IN COMPETENCE of internal IT people and contractors at large companies. Summary Answer:
1. Yes, the competence of internal, external IT people is down in big companies and contractors / outsourcers and it will continue for what I call “commodity / hygiene work”. Internal cost pressures, technology fascination, profit motives of vendors and consultants, failures of human nature and immaturity of IT as a industry will continue to devastate projects for the foreseeable future. The true project success rate (on time, on budget, percent of features promised vs. delivered) will remain at 33%-35% until maturity emerges.
2. High value / high impact work (10x and higher payback) will continue to get competent people.
3. The competence decline is a result of complex and near irresistible forces as IT matures as an industry. I suggest you skim the bold items in all responses below to get a sense of the forces at work.
4. Bottom Line: As individuals we are going to have to regularly retool with relevant skills to find work over 50 – likely - on our own (employer won’t pay.) Opportunities will emerge where we can bring excellence, focus and maturity to IT non-performance (not by accident. Will be intentional – and hard to do.)
35%+ of all Public Companies Unprofitable, have much greater interest rate risk and volatility. Profitable companies returned avg 16% annual shareholder return in last five years. Unprofitable companies showed 4.2% over same period. Will always be those that invest in “latest, greatest, fashionable companies” but they will pay the price. EXTREME RISK during downturn – first to go. Study by Dr. Horstmeyer 3/9/2020 WSJ.
Authority / Responsibility Matching: On Franklin and Washington, greatest of our founders: "The acute exasperation that both men experienced at the feebleness of Congress during the war convinced them of the need for an effective federal government, with the power to levy taxation. This conviction, we are told, “propelled them on converging paths toward the Constitutional Convention of 1787.” WSJ book review 2/29/2020 of Friends At the Founding, Franklin & Washington By Edward J. Larson Morrow
- SOME EVENT IS REQUIRED BEFORE START TO GUARANTEE AUTHORITY / RESPONSIBILITY MATCH: Appears universal for those that have solved the problem. WE CANNOT JUST DIVE IN AN GO TO WORK!!!
Excesses of big tech on display – collapsing. Personally witnessing the fall of a"grow grow grow tech hype arrogant" $1 billion firm bought by private equity (overpaid)
2/24/2020 Confidential client - lessons learned TBD. Currently participating in outsourcing and layoff of thousands of employees. Initial thoughts:
- “We only sell contracts“. Entire focus seems to be not showing one offs –designing the business for repeat sales Good!!!?
- Band-Aids in baling wire problem in spades
- Rapid no code solutions left undocumented, techies gone wild, sophisticated stuff – just not economic for the business to continue
- Star, cash cow,?, Dog triage will be forced by the financial guys if company doesn't do it first.
**BIG QUESTION: WHAT BUSINESS UNITS, PRODUCT LINES KEEP vs DIVEST???
*****DOING TRIAGE EARLY, BEFORE FORCED PRODUCES 10X BETTER RESULTS!!!? (per valued Colleague Pete S. has had numerous engagements where triage was too late, contaminated by politics, favoritism)
** KEEP THOSE THAT CAN RAISE PRICES, EARN ABOVE INDUSTRY AVERAGE MARGIN
**SEVERAL BUSINESSES RAZOR THIN MARGINS, CANNOT RAISE. Will have to go.
REMEMBER: American model of decisions at lowest level + competence of those leaders consistently wins. Centralized, top down, "dictator" planning and control can prevail in very short term but mid and long term success of American model wins over and over.
- China Corona Virus 2020: China built hospital to react in 10 days. Great - but top down, unaccountable control over centuries set stage for the disaster which would never occur in West. WSJ 2/15/2020
- WWII: Hitler was devastatingly good at first, but American / Western methods won war because in fog, ambiguity, change, complexity of middle and later war most decisions had to go to Hitler personally.
