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

And in This Corner… Fear

A writer has to be a fighter at heart, to deal with the failures and the rejections, and like a fighter, he’s going to lose some, but he’s got to keep going. Whatever the job, whatever the pursuit, there will be moments when you taste some leather. The more you care, the more it hurts. The fighter’s way of laying in the training and converting the pain into motivation is universal. And when it gets hard, when the idea of quitting might start to glow like a lantern in the distance on a dark night, it inspires me to remember that if my grandfather could do what he did that night in the Garden, then I can at least try my damndest to answer the bell in my own way.

→ The Art Of Manliness