Justin Roff-Marsh

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About Justin Roff-Marsh

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  • Birthday 04/22/1967

Contact Methods

  • MSN justin.roffmarsh@ballistix.com.au
  • Website URL http://www.ballistix.com.au
  • ICQ 0

Profile Information

  • Gender Male
  • Location Australia
  • Interests Philosophy; economics; science (particularly physics and evolutionary biology); business management
  1. Life in Australia

    Jason I'm writing this in Lewistown, Montana, so the virtue that's top of mind for me right now is warmth! Sydney has a wonderful climate -- warm most of the year. That means al fresco dining, breakfast, lunch and dinner, almost all year round. I've lived in Brisbane for more than 20 years, but I spend alternate weeks in Sydney and Melbourne -- and travel to the US frequently. Sydney is by far my favourite Australian city. I enjoy the out-doors lifestyle and the great food (Asian influence). Sydney-siders are less laid-back than other Aussies and have a sense of life similar to Americans. When you get here, be sure to have a lazy breakfast on the balcony at the Lamrock (Bondi Beach). And that evening, arrive late for dinner at my favorite restaurant (anywhere on the planet): Lotus (Potts Point). Tell them I sent you! Better still, let me know when you're down under, and I'll introduce you myself! You'll have fun. Justin
  2. Probable Must-Have For Frequent Fliers

    I'm sure they won't be popular with the airlines if multiple users melt the power transistors in the in-flight amplifier! Justin
  3. Amazon tribesman

    He's obviously spent more time contemplating the effects of rain-forest clearing on humanity than he has the effects of self-immolation on his very own person! Justin
  4. Miracle of evolution fights for survival in Death Valley

    We shouldn't bait these people (no pun intended). I hear that small pox is on the brink of extinction. I'm concerned that, when they're done rescuing their little fish, they'll breed small pox and return it to its natural habitat too! Justin
  5. Birth Control Pill Promises End to Period

    I recall this subject being discussed in a science magazine a few years back. The article made the point that menstrual suppression is not unnatural. 'In the wild', women's menstruation is suppressed by periodic childbirth (and the gestation process). The article argued that it is less unnatural (and less physically stressful) for a women who doesn't want children to suppress menstruation using the pill than it is for her to menstruate unproductively almost 700 times during her life. It also quoted a survey of female doctors and claimed that almost all of them ignored the sugar tablets and took the potent pill every day. I know a few women who love their Mirena Devices. These are IUD's that release a micro-dosage of the relevant hormones. Apparently, these devices suppress menstruation altogether, with a lower peak delivery of the active hormones. Accordingly, they seem not to cause (at least to the same degree) some of the side effects associated with the pill (like weight gain). (Please note, I am neither a doctor nor a woman!) Justin
  6. The Sandle vs. The Work Boot

    Ray It's interesting that you invoke Heny Ford as an example of a great wealth creator (which, indeed he was). Ford's most notable innovation was the application of the production line to the assembly of automobiles. Now ask youself: what is the benefit of the assembly line? There are two benefits. The first is that the assembly line increases the productivity of workers (the work comes to them, instead of the other way around). But the greatest benefit is that the assembly line synchronises the plant (and Ford acknowledged this benefit explicity). Now what does 'syncronising the plant' mean in practice? What it means is that the assembly line forces every worker to work at the same speed as the slowest resource. Just-in-time does exactly the same thing. The problem here is that if you attempt to argue with the basic principles that underpin TOC your position is at odds with Henry Ford, Taiichi Ono (Toyota) and other great capitalists who you no doubt admire. Actually, Ray, that is entirely untrue, and demonstrably so. Continuing from the previous point, if you think of an assembly line as a (mechanical) scheduling algorithm, and just-in-time as another, Goldratt has invented at least three radical new scheduling algorithms, one for production, one for project environments and one for logistics. What's more, Goldratt has invented a method for designing 'algorithms' for other business processes -- which is what we have used to develop our ground-breaking approach to scheduling the sales function. He has also invented a new approach to management accounting that addresses many of the oft-quoted short-commings of cost accounting. To claim that Goldratt has invented nothing new is to exhibit a complete disregard for reality. Perhaps you should rejoin this thread after you have researched your subject matter. Justin
  7. The Sandle vs. The Work Boot

    Not at all. My position is that, in order to get to the long-term, you must manage your current constraint. But this hardly needs to be said, in my opinion. 'Constraint' pre-supposes a goal. As far as your accusation of "hedonism (as it would apply to business)": I guess this would have to mean 'the pursuit of short-term earnings, at the expense of longer-term earnings'. I have not suggested this. In fact, I've made it clear that you should use your goal (the long term) to determine the ideal location for the constrained resource, and then subordinate all other resources to this one. The result, is that every action, in the short term, is subordinated to the goal. I see no hedonism, no empirism and no deep conflict with Objectivism, as you suggested earlier. Justin
  8. The Sandle vs. The Work Boot