- WWII: Japanese were unstoppable in early war, when fighting their battle plans on their chosen ground at chosen time. U.S. found that early disruption, countering their initiatives left them confused, unable to react until direction came from top. Admiral Halsey memior.
- WWII: MacArthur's "hit 'em where they ain't" strategy disrupted, confused Japanese until direction came from top. RESULTED IN 90% REDUCTION IN U.S. CASUALTIES vs. island hoping frontal assaults when Japan knew they were coming. MacArthur memoir.
Why 40% of Public Companies Are UNPROFITABLE, Pretax Profits are Down 13% in Last Five Years for All Public Companies while S&P 500 After Tax Earnings are Up 31% in Five Years. Pre-tax profit measured by the Bureau of Economic Analysis looks at all public companies - not just top 500.
- SEE NEXT ARTICLE DOWN FOR ADDITIONAL DETAIL
- Big successful companies which make the S&P 500 are much better at tax minimization (e.g. offshore domiciles)
- Recent tax cut helps bigger companies more. (5% reduction overall vs. 8% for big companies.)
- Big tech (riding high right now) is over represented in S&P 500.
- S&P 500 really are best companies - not representative.
- Concern is widening of the same gap happened right before tech bust of 2001. Likely in long expansion.
- Some is accounting shenanigans - will be shaken out by next recession.
- Warning: When S&P can no longer hide profit problems, nation-wide earnings are really in trouble.
WSJ article 12/16/19 by James MacIntosh
MARGINS AS NEW FRONTIER, INCREASING PRESSURE TO BE PROFITABLE. (In my view, because focus has been growth, stock price, appearances instead of high value for customers - indicated by above industry average margins. ACID TEST: Can you raise prices without losing customers?)
- 40% of public firms are UNPROFITABLE - highest since late 90's, before tech bust.
- GE, poster child for traditional businesses struggling to make a profit. Has lost 2/3 of its value and profits from its businesses will never justify recovering.
- Tesla, poster child for investors tolerating losses, no Economic Value Add - to build market share. Only four quarterly profits in 12 years. Huge gamble.
- GOOD LEADING INDICATOR OF INVESTOR DEMAND FOR PROFIT vs TOLERANCE FOR LOSSES: IPOs made by unprofitable companies. 75% unprofitable in 2019. 42% were in healthcare. 17% in tech stocks.
- SEEING AN INCREASE IN SMALL COMPANY LOSSES: I think this is because many small companies are competing on price, in the wrong niches, against bigger, better funded companies who are often willing to tolerate losses. Author has alternate view.
WSJ article 1/10/20 by James MacIntosh
Bad Experiences 4X as Powerful as Good Experiences. Solid research confirms, helps overcome. Wall Street Journal 12/28/2019 CLICK for full article. Explains several realities of life:
ALL THIS, DESPITE REALITY THAT:
USE THE POWER OF NEGATIVITY TO TEACH, MOTIVATE:
TIPS FOR OVERCOMING:
McKinsey Consulting Former Head Alonzo McDonald Turns Back To Jesus 2019-12-21 Wall Street Journal Rejects his "former idols of money, recognition and power." See also Jude 1:11 (RSV) Woe to them! For they walk in the way of Cain [killed brother over appearances, recognition], and abandon themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error [greed, money], and perish in Korah's rebellion [taking power from Moses] CLICK
Summary: Why Strategy Execution Unravels-and What to Do About It
Harvard Business Review · March 2015 by Donald Sull, MIT, Sloan School of Management, Rebecca Homkes and Charles Sull
Link to Full Article (Caution: Do not publish or distribute. Have interested parties get their own copy from https://hbr.org/2015/03/why-strategy-execution-unravelsand-what-to-do-about-it )
Authors conducted big study on execution. Surveyed 7,600 middle managers, 250 companies – mid size and larger. Key Points for IT Projects:
- 65%+ of the time, conventional strategy execution does not work for computer projects.
- 84% say boss and direct reports perform as promised all or most of the time.
