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  • Diana Schneidman

Lots of penny-wise, pound-foolish companies lately

I’m hearing so many stories recently . . .

One company spends many thousands of dollars of staff time as accounting blocks IT from purchasing less than $4,000 of licensed software that is universally acknowledged to work—and then the company spends thousands more in staff time to work around not having the right software.

A Fortune 500 employer lays off a competent IT person (technically a contract worker who does not receive benefits) in favor of outsourcing. As a result the company misses out on the convenience of an onsite expert, sacrificing control over how and when the work is done. Oh, plus the cost in actual dollars is higher!

A medical provider scrimps on hiring administrative personnel to keep on top of insurance, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. Then they set high-count work quotas that reward staff for quickly handling a lot of easy accounts while complex, big-money cases languish past deadline until their rights of collection expire.

Marketers throw massive quantities of cheap, search-optimized but mediocre “content” onto the internet to game the system with quantity over quality.

My husband Wayne—who monitors our medical bills and insurance reimbursements with an amazing attention to detail—phones his doctor’s office to point out that they have not collected their reimbursement from the insurer and there’s evidence of a systemic problem with the insurance subscriber numbers on file. You’d think they would thank him, right? No, they are not interested in following up—they say it takes too long for them to collect on insurance claims.

Seems to me that more companies than ever are slowly committing suicide—or at least self-mutilation—for the appearance of saving a few bucks.

I choose to look at examples of intelligent or daring entrepreneurship as glimpses of the new economy.

And when the economic outlook seems bleak, I tell myself that this is the disintegration that precedes rebirth.

I prefer to believe that there’s a lot of opportunity for creative, brave, self-employed freelancers, consultants and entrepreneurs to emerge because there sure is a lot of stupidity out there now.

Giant companies will need big solutions to overturn the impact of long-term, brain-dead bureaucracies and myopic false economies.

Talented solopros will be needed. And if executives perceive these needs, we will be hired. So let’s position ourselves for opportunities on the horizon.

Originally posted 8-1-10

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