    I agree Rose. There should be no (essential) distinction made between short-term strategy (tactics) and long-term strategy. The two should not be in conflict. You cannot sacrifice the short-term to the long-term or visa versa. I suspect that the explicit recognition of finite capacity (which is integral -- but not unique -- to TOC) is the key to dissolving this conflict. Traditional (pop-) management theory implicity assumes an infinite capacity universe (which is a common collectivist error). The belief is, if you maximise everything (everyone work flat-out; love, your customers, love your staff, love everyone; make money, save the environment, serve the community) then you maximise the goal of the organisation. In the TOC world, we simply recognise that if you have a goal, you have, at any point in time, a constraint (whether you're prepared to admit it or not). Your ability to pursue the goal is directly related to how you manage this constaint (or allow it to manage you). I cannot see -- as someone on this thread recently suggested -- how there can be a conflict between how we, as Objectivists, like to view the world and TOC. In fact, my belief is that, when I'm teaching managers to explicitly recognise that their environments have finite capacity, to dissolve the conflicts between short- and long-term and between strategy and tactics, and so on, I'm actually readying their minds for Objectivist philosphy! Justin
  9. The Sandle vs. The Work Boot

    Please indicate where I have claimed that TOC is the "panacea for all problems". Ray, this debate began when I claimed that most resources in a healthy project environment must have idle time (for the environment to remain productive). I have clearly explained exactly why this is the case (and you have not found fault with my argument). You challenged me to present a concrete example of a case where an individual can compromise the organisation by maximising his rate-of-work. I did that (the GE example). You argued that the kind of organisations that you respect (GE, the US Marines, etc) would never implement a theory like this. I provided you a list of major organisations (including the US Marines) that have performed *major* TOC implementations (often with staggering results). You have argued that the solution I advocate is a band-aid that has no bearing on business fundamentals. I think it's clear from the cases that I have referenced that this is not the case. You have attempted to expand the scope of this debate to general business management. I have resisted this attempt because I have nothing to contribute to that discussion. My feeling is that we can probably conclude this particuarl debate now. I should point out that the Theory of Constraints is not my theory. TOC was created by Eli Goldratt (an Israeli physicist). He popularised it in his book The Goal, which now is one of the best-selling business books of all time (recommended reading for most MBA and accounting students, the world over). Justin
  10. The Sandle vs. The Work Boot

    Shayne How can you possibly accuse me of proposing a short-/long-term dichotomy when in your quote above I correct Ray on exactly that error? As for your other accusations, would you mind either providing the basis for these or retracting them? Justin
  11. The Sandle vs. The Work Boot

    I'd be interested in seeing if I can get my head around the problem you reference above. Can you elaborate; perhaps in a new thread, if appropriate? Justin
  12. The Sandle vs. The Work Boot

    I have no interest in the content of your CV -- only the content of your mind! Justin
  13. The Sandle vs. The Work Boot

    Ray You ask if I’ve read many books on great companies or people. The answer is ‘yes, many’. You then ask if I’ve looked to discover the fundamental success-drivers of these companies/people. Ray, I can’t imagine any other reason for reading such books. You seem to think that I would benefit from a more complete understanding of management fundamentals. Can you tell me, in what areas you believe my understanding to be lacking, and why exactly it is that hold that opinion? In previous posts you pressed me for a concrete example of the application of the Theory of Constraints, which I provided (the GE example). I note that you have not commented on this example so far. You now claim that ‘my theories are nothing more than a band-aid’ that do not impact on business fundamentals. Can you revisit my example and confirm that the problem that I reference is indeed superficial? And, if you see fault in my proposed approach to the resolution of this problem can you explain why and propose a alternate solution? Business management is my profession (I’m both management consultant and a business owner). Accordingly, I have no interest in trading in vague generalisations in this particular subject area. By the way, thank you for reminding me to purchase Edwin Locke’s book. I’ve been intending to do so for a while. Justin
  14. The Sandle vs. The Work Boot

    I agree that we agree. I had guessed that already! Justin
  15. The Sandle vs. The Work Boot

    This sounds like a variation on the 'it'll work in theory, but not in practice' dilemma. A theory that can't be implemented is a worthless non-theory. Similarly, an expert who understands the theory, but not how to apply it is an arrogant fool. Just yesterday, a potential client asked me if I'd do detailed research into his industry before I dispensed advise. I told him that I wouldn't, because I didn't believe it was realistic for me to replicate his managers' knowledge in any reasonable time-frame (and I didn't think it was healthy for me to create the perception that I had). I told him that my preference was for us to build a solution as a team. His managers provide the knowledge (and the intuition) and we will provide the specialised expertise and the critical third-party perspective. Together we will design -- and ultimately implement -- a solution. The responsiblity for the solution and the results will be shared. If either party under-performs; we both fail. Do you need experienced home-grown managers or do you need detached experts? You need both. Justin