Showing posts from June, 2009

Government Run Healthcare Makes Sense

As a young man I was a Reagan Republican raised in a family of Goldwater Republicans. My views have moderated significantly during the ensuing years but the one thing that hasn't is my belief that each individual is responsible for their own outcomes in life and should pursue them without outside interference or restriction. With this type of outlook it might then surprise you to know that I favor a national health care plan, either a public "option" or the conversion of the current system into a single payer program similar to the Canadian system. Why in the world would I feel that way? Simple ; for the last 20 years I have had the responsibility over group health plans and have had to deal with insurance carriers. In the last 10 years the health insurance industry has grown more profitable, has consolidated to just a handful of carriers, and makes literally life-and-death decisions about your health care based upon profit-and-loss considerations. In years past w

Back to Basics on Security

Last week we had a (thankfully) minor security breech that resulted in an a team member's cell phone being stolen off her desk. Someone from outside the company walked past the front desk like she knew where she was going and wandered the building for 12 minutes before leaving the way she came in. She then walked around the property for 8 more minutes trying doors (unsuccessfully) before leaving through the back field. By the time our staffer noticed the theft and reported it to her cell phone provider the thief had made 60 phone calls and sent 72 text messages, all to pre-paid phones. We identified one call recipient through a paid cell phone registry, pulled up her name in the local court website, and discovered a long history of petty theft and drug use. In other words, this was a professional job by professional petty criminals. In reviewing video and talking to our employees we've discovered how this happened, and it represents a breakdown in some fundamental disciplines

The Importance of Pushback

We're a relatively small company as corporations go. Aside of our core vendors, like printers, we're just large enough to need first-class service but too small to be a priority customer. To get first-class service you want vendors who also service large accounts like Coke and Google. The problem is that, by comparison, our business will almost never be such a vendor's priority. The common result is that you get second or third priority, your account gets served by trainees, and the service you receive suffers. Managing in a company like ours makes it more important than ever to master the skill of pushback. This month I've had issues at ADP, one sub-group at Vanguard, a confidential potential vendor whom we've asked to quote, one internal department, and (through my Homeowners Association) the Metropolitan Police. I'm just back off vacation and still in Margeritaville mode and just wanting to slide happily through the days; instead I'm having to periodica