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Remember that the visual representation of the Isometric Principles of Business is the two hands pushing against each other, neither gaining ground over the other. While this is the perfect form of the IPOB it is nearly impossible to achieve. A vast majority of the time, in real life, one of the “hands” in your business will indeed prevail.

Marketing research in certain areas of the mobile equipment industry has led to the realization that the optimum business model involves a multi-brand company selling three brands of its equipment.  These three brands would be set up as follows:

  1. An option-packed brand with quality that is perceived as being higher than the other two.
  2. A mid-grade brand without all the optional bells and whistles as the first brand.
  3. A “plain jane”, economy brand presented with limited options.

This three-brand business model does not lend itself to the appropriate level of Isometrics.  The three separate brands target the different needs of different companies and there is limited overlap and thus limited self-competition.  It cannot be stressed enough that this self-competition is what is needed to simultaneously drive a company to its knees and make it thrive in the marketplace.

The true Isometric business model involves two brands under the umbrella of one parent company.  These two brands could be built within the same factories.  They could be identical except for brand related badging but would have to be marketed separately in order to maintain the appropriate level of competition.

The two brand model also requires that the brands vie for the same customers.  Indeed, the brands should make every effort to outbid each other at any opportunity that should arise.  We cannot state enough that it is just this type of competition that drives a company to succeed.

You might now be asking yourself how a company is supposed to set itself up in this Isometric business model.  The easiest way to achieve this is for a parent company to acquire two competing manufacturers of the same type of product; in this case that product is mobile equipment.  This, however, is just the beginning.

Most likely the two brands that have been acquired are already well established in their own rights.  Their customer bases probably overlap at certain points but they also have their own specialized niches in the industry.  The key is to coax the two brands to synergize their products to the point they become indistinguishable from one another if it were not for their identifying badging.

Granted, this synergization would be a slow process; possibly on the order of decades.  There will also invariably be one brand that gives up more in the way of specialized equipment and ideas to the other.  In the end it will all come together as the two can compete on equal footing.  Once they are completely synergized the true self-defeating competition can really begin.

The competition begins to exhibit Isometric perfection when one of the brands is willing to underbid the other in an effort to gain the advantage.  At the point where the underbidder is able to secure the rights to sell equipment to a longtime customer of its sister brand the Isometric Principles have truly been achieved.  At first it may seem almost asinine for one of the brands to sell an identical product to a longtime customer of its internal competitor for so much less than that customer previously paid.  These circumstances are definitely not asinine; they are nearly sublime.

Even though the one brand has outbid the other the parent company has still maintaned the business it had previously.  The same equipment supplied in the past will still be supplied in the future.  In short, there has been no drop in the required output of the manufacturing plants and the losing brand has learned a valuable lesson.

The lesson?   Self-defeating competition has once again strengthened a company in ways that no external competitor ever could.  The one “hand” has seemingly gained the advantage at this juncture.  This advantage cannot hold for long before the other “hand” will prevail.  When viewed in the long term neither hand truly prevails and thus the image of them pressing against each other holds true.  Isometric Principles of Business work, and they work very, very well.condron.us

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As we have stated previously employees, like sheep,  must be led where you want them to go.  Left unchecked, they will only lead themselves into trouble.  In order to lead your employees in the right direction you must dole out information much like food is portioned out to a dog.  Employees provided with unlimited access to information will habitually gorge themselves on this knowledge which will lead to independent thought and rebellion.  Finally, remember that employees should never be physically abused in such a way that the abuse can be documented and proven.  This is the point where the “animal” analogy ends.  Mental and emotional abuse is acceptable in legally ambiguous circumstances.

What actions must be taken if employee actions are to be rigidly directed?   Just like we said previously, information control equals employee control.  When broken down like this it becomes almost self-evident:

Knowledge is power

Power corrupts

Therefore

Knowledge corrupts

It is in the best interests of the employees and the company to give the “worker bees” as little knowledge and information as possible.  These actions will obviously help to keep them from being corrupted.  Employee corruption has a direct impact on every aspect of business, especially upper-level management bonuses and profit sharing.

