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Monday, May 2, 2016

APPRECIATING SALESMANSHIP

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

- How the little guys can win the business away from the mega stores.

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

Ever notice how things come in threes, such as accidents, deaths, or other forms of misfortune. This recently happened to me unexpectedly when my laundry dryer died, along with my outside weed trimmer, and leaf blower. I guess I should have anticipated them breaking down as they were all getting old, but for some reason they all decided to stop working on the same day. Kaput! This, of course, forced me to purchase replacements, something I didn't relish as I seem to have developed a knack for selecting the wrong product. In the past, I would go to a super hardware store (I won't mention any names here, but you know who I mean) where I had plenty to chose from at bargain prices, but nobody to talk to about the product. If by chance you were able to tackle a sales clerk, they of course knew nothing about the products. This approach resulted in me purchasing a long line of lousy products that didn't last long, particularly weed trimmers.

This time though I decided to do something different and visit smaller retailers. I bought the dryer at "Famous Tates" and the trimmer and blower at a local Ace Hardware store. I am pleased to report both trips turned into enjoyable experiences. First, even though "Famous Tates" isn't a mega store, they are still a major appliance retailer in our area with a good reputation. My wife and I walked into their showroom on a Thursday night and twenty minutes later walked out with our receipt in hand. First, we knew what we wanted to get, but more importantly, we had a good salesman who knew his product inside and out, explained our options, and in the process, made us feel comfortable with our purchasing decision.

The Ace Hardware experience was similar in that I had a salesman who knew his products, how they worked, their warranty, etc. He even fueled the machines and tested them for me before I purchased them. Needless to say, I was pleased. The products were good, but it was a little old-fashioned salesmanship that swayed me. Whereas the "bottom-basement prices" of the mega stores were enticing, the products at Ace were sold by people who understood customer service. I may have paid a little more for the products, but it was worth it.

The salesmen at both Famous Tates and Ace were not hucksters trying to make a quick buck, nor were they "crazy" about making outrageous deals. No, they were very much in control of their faculties and knew what they were doing. Frankly, I appreciated their professionalism. Then again, I have always admired someone who knows what they are doing, regardless of their profession. The two retailers may have sold their products that day, but more importantly they earned the respect of a dedicated customer, one who will return.

Now I wonder what will be the next three things to die on me. Probably the washing machine, chain saw and hedge trimmer. Don't forget, everything comes in threes.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE NEW "PLAYBOY" - It is certainly not the men's magazine of your father's generation.

LAST TIME:  THE DUMBING DOWN OF MEN - But what purpose does it serve?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Friday, April 29, 2016

THE DUMBING DOWN OF MEN

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

- But what purpose does it serve?

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

My wife recently made the observation men are being portrayed as idiots on television, a phenomenon that seems to be occurring more and more. I hadn't considered it before, but I believe she is right. I think both television and movies are depicting men as fools and Neanderthals.

You see this in several television ads, particularly in the insurance field, such as the wife in the "Jake from State Farm" ad who falsely accuses the husband of having a relationship with another woman.

In other State Farm ads, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has to deal with an obnoxious cheesehead fan obsessed with "Discount Double Check." He also consoles an NFL referee who had made some unfortunate comments while his mic was left on during a game.

State Farm is not alone. Liberty Mutual features a couple where the wife corrects the husband. Also, Flo from Progressive Insurance often corrects incompetent men.

I know this is all meant to be humorous, but you'll notice women are never characterized in this manner. No, it's men, be it black or white. This is happening so frequently, you cannot help but believe it is premeditated, that someone has an agenda to emasculate men. Maybe it's spearheaded by angry feminists who want to be in charge of the world.

Back when I was in college and studying Radio-TV, we learned nothing appears in an ad by accident, everything is done for a specific purpose, either to attract more viewers or send a subliminal message. To illustrate, there was the old Ajax ad featuring a white knight on horseback shooting his lance at people with the jingle "stronger than dirt." The ad series was finally pulled from the air when people discovered the lance was a phallic symbol. There was also the "Honeycomb Kid" who was allegedly driving "6 white horses"; in reality, there were only four horses which the kids were quick to point out to their parents (and increase sales). So, everything has a purpose in advertising, there are no accidents, and quite often, its more than just selling a product or service.

