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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—December 15, 2007

  • CNN/Money: IBM cuts schools a break on $5M debt. Excerpt: A San Francisco Bay-area school district that pressed IBM (NYSE:IBM) Corp. to rip up an old $5 million debt didn't get its wish, but the technology company has agreed to let the repayment be stretched out over eight years instead of four. The debt dates back to 1989, when educators with the Richmond Unified School District bought computers and software from IBM but paid only a fraction of the bill. The district, now called West Contra Costa Unified, was in financial disarray and barely averted bankruptcy.

  • Press Trust of India: IBM sees India as its global hub by 2010. Excerpts: Betting big on the ‘India advantage’, IBM, one of the world’s biggest information technology (IT) companies, eyes India as its hub for global delivery, providing research software, besides contributing significantly to the company’s revenue. Talking about its road map for 2010, IBM vice- president (financial management) Jesse Green said, “We think of India as a support to IBM. The country will be a hub of global delivery which will help us improve margin components and growth initiatives.”
  • CNN/Money: About 1 in 5 IBM employees now in India. Excerpt IBM Corp.'s expansion in developing countries shows no sign of relenting. The technology company revealed Friday that it now has 73,000 employees in India, almost a 40 percent leap from last year. IBM did not provide updated figures for its work force in the U.S., which has held steady around 125,000 people in recent years. Nor did IBM project its total head count. It had 355,766 employees worldwide at the end of 2006.
  • Wall Street Journal: IBM Boosts Hiring in India, China. By William M. Bulkeley. Excerpts: International Business Machines Corp. is increasing its employee count, with most of the growth coming in India and China, as well as other emerging markets, according to a person familiar with its hiring. At the end of 2006, IBM employed 355,000 people around the world. IBM's employment growth comes despite selling off its specialty printer business earlier this year. IBM has been hiring steadily in emerging markets, and its total workforce in Brazil, Russia, India and China will approach 100,000 people by the end of the year, up from about 85,000, the person said. A forecast of the year-end-2007 worldwide employment total wasn't available.
  • USA Today: Workplace tensions rise as dads seek family time. By Stephanie Armour. Excerpts: Todd Scott, 32, has two children under age 5. Each workday, he leaves his job at Himmelrich Public Relations in Baltimore at 5 p.m. to be with his family — and even then feels guilty he isn't spending enough time with Hunter, 4, and Anna, 1.

    Scott's approach to balancing work and family contrasts with that of his boss, Steve Himmelrich, 48, who has two children and is a more traditional-style dad, spending many long hours, free time and some weekends at the office. Himmelrich says he supports Scott's parenting strategy, but both acknowledge it has been a source of tension between them.

    "We have monthly conversations, some more tense than others, about our differing attitudes to our roles at home and our responsibilities at work," says Scott, who says that "being engaged in my family life is more important to me than my career advancement. My boss … couldn't be more opposite."

  • Wall Street Journal: Sharper Claws for Recovering Executive Pay. By Gretchen Morgenson. Excerpts: Investors everywhere should applaud the deal struck last week by the UnitedHealth Group to recover nearly $1 billion in pay from former executives involved in the company’s option backdating mess. Not only is the number big and round — by far the largest giveback by corporate executives ever — but the recovery sets a standard of behavior for other companies and boards when performance pay is later shown to have been based on ephemeral earnings.

    UnitedHealth shareholders have certainly suffered. The company restated 12 years of earnings in the amount of $1.5 billion as a result of the backdating and said it had struck a $55 million settlement with the Internal Revenue Service. The stock is just about where it was in March 2006 before a Wall Street Journal article first questioned the timing of option grants made to Dr. William W. McGuire, UnitedHealth’s longtime chief executive.

    So it seems only appropriate that Dr. McGuire will cough up options worth $418 million in addition to the almost $200 million in options he has already forfeited. The agreement also bars him from joining the board of a public company for 10 years.

    Don’t fret for Dr. McGuire, though. He still holds options worth around $800 million. In a statement, he said he was happy to have the matter resolved; he neither admitted nor denied the backdating accusations.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: IBM sees India as its global hub by 2010" by "bits_bytes_and_bugs". Full excerpt: IBM execs don't want to admit their strategy for offshoring IT work to India has been a miserable failure and will continue to be for the better part of the next decade.

