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Monday, June 26, 2017

IS WAR INEVITABLE?

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Will the Union survive?

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

These are troubling times. We have Islamic terrorists who would like nothing better than to snuff out the rest of the world. We have a tin-horn dictator in North Korea with access to nuclear devices. And we have other crackpot third world regimes thirsty for power and enslave their people. At home, we have two diametrically opposed ideologies at each other's throats, with no room for compromise. It occurred to me recently we have been hearing these same stories day after day for quite some time now.

Now the big question, does anybody see this changing for the better any time soon? Seriously. There is no doubt we could eliminate key world leaders and terrorists if we had the will to do so, but what about at home? Liberals won't be satisfied until they usurp the U.S. Constitution. The election of Donald Trump as president was a major setback for them and they are now desperate to take the government by hook or by crook. They have opened their bag of dirty tricks and will literally say and do anything to reverse the control by the Republicans.

They are making a mistake though; Middle America is growing weary of their "resistance," which includes protests, anarchy, stalling tactics in Congress, misrepresentations in the news media, and even distasteful humor. All of this affects our quality of life. Instead of offering alternatives to the Republican agenda, they offer nothing more than attack politics. Whatever comes out of President Trump's mouth, whether it is a policy speech, an off-remark, or even a burp, is slandered by the Left as un-American. By vilifying the president, they hope to link Republican congressmen inseparably to him, thereby hoping the hatred for the president will be carried forward. The mantra will be, "A vote for Congressman X is a vote for Donald Trump."

There is one problem with this strategy, it won't work as Liberals underestimate voters from the heartland, which will cost Democrats the 2018 mid-term elections. This will throw them into a state of shock, much greater than losing the 2016 presidential race, and then our problems will worsen.

If the Democrats are soundly defeated, their shock will turn to anger, and this is when our country could erupt. It will go way beyond demonstrations and heated remarks, and likely lead to violent confrontations. It may even go so far as to cause liberal states such as California, Oregon, and Washington to seek to secede from the Union as they will no longer tolerate Republican control in the nation's Capitol. Troops will likely have to be summoned to maintain the peace and seceding states may face martial law.

It would be nice to believe we could unify despite our differences, but this is not happening as America is too sharply divided. Nor do I see how we can continue to operate our government as a logjam. We are simply not making any progress one way or another.

The rhetoric we are hearing today is reminiscent of the passionate Congressional arguments pertaining to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 which dealt with the future of slavery. whereas the arguments then were concerned with a single issue, today we have arguments across the board regarding such things as illegal immigration, sanctuary cities, climate control, entitlements, religious and racial divides, education, job creation, and much more, all of which has led us to an era of gridlock.

Another Civil War is certainly feasible, some would say it has already started. I, for one, believe it is not only inevitable, but at this stage, it is inescapable. Somebody please tell me I am wrong.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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 40 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 © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  FAILING TO ACT - It goes well beyond insanity.

LAST TIME:  THE ABSENCE OF ELECTRONICS - "Imagine no cell phones, it's easy if you try, no PC's or TV's, above us, only sky."

Listen to Tim on 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). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube. Click for TIM'S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

Friday, June 23, 2017

THE ABSENCE OF ELECTRONICS

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

- "Imagine no cell phones, it's easy if you try, no PC's or TV's, above us, only sky."

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

While I was driving home one night, I was stopped at a traffic light and began to imagine what life would be like without the many electronic conveniences we enjoy. Hmm...

As a Floridian, we are accustomed to losing power due to tropical storms and hurricanes, which tends to annoy us by living without such things as air conditioning and television, as well as the loss of food maintained in the refrigerator. Schools close in such situations and are often converted to shelters. Other than this, life basically goes on as usual, but what if it turned into a permanent condition? What if some sort of electronic virus infiltrated all of our computers, phones, and other electronic gadgetry, and somehow shut them all done?

Our first concern would be whether our military could continue to defend our country effectively, that our hospitals could properly function, and that we could feed the populace adequately. It would be like the premise used in the movie, "The Day the Earth Stood Still," except it would be for an extended period of time. Assuming we could accommodate these situations though, what would life be like without electronics?

For starters, you might think that automobile traffic would snarl up as all of our traffic lights would be out of commission. Inevitably, traffic cops would have to be dispatched to key intersections and we would actually get some intelligent traffic control in place (better than the preprogrammed lights). For minor intersections, we would have to start practicing basic driving courtesy again and, God forbid, cooperate with and respect other drivers. I suspect traffic accidents and fatalities would actually go down.

