Thursday, June 25, 2009

Funny and Scary, AFL-CIO Hard Hats made in China

AFL-CIO Hard Hats

The AFL-CIO is passing around these hard hats today to every office on Capitol Hill. Check out where they're made, China! Check out the a the story here AFL-CIO Hard Hats. I think this is pretty sad, a union telling people to buy American and yet they bought a product made in China. As I read the story, I paged down to read the associated blog. All I can say is wow! I have included some of the posts in order to make some comments.
Here is a comment from We Made a Mistake and he writes:

"What hypocrisy. 50 years ago the U.S. was the world leader in machine tools, electronics, steel, autos and aircraft. The unions destroyed all of them with their demands, demands, demands and never compromising demands. I am going to be amused at watching them along with President Narcissist destroy Chrysler and GM. My guess is, even after destroying them, they will blame Bush....anyone but themselves. Sounds just like a liberal's way of thinking."
Another posted by Yo How Is It Working writes:

"Ya - I guess Unions are to blame - not the fact that we have sold off all of America's manufacturing base and sold our souls in order to get the cheapest products from 3rd world countries paying $.50 per hr to workers just so we can save a buck. Look at our economy - how is it working out so far folks! But you keep blaming the few American middle class workers that get a fair wage and benefits - we should all work for Wal-Mart and Mickey D's and sell crap from China - There's a plan huh!"
Lastly I will paste in Sparks comments:

"You people are lost. Yes there are bad and good in unions but every American can thank the unions for living wages and health care. Have they gone to far? Yes in some cases but unions are for and by the employees. You blame the unions but the employees are the unions they vote the contracts not the union reps. Should a CEO make 100 mil a year while his employee makes min wage. I think not. Greed at the highest levels has caused this country's problems not the unions."

For those of you who read the full article, you have read the negative comments against Unions and against Corporate America. You know what? They are both right and they are both wrong. These days the Unions are headed by Corporate Executives (and Lawyers) who have a similar work ethic of those from AIG --greed. It is my opinion that difference between a Billionaire and a Millionaire are the bragging rights! Hence there is plenty of money to go around!
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I believe corporate executives should make millions, provided they made the millions for their company --i.e. bring something to the table. Anybody can perform layoffs, keep the lights on and overwork their workforce to turn a profit --it is not rocket science! I wouldn't pay that kind of person more than 100K.
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However, it is hard, very hard to change a company from bankruptcy to profitability without innovation and change. I think unions can be part of the profitability strategy to change a company's fortune. Unions can change and they can help bring the industry back to America.
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As you know, I always say, IT is about the people. This holds true for any industry! Some say Unions had their place i.e. workers rights, safety, fair wages and etc. Well times have changed and I don't see the sweat shops of the 19th century returning any time soon.
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Unions need to change with the times, upping the ante every time the union contract is up for vote --isn't working. Corporations will not tolerate it and they are moving overseas. Just as we need to pay executives their true worth, we need to pay labor its true worth. The point I am trying to make, is if you want to make $75 an hour in labor or millions in management --earn your keep and bring something to justify the dollars. Let's make unions competitive and hold the workers accountable.
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Unions need to stop protecting the problem children, fire them and move on! (Same holds for bad executives) Unions need to find a ways to meet labor shortages when the economy is booming. They should act almost like a contractor putting their best employees forward (not saying all contractors do). I think unions can be part of the solution, not the problem.
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Lastly, corporate boards need to limit executive compensation. Remember it is people who put a company's health at risk, and it is people from both sides of the bargaining table who can fix the company. Let's fix industry before we are all unemployed.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Job of CIO

