Move over Henry Ford

first_imgWe’re on the brink of the next industrial revolution predicts UK businessguru Jim Maxim and, this time around, HR should throw out the old rule book andoccupy the driving seat, writes Penny WilsonJim Maxim, former chief executive of Laura Ashley and Volvo UK, and hiswife, Shoshana Zuboff, distinguished Harvard professor, flew into London amidnews of mass lay-offs and the fat cat furore. This was good timing as they werehere to promote their new book, The Support Economy, which, after six years’research, concludes that the world is witnessing the biggest businessrevolution since Henry Ford brought cars to the masses in the 1920s. It would be easy to dismiss the soft-spoken Maine residents as fly-by-nightevangelists preaching the wrongdoings of capitalism. The fact is though, thatwith the current corporate malaise, those who want change don’t really know howto start. Those who don’t are terrified of losing their identity along with thePorsche. The book, The Support Economy: Why Corporations are Failing Individuals andthe Next Episode of Capitalism, to give it its full title, has attracted ravereviews. Maxim explains that to understand what’s going on, you first have to have ahandle on history. Henry Ford made real his vision that not just the rich, butfarmers and shopkeepers would own cars. So he upped production and sold to themasses. Ford dismissed the notion of management, saying men promoted into toppositions would only spend their time playing politics. Inevitably, layers ofmanagement crept in, mushroomed throughout other organisations aping Ford’ssuccess, and the capitalistic system wholeheartedly supported the philosophythat men worked and women consumed. It produced fabulous wealth, but the systemwas inwardly focused. Organisational narcissism became pathological – what wasright for management was right per se. “That’s what breeds an Enron,” says Maxim. “We basically tooka manufacturing model from Ford and super-imposed it on every organisation andeveryone. It has bred the fat cat bonus and no-one questioned it because whoquestioned the CEO? “You can try to legislate against this, but nothing will change becausethe problem is systemic. You will still find people reducing benefits to staffyet carving out a hidden pension trust for themselves.” The result is that people feel betrayed. Someone, states Maxim, has tobecome the spokesman to say enough is enough. And to whom does he assign muchof this responsibility? To HR, that’s who. “HR should be the social conscience. Someone has to draw attention thatthere has been a revolt; that capitalism is proprietary and managerial; thatthe manufacturing system is no longer appropriate for today; that society isnow made of individuals who want the freedom to make their own decisions; thatbusiness has to be about advocacy relationships; and that there must be a newway of doing business. If HR was on mind-altering drugs it would see more thanjust boxes of consumers, people and staff,” says Maxim So what is the next phase of capitalism? Maxim predicts it will bedistributed among individuals, not management. The future holds careersbelonging to the individual, not the company, and those individuals are alreadydemanding their own rights. People will be rewarded according to their supportand the scale of the risks they take. And who will decide on the reward?Investors, customers, shareholders and stakeholders. The result will be thatthe deepest, darkest managerial secrets will become transparent, believesMaxim. Ask for the practical ABC guide to seeing through the theory and Maxim saysthere isn’t one, because the business world is in transition and needs to throwout the factory rules everyone has slavishly followed to date. Instead headvocates that HR rids itself of the legacy it once held that ‘real men doproduction and capitalism, not HR’. “HR needs to recognise the revolution taking place – it needs to advocatethe closing of the gap between and highest and lowest paid and needs to saywhat’s right and wrong. We need to stop this bulimic function where[organisations] suck people in, then push them out because they are seen as acost. Why does the share price rise when you sack a bunch of people? It shouldin fact fall.” However, the old business system still keeps ticking. In 2001, £10bnworldwide was spent on customer relationship management (CRM) systems, which intheory should have seen great returns on sales. Yet the valuation of companiesplummeted. Many answered the trend by pushing up prices and laying off staff toreduce the cost base. It’s a worn rulebook that needs to be thrown out, reckonsMaxim. So what is to replace it? Simplistic solutions, he says. “HR has to get strategic to understand the business it is supporting.You have to look at how you can bring your customers closer to your staff,reward effectiveness, grant value to individuals, and question what yourorganisation’s values actually stand for. You should investigate alliances,inside and outside your organisation, to create support networks for staff, andto build trust relationships.” This new-found power among people, consumers and staff alike, has beensparked by technology. Maxim and Zuboff call it ‘infrastructure convergence’ –the knitting together of software that powers a company’s framework anddealings with customers. Yet too many organisations still fail to recognise today’s new breed ofcustomer who wants something different from business – deep support, not just amass product or service. Stick to the limited success of initiatives such as CRM, customer and staffsatisfaction programmes, and the old rules of factory employment and values,and you ignore a revolution at your peril. The Support Economy: Why Corporations are Failing Individuals and theNext Episode of Capitalism, by Jim Maxim and Shoshana Zuboff, published byPenguin, is available at a 30% discount through the personnel today website(see below). For a selection of peer-reviewed HR titles www.personneltoday.com/books Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Move over Henry FordOn 30 Sep 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

