HOW WE SEE THE WORLD TODAY
The purpose of this folder is not to preach. We want to introduce ourselves to you. We lay this out because we want you to know how we see things, what our values and priorities are. Maybe (probably) you see the world in a similar way, maybe not. This can provide a platform for our mutual understanding early on (or we can early on realize that there are considerable discrepancies between us).
We have always been in the business of improving effectiveness, lowering wastes, and minimizing losses. We love making businesses more effective and less wasteful.
We are delighted when we help an organic farm or a company that makes healthy food or environmentally friendly packaging. Work with a client to find renewable energy solutions.
WINNING AND SUCCESS
This world is not about “winning”. Jack Welsh is not our hero. He is not a villain either. He represents one point of view. Life is not all about winning by an individual or a company. It is about all of us winning in the long run, making this world a better place.
We need balanced, sustainable growth. Business can no longer be about pushing sales and indiscriminate marketing (“To each, according to the needs we create in him/her, from each according to his/her ability to pay).
Our actions should be about understanding the true needs, and then providing solutions, affordably. About making this world a better place, healthier, happier, more beautiful. Some people say it all boils down to money. No, it does not. Money is just one of life’s KPIs. We believe in success as per Ralph Waldo Emerson’s definition:
“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
In the greater scheme of things, the world no longer needs growth achieved by pushing goods and services to people do not really need them. That paradigm must shift as otherwise we will use up resources and burn ourselves out (also literary). We see this paradigm slowly shifting, yet much of business is entrenched in the old ways. We want to be part of that change. We believe that growth should continue in a sustainable way with respect to the environment.
WORLD IS A MUCH BETTER PLACE THAN WE THINK
When we turn on the news we normally hear of the troubles and problems. Yet when we look at the parameters such as GDP, child mortality, life expectancy etc. we realize that this word has never been better. We often live in the paradigm of what we were told about the world in the elementary school – and even back then the information was likely to be outdated.
We recommend the book “Factfulness” by Hans Rossling where this is thoroughly discussed.
Of course ne may argue that we have never been better of in the same way turkey in the US have never been better of just before Thanksgiving – to quote Nassim Nicholas Taleb and his “Black Swan”.
ORGANIZATION IS A SET OF PEOPLE
And so, an organization works well if they can form a productive, motivated team. It is people, who take care of its machines and processes, watch for waste, losses and look out for improvements. Their motivation that unlocks their potential is the key to good results.
There are many types of organizations as there are many types of people. Some people work best in strict military-style discipline; some thrive in warmer climates. We recommend taking a look at “Reinventing Organization” by Frederic Laloux, where the concept of modern, empowered “teal” organization is explained.
The “teal” organization he describes may be perceived as extreme. We are not sure every organization can go that far. But people, in general, work better in the environment of trust, respect, and empowerment and they reciprocate in better results of the organization.
It is essential that every organization understands its climate and management style and understands where it wants to be. Clarity is important. The worst thing that can happen is an organization that claims to be modern and empowering while in reality it keep operating in the old ways confusing and frustrating people.
We believe that good planning is vital for every effective organization. Budgets are useful as they provide predictability. But we have seen many severe issues of traditional, inflexible budgeting approach. A lot of work to prepare budget, a lot of unnecessary spending to use up the budget before the end of the year and inability to carry out important projects, responding to sudden change as it was not budgeted. Buffering, beefing up. But even more significant downside is the damage to creativity and flexibility of the organization. Especially if shifting between allocations is not allowed.
Some organizations use the “Beyond Budgeting” concept. We do not always recommend it, we always recommend at least taking a look at the approach.
We believe in free market, and freedom in general. Especially in personal freedom. But it is another subject. Happy to discuss it with you at some point. But there are some issues especially in the way financial institutions operate and damage they can make. It became clearly visible in 2008.
It has bee
We believe in a free market and freedom in general. Especially in personal liberty – but it is a subject for a longer essay – we are. happy to discuss it with you at some point. But it can be seen that unrestricted organizations – especially financial institutions operate can do a lot of damage they can make. This became clearly visible in the 2008 crisis.
It has been best described by Adair Turner, the man who handled remedies to the 2008 financial crisis in the UK, in his book “Economics after the Crisis” . What he argues is that the industries that actually add tangible value – manufacturing being the best example – should be free to compete, and the result of fair competition will always be good for consumers and society in general. However, the purely speculative activities – like financial derivatives and other instruments – must be closely watched and regulated.
We believe in the system that allows economic freedom as it leads to ingenuity, innovation, and progress. But, we also believe in compassion and social safety nets. And so, we are also convinced that strong checks are necessary to avoid unfair exploitation of people and environment.
ROLE OF A COMPANY
There is much discussion of the role of the corporation today and it isn’t easy to summarize in a few lines. In August 2019, The Business Roundtable caused a stir by redefining the purpose of the company, shying away from the dogma that increasing shareholder’s value should be the sole objective. We believe Companies should also look out for the interests of stakeholders – customers, suppliers, workers, communities and last but not least respect the environment.
In summary, we very much agree with Andrew Carnegie’s statement: “Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community”. Being an owner is being a custodian with a responsibility to all stakeholders.
But there are some serious risks associated with this approach. If companies had not focused on their core activities in the sixties and seventies, we would today still be driving gas-guzzling, unsafe cars.
More on this subject:
CHALLENGES IN THE CHANGING WORKFORCE
The first change is that there should no longer be such a word as “workforce.”
Young people no longer want to work in a dirty, noisy environment in the “old way.” The millennials and are not the problem. The problems is how older generations how we treat and train them.
Maybe some individuals have unreasonable expectations, but most of them expect respect and fair treatment, which is not unreasonable. Companies must be open to employ diverse individuals, often immigrants, and treat them well, with respect and dignity. New employees will no longer put up with what was happening a generation ago.
We expect further changes – robotization and automation eliminating the most unwanted and exhausting jobs – both on the factory floor as in the office.
We will expand this section soon. We will put a chapter about the education in general, how the system designed in nineteenth century burns young people out, demotivates them, sucks the energy out of them. Does not develop creativity and understanding skills, but tries to turn them into an outdated Wikipedia while kIn general the system designed in the nineteenth century (or earlier) burns out young people, demotivates, sucks the life energy out of them. It rarely not develops creativity and understanding skills, but tries to turn them into an outdated Encyclopedia while killing their curiosity and passion. This is well presented by Ken Robinson in “Creative Schools” and his other works and talks. We could not put it any better We fully agree with his views on the importance of creativity in education.
In our opinion, we live in some kind of a “transition period.” Recent years have uncovered rocks of the present growth-focused paradigm, where value is created by salesforce pushing growth, leaving most people of the organization burned out, machines abused, and the environment depleted and polluted.
As SPL we do not push but try to tune in to our client’s needs. In turn, we like to work with clients that also “tune into” the needs of today’s world. Strive to make the world a bit better place. We like to work with companies that make things and provide services that people truly need, and are good for people and the world in general.
Industry 4.0 so far has been like a Yeti – many people talk about it, but nobody has really seen it. This is a concept and trend that needs serious attention – we will expand this section and elaborate on topic shortly.
Manufacturing company is like a physical system – we will expand this section shortly