Author Interview as told to Rene’ Basulto

Read the book review here.

Who is Tim Bryce? Besides being the author of “Morphing into the Real World – The Handbook for Entering the Work Force,” Bryce graduated from Ohio University in 1976 and is a management consultant and the managing director for M. Bryce & Associates (MBA). At MBA, he has been the principal author of the company’s “PRIDE”-Enterprise Engineering Methodology (EEM), the designer of the Computer Aided Planning (CAP) tool (a tool for calculating corporate priorities and performing an organization analysis) and Automated Systems Engineering (ASE), a tool used to generate system designs. He was also the chief author of the company’s Automated Instructional Materials (AIM).

Q: What was it that inspired you to write “Morphing into the Real World?”
A: I had been thinking about it for a long time, but the catalyst was last May’s [University of Miami] commencement ceremonies where my daughter graduated. Afterwards, over dinner, she asked me about such things as insurance, income taxes and what to look for in her professional development.

Q: You currently work at M. Bryce & Associates as a writer and management consultant.
You have worked there for 30 years, but were there any other job experiences before that?
A: I’ve been with MBA since I graduated from college. It has afforded me a rare opportunity to travel the world and consult with companies of all sizes and shapes. I have been able to work with people from all levels of the corporate hierarchy, everyone from the boardroom to the trenches.

Q: What do you think your secret to success has been?
A: Simply to tell the truth. As a consultant, I am paid to make objective observations and make recommendations primarily in the area of corporate information systems. Interestingly, I have found a lot of people do not like to hear the truth.

Q: Is a lot of what’s in the book influenced by your job and work experience?
A: Definitely. I hear the laments of both the managers and the workers and it’s interesting, both have different perspectives. I find most young people believe it’s the amount of time they put in during the day that is most important, not what they produce. But, it’s just the opposite. It’s what you produce that concerns [managers] most. I have also been in business long enough to see a shift in management styles starting in the 1990s. There used to be an inclination to practice a Theory Y form of management (worker empowerment), there is now more of an inclination to practice Theory X (micromanagement). I think this is unfortunate and that management instead should set up the right working environment, delegate responsibility and hold people accountable. As Ronald Reagan said, “Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority and don’t interfere.”

Q: Do you feel that with this generation in particular, there’s a greater need for a book like this?
A: Yes. There are a lot of books out there in terms of organizing your personal life (such as how to organize your finances, insurance, etc.) but very few on how to acclimate into the corporate culture. Understand this, my book simply represents what we all have to learn as we enter adulthood and become a responsible worker.

Q: Certain sections of the book seem to be tailored toward people in management. Why is that?
A: Our corporate slogan sums it up, “Software for the finest computer – the Mind.” In the final analysis, it is the human being that is of paramount importance in a business, be it our workers, our customers or our vendors. I think we have forgotten this. What disturbs me is that I see a decline in social skills in the workplace. We’ve got plenty of technology, but I believe we need better managers. And the more that people understand basic management concepts, the better they will understand what is going through their manager’s mind.

Q: If you wanted your reader to take away just one thing from this book, what would it be?
A: The book includes several lessons but if I had to pick one thing, it would have to be if we lived in a perfect world, everyone would know what their job assignments would be and execute them in the most productive means possible. But because we are human and have to work with others who do not share our same interests or think the same way as we do, problems arise in terms of perceptions, communications, cooperation and priorities. In other words, due to the sheer nature of the human spirit, we live in an imperfect world and, as such, we require management to overcome the many foibles we all suffer from. Simply, it always comes back to people.