You are now probably asking yourself how best to control the flow of knowledge and information within your company.  There are several ways.  Two of the most effective are disinformation and vague-ification.  Let’s explore these techniques further.

Disinformation

Let’s face it, companies are in a constant war with their employees.  If you give your workers an inch, they will take a mile.  You must therefore NEVER give them that inch.  Or you must convince them they have been given an inch when, in fact, you have taken the mile from them without their knowledge.  Wars are won with psychological warfare.  One of the key components of psy-ops is the spreading of disinformation.  Just be sure none of the disinformation that is being spread around can be traced back to the true source.  If the employees on the receiving end happen to put it in writing the consequences will fall on their heads.

Rumor-mongering, as a subset of disinformation, can be a powerful weapon in the eternal battle between employer and employee.  Your company must be fully prepared to initiate rumors both internally and externally.  The beauty of rumors is that they can either be completely true or contain little to no factual information at all.  The choice is yours.  Just remember to spice it up.  For every three rumors that are false feel free to start one that is 80% truth.  Once again, this will keep the employees on their toes.

Should you choose not to take on the responsibilities of active rumor-mongering remember that passive mongering can be just as effective.  Rumors have a way of starting themselves as the employees’ imaginations begin to run wild.  Passive rumor-mongering is the art of deciding which of these independently-initiated rumors to confirm and which to dispel.  Remember, an unconfirmed rumor, which turns out to be true, makes the next one that much more believable.  As with active mongering, you should never fall into a set routine of confirmation or dispelling.  I cannot stress enough that the employees must be kept on their toes.

Vague-ification

Every company has an employee handbook.  It is almost as if there are laws that require employees be notified of their “rights” and the rules they must follow within a company.  At least we know that having employees work for a company is their privilege, not their right.

The beauty of the information age is that these handbooks no longer need to be printed such that each employee has a company-issued hard copy.  The handbooks can now be posted on company intranet sites and can be revised as necessary at a moment’s notice.  As with dating, never let them anticipate your next move.

Even though the intranet-based handbook can be altered or updated immediately it should never contain any clear or concise information.  Every rule and guideline should be written with the intent that it would take 500 lawyers 500 years sitting in front of 500 typewriters to decipher the convoluted logic.  The handbook must also contain verbiage directing employees to contact human resource personnel for clarification.  Each company should then ensure that any employees inquisitive enough to seek out help from HR are met with what seem to be the most incompetent and confused “help.”  It is your choice whether you actually hire incompetent HR personnel or just good actors.  It is imperative that any employee interacting with Human Resource personnel never know the difference between the two.

It cannot be impressed upon you enough that the flow of information is vital to the functioning of any company or entity.  If that flow is vital, control of it is even more important.  Since you are not legally allowed to strangle employees your only recourse is to strangle the flow of information upon which they rely.  Without all of the information they crave the employees must submit to company rule and guidance.  Through the methods mentioned above your company can Isometrically lead itself into the future and prosperity.

Until next time, keep the faith.

Isometric Principles Of Business – Taking mediocrity to the extreme.

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The ultimate double feature that exemplifies the very essences of the Isometric Principles of Business would have to include the movies Office Space and Falling Down.

Office Space is like an upper. Sure, it’s a little depressing to see that what happens in your office apparently is not an isolated incident. But it’s also amusing to see your office life depicted in such a humorous fashion. Everyone who has worked in the corporate environment can identify with several of the characters in the film. You may even recognize some of your coworkers or, at the very least, some of their habits portrayed in the characters. Honestly, who hasn’t wanted to beat the living hell out of a fax machine or photocopier?  What about your computer?  Surely we can all also relate to Tom Smykowski.  He’s the guy who hates his job and attempts to commit suicide by CO poisoning in his garage.  His wife opens the door and Tom ends up backing his car into the street where he gets hit by a truck and essentially wins the lottery through a lawsuit.  We’ve all had bad days, like Tom.  We won’t go into a synopsis of the movie. Suffice it to say that if you have never seen Office Space you should do so now.