Humor is one thing, devising a subliminal message is quite another. Thanks to Hollywood, what we are witnessing today is the dumbing down of men in America. Gee, this couldn't possibly be related to Hillary Clinton's campaign for president, could it? Hmm...

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  APPRECIATING SALESMANSHIP - How the little guys can win the business away from the mega stores.

LAST TIME:  WATCHING THE CLOCK - Do we watch the clock or the work product we're producing?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

WHAT IF TRUMP LOSES TO THE ESTABLISHMENT?

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Is it the end of the GOP as we know it?

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

Let's suppose for a moment that Donald Trump lost the Republican nomination to someone else, be it one of the former nominees or an opportunist such as Mitt Romney. By doing so, it will represent the end of the Republican Party as we know it and the birth of a new political party. It would also mean at least four more years of Democratic rule including more social engineering, and continued decay in American Exceptionalism. To people weary of government incompetence and gridlock, this will be unfathomable.

Businessman Donald Trump is being surrounded and attacked by the Washington Triad, representing politicians, lobbyists, and the press, an incestuous relationship more concerned with money and control, than doing what is best for the American people. To the Triad, an outsider like Mr. Trump is perceived as a genuine threat to this lucrative arrangement. Consequently, he is vilified and constantly under attack by the Triad.

Now we add the GOP establishment, members of Trump's own party who seem to be plotting a coup d'├ętat even if Trump wins the delegate count by the time of the Republican convention in July, now less than four months away. Should Trump make it to Cleveland with less than the required number of delegates (1,237), the nomination will surely be wrestled away from him even if he has the most delegates. If he doesn't have it by then, Trump will have to negotiate a deal with one of the candidates who possess delegates to push him over the top, such as Sen. Cruz, Sen. Rubio, or Gov. Kasich. This is difficult to imagine as there are strained relations between Trump and the other nominees.

The Cruz/Rubio/Kasich grouping will attempt to rally into a coalition of some kind, but even if they are successful, it is unlikely they will have the necessary delegates to win the nomination. One of them will likely split away and negotiate a deal with Trump. My guess is, it will be Gov. Kasich.

If none of the current candidates win, and the party selects a dark horse like Mitt Romney, who has already lost two campaigns for president, the GOP will have committed suicide and will never rise again. This is why either Trump or the coalition must win.

The GOP has to maneuver around this problem delicately. Frankly, it's not certain party chairman Reince Priebus is up to the task, and his political legacy depends on whether or not he can keep the party together. It is disheartening the party gives the appearance they would rather be governed by the elders of the GOP as opposed to the will of the voters. This is a common phenomenon in the 21st century where nonprofit institutions are ruled by power hungry people as opposed to bending to the will of their constituents. Its all about money and control, and you see it everywhere.

A change to the corporate culture scares the hell out of people, be it in a corporation or nonprofit. Personally, I made a lot of enemies over the years as I challenged the Good Old Boy networks. Not surprising, they went after me much like they are going after Trump.

Mr. Trump is changing the corporate culture of the Republican Party by taking a tough no-nonsense, business approach to his campaign, something American voters have not seen in quite some time. The Triad paints him as an ogre but his supporters appreciate his candor and bluntness, thereby causing the Republican ranks to swell.

What we are witnessing with Mr. Trump today is essentially no different than what occurred in the early 1800's with President Andrew Jackson who transformed the Democratic Party by giving the power to populists. Trump is doing the same to the GOP, and party officials do not like it as this is a threat to their authority.

Here is the simple reality the GOP establishment has to come to grips with; if Donald Trump wins the nomination the party will stay together and could very well capture the White House. However, if Trump is not the nominee, the party will implode and likely never come back, ever. It's that simple.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE DUMBING DOWN OF MEN - But what purpose does it serve?

LAST TIME:  WATCHING THE CLOCK - Do we watch the clock or the work product we're producing?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Monday, April 25, 2016

WATCHING THE CLOCK

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

- Do we watch the clock or the work product we're producing?