- Only 50% say they can rely on those outside their department / chain of command to perform as promised (ROUGHLY SAME AS RELIABILITY OF VENDORS, DISTRIBUTORS, PARTNERS.)
- 66% of the time, conflicts with people outside their department / chain of command are handled badly or never.
- They are three times more likely to miss performance commitments because of people outside their department / chain of command.
- Systems for managing performance of people outside their department / chain of command LACK TEETH. Only 20% of managers believe these systems work well.
- #1 Issue Facing Company: 30% cite difficulty of adapting to changing customer needs. THIS IS WHY WE REQUIRE RAPID RESULTS METHODS.
- 33% think executives are in factions and focused on self interest ahead of company interest.
- 80% say their companies fail to kill unsuccessful initiatives quickly enough.
- TRAP: TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH WITH TOO LITTLE: Only 11% say all strategic initiatives in their companies have the funding and people needed.
- Computer projects get off track IN A HEARTBEAT: Only 50% of CEO;s direct reports are clear on strategic priorities. Only 30% of their direct reports are clear. Only 16% of front-line managers are clear.
- TOO MANY CORPORATE PRIORITIES AND INITIATIVES: Cited as four times more likely to be the problem than lack of communication / understanding.
- Frequent Change of Direction / Message: 25% flagged as a problem.
- 78% of companies do a terrible job dealing with poor performers.
- 80% of managers believe poor cooperation from those outside their department / chain of command will not be effectively addressed.
Match Authority to Responsibility, As Close to the Work as Possible. Micromanagement can work in short term but quickly breaks down.
- About 30% of Middle Managers Really Get Things Done. 90% of them hold team members accountable for results.
- Boundary-less Behavior Rewarded or Penalized: Jack Welch at GE measured and rewarded.
A Win For Organic Sales, Margin Growth, Avoiding Deal Fever: Honeywell declines over priced, bad acquisition of United Technologies, stays focused. Aerospace division organic sales up in 11%, margins up. Organic sales also up in performance materials and building technologies but down in safety and productivity solutions in latest quarter. Stock up 70% since walking away. WSJ 7/19/19
A Loss for Organic Sales Growth and Margin Improvement, A Win for Financial Engineers. 7/20/19 A PE firm I have been watching for five years just sold a portfolio company it had grown to $250 million for "serious multiples" of its investment. Through acquisition in $50 to $80 million chunks, this firm became the largest refinisher of metal parts for the airline industry in the U.S. "without a single dollar of organic sales" and "serious margin leakage throughout the company." In my view, the buyer was the greater fool - we'll see how their investment turns out.
WSJ Article February 23, 2019 SUMMARY: ACQUISITION C0ST CUTTING MANIA STRATEGY FAILING, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY TAKES BIG HIT, POSSIBLE SEA CHANGE? Brazilian investor, 3G acquire Kraft, Hines, numerous other consumer brands, mandate zero-based budgeting, drastic focus on cost cuts and consolidations. Buffett invests with them for Hines take over. Just resulted in $15 billion write-down for 3G and cut Berkshire’s per share earnings in half from $35.22 to $17.26. Appears Berkshire announced a loss for the year, first time in a long time. Investment Firm 3G Capital, Once a Disrupter, Is Reeling
2/28/19 Too Much Corporate Debt, Interest Rates Too Low for Too Long contributing to Stock Market Volatility - Be Ready for the Tide To Go Out. WSJ article. Whenever the Fed talks about raising interest rates a tiny bit - the stock market goes whacky - down - hopefully back up. Reason is the interest cost on too much debt owed by corporations can kill their profits - and the company - in a heartbeat. We've had a long, very slow rising tide for 10+ years - raising all boats. WHEN THE TIDE TURNS THE COMPANIES WITH HIGHEST DEBT WILL BE THE FIRST TO FAIL or shrink rapidly. Heaven help the companies that are using massive amounts of debt to produce modest profits (or break even or worse - taking losses now hoping growth will drive up their stock prices.) KNOW YOUR EMPLOYER AND CUSTOMER'S DEBT TO EQUITY RATIOS! Ben Graham says 2 to 1 max. Most agree no more than 3 to 1. Get some help to penetrate the financial engineering that most public companies use to make statements look good. Make hay now, while the sun shines - but don't be surprised by how fast and hard the tide goes out.