The CIO roles have changed over the last 2 decades and the number of corporate CIO’s are increasing. The CIO's job roles and responsibilities have been shifting from the paradigm of technical business (data processing) to the role of “knowledge” management. CIOs are at the center of the reengineering that is taking place in global economy. The job of the CIO has been redefined from IT technical planning and implementation to corporate strategic planning. Today’s CIO incorporates a holistic approach to the IT function to ensure seamless delivery and support for the company’s business strategy. In addition to the traditional CIO job responsibilities, the CIO now manages business process streamlining and restructuring; negotiates smart outsourcing agreements, and finds innovative ways for IT to advance the business objectives of the company through technology. CIOs are building relationships with their senior management teams, and they are adding value to their organizations versus the day to day operations and the management financial systems.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I.T. is about the Management

Last month I graduated from GW and the celebration was on the mall. It was awesome, now what do I do with this piece of paper? True I learned some new skills and I've sharpened others. But now what?

Well let’s figure out how to use it. As I often say, IT is about the people --true the technology is cool. Yet the people will MAKE or BREAK the technology and in the end, the CIO will pay the price. The challenge in any field is managing your people. I've have come to find out there are 2 types of managers --micromanagers and hands off managers. Both of these can be successful, but often times they are not. Here is why.

Let's look at the "micromanager". The micromanager has his/her hands in everything. All decisions come from the top. If the micromanager heads a small department, this concept will work. Granted they will upset their employees and may find a revolving door in terms to staffing. I believe the cause of micromanagement is the fact that the manager does not know how to trust their staff. They believe that they know everything and they are the only one who can do the job. The micromanager finds himself/herself spread too thin. Projects fail and the CIO’s shop looks incompetent. Maybe the micromanager should be an employee, not a manager! A true manager can motivate and empower their people to get the job done!

Now here is the dilemma. Is this staff incompetent? If so how to get them competent? Is the manager competent, i.e. can he/she see the big picture and explain it and delegate it to their staff? I could go on all day about the cures. Bottom line is that the manager cannot be everywhere and must be more hands off. The manager needs to empower the employees to be his/her representative.

The hands off manager will empower their people. Empowerment will allow employees to own the process. I use empowerment to grow my employees. My focus is on being the best manager they can be. When they shine, I shine. Empowerment is awesome, and it has its draw backs.

The draw back is if the manager doesn’t understand his/her people and their required skill sets. Just a micromanagers getting too involved, hands off managers who do not understand the limitations and motivations of employees will cause projects to fail. Gather up enough failures and the manager will be unemployed or forced to become the dreaded Micromanager!

To avoid becoming the micromanager, interview your employees and most importantly, understand their career goals. If a person you manage wants to do your job, don’t be threatened – you have the opportunity mentor and train your replacement!

Micromanagement in any industry is bad! It stretches a manager too thin and it exposes weakness – i.e. projects fail. Empowerment without knowledge is worse than micromanagement –often it leads to micromanagement. When managers understand the wants and the needs of employees and then use empowerment to build employees --projects will succeed and organizations will flower!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

iPhone 3.0 UPDATE

Hi all,

Looks like there will be a new iPhone afterall. The new phone will be called the iPhone 3G S. It will be faster, come with a 3 mega pixel camera, and can take video. Just to think I just bought a 3G two months ago!

Monday, June 8, 2009

iPhone 3.0 is coming!

Hey All,

I know it has been a while since I blogged. I've been busy! Working on starting a new company to develop mobile applications. My first venture will be in the iPhone arena. Been busy learning ObjC, Cocoa, and X-code. Just wanted to drop you (all) a note. Should have a new iPhone application out by August, been slacking off for the summer!

Now on to my title, the iPhone 3.0 is coming! Apple has been quiet in regards to new hardware, thank the gods --just bought a new 3G. The old iPhone will be used developing my apps. I have to say the old iPhone is (in my opinion) more sturdy and easier to type on (the old iPhone was longer). Maybe I will get used to it as I used the old one for 2years. The new iPhone 3.0 software should have many new goodies, such as cut and paste, bluetooth and usb tethering (the code is there, idk if it will be turned on), and the camera takes clearer pictures.

Happy Summer!