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

I don't wear a wristwatch anymore and, frankly, don't really miss it. I never really liked wearing one and now consider it more of a status symbol as opposed to something practical for me to wear. When I need to know the time, I can get it from a number of places, such as my computer, cell phone, or in the car. I still manage to make appointments and am considered rather punctual. Other than a scheduled meeting, I am not very cognizant of time during the day other than knowing it is either morning, afternoon or evening. I tend to be more consumed with what I am working on as opposed to watching the clock which I think runs contrary to a lot of people today.

When I joined the workforce, it was made clear to me to concentrate on getting the job done, regardless of how much time it took. True, there were established hours of work which, in our case, was 8:30am - 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, but I don't ever remember working such hours. You came in early, you stayed late, and coming in to work over the weekend was never considered unusual. This was the price you paid for being an exempt employee. I found I was not alone or unique in this regard. The many companies I visited on consulting assignments, both near and far, also had people who worked the same as I did. Maybe it was a generational thing.

Recently, I overheard a young worker lament to a friend how he had worked 50 hours for the week and was upset his boss asked him to come in over the weekend to finish an assignment. He was quite outraged by all of this. I just chuckled as I cannot remember the last time I only worked 50 hours in a normal work week.

I tend to believe exempt workers in this country are now more concerned with the amount of time they spend at work as opposed to what they produce. This signals a shift in our priorities and values. I realize we should be cognizant of both time and our work products, particularly for project management purposes, but if it is a choice between watching the clock and putting my name on something I produce, I will concentrate on the latter and not the former, at least that's how I was trained to think as I entered the workforce. Over the last few decades though we have sacrificed craftsmanship for bean counting, and our perspectives have changed as a result.

To me, watching the clock means someone is not truly interested in his job; it is laborious and uninteresting. Conversely, not watching the clock and putting in extra time means a person is committed to his craft. In other words, the employee is taking his work seriously and considers it a natural extension of his personality. This is where our personal lives and professional lives become blurred and indistinguishable. This is hard for those who exclaim "Thank God it's Friday!" on Facebook to understand. Workers nowadays tend to carefully delineate their personal and professional lives and keep them separated. To me, they are indistinguishable. Then again, this is not the first time I've been accused of being old-fashioned, and certainly not the last.

I am not so much concerned about keeping the boss happy as I am about producing something of value and quality. It is called "pride in workmanship," something we traded in for wristwatches and other such status symbols a few years ago.

Originally published: February 16, 2011

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHAT IF TRUMP LOSES TO THE ESTABLISHMENT? - Is it the end of the GOP as we know it?

LAST TIME:  BRYCE AMERICAN HISTORY QUIZ - And the results are in...Just how well do we know our own country?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Friday, April 22, 2016

BRYCE AMERICAN HISTORY QUIZ

BRYCE ON HISTORY

- And the results are in...Just how well do we know our own country?

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

Sometime ago, I asked my blog readers to take a simple quiz regarding American government and history. I wanted to see just how well we knew some of the basics, such as our governing docs and some historical events. Nothing elaborate, I just wanted to take a pulse of our knowledge in general. 134 brave souls took the quiz for which I give my thanks. I didn't want the quiz to be complicated which is why I tried to keep it as simple as possible. I could have asked for such things as age and political party affiliation, but I didn't want to muddy the waters and turn people off.

Out of those who took the test, probably 25 people got a perfect score. I was not surprised by this as I didn't try to invent a complicated quiz, just something that could give us some fundamental idea of what we know and what we don't.

The quiz was far from scientific, yet I believe I can draw some conclusions from it based on the input. But first, let's review the responses to each question. I'll show both the number of responses and the percentage of the total, followed by my comments.

PLEASE ANSWER ALL 10 QUESTIONS - AMERICAN CITIZENS ONLY

1. Signed in 1620, it is the first governing document of Plymouth Colony as written by the colonists, later known to history as the Pilgrims. It was in essence a social contract in which the settlers consented to follow the document's rules and regulations for the sake of survival.

