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The huge, hidden costs of big biz
Ramblings on why and how small companies can compete
NewYork, Amsterdam, Tokyo, - AINTscience News live coverage:
Back when this reporter was a child, in the late fifties and early sixties, business executives and big business in general were highly respected by the general public, and thought to be complex, well-oiled and optimized production machines that rarely made wrong decisions or stupid errors.
Then something happened, starting in the sixties. With increasing frequency little accidents of not-too-bright decisions came to light, illuminated by steadily more inquisitive news media. The accidents wore away at the base of the meticuluously decorated facade, - and it cracked. Then, over a decade or two, it veritably disintegrated. Behind the facade, where shiny temples of progress were expected to sparkle, ugly and old factories emerged. They were run by a haphazard collection of young, inexperienced wannabes, middle-aged, chain-smoking executives in worn suits, and pompous old farts stuffed away in expensive board-rooms. Predictably, respect was one of the first casualties from the many little accidents that precipitated the decline and fall of the glossy big business image. (The image shows the author as a young wannabe in the early 70s).
Come to think of it, all of this could simply be viewed as this reporter's subjective perspective on the world of commerce during the personal process of growing up, and maybe it is. On the other hand, I believe my view is shared by the majority of the western world baby-boomer generation that I belong ot, and there are so many of us, that our views and perspectives as consumers and members of the general public have a strong influence on how big business is perceived by most other living generations, perhaps especially our kids. As they say: Perception is reality, and in the case of image, perception is all there is.
Anyway, big corporations "can't get no respect" anymore, and for good reasons. One mighty important such reason is the sociological breeding ground for intriguery and faction wars that big corporations provide for the many competitive people that are needed in large companies. Managing people is the hardest part of running a business, and the more people, the more difficult it gets. The results are screw-ups, stupid decisions and loss of respect.
The problem is that it can be extremely hard for managers to decide which faction is right and which is wrong when opposing views are presented by different groups. Both claim they are better qualified than the oppostition, so the manager gets bogged down in trying to learn the details and making the decisions her people are supposed to do for her. Or she tries to run things democratically, listening to each in turn, taking votes, and ending up pleasing nobody and some very bad decisions. The bigger the corporation, the more it becomes like a democracy run by politicians, and we all know how much we respect them and the productivity they govern.
As a result, big business can't always compete with smaller entities, even though the economies of size should count hugely in their favor. And now we're finally getting to the point:
Small businesses can usually be organized into efficient little departments handling each aspect of the company's business effectively. Because the businesses are small, it is possible to define the functions of each department clearly, dividing responsibilities and mandates. "Communication" and "transparency" are keywords in this respect. Having defined the "turfs" well, turf wars can be minimized and managing becomes easier.
The "catch", to say it ominously, is that clear definitions require precise and readily understandable documentation. But fear not, that is where a file server that is well organized using AINTscience can make a difference, or at least some difference. It facilitates a simple and understandable file system structure that is designed to reflect the company structure. This, and several other small business oriented features can help create a good foundation for communication and transparency throughout the company. As always, you have to do the work, but a good tool is a good tool.
In conclusion, we can't save big biz, it is a lost cause. But for the small business, in the spirit of the sixties (and a gross simplification): All you need is AINTscience.
The greatest sales offer ever: 100% discount
Yes, it's true. You can get AINTscience at a 100% discount for personal use, and for all single individual businesses. And there's no catch, no registration, no validation. Just download the Quick start and/or User guide, read and use! (And when you have decided to appreciate this free lunch, tell all your friends and business associates.) Get AINTscience now.
The full AINTscience documentation and a business licence will cost you $49, and if you read it and use it, the time spent will probably cost a whole lot more. (If you don't have any employees, you may download and read the User guide for free.) If you do the job right, we think it will be worth it, but we may be wrong. Honesty is the best policy, right?
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