2/7/19 Huge Trend, Outside Sales Becoming "Hybrid with Inside Sales". Pure outside sales almost extinct. Outside sales now spends 50% of their time selling "remotely". "Remote Sales / Inside Sales growing 15%/year - 800,000 new jobs last year. It is NOT customer service. NOT telemarketing. Best to call it "Remote Selling" Full Article
2/7/19 WSJ Article "Good Riddance to Low Margin Industries" Courageous article by Andy Kessler Tom Summary: Indicators of persistent low margin industries: Price, price, price – only element of deals
- Tariffs, international trade, allegations of unfair competition take center stage
- Easy, simple for analysts, investors, competitors to understand
- No / low barriers to competition
- Profitable, better run businesses exit the segment (e.g. Intel and AT&T exited memory chips)
o Over time, the Japanese lost market share to Korea, especially Samsung. China is now taking share.
- EXITING BAD INDUSTRY FORCES FOCUS ON HIGHER MARGIN SEGMENTS
o Intel focused instead on high-margin microprocessors—the 386, 486 and Pentium
o “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China” label.
- Who cares? Good riddance to low-margin businesses, awful uses of capital. The U.S. invests up the margin chain.
- The fallacy of today’s tariff war with China: It is meant to save jobs but ends up destroying better ones. Click for Detail
12/8/18 WSJ FASHIONABLE PHILANTHROPY FAILURES. Interview with Bill Easterly CLICK HUGE parallels between failures of fashionable philanthropic approach to helping 3rd world countries (Bill Gates, et. al.) and IT industry's history of poor project results. ROOT ROOT ROOT issue is "how do you get the people with power to give up control so right things get done?" ANSWER: You can't. Find another approach to desired outcome.
10/13/18 WSJ Article Lampert's Non-Strategy to Save Sears. CLICK
10/8/2018 ANOTHER REASON FOR ALL THE ACQUISITIONS / M&A: GIVES OWNERS THE CHANCE TO BREAK COVENANT WITH EMPLOYEES - CONSISTENTLY REMOVE HIGHER PAID PEOPLE
7/2/2018 Understanding Wacky Decisions Made by Financial Guys, Stock Market, Investors, WHY THEY WON'T PAY FOR NEEDED IT PROJECTS (a beginning). I call this the "FINANCIAL GUYS IN CHARGE" PROBLEM. Click for wsj article and more notes.
CONCLUSIONS / SOLUTIONS FOR MY PRACTICE: Focus where
- CLASSES OF SPENDING VERY DIFFERENT.
- SHORT TERM QUARTERLY FINANCIALS FOCUS
- HISTORY, STUDIES SHOW INVESTORS BETTER OFF NOT SPENDING ON CAPEX, BUSINESS INVESTMENT
- PRESSURE, TREND TO TURN CAPEX INTO OPERATING COST CONTINUES: Big opportunity for no-code!
- SECTORS IN VOGUE CAUTION: Insanity can prevail for a while. E.g. dot com bubble, current tech sector fad, big R&D spending, not likely to pay off
- LOW INTEREST RATE / HIGH DEBT: Always a concern – WATCH OUT WHEN RATES RISE
- SHAREHOLDER BUYBACKS: Much debate, competes with IT projects for cash. Interest rate / debt risk
7/2/2018 Why Good New Product / Service Initiatives Don't Get Funded, Are Underfunded, Plug Gets Pulled. GOOD MONEY / BAD MONEY CONCEPT. Click for summary from Innovator's Solution by Clayton Christenson, et. al. GOOD MONEY is patient for growth but impatient for profit (demands rapid proof that a new product / service is viable.) BAD MONEY demands rapid growth but is patient for profits. Look for good money - but beware - it can turn bad in a heartbeat when company takes a downturn. I think we need contracts guaranteeing funding... easy to say...
