Tag Archive: management

Why Many Projects Go so Terribly Wrong

“Management is essentially an art and, as a manager, you need to learn continuously about your situation. You can do this by studying yourself and the way in which you carry out your work. This is termed ‘reflective practice’.”
[Lawless and Stapleton, 2004]

The software development success rate published in the Standish Group’s Chaos Report is among the most commonly cited research in the IT industry. Since 1995, the Standish Group has reported rather abysmal statistics — from a rate of roughly one-in-six projects succeeding in 1995 to roughly one-in-three projects today. Other surveys like the ones from TechRepublic Inc. (a subsidiary of Gartner Group) are of the same tenor. Although these surveys list project success/failure factors (like realistic schedules, budgeting, leadership of the project manager, etc.) and other interesting data, they do not question the underlying problems responsible for the failures.

Experience with contemporary project management courses and presentations in my country leave me with the impression that management problems can be wrapped into neat technical working packages (Raelin, 1995). If students are left with this impression, they may be unable to transform knowledge gained in one context to another (Reilly, 1982), as this form of learning is done individually and in private (Pleasants, 1966; Polanyi, 1966; Reber, 1993). Hence, if this is the kind of project management knowledge these courses produce, there is no surprise in high project failure rates.

In a wider context, the situation reflects an ongoing discussion about the use of management education in management practice (Hayes and Abernathy, 1980; Cheit, 1985), highlighted by Mintzberg’s scepticism (1996 and 2004) who “was finding too much of a disconnect between the practice of managing […] and what went on in classrooms” (2004, p. ix) and even claims that formal management education is hampering good management practice and therefore the economy. The objections are manyfold:

  • Formal management education separates learning from practice

Education programmes may leave students with the impression that management problems can be packed into neat technical entities (Raelin 1994, p. 303), whereas only later they detect the realities of power and politics at their workplace. Raelin and Coghlan (2006) take the view that formal educational programs often miss opportunities to use the rich experiences of working managers to produce both learning and knowledge.

  • Formal management education is inappropriate to real world settings and therefore to management practice

Reilly (1982) questions whether graduates can think independently, function without sufficient data, change their approach in the course of action, negotiate, and continually reflect and inquire. Cheit (1985) summarises that management programmes have failed to meet society’s needs.

  • (Project) managers cannot be developed in classrooms

It is commonly accepted that experience forms the basis for knowledge (Raelin and Coghlan, 2006). Mintzberg (1973) argues that managers learn in their day-to-day enactment of their managerial roles. Where courses have reportedly made an impact, they have given insight through direct application to real-life issues (McCall et al., 1988).

There are always values at stake in management practice: time, money, people with their hidden agendas and salience, clients, etc. – whereas management techniques infiltrated in sterile classroom settings are free from these pressures. There is nothing wrong about learning certain topics, like corporate finance, in a traditional classroom setting. However, Mintzberg’s (1996) critique goes beyond the teaching of technical subjects in formal management education. If the tacit or implicit knowledge in management practice is not converted into explicit knowledge (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995) underpinned by theory, managers are unable to develop a cohesive explanation of their skills (Viljoen et al., 1990). For example, there is no single approach to project management that is best in all circumstances; managers need to adapt their approach to the requirements of different situations. This is called the contingency approach to management (Lawless and Stapleton, 2004).

This likely supports the notion that tacit knowledge distinguishes successful from unsuccessful managers (Argyris 1999), and that tacit knowledge is a product from experience in the real world (Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995), not in the protected realm of theory in classrooms. It is a tangible experience for most managers that management learning does not exclusively happen in classrooms, but on the job (Dawes et al. 1996). Additionally, management learning happens through working with others while all engage in real-life problems (Revans 1971). As Raelin et al. (2006) put it aptly:

“Experiencing itself is not knowledge but is a constitutive element of knowledge. Experiencing needs to be accompanied by some sort of inquiry into experience, an inquiry that seeks to frame meaning and judgments and that leads to thoughtful action.”

This may boil down to the notion that project management is not a profession, but an occupation. Professionalism is supported by education, and real expertise is built through formal reflective practice, also referred to as triple-loop learning (Raelin and Coghlan, 2006).

