Cough syrup makes a fine breakfast!

Yes I am still sick. This is sad. I should really go see a doctor as this insane cough is not going away; but again, why put an end to a great thing: silver lining of being sick? I lost 5 pounds! Catching up on my reading this morning so here are some sweet links. Enjoy.

A great Salon article by David Brin: Is the web evolving us?

Some of today’s most vaunted tech philosophers are embroiled in a ferocious argument. On one side are those who think the Internet will liberate humanity, in a virtuous cycle of e-volving creativity that may culminate in new and higher forms of citizenship. Meanwhile, their diametrically gloomy critics see a kind of devolution taking hold, as millions are sucked into spirals of distraction, shallowness and homogeneity, gradually surrendering what little claim we had to the term “civilization”.

Call it cyber-transcendentalists versus techno-grouches.

Via Evolving Excellence: A $170 million public company that manufactures high end hydraulic manifolds and values, profitable since it was started in 1970, six plants around the world employing roughly a thousand people. What’s unusual about that?  How about this:

  • There is no organization chart
  • There are no job titles or job descriptions
  • No performance criteria
  • No bonuses and no perks
  • No regularly scheduled meetings
  • No approval levels for capital or expense spending
  • No goals
  • No offices or high-walled cubicles
  • If the peers accept the idea, then “management” is presumed to accept it – hence the need for very little management
  • Every employee is simply expected to figure out where they fit

Kevin Meyer recounts his visit to American Apparel:

No fancy lobby with glitzy lighting and display cases, no plush waiting rooms.  An open entrance with a guard and a sign-in sheet.  For a $500 million company with over 5,000 employees.

But here’s my final and perhaps most important lesson: do what works.  It’s that simple.  Tools, even lean tools, are just tools.  Leadership requires people.

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