7/2/2018 Optimism is Respectable Again Click for WSJ article I benefited greatly from the "positive thinking" fad of the 1970s and early 80s - though the advocates went a bit too far. I am glad to see optimism is fashionable again - it encourages me.
7/2/2018 Two Tough/Bad Projects Recently, Got My Head Handed to Me. I recently landed dream projects for Boeing and for a Private Equity firm. Both looked outstanding at the start - turned to mush - nothing I could have done about it. Don't let me give you the impression that I've got this all figured out... We need each other's help to understand and navigate the evolving landscape.
1/27/2018 High-end sales jobs decreasing as companies push to reduce labor costs. DOWNSIDE: Commoditization, low barriers to entry, low margins. Relationship selling declining, only 7% of high performers. Customers, spread too thin, no time, consequence is Problem (Non-performance) / Solution / Urgent Compelling Need selling is best way - by far. Sales people controlling, driving sale through UCN solution/expertise is growing and expected by buyers. Sales technology will continue to explode. Article on Sales Trends, 2017 by Jim Keena, Philip Petersen Click
1/13/2017 CAPITAL AND CORPORATIONS ARE HURTLING AWAY FROM BEING PUBLIC. TOWARD PRIVATE EQUITY. Becoming easier to raise private money than public - even $1 bb+. U.S. listed public companies declined from 7,000 to 4,000 (42%) since 1997, largely through M&A. Remaining public firms are bigger, more bureaucratic, BECOMING COMMODITY, LOW PERFORMANCE PLACES TO WORK, LOW RETURNS FOR INVESTORS. No real upside to being public, much downside. PE now has tools to compensate high performing people with marketable securities - not just payouts after exit. Short term investors in public companies are driving talent to PE. IPOs are down from 9,300/year high to an average of 200 per year, largely because the Public investors will not invest long enough to bring critical new tech and concepts to market. Click for WSJ article
1/7/2017 Buffett, Other Models for "Fee for Performance" instead of paying flat fees, hourly rates, salaries. In the 1960s Buffett charged no fee for managing investments until they produced a 6% return. Above 6% he got 25% of the overage. If the return was below 6% in future years he gave back the difference. Currently Orbis charges a base fee of 0.45% annually and 25% of the performance over a benchmark of similar companies. AJO charges "fulcrum fees" (fees increase in high performance years but decrease / giveback in low performance years. See WSJ article by Jason Zwieg. NOTE ON HOW BUFFETT PAYS HIS CEOS: Near as I can tell, he establishes a target Return on Invested Capital for the company and pays the CEO between 15% and 25% of any overage.