More updates from HR Tech Europe 2015

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Read full article Previous Article Next Article More updates from HR Tech Europe 2015Shared from missc on 15 Apr 2015 in Personnel Todaylast_img

Summer camps can reopen, but much remains unknown

first_img Full Name* long islandNew JerseyThe Hamptonswestchester county New York may look to Connecticut, where camps have had the greenlight to operate, as it implements its own Covid-19 safety protocols. In the Nutmeg State, only 14 kids may attend a camp, and facilities must have enhanced cleaning protocols in place. Face coverings must also be worn by staffers.In New Jersey, an announcement for the 2021 season has yet to be made. Last year, New Jersey day camps were allowed to operate, while sleepaway camps were not. The state also issued a set of guidelines in 2020 that included regular temperature checks, face coverings worn by campers and staff, and limiting attendance numbers for indoor and outdoor day camps.“We’re in a very different landscape than we were last summer, in terms of what we know about the virus,” Lupert said. “We are hopeful that day camps will look and feel pretty normal to a kid.”Contact Sasha Jones Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message*center_img Tags “We’re seeing a ton of studies coming out right now about the mental health of children and the results of the isolation that they’ve had this past year,” said Susie Lupert, executive director of the American Camp Association, NY and NJ. “Camp really is an antidote to that.”Some New York camps celebrated the news on social media: Email Address* (Getty) Children screaming in the woods will be back this summer — in a good way.Both day and sleepaway camps in New York will be allowed to reopen in June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week, as long as they have proper Covid-19 testing protocols in place.It’s still unknown what those protocols will look like, although last summer they included smaller group sizes, health screenings and increased equipment sanitization. In his announcement last week, Cuomo said the state’s Department of Health would have further guidance on the situation for parents.ADVERTISEMENTLast summer, day camps were allowed to operate but overnight camps were banned.Read moreSchool’s back on. Will the NYC resi market follow suit?Suburban home inventory is depleted, but demand ragesIn Hamptons and elsewhere, season no longer ends on Labor Daylast_img read more

Redfin revenue grows as it races to hire more agents

first_img Tags Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Email Address* Glenn Kelman (Randy Stewart via Flickr)The hot housing market has crowned another winner: Redfin.The discount brokerage reported revenue of $866.1 million in 2020, up 14 percent year-over-year. While it reported a net loss of $18.3 million, that was an improvement from its loss of $80.3 million in 2019.Like other firms, Redfin got a boost after U.S. home sales surged during the second half of 2020.The brokerage reported $14 million in profits during the fourth quarter, compared to a $7.8 million loss during the same period in 2019. Its quarterly revenue rose 5 percent year-over-year to $244.5 million.The firm said January sales were up 24 percent year-over-year.But inventory has hit “rock bottom,” CEO Glenn Kelman said during an earnings call Wednesday.“The housing market is now like a Soviet-era supermarket with most of the shelves empty,” he said, noting that inventory plunged 26 percent year-over-year in January.During an earnings call Wednesday, Kelman said Redfin faced another unusual challenge last year as the housing market rebounded: too few agents.Read moreRedfin to buy RentPath for $608M Redfin to publish broker commissions Redfin to publish flood data Message* The firm, which employs salaried agents (which it calls lead agents), said during the fourth quarter, customer demand rose 54 percent year-over-year. But even though recruiting was up 79 percent in December and January, Redfin won’t have enough agents to meet that demand until June 2021. “We’re hiring lead agents faster than ever,” Kelman said.Ahead of its earnings report, Redfin announced a deal to buy RentPath for $608 million. The acquisition will allow it to compete for customers seeking rentals and sales.Redfin has positioned itself as one of the more progressive brokerages. It recently said it would publish commission information on its listings, for example. It’s also one of the first firms to list flood data online. But it has also been criticized for its efforts around diversity.During the call, Kelman also acknowledged those efforts, including a company-wide mandate to hire more people of color. He said Redfin turned some customers away because it lacked enough staff.“But what I’ve concluded from this experience is that you have to pay the most attention to diversity when it feels that you can least afford to do so,” he said. “When your company is in crisis and has to reduce costs, or when you’re hiring hand over fist … Those are the moments when people make decisions on instinct surfacing primordial biases.”Contact E.B. Solomont Full Name* glenn kelmanredfinResidential BrokeragesResidential Real Estatelast_img read more

