Enlightened Conflict

the science, and the lost art, of ROI

May 24th, 2017

choices-path-shopping-direction-decisions

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“… businesses want answers right away and many times high statistical reliability is not worth the cost it takes to achieve it.

 

Insights that point decision-makers to go “left” or “right” is innately good enough. Leaders are oftentimes not willing to pay for “turn left at a 30 degree angle” or “turn right at an 115 degree angle” because it may cost too much money and takes far too long to obtain those precise next steps through drawn-out methodologies.”

 

—–

Kuhn

 

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“Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.”

 

=

John Dewey

 

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“Perfect numbers like perfect men are very rare.”

 

—–

Rene Descartes

 

============

 

Well.

 

fire water contradiction ideas thinkThis is about how ROI gets abused in decision making and I am writing about that because the Trump administration issued their “national budget proposal” <which I fully acknowledge is simple a guideline of the administration’s desires> and immediately started ponying up all their “we made cuts where there was no evidence of appropriate results” justifications.

 

Some of those justifications are terrifying.

Some of their choices are terrifying.

 

As for the budget plan?  As one writer put it … “the math is terrifying.”

 

Cutting Medicaid would be devastating for all low-income Americans, but particularly for women and mothers: 45 percent of childbirths in the U.S. were funded by Medicaid in 2010, according to data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Trump’s budget also cuts funding for after-school programs for children and support for domestic violence victims.

 

I am going to let other people tear apart the incredibly short sighted Trump budget plan <which, yes, has scraps of good ideas> and I will focus on the criteria it appears they focused on <excepting the parental leave initiative which was like placing a half-eaten M&M on top of a turd> — budget by ROI.

 

Budgeting by ROI.

 

Whew.

 

 

This provides me with another excuse to blast my generation of business leaders and how their misguided thinking has screwed up not only how business is conducted, in general, but how we think about business. Specifically about ROI … these hollow men hollowed out business of any of the ‘art’ and color which is associated with thriving businesses which contribute to society & cultural norms leaving at an empty husk of dollars & cents and black & white ROI decisions.

 

Look.

 

roi einstein

I am all for analysis and love quantitatively judging tactics and initiatives. But I also understand that <1>  numbers often do not always tell the entire story and <2> we far too often judge ROI on one specific outcome without assessing some value on some ‘ripple effect’ outcomes.

 

But, first, the numbers and ROI.

 

I wrote back in February that numbers have lost their mojo  … yeah … well … I still believe that … just in a different context.

 

In this case we are dealing with a generation of business people who have completely bastardized the use of numbers – stripping them of anything but the false veneer of what they call “simplistic stark truth.”

Now. ‘Simplistic stark truth’ sounds good … and it sounds really good in the business world.

 

And, yet, in this starkness there is found falseness. The falseness can be found in its lack of imagination, its lack of depth and its lack of seeing anything but ‘what can be measured.’

 

This stupid view of numbers wreaks havoc when viewing ROI analysis.

 

Now … back on November 13th 2016 I wrote about the Trump administration as the last stand of the old white men  <the business generation I continuously skewer> and discussed hollowness. And while I outlined a number of ‘hollow’ things which can be blamed on this generation in that piece I neglected to point one out — the hollowing of ROI.

 

————–

 

ROI.

 

ROI <return on investment> is a fabulous tool. It offers us every day unimaginative pragmatic schmucks an almost heuristic way to judge some fairly complex and complicated things in business.

 

But old white men hollowed ROI of anything intangible and along the way scraped away some of the most meaningful things associated with investment in their desire for simplistic “this led to that.” Certainly some investments have linear outcomes and results. But not all. And these hollow men in their black & white pursuit of profit, efficiency and outcomes became color blind.  Old white men started looking at people as equal to numbers & dollars and not organic organisms of less than linear productivity <in terms of Life actualization as well as business actualization>. These hollow men fell in love with numbers and began diminishing the value of humanity.

 

That is Trump in a nutshell.

 

—————-

.......... hollow men making hollow decisions ......

………. hollow men making hollow decisions ……

Well.