    Everyone else who works with India offshoring, including our customers, not only sees failure, they don't see significant improvement as time goes on.

    BTW - System p with the Power 6, developed in the US, has been available in the US for close to 9 months, System i with the Power 6 has been since September. Only the Power 6 BladeCenters were a recent announce.

  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: IBM 401K (TDSP) rollover" by "ibmaccountant " Full excerpt: Well, regardless of which side is correct, IMHO the primary reason why many employees will assume IBM is screwing them regardless of the facts is that one of the key legacies of the Gerstner tenure has been a complete loss of trust and confidence in management by a significant part of the employee population.

    Before you challenge me with "facts", go to the internal websites and see the employee feedback surveys. They will say it all. Although the percentage varies and management has never had the guts to ask the question "Do you the employee have confidence in your management?" the tangential statistics to answers of similar questions will prove the point.

    We would not have even a hint of unionization if this wasn't the truth. It may take time, but the handwriting is on the wall. IBM management has squandered their most important asset, the trust of its employees for a few years of fabricated earnings. Before Gerstner, even though the management was incompetent and sometimes felonious in the nature of some of their actions, the employee was still considered an asset. Today, the employee is a resource, a tool, to be used and consumed with no thought for their future welfare or that of their families. Despite many recent efforts from HR to repair this image, they can't fix it until there is a wholesale cleansing of executive and some of the lower management.

    The unfortunate part for IBM and the unionization efforts is that when you lose confidence and trust in management, you prepare plans to leave as soon as you can. You leave and the vote is then lost for unionization. The younger folk have left in droves, and in the case of the older employee it's a balancing act to prepare for departure because of the pension issues. However, in 2008 this will change, thanks to the second to final pension theft action which is to freeze the DB pension to maximize the executive options from the 90's.

    The hope is that once the Gerstner era options expire in 2008 and the geriatric long-term management in place finally leaves thinking they've gotten all they can get, the company may somehow begin to cleanse itself of the younger single minded selfish sadistic executives and regain a semblance of its past image.

    Frankly, I don't give a damn for the company anymore. I'm just a happy 30+ year service employee ex-"hanger on" that made a lot of money betting against it in the market.

  • Yahoo! IBM Retiree - Information Exchange: "Re IBM Retiree Health Insurance Subsidy" by "ibmretiree2006". Full excerpt: IBM lie? I am a business partner and you should see what is going on for the poor employees who have stuck around. Can you imagine working 60 hours a week or more, getting a 2% raise every other year and seeing your variable pay (or whatever they are calling it today) shrink? Cost of living goes up but your income does not. Kind of like being a retiree and NO NO NO COLA.

    But the execs are getting wealthy and manipulating the business to increase profit while revenue stays constant. Every business person knows how that happens.

News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
Minimize
  • Wall Street Journal: Open Season for Drug-Insurance Swindlers. By Tom Lauricella. Excerpt: Holiday season coincides with the open enrollment period for Medicare prescription drug coverage, and regulators are warning that an increasing number of unscrupulous insurance agents also view it as open season for preying on older adults.

    The wrongdoing, among other activities, involves violating federal regulations against door-to-door selling of coverage and the forging of signatures. "It's the wild, wild West out there," says Mary Jo Hudson, director of the Ohio Department of Insurance.

  • Forbes: How To Find The Best Deal On Health Insurance. By Maureen Farrell. Excerpts: The numbers are enough to scare you sick. Some 60% of companies now offer health benefits, down from 69% in 2000, according to the 2007 annual health benefits survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Small businesses are even less generous: Just 45% of companies with three to nine workers offer health benefits. Total number of uninsured Americans: roughly 47 million, or 16% of the U.S. population.

    Buying insurance as an "individual" is nothing less than a nightmare. For starters, employees of firms that offer health insurance can use pretax dollars to purchase it; individuals can't (at least not yet). Worse, individual buyers are entitled to fewer protections than employees of large firms. In most states, insurance carriers can deny coverage to individuals with a preexisting condition like cancer or diabetes. And for the fortunate few who can afford to buy insurance on their own, there's a labyrinth of options and loopholes to navigate when choosing a policy.