Korean lender sues for $40M over Ceruzzi condo mezz loan

first_img Tags Centrale at 138 East 50th Street and Ceruzzi president Arthur Hooper (The Centrale NYC, Hooper via Sasha Maslov/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)When South Korea’s Meritz Securities put together a $350 million inventory loan for a Ceruzzi Properties condo tower last February, it seemed the company’s appetite for risk was growing.The pandemic, which hit New York City a few weeks later, has certainly put risk appetites to the test. For the loan on the Centrale, in Midtown East, caution might have been warranted: A lawsuit alleges the $110 million mezzanine portion is in default.The state-owned Industrial Bank of Korea, acting as trustee for the investment trust backing the debt, is seeking $40 million in damages.According to a suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Ceruzzi missed a $2.35 million interest payment in November. Following an acceleration and with default interest, IBK says the total amount owed is now more than $86 million, of which up to $40 million is subject to a payment guarantee.ADVERTISEMENT“To date, no payment has been received and the full balance remains outstanding,” IBK’s lawyers wrote when the suit was filed in late January.The guarantors of the debt, including executors of Lou Ceruzzi’s estate, downplayed the suit, issuing a statement calling it “a technical matter filed by the lender to preserve its rights as sales were slowed during 2020 due to the pandemic”. The property owner is not involved in the litigation, they noted.“Recently, we have seen strong demand at the property, improved pricing and many units going under contract and closing,” the statement continued. “The company expects the suit will be resolved in the near future and for project sales to continue to rebound.”IBK’s motion for summary judgment is set to be heard on April 9. Counsel for the lender did not respond to a request for comment.Read moreCeruzzi Properties secures $350M to refi Midtown East towerNov 2018 mag: Ceruzzi Properties readjusts strategy after loss of CEOThe reinvention artist: How Lou Ceruzzi catapulted into the Manhattan condo game Full Name* Email Address* Ceruzzi PropertiescondosForeign InvestmentReal Estate Finance Share via Shortlink The 72-story, 124-unit luxury condo tower, at 138 East 50th Street between Lexington and Third avenues, was completed in 2019 with a $300 million construction loan from Madison Realty Capital. A duplex penthouse at the property hit the market with an asking price of $40 million that April.When Ceruzzi closed on the inventory loan last year, it had “put 20 units into hard contract already,” according to a press release.According to property records, 22 sales totaling $47.5 million have been recorded: six for $17.7 million in May, 11 for $18.6 million over the remainder of 2020, and five for $11.2 million this year.The projected sellout for the tower is $525 million, an average of $4.2 million per unit, suggesting that the vast majority of sales so far have been for lower-priced units.Contact Kevin Sun Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message*last_img read more

An Automatic Respirometer for use with Small Invertebrates

first_img1. An automatic respirometer is described which has been developed to measure the rate of oxygen consumption by small arthropods in closed chambers. 2. The instrument removes 0.5 mul subsamples of air from the head space of specially designed sample chambers using a precision sampling valve and a motorized syringe. The prototype can monitor up to 10 sample chambers automatically over periods of several hours, using an electronic sequence switch to control the operation. 3. Oxygen concentration is measured using a coulometric fuel cell which produces an output signal directly proportional to the mass of oxygen passing over it and requires no calibration. The results are recorded on an integrator of the type commonly used with gas chromatographs. 4. The sensitivity of the respirometer is better than 1 mul h-1 when small chambers (1-2 ml) are monitored over 3-4 h. 5. The instrument is also capable of measuring the volume of the sample chambers to an accuracy of c. 2% allowing the volume of oxygen consumed by the sample to be calculated. 6. The instrument may be modified to measure the oxygen concentration in the head space of almost any container and would operate on a low-voltage DC supply for field operation.last_img read more