22 - 17% - Magna Carta
92 - 69% - Mayflower Compact (CORRECT)
06 - 04% - Pilgrim Declaration
12 - 09% - Plymouth Compact
02 - 01% - Standish Consent and Decree

Comment: I considered this a tricky question as most people are unaware of any American history prior to 1776. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many people got it right. Those that answered "Magna Carta" disappointed me; even though it is an important document that influenced others, it was still developed in England, not America. I consider it significant that people recognized its name though. By the way, the last three, Pilgrim Declaration, Plymouth Compact, and Standish Consent and Degree were figments of my imagination.

2. How many "separate but equal" branches are there in the U.S. Federal Government?

000 - 00% - 1
002 - 01% - 2
131 - 98% - 3 (CORRECT)
001 - 01% - 4
000 - 00% - 50

Comment: People may have gotten other parts of the quiz wrong, but somehow the concept of "three separate but equal branches of government" representing the checks and balances of government has been successfully stamped into our brains. Only three people missed this.

3. What is the following quote from?
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

27 - 20% - Bill of Rights
94 - 70% - Declaration of Independence (CORRECT)
06 - 05% - Gettysburg Address
00 - 00% - Oath of Office
07 - 05% - US Constitution

Comment: The lion's share of answers went correctly to the Declaration of Independence, but I was surprised to see how many people picked the Bill of Rights. As an aside, many of us had to memorize this section of the Declaration in elementary school.

4. Which U.S. President was NOT impeached?

34 - 25% - Bill Clinton
20 - 15% - Andrew Johnson
80 - 60% - Richard Nixon (CORRECT)

Comment: I expected this kind of response to the question. Richard Nixon resigned before impeachment proceedings could begin. The other two were impeached, meaning to hold trial in the Senate, yet were found not guilty. No U.S. President has ever been forcibly removed from office through peaceful means (assassination is another matter altogether).

5. What is the following quote from?
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,..."

04 - 03% - Bill of Rights
32 - 24% - Declaration of Independence
02 - 01% - Gettysburg Address
00 - 00% - Oath of Office
96 - 72% - US Constitution (CORRECT)

Comment: Most people got this correct, but notice how many confused it for the Declaration of Independence. This particular quote is from the Preamble of the Constitution. Like the Declaration, many of us had to memorize this in grade school, but I don't think they do so anymore.

6. What U.S. President served as commander-in-chief during World War I?

11 - 08% - Calvin Coolidge
07 - 05% - Warren Harding
18 - 13% - Theodore Roosevelt
03 - 03% - William Howard Taft
95 - 71% - Woodrow Wilson (CORRECT)

Comment: I expected this question to be a little tougher as a lot of us have forgotten the events of nearly 100 years ago. Baby boomers may still be familiar with World War II, but I thought they would surely have problems with the first war, "The War to end all Wars." I wasn't surprised that Teddy Roosevelt captured the number of responses that he did simply because of his strong name recognition. By the way, William Howard Taft was the only President who also became Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (and the first to throw out a baseball on opening day).

7. What is the following quote from?
"...and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

001 - 01% - Bill of Rights
000 - 00% - Declaration of Independence
000 - 00% - Gettysburg Address
127 - 95% - Oath of Office (CORRECT)
006 - 04% - US Constitution

Comment: I was flabbergasted that anyone got this wrong. The six who answered "US Constitution" should have read the question more carefully.

8. What is the following quote from?
"...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

005 - 04% - Bill of Rights
002 - 01% - Declaration of Independence
122 - 91% - Gettysburg Address (CORRECT)
000 - 00% - Oath of Office
005 - 04% - US Constitution

Comment: I was pleased to see most people remembered Lincoln's speech. Interestingly, Lincoln was not the keynote speaker that day and, because of this, his words were almost overlooked by reporters in attendance. Thank God somebody was paying attention.

9. It stated that further efforts by European countries to colonize land or interfere with states in the Americas would be viewed as acts of aggression requiring U.S. intervention. It asserted that the Western Hemisphere was not to be further colonized by European countries but that the United States would neither interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries.

