Thursday, July 14, 2005

What does that leave us?

From Anonymous:

Terry Wallace took some heat for his July 11 ADSR Emailgram in which he was characterized as sounding like yet another LANL/UC management apologist. He also had a few messages of support from people stating that the Emailgram was never intended for public dissemination on the blog, and that an upper manager could never publicly admit to the troops that devastating management mistakes had been made in the past year.

While I personally suspect that Terry might actually be one of the better managers at LANL, there is the fact that strictures imposed by UC absolutely forbid any official voice of LANL to admit the embarrassing, obvious shortcomings of UC in their amply demonstrated inabilities regarding the management of LANL. Thus, all managers at LANL are thereby rendered impotent in the capacity of helping to put the disastrous events of last year behind us, which in turn would allow LANL to start a healing process.

Compounding this conspiracy of denial, of course, is the cadre of "Nanos Loyalites" who remain. To admit the errors of last year would be to admit complicity: clearly not an option for the self-serving, self-centered yes-men left behind after Nanos' abrupt departure on May 6. We all know who those people are.

What does that leave us?

No options, at least under the dubious leadership of UC. What, then does this leave us?

Lockheed Martin. On the positive side, LM seems to have done a pretty decent job in running Sandia these past years while UC was helping to dig LANL's grave.

On the negative side, how much worse could LM be than UC?


Comments:
How much worse could LM be? Recall if/when LM arrives not too much more changes than top level of mgmt. Day-to-day for the average LANL worker this means the people above you for a few levels are the same. If today they make you twitchy, they will tomorrow as well. Benefits are going to change. The effect of changes will not be uniform across age, tenure, job classification but a good faith attempt will be made to make them at least palatable and competitive with other labs. Compared to 98.37% of the people on the planet, you will be still be living like royalty. The mission of LANL is determined largely by forces beyond its control inside the Beltway. If the honchos want a Pu facility, it shall be, as they write the checks. If they want the current funding mix to stay the same, it shall be. Even that might be beyond the power of any individual person or alliance in DC to make so. The war is taking vast chunks money off the table, far into the future. China is making ominous noises about nuking the US if it interferes in any Taiwan conflict. The possibility of RRW happening look solid...who knows, a limited testing program could begin again. How do we detect explosives at a distance to stop homicide bombers? How do we screen shipping containers and trucks at the border quickly and effectively? How can we rapidly develop and manufacture a fairly harmless vaccine for an almost-certain pandemic of influenza some day in the future? How do we clean up and store vast quantities of nuclear waste, here and abroad? How do we get to economically viable renewable and fusion energy systems? How can we repair genetic codes to cure diseases? How do we sustain ecology on a finite planet with a human population that keeps growing? HOw can we educate more people all over the world faster and better using internet? I tell you, if you have something to contribute to solving these problems, you have work to do no matter who takes over LANL...you might be doing the work here, or somewhere else, but last I heard there were fewer and fewer people getting higher education in this country, and as part of a dwindling resource, you have a valuable contribution to make.
 
"Day-to-day for the average LANL worker this means the people above you for a few levels are the same."

This presupposes that the replacement LM managers are no better than the UC bozos they will be displacing. I suspect, instead, (or hope, at least) that there will be a trickle-down effect where successively lower-down inept managers are likewise replaced as soon as their new overlords get to know them.
 
If LANL takes the same course as other sites, expect all of the top management (10-15 people) to be replaced as soon as the new contract kicks in. Then, over the next 6 months look for the new contractor to start evaluating all of the division-level managers; they usually keep something like 10-20% of the existing managers at this level. Finally, expect that within one year from the contract change that the new operator will have completed evaluating and making changes at the group level.

Contrary to a lot of the opinions voiced on this blog, most of the "for-profit" operators really do try, at least initially, to sort the wheat from the chaff, and are keenly aware of the downside to displacing good managers. At the same time, expect zero tolerance for public displays of disloyalty or questioning of upper management --they ain't universities and they never heard of tenure.
 
People don't change easily- a new top manager will not improve a bad boss. Policies will change under the new contract, for better or worse. Hopefully we will see more efficiencies (please!). But your bad boss will remain the same- unless he/she moves on.
 
New policies in effect will change bad managers by making them move on. Look at what happened when Zia lost its contract. We have a perfect example of what happens when a contract changes. As many say "what goes around comes around"--LANL will now pay the price for killing a perfectly good company (Zia)and eventually giving us KSL.
 
To poster: "Compounding this conspiracy of denial, of course, is the cadre of "Nanos Loyalites" who remain. To admit the errors of last year would be to admit complicity: clearly not an option for the self-serving, self-centered yes-men left behind after Nanos' abrupt departure on May 6. We all know who those people are."

Seems to me that the following are those that Nanos selected: Cobb, Tarantino, Beck, Seestrom, Mangeng, Gibbs, Kaye, Bowles, & Sharp. All of these are still in their positions and skipping along as befor. Any others?
 
You forgot Marquez, and McCumber.
 
Oh, and Baghdad Bob Fallin.
 
Nanos selected Mangeng, Holt, Seestrom, Beason, Wallace, Beck, Bowles, and Kaye. Browne selected Cobb, Immele, and Marquez. Marquez selected McCumber and Fallin. Make no mistake about Beason---he is a well disguised and reinvented Nanos disciple.
 
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