Falling Down, however, is the be-all-end-all of downers. Falling Down is like the cinematic version of the novel “On The Beach” by Nevil Shute (aside from the actual film versions of that novel). If you have never read “On The Beach” I would recommend that you stay as far away from it as possible. Much like Falling Down it will depress you to the point that you start hiding your ammunition and sharp knives just in case you get a wild hair to end it all. Falling down is arguably Michael Douglas’s most disturbing bit of acting. We have all had bad days.  Most of us have never had as bad a day as Douglas in this film but we can all relate to circumstances sprialling out of our control. Much like Office Space, in Falling Down you will witness many similarities between what Douglas’s character goes through and events in your own life as he gets stuck in the most absurd of conversations with the most asinine of people.  Who hasn’t wanted to smack the crap out of the manager at the burger joint down the street.  We know we would love to launch a shoulder-fired rocket at the road construction equipment that has increased our commute time by 15 minutes.

Heed our advice: take a well day off from work and acquire these two movies. You won’t be disappointed with the movies but by the end you might be disappointed with your life.

More advice: Watch Falling Down first. Use the Buddy System and watch it with someone who has enough compassion for you to make you watch Office Space immediately after. We don’t want any more blood on our hands. condron.us

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As has been stated previously the Isometric Principles Of Business are based on the idea that a company can and will be its own worst enemy. If competition in the industry is what drives companies to thrive then who better to compete with a company than itself? The essence of the IPOB is the vision of the two hands pushing against each other. Neither hand is stronger than the other and neither will prevail. Our company seems to work in this fashion constantly. We know our own secrets and weaknesses and consistently use them against ourselves.

Why “isometric” you ask? Let’s look at the word. Isometric is derived from some Latin words that aren’t important because they come from a dead language. If you break it down you get: iso = equal or unchanging; metric = measure or distance. Therefore the word literally means “equal measure” or “unchanging distance.”

Now, the naysayers would claim that it would have made more sense to name our concept “Isokinetic Principles of Business” due to the fact that the aforementioned hands are immovable and unchanging. Or perhaps they would have picked “Isotonic Principles of Business” because the hands are of equal strength. These same people are having trouble grasping one of the core principles of our new found corporate religion – most of the decisions made by the leaders in a company do not make sense to those not “in the know.”

The previously mentioned naysayers (you know who you are) might also point out that our motto “Where the immovable force meets the irresistible object” is incorrect. They would point out that a force does not move – it causes the object upon which it acts to move. They would also state that an object cannot be irresistible. The force should be irresistible and the object immovable. To this we say: If the Isometric Principles of Business made sense to everyone, then every company in the world would be employing them and succeeding through the art of self-competition. Obviously this is not yet the case or every company you see would be thriving beyond belief and the current economic crisis would have been averted.

If you take nothing else from the Isometric Principles Of Business at least remember that in order for any entity to thrive it must seek out and engage its greatest competitor. What competitor knows an entity’s innermost secrets and greatest weaknesses better than that entity itself. If a company cannot bring itself to an appropriate level of self-competition, that company is doomed to failure.

Isometric Principles Of Business – making logic take a backseat to doublespeak and ambiguity. condron.us

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We like to think of our company as the model for the Isometric Principles Of Business. Due in part to the competing (though identical) brands of product that we produce, the two halves of our company are constantly striving to gain the advantage over the other. This competition assuredly does nothing but Isometrically strengthen the company as a whole. Unfortunately there are a great many sections of the company that support both brands equally. These departments have no opposite against which to compete. How, may you ask, do these departments stay strong and vital? The answer is to NEVER allow the employees within these departments to become too comfortable or sedentary. At any given time there must be Change For The Sake Of Change.