009 - 07% - Emancipation Proclamation
002 - 01% - Kansas-Nebraska Act
000 - 00% - Kennedy Doctrine
116 - 87% - Monroe Doctrine (CORRECT)
007 - 05% - NATO Accord2

Comment: I was pleasantly surprised by this one as I had assumed many people had forgotten about the Monroe doctrine, an important document which, to this day, is still in effect. I wonder if those who answered "Emancipation Proclamation" really understood the significance of that document. Probably not.

10. Which U.S. President was NOT directly involved with the Vietnam War?

81 - 60% - Dwight Eisenhower (CORRECT)
49 - 27% - Gerald Ford
01 - 01% - Lyndon Johnson
03 - 02% - John Kennedy
00 - 00% - Richard Nixon

Comment: This was perhaps my most controversial question as some of you argued that Eisenhower sent advisers to Viet Nam. True, but we send advisors to a lot of places. Viet Nam was Kennedy's "line in the sand" to stop the proliferation of Communism. As to Ford, he inherited the Paris Peace talks from Nixon following his resignation and was in charge when we finally pulled out in 1975. Interestingly, I find younger people have no clue about this war whatsoever.

Conclusion

A few things occurred to me as I was compiling the results. First, the Gettysburg Address is better known than the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The Gettysburg Address is a moving speech but it certainly doesn't bear the significance of our governing documents.

Second, it seemed to me that a lot of people cannot distinguish between the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. They view them as synonymous documents. For what it's worth, the Declaration was used to sever Britain's authority over its American colonies. The U.S. Constitution specifies how the government is to operate. The Bill of Rights is an attachment to the Constitution and specifies the basic rights of the citizens, specifically the first ten amendments. It was greatly influenced by such documents as the "Magna Carta." All three documents, the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, are important reads that all citizens should be familiar with, not just students in grade school.

Finally, here are the number of correct answers versus incorrect answers submitted on the quiz:

1034 - 77% - Correct Answers
0306 - 23% - Incorrect Answers

In most schools, a 77% would represent a "C" which is probably not as bad as we think. Actually, this number is probably higher than the national average as I like to believe my readers are smarter than most.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WATCHING THE CLOCK - Do we watch the clock or the work product we're producing?

LAST TIME:  UNDERSTANDING TRUMP'S ANTAGONISTS - The louder they get, the stronger the candidate gets.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

UNDERSTANDING TRUMP'S ANTAGONISTS

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- The louder they get, the stronger the candidate gets.

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

As the Republican candidates shrink in size from 17 to three, attention understandably focuses on the front runner, businessman Donald Trump, a candidate depicted by the media as an outsider and threat to the Washington triad; the press, lobbyists, and politicians. He is a legitimate threat to the political status quo where each member of the triad scratches the back of the other, thereby allowing each to prosper. This also explains why the press defends Secretary Hillary Clinton vigorously, because she is very much in tune with the Washington establishment and wants to keep the money machine rolling.

Not surprising, Mr. Trump's popular rallies have suddenly become regular targets for protests from the far left bent on silencing the candidate and derailing his chances for winning the White House. Whereas Trump is a capitalist who believes in the US Constitution, his critics are socialists who do not, and can best be described as anarchists.

Now, the liberal left and media liken Mr. Trump to a modern day Hitler, but this is a very weak comparison. Hitler was known for suppressing the freedom of speech, even going so far as to burn books. This is certainly not Mr. Trump's policy as he believes in the right to peaceful civil disobedience. The only group trying to suppress freedom of speech is the liberal left who feels they are the only ones entitled to enjoy such freedom and nobody else, including Mr. Trump.

Like Hitler, the left claims Mr. Trump is a racist due to his positions on illegal immigration and terrorism. The reality is, Trump believes in the rule of law, unlike his detractors. He considers our sovereignty and security is threatened simply because we refuse to enforce existing laws and secure our borders. The racist accusation is, of course, a joke as his business probably has every minority on his payroll.

So who is organizing the Trump push back? It is much too organized to claim it is nothing but random individuals. Two organizations have been reported; MoveOn.org and Black Lives Matter, who have mobilized to support left wing activities. The protestors themselves are simply naive pawns.