Geochronology, structural geology and petrology of the northwestern Lagrange Nunataks, Shackleton Range, Antarctica

first_imgThe metamorphic rocks of the La Grange Nunataks, northwestern Shackleton Range, have a complex structural and metamorphic history, involving Mid-Proterozoic and Ross- (Cambro-Ordovician) aged events. The protolith of the Stratton Group Mathys Gneiss was emplaced at 2328 ± 47 Ma (U-Pb zircon), and underwent migmatization at 1715 ± 6 Ma. Migmatization took place at P-T conditions of > 640 ºC / > 4-6 kbar and was accompanied by the formation of multiple generations of ductile structures (D1) and the development of local shear zones (D2). Three distinct deformation events (D3 – D5) took place during the Ross Orogeny, affecting the supracrustal Schimper Group, and to a lesser extent, the Mathys Gneiss. The Ross events, which disturbed the U-Pb systems of zircons in the Proterozoic gneisses, are dated by an Sm-Nd garnet age of 535 ± 22 Ma for Schimper Group kyanite-staurolite-garnet-gneiss. The penetrative event D3, which is characterized by west-directed shearing, took place under Barrovian-type peak P-T conditions of 645 ºC / 7.05 kbar, reflecting crustal thickening during the Ross Orogeny. Subsequent polyphase folding (D4) formed the dominant E-W trending fold axes, and can be correlated with a NW-SE to N-S crustal shortening during initial exhumation. The final deformation episode (D5) is characterized by sinistral strike-slip displacement related to a final transpressional overprint. The D5 event took place under low grade metamorphic conditions, in the stability field of chlorite.last_img read more

Determining the contribution of Antarctica to sea-level rise using data assimilation methods

first_imgThe problem of forecasting the future behaviour of the Antarctic ice sheet is considered. We describe a method for optimizing this forecast by combining a model of ice sheet flow with observations. Under certain assumptions, a linearized model of glacial flow can be combined with observations of the thickness change, snow accumulation, and ice-flow, to forecast the Antarctic contribution to sea-level rise. Numerical simulations show that this approach can potentially be used to test whether changes observed in Antarctica are consistent with the natural forcing of a stable ice sheet by snowfall fluctuations. To make predictions under less restrictive assumptions, improvements in models of ice flow are needed. Some of the challenges that this prediction problem poses are highlighted, and potentially useful approaches drawn from numerical weather prediction are discussed.last_img read more

Vascular plant success in a warming Antarctic may be due to efficient nitrogen acquisition

first_imgFor the past 50 years there has been rapid warming in the maritime Antarctic1, 2, 3, with concurrent, and probably temperature-mediated, proliferation of the two native plants, Antarctic pearlwort (Colobanthus quitensis) and especially Antarctic hair grass (Deschampsia antarctica)4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. In many terrestrial ecosystems at high latitudes, nitrogen (N) supply regulates primary productivity11, 12, 13. Although the predominant view is that only inorganic and amino acid N are important sources of N for angiosperms, most N enters soil as protein. Maritime Antarctic soils have large stocks of proteinaceous N, which is released slowly as decomposition is limited by low temperatures. Consequently, an ability to acquire N at an early stage of availability is key to the success of photosynthetic organisms. Here we show that D. antarctica can acquire N through its roots as short peptides, produced at an early stage of protein decomposition, acquiring N over three times faster than as amino acid, nitrate or ammonium, and more than 160 times faster than the mosses with which it competes. Efficient acquisition of the N released in faster decomposition of soil organic matter as temperatures rise14 may give D. antarctica an advantage over competing mosses that has facilitated its recent proliferation in the maritime Antarcticlast_img read more

Generalised additive models to investigate environmental drivers of Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) spatial density in austral summer

first_imgThere is a need to characterise the physical environment associated with Antarctic minke whale density in order to understand long-term changes in minke whale distribution and density in open waters of the Southern Ocean during austral summer months. To investigate environmental drivers of Antarctic minke whales density, generalised additive models (GAMs) were developed, based on line transect data collected for the International Decade of Cetacean Research (IDCR) and Southern Ocean Whale Ecosystem Research (SOWER) programmes. The GAMS were fitted independently by survey year. Explained deviances ranged from 14.9% to 35.1%. Most models included covariates related to transition zones, such as distance to the continental shelf break and sea ice edge, both of which showed a predominantly negative relationship with whale density. This study suggests high variability in the relationships between Antarctic minke whale density and the environment. None of the selected covariates had a consistent qualitative relationship with density at either the circumantarctic or the regional scale. This in part may be explained by the changing ice-related boundaries of the surveys between years and hence differences in survey region. Another possible reason is that in absence of better data most of the covariates considered were derived from remote sensing data. More localised surveys with comparable survey area conducted across the Southern Ocean, where whale sightings data are collected simultaneously with in situ non-biotic and prey data, are likely to provide a better assessment of the environmental determinants of whale density.last_img read more