So far, so good.

If televisions and computers were knocked out, people would be forced to read, write and speak again. Kids would have to come out of their caves and into the sunlight, pick up a ball and get a little exercise and socialize. We would all still be craving some form of entertainment and, because of this, you might see more picnics, concerts in the park, and other civic functions. Attendance at school functions, such as the PTA and SAC, would be stimulated, and parents would become actively involved in the welfare of their children again. Participation in other nonprofit groups would undoubtedly flourish as well. Basically, our socialization skills would improve and we would become more conscious of our civic duties.

As mentioned, food would be a problem; we would have to learn to shop more frequently and prepare meals differently, and we would have to learn the lost art of baking and cooking. No doubt, we would miss all of those highly nutritious microwave meals and snacks. "What, no more Hot Pockets??!"

We would become healthier as we would have more time for exercise and play games like tennis, golf, softball, or whatever without Wii. This should cause health insurance rates to go down.

Since computers would be out of commission, the unemployment rate would go down because we would need more clerical people for such things as filing, typing, preparing graphics, processing orders, etc.

Our personal debt would probably go away as we would be unable to process credit cards and, as such, we would be wiser in the use of our cash.

Our sex lives would improve as evidenced by the power outages of New York. The only downside is it would probably result in a population explosion if we don't properly promote birth control.

Due to a change in our diet and having to be forced to improve our socialization skills, maybe we can finally get people off of drugs like Prozac, Xanax, and Valium.

And finally, the cost of living would go down as we are no longer having to pay for all of the electronic luxuries we are accustomed to.

All of this illustrates our addiction to electronics and their manipulative powers. Life would be cheaper, more healthy, and perhaps more industrious, but it would certainly not be as fast-paced or complicated than what we are familiar with, but then again, would this be a problem?

Maybe the rallying cry would be a variation of John Lennon's song, "Imagine" -

"Imagine no cell phones, it's easy if you try, no PC's or TV's, above us, only sky.
Imagine all the people, living life in peace."

Yes sir, the best thing that could happen to this country is to have a virus that knocked out our technology...

Then the light changed, I snapped out of it, and drove home.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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 40 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 © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  IS WAR INEVITABLE? - Will the Union survive?

LAST TIME:  BEWARE OF THE WHIZ KIDS - Why you should keep a tight reign on your young Mustangs.

Listen to Tim on 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). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube. Click for TIM'S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

BEWARE OF THE WHIZ KIDS

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

- Why you should keep a tight reign on your young Mustangs.

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

Back in the 1980's a generation of young MBA's were unleashed on the corporate world and turned it on its ear. These "whiz kids" slashed costs wherever possible, particularly in training programs, mentoring, and reduced administrative personnel. Although their tactics did indeed save money in the short run, they created long-term headaches down the road, such as creating morale problems which lead to a disconnect between workers and their employers, which ultimately lead to outsourcing many jobs overseas. Quality in manufactured goods and services also suffered as a result of less training. Whereas employees had previously been empowered to overcome problems under a spirit of teamwork, managers began to closely supervise workers which today is commonly referred to as "micromanagement." The point is, the whiz kids of the day made a name for themselves simply by implementing short term changes which were highly visible on the next quarterly P&L statement. Although they could show short-term benefits rather quickly, their bean counter approach had devastating long-term effects on many businesses which haunted companies for years.

Today, a new generation of whiz kids have emerged in corporate America who are again charged with turning things around in their companies. Basically, management is hoping to groom their next generation of managers by allowing these "phenoms" to shake things up. Whoever is successful moves up the corporate ladder in much the same way as Donald Trump's old show "The Apprentice." Realizing they have only a limited time to make a difference, such as six months before they have to move on to their next assignment, they tend to slash costs as opposed to nurturing something new, and God help anyone who gets in their way.

Case in point, I have a friend who for several years has been a supplier to a local division of a Fortune 500 company. Over the years he has developed an excellent relationship with the company who trusts him in terms of securing quality industrial supplies for their manufacturing floor at affordable prices. My friend's company developed a reputation for going above and beyond the call of duty to serve his client and keep the Fortune 500 division happy. It wasn't cutthroat pricing that sustained the relationship, but competitive pricing coupled with excellent service and prompt delivery. Frankly, this was a classic example of a win-win relationship between two companies where everyone was satisfied until four whiz kids came to town and tried to make a name for themselves.