 

I could argue this all happened because ROI analysis permitted a shortcut for business people — a thinking & decision making shortcut.

It permitted, and encouraged, an entire generation to not have to really think but rather fallback on “that’s what the analysis said.”

 

That is plain and simple lazy fucking business … not smart solid business.

 

I will not argue that a good ROI analysis can offer a quick spontaneous glimpse of truth viable snapshot … in fact … it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who stated that the growth of intellect is spontaneous.

 

Of course, he hadn’t been bludgeoned with measurement, ROI and data driven decisions.

 

Of course, he was also on the one who stated … what is the hardest task in the world? To think. And. We are all wise. The difference between create destroy pencilpersons is not in wisdom but in art.

 

And that is where Trump and his merry band of old white men doing this whole budget thing are most aggravating.

 

It is not that they cannot envision the art of decision making but rather they purposefully abstain from the art of decision making <and focus solely on ROI>.

 

It is not that they are incapable of holding two conflicting ideas at the same time but rather they purposefully choose to ignore one idea or thought for the one most supported by the science of ROI.

 

 

It is not that they are oblivious to the qualitative nature & benefits of budgetary decision but rather they avoid the more difficult defense of the qualitative to utilize the more easy, and lazy, rationale of the quantitative.

 

I don’t blame them specifically <although it is their budget blueprint> but it is the unfortunate legacy of that entire generation to do those things.

 

All that said.

 

While ROI seems a straightforward way to analyze … ROI, when evaluated properly, can be devilishly tricky … but when done well it can inform some great insightful decisions and ideas.

 

ROI, when evaluated properly, can be devilishly painful … like having the devil screaming at you type painful … and even when done well tends to dull <not sharpen> the good ideas.

 

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The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

 

—-

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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But ROI, measurement … practical rewards & output … that is what we ‘do’ these days.

This seem o be our “how we conduct business handbook” these days.

philosophical-discovering-gravity

We seem to have forgotten the value of unsought discovery and the value of … well … the benefit of the benefit <I spent money which created ‘x’ outcome … which enabled this other ‘x’ outcome>.

 

We seem to have culturally decided consciously to … “inevitably we will show a failure of imagination.”

 

What do I mean ? Let me use a quote from Le Carre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy:

 

 

 

“…in the hands of politicians grand designs achieve nothing but new forms of the old misery…”

 

 

 

In our failure of imagination in our analysis of existing programs and initiatives we come up with grand designs begetting new forms of old misery. But what makes today and this budget worse? These are supposed to be fucking business people and not politicians in place making these ‘grand designs’ <isn’t that what some people voted for with Trump?>.

 

I admit.

 

I am wary of how ‘we the people’ will move forward with regard to budgeting tough-choices-shopping-decisions-lifeand programs and policies and deciding what we should do to better America..

 

I am wary because I see little moving forward, no ‘trying to do what it takes to get there’ other than bludgeoning people with simplistic harsh solutions and no imagination to overcome the cries of ‘why waste money on something like this!”

 

I am wary because I see men of a generation who bastardized ROI analysis applying their own bastardized version of ROI thinking to people’s lives <under the guise of “applying it to people’s money/taxes” — no, they are not the same>.

 

I am a business guy.

 

I cannot envision running a business, or a government, without solid measurement, ROI & budgeting rigor.

 

But I also know from running a business with hundreds of employees that the greatness of an organization does not reside solely in some number … or some ROI analysis.

 

==========

 

“The true greatness of a nation is not measured by the vastness of its territory, or by the multitude of its people, or by the profusion of its exports and imports; but by the extent to which it has contributed to the life and thought and progress of the world.

 

===============

 

I tend to believe most of us every day schmucks recognize that ROI is part of doing business and insuring our hard earned money/taxes is used effectively.

But I also believe that most of us every day schmucks also realize that some things just cannot be measured solely by numbers.

 

 

I worry that this Trump administration is reflective of the lost art of ROI family choices tough decisions aheadanalysis and the value of discovery

 

In their love of money as ‘winning’ they have lost sight of the value of seeking what is beyond the horizon. They have devalued imagination to such a point that they most likely define imagination as measurable in an ROI analysis. In other words they take ideas and thoughts, even ones with no history, and embrace them not by saying “what if” and “what could be” but rather by grinding it through some veg-o-matic ROI machine to assess its true value.

