• “THE FASTEST WAY TO LOSE TALENT IS TO MICROMANAGE IT… which micromanagers don’t even realize they’re doing until it’s too late… Their biggest challenge is getting out of their own way, since they haven’t learned how to trust themselves yet.” So strategy for working with micromanaging overseers starts with building trust by (1) asking questions which evidence your commitment and capacity to provide positive results; (2) best understanding their expectation of “what ‘success’ looks like, so your role is clear and conditions have been set for the ‘right’ results to occur”; and (3) best over-delivering results. “The difference between high performers and everybody else is that they exceed expectations, while everybody else manages them… Going beyond to surpass the boundaries of what a manager may expect leaves nothing to manage.” [FORBES – Apr 24, 18]
  • BANKING SERVICES ARE ON THEIR WAY TO BECOMING ALMOST TOTALLY IMPERSONAL. ‘Huminoids’ already handle up to 90% of transactions at a branch of Chinese Construction Bank, in Shanghai, run by technology which greets customers and manages accounts via “friendly looking robots with voice & facial recognition, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence systems… Smart automated tellers are capable of a range of services including money transfer, foreign exchange, gold investment, and the issue of wealth management products.” [THE MIRROR.CO.UK – Apr 24, 18]
  • CONSUMER RESPONSE ADVERTISING HAS BEEN TORPEDOED by digital marketing and smartphones. Once upon a time, there was a direct and determinable cause & effect of ads but, these days, consumers “engage in touchpoints that may consist of traditional interruptive models (like a TV commercial) or participative models (like web searches on a smartphone) – which makes media attribution exceptionally complex, necessitating new ways of creating accountability for direct marketing campaigns.” Current strategies now involve, to varying degrees: “(1) Identifying key performance metrics (KPIs) which define precisely what a campaign is trying to achieve; (2) Focusing on longer-term brand building which drives the ultimate impact of a sale by feeding the top of the sales funnel; (3) Testing different kinds of media mix to determine what best works, then shifting dollars to less competitive spends during peak periods; and (4) Analyzing real-time results to take advantage of shifts in always dynamic consumer behavior.”  [ELECTRONIC RETAILING ASS’N BLOG – Apr 20, 18]
  • “DEMOCRACY HAS ITS FLAWS.” Only a quarter of American adults could name all three branches of government, and one third couldn’t name any, according to a Univ. of Pennsylvania survey last year. The result, as so readily evident in election results, is that “voters apathetic or disengaged from public policy debates make poor electoral choices.” While the right to vote is generally denied to children and those judged mentally incompetent, arguments have been advanced for a more selective process, one being ‘weighted voting’ – in which “a ballot counts more or less depending on a voter’s qualifications, determined by a civics test or maybe by one’s profession or education…implicitly equating knowledge with good judgment, which experience tells us isn’t a sound equation… Democracy does have its flaws, but elitism isn’t the way to cure them… Conservative writer William F. Buckley once said: I’d rather entrust the U.S. government to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.” [BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK – April 23, 18]
  • IT’S ESTIMATED THAT UP TO TWO-THIRDS OF BOTTLED WATERS ARE JUST TAP WATER, but costing two-thousand times greater. Calling water ‘purified’ simply means that some process (filtration, distillation, or reverse osmosis) has removed contaminants from the tap or spring. ‘Ionized’ means the water has also been exposed to an electrical current, which is one way to create ‘alkaline’ water with a PH level above neutral. ‘Vapor distilled’ is another label which means the water was boiled into steam then condensed back. Beyond the fact that some four billion pounds of plastic are used annually in packaging bottled water (requiring energy input equivalent to some 45 million barrels of oil), it turns out that tap water “comes with more safeguards, since the federal government requires more rigorous safety monitoring of municipal taps.”  [ECOWATCH.COM – Feb 21, 18]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Money cannot buy happiness, but it’s far more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than on a bicycle… Forgive your enemy but remember the ahole’s name… If you help someone when they’re in trouble, they will remember you when they’re in trouble again… Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then, neither does milk.   [INTERNET ANON]

   The world’s first VIRTUAL CONCERT TOUR is calendared for next fall, with holograms, giant screens, and some form of ‘digital selves’ on stage, while the band’s physical selves are performing elsewhere. ABBA, a Swedish pop group, has announced they’re taking the challenge to find how audiences will respond.