What You Need to Know about IPv6

It may seem like the world has put off dealing with the migration to IPv6, but the truth is, it’s getting to the point where it can no longer be ignored. As IPv4 addresses diminish, the move to IPv6 is vital to allow both the Internet and the global economy to grow. With the finite number of possible IPv4 addresses about 4 billion, and the world’s population over 7 billion you begin to see the reality of IPv4 exhaustion. Not to mention, network modernisation and strategic IT initiatives such as machine-to-machine (M2M) and the Internet of Things, whose adoption is entirely dependent on the new protocol and its massive IP address space.

The business case is what you stand to lose if you do not move to IPv6, such as global connectivity with customers, prospects, partners and suppliers and the ability to leverage IPv6 advances and IPv6-dependent technology transformations like cloud computing, machine-to-machine and the Internet of Things. IPv6 has already been adopted across many parts of the globe. With the exhaustion of IPv4 address space, the percentage of users connecting to the Internet via IPv6 will only increase. In the last 2 years, IPv6 adoption has increased over 300 percent.

IPv6 is a next-generation protocol that brings new features and functionality that are not available with IPv4. Enhancements in IPv6 include: address families, extension headers, jumbo frames for enhanced video streaming, enhanced multicast support with vastly increased address space and more efficient mechanisms, simplified routing, and improved support for mobile IP addresses and IP-enabled mobile devices. IPv6 opens up opportunities for organisations to exploit new features to improve quality of service, lower costs and enhance security.

IPv6 networking concepts are very different from IPv4. There will be a learning curve for adopting IPv6 – and IPv4 expertise will not guarantee IPv6 success. Do not under-estimate the effort required. IPv6 is not human-friendly and will require fully automated IP Address Management solutions to lessen the management burden. Traditional methods of managing IP address space with spreadsheets, homegrown applications or by memory will not scale to accommodate IPv6. Implementing IPv6 connectivity within the enterprise will not be a trivial undertaking. IPv6 readiness requires a roadmap and should be planned and implemented in phases to avoid business or service disruptions and to minimize transition costs.

Worlds Apart

In the following interview I asked a chief doctor of a hospital about strategy, management, and the experienced differences between professional guilds often leading to tensions in the working environment.

Editor: Process management in hospitals has gained in importance due to an increasingly competitive environment of the healthcare industry. Our hospital has become more process oriented as well and recently started to work on process (re-)definition. What opportunities and risks do you see for your department?

Chief doctor:

“Your question is challenging. If you ask about opportunities and risks in our daily routine, the biggest opportunity presents itself by getting a different view from outside, from people whose thinking is not medically oriented, who look at procedures and question the status quo. Getting such views is valuable.”

“At the same time, this also poses a risk: a view that does not account for patients, their individuality and their needs, can lead to such consequences you mention with your questions below. People who are not acquainted with the handcraft try to optimise processes without understanding why the processes are implemented the way they are. Using a metaphor: A shoemaker can probably better assess the process of shoemaking than a consultant who never manufactured a shoe. We should not forget the fact that we are not Toyota, i.e. working in the car industry – the prime example of process optimisation – where they could eliminate all waste and useless work and therefore optimise production. We are not an industry in the classic sense, and we don’t have a standardised product. Each patient is basically unique. Therefore, processes can only be optimised at a superior level.”

Editor: The arguments for more process orientation draw on performance management, resource optimisation, information management, the ability for benchmarking and interconnection with other players in health care. From the view of medical science and practice, is transparency a desirable attribute and what about doctors’ freedom of treatment?

Chief doctor:

“I don’t think doctors have absolute freedom of treatment. Decision making about the nature of treatment are based on ‘outside’ knowledge, e.g. literature, experience made elsewhere. There is a big opportunity to build networks with other hospitals and to exchange experience. Also, our decisions are made together with the patient, or at least with patient’s agreement, after explaining why and how a certain therapy is applied. Therefore, I don’t think process orientation limits doctors’ freedom of treatment. And I also think it does not necessarily lead to more transparency and comparability. It is directed towards cost control. If you want to discuss process optimisation, you need key performance indicators (KPI). And concerning quality of treatment: a totally difficult task to get KPI, requiring heroic efforts. For example, patient satisfaction: A patient is happy if the food was delicious, and if patient care was courteous. And what do you take from that? Another example: mortality. In a big hospital like ours where you have referrals of difficult cases – of course there are more casualties. If you compare us with a smaller hospital you get a distorted picture. The question is how to measure and which KPI are useful in health care.”

