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MBM Principal Sources

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13 October 2010



That is an awesome video! The fact that he literally throws baseballs through windows is quite powerful.

The interns discussed Bastiat's "The Candle Makers' Petition" earlier this week. I think that satirical piece is a great companion to "What is Seen & What is not Seen" where Bastiat talks about the broken window fallacy.

Anyway, in the discussion, the interns brought up how mind numbing and worthless "make work" policies are. Often, especially as interns, they will receive busy work that is really just to keep them occupied--not actually creating something valuable. I think it is also easy to give ourselves work because we want to feel busy, rather than because it is the most highly valued use of our time.

David McGinnis


Working in an organization with many many people, and having a sense of sunk cost:

If there is a person that actively destroys value but there is nothing you can do about it (some crappy tenure or contract or something) It is sometimes the best value proposition to have that guy go dig a hole and then fill it in so he's pre-occupied creating ZERO value as opposed to destroying existing value.

Sunk Cost - what's the best option henceforth? get that guy out of the room.

Net Gain.

Odd example, but what are your thoughts out there?


That makes sense to me. I suppose there are a couple approaches one could take to address the issue of someone with no (or little) accountability destroying value.

First, you point out that their are destroying value and make sure they understand how they can create value in their job.

If that doesn't work, then perhaps they are in the wrong role and could create value doing something else for your organization.

And if that doesn't work, you probably would want to minimize the number of ways that person could destroy value--perhaps through busy work.

I could hypothetically see the case for giving them busy work; but it really just shows the problems that are created by someone having little or no accountability.

David McGinnis

indeed it does (show the problems...). It happens and it's sad that we have so little stomach for confrontation.

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