Sunday, December 11, 2011

In Leiu Of Originality

Part of Phil Bowermaster's actual job is to post daily entries at the Transparency Revolution blog.

I console myself by imagining the off-line depths he plums in his occupational Augean Stable.

It isn't very convincing as flights of fancy go, is it?

Beginning here and then here, he and the commentariate have used the #occupysomething example as a vehicle to illustrate the wealth of opportunity available to those individuals and companies willing to recognise and seize them.

Should any of them just happen to use the tools his employer Zapoint markets, so much the better.

The latest entry in the series (and circumstances seem to indicate that it will be a series) was posted this past Friday, and prompted this response from me:
Since this horse refuses to die, lets give it a really good flogging.

“And today we’re at 200 rigs, producing almost 500,000 barrels a day and we’re going to permit 2,000 wells this year.”

That would be on the order of 5 million barrels (42 US Gal./bbl) needing to be delivered to a refinery somewhere … Every. Single. Day. A quick wikiwander later, it appears that one semi-truck trailer of heavy distillate would weigh a bit over 33 tons and consist of about 200 barels (sic) of oil needing transport to a refinery. Call it 5 trips per 1000 bbl (move the decimal point over three places to the right and times 5=) … that should require about 5,000 semi-truck trips south every day.

If only 10% of the projected 5m bbls of production coming online is transported over the road (instead of by railroad or barge – pipeline you say?), that requires slightly more than 20 truckloads leaving for points South every hour of every day or one every three minutes.

All of which leaves unanswered the question of what to haul back North on the return trip (unless you want to double the cost of the oil).

Occupy North Dakota my aging Butte Ox!

How about a nice truck stop/fuel station with a really good central air system near Salina Kansas instead? A couple different fast food franchises along with a shower and laundry service and a T-1 line to send all the money to the bank as quickly as it gets collected. I’ll be in the bar … consulting with my investor millionaire partners, of course.

Now that’s a strategy!

Realising my comment was a little more flippant than I actually intended, and recognising a salvation-ary opportunity when Brian Wang posts one, I added to my comment with:
Brian Wang has a good deal more serious post about this issue up at his Next Big Future site, that also manages to give my own silliness a certain patina of reality.

A man of true talent, that Brian.

One of the great failings of those involved with the #occupy whatever event(s) has been their determined unwillingness to advance a positive message or objective. Pointing out the failings of “Wall street” or the banking industry more generally is all fine and well, not to mention fully deserved, but the failure to promote a positive alternative to the identified failing is where the #occupyers themselves fail.

Speaking only for myself, I offer these bon motes as illustration of just how commonplace financial (or any other classification really) opportunity actually is if only the attention of a sufficient number of fellow venturers can be attracted to give substance to the potential position. Human Resources professionals too often in my experience are unwilling to even consider doing the one thing their job title ought to make the most commonplace and basic of professional duties, managing the strategic environment within which the resources of their companies particular humans can be allied with others to create a position that advances any of these potential opportunities into an improved corporate financial statement.

In that strategy regulation isn’t a boundary, it’s a fulcrum to leverage advancement off of. Come on HR, get out of the “overhead” category and start troweling on the value with the rest of us hod carriers.

There is an unfortunate perception of Human Resources as being the willing enforcers of corporate whim upon the workforce, as well as being an expense on the company financial balance sheet instead of a product value adding component of the business. Leaving the company hit (wo)man image for another post, altering the duties of HR personnel to make their efforts more directly apply to adding value to the company product would mostly involve a reversal of perspective as regards HR's approach to company (and even industry) regulatory practices.

Being seen to explain why a particular practice is mandated, and how to go about doing so at least additional effort (added effort = reduced rate of production over time), ought to be a regular (daily) part of HR's job responsibility. It is commonly the case that, understanding why some particular bit of stupidity has been declared often reduces the frustration experienced by those actually doing the stupidity I find. Going about their daily rounds to communicate with the employees, HR could do much to reduce the stress levels that so often inhibit workplace production by making clear the context within which a directive is issued ("... and because the effing EPA said we have to", could be one example of this :)). Focusing on the production details to the point of excluding attention to the environment the product is made and marketed in causes a sense of cynicism and disillusionment in people, which in turn promotes inattention to detail and reduction in product quality and quantity. HR can help to reduce all of this by a change in perspective regarding their approach to regulatory influences and how that change in turn modifies their communication approach and practice.

The #occupy meme developing on Transparency Revolution will likely fade away as the societal effort loses prominence in the news reporting cycle, but the strategic principles Phil and I use it to illustrate will be a recurring theme at both our blogs.

Which also means I at least won't have to keep coming up with so much occasional original blog post fodder; I can just copy-and-paste from Phil's page instead.

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