 

And that, my friends, is how they came up with their “blueprint for a national budget.”

 

And that, my friends, is how they plan on running this country and making their decisions.

 

And that, my friends, is not how America does business … because it shows a failure of imagination and it is imagination, not ROI analysis, which drives real change and progress.

 

—————–

 

“Imagination has brought mankind through the dark ages to its present state of civilization.

Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine, and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities.

 

So I believe that dreams–daydreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain machinery whizzing–are likely to lead to the betterment of the world.

 

The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to invent, and therefore to foster, civilization.”

=

 

Baum

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and from time to time they permit themselves to be told

April 4th, 2017

letters to myself never read

 

==========

 

“The world is full of stories, and from time to time they permit themselves to be told …”

 

—–

An aboriginal saying

 

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I believe that the magic and power of a story can encourage and fascinate you.

In prehistory, outside the cave it was dark, but inside they had a fire and somebody was good at telling stories.

Every time I write, I think of the cave.

We are one group, outside it’s dark and wolves are howling, but I have a story to tell.

 

—–

Haruki Murakami

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Ok.

 

stories on wallsIt’s difficult to discuss stories too often.

The fact is that being able to tell a story … okay … tell the story you want … well … is possibly one of the most important skills anyone can have – in life or in business.

 

But let me stay on the business side of stories.

 

Throughout my career I have had the fortune to work with the most unglamorous products & companies you could ever think of <industrial products, commodity like machinery, etc.> and some fairly glamourous products & companies.

 

What they all have in common is that they have a story to tell … and when told well it makes them successful — in sales, in market place positioning, in competitive scenarios, in public discussions, etc.

 

I used to think storytelling was so natural to everyone I assumed everyone would want to tell their story … or maybe better said … talk about their business, their company, their product … as a story.

 

I no longer think that.

 

I haven’t figured out if it is that not everyone can actually tell a good story or that business has beaten the shit out of people so badly that the default articulation is a list of functional features and pragmatic benefits. What I do know is that business storytelling, in general, sucks.

It is absolutely horrible.

 

Meaningless metaphors and less-than-relevant analogies and misused quotes are scattered among the useful functional and pragmatic in the attempt to elevate that which is usefully boring to interestingly useful.

And because that is the case … well … most people either think storytelling is really really hard or that storytelling really has no place in what they are doing.vivid story demonstration metaghor

 

That is nuts.

 

The truth is you can take the most boring of boring, the most functional of functional & most ‘seemingly same of seemingly same’ and wrap it within a story and it … well … becomes compelling, interesting and distinct.

 

The truth is any business contains the essential parts to create a story … heroes, villains, vivid demonstrations or metaphors, life & death and even mysteries and solutions.

 

The truth is anyone can tell a story <it is possible that not everyone can write a story though>.

 

In fact … I feel relatively confident is stating that a good story to tell makes everyone better & more interesting.

 

I do not care what industry you work within or what type of product or service you sell or represent your word is full of stories … and, most likely, a fabulous story just asking for permission to be told.

 

All that said.

 

Someone is most likely sitting somewhere scratching their head thinking … “WTF, that sounds good but I have no clue what to do.”

 

Aw.

 

You do.

You do know what to do.

 

Stop thinking about selling your idea or selling your product/service or even selling your company … think about telling a story.

 

Shit.

 

nuts and bolts commodityI could work for a nuts & bolts manufacturer and be able to put a picture of two nuts & bolts side by side <one mine and one someone else’s>  which look 99.9% exactly the same … and be able to say … “Let me tell you a story about this nut & bolt … because its story is different than this nut & bolt. They look the same but their story is different.

 

Oh.

 

And my story wouldn’t be solely some manufacturing mumbo jumbo but rather a story about who counted on it and how my nut & bolt was the best friend to someone and … well … you get the point.

 

Unfortunately we don’t seem to be in the storytelling business in business these days.