The company had allotted a sizable sum of money to refurbish the plant. Understandably, my friend's company wanted to bid on a portion of it. A detailed proposal was prepared and submitted by my friend who was told by his inside contacts that his bid looked to be the best. Regrettably, my friend's proposal was rejected by the whiz kids, not because it wasn't competitively priced, not because he couldn't deliver on time, and not because he was quoting inferior materials. Instead, the whiz kids explained to him that his company had won more than its fair share of bids with their company and, consequently, another vendor would be selected. This of course did not sit well with my friend, nor his inside contacts who knew the proposal was the best. Regardless, the whiz kids were bent on getting a lower bid thereby demonstrating their ability to cut costs regardless of whatever feathers they ruffled. After all, they knew they would be transferred somewhere to another division in a few months.

My friend was not going to take this rejection sitting down. Consequently, he arranged a meeting with the whiz kids, their superiors, and his inside contacts. During the course of the meeting, my friend provided a chronology of his company's relationship with the division. He enumerated the many projects his company had worked on, what they had saved the client in terms of money and the services they provided on a gratis basis. The testimonies by his inside contacts added to his credibility. Bottom-line, he gave evidence his company had worked in good faith with the division to save them money and provide quality materials to the satisfaction of all concerned. Management thanked my friend for his presentation and years of service, and informed him they would notify him soon of their decision.

One can only speculate as to what happened next. Suffice it to say, the whiz kids were reprimanded for threatening to disrupt a healthy business relationship, and sent packing to their next assignment. Had it not been for my friend's tenacity, not only would his company had lost considerable business, but the Fortune 500 division would have lost a trusted business partner.

The point is, whiz kids walk a dangerous tightrope. They cannot expect to simply come in and slash and burn existing programs and not expect someone to challenge them. True, large companies need to groom the next generation of managers but I question the wisdom of assigning people to such short term assignments where they may make some crippling decisions by mistake. In my friend's case, he took them to task, but there are a lot of people who would not, hence the problems we experienced in the 1980's. Perhaps the biggest problem I have with the whiz kids phenomenon is that it encourages quick and dirty thinking as opposed to long-range planning.

There is nothing wrong with having some young Mustangs running in the herd, they just need to be watched carefully or they'll start a stampede in the wrong direction.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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 40 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 © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  THE ABSENCE OF ELECTRONICS - "Imagine no cell phones, it's easy if you try, no PC's or TV's, above us, only sky."

LAST TIME:  MEDIA MONITORS: SPINNING THE SPIN - Another reason why the press is not fair and balanced.

Listen to Tim on 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). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube. Click for TIM'S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

Monday, June 19, 2017

MEDIA MONITORS: SPINNING THE SPIN

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Another reason why the press is not fair and balanced.

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

According to recent polls, the news media has been taking a pounding in terms of losing credibility with the American public. People no longer trust the press as they see it as nothing more than a cog in an ideology machine as opposed to a trustworthy source of unbiased information. From this, the concept of "fake News" has emerged, causing people to look for news from other outlets, such as social media, which is also not necessarily the most reliable.

As if the press isn't bad enough by itself, there are other forces at play to manipulate the public's perception of news, namely media watchdogs on the Internet, scrutinizing both liberal and conservative voices. With the exception of MRC, these organizations are not members of the press but rather keep a close eye on news related television and radio personalities. Their intent is to note and refute the stories of the opposition. In their own unique way, they spin the spin of the news media, thereby clouding the accuracy of news even further.

Four such institutions come to mind, two pro-liberal, and two pro-conservative:

MEDIA MATTERS (Liberal)
According to its web site, "Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media." Launched in 2004 by political commentator David Brock, Media Matters was started with funding from sympathizers of the Democratic party, such as George Soros and MoveOn.org.

In addition to analyzing conservative stories, Media Matters helps organize boycotts of conservative news shows, such as the recent push against Sean Hannity. In their May 23, 2017 report, they describe the Fox News talk show host as "a professional propagandist for President Donald Trump, as well as a bigot, a sexist, and a conspiracy theorist."

Although Media Matters avoids the use of the word "boycott," there is no doubt as to their intent. They list Hannity's advertisers, as well as those they claim will no longer advertise on his show. Whether the lists shown are accurate or not is anyone's guess, but it is obvious they would like to see Hannity gone.