  • Denver Business Journal: Health care executives blame government and insurance companies for big markups. By Bob Mook. Excerpts: Most anyone who's been in a hospital -- and survived the panic attack that follows when they see the bill -- finds out quickly that no one expects them to pay the total amount due. But why do hospitals send out bills that bear no resemblance to what insurance companies, the government and most individuals actually wind up paying? And what effect, if any, is it having on the rising cost of health care?

    Hospital administrators admit that billed charges are marked up well beyond what most insurers and patients really pay. And they agree the process of setting staggeringly high charges isn't logical. "We have an irrational pricing structure that we've created as an industry over the last 30 years," said Ned Borgstrom, CFO of Exempla Healthcare, which manages three Denver-area hospitals. "We created a monster, of course." Indeed, billed charges are so much higher than the actual costs or what insurers pay, they're practically meaningless to health care consumers.

  • Houston Chronicle: Doctors' Survey: Insurance companies impede patient care. By Lynn Cook. Excerpts: Health insurance companies often block needed patient care through delays in processing claims and intervention by unqualified personnel, according to a first-ever survey of Houston-area physicians. ...

    Greg Bernica, CEO of the Harris County Medical Society, said the group had hoped to rank insurers from best to worst. Instead, the companies all scored so low there was not enough statistical difference to do an actual ranking. "They all came in last," he said. ...

    The survey found:

    • 70 percent of physicians responding said insurance companies had denied claims for medically necessary procedures.
    • 66 percent said they had trouble getting insurance company preauthorization for scans and other imaging.
    • 83 percent said the red-tape and delayed payment involving insurance companies required them to fill at least one, and often two or three, administrative positions per doctor to deal with filing and billing issues.

  • California HealthLine: Fewer Medicare Drug Plans Offer 'Doughnut Hole' Coverage in 2008. Excerpts: Few Medicare plans in 2008 will offer brand-name prescription drug coverage in the so-called "doughnut hole" gap because of cost, meaning that Medicare beneficiaries will have fewer options when choosing a plan during the open enrollment period that ends Dec. 31, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

    The doughnut hole gap in 2008 begins when drug costs for an individual and his or her insurer reach $2,510 and ends when spending reaches $5,726. Only one plan, located in Florida, will provide coverage for brand-name prescription drugs in the gap in 2008.

  • The New Republic: And Now for a Really Bad Idea on Health Care Reform... Excerpts: With the Iowa caucuses less than a month away, it's important to scrutinize the health care reform plans of the leading Democratic presidential candidates. But it's also important to keep these differences in perspective. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards would require everybody to obtain insurance, Barack Obama wouldn't. But they're all talking about the same goal: Covering every single American though some sort of government action. And their plans still have a great deal in common. That's a good thing.

    You almost never hear that kind of talk on the other side of the aisle. With a few important exceptions, what you hear are ideas that would not help very many people and might -- quite possibly -- hurt some. A case in point is the Republican crusade against state regulation of insurance.

    Many states have strict requirements for how insurance companies can price their policies and what benefits they must offer. The requirements generally apply only to insurance purchased by individuals and small businesses. (Plans for large employers are exempt because of a law called ERISA, whose history and meaning I will spare you -- because nobody whose job doesn't involve administering health benefits should have to slog through that explanation.)

  • Health Beat Blog, courtesy of Physicians for a National Health Program: New CDC Report: The Nail in the Coffin for Health Care Myths. By Niko Karvounis. Excerpt: On Monday the CDC released a landmark, and in many ways devastating, report on health care in the U.S. The report contains a wealth of data that, while not surprising to some, should help silence the dwindling few who insist that America’s health care system is doing just fine. As a public service, I thought it’d be helpful to list some of the myths that the report demolishes (with some help from other sources as needed).
  • New York Times: I Am Not a Health Reform. By David U. Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler. Excerpts: IN 1971, President Nixon sought to forestall single-payer national health insurance by proposing an alternative. He wanted to combine a mandate, which would require that employers cover their workers, with a Medicaid-like program for poor families, which all Americans would be able to join by paying sliding-scale premiums based on their income.

