Showing posts with label Stubborn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stubborn. Show all posts

August 22, 2019

A Mosquito Into A Mule

So you know the old saying about:
Making a mountain out of a molehill

That's when you make a big deal out of nothing.

So yesterday, I heard the European version of this as:
Making a mosquito into a mule

Honestly, I like that version a lot better.

A mosquito bites and is annoying.

But a mule resists and is a very stubborn animal that can drive you crazy. 

You definitely don't want to make a mosquito into a mule! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 27, 2017

Loyalty To Others Vs. True To Yourself

So after the aborted Healthcare bill to replace failing Obamacare, President Trump tweeted about the alt-right's lack of support for the bill: 
"We learned a lot about loyalty [today]."

The Freedom Caucus refused to vote with the rest of the Republicans on the 7-year long awaited repeal and replace of Obamacare. 

Instead, they felt it didn't go farther enough to rescind everything from Obamacare they hated, and they chose to leave Obamacare as the solution for the foreseeable future, rather than get a replacement bill they felt was also subpar.

Whether this was smart or dumb, time will tell. 

- Smart - If down the road, they get a better replacement to Obamacare then what was being offered now. 

- Dumb - If rather than a better replacement, we end up either stuck with Obamacare indefinitely or get an even worse alternative later. 

It's a little like gambling Vegas--they decided to roll the dice again, rather than leave the table with their winnings. 

Sure, they could end up a bigger winner or they can lose it all, so we'll see. 

But there is another important question here:

What obligation did they have to be loyal and vote with their party vs. being loyal to their own conscience?

The Democrats have held the line better in terms of voting as block--and hence they have proved superior in many cases in wielding their share of power. 

In contrast, the Republicans have been more divided and hence, they can't get the votes they need to pass the legislation desired by the right--because somebodies are always holding out for a better deal. 

But Trump represents "The Art of the Deal,"--and a deal usually means negotiation, compromise, and that nobody gets everything they want.

So while everyone should vote and act their conscience, there is also something to be said for loyalty to the team effort. 

If everyone just holds out for what they want, then really that stoneheadedness will result in virtually nothing getting done. 

We've all got to give a little to get a little, as long as it doesn't violate our moral compass, core values, and faith. 

Loyalty also has to do with showing and acting with respect. 

And being disloyal to the team and leadership has ramifications.

Those who seemed as if they were being true to themselves and their constituents--may end up having really let themselves and the others down, and not just Trump and Ryan. 

Finally, loyalty is a two-way street, and I have a feeling Caesar is not yet done with the great treachery that was perhaps so callously inflicted on him and the greater national cause. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 16, 2012

The Shofar: We Can All Improve


The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) is tonight, and it is a time of introspection and commitment to do better in the future.


On Rosh Hashanah, we blow the Shofar (traditionally made from a ram's horn) in synagogue.

My sister-in-law, Sara Herbsman, told me a beautiful learning about the three types of blasts on the Shofar that correspond to 3 types of people that think they may be beyond repair, but who can still improve their lives:

1) Tekiah--tekiah means rooted and is one long blast--a person is never too stuck, stubborn, or set in their ways to change.

2) Shevarim--shevar means broken and the sound is 3 short broken blasts--that is a person is never to broken to fix.

3) Teruah--comes from the word Ra which means bad and is 9 rapid very short alarm blasts--that is a person is never too bad or evil to repent.

For those who have heard the Shofar blast, it is a moving experience--as if your very soul is stirred to introspection and fear of heaven.  

I remember learning in Jewish Day School that our prayers would ascend to G-d in heaven on the blast of the Shofar. 

But what I always like the best was the story of the one little boy in synagogue who did not know how to pray, but instead just cried--and his tears, full of sincerity, ascended beyond all the other prayers all the way to throne of the Almighty. 

May G-d bless us with a happy, healthy, prosperous, and peaceful New Year. 

Andy

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Elias Punch)

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December 7, 2008

GM and Enterprise Architecture

Where has enterprise architecture gone wrong at General Motors?

THEN: In 1954, GM’s U.S. auto market share reached 54%; in 1979, their number of worldwide employees hit 853,000, and in 1984 earning peak at $5.4 billion.

NOW: In 2007, U.S. market share stands at 23.7% and GM loses $38.7 billion; by 2008 employment is down to 266,000.

(Associated Press, “A Brief History of General Motors Corp., September 14, 2008)

Fortune Magazine, 8 December 2008, reports that “It was a great American Company when I started covering it three decades ago. But by clinging to the attributes that made it an icon, General Motors drove itself to ruin.”

GM clung to its past and “drove itself to ruin”—they weren’t nimble (maybe due to their size, but mostly due to their culture). In the end, GM was not able to architect a way ahead—they were unable to change from what they were (their baseline) to what they needed to be (their target).

“But in working for the largest company in the industry for so long, they became comfortable, insular, self-referential, and too wedded to the status quo—traits that persist even now, when GM is on the precipice.”

The result of their stasis—their inability to plan for change and implement change—“GM has been losing market share in the U.S. since the 1960’s destroying capital for years, and returning no share price appreciation to investors.”

GM’s share price is now the lowest in 58 years.

When the CEO of GM, Rick Wagoner, is asked why GM isn’t more like Toyota (the most successful auto company is the world with a market cap of $103.6 billion to GM’s $1.8 billion), his reply?

“We’re playing our own game—taking advantage of our own unique heritage and strengths.”

Yes, GM is playing their own game and living in their own unique heritage. “Heritage” instead of vision. “Playing their own game” instead of effectively competing in the global market—all the opposite of enterprise architecture!!

GM has been asphyxiated by their stubbornness, arrogance, resistance to change and finally their high costs.

“ GM’s high fixed costs…no cap on cost-of-living adjustments to wages, full retirement after 30 years regardless of age, and increases in already lavish health benefits. Detroiters referred to the company as ‘Generous Motors.’ The cost of these benefits would bedevil GM for the next 35 years.”

GM’s cost structure has been over-the-top and even though they have been in “perpetual turnaround,” they have unable to change their profligate business model.

Too many models, too many look-alike cars, and too high a cost structure—GM “has lost more than $72 billion in the past four years” and the result is? Are heads rolling?

The article says no—“you can count on one hand the number of executives who have been reassigned or lost their jobs”

At GM, conformity was everything, and rebellion was frowned on.” Obviously, this is not a successful enterprise architecture strategy.

Frankly, I cannot understand GM’s intransience to create a true vision and lead. Or if they couldn’t innovate, why not at least imitate their Japanese market leader brethren?

It’s reminds me of the story of the Exodus from Egypt in the bible. Moses goes to Pharaoh time and again and implores him to “let my people go” and even after G-d smites the Egyptians with plague after plague, he is still unmovable.

Well we know how that story ended up for the Egyptians and it doesn’t bode well for GM.

The bottom line, if the enterprise isn’t open to genuine growth and change, nothing can save them from themselves.


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