Editor: The administration of a hospital is increasingly composed of people with business and economics backgrounds (Albrecht and Töpfer, 2006). The various professional guilds – especially the medical fraternity and business oriented management – are often “worlds apart” (Glouberman and Mintzberg, 2001) because of differences in education, incentives, value systems, etc. Can business oriented models contribute at all in a medical department (Gynaecological Department, Emergency Department, etc.)?

Chief doctor:

“I would like to come back to my Toyota example. Of course we can learn from the car or any industry – but I would never take it as given and try to implement it in health care. The biggest problem between the medical fraternity and business oriented management is the lack of understanding on both sides. Administration has no idea what we are doing, and most of the doctors have no appreciation for business management aspects. That is really a big problem, as these guilds don’t even find a common language that could take them forward. It does not help if administration tries to optimise ‘production’ and it only makes our work more difficult. The process may look as good as it gets on paper, but at the end to no avail. Another risk is that much effort is spent in process optimisation, but some processes can only be defined to a certain granularity: a patient is not a clearly defined product and there is no standard way of treatment which could be optimised from A to Z.”

“I have a big dream: that the people with an administrative background, who know the business oriented models, would help me to extract useful KPI. And as I said, this should happen before touching any process and trying to optimise. We have no KPI as of today. The other thing is that impulses from other disciplines can be very inspiring. As Mintzberg mentioned, the professional guilds are really different worlds, but we might wring an advantage out of that.”

Editor: The danger of process orientation is that patients become an economic commodity rather than sick people in need of specialist treatment (Public Administration Select Committee, 2003, “perverse consequences”). How can a medical department balance individuality of patients against standardisation of procedures (Mentges, 2006)?

Chief doctor:

“Personally, and all the doctors I know of, are primarily concerned with the patients’ wellbeing. And then, we don’t have clear boundaries that would allow us to see everything in black and white. But we can take more or less reasonable pathways in order to achieve a desired outcome. In practice it means we have some economical thinking in the background, e.g. procurement of materials and pharmaceuticals, but treat the patient the way we think is correct. I would never send a patient home just because diagnosis-related groups (DRG) tell me that this patient has used up his lump compensation. It would be the day I change my job should this happen (and many colleagues would do the same). It is the big responsibility we have towards the patients, our ethics. Standardisation supports us in terms of a checklist, so we don’t miss anything crucial with each and every patient we treat. Standardisation can give us some guidelines or boundaries as we go along. But each patient requires an individual decision, and this is clear to all medical professionals.”

Editor: To take an example process: the Manchester Triage System (MTS) was introduced in 1996 by the Manchester Triage Group in order to determine the priority of patients’ treatments based on the severity of their condition (Mackway-Jones, 1997). The Anglo-Saxon world quickly accepted MTS, whereas in Switzerland the system was adopted relatively late. What is the situation in our hospital?

Chief doctor:

“We introduced MTS approximately two years ago, and yes, this makes us a late adopter. Switzerland is indeed late with the adoption of MTS, and also the other system we used before was implemented only 4 years ago. We are late with everything – DRG is another example. On the one hand, economical aspects of health care in Switzerland come secondary – or used to be inferior until the introduction of DRG in 2012. Before that, a hospital was a necessary public service, and a cost factor as a logical consequence, i.e. loss-making. Only private clinics worked in an economical direction, but generally they have no emergency department (ED). On the other hand, paramedicine has become an independent subject on its own in the last couple of years with the effect that we look across the borders and learn what other countries are doing. Exchange of knowledge is more common now.”

