More random musings and miscellaneous opinings

Just read Brand Like a Rock Star: Lessons From Rock ‘n’ Roll to Make Your Business Rich and Famous by Steve Jones—a fun and fast read.

It reveals the marketing strategies of dozens of top-tier artists (e.g., Jimmy Buffet, AC/DC, KISS, Aerosmith) and businesses (e.g., Apple, Procter & Gamble, BMW, Harley-Davidson). My favorite insight from the book: be clear about what you stand against, as well as what you stand for. I used to think I was the one eccentric who thought mainstream business should study the R&R playbook, but now I have lots of company.

Hey, aren’t we getting a little carried away with denunciations of JPMorgan Chase for losing $2-3 billion in a trade? Where’s the love? If corporations are people, as US law suggests, do we really want to hurt the feelings of JPMC (or Goldman Sachs or Citigroup or Bank of America for that matter)? In fact, in troubled times like this I think our investment banks could use a big hug.

We all intuitively recognize that having some control over our work (and life!) makes us more content and productive, right? (The self-determinism of rock musicians certainly contributes to their creative success.) Well, it just so happens that Yale did an interesting study of nursing homes and discovered that those institutions that gave residents control over simple decisions like when to eat, when to turn the lights off, etc. decreased their mortality rate by 50%! So it stands to reason that "empowering" employees in the workplace might keep them healthier if not more productive. (I suppose some managers will read this and say, "Ok, ok—we’ll let them turn the lights off.")

If you haven’t noticed, the Illuminati are everywhere these days. You probably know the Illuminati are an exclusive, shadowy club—made famous in Dan Brown novels like The Da Vinci Code—that has penetrated the walls of political and corporate power to mastermind world events, establish a New World Order, and give you bad performance reviews. But here’s something you didn’t know: they actually possess reptilian bloodlines! (Alex Jones said it, so it must be true.) To help them feel more compassionate and loving, I’m calling on Congress to celebrate "Trans-Species Awareness Week" next month. After all, reptiles are people too. Well, they’re becoming people.

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  1. any company that gives employees some choice in how to do their work is going to be more successful than those that don't. it's not rocket science.

    The empty suits running my company aren't bright enough to be illuminati. on the other hand i can't rule out the possibility that they're reptilian.

  2. Kt, the most innovative companies understand the value of workforce autonomy, at least to some degree. For instance, Google is one of several highly successful technology-based firms that expects its engineers to devote at least 20% of their time to projects of their own choosing. But too many companies just don’t get it, which brings us to your second point.

    That’s a critically important distinction you make… The Illuminati — I’m told on good authority — is a very elite club. (They’re difficult to identify unless they’re wearing baseball caps with their logo on them.) But many of our political and corporate leaders — who would never pass the Illuminati exams (IATs) — nevertheless possess SOME reptilian attributes (cold blood, scaly skin, wet feet, etc.). Some likely belong to the Squamata order.

  3. They're only partly reptile — my expert sources tell me — so you should give them a hug too.

    A friend just told me that the Google policy of having engineers spend at least 20% of their time on projects of their own choosing is conditional on the approval of their manager, who may put the kabosh on it in some cases. Our crack team of investigators at blfr is investigating! But of course there are many companies famous for frontline decision-making — from WL Gore to Patagonia to Whole Foods to Brazil's Semco.

  4. if corporations are people does that mean some of them have reptilian bloodlines too? that would explain the management strategy where i work.

    i'd like to have the freedom to turn ON the lights in my company. the management team has been working in the dark for years ... assuming we have a management team. don't get me wrong ... i love working here.

  5. I just watched MIB3 (Men in Black 3) ... so your repilians seem quite normal, particularly in the postal service.

    At my place of employ the idea of letting people make decisions is the equivalent of pushing the red button of apocalypse. Mgt. pretends to give authority, which is later used against the people they gave it to. Parental style comments such as "You should have known better and been able to avoid any issue" are quite common. They abdicate any responsibility that way. I hope 90% of the management team ends up at nursing homes without choices - so karmic - but it might be too short.

  6. Postal service? So that's why my mail is wet.

    Yeah, the service industry in which you work is especially known for its Pleistocene-era management model. And, as is SO often the case, those most in need of training (middle management) get the least of it. Educating/ training/coaching/mentoring supervisors in how to better educate/train/coach/mentor the frontliners will pay for itself in reduced turnover costs alone, right? But the responsibility for all of this rests in ownership/senior management. Middle managers just don't know any better if they have no training in the "soft" skills — which is apparently the case in your restaurant.

    The worst thing that can happen karmically to those senior managers is when they wind up in nursing homes they'll be forced to eat the same food they make you serve in their restaurant chain.

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