Thinking Citizen Blog — Good Cs, Bad Cs, and Three Lessons from Corporate Life
Thinking Citizen Blog — Tuesday is Economics, Finance, and Business Day
Today’s topic: Good Cs, Bad Cs, and Three Lessons from Corporate Life
Community is good. Collective action is good. Cooperation is good. But “Corporations” are bad. Right? They don’t have “rights.” They aren’t people. Right? Wrong. Corporations are people cooperating without coercion for the collective benefit of other people called customers. The real bad C is coercion. And government involves coercion. Voluntary non-coercive cooperation is a good to be maximized. Government is cooperation with a threat of violence (eg. incarceration) in the event of non-cooperation. This is a necessary evil to be minimized. Communism is fake news disproven by 200 years of incontrovertible empirical evidence for those with eyes to distinguish fact from fiction. Capitalism is a pejorative misnomer for non-coercive cooperation for the benefit of others. Now that I’ve got that off my chest let’s turn to three things I learned during my 37 years of corporate life. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
JOB SECURITY CONCERNS TRUMP EVERYTHING ELSE
1. The odds of getting anyone in a large corporation to rock the boat are about zero.
2. Fear of job loss will silence 99.9% of colleagues.
3. This goes from the most highly paid colleagues to the least.
NB: It’s all about the survival instinct. To quote the Man From La Mancha — whether the stone hits the pitcher or the pitcher hits the stone, it’s going to be bad for the pitcher.
HIRING AND FIRING ARE THE TWO TOUGHEST JOBS
1. And firing is by far the harder of the two.
2. So getting the hiring thing right is really, really important.
3. Some good news: people who are not good at one thing could be very good at something else.
NB: Analogy: firing an employee is like flunking a Harvard student. How many times have you seen it happen?
I USED TO THINK THERE WERE TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE AND ONE WAY TO MANAGE
1. I used to think there were nice people and not nice people.
2. Now I know there are four kinds of people; nice at work people, nice at home people, people who are nice at home and at work, and people who are nice at neither.
3. I used to think there was one way to manage — that manager manages best who manages least. Now I know that this is not always true. Some people need lots of management. Others a little. The spectrum is wide. The art of management is to figure out who needs what when. To be continued….
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YOUR TURN — Please share:
a.) the coolest thing you learned this week related to business, economics, finance.
b.) the coolest thing you learned in your life related to business, economics, finance.
c.) anything at all related to business, economics, finance.
d.) anything at all