FIFA’s Blatter Under Pressure

Visa, McDonald’s, and Coca Cola, among the biggest sponsors of the FIFA World Cup, have called on Sepp Blatter, the head of soccer’s governing body, to resign immediately.

Here’s McDonald’s statement:

The events of recent weeks have continued to diminish the reputation of FIFA and public confidence in its leadership. We believe it would be in the best interest of the game for FIFA President Sepp Blatter to step down immediately so that the reform process can proceed with the credibility that is needed.

Coca Cola said:

For the benefit of the game, The Coca-Cola Company is calling for FIFA President Joseph Blatter to step down immediately so that a credible and sustainable reform process can begin in earnest. Every day that passes, the image and reputation of FIFA continues to tarnish. FIFA needs comprehensive and urgent reform, and that can only be accomplished through a truly independent approach.

Visa added:

We believe no meaningful reform can be made under FIFA’s existing leadership. And given the events of last week, it’s clear it would be in the best interests of FIFA and the sport for Sepp Blatter to step down immediately.

→ The Atlantic

Seven Reasons Volkswagen Is Worse Than Enron

The comparison is fair, Europe signed a blank cheque to an industry they rely on so heavily. 

Though, I diverge from what is a rather alarming picture : VW will never be allowed to go down, at any cost for the German government. 

The real issue may be that other car manufacturers are part of this scheme — among them the Daimler Group, which would add up quite a bit to the bill as it is another major German champion. 

Second, led by Volkswagen, Europe’s car manufacturers lobbied hard for governments to promote the adoption of diesel engines as a way to reduce carbon emissions. Whereas diesel engines power fewer than 5 per cent of passenger cars in the US, where regulators uncovered the fraud, they constitute more than 50 per cent of the market in Europe thanks in large part to generous government incentives.

It was bad enough that Enron’s chief executive urged employees to buy the company’s stock. This, however, is the equivalent of the US government offering tax breaks at Enron’s behest to get half of US households to buy stock propped up by fraudulent accounting.

→ The Financial Times

D’Auguste Comte à Bachelard … à Apple et Dr Dre

Jean-Philippe Denis, mon professeur mémorable de gestion, sur les racines du Hip-Hop management :

En épistémologie des sciences, on considère la première planète comme celle du positivisme hérité des lumières d’Auguste Comte. La seconde, elle, est celle conçue par le grand philosophe Gaston Bachelard pour lequel « rien n’est donné, tout est construit ».

Sur la planète héritée de Comte, le monde est vu comme régi par des forces implacables, et par des lois déterministes de performance. Comme dans un roman d’Houellebecq, une sorte de sélection naturelle des formes les plus adaptées s’y opère mécaniquement. Il vaut mieux dès lors se soumettre puisque rien ne sert de courir ni même de se battre : après tout, comme le disait Keynes, à long terme on est tous morts. Au risque de la provocation on pourrait ajouter : qu’on se sente ou qu’on ne se sente pas Charlie.

Sur la planète léguée par Bachelard, les habitants raisonnent à l’inverse. Derrière chaque calamité, ils voient une opportunité. Dès lors ils ne perdent jamais puisque, pour filer Nelson Mandela, soit ils gagnent soit ils apprennent. L’avenir est donc toujours ouvert même si tout n’est pas possible. Et pour peu qu’on envisage d’abord la manière de s’embusquer pour mieux l’attendre, il est toujours plein de promesses nouvelles, toujours en devenir.

Les transformations de l’industrie musicale depuis vingt ans illustrent à merveille l’existence de ces deux planètes.

→ The Conversation

Fluid Coupling

The enterprise stood as a place of “legacy” and “security” which prevented mobile or other forms of computing. Paradoxes emerged wherein an administrative assistant had more computing power in his pocket than the CEO had in her data center; where the same assistant would know what was happening faster than any of the bosses. Homes had better connectivity than offices and productivity at small firms increased faster than at big firms. Incidentally, even the slowest enterprises were faster then the government. The bigger the firm, the slower and stupider it seemed. Were large firms employing dumb managers or did being a manager in a large firm make you dumb?

→ Asymco

More on the Myth of Outsourcing’s Efficiency

I once said to my boss : “You gotta put every people’s minds at work” which meant to get every people to think about their tasks and processes, to bring something fresh to the workplace. Those precious remarks often come out from the lower-level people (further developed in the article) which makes perfect sense when you’ve got to prove more than managers who tend to gradually lack awareness and creativity.

On the other side, they are less prompt to go against their own routine. This conflicting situation where managers lack creativity (but are to impose reprocesses to the lower-level) and the lower-level which is constrained to keep its mouth shut in order to avoid any shift in their routine creates a blatant inefficiency.

Offshoring and outsourcing do lower direct factor and lower-level worker costs. But they do so at the increase of greater coordination costs of much more highly-paid managers. And they also increase shipping and financings costs, and downside risk. Having people work at a distance, whether managerially or by virtue of being in an outside organization where the relationship is governed by contract, increases rigidity (harder to respond to changes in market demand) and the odds of screw-ups due to communication lapses. And outsourcing also reduces an organization’s skills. Those lower-level people have a lot of product know-how that you lose when you transfer activities to an outside operation. It’s nice to think that you can hollow out your organization and just do all the sexy design and marketing stuff and dump the grunt work on other players. But over time you are breeding future competitors.

→ Naked Capitalism

The Whistleblower’s Tale: How An Accountant Took on Halliburton

Many whistleblowers come undone after they launch their fights. They have trouble keeping their jobs, their marriages, their sobriety. Even friends who are sympathetic often see them as pains in the ass. They are forever marked by a scarlet “W.” And while whistleblowers naturally start off more skeptical than the average, the experience pushes some into often justifiable paranoia. If you want to know why whistleblowers can seem a little crazy, it’s because anybody who is not a little bit crazy would back away from the ordeal of confronting a corporate behemoth or grinding government bureaucracy.

→ ProPublica