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    « August 2008 | Main | October 2008 »

    September 30, 2008

    The Purpose of Government

    I often reflect back on my first day of high school civics class. In the first five minutes the teacher wrote on the board "the purpose of government is to provide to its citizens services that they are not capable of providing themselves or are not motivated to provide as individual citizens." Examples he gave were military and various types of infrastructure. This also includes regulation and large scale crisis management. Adam Smith believed that the “invisible hand” of a free market would self regulate. I am generally a proponent of less government, but there are situations where citizens whether they are people or companies when left to their own device will not self regulate themselves. There are also times of crisis that require acts of courage and oversight to get citizens out of the crisis, because they cannot do it themselves. The invisible hand cannot overcome a crisis. The current financial crisis is just that. We can argue over the excesses and lapses of judgment that got us into this situation or we can correct it. I believe it is the government’s primary responsibility to get the financial system "unstuck". This is a crisis that the citizens cannot fix by themselves. At this point it is not productive to argue about how we got here.

    September 23, 2008

    You Are What You Tolerate

    Somebody recently told me an expression that really resonated "You are what you tolerate".  This is so true in so many ways, but where I think it affects the industry the most is customer service.  Too often reprographers are the whipping boys of the construction industry.  Reprographers often get into situations where they are blamed for someone elses mistake in the distribution of project critical documents.  They often suck it up and somehow take responsibility or at least are percieved to be taking responsibilty.  This manifests itself in the form or reprinting or offering discounts for somone elses mistake.  Some think that this increasing their brand as a company that provides good customer service.   In reality it is impairing your reputation and your brand.