12/7/2016 The "Effectiveness Movement Away from Public Company Dumb Stuff" Now Creates 30 to 50% of All Return On Invested Capital" (Tom's guess.) Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Demonstrate Effectiveness of "PE-Like" Management and are now the 4th most valuable company (at $400 Billion). Rational management, rigorous cost containment, picking right CEO, not interfering, barriers to competition, capital invested only where total return is competitive and dozens of other points of excellence are growing and dominating. Let's compare Return On Invested Capital for Private Equity + Berkshire Hathaway vs. all other public companies. I think you will find PE + Berkshire account for 30-50% of total ROIC. (Remember that public companies are often unprofitable and operating with huge capital producing marginal returns.) Berkshire alone paid 10% of all corporate income taxes in 2010 according to Buffett's letter. See WSJ Article
12/2/2016 Why U.S. Explosion of Manufacturing in 1950s, 1960s cannot recur (rest of world's manufacturing capacity was devastated by WWII, U.S. held near monopoly for 1/4 of a century), cautions for boom times, viewing current manufacturing opportunities, returns realistically, implications for low skill workers. WSJ article by Phil Gramm. CLICK
11/30/16 Dumb Stuff In Public Companies: Activist Elliot letter aiming at Cisco and Cognizant non-performance. Pushing to increase operating margins from18% to 23%, DISPOSE of non-performing assets (don't waste energy selling them.) Cisco took action, stock up 30%+ in 18 months. Cognizant response pending. I worked for Cognizant. I have seen the non-performance there and at dozens of other public companies. This is why I like Private Equity. See WSJ Article
11/1/16 Mike Fariburn, President of Latin America, eight countries, four plants, 2200 employees, used and improved SQP (Sales Quotation Process for Complex Product and Service Sales.) Resulted in dramatic improvements in margin, forecast accuracy, change order payments. Big reduction in legal risks, "surprise costs" over 10 years. Average Order $2.4-$7 million. Average 500+ Orders Per Year. 30% Close Rate. Click for details ***
9/3/2016 De-Mistifying IT: I want to be the "John C. Bogle of Big IT": As head of Vanguard Investments he changed an industry with competition, transparency, stewardship for owners and cost minimization. Said "No. We can do better." to self-firsters, big egos, razzle dazzle of complex investing and high profits at investor expense. Stood up to those preying on fear, ignorance, desire for get rich quick, laziness and inattention. Hard work, discipline resulted in indexed (low cost) mutual funds rising from near 0% to 25% of all investments (Almost $1 trillion since 2008.) I'd like your help making big IT and big software transparent and accountable for serving owners - not self. Julia Child did the same thing for French cooking - made it understandable for all. See WSJ Article
8/1/16 Make Growth an INTENTIONAL PROCESS, Chapter 10 Key Points. From Jeff Imelt and the New GE Way, 2009. BREAKTHROUGH THINKING. Most growth hopes are based the happy byproduct of operating excellence, e.g. Quality or Customer Service.
WSJ Article 7/28/2016 Discusses Private Equity history, trends, where opportunities are for Organic Sales growth by Matt Jarzemsky
7/29/16 Understand why the Fed, many economists believe U.S. has permanently down shifted to about 2.1% annual GDP growth. WSJ chart shows average growth declining from 7% per year after WWII. Click Here
6/2/16 Understand the Upside of Wall Street, Financial Engineering to Help Manage the Downside: Excellent WSJ article by Nitin Nohira, dean of Harvard Business School shows India as example of what U.S. would be like without financial services: Can't buy a home until can pay in cash, no capital available for starting businesses except when controlled by wealthy families... Click Here for article
5/16/16 Mike Grimes, GE and Private Equity Heavy Hitter speaks to Institute of Management Consultants Talk May 16, 2016 Click Here for recording, *** other materials to help understand Private Equity
5/16/16 BEST INFO, LEARNING RAMP UP TO UNDERSTAND PRIVATE EQUITY: Mike Grimes, Tom Ferguson, Doug Staab, Damian Thomas, Bob Alexander, Mike Lorrelli and other Private Equity veterans provide their insights, tips and stories for navigation the opaque, difficult world of PE. Click Here for recordings, notes, summaries ***
5/3/16 Financial Engineering Shows Its Downside, Opportunities for Those Focused on Growing Happy Customers instead of finance. Click for WSJ article
