I would like to summary what is the Sukhomlinov Effect and what is the butterfly effect

Sukhomlinov Effect in simple words means, in times of war, the army with fanciful uniforms always lose. This is not because of the uniform, but it is because of the mentality of the soldiers and the how war effective are its officers and commanders. During peacetime, the armies will choose their officers base on the look and feel, not their war ability, war ability can only be demonstrate during war time. That is the reason why good generals are usually… pretty ugly (Ulysses S. Grant ,Curtis LeMay, Napoleon Bonarparte)

Butterfly Effect is The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in a certain location. The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale alterations of events. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different. While the butterfly does not cause the tornado, the flap of its wings is an essential part of the initial conditions resulting in a tornado.

I often use the quote from Benjamin Franklin to remember this “A little neglect may breed mischief: For want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost, for want of a rider the battle was lost, for want of a battle a kingdom was lost, And all for the want of a horse”

Today in a my friend called me telling me today in his meeting, there following information is shared “The senior management wants to see a cut in operations manpower due to the following reason
1. They have did a 2 years projection and felt that the revenue would drop
2. They also did a 2 years projection and feel that the operations cost will not decrease.
Therefore, there is a need to cut the working hours of the workers. ”

As I was hearing this i was wondering, the main revenue of the business came from the Ops staff, and the ops staff are already hourly paid workers who do not follow a strict 8-5 routine. Since we are already operating in such a way, isnt it true that manpower cost will decrease automatically if the work volume is low? I wonder. does the people even know that the set up of the ops is like this?

So.. I started to realise that actually these people based all these on a projection, which, in my opinon takes alot of effort, yet it doesnt really show you the true picture, as my own companies business volume is tied to many factors that are outside the control of the company, or even our client company.  Then these people spent 1-2 days looking at the ops report and try to pin out a picture which really may or may not be true.

So I wonder, if these people do not know the business, how can this be possible that they can lead the organisation out of the crisis?  I remember, once I suggested a simple cost saving suggestion, which takes 3-4 months and not done, although the cost savings have been siginificant, and the main reason is because the organisation are unable to purchase anything unless they contact the purchasing department.. then the purchasing department do not like so many work orders, they will make noise and not cooperate…. therefore, it takes million of years before any change can be implemented…

All these are results of funny business processes that are labour intensive and political, which makes simple decisions to be decided ages later… usually when the fire have finish burning up the place.. Yet someone else was blamed for the mistake, through fault finding meetings (AKA Review meeting)

How are these processes born? it is created by business department managers that are employed during peacetime and thus are a by-product of the sukhomlinov effect.

Now I want all of you to imagine this, there was a company with very lousy processes, and the business is losing capital slowly. They fired off the programme manager, and promoted their only project manager to the programme manager, and this guy had no ability to lead. And keep hiding away from his responsiblities and forcing other people to take the blame and leave.

Slowly, the company died of a natural death over 2 years, and the programme manager now puts in his resume, that he worked as a programme manager for 2 years. (While the capable ones all gave up and left). Then another company willingly hire, as reference check will not reveal what he has done and what he hasnt.  And he was hired by another company thinking that they have found a worker that is loyal, can take pressure and willing to work. and this guy now starts to make incorrect decision based on his “experince”.  The slowly, because of the butterfly effect.. the company slowly dies again… before he moved on to the next as a plague or locust

And such is the method how Sukhomlinov effect effects businesses, and the reason why business decisions takes a long time to be made… if the company wants to survive, they should look into how they work.. and hopfully before their capital are burnt out..

Another lesson learnt is that, business should not just base their selections of people by how the resume look and how the candidate perform in the interview, as these can be faked without any issue. Rather, they should focus on the specific work they want these people to do, and what are the decisions he can make.

Company should look for leaner ways to work out their internal process, and hunt down the wrong business leaders.. unfortunately, not everyone understands..

Therefore, 80% of the work is done by 20% of the workforce, and unfortunately, the remaining 80% of the workforce are busy thinking which ones should be retrenched….

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