FAIR - Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (Liberal)
Started in 1984, FAIR is another 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded by Jeff Cohen and Martin A. Lee, with roots in academia. On its web site, FAIR also describes itself as a "national media watch group," and openly defines themselves as a "progressive group." FAIR appears to be more bullish in terms of protecting 1st Amendment Rights than Media Matters, claiming to be anti-censorship.

In addition to written stories, FAIR produces a weekly podcast, "Counterspin," to discuss media topics. The broadcast is professionally prepared, but critical of President Trump and conservative causes. Donations to FAIR are tax-deductible.

MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER (MRC) (Conservative)
Launched in 1987 by political commentator L. Brent Bozell III, a nephew of the late William F. Buckley, Jr, MRC claims its sole mission is "to expose and neutralize the propaganda arm of the Left: the national news media." On its web page, the company claims to receive "no government grants or contracts nor do we have an endowment. We raise our funds each year from individuals, foundations, and corporations."

MRC has blossomed over the years to include several arms, including: cnsnews.com, mrcNewsBusters, mrcBusiness, mrcCulture, mrcLatino, mrcTV, and mrcAction, all of which aimed at debunking liberal bias in the media.

MEDIA EQUALIZER (Conservative)
The newcomer of the media critics. Founded in 2014 by Brian Maloney and Melanie Morgan, two West Coast newscasters, Media Equalizer produces a blog and claims to be readying a new media channel over the Internet. Their forte is responding to liberal criticisms of conservative talk radio.
 

All of this represents a unique situation where liberals and conservatives analyze the opposition in the hopes of holding them accountable for their political reporting. Their criticism of the opposition is often used to form talking points. Aside from this, it is not uncommon for them to try and rally their readers to oppose specific news entities, either by boycott or by writing refutations of politicians and news personalities. All of this adds to the static of the news thereby making it difficult to ascertain legitimate stories and analysis and, as a result, further diminishing the public trust of the press.

Some time ago, I wrote about "The Liberal Playbook," describing the tools on the Internet used by the Left to organize their resistance movement. The liberal media watch institutions mentioned herein are also an important part of this. It also appears the liberals are being more effective in their use of such facilities than their conservative counterparts.

Surprisingly, the general public has no idea such institutions exist, but they represent an important reason why we no longer trust the news being presented to us. If news was truly fair and balanced, such web sites would never have emerged. The fact that they do exist not only suggests a problem does indeed exist within the press, but compounds the problem further.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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 40 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 © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  BEWARE OF THE WHIZ KIDS - Why you should keep a tight reign on your young Mustangs.

LAST TIME:  EQUALITY OF DRIVING - We meet on the level, and drive upon the square.

Listen to Tim on 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). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube. Click for TIM'S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

Friday, June 16, 2017

EQUALITY OF DRIVING

BRYCE ON LIFE

- We meet on the level, and drive upon the square.

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

Whenever I have somewhere to go with friends or family, I normally volunteer to drive. When people ask me why I do so, I explain it is not simply because I enjoy the act of driving, as much as I somehow appreciate the equality involved. Let me explain. It occurred to me a long time ago that driving is one of the few venues in the world that doesn't recognize a socioeconomic class structure, race or religion. Regardless if you are a multimillionaire driving a Rolls Royce or Lamborghini, a bum driving a jalopy, or anything in-between, driving requires everyone to behave equally. Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, everyone is on the level and must behave as such in order for this important transportation system to work. And for some reason, knowing I can start each day on the level with everyone else is encouraging to me.

Some people are easily wowed when they see an expensive automobile on the road. Frankly, I couldn't care less what you drive or who you think you are. We're all equal on the road as any member of the Law Enforcement community can attest. They only care the rules are being observed and traffic is flowing unimpeded. Other than that, they are unconcerned with your stature, regardless if you are a politician, celebrity, millionaire, or whatever.

Some see driving as analogous to socialism whereby we must all move along on the roadways equally. Well, not quite. I see it more akin to capitalism where I can drive as ambitiously or lackadaisically as I am inclined to be, not to mention courteous or rude. Nonetheless, I am responsible for my actions. If I decide to drive recklessly, I may incur a moving violation or perhaps worse, an accident. In this event, I will have to pay the bill, not the other motorists. To my way of thinking, I see each day as another chapter where I must get from point A to point B in the most efficient means possible. In other words, a capitalistic race to the top.

My grandfather, who moved to this country from England following the first World War, also loved to drive his car everywhere. So much so, he would even drive his car down the block just to post a letter in the mailbox. His car was his pride and joy, and he would go to great lengths to keep it clean and running smoothly. His pride of ownership clearly demonstrated he was a capitalist.

