Worse Than Madoff
Whether you lose your wallet or purse, or have it stolen, any cash you have in it, whether it be $100 or €100, is what you are down and what the recipient, a thief or lucky bystander, is up. Economists would call this a zero-sum game, implying that what one party received exactly matches what the other lost.
Enter Fred Wilpon, co-owner of the New York Mets baseball team. He is reported to have lost anywhere between $160 million and $700 million at the hands of ponzi champion Bernard Madoff and is now risking losing control of the Mets. Not exactly a small change loss for Wilpon, but it could be far worse. As for how, imagine the strolling passerby who observes a nail in a parking lot, but decides not to pick it up, as he didn't drop it, or is in a hurry to an appointment and doesn't spare the moment to collect it. Instead of spending a few seconds to pick up the nail, a flat tire could now be awaiting an unsuspecting nearby driver. Not always, for sure, but the chance that an investment of a few seconds could save the time-consuming flat tire was lost. Genichi Taguchi, father of Taguchi Methods, and the loss function that bears his name, had a description for this non-zero-sum game situation. He termed it "worse than a thief," as the amount saved by the decision to not act could result in far more loss for someone elsewhere in the system. And, to think someone could be worse than Madoff!
If you're interested in exploring the limitless implications of minimizing loss to others downstream and avoiding the label of being "worse than a thief," we invite you to join with peers at the In2:InThinking Network 2012 Forum in Los Angeles, California on April 19th through 24th. This year, our ever timely focus will be;
"Leading with Better Questions"
For reservations or more information, visit our 2012 Forum website at www.in2in.org/forums/2012 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Forum registration fee is $400 for the weekend Conference, with free attendance (without paid weekend Conference attendance) for 16 Pre-Conference sessions and 5 Post-Conference sessions, plus one Post-Conference for $40.
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In2:IN 2012 Forum Team