    Nixon’s plan, though never passed, refuses to stay dead. Now Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama all propose Nixon-like reforms. Their plans resemble measures that were passed and then failed in several states over the past two decades.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site:
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  • From the Job Cuts Status & Comments page
    • Comment 12/10/07: I heard through some management contacts that there will be 10% cuts (in staff numbers) in Server System Operations and Server Administration by end of Jan 2008 (LEAN stage 5 they call it I think). Any other Canadian's out there who knows anymore? -DM-
    • Comment 12/11/07: HR in Atlanta and RTP are reporting they are gonna be VERY BUSY come 1Q08 and won't/can't say why. I wonder if there will be another sell off of a major div/org like Network Services. BTW, Network Services folks going over to ATT on 2/01/08. -innovation station-
    • Comment 12/12/07: TO: -innovation station- *** IGF is offshoring almost all functions from NA to SA (Brazil) in 1Q2008. IGS will be having a major services function offshore to India, China and Vietnam. So HR will have to process all the burn out timber that IBM NA gets rid of. So for most IBM NA folks, As Donald Trump was famous for saying: "YOU'RE FIRED !!!" -no-ky-
    • Comment 12/13/07: Hi George, the only rumours I heard cuts about was for Canada in IGS....10% cuts in Operations and Sys Admin, in ADDITION to more outsourcing to Argentina for technical work and offshoring of service/clerical work going somewhere also - Vietnam and/or Brazil is what I heard. -DM-
    • Comment 12/14/07: To RA'd bear. Very true. Customers now call any given support center multiple times in a process I heard them call " Re-Hadji-ing" As in did you re-hadji the question and get the same answer? If so maybe we can try what they suggested. Sad but true.. -Exodus 2007-
  • General Visitor's Comment page:
    • Comment 12/09/07: On 08/28/06, Nick executed options on 197,228 shares at $36.0625, and sold them for $80.00 a share, realizing a profit of $8,665,705.20. The expiration date on these shares was 03-12-07. If he had sold them on 01-16-07 when the shares closed at $100.82, he would have realized an additional profit of $4,106,286.90. Pretty costly mistake, kissing away a mere extra 4.1 million. -CostlyMistake-
    • Comment 12/11/07: "On 08/28/06, Nick executed options on 197,228 shares at $36.0625, and sold them for $80.00 a share, realizing a profit of $8,665,705.20. The expiration date on these shares was 03-12-07. If he had sold them on 01-16-07 when the shares closed at $100.82, he would have realized an additional profit of $4,106,286.90. Pretty costly mistake, kissing away a mere extra 4.1 million" Tell me, how many millions has Nick sucked from the IBM company. 4 mil is chump change to Nick. Jolly old Nick. He can kiss my ass. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 12/14/07: Wow! It sounds like IBM is almost insolvent in the East Region! Just received a note from Larry Arrington advising us that we are in jeopardy of missing our 2H spending challenge as a region. He wants our response this week on what actions we can take in the last 2 weeks to reduce or defer spending to 2008. Here is a list of items that I need each of you to review and communicate immediately to your SSRs and confirm back to me that it was done.

      Limit all OT hours and additional compensation immediately.....ALL NON EMERGENCY CALLOUT OT MUST BE PRE APPROVED BY THE SDM..PERIOD! I know it's year end and there's a lot of push on install activity...but please focus hard on scheduling the work to minimize overtime and having duplicate resource assigned to the installs. (Our extra comp numbers only went down a 10th of a % YTD from Oct to Nov)

