Who Really Cooks the Books?
"For many years, I've had little confidence in the earnings numbers reported by most corporations. I'm not talking about Enron and WorldCom - examples of outright crookedness. Rather, I am referring to the legal, but improper, accounting methods used by chief executives to inflate reported earnings.
The most flagrant deceptions have occurred in stock-option accounting and in assumptions about pension-fund returns. The aggregate misrepresentation in these two areas dwarfs the lies of Enron and WorldCom."
Knowledge workers are the new capitalists
"knowledge workers are highly mobile within their specialism. They think nothing of moving from one university, one company or one country to another, as long as they stay within the same field of knowledge. There is a lot of talk about trying to restore knowledge workers' loyalty to their employing organisation, but such efforts will get nowhere. Knowledge workers may have an attachment to an organisation and feel comfortable with it, but their primary allegiance is likely to be to their specialised branch of knowledge."
Teachers Cheating and Incentives
"they began to do anything that would improve their performance on that measure even by a tiny bitâ€”even if they messed up other employees in the process. Ultimately they were consumed with maximizing what they knew they would be measured on, regardless of the fact that this was only part of their overall responsibility."
Profit = Market Price - Actual Cost or Price = Cost + Desired Profit
"Apple would probably sell very few iPhones for $2,000 more than they cost today. How many they would sell at $100 more or $100 less may change significantly but they would still be huge sellers at either of those prices. So that "market sets the price" idea is not 100% accurate (I don't think anyway).
Pricing decisions also have big long term versus short term considerations. Apple has started pricing many things in a way which makes it hard for competitors to undercut them. Apple, almost for sure could charge more for the laptops they sell and the iPad and iPhone. But if they did they make it easier for a competitor to compete on price. This pricing decision is an Apple decision not a market decision."
Charlie Munger on the Psychology of Human Misjudgement
"Early in the history of Xerox, Joe Wilson, who was then in the government, had to go back to Xerox because he couldn’t understand how their better, new machine was selling so poorly in relation to their older and inferior machine. Of course when he got there he found out that the commission arrangement with the salesmen gave a tremendous incentive to the inferior machine.
you really get extreme dysfunction as a corrective decision-making body in the typical American board of directors. They only act, again the power of incentives, they only act when it gets so bad it starts making them look foolish, or threatening legal liability to them. That’s Munger’s rule. I mean there are occasional things that don’t follow Munger’s rule, but by and large the board of directors is a very ineffective corrector if the top guy is a little nuts, which, of course, frequently happens. "
Management Web Sites and Resources
French Deming Association
"Our purpose is to help our members and to coordinate their studies, in order to promote a way of management which respects human dignity."
Madison Area Quality and Innovation Network
Community based quality improvement network founded in Madison, Wisconsin in 1987. "Our vision is to be a driving force behind positive economic and social change by promoting widespread application of customer-driven continuous improvement methods throughout the community"