3/4/16, "Financial Economy Out of Gas..." Financial type's lack of understanding creating opportunities for those who can grow happy customers and profitable operations. Bill Gross, head of Janus Capital, says the "financialization of the economy" that created endless growth [for the financial engineers] over the last 25 years has run out of fuel. Many of us who care about the fundamentals of happy customers and profits have been frustrated as the financial types have come to rule the planet. The Fed, the Wall Street Journal and nearly everything I read from the financial types moan about a permanent shift to lower national growth (about 2.2%) and whining that they can only earn 1% or 2% on their cash investments. I think opportunities are returning for those of us who understand the hard, diligent work required to grow happy customers and deliver profitable products and services. The financial types have never understood this - and the cycle of opportunity is coming back to favor us. Look for situations where the financial guys can no longer hide their failure to grow profitable businesses - especially in Private Equity. Click Here for Wall Street Journal article Join the "Stay Connected, Help a Buddy" network as we help each other grow organic sales. [Help a Buddy Link Deleted]
12/19/15 The Death of God is Greatly Exaggerated, Wall Street Journal article by Kate Bacheldor on Eric Metaxas, Manhattan based "happy warrior for Muscular Christianity." An author and talk show host that prizes civility but insists on speaking out for Christian principles... Click for Article
2/22/15 "Show Up With Your First 20 Plays Ready" to avoid common mistakes with mergers and integration (Bill Walsh). Quick-Starts shorten the cycle time for IT systems needed for process improvement. Click here for WSJ article. Part of our Rapid Results approach with SharePoint and other tools is using "Quick-Starts" (templates / solutions I have built before where I have about 18 pieces of the puzzle ready to go. E.g. screens, workflows, process drawings, database designs, outcomes and priorities, etc.) Currently we have about 15 of these Quick-Starts.
12/20/2014 God Is Not Dead In Gotham, Wall Street Journal, Click for article by Kate Bacheldor. Regarding pastor Tim Keller
12/12/2013 Muscular Christianity (championed by Teddy Roosevelt, though his Christian record is mixed...)) Historical Basis – Turns out this has been a topic since the Victorian era.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscular_Christianity Wall Street Journal Article by Stephen Prothero
12/12/2013, "A Cage-Fighting Christ for Our Time" on Seattle pastor championing the concept, going a bit too far? Wall Street Journal article
4/10/2013 High Character Leaders Produced 9.35% Return on Assets while Low Character Leader's ROA averaged 1.93%. Study by KRW Intl, Minneapolis, MN, published in Harvard Business Review. Study covered two years, has some rigor, some flaws and sample size is too small (84 firms). Measured through employee surveys on leader integrity, responsibility, forgiveness, compassion. Should have measured additional items including effective strategy, the pursuit of excellence and willingness to do the right things - even when hard. Caution regarding things we want to hear and fuzzy, subjective hr/staff focus. Click for summary.
3/10/2019: Buffett On IBM Purchase: “I’ve revalued it downward… their projections ran into big strong competitors… [paid too much]… tech is littered with areas when you can create high growth and make no money. That’s not us. ” IBM Revenues still declining, 20 quarters in a row, growth in Watson, Cloud, other new areas not offsetting shrinkage, IBM’s competitive advantages have deteriorated, Buffett no longer willing to wait, WSJ Article
*Contact Us in Dallas, Texas, USA at email@example.com or 972-394-5721.
**Success stories, client quotes, estimated costs and benefits are derived from actual projects but may have been altered for simplicity, teaching purposes or to protect confidential information.
6.1 How to Find a Board of Directors Position (see item 6.1, Mike Lorelli)
7. Profile Posting Sites for Experts (Clients Contact You)
13. Tom's Analysis - Switching to Salesforce Career Path Finding Your Best "Plan B"
DFW Model for Finding Good Work Over Age 50 (REQUIRES LOG IN)
The Case for Replacing CEOs Quickly, Often (Article In Process)
Margins as the Next Frontier (Article In Process)
The FGIC Problem (Financial Guys in Charge)
The Authority / Responsibility Matching Problem
FFS Problem (Fundamentally Flawed Situations)
Senior Executive Ongoing IT Oversight Mistakes
Big IT Internal and External Agenda
IT People Competence in Big Organizations Declining
Why Does B to B and "Real Economy" Seem so Slow while "Financial Economy" Gets Funding, Attention, Share Buy-Backs. 2015 WSJ Article Explains, Best I've Seen