Gary D's Take

The Law of Unintended Consequence

The Law of Unintended Consequence

Sep 11, 2012

The law of unintended consequences, often cited but rarely defined, is that actions of people—and especially of government—always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended.~Rob Norton

Once upon a time there was a company that ran some call centers. They decided to connect them together and share resources. This would also allow them to close a satellite call center. The installation of the point  to point circuits to facilitate this would take about four months. The cutoff of two of the three existing voice circuits was scheduled in thirty days. The layoff of people in the satellite call center was done in two weeks. The calls from the satellite center were shifted to the other regional center, increasing call volume by fifty percent. In a two weeks , that center had only one voice circuit……to handle one hundred fifty percent more calls. Savings to the company…. four thousand dollars a month. Amount of lost business due to angry customers getting busy signals for two months….PRICELESS!

How did this happen? Simple , the person in charge of the changes had no responsibility for customer service and didn’t work for OR CONSULT WITH the person that did. Their objective was to get the cost savings on the books before the end of the quarter. This was what their bonus was tied to.

The moral of the story…incentivize the behaviors you want and they will happen. BUT……always remember the law of unintended consequences.

IPhone 5–what does it mean?

IPhone 5–what does it mean?

Sep 5, 2012

The much predicted , highly anticipated and over “punditized” September 12 media event by Apple is predicted to be the rollout event for the new IPhone 5. According to The Wall Street Journal’s article Click Here For Full Article 

“The new device is likely to be dubbed the iPhone 5, which will have a slightly larger screen.”

Other than the obvious publicity and the expected “bump” for Apple’s stock , why is this a big deal? Apple has always been a revolutionary leader in the smartphone industry, blazing trails and setting the bar for everyone else. Suddenly they appear to be playing catch up. The “slightly larger screen”  has to be a reaction to the bigger screens found on phones made by HTC and Samsung. The current trend towards larger screens and more tablet-like functionality in Android smartphones seems to have gotten Apple’s attention. The expected rollout of a smaller 7 inch version of the I Pad goes right along with this theory. This is the first time that we have seen Apple react this strongly to ANYTHING other manufacturers have done.

It’s hard to always be at the front of the pack and always be the innovator. Is being a reactionary instead of an innovator a symptom of being without the leadership of Steve Jobs? Clearly Apple may be suffering from the lack of Job’s crystal clear vision of the path they need to follow. So Apple, maybe you need to ask yourself , “What would Steve do?”