- PARTNERSHIP CONFLICTS INCREASE AS FIRMS GROW and partners are added, founders are compelled to not only give up control but acknowledge the criticality of buy-in, decision-making becomes more complex and communication becomes more difficult. Conflicts inevitably arise over time as partners grow in different directions, priorities re-align, and almost always eventually over how to allocate resources, profits and/or equity participation. The manner of navigating & handling such issues is a principal challenge of leadership – since diverging trust and communication can usurp focus & energies which impact productivity, profitability and, absent a timely resolution process collectively perceived as ‘fair’, can ultimately lead to partnership demise & dissolution. DCG has decades of experience in developing internal conflict resolution process and, when necessary, mediating partner disputes. Like marriages, business partner conflict demands and deserves priority attention. DCG can help.
- GETTING FOCUSED ON CYBERCRIME IS IMPORTANT, BUT “organizations are not paying enough attention to errant employees…whose breaches continue as the biggest threat and leading cause of data security system compromises.” Having policy and guidelines for electronic mail, messaging, cellular & camera phones, internet access & transmission, personal computers & software apps or storage are critically important in maintaining confidentiality and security for personal as well as company data. [LAW TECHNOLOGY NEWS – Feb 15]
- COMMITTED TEACHERS OFTEN LOSE MOTIVATION when working alongside lazy or incompetent cohorts who “get away with slacking.” And the governing and media perspective that “teaching ought to be a profession for hard-working altruists who want to improve children’s’ life prospects” doesn’t help. Reality is that no greater importance to the literal survival of our species is effectively educating the next generations, and effective teachers should be compensated at the top of the professional value pyramid, not the bottom. But, in most western countries, most school systems are instead designed to attract “mediocre timeservers, motivated by perks like long holidays and a gold-plated pension, with little risk of job loss,” so enacting change has proven to be an arduous process. “Standing in the way almost everywhere are the Unions – willing to back shirkers over strivers,” to the point of even rejecting higher pay for job security. Some cultures have set examples which show that when teaching can be recast as important and rewarding, it can attract top talent; in South Korea and Finland, “teachers are revered and learning results are among the world’s best.” In America, however, “no wonder so many children struggle to learn – no school can be better than those who work in it.” [THE ECONOMIST – Feb 14, 15]
- “A FUNDAMENTAL CAUSE OF TODAY’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL INSTABILITY is that, in rapidly changing societies, peoples’ expectations expand much faster than the capacity of governments to satisfy them… Most people look at the world, their neighbors, employers, clergy, politicians and governments with different eyes than their parents did… and with broadened cognitive and emotional impact from more access to resources and the ability to learn, connect and communicate more broadly & inexpensively than ever before. Inevitably, this sharpens the intergenerational gaps in mentality and in world view.” This factor, global in scope, has created an ‘expectation revolution’ with major disconnect between the middle classes and whatever layers they perceive to be above themselves – “in developing countries, where middle classes are expanding, people take to the streets to fight for more and better goods, services, housing & education; in America and other rich countries, where the embattled middle class is shrinking, they fight to protect living standards.” Increasing turmoil is without end in sight. [THE END OF POWER – Moises Naim]
- YOUR CURRENT ESTATE PLAN MAY NEED AN UPDATE. From an inheritance tax standpoint, ‘Bypass Trusts,’ which require annual administrative nuisance and costly accounting & tax filings, are no longer necessary for most married couples – since nearly $11 million in asset value is now exempted until death of both spouses, and benefits of ‘step-up basis’ solely for capital gain tax purposes are no longer necessarily relevant. However, from a beneficiary protection standpoint, the traditional ‘Bypass’ strategy provides important safeguards against future creditors and the potential for a surviving spouse to (inadvertently or intentionally) ‘redirect’ assets to different beneficiaries (often a result of re-marriage). Dennis offers courtesy consultation to determine whether your circumstances merit an Estate Plan update. DCG can help. [CITRON & DEUTSCH NWSLTR – Feb 15]
- THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” – Napoleon Bonaparte