the fatal lens

The Soviets are about to fall again. FAVI , a 'designer of and manufacturer of copper alloy component and mechanical sub-assemblies' was written up over a year ago in the Wall Street Journal. Seems FAVI makes money in markets in which its competitors lose money -- or have long since outsourced production to Asia. How does FAVI do it? Jean-Francois Zobrist leads the company and is a man of many maxims, but one of them is that the company he runs (he owns no stake in the family-owned company himself) makes its employees happy. The key to happiness, in Mr. Zobrist's view, is to free workers from the arbitrary restrictions of the chain of command, or rather, the chaine de comment -- the chain of "how."

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