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June 16, 2011


Jack Lubowsky, PhD, PE

Strategy in the Workplace

John Dunn’s story about the boss who insisted on reducing the number of screws used to enclose a project which then resulted in its failure, reminded me of an early career experience of mine in getting your way indirectly.

There I was sitting at my bench minding my own business when I heard my colleague engineer, finishing up his project, tell his tech, “Ok Fred, just tilt the company logo plate. I’ll go and call Roger (the boss).”

I thought this was odd, until the tech came back with Roger, who looked carefully over the 6-foot relay rack system and finally said, “OK, just straighten out the logo plate, otherwise everything is good.” I think I actually spit out my coffee.

That was my esteemed colleague, Ernie’s way of giving the boss something to find wrong so he could ship the project with the least hassle. The story is true, but I have changed the names…one never knows.

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