 

Instead we bore down on manufacturing specifications, stress quotients, side by side rankings and a whole bunch of technically important functional aspects.

 

And you know what?

That shit is important.

 

Really important.

 

nuts an bolts story city growTo be sure … if it is my nut & bolt holding a wing on some plane carrying 300 passengers you can bet your last dollar the technical aspects of my nuts & bolts matter. I don’t argue that.

What I argue is HOW the technical aspects are articulated and delivered. What I argue is that if I can make my nuts & bolts look like a city of ideas through some story … I win.

 

Stories make presentations more interesting.

Stories make bland functional aspects take on some color <which equals value>.

Stories persuade people think <and thinking equals engagement>.

Stories to motivate us to see beyond the simple nut & bolt.

 

Suffice it to say … what you say is lost if you do not master how you say it.

 

Storytelling has been a mainstay of the marketing world since … well … forever.

And while it tries to sneak into the non-marketing aspects of the business world it often gets stiff armed by functional communicators – “get to the point” people.

 

This ‘get to the point’ point is nonsense.

 

Storytelling doesn’t sacrifice the functional and pragmatic and practical … it actually elevates it to ts highest value.

 

I could argue that stories are the essential driver of value, change & persuasion … throughout the history of business.whispers stories

 

Look.

 

I would never tell a business to not show the numbers, graphs and facts. It is important.

But strategic use of a good story can make those same bland things surprise people, make them become compelling characters in a story and instead of being cold hard facts laying on a page they can become things that make us think & feel.

 

Story telling is important in that it engages people, communicates relevant meaningful information, builds value on some things that can often be difficult to build value on and, ultimately, it makes you, your product or service & your company distinct.

Why? Because it has a story to tell.

 

The business world is full of stories, and from time to time they permit themselves to be told …

 

 

recovering from WTF

November 19th, 2016

what-in-tarnation-wtf

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They <Democrats> are our intellectual and social betters. They didn’t lose because of their positions.

They lost because they think we are misguided fools and they didn’t do a good enough job of educating us.

 

—–

 

A sarcastic RedState Commenter

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Ok.

 

I scan all news outlets from bleeding heart liberal to scary Armageddon right.

The main thing I have noticed is that Trump has sucked the oxygen, and intelligence, out of all media <social, cable and ‘mainstream’>. It is an event unlike anything we have seen before.

 

He does nothing, says nothing of any consequence, maybe throws in a random insanely juvenile tweet or two … and it sucks all the oxygen out of anything & everything. This is like the OJ in the Chevy Blazer but the Blazer is still driving in its 18th month.

 

All I can conclude from this is that he is an attention whore who loves any attention and will do nothing to calm the attention storm <because he could stop the insanity if he wanted to>.

 

And this leads to me to what I am referring to as the “ongoing WTF hangover” and how Republicans and Trump surrogates <and, yes, they are different> keep on suggesting ‘get over it, he won.’

 

That is crazy.

doom sucks negativity divide unfair

And, worse?

It shows a lack of insight into what happened.

 

This is not about being a sore loser. This is not about not accepting a loss.

 

Shit.

This isn’t even really about politics.

 

This is not that they lost … it is about who they lost to.

 

So, please, all those who say ‘he won get over it” take a deep breath and think about it this way.

 

If this had been Romney versus Clinton and she lost … yeah … people would have been bummed … frustrated … but not protesting or standing up and asking the VP to think about ‘the people’ with concern and a tinge of fear.

Romney is sane, a good man with some policies you could agree with, and some to disagree with, and he clearly stated what you could expect from him <none of those things can be checked with Trump>.

 

If this had been …

 

Rubio

Kasich

Pataki

Huckabee

Rand Paul

Cruz … okay … maybe less so.

Walker

 

Yeah … people would have been bummed … but not really concerned with what was going to happen <okay .. maybe with Cruz> … certainly not protesting and asking the VP to think about the people with concern and a tinge of fear.

 

Next.

 

No.

I am not going to suggest Clinton won the popular vote and bla bla bla … but there is this absurd Republican stance that “the people have spoken and the winner is clear.”

 

C’mon.