This Change should come at, what seems to the employees involved, the most inconvenient of times. What the employees can never be allowed to understand is that the Change is always well-timed and purposeful. They must be given a reason for the change but can never know the true reason. By their very nature, employees are like sheep or cattle. They are stupid and must be herded and led around by the noses. They must also always be watched for signs of inquisitiveness and complacency.

Our most recent bout with Change came just the other day. Due to the worsening economic conditions there have been many proposals on how to cut costs and save money. What should be told to the employees is that the most obvious solution is to populate usable office space as densely as possible. This will leave some areas unused and unneeded whereas they can then be sealed off. Upon sealing off these areas they will no longer require electricity for lights, heat or air conditioning.

The employees must be convinced that the pennies saved during the shut down of unused office areas will definitely make an impact on the bottom line if those areas remain closed long enough. There will invariably be some employees who speculate that the pennies saved by shutting these areas down will take years to offset the cost of the time involved in moving other employees around. Any employee suspected of this type of speculation must be labeled an Independent Thinker. ITs should be tracked and watched as they will often incite others to think for themselves, which should be avoided at all costs. These same employees, however, must never know or be allowed to deduce the true reasons for the consolidation.

True Reason #1: The Herd Animal – As was mentioned earlier, employees are very similar to sheep and cattle. The more closely they are packed into an area, the better and harder they work. The close quarters also lend just enough distraction to alleviate the fear that they will think too much for themselves while not distracting them too much from what they believe are their vital duties.

True Reason #2: Fear Of Dismissal – Employees who remain in one physical location too long may develop a Sense Of Permanence. This SOP can lead to the realization that their seniority or skills may protect them against mass layoffs (the Isometric Business equivalent to cullings in the animal world). By shutting down some office areas, relocating those employees and shuffling other employees around you eliminate, or at the very least, lower their SOP. The lower an employee’s SOP, the harder they are willing to work to maintain their job.

What this all amounts to is keeping your workers on their toes. It is a well-known fact that employees work better when under pressure. As with canning vegetables, it is important to know how long to keep the pressure on and when to relieve it. Employees, like cattle, are much more comfortable in close quarters. You just have to be careful not to spook them. One good backfire and you’ve got yourself a stampede. Just remember, best way to stop a stampede is to kill the cow that started it.

Until next time, keep the comments coming. Also, feel free to share your Isometric Principles as comments to this blog or feel free to email us at Isometric.Principles.Of.Business@gmail.com. condron.us

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Never, in the history of the world, has an entity been more enamored of acronyms than the military. The Corporate world comes in a close second place. It seems as if someone in the distant past performed a time-management study and discovered enough phrases in the corporate world used with enough frequency that there would be a significant time and cost savings by using their acronyms instead of the actual phrases. Little did they know that, to most people on the outside and more than a few on the inside, these acronyms make any normal conversation sound like a foreign language. Any time saved by the use of the acronyms as opposed to the phrases they represent is more than wasted by the need to explain or look up the meanings of these acronyms as they are used. Time-management studies performed just for the sake of themselves, intended confusion and the use of acronyms simply because they can be used are all key prinicples of Isometrics.

Let’s start with a couple of the acronyms that might be commonly used across the corporate world but are definitely well used in our neck of the Isometric woods.

AOP: Annual Operating Plan – the schedule of events and responsibilities that details the actions to be taken in order to accomplish the goals and objectives laid out for the coming year. Common usage: “We have had to downgrade the AOP again this year due to our incredibly inaccurate forecasts.”

COE: Centers Of Excellence – these are the departments that house the employees with the most knowledge in their field.  There can be a Finance COE, a Manufacturing COE, IT COE or a HR COE.  Common usage:  “We should have renamed the Finance COE the Finance COA (Center Of Arrogance).”

Now let’s discuss a company-specific acronym that just didn’t seem to be very well thought out.

PAP: Projected Annual Production – the manufacturing production schedule for the current year detailing the number of units to be manufactured per year/month/day. Common usage: “As unpleasant as we all know it can be, we are going to have to go in for another PAP.  This one just did not turn out good enough because it was based on our AOP.”