The one bit of satisfaction I get on the highway is when I either outmaneuver the millionaire in the Lamborghini or watch him get a ticket for speeding. Either way, I realize the system works. Yep, I'm a capitalist too.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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 40 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 © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  MEDIA MONITORS: SPINNING THE SPIN - Another reason why the press is not fair and balanced.

LAST TIME:  HOW WE ARE JUDGED - Describing how we size people up.

Listen to Tim on 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). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube. Click for TIM'S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

HOW WE ARE JUDGED

BRYCE ON LIFE

- Describing how we size people up.

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

Ever wonder why people treat you the way they do? A lot has to do with how you are perceived by others. Let me give you an example, years ago when I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio I would often drive up to Canada to visit customers along The King's Highway 401 in lower Ontario. My point of entry and exit was Detroit and I would either take the Ambassador Bridge or Detroit-Windsor Tunnel to and from Canada. Regardless of the route I took, I noticed I would always be asked by the customs agents to pull my car over to the side where I would have to endure the hassle of a search. This went on for years until I realized it was probably my demeanor and expression on my face that caused me to be pulled over, which was tired and cranky looking. As an experiment, I approached the customs agents with a smile on my face, my window down, and was very chatty and approachable with them. Surprisingly, I was let through without any trouble, and I've never been pulled over again.

The point is, we primarily act on our perceptions, right or wrong, and regardless of the facts. How we are perceived by others is the basis by which others judge us, both in our personal and professional lives. It has been my experience that there are three attributes people use to judge each other:

1. Social Stature - representing our pedigree and, consequently, our place in society. People naturally act differently around someone who is perceived to be cultured and refined versus someone viewed as "trailer trash." Its kind of like the difference of how people act in church as opposed to in a saloon. This is also indicative of why we distinguish people by classes (high/medium/low) and how we delineate workers as blue collar/white collar. People like to know what the pecking order is, whether it is in their personal or professional lives, so they can act accordingly. It denotes such things as superior/subordinate/equal relationships, thereby defining who we can dominate, who we cannot, and who we must coexist with.

2. Intelligence - this is an important factor in judging a person, particularly in the workplace where we are evaluated based on our knowledge, skill set and ability for taking instruction. We are either perceived as someone who can quickly grasp and implement concepts and techniques, versus someone who has trouble taking instruction and learning something.

3. Character - beyond intelligence is the perceived character of the individual, consisting of his ethical makeup, dedication and drive, along with his record of actions and decisions made. This denotes the person's integrity, reliability, and responsibility. Unlike intelligence which denotes what a person is capable of doing, character defines what the person will do in fact. Let me give you an example, I used to know a brilliant guy with a photographic memory in the engineering department of a manufacturing company. His IQ scores were always head and shoulders above everyone else's, but he had trouble applying his intellect. Instead, he was used by the company as nothing more than a walking encyclopedia who could recite complicated formulas and algorithms at a moment's notice, yet had no idea how to use this knowledge in practice.

It is these three attributes, used in concert, which we use to evaluate someone, personally or professionally. It is the determining factors we use to communicate with someone, socialize with them, invest trust in, and delegate responsibility to. Managers use these elements to determine what a worker is capable of doing and assigning pertinent responsibilities. It is also what we use to evaluate a new neighbor, or meet someone for the first time socially or professionally. In a nutshell, it is what we use to "size people up."

We should all be cognizant of how we are perceived by others and adjust where required to fit into the corporate or local culture, but we should also be wary of people masking their weaknesses by appearing or acting as someone they are not. I used to have a gentleman who worked for me in Customer Services who dressed to the teeth, was sharp in social etiquette, and was a pretty smart guy. The only problem was he was a poor performer. He talked a good game, but could never produce anything on time or to the satisfaction of our customers. He was a past master of facade, not substance.

Again, the point here is that people are judged by perceptions first, facts second (ask the tabloid media if you don't believe me). Appearances are important and should be cultivated, be it the workplace or in our private lives, but we should also know that looks can be deceiving and, as such, we should also cultivate a track record of performance and credibility. Just remember, we are judged by all three attributes mentioned, not just one or two. Appearances mean little if people can see through the disguise.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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 40 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 © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  EQUALITY OF DRIVING - We meet on the level, and drive upon the square.

LAST TIME:  TECHNOLOGY: SHOW ME THE PROOF - Is is really improving our lives?