Behind MoveOn.org is billionaire business magnate George Soros, a well known supporter of liberal political causes and a major donor to Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Another major player among the antagonists is Bill Ayers, the former leader in the counterculture movement who is best known for his 1960s radical activism. In 1969 he co-founded the Weather Underground, a self-described communist revolutionary group intent on overthrowing American imperialism. In the 60's and 70's, his group was responsible for bombing public buildings, including police stations, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Pentagon. This doesn't exactly sound like peaceful civil disobediance, does it? Today, he is considered the elder statesman of anarchy at the Trump protests.

Mr. Trump's Democratic opponents also shoulder some blame for the agitators. Mrs. Clinton through her connection to George Soros, and Sen. Bernie Sanders for his socialist supporters.

Even President Obama bears some responsibility for the agitation. He has been very critical of Mr. Trump's rhetoric. More importantly, he sees Trump as someone who will undo all of the president's social engineering initiatives.

In a recent Washington Times article, the president said of Trump's rhetoric, "As a citizen who will still be leading this office, I will not support somebody who practices that kind of politics." He went on to lament, "any effort to spread fear or encourage violence, or to shut people down when they're trying to speak, or turn Americans against one another."

However, as candidate Obama in 2008, he used some violent rhetoric of his own, saying to his supporters, "I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors, I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face." (June 2008).

Just as Jimmy Carter beget Ronald Reagan, Barrack Obama will beget Donald Trump. The incompetence of the incumbents is simply intolerable to the majority of Americans, thereby forcing the country to turn to an entirely different ideologue. And this is what concerns the president most, as well as the antagonists.

The reality is, the louder Trump's opponents become, the more the country will take notice, and get behind the GOP candidate. No, they will not derail the Trump Train, they are only stoking the engine.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  BRYCE AMERICAN HISTORY QUIZ - And the results are in...Just how well do we know our own country?

LAST TIME:  INFORMATION DRIVEN DESIGN - a return to basics in system design.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

INFORMATION DRIVEN DESIGN

BRYCE ON SYSTEMS

- a return to basics in system design.

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PREFACE: A few months ago I made a promise to some of my techie friends I would describe the concept of "Information Driven Design" as used in our "PRIDE" Methodology for system design. This concept originated in the original version of our product in 1971 and was successfully used by our customers to build enterprise-wide systems. The reason I bring this up is that it appears to me people still have trouble defining information requirements and, as such, they are at a loss as to how to build total systems. Thereby, they are content building either a single business process or a program. Therefore, here is the conceptual foundation for all system design...

Information Driven Design begins with a simple concept:

INFORMATION = DATA + PROCESSING

Information is the intelligence gained from the processing and/or analysis of data. This means information is a product based on two variables, data and processing. We do not store information, we produce it based on these variables. Whereas data represents "what" is to be processed, processing (or systems) represents "how" it is to be processed, using formulas, algorithms or calculations. An invalid calculation is just as misleading as invalid data; both will produce erroneous information. From this perspective, both data and processing must be carefully designed and controlled as resources for producing information, and as resources, they can be shared and reused to produce information for other uses. In this way they should be identified and controlled like any other resource, hence the need for "Information Resource Management," a concept very much akin to "Materials Resource Planning" as found in manufacturing.

Since the intent of an information system is to produce information, the more we understand about information requirements, the better we can accommodate its implementation. This is why we refer to this concept as "Information Driven Design," a system design derived from the inherent properties of information.

INFORMATION DRIVEN DESIGN CONCEPT

Information requirements should be defined in such a way as to explain the Business Functions they serve, their Business Purpose, the Actions and/or Business Decisions they support, and the benefits derived from the use of the information. In this way, it a textual justification for the information. Now let's take it further...

There are three types of information:

Policy Information - To implement executive decisions.

Control Information - To monitor policy and manage operations.

Operational Information - To implement the routine day-to-day activities of the business.