 

Please.

 

Clinton: 63,049,607 votes … 47.9%

 

Trump: 61,610,484 votes … 46.8%

 

Everyone else … maybe 8 million+ votes … 5.3%

 

Trump didn’t even win enough votes to beat W. Bush … and, boy, does Bush look good now <George W. Bush 2004 62,039,073 … Donald Trump 2016: 61,610,484>.

 

My point?what-stupid-shock-wtf-surprise

 

They are acting like the 72 million <or so> people who did not vote for Trump didn’t wake up the next day saying “WTF just happened?”

 

They are acting like maybe let’s say 20% of those who actually did vote for Trump, maybe 12 million people or so, didn’t wake up the next day saying “Holy shit … uh oh.”

 

They are acting like 28% of those who didn’t vote at all didn’t wake up the next day and saying “WTF happened … holy shit … I fucked up <because I would vote for Hillary if I had the chance today>”

                           (research conducted with non voters by international paper)

 

 

Look.

 

The Wake Forest football team could beat Alabama one weekend.

99% of the people would wake up the next day going “WTF happened?”

Maybe 90% of the Wake Forest fans would wake up the next day and say “Holy shit.”

But pretty much 99.9% of the people know Alabama is a better team.

 

 

Anyway.

 

WTF doesn’t just fade away.

 

In fact … it has a number of levels.

 

wtf-20-times-a-dayThe farther the WTF edges toward true outrageousness the deeper the WTF.

 

The farther the WTF edges toward sheer shock the deeper the WTF.

 

The farther the WTF edges toward real disbelief, as in “how could someone so unqualified assume such an important position that could affect my life, career and country”, the deeper the WTF.

 

And then … when the WTF wears a cloak of “oh shit” … well … it is the kind of WTF that is not tied to the loss but rather to the “WTF happens now.”

It is that last one that lingers … and lingers until there is a better sense of ‘what will happen.’

 

 

As I have stated … not all WTFs are created equal.

 

And it is absurd to not understand that and stupid to diminish it. Especially if we are talking about the majority of the population and the WTF candidate didn’t even gain 50% of the population to raise its hand and say “yeah, I think you can do the job” <let alone I think “you can do a job I want”>. Compound that with the truth, a cold hard fact, that more people actually believed someone else should do the job … well … ‘get over it, he won’ just doesn’t hack it.

 

I can guarantee you one thing … no real business leader would sit in their new corner office going “well, I won, they just need to shut up and line up outside my door and love me and my plans.”   

 

Yeah.

 

I know.

 

We have all seen it in business … there may be nothing worse than when the new leader ignores the WTF or is oblivious to the WTF.

 

It doesn’t happen often … but most of us have seen it <if not on just a lower management level>.

 

Treating a ‘WTF happened’ attitude as if it doesn’t exist is just not good leadership.

 

Why?

 

Cultures and people, in general, don’t like vacuums. In fact, their presence compels us to fill the vacuum … well … mostly with shit.shit well nuts

 

People do not like to extrapolate. People do not like to guess.

And when forced to … well … we come up with shit.

Oh. And shit multiplies fast and is sticky.

Cleaning up shit is not just a messy job it can almost be an impossible job.

 

Look.

 

I am no business leader genius but even I know when you assume a new leadership position you do not assume everyone knows who you are, what your plan is and what you want to do.

 

Silence creates a vacuum which, until all of us every day working schmucks fill it with our shit, is only filled with uncertainty, questions and maybe a little fear of what’s next.

 

Silence only does one thing … increase the initial WTF factor. It does not diminish it.

 

To diminish the WTF factor you need to fill the vacuum with something other than shit, vague shit and bullshit.

 

Set the agenda. State the plan.

It gives even the skeptical & cynical a measurement stick and something to hold on to beyond a simple ingoing “WTF attitude”.

 

Once again … this inherently leads me to my latent disdain for Trump as a business person. Trump has no idea how to lead nor does he understand, or have the experience, how to positively build an organizational culture nor does he show any signs he knows how to lead.

He is solely a purely transactional operator. That is not a leader.