      • Wherever possible....reduce contractor or supplemental SSR hours through year end.
      • Absolutely no tools or supplies orders until January.
      • Take advantage of all SC 44 activity and ensure all qsars are recorded before year end.
      • Limit all meeting activity that generates reimbursement expense. Hold any WWERS reimbursement activity to January.
      • Limit all unnecessary travel..Request that SSR's look at anyway to consolidate trips for parts etc.
      • No BOND orders......this was already communicated but reinforce it.
  • Pension Comments page
  • Raise and Salary Comments
    • Comment 12/13/07: Salary = 50,000; Band Level = 6; Job Title = Financial Analyst; Years Service = 0; Div Name = S.O.; Location = Somers; , NY Message = I'm graduating in May from a SUNY (NY state school) with a BS in Finance and no professional work experience. I've received an offer for 50k as an Financial Analyst in Somers, NY, which is an expensive area. I would probably live in White Plains, NY. Is this a good starting salary for me? Do I have any room to negotiable, and if so how? Thanks! -newcollegegrad-
    • Comment 12/14/07: newcollegegrad: IMHO that's a bit low for Westchester Co. NY. but it's typical of what Big Blew is offering these days. Wiggle room? I doubt much but it can't hurt to ask if you plan to go for your Master's whether IBM might pay for it for you. You might want to ask for equity (i.e. stock options) and see what they have to say. That might show to some little degree whether they want to retain you for a few years.. Do your homework and check the salary surveys on the internet. If you do join IBM don't plan on cracking $60K anytime soon thereafter. If you do take this offer be sure to join the Alliance! -anonymous-
    • Comment 12/14/07: Salary = 49k; Band Level = 6; Job Title = accountant; Years Service = 2; Hours/Week = 40; Div Name = IMBPD; Location = Tulsa; Message = -newcollegegrad- Yes, negotiate a higher salary before you're locked in at this current offer. Once you've agreed on a salary then don't expect any kind of a raise for quite a while (or even a raise that keeps up with inflation). $50k does seem low for a NY salary for a band 6 financial analyst. Anyone else in this area that can vouch for this salary range being low? -Tulsa member-
  • PBC Comments
    • Comment 12/10/07: Concerning skews, everyone is exactly right. There is definitely a skew with percentage for PBC 1 and for PBC 3. During my last year in management, in my organization, it was a 7% skew for 3 performers (at the 2nd line level). The important point here is that the CALIBRATION SESSIONS TOOK PLACE IN FEBRUARY. YOUR RATING IS SET IN FEBRUARY AT THE SECOND LINE LEVEL. -Former 1st Line Manager-
    • Comment 12/11/07: Doesn't matter what you put in your PBC. I bet if you put in the same almost verbatim PBC results as last year you'll get probably the same rating. I bet managers will not even read one word of it to know about it. I don't waste my time on this BS process anymore. I think the managers will not pay attention to it either anymore. -Anonymouse-
    • Comment 12/12/07: Managers will read enough of your PBC to be able to articulate your results. Your feed back will have no effect on the rating. That was determined in February at the 2nd line level during calibration sessions, and loaded into the tool in October. -Anonymous-
  • International Comments
Vault Message Board Posts:
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Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. A few sample posts follow:

  • "Desirable?" by "ribbonmatch". Full excerpt: To all the good people on this message board, what are you thoughts about this qualification? It's piqued my interest as I've been studying for an ITIL certificate and I run across references to PMP on w3. Getting a PMP is also an aim for IBM people I work with who have PM responsibilities. For anyone with this qualification, has it helped you become a better project manager? Given two consultants with equivalent experience but only one of them having the PMP, would you hire the consultant with the PMP? (A theoretical question, I know, but one for the sake of argument).
  • "Marginally so" by "Dose of reality". Full excerpt: Project management skills are developed on the job, not in a classroom. If I were looking to staff a project, a PM that had certification would have no edge at all over another resource. It only has value for IBM when it pitches you to clients. Also, if you go into industry, in a PM type function, you may also impress the HR folks, as well as hiring managers that are ignorant.

    If you are expecting it to turn you into a better project manager, forget it, unless you are absolutely clueless about PM, and you just want to get an understanding of the elements of project management.

    No good project manager manages by the numbers, and you either have the critical soft skills or you don't. As for the hard skills, there are hundreds of ways to effectively manage a project. Methodology is only window dressing.

  • "What makes a good PM?" by "civilliberty". Full excerpt: I don't know anything about PMP. But I have had good and bad PM's inside of and outside of IBM (but mainly outside - in this case not so much a reflection on IBM, but more-so the fact I had relatively short tenure at the company).

    The best PM's I ever had were good people person's and people who had a natural feel for managing stake-holder expectations. They enjoyed and believed in their staff - no amount of training will change you from a technical nerd, or someone who can only manage to process, to a person that likes the company of others. Life experiences might change you, but then again they might not. (Sometimes it helps to be accountable to another person who treats you the way you treat others and then you really know what it's like and how you might be perceived by others - not always a pleasant experience, but of infinitesimal value nevertheless).