“The reason for having a triage system is when we find ourselves in a situation of permanent capacity overload. To be honest, Switzerland cannot be compared to situations we find in Australia or Manchester. We don’t really know capacity overload in hospitals. If you consult some literature and read what crowded emergency rooms mean in Australia and what is the case in our context, then you can also speak of “worlds apart”. In Switzerland we complain on a high level. The time slots we are allowed in the triage system are much higher than those we actually need here. Even the triage system itself was adapted for Europe to have shorter waiting slots. And this might be the reason why there was not really a need to have MTS. So we need it only to be prepared for times of higher demand. Of course if you introduce such a system, you always work with it, not just if you find yourself in a ‘crowded’ situation. Additionally, MTS was not very popular in Switzerland because the Swiss Organisation for Paramedicine favoured another system which is called IES. In contrast to MTS, IES also considers expected consumption of resources – a very important aspect. In other words, such considerations whether a patient needs x-ray, laboratory analysis, wound treatment, etc. However, many triage experts are not very much concerned with which triage system is adopted, but that there is one in place at all. Important is to take one that matches the situation in the hospital. We have evaluated many and think that MTS is very useful in our daily practice. Especially when you have the younger, less experienced doctors on duty and you face a high workload, it helps them to prioritise their assignment. The first triage is done by nurses, and the second by the doctors.”

Editor: In his seminal article, Porter (1996) argues that operational performance optimisation – which includes process orientation – is not a surrogate for strategic thinking. In my search for a hospital strategy, I found a declaration of intent at best, but nothing that would make for a strategy. Do you think that a known strategy would facilitate work (Drucker, 1990) or is the general orientation given in your department anyway?

Chief doctor:

“From a medical point of view, it is very clear what we have to do in our clinic. We don’t need a strategy to do our work. But if we think of a planned direction of our house or of the clinic, and if we think long-term, a strategy is indispensible. It is of uttermost importance how to attract young academics, how to focus our efforts, how to acquire patients, increase employee motivation and job satisfaction – it has implications on our daily work. It is not a piece of theory: first you need to know where you are going, and then how to get there. I miss the big picture. You have fifty clinics in a hospital, with fifty chief directors, and everyone looks after themselves. All have their particular interests and it is not orchestrated. You can only have a look at our hospital information system (HIS), where each department has its own forms. Even here there is no ‘strategy’ to keep it simple and have a common work base. I admit it is not an easy task and sometimes it involves having to say ‘No’ even to some important individual. The fact that hospitals are very hierarchical constructs does not make is easier as well. Anyway, the paroles they sell us as ‘strategy’ at the moment, like growth and 10% more patients – a bit of Ansoff – does not give a direction. Accordingly we see the consequences: jobs are created although we don’t need them at the moment. A dangerous situation…”

Editor: I noticed that all hospitals define their orientation, processes and procedures on their own, i.e. re-invent the wheel. Is that really necessary? Is every hospital basically an isolated entity?

Chief doctor:

“Not at all. No. There are things which need some customisation. But there are many things some hospitals developed which could be transferred to other organisations. Take IT as an example: As doctors with a very busy day, why do we have to attend additional project group meetings and develop a basic patient history for our HIS? I don’t understand it. Why do we have to redefine the OP management? Too much wasted energy, and I am sure there are already dozens of acceptable solutions on the market. Our hospital does not need an isolated application for every bit. And if we look beyond our own nose: We are an educational hospital – a training place for academics. Why must an assistant doctor, who used to work in one hospital, learn to handle our HIS from scratch when he starts to work here? Why are they not the same? And in the next hospital it is different again!”

Editor: Thank you very much for these insights, chief doctor.

How to Rob a Bank (or a Whole Country), Part II

Besides “liar’s loans” there are more tricky tactics that lead to an excavation of money from banks. In this engaging interview, Andrew S. from Texas, a bank employee with a university degree who came to Switzerland some 15 years ago, reveals the dramatic changes within UBS and the scams applied by American management – with very little public notice. Probably a more fitting title for this interview might have been “How to Destroy the Value of a Company”.

Editor: Andrew S., thank you for taking this time for an interview. I understand that you have worked in many countries and for many firms in the whole wide world. What were your impressions when arriving the first time to Switzerland?

