1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice
Hey Guest!
The donation button is here.
https://goo.gl/aFggcs

WTF - Absurd decisions in business (forget about politics...)

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by rogue49, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    I just saw this in an article.

    3 silliest company name changes

    I just want to know this...these are supposed to be pros.
    They get paid BIG bucks to make business decisions.
    What the hell were they thinking??!!

    Being on the inside of various companies and projects over the years,
    I've seen the strangest and stupidest things go on.

    Things you'd think a person on crack would decide better on.

    Married CEOs having affairs, then losing their companies.
    CFO turn out to be Financial Assassins placed in by the board.
    Actions that would get them closed down in 2 seconds flat.
    Configs in a pro environ that looks like the dark ages...and waste time, money & man hours.
    Even now, my company is spending oodles on things that are such an obvious waste.

    Here I am, under someone always...and yet those above just play the weirdest games and plays.
    I've owned my own business...it's difficult, I don't want to deal with it.
    It's your company...but come on!!...You decided on this???

    Like some of the movies that come out...you should have just given the money to the homeless.

    Hell, even in the "best of the best" of the Executive Office,
    they're a bunch of very smart people all pulling the rug out from under themselves.

    Why does this happen?
    Ego? Bias? Hormones?

    Explain it to me.
    And perhaps give me some examples you've seen or experienced. I'd love to hear them.

    I know I'm not crazy...but it certainly feels like I live in crazy at times. :confused:
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  2. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    North Carolina
    There are a multitude of skills required to be a business person. Being good in one or a few aspects won't make a person good in all of them.


    Yes. Being an executive is not difficult, becoming an executive is difficult. If someone put you (me or anyone else) in charge of a S&P 500 type company you could make decisions all day and night long and if you have good people odds are you will make good decisions. There is always a probability of failure. so for example would you have given Apple Maps the green light? As the CEO you depend on your people to tell you if it is ready or not and if they were honest you would be making a real decision. After the fact I think there is a reason why the guy in charge of that project got fired - but it still was an embarrassment to the CEO and the company.
     
  3. greywolf

    greywolf Slightly Tilted

    In a lot of cases, especially publicly traded companies and government bureaucracies, the executives show all the hallmarks of being politicians in that they (the executives) are more important than the organisation. Their decisions are often made with themselves as the first priority, and the company second. Protecting your empire, and surrounding yourself with the people you can trust to make good decisions is the standard behaviour. Good decisions are the ones that will make you look good, or will not come back to bite you. You can protect your sycophants just as they protect you and serve as blame-fodder.

    In a private company, you don't allow that to nearly the same extent. We will fire someone who's not performing to the company's best interest, and recently drove that point home to our president, who was playing fast and loose with some expenses and giving himself some unacceptable perks. We didn't fire him, but he knows we are watching, closely.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    North Carolina
    What I find interesting (especially given the US emphasis on democracy in government, one person one vote, equal representation and stuff like that) is most of the successful companies I have looked at, got that way through more or less a dictatorship. Or, one guy ruling the company with an iron fist and everyone following his vision. These guys couldn't give a sh!t about politics. Politics become important when "managers" are put in charge of companies.
     
  5. greywolf

    greywolf Slightly Tilted

    You're right... when the owners remove themselves from the picture, either by bringing in "professional" managers, or through an IPO, the move to bureaucracy begins its inevitable march.
     
  6. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    However, I've seen decisions made by CEO and Presidents that are by whim or skewed perspective.
    Not by listening to all the fact and perspectives by their SMEs...but by their gut feeling without getting all the background.

    So much money and time is wasted this way often.
     
  7. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    Location:
    North
    After watching Borders get run into the ground by people who didn't understand a thing about selling books, anytime someone says that we need to run government like a business I to stop myself from slapping them silly.
    The fact is businesses don't seem to have any better idea how to handle the rabidly changing world than governments.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Most businesses fail. Some would argue that they did not run their business like a business. When a business owner treats his/her business like an ATM it will fail without a doubt. One problem for Borders was that going into the digital revolution they had massive debt (relative to sales) and based on that they had no capital to invest in new technology offerings. Borders spent excessively in building physical stores using debt, and ouch, it did not pay off. With massive debt, one error can lead to very bad consequences. Same is true for governments - ask Greece.
     
  9. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Forget about politics? Impossible. Everything is political.

    Yes, yes, the business world is filled with absurdities and brilliance alike. The same, indeed, can be said of government. However, equating the two too closely is itself absurd. To suggest a government should be run like a business is absurd. The purpose of a business is to make a profit. The purpose of a government is to ensure the safety and well-being of citizens. In terms of operational matters, there is some overlap, but with the ultimate goals and the methods of empowering decision-makers, running a government like a business, or running a business like a government for that matter, is a recipe for disaster, if not in the short-term, then the long-term.

    Most businesses do fail, but much of the reasoning comes from external factors. There are horror stories of catastrophic failures due to stupid mistakes, but much of the fail rate is simply due to the high-risk nature of business and a rather wide multitude of factors that either benefit or harm individual businesses or entire industries.

    However, one of the biggest reasons for failure in business is simply a lack of experience. Those with business experience who start new businesses tend to have higher success rates than those with none. What may seem absurd to the experienced may seem like a good idea to the inexperienced.

    Well-established franchise operations also have higher success rates. It's difficult to make absurd decisions if you remain within the expectations and regulations of successful systems of franchising. Franchisees who fail are probably the ones who think they can do better by "improving" the model. Whether their decisions are absurd will depend on the decisions themselves and one's perspective, I suppose.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    Location:
    North

    Yep, businesses fail. I've worked for a bunch of them. Try working for restaurants in the roller coaster economy of Ak.
    I'd argue that they didn't run the business like a book business.
    You're absolutely right about the freaking cash register, they hired CEO's who routinely took the golden parachute and ran.

    The problem with physical locations had a lot to do with the pissing contest between them and B&N. If one company built a store, the other one had to build one close by.
    It was stupid and counterproductive, kind of like a government playing at mutual assured destruction.

    The big was technology and that went all the way back to the early days.
    In the beginning Borders had one of the best inventory and ordering systems going but they never bothered to update it.
    For years they tied into Amazon rather than create a website of their own and didn't really get a handle on the change in the music market until it was too late.

    They made a horrible contract with Seattle's Best to take over their Cafes so they could be like B&N who had Starbucks rather than trying to create a local brand that would attract customers.
    By trying to be something it wasn't, by forgetting what it did best, by not relying on what made it strong in the first place, by not investing in infrastructure, by paying it's people poorly and losing them by creating a horrible work environment while paying the people at the top millions, by ignoring the changes in the world around it, by not embracing technology and by letting people who cared nothing about what they doing except to feather their own nests run things, Borders died a death it didn't deserve.
    Sound familiar?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Unless you are Amazon! In the context of Boarders - Amazon simply priced Boarders out of business without much concern for profit. Perhaps Bezos's has a long-term plan that focuses on profit - to date it seems his focus has been on market share and re-defining traditional markets.
    --- merged: Mar 14, 2014 at 5:24 PM ---
    Very familiar. I think failures come from poor decisions regardless of organization type or purpose.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2014
  12. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    This might interest you (especially the last point): Amazon's Profits: What People Don't Understand - Business Insider

    Eventually, it's going to come down to profitability. It always does.
     
    • Like Like x 1