Information is a dynamic and perishable commodity. It only has value at the time it is required. Whereas the definition of data is constant, information requirements can change for a variety of reasons, such as politics, government, competition, economics, people, etc. Ultimately, corporate survival depends on providing users with accurate and timely information.

TIMING

In order to properly specify information requirements, it is not sufficient to merely determine what data is required to support it; it is also necessary to define the timing of the information (to support the actions and/or decisions). This timing will ultimately dictate how data will be collected, stored, and retrieved to produce information.

Failure to recognize timing as an important element of design will result in the data base being out of synchronization with the system. For example, consider a situation where data is collected on a routine weekly basis (just once a week). Daily analysis of the data will be inappropriate since the data will remain constant until the next weekly update. To resolve the conflict, data collection should be changed to at least a daily basis.

All information systems operate in time frames, such as instantaneous, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc. If this is true, why not make use of this timing consideration during system design as opposed to discovering it afterwards while trying to correct the data base design?

There are three aspects to timing: frequency, offset and response time.

FREQUENCY defines "how often" the information is required, e.g., upon request, hourly, four times daily, once a week, twice monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, etc.

OFFSET defines when processing should begin, such as the beginning of the week, end of the month, etc. However, if the frequency is 'upon request,' then there is no scheduled offset; this is because the information can be requested at any point in time.

RESPONSE TIME defines how fast the information must be delivered to the user. For example, five seconds, two hours, one day, etc. This should not be confused with computer 'response time' or 'throughput' which is concerned with machine speed. Rather, response time is concerned with the maximum amount of time that will transpire between the request and delivery of the information, so the user can make the necessary decisions and/or take action. This implies that if the response time is exceeded, it is no longer information, only historical data.

Timing ultimately defines data availability and accessibility issues. Availability specifies, "Is the data there when I need it?" (a function of Input/Data Collection). And Accessibility specifies, "Can I get to the data when I need it?" (a function of Output/Information Retrieval). Understand this, you cannot access data (retrieve information) if it has not been made available (collected) in a timely manner.

DATA

Data comes in two forms, Primary and Generated. Primary data is what is collected and inputted into the system. Generated data represents calculations derived from primary values. To illustrate, suppose we need the generated data element, "Net Pay," as used in payroll. It would be necessary to define all of the other data dependencies, e.g.;

NET PAY = GROSS PAY - FICA - CITY TAX - UNION DUES - (ETC.)

Other data elements used in the formula may also be generated, such as:

GROSS PAY = HOURS WORKED X PAY RATE

What this means is that in order to arrive at the correct value for "Net Pay," we must be able to reach all of the primary values, such as "Hours Worked" and "Pay Rate," in a timely manner. If we cannot do this, "Net Pay" will be incorrect.

Defining these data dependencies has typically defaulted to the programmer who redefines the relationships with each application and buries it in the program source code, making maintenance and change considerably difficult. Consequently, It is not unusual to find "Net Pay" defined differently in multiple applications throughout a company.

The timing nuances of the Information Requirements ultimately dictate the various sub-systems of the system (the business processes). Some will be used to exclusively input data (aka "maintenance"), some to produce information (aka "queries"), and some for both maintenance and query purposes.

The basic operations that can be performed on data include "create," "update" and "reference" ("delete" is the opposite of "create"). In programming terminology, a "create" represents a "write," an "update" represents a "read/write," and a "reference" represents a "read" only.

The timing and data specifications resulting from the information requirements will ultimately dictate the type of sub-systems to be created. For example, if information is needed upon request and within a matter of seconds, this will probably result in an "interactive" type of process. However, if the information is required upon request but within a few hours, this will probably result in "batch" type processing (it may even be processable manually). These specifications are the basic building blocks for all systems and software design.

Producing an information system design that correctly satisfies requirements is a vital part of Information Driven Design. If the information requirements are correct, the resulting system design will be correct. However, if the information requirements are wrong or incomplete, the resulting system design will be incorrect. With this approach, the emphasis is on business analysis as opposed to technical detail.

This approach to system design ultimately recognizes, "No amount of elegant programming or technology will solve a problem if it is not defined or understood correctly."

Keep the Faith!

MB - "Est superbia"

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.