Andrew S.:

“I arrived here in October 1998 and I was really amazed. After three months, at the end of December I went home to the U.S., and I have a very big family, they asked me “so how do you like it?” I said “guys, you won’t believe this! We take full hour lunches, the employee canteen is a real restaurant that serves fresh hot food on real plates with real silverware – not eating a slice of cold pizza with one hand while working with the other hand!” I was amazed of what is available to the employees: space to work in, ergonomically designed chairs for the comfort and safety of the employees – not tiny cubicles with tiny little desks. There was no such thing as a one-person job. Every function had a team taking care of it. So if somebody gets sick and another person is on vacation, there are still members of the team to take care of the business. In the U.S. I was alone in charge of so many different things, and whenever I took a tiny little vacation and came back, I had two weeks worth of work waiting for me to catch up within a couple of days so the vacation is screwed right there. Nobody else was there to jump in.”

Editor: Sounds very familiar, like today’s common practice. What else have you discovered when starting with your new job here in Switzerland?

Andrew S.:

“Compensation was tremendously higher than in the U.S. for the same function and every employee got either a 13th month salary or in my case at UBS they had a bonus system which really recognized every one every year. The compensation got to those people who actually did all the work. I remember one time there was an article in the papers about members of the board of directors getting eight million Francs bonus. I was with a bunch of Swiss colleagues and they were arguing about it. The talk was like “what do they do to deserve eight million?” I said “guys, eight million is pocket change for American management. Where I worked in the U.S., those guys get hundreds of millions. Eight million is like a birthday party or something. These guys won’t take anything under a hundred millions. So don’t complain about eight million, that’s nothing.” They stared at me with blank faces. They were sure I was exaggerating or lying. Who would get that kind of compensation just for being upper management? Well, Jack Welch walked away from GE in 2001 with almost $300 million in equity profits and a pension worth $96 million; or nine million a year for the rest of his life. After he retired from General Electric it wasn’t until a divorce settlement forced the disclosure of his retirement benefits package that anyone took any notice. Since then, multi-million dollar severance and other separation packages, commonly referred to as ‘walk-away’ packages, have become so commonplace for CEOs that when HP fired Leo Apotheker with a $12 million guaranteed cash payment it barely registered. And these are, again, just their departing packages on top of the many millions they were getting every year, while in the mean time these so-called managers were laying off employees; just throwing people on the street, destroying the livelihood of thousands of families – not just persons.”

“And I started using the term “modern slavery”, because in the old days in the U.S. slaves were beaten to force them to work. These days nobody beats you, but they do something much worse to you, they threaten you with your family’s livelihood: housing, food, healthcare, and happiness all tied to your job. And if you don’t slave away for them, you are out on the street. You are just a number, it doesn’t take much for a top manager to throw a bunch of people out on the street. In the U.S. it is literally slavery: you are getting paid a minimum to survive on while you are doing all the work. It is the masses honing that big machine and those guys are standing in their ivory towers just watching and every now and then they sign a piece of paper saying “kick out five or ten thousand people on the street, we don’t need them. Our bonuses are getting below a hundred million.” It is horrible and when I looked around in the beginning when I came to Switzerland I thought I was in paradise. It was hard to believe all these wonderful things happening, as far as the pay, the comfort, the nature of work, the openness of management. You could walk up to management and chat with them or ask them something almost any time.”

Editor: So, in the beginning, how was management organised and what was their attitude towards staff here in Switzerland? How would you describe the climate at the time?

Andrew S.:

“The organisational climate at the time was fantastic. The ranks were organized in a way which resembled a military hierarchy, which means there was a person called the “team leader” in your work area you could just run to and say, “hey boss, I have a situation!”, and he was right there with you. You had a problem, you needed a lead, you needed help or escalation – he was right there to provide you with whatever you needed. Management was always among the “troops”. I remember this one Dr. P. who was unbelievable. I have never worked in my entire life with a manager like him – and I have worked in many countries in the world – he was always literally sleeves rolled-up. If there was a problem, you could expect him within minutes right there. Not to investigate, not to push for the problem to be solved, but to say “guys, do you have it under control or do you need resources?”. I remember one instance in which I was directly involved; we had a major disaster when our entire environment crashed. I told him it is a hardware problem. He got on the phone and flew two hardware engineers form London to Zurich, right on the spot. Within hours they were here and replaced specialized hardware. That is the kind of manager that you look up to and respect – he was a managing director. But because he was at the employees’ side, they demoted him. American top management demoted him later because he kept pushing for employee rights.”

