#15

Simply Caring

Sometimes...
Simple is better.
Simple can be complex
and Complex turns out to be
too simple.
Management...
Objectives, Goals, Constraints, Targets
Responsibility...
resources and authority..
what does it take to do the job?
is there enough?
Accountability...
did it work?
was it done right?
Is a puny solution
that is on time and under budget
beter or worse
than a strong solution
that is late and over budget?
It all depends...
The 5 o'clock news better be ready by 4:59.
And not over budget.
The design of a new product
that will be reproduced
a million times...
had better be good.
It doesn't matter much what the design costs..
it matters what the manufacturing cost is.
It matters how the customer likes it.
A mass produced product
that was designed
on time and under budget
won't get anybody promoted
if the dogs won't eat it.
On the other hand,
it the product takes off,
sells ten times better than projected.
Nobody even remembers that the
design was late
and the design expense was
200% over budget,
as long as the production cost
was 99% of projection.
Responsibility..
Authority..
Accountability
Business Management.
Who gets rewarded.
Who gets fired.
Management 101.
New example.
Parenting.
Responsibility...
Who is responsible for feeding the child?
Who is accountable for a hungary child?
Where do the resources go for a hungary child?
If the parent cannot feed the child....????
Should you relieve the parent of that responsibility?
If the parent needs resources to feed the child
should you help the parent???
Or should you relieve the parent
of Responsibility
and Accountability
for the child.
If you take over the function of feeding
the child, because you don't trust
the parent to apply the resources properly,
should you expect the parent
(now relieved of feeding and implicitly untrusted)
to properly apply other resources
to the benefit of the child?
Do you expect said parent to explain
to you by registered letter
that you should not expect him
to consider the welfare of the child
before his own and to please
quit sending checks?
Do you?
Or do you expect said parent
to abdicate all responsibility
toward said child
because he percieves that there
is no chain of accountability
and he's obviously off the hook.
What do you expect to happen
when you feed the child
and relieve the parent of
the most fundamental responsibility
of being a parent?
If you are a public official
and are responsible
for managing the distribution
of resources
to help children,
should I as a voter
hold you accountable?
You sir, have committed a crime!
Even a freshman, taking management 101,
knows that a crime has been committed.
The freshman may not be sophisticated
enough to analyze the flow of funds
into the hands and wallets of supporters
but he will know that a management
crime has been committed,
and that the children are the victims.
How to fix it?
Simplify it.
Don't make rules above.
Allow the parents and teachers
of the school
manage.
They'll manage.
They'll make sure that kids
don't come to school hungry.
That's the goal, right?
The kids shouldn't come to school hungry.
The parents are responsible
and accountable.
To whom?
To whomsoever shall control the resources.
And that should be local.
The supervisor of parents of hungry children.
How to do it?
That depends....
on what works...
every school, every parent, every child may be different.
It can't be done in Washington.
It must be done by someone
who cares...
...about the children,
who knows...
...the parents,
who sees...
...what happens.
It must be managed.
People are not machines.
Has anybody noticed?
People are not machines.
They are not the same.
They can't be treated like cows
or poultry.
(whether the cows and poultry
are properly treated is another issue)
A person, child or adult,
who has nothing,
who is dependant on the state,
who is only concerned about his own welfare,
cannot be conerned about anyone else.
The catch 22 is that concern about others
is the only way to make money.
All jobs revolve around
what the boss wants.
Retail sales jobs
require concern about the customers wants.
Entreprenural ventures require
generalized concern about the
customers benefit.
How can I help you?
is a question at the center
of business.
at the center of jobs.
People become rich
being concerned about others.
Lack of concern
about others
produces poverty.
Economic poverty
and spiritual poverty.
There a plenty of people
who need help.
Seniors, handicapped,
retarded, and on and on.
Teaching about care for others
may be as simple
as letting someone care for others.

Bill Bottorff
April 19, 1996


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