    Those who try to develop the soft skills but aren't emotionally tuned in come across as frauds and don't really seem to get anymore respect and subsequently don't get better productivity or trust from their staff.

    You can teach most people technique, if they are willing and intelligent, but you can't teach people to like and appreciate others.

    And, then there are the PM's who sell-out to the client and don't support their own staff who are lured by the idea of good client feedback at the expense of the welfare of their own people. Walking that tight-rope successfully of supporting your staff whilst delivering to the client in my opinion is one hallmark of being a good PM - some do that well, others are appalling.

  • "You hit all the hot buttons" by "Dose of reality". Full excerpt: An effective project manager will put the success of the project ahead of the personal and career objectives of client and consulting firm staff. Beyond that, it just takes discipline, organizational skills, and communication skills.
  • "So it's not rocket science after all" by "ribbonmatch". Full excerpt: Thanks guys for the replies. I had a sense that these kinds of qualifications can at best only buttress the talent and knowledge that's there already. I suppose, though, that the talent and knowledge is harder to acquire than the qualifications. I like civilliberty's question about what makes a good project manager. Let me turn that question around in a way and ask what you guys look for in tech people when you staff your projects?
  • "Preferred attributes" by "civilliberty". Full excerpt: Technical people come in all shapes and sizes with varying skill sets. Answering your question depends on what you are seeking to achieve. These days companies seem to purchase talent based on skill set more than experience even , or ability - it's not the way I personally would necessarily staff a company, but I come from the older school also.
    1. Team work - the person has to get on well with other team members and be willing to share their time and experience across the team. There are many techo's who can't or won't do that - that for me is a real sticking point. It's particularly noticeable with contractor's (of which I am one at the moment - but I'm not like that). I've seen a team of good talent that works well do more and better than one which depends on the premium player who often us a prima-dona - though there are exceptions.
    2. Ability. The person may not have every skill you're looking for, but the question is does he/she have the ability and drive to pick up a skill and with suitable on the job mentoring become a valuable contributor (I was placed in this position more than once)- past history and an interview should be able to determine this. It is particularly important if you want someone who will be flexible to grow with the business and changes in technology and you want to keep the knowledge in-house.
    3. Communication skills. Does the person have an interest in dealing with the business and business analysts/functional resources ?. It's important you don't get someone who thinks their responsibility begins and ends with coding but understands their contribution within the bigger picture. Siloed roles create division and let down the team ultimately. The days of pure technical work are coming to a close. Business is demanding more business knowledge and interaction from those providing the solutions
  • "Dose, interested to know if you've known bad managers" by "civilliberty". Full excerpt: Dose, did you have to manage managers at some stage who just weren't the correct fir for the role, and if so, how did you address that. What I see happen a lot is that they still hang around at a company. The company seems more interested often in getting rid of the workers at the coal face than the managers (in particular IBM).
  • "Only from a distance" by "Dose of reality". Full excerpt: I have to tell you that I have been fortunate and never staffed an incompetent or over matched PM in a role. A competent PM is THE make or break cog in a project wheel by far. A good PM can even deliver on a poorly conceived project, but a bad PM can easily screw up a slam dunk. I personally interview, or more specifically grill any PM that I staff, and my external hiring standards for band 9 and up are very stringent.

    That being said, some of my colleagues are either clueless in evaluating talent, or so desperate to staff projects that they roll the dice with PMs on a lot of projects.

    There are a few reasons why IBM jettisons the workers before PMs. First, the PM controls the internal communication plan, and it is too easy for the blame to be pushed downward, even if the screw-ups were at the PM level, or as is more often the case, the deliverables are impossible to meet in the time allotted. Second, it is easier to replace a band 7 than it is to replace a band 9. Third, the continuity in a project will suffer more with a change in PM, both in terms of client relations, and execution. It will appear as though the firm screwed up if it pulls a PM, as opposed to the situation where problems are blamed on one of a dozen band 7s that are on the project. The latter just seemed like simple probability, while putting an incompetent PM in reflects much worse on the firm. Finally, IBM is the ultimate hierarchical organization – the higher you are, the more power and perceived authority you have. To defer to an underlying in a contentious issue is really counter-cultural.

If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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