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Stupidity fights back

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A kind interpretation of our credit market conundrums may put ‘incompetent’ in place of ‘fraudulent’, given that financial institutions seem rife with the former. MR BANKER

Banker of Last Retort

By Mr Banker

In my recent blog on reactions to the turmoil in our credit markets, I explained that the troubles in the credit market had been far more interesting than commenting about corporate incompetence and stupidity.

It now seems that the forces of corporate incompetence and stupidity have interpreted those comments as a direct challenge.

It appears that senior management convened strategic planning off-site to address underperformance. The president presumably declared his unconditional support for the coach, and the on-field leadership group must have made a steely-eyed resolution that it was now time for action to speak louder than words.

Those conclusions follow from a chat with a friend at a major corporate that is undergoing a major relocation.

The relocation planning team is responsible for working out how much space is needed, who sits where, and how and when the move will be made.

My friend explained that the relocation team is hot-desking. In fact it seems that the relocation team is red-hot-desking because staff are required to pack their belongings away and vacate their desk if they attend a meeting lasting longer than an hour.

My friend estimates that the packing and repacking, twice and thrice-daily changing of computer connections, and wandering around trying to find colleagues, takes around a quarter of his day.

On that basis your correspondent calculates the lost productivity from hot-desking at 25% of a total employment cost of $200,000 for around 20 employees as totalling around $1,000,000 per year.

What would it cost in extra space? You correspondent calculates $500 per square metre for 20 square metres per staff member for say seven staff – in total, $70,000 a year.

Now in your correspondent’s spreadsheets, $1,000,000 a year is a lot more than $70,000 a year, so extra space appears to be the obvious way to go.

However, that is only possible if you have the space in the first place.

Of course it is a little embarrassing for the relocation planning team to explain that they weren’t able to secure enough office space for themselves, and so the Lord High Commander of the project team has announced that the project team are “modelling” a new hot-desking concept.

Which leads your correspondent to admire the way that the forces of corporate incompetence and stupidity have risen to the challenge, and cry: “Bravo; you’re not out of the game yet!”

 

For more Mr Banker blogs, click here.

 

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