The PAP? Honestly? Did no one see this one at its inception? Granted, it is an acronym for a legitimate measure, but couldn’t someone have thought up something better? Annual Production Plan…Annual Unit Plan…Annual Manufacturing Plan. They’re not great but at least they don’t sound like a semi-invasive, exploratory procedure. The ultimate beauty of the PAP is that it fits perfectly in the Isometric world. Employees can hold serious conversations, repeating “PAP” over and over, while secretly laughing on the inside.

Finally let’s take a look at a few acronyms we think would be more fitting with the Isometric Business world.

SHIT: Screeching Halt Inventory Technology – the latest and greatest inventory control techniques which are incorrectly utilized and generally make situations worse than they were before implementation. Common usage: “Congratulations. The annual inventory is way off this year. This SHIT has finally done us in.”

NUTS: Negatively Utilized Technology Status – the degree of damage done to a company’s bottom line and employee morale when it acquires or promotes new technology ineffectively. Common usage: “We need to get this inefficient software released on time in order to ensure our NUTS is bigger than it was last year.”

DAMN: Daily Approximate Mandatory Notification. The DAMN is the number of unnecessary notifications, through email, memos or postings on the company intranet, which each employee must receive each day. Common usage: “I keep getting all of these DAMN emails that don’t mean anything” or “Did you see all of the DAMN postings on the bulletin board?”

CRAP: Caffeinated Ratio of Active Personnel – the number of personnel versus the total who require caffeine to perform their jobs adequately or maintain enough sanity to avoid committing either suicide or murder in the workplace. Any given company generally runs at a high CRAP level and still makes enough profit to benefit its investors and members of the Board of Directors. There is, however, a theoretical CRAP limit above which a company should not try to operate or it will run the risk of self destruction; this is also known as a CRAP storm.

PENIS: Production Employees of Nominal Intelligence and Savvy – these are your run-of-the-mill employees that are used to fill what would otherwise be empty seats. The PENISes are generally the first to be cut, after the troublemakers, when the economy and business turn sour. On a human level it still hurts to cut a PENIS, regardless of its worth, but you must remember that these PENISes were not really useful members of your organization to begin with.

GIMPS: Global Initiative for Marketing Product Specialists – these are the individuals with intimate knowledge of company product.  Customers can obtain detailed information from the GIMPS.  GIMPS can also issue quotes to customers who request special products be installed on the equipment.  Common usage:  “This quote I just got from the GIMPS is at least twice as expensive as their competitor” or “I couldn’t get a quote out of the GIMPS because they require a minimum order of 12 pieces of equipment.”  Also:  “Even though the GIMPS are handicapped by management and cannot issue me a reasonable quote, they really know their stuff.”

Finally, one of my personal favorites. One of our main competitors created a system (named the System of Active Stability) several years ago to stabilize its equipment during use. Due to the nature of our equipment, there are certain conditions under which it could be misused, rendering it highly vulnerable to tipping. Internally a few of the employees at our company wanted to create a similar system which we would have called:

ASS: Active Stability System

We even had the perfect marketing tagline if such a system were to be developed and produced: “You’ll feel safer when you’re riding on your ASS!!” Hey, if the Big Ass Fan Company could get away with it, why couldn’t we.

Just remember, the language of the Isometric Business world may not always make sense. In fact, if you work in a truly Isometric company at least some of the language shouldn’t make sense to anyone. This is usually in the best interest of the company and is a form of defense against corporate espionage. Embrace the use of acronyms. Without them everyone might understand what is going on and we all know that road can lead to disaster.

As always, please feel free to leave comments here at the blog or send us an email at Isometric.Principles.Of.Business@gmail.com.  We would love to hear more examples of Isometric Principles being utilized in your company.

Isometric Principles Of Business – Allowing you to better understand the corporate world…hook, line and sinker.

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