Listen to Tim on 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). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube. Click for TIM'S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

Monday, June 12, 2017

TECHNOLOGY: SHOW ME THE PROOF

BRYCE ON LIFE

- Is is really improving our lives?

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

On more than one occasion you have heard me express my skepticism on the beneficial effects of technology on our culture. Proponents obviously claim it has a positive effect, and proudly point at the capacity, speed, and sizzle embedded in such things as computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices, but I'm still not convinced. For example:

* We can communicate with anyone on the planet at any time from just about anywhere (and too often we do), yet we haven't got anything useful to say or say it at the wrong time and place. Further, our command of the English language is slipping, newspapers and magazines are failing, and book publishing is sharply diminishing, thereby indicating a decline in reading.

* We can now write beautiful documents, but our grammar and spelling seems to be degenerating. People may know how to send text messages, but have difficulty composing an effective business letter.

* Our automobiles now offer abundant luxuries through electronics, but the cost to repair and maintain them has skyrocketed.

* We can now purchase items and make travel reservations on-line, thereby displacing this function from trained travel agents and sales clerks with better skills and knowledge to process such things. Inevitably the customer purchases the wrong thing or makes an error in processing the order, which is difficult to correct (and very frustrating).

* Technology may give us in edge in warfare; but you first have to have a well trained and determined soldier to pull the trigger.

* Computers were supposed to be a boom for office productivity but consider how much time is lost tweaking and rebooting MS Windows alone. Further, computers were supposed to cut down on paper; but sales at the paper mills appears to be doing just fine, as well as robust sales of copiers, printers and cartridges.

If our technology is so good, it would make sense that we would see a noticeable leap in productivity in our country. However, if you study the statistics at the US Department of Labor, output has actually been declining over the last ten years in just about every industrial sector. Those sectors showing an upswing can hardly be described as "dramatic."

If there is a statistic to show how technology improves productivity. the US Department of Labor certainly doesn't have it, nor does anyone else for that matter, which is why I continue to say, "Show me the proof!" Frankly, you cannot because there is more to productivity than technology. To me, technology simply represents the tools we use at work and home, and like any tool we can either use it properly or improperly (like shooting ourselves in the foot). Even the finest tool in the wrong hands will produce inferior results. This implies there is more to productivity than the technology itself, that it depends on how the human being uses it. In other words, management is an integral part of the equation, and something that has been sorely lacking in recent times, as indicated by our current recession.

Consider this, number crunching has always been one of the prime benefits of computing. If this is true, then why does it take so long to compile a financial report or budget? After all, everything should be available at the push of a button, right? Unfortunately, corporations and government agencies, operate with poorly designed systems and data bases, thereby the reliability of data is doubtful, thus requiring rechecking.

Productivity should not be measured simply by how fast we perform a given task (efficiency), but the necessity of the task itself should also be examined (effectiveness). After all, there is nothing more unproductive than to build something efficiently that should never have been built at all.

Let me exemplify this another way; the general perception in this country is that America no longer knows how to build automobiles, that the quality is not good. I disagree. Americans know how to build good reliable products as demonstrated by the Americans working in Japanese automotive factories. The difference is in building the right products. Whereas American companies focused on luxury and gas-guzzling cars, the Japanese were busy building economical and fuel-efficient automobiles (as were other countries). Here, it is not a matter of how well we build a product, but is it the right product to build in the first place?

More than anything, technology is a reflection of our standard of living. We have always had technology, we will always have it, and it will constantly change and evolve with us. However, over the last thirty years we have witnessed an explosion in technology that has permeated our society and changed our culture. It was triggered by such things as the Cold War and other military interventions, space exploration, medical research, and global competition in business. Technology came at us so fast and furious that a lot of people had trouble assimilating it, thereby causing a noticeable frustration factor. In all likelihood we probably use only a small fraction of our technology properly (which would be another interesting statistic). For example, how intimate are you with all of the features of your cell phone, computer, TV, digital camera, or even your sprinkler system? Are you using them to their full potential? Probably not.

It has always been my argument that as technology increases, socialization skills decreases. The more we depend on technology to fulfill basic functions like mathematics, communications, spelling, etc., the lazier the human brain becomes. Technology may be fun to use and play with, and can indeed provide tremendous mechanical leverage for humans, but be wary of how it is used and avoid dependencies. Regardless of your pride and prowess with technology, please don't tell me it improves productivity. The jury is still out.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

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