“Anyway, what I was never familiar with in any other country was the concept of “Apéro” (aperitif): once or twice a week some team celebrating – whether they finished a project, or successfully closed a big case, or simply somebody’s birthday or graduation. A bunch of people getting together with beer, wine, juices, snacks, food at the end of the day and celebrating – having a good time in the office. If you get caught in the U.S. with a bottle of beer in the office you are thrown out! No spontaneously organized gatherings in the office. Only if there is something big like Christmas…”

Editor: The manager you are describing, Dr. P. is quite different from the type of managers we see around today. What has changed and when?

Andrew S.:

“Everything has changed. I was proud to say that I work for UBS. When the subject came up, whether in the supermarket, or while commuting, or in a bar downtown, I said with a proud voice that I work for UBS. I was happy to work for UBS. I woke up happily looking forward to go to work. Even my wife was amazed saying she hadn’t met anyone who was so happy to go to work. “You really love your job that much?” I said “absolutely!”. There was no such concept like stress. We always had lots of work and we worked hard, but we had no stress – even when we had a major disaster. We had all the resources we needed. If not they were provided immediately, whether in the form of workforce, hardware, knowledge, money, equipment. And if we had to work past seven p.m. management would order in dinner for us from food delivery companies. Chinese, pizza, sushi, burgers; we ordered whatever we wanted from the menu. And of course pay was much higher if you had to work overtime. We were very well paid, and still UBS was making billions in profit per year. So my point here is that even thought they paid their employees handsomely, looked after them well, had many employees in teams, and layoffs were hardly known, they still made a lot of profit. When times were bad the company tightened the belt and they went through it with their existing employees. When things were good then they are back in good times together. So they didn’t watch the bottom line and as soon as it goes one or two percent down, fire ten thousand people so top management can secure their bonuses. “

Editor: So you are saying that management was less focused on quarterly reporting and the movement in share price that comes with it, but took better responsibility for the bigger picture of a company. What were the reasons for change?

Andrew S.:

“See, this is the thing, they treated the employees so well that the employees never stopped to do their duty. They always worked above and beyond what they needed to do. I can tell because I was one of them. I always checked and double checked if systems were healthy. I never ever left when there was the tiniest problem, and I fixed it regardless whether it was Friday evening or I had to go to a party. I know that most of employees, if not all, made sure everything was right before they left the office. The thinking was “the company is taking good care of me, so I will take care of it no matter what!”. Since management was doing it the right way and they were honest not only to the employees, but also to their customers – which is the most important element here in this picture: that is what pays our bills, what pays our salaries, the income of the bank, the employees and the shareholders. Management was not obsessed with increasing their bonuses to an almost criminal level. They were getting very good salaries and decent bonuses. Sure, not like the American management bonuses, but a few hundred thousand, a few million – plenty of money to live on very happily and even get rich.”

Editor: The picture you are presenting here makes a strong case. Indeed, evidence supports the fact that firms that take care of their customers and employees also deliver value to their owners (Hawawini and Viallet 2011, p. 3). Annual surveys (Edmans, 2008) clearly indicate that the ability of firms to crate value for their shareholders is related to the way they treat their customers, employees, and community. What resulted from the change you are describing a) for management b) for employees c) for shareholders?

Andrew S.:

The most disturbing factor in the picture of what is different in UBS between 1998 (the early 2000) and today is the top management obsession to an almost criminal level with huge bonuses, which made today’s management like Brady Dougan from CS brake so many laws to make that massive multi-million pay-packages happen. When I learned in 2004 that the bank is having a major overhaul on their top management and that top management is going to be American, I thought “oh no, good lord please tell me you are kidding me! That cannot be true!”. My colleagues asked me why, and I said “let me tell you about American management. So many companies have these practices of hiring mostly part time employees because they get no benefits so top management can keep their massive pay packages. And they have these criminal practices like secretly buying life insurance on their employees so when the employee dies, the company gets the life insurance. You guys are screwed with American management!” They asked me how? I said:

  1. “For one, they are going to make the changes where the valuation of the company is magically going through the roof and the share prices are going to sky rocket, while they can cash in their options and get a fortune out of that.
  2. To do that, they have to save money to show more profit. Where is that money coming from? From your pocket! They are going to cut overtime pay, on-call pay, they are going to take away your 13th month salaries. And these are just the beginning.
  3. Because they are going to cut every penny they can because they know it is going to flow in their own pockets.
  4. Then they will get involved into criminal activities.
  5. And then the bank is screwed.”

“Again my Swiss colleagues thought that I was crazy. Of course I was speculating and guessing, but that was what I have seen in the U.S., my experience with American management. In a bigger context, it can be extrapolated to the later “subprime crises”, a scam created in the U.S. and then U.S. debt distributed all over the world. American bosses having a hand in it and profiting from the losses of the European and Asian banks and companies, creating a global economic recession.”

“In a small way you can compare this picture of a company and their employees, their profitability and health to a human body. If you take care of various aspects of your body, then overall you are healthy and strong. And the employees make the body of a company. I don’t even want to go as far as saying management is the head. They are just a bunch of people who got expensive degrees from Harvard or Yale and got appointed in top positions because of that, their connections, and their father’s connections; and now all they are doing is pushing this company, squeezing the hell out of it to get the most bonus they could possibly get. Once they leave the company they made such a big package that thousands of people could live on. Upon leaving the company, having already made tens or hundreds of millions, they receive yet another massive pay package called the golden parachute, the good-bye party package. It is way beyond insanity. Criminal insanity might begin to describe it in my opinion. The last thing we have seen about UBS management is that they made three billion profit. Surprise, surprise, that year they took four billion in bonuses. So the entire company, sixty thousand people worldwide contributed with more than half of their work to make bonus for top management. And at the same time top management throws those lies about taking care of shareholders. Those top managers dropped the dividends from CHF 2.20 down to 0.20 per share, and that is after causing the share price to plummet from CHF 80.- a share down to 16.-. How are they taking care of their shareholders?”

Editor: What is your assessment of today’s situation in Switzerland generally and what can we expect for the future?

Andrew S.:

“If you have a look on life in the U.S. you see a whole collection of outrageous components. For example, their jobs, the corporate greed, their taxes, the air quality, the food quality, everything about their entire existence is outrageous. Top management gets almost everything, employees get the bare minimum and then the government comes in and demands a big chunk of that. The government – that is a totally sad joke. They call it democracy? It is completely controlled by the big money. Only the illiterate, naïve, or ignorant buy this democracy scam. If mainly Europe and Asia don’t stop taking in American top managers with American corporate mentality, American tactics, and criminal corporate activities then this will be just the tip of the iceberg towards economic destruction. It is a modern form of colonialism and the scary part is not only that it is spreading like cancer but also that Europe and Asia are taking it with open arms. They are not just accepting the concept, they are taking it like it is out of style. “Use thousands of people to make money for me!” Individualism and the American nightmare. One thing I have realized about big American manufacturers having their operations moved to foreign countries like Mexico, Eastern Europe, and Third World countries where labour is very cheap, is that in the U.S. this practice leaves behind people without jobs or people with very low wages. Think about the city of Detroit, once the crown jewel of the automobile manufacturing industry, now broke while the automobile companies still thrive and their top managers get their huge pay packages. And manufacturing is just an example. Look at electronics. Or every corporation has customer support. If you are going to outsource thousands of jobs, that automatically tells you that these are missing, which in turn means that you are taking billions out of a country’s economy. Eventually it will catch up, but it is a practice to serve only a few dozen corporate aliens who want to make millions for themselves. They are not even taking care of shareholders – forget that myth! That story is dead! Again, that cancer originated in the U.S. and it is running all over the world and only the super rich benefit.”

Editor: Thank you, Andrew S. for this moving interview and let us hope that some people wake up from your call.