Just in Case it Matters to You
- GENERATION Z (aka iGens and AppGens) ARE THE KIDS NOW ENTERING THE WORKFORCE. They’ve been born since the late 1990s into a world where the internet has always been a focal part of their life, with skills to “shift seamlessly between apps, devices & technology conversations… They bring a unique set of expectations about the workplace including that it’s more important to be seen as having a ‘curious or open mindset’ than to have a specific skill or expertise.” Their priority factor in job decision-making is consistently ranked as Company Culture; their least important factors are now markedly different than those ranked by Millennials: flexible schedules, work-at-home capability, friends/peers decisions, or commitment to diversity/inclusion. Combined with ‘woke’ perspective and demands, the workplace continues to evolve to an environment nearly unrecognizable to Boomer and even X Generation workers. [JRNL OF ACCOUNTANCY – 12/19]
- SOME TOP BUSINESS SCHOOLS NOW INCLUDE ART-BASED PROGRAMS IN THEIR MBA CURRICULUM. Classes in poetry, art installations, choir conducting and book clubs, beyond providing a “welcome diversion from the equations, acronyms & stodgy content that marks most MBA courses… provide important leadership lessons – that being a manager involves a lot more than just setting targets and entering numbers into a spreadsheet; it requires empathy and understanding of human nature… including that leaders should listen to their teams, especially when their colleagues have specialist knowledge, and that leaders can only do so much damage, provided they do not attempt to control (i.e. micromanage) every step of the process.” [ECONOMIST – 12/14/19]
- CLOTHING ‘SIZE’ IS HEADED FOR OBSOLESCENCE, increasingly replaced by smartphone body scans that automatically populate online platforms to help consumers find the right size, and to help online retailers reduce the costs of returns. The problem has evolved from (1) inconsistent sizing in size charts; (2) generic tables which don’t reflect actual manufacturers’ measurements; and (3) the “diverse body shapes of American consumers.” One 10,000-person study found hip circumference of women with a 28” waist varying from 32” to 45.” Another tested women’s skinny-mid-rise jeans size 26 from seven different retailers to find differing ranges of 4” in waist, 1-3/4” in rise, and 5-1/4” for inseam. It turns out that over 300 ‘standard’ measurements result in thousands of size combinations. