Posts Tagged ‘Business’

About the Productivity of Knowledge Workers

Monday, August 10th, 2009

blue collar workerIn the 19th Century The Blue Collar Workers were replaced by Machines operated by White Collar Workers.

When the White Collar Workers were replaced by the Software of the Programmers a new Type of Work was created, called Knowledge Work.

It is very difficult to measure the Productivity of the Knowledge Worker.

In this Blog I will show you that the Problem of the Productivity of the Knowledge Worker can be solved when you Realize that the Business Cycle is a Self-Referring Object (A Fractal).

Work is a Process and is part of a Business Cycle. Work has a Result and it uses Resources.

When the Result of the Process is accomplished somebody has to Use the Results. The process of Use is called Consuming.

When a Requirement is Transformed into a Result and the Result is Sold (Sales) and Used somebody starts to Think, gets Ideas, about Adapting the Requirements and the Cycle of Work is Closed.

When the Requirements are Satisfied we call the process Effective. The process is Efficient when Waste is minimized.

In the Business Cycle the Four “Organs” of the Human, Control, Desire (Consume), the Emotions (E-value-ate) and the Imagination (Create) are Dominating a Phase. The task of the fifth Organ, Conscioussness, The Monitor, is to Balance the Four Organs to make sure that one Human Faculty is not dominating the Cycle. The Business Cycle is Self-Referring.

This means that we are able to apply the Business Cycle in every part of the Business Cycle. A Salesman makes the Requirements of a Sales Plan, Executes a Sales Plan and Improves his Sales Cycle when he gets new Ideas about the effect of his efforts.

What we see is the process of Specialization resulting in the Division of Labour.

Every time when a new specialization of the Business Cycle is created the Level of the Process changes and the Speed of the Movement of the Cycle, the Periodicity, changes. Every Time when a new Division of Labour occurs the Business Cycle Speeds Up.

The Division of Labour not only Accelerates the Business Cycle. The New Roles in the Cycle behave like an Independent Unit. They want to Dominate Cycles on other Levels and most of all they want to expand their Activities.

The Personal Assistant who was helping the Manager to Hire and Fire Personnel transforms into a Human Resource Management Department.

At some point in time the specialized Units disconnect from the Whole and start a Life of their Own. Designers start Design Bureaus. Teachers unite in a School. Scientists cluster in Universities.

All of them are still payed by the Primary Processes in Society (Agriculture (Food), Industry, ..) but the Secundary (or higher order) processes don’t want to hear that. They think they are the Most Important Processes in Society.

When the new Wholes are created they start to Divide again and again. The Result of the Split of the Work Cycles, the endless Division of Labour, is an Incomprehensible, not Effective, Inefficient Network of Competing Work Processes Clustered in many Institutions.

The Business Cycle is Breathing.

When the process of Splitting has gone too far, the process of Union and Integration starts.

Splitting, Expansion, occurs when the Economic Cycle is going Up.

Integration, starts when the Economic Cycle is going Down.

We are now again in an Integration Phase which means that many secundary and higher order processes will be destroyed until the Essence of Society is visible again.

What is a Knowledge Worker?

A Blue Collar Worker works in a Factory and is doing Manual Labour. The people who are part of the Staff Departments of the Factory (Sales, Planning, Design,) are called White Collar Workers. White Collar Workers are more Educated as the Blue Collar Workers. They Earn more money and are doing Intellectual Work. The Knowledge Worker Uses and produce Knowledge. Examples are: Programmers, Systems Analysts, Lawyers, Teachers and Scientists. Examples of processes are: planning, acquiring, searching, analyzing, organizing, storing, programming, distributing and marketing.

What is Productivity?

The Concept of Productivity implies that an organization works as a Physical System with variables and their inter-relationships amenable to precise definitions. The basic reliance is on the acceptance of a Stimulus-Response model of Causality that an Input causes an Output.

Productivity is the ratio of Outputs (Goods and Services) divided by one or more Inputs (Labor hours, FTEs, Capital, Expenses). Using money as a measure of value makes it possible to compare dissimilar inputs and outputs.

Productivity is only applicable in the Production Phase of the Business Cycle. In the other Phases other Measures are used like Customer Satisfaction in the Consuming Phase. Customer Satisfaction is a measure of the Effectiveness of a Production phase.

The Business Cycle is a Self-Referencial Object. Every Phase of the Business Cycle can be divided in the Phases of the Business Cycle. This means that the Productivity of the Knowledge Worker can be Measured when he is Producing Something (A Design, A Research Document, A Plan).

If the Knowledge Worker is not Producing anything there is nothing to Consume in the next Phase. In this case the Knowledge Worker is not Effective. If this happens the  Knowledge Worker has to Reflect, Use his Consciousness, to detect his Added Value to the Whole he is part of.

To Define the Productivity of a Blue of White Collar Worker, the Process has to be Standardized. To standardize a process you have to define the Flow of the Components (Bill of Materials) and of course the Product, the Result.

If the Process is Standardized it is very easy to get rid of the Waste in the Process (Process Improvement). When this happens the process becomes more Efficient (now called Sustainable).

Standardization results in a Decrease of the Workers, a Lowering of the Waste (Costs) and an Increase in Rules. The Process Rules are implemented in Machines and Software.

What are Knowledge Workers Really Doing?

The Designers and Implementers of the Rules, the Knowledge Workers, are the people who are Destroying the Work of the Blue and White Collar Workers in a Factory. They are also the Creators of New Factories (Business Development) and connect Old Factories (Value Chain Integration).

How to Measure the Productivity of Knowledge Workers.

Knowledge Workers are part of the Business Cycle. They Analyze Work Processes to minimize Waste, Evaluate the Results of the Consuming of the Result of a Work Process (the Product) , Imagine and Test new Ways to Satisfy the Needs of the Consumer, Design New Work Processes or Change Existent Work Processes.

The Business Cycle is Self-Referring. This means that you can organize the Work Processes of the Knowledge Workers just like the Work processes they Analyze.

If you measure the Productivity of the Work Process of the Blue and White Collar Workers in a certain way, it must be possible to measure the Productivity of the Knowledge Worker in the same way. Knowledge Workers also have to make plans and have to evaluate their own products to Learn and to Improve their Performance.

This approach has a great advantage. If you treat the Knowledge Workers just the way you treat the Blue and White Collar Workers they will understand that some day the Controller will Standardize Knowledge Management, Reduce the Waste, Focus the Process on a Clearly Defined Target, Eliminate the Knowledge Workers and Replace them by a Very Intelligent and Creative Software Program.

These Software-Programs are already there (Expert Systems, Artificial Intelligence, Pattern Recognition) and are constantly improving their behavior. One of the most interesting examples is Wolfram Alpha.

When the Fractal Pattern Recognizers are fully operational the Knowledge Workers will Realize that the White and Blue Collar Workers are also Humans. They will know that every Human has the ability and the need to Control his own Process of Life.

They will see that Every Human has Desires, Emotions and Imagination.

They will become Aware (Consciouss) of the Fact that every Human is Able to Improve his Own Work Processes.

fractal

How the Hedge Funds are Starving a 100 Million People

Friday, April 25th, 2008

The Banking Business has created the Credit-Crunch. The Banking Business has created the Great Depression. The Banking Business has created many Bubbles. The Banking Business has advised people to buy shares while they knew the shares were highly overvalued. Now the Banking Business is stimulating the Food Crisis in the World.

 Analysis being carried out by World Food Program (WFP) estimates that about 100 million people have been pushed deeper into poverty by the high food prices.

The “Silent Tsunami” will affect more people on every continent than the real Tsunami in 2004. It will destroy more livelihoods and the nutrition losses will hurt children for a lifetime.

Everybody believes that Prices Rise when there is a Shortage of Something. The highest bidder takes all.

The main cause of the World Wide Food Shortage is Western Way of Producing, Selling and Wasting Food. We are Manipulating the Market and The Consumer but we are also destroying nature by fertilizers and genetical manipulated seeds. We are also throwing away a enormouss amount of food.

The Multi-Natioals produce genetic manipulated seeds, artificial fertilizers and artificial food. They control the Transportation, the Media, The Financial streams and the Governments (The World Bank). The multi-national food companies are making record profits.
 
The profit of Monsanto has doubled. Similarly, the Mosaic Company, one of the world’s largest fertiliser companies, saw its income rise more than 12-fold. The prices of some kinds of fertiliser have more than tripled over the past year as demand has outstripped supply. As a result, plans to increase harvests in developing countries have been hit hard.

The Farmers at the beginning of the production lines are mostly poor. They will not profit from the rise of the prices of their products. This is not something new. The Poor get poorer and the Rich get richer. They are blocked to enter the Market. They are also blocked to produce their own natural fertilizers and their own natural seeds. Most of them are now unable to be self-sufficient. They have to buy food and y are unable to pay for it.

When you are very rich you can play with “the Fundamental Law of the Market“. You can buy a lot of goods, store them and create an artificial shortage. This game is called Speculation. The Multi-Nationals are creating an artificial shortage.

A very advanced Speculation Game is called Hedging.

When you are Hedging you use the Power of Money to Move the market UP to a certain point you want it to reach. If your hedge works out fine you leave the market when it Moves DOWN. At that time you let the “Bigger Fools” pay for the Downfall. At this moment the Tax-Payers are paying for the Downfall of the Speculators in the Housing Business. The Hedge Funds have already found a new Target, Hunger.

At this moment Hedge funds are Moving into the Food-business and they are making Big Money.

Commodity speculation spread long ago from standard products like oil and gold to anything edible and available for trade on the Chicago Futures Exchange. These days there are futures contracts for everything from wheat to oranges to pork bellies.

The futures market is a traditional tool for farmers to sell their harvests ahead of time. In a futures contract, quantities, prices and delivery dates are fixed, sometimes even before crops have been planted. Futures contracts allow farmers and grain wholesalers a measure of protection against adverse weather conditions and excessive price fluctuations. They can also help a farmer plan how much to plant for a given year.

But now speculators are taking advantage of this mechanism. They can buy futures contracts for wheat, for example, at a low price, betting that the price will go up. If the price of the grain rises by the agreed delivery date, they profit.

Some experts now believe these investors have taken over the market, buying futures at unprecedented levels and driving up short-term prices. Since last August, this mechanism has led to a doubling in the price of rice-including the 500,000 tons that the Philippine government plans to buy in early May to address its own shortage.

Experts are already discussing what they call a “Super Cycle,” set off by constantly growing demand in China, and by farmers unable, in the long term, to keep up with that demand as they sow their seed and harvest their crops. The planet has only a finite amount of land for farming.

Greg Warner has worked in the grain wholesaling business for more than two decades. His office sits a block away from the Chicago Futures Exchange. He’s an analyst with the firm AgResource, and he says what is happening now in the wheat market is unprecedented.

“What we normally have is a predictable group of sellers and buyers-mainly farmers and silo operators,” he says. But the landscape has changed since the influx of large index funds. Fund managers seek to maximize their profits using futures contracts, and prices, says Warner, “keep climbing up and up.”

He’s calculated that financial investors now hold the rights to two complete annual harvests of a type of grain traded in Chicago called “soft red winter wheat.”

Wagner is stunned by such developments. He sees them as evidence that capitalism is literally consuming itself.

One of the major players in this business is ABN AMRO. When somebody asked the manager of this business about ethics he answered that he was not interested in a discussion about this subject. “We are aware of the current discussions relating to agricultural commodities but we make the drills, but others have to do the drilling”.

The World Food Program is asking everybody to donate money. They need more money (775 million!) than the “real” Tsunami to solve the problems of the 100 million. The sad thing is that donating is helping the Hungry but is also helping the Rich. It helps them to sustain their Gamble.

In the end your donation will be payd to a very Rich Person who has enough money to buy an enormous amount of Food.

This also happens when Governement is “helping” the WFP. It is a very intelligent trick to move money from the Public Domain to the Private Domain. In the end You pay More and They Increase their Wealth. IT happened with the Credit Crunch. It happened with the Great Depression. It happens all the time.

Just like every Bubble the Food Bubble will also burst at a certain moment. It is not difficult to imagine when this will happen. It will happen when a very small part of the world is able to pay for the food.

The Bubble is already infecting the Economy of the Rich Countries. When a Very amount of people is able to buy Food the End State will be reached and the Prices will drop. At that moment The Hedge Funds will move into another area of (artificial) Shortage.

The poor people in the West are already unable to pay for the food. At a certain moment the Middle Class will feel the effects. When the Poor People in the Rich Countries will experience a Food Shortage they will Riot.

Just like the poor people in the Underdeveloped Countries are Rioting. When the Riots start in the Getto’s of the Big Cities the Rich will become Afraid. They will Ask for Protection of the Police or the Military. In the end they have to surround there homes with walls and create there own food supplies.

The rising prices not only affect the Poor. They also affect the Policy of the FED to stop the Credit Crunch. Higher prices stimulate Inflation and Inflation can only be stopped by an Increase of the Interest Rates. Higher Interest Rates will deepen the state of Depression.

Is this what the Investors really want?

The Ethics are not of My Concern. They are the Business of Somebody Else.

We Produce Weapons but we are not responsible for the Use of the Weapons.

We Fight a War but we are not responsible for the Killing of Innocent people.

We Advice people but we are not responsible for What we are Advicing them.

We Pollute the World but somebody else has to Clean Up.

We Use all the Resources of the Earth but somebody else has to Take Care of our Children.

In the advanced Western Civilization we just look at the Profit. Investors are playing their hedge in the Global Casino and just don’t realize that they are gambling away the daily food supply of the world’s poorest people.

In the old, “Savage”, civilizations the Decision Makers had to Evaluate their Decisions on the effect of Seven Generations. They Knew they needed Nature, their Neighbours and their Offspring to Survive.

Funny.

Every Company has turned itself into a Green Company. They want to “Save the Earth”.

Are the Poor People on this Earth not Included in their Policy?

I know Why. You Know Why. Money makes the World go Round?

My Advice:

Always Take Responsibility for Every Action.

We are all Part of an Ecology and someday the Ecology will React and You will encounter the same things Others are Experiencing.

Do You want to Live in an Environment where You are deprived of Food? I don’t think so. Nobody Wants that.

REFLECT BEFORE YOU ACT.

LINKS

About Ethics in Banking