 

 

watch uh oh shit bad day crisis businessSo … Mr. President elect Trump.

 

Maybe you should not consider this a win but rather a promotion where:

 

  • About 100 million of your 200 million employees are, at minimum, skeptical you have the temperament or the skills to have earned that promotion.

 

Let’s call these the “WTF employees.”

 

  • About 72 million of your 200 million employees unequivocally did not believe you were deserving of the promotion.

 

Let’s call these the “WTF … holy shit” employees.

 

  • About 40 million of your 200 million employees were so indifferent as to whether you got this promotion or not that they most likely had no clue who you were when it was announced.

 

Let’s call these the “I don’t give a fuck” employees.

 

  • About 60 million of your 200 million employees thought you should get the promotion … but … uh oh … about 30 million of those employees didn’t think you were actually qualified or had the temperament for the job … they just didn’t like the alternatives.

 

Lets call these the “oh shit, what happens next?” employees.

 

 

So, Mr. President elect Trump, time to grow up and lead.euper into giving a shit bad decisions

 

 

And Republicans.

 

 

Maybe you should consider you fucking won because 28% of the other team decided not to show up on game day because they thought their team was going to win easily.

 

Maybe you should consider the fact that about 100 million adults or so are fairly sure your nominee is an incompetent asshat with the maturity of a spoiled teenager and no discernible moral compass.

 

Maybe you should consider a sizable portion of your own elected party woke up the following morning fairly sure your nominee is an incompetent asshat with the maturity of a spoiled teenager and no discernible moral compass <and said ‘oh shit’>.

 

 

Maybe you should consider the harsh fact that around 72 million adults clearly stated they had little interest in the ‘Republican mandate’ and another 68 million or so adults were indifferent <they did not even vote>.

 

In the end.

 

Yeah.

 

I am not pissed about losing I am pissed I have to worry whether the winner is actually competent enough to keep the country out of the shithole.

 

wtf-per-hour-24-7I am clearly one of the “WTF” employees.

 

And, no, this is not about politics … this is about leadership and leading a country.

 

So maybe everyone should consider taking their proverbial heads out of their proverbial political asses and recognize the country is suffering from a major case of WTF … and deal with it rather than ignore or diminish it.

 

 

the last stand of the old white men

November 13th, 2016

old-white-men-business-cabinet-trump

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“The most successful businessman is the man who holds onto the old just as long as it is good, and grabs the new just as soon as it is better.”

 

 

Lee Iacocca

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incompleteicarus:

 

    Do you ever ‘wtf white people’ even though you are a white people.

 

==============

 

So.

 

I almost called this the “potential redemption of a generation” but that is my concluding thought.

 

trump-old-white-man-angry-cabinetThis is about a Trump presidency and his speculated band of merry old white men he is going to have as his “band of brothers” <his cabinet and advisors> to guide America to the next level of greatness.

 

But.

Let me spend a minute on old white men <and I have the right to do so … because I am one> and business culture and business acumen.

 

While a generalization, because there are exceptions, old white men have hollowed out the business world in their quest for “winning at any cost” and “maximize win-to-cash” ratio.

 

Everyone should note that Trump is the poster child of this hollowness <and I will aggravatingly point it out over and over again>.

 

Capitalism

 

Capitalism is not inherently bad. In fact … it is an incredible engine for growth, innovation and increased wealth & standard of living for any and all.

But old white men hollowed capitalism. They took out all the good and added all the greed. I could partially defend old white men and suggest that they were simply participants in the arc of business history … but I will not. Peter Drucker pointed out the beginning of the arc in 1989 and we old white men could have eyed the arc and … well … stopped it. Instead old white men viewed the arc as an opportunity to not be burdened by morality & soul and an opportunity to build personal wealth.

 

That is Trump in a nutshell.

 

 

Branding

 

Brands are fabulous creatures and not inherently bad. They offer us every day schmucks a nice heuristic way to make decisions and isolate differentiation in which we can make true choices.

But old white men hollowed brands. The easiest way to point this out is that we stopped talking about brands and started talking about branding. Old white men started looking at brands as vehicles of wealth and not vehicles of differentiation. Brands should evolve and not be constructed or built like some building of cold steel and cheap Styrofoam ceiling tiles. The whole concept of ‘building a brand’ is one of the most insidious concepts to infiltrate good and meaningful marketing and communications.

 

That is Trump in a nutshell.

 

 

Profit.

 

Profit is not inherently bad. Used wisely it contributes not only to personal, or individual wealth, but spurs on business growth in terms of innovation and employee development AND social involvement. But old white men hollowed the soul out of each dollar as they squeezed every cent of profit out of it. Profit is good only if it is not tainted by <a> greed and <b> at the expense of giving back <in terms of true societal salvation type things>. Businesses represent an important weave in the fabric of society and the moment a business ignores that weave and focuses solely on the profits of the entity itself … well … the opportunity arises to let the soul of each dollar made bleed out into the ether. And, yes, dollars can have a soul. Making money shouldn’t feed stock holders it should feed society … alas … it does not in an old white guy’s business acumen.

 

 

That is Trump in a nutshell.

america-red-white-and-blue

 

 

Wealth dispersion

 

Making money and creating wealth is inherently a double positive: proof of the value for your efforts and increased standard of living <not just in materialistic comforts but in real living>.

Old white men hollowed out the middle. This is more a byproduct of their business acumen more than anything else because I cannot really point out any specific behavior they consciously took to do this … but … suffice it to say that more went to the old white men and less to the ones who actually made the money for them.

 

That is Trump in a nutshell.

 

 

Communication.

 

Effective communication has been, and always will be, complex and complicated … and a good thing for society. Effective communication inevitably feeds into the minds and enlightenment of the listeners. If you dumb down communication inevitably you dumb down the listeners.

Old white men hollowed out communication. I imagine as they hollowed out everything else they found it inherently more productive to gain their objectives by hollowing out communication. Everything became soundbites, powerpoint bullet points and ‘elevator speeches.’ Effectively communicating complexity took on less importance than puncturing the mind with a quick sharp stab <and then walking away>. Old white men mastered the art of emptying communication to a point where businesses end up walking on the slippery surface of irrelevance <cloaked in a beautiful robe called “what is important for you to know.”>

 

That is Trump in a nutshell.

 

 

All that said.

 

trump-cabinet-administration-old-white-men

Old white men can fix what they hath wrought.

 

Trump’s future administrative band of brothers <and, yeah, he will toss in some random woman to point out as the exception … but … do not be fooled> will be the old white men who make up the key positions in the Trump administration.

And Trump, as the leader of leaders <once again … he represents everything that hollowed out the good of capitalism, branding, profiting, communications … every aspect of that which is bad of this older generation’s business acumen> will be guiding this merry little band of money grubbers with questionable moral compasses.

 

Be clear.

 

I am right <and I rarely am so unequivocal on my thoughts>.

All of what I just outlined above is who they are, what they represent and is their legacy to Life and the world.

 

Well.

 

Until now.

 

They can seek redemption.

 

But.

It begins with the baddest hombre of the lot – Trump himself.

 

And that will be a job for him of which I question whether he is up to the task.

 

Why do I say that?

 

Well … while I could point out a dozen examples … there is one above all … he is a hollow winner.

To him, as I have noted far too many times, how you win does not matter … again … does not matter … all that matters is the win.

 

Want some proof?

 

Interview on November 11 with WSJ:

 

“I want a country that loves each other,” Mr. Trump said. “I want to stress that.” He said the best way to ease tension would be to “bring in jobs.”

 

Asked whether he thought his rhetoric had gone too far in the campaign, the president-elect responded:

 

“No. I won.”

 

That is Trump in a nutshell.

had-a-bad-day-at-work-pissed-office-boss

He doesn’t care about the hateful things that he says, or who he hurts or how he won on any dimension or aspect … all Trump cares about is winning.

 

 

Trump could hollow out the United States as long as he wins.

 

And, I imagine, if he makes himself/his family richer in the process … he will declare himself a winner.

 

Redemption can only be found when he sees that wins are better when they are full rather than hollow.

 

This is going to not only be a challenge to him but to his merry band of soulless brothers because he, and they, will say anything, do anything, threaten anyone just to attain ‘the win.’

 

They inherently do not care about a ‘better America’ from a soul perspective nor do they care about any aspect of ‘being a better person’ but solely attach ‘better’ with wealth, importance and wins.

 

My concern?

 

Trump may be the most hollow presidential candidate in the history of the US but, more importantly, he is building an administration of hollow old white men.

 

I certainly understand that the ‘American Dream’ of equal opportunity, independence, and upward mobility seems like a false dream to many USA citizens.

 

I certainly understand that many Americans place the blame on an ineffective political system and government.

 

I certainly understand that it all feels like an overarching ‘stagnancy.’

 

But I do not believe ‘hollowness’ is the path to greatness. It certainly has not helped us reach greatness up to this point.

And, therefore, we do run a risk because we are now led by a hollow someone with a hollow platform, hollow plans, hollow skills, hollow dignity, hollow composure and no soul <that I have been able to identify>.

 

============

 

“9/11 never forget

11/9 always regret”

America’s new motto

=====

 

white nonsense racismBut … redemption is at hand.

 

Old white men created the problems and … well … as so well said in the movie The Return of the Pink Panther … “you set a thief to catch a thief” … they can reverse the problem in one fell swoop.

 

Ok.

 

Sigh.

 

Let’s be serious.

They aren’t seeking redemption … they will be seeking to actively propagate the belief they know more than anyone else and that their old white man way is the best way.

 

This administration will more likely than not remind us that old white men have no clue with regard to a greater future.

 

Now.

 

Because I do not want to be a complete pessimist.

 

Here is where all these old white men will get something right.

 

Infrastructure.

 

I said back in one of my past pieces that Trump is a doer.

And he wants tangible shit that he can point to as “mine.” traffic-hurry-disconnectd-going

Combine that with the fact politicians haggle over meaningless shit so much they would have half-assed a meaningful infrastructure initiative. And, yes, even Clinton wouldn’t have been able to figure out how to do it the way it should be done.

 

Trump and the old white men will do it and they will do it the right way.

 

It will be hard to swallow budgetwise.

 

It will be hard to swallow politically.

 

It will be hard to swallow in a number of ways.

 

But they will shove it down our throats like our mothers did with beets when we are young telling us it will be good for us … and it tasted horrible … but it was good for us.

 

It will be good for is economically, country esteem and … oddly <because I do not think “fair” fits anywhere in anything these old white men do> should feed into a general sense of ‘fairness.’

 

If there will be one thing good that comes from all of this, my guess is that it will be infrastructure.

 

 

In the end.

 

............ Trump and his Cabinet ...........

………… Trump and his Cabinet ………..

I will state, unequivocally, that this is the last stand of the old white men.

 

It can be Custer’s Last Stand or it can be like the founding fathers standing after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

 

Redemption can be found in finding independence from what hollow things got them to where they are today.

 

And before anyone unequivocally states I am completely loony that there is any hope — they have poster childs of their own.

 

Andrew Carnegie, Nelson Rockefeller, J. Paul Getty.

 

Relatively heinous business men of their own time … who sought redemption later on in Life.

 

This is a unique time in history in which business, country and politics have intersected.

 

This is a unique time for old white men to right the wrongs of all they have wrought up to this point.

 

Let us hope they see the opportunity of the moment and rise to it.

 

I certainly hope, as an old white man myself, that they seek redemption … for the sake of all of us old white men … if not the country itself.

 

===== addendum ====trump cabinet mostly men mostly white

2 months have passed since I posted this and posited Trump would lean heavily on old white men, because he is an old white man, to build his cabinet.

How right was I? As The Independent stated:  Donald Trump’s cabinet will have more white males than any other president since Ronald Reagan.

 

This is truly the last stand of the old white man. And we can only hope they are seeking redemption for a business generation they hollowed out.

 

the author is a later 50something white guy with a general disdain for how his generation of business people warped the good in business and how it has failed society, in general, and a huge advocate for winning the right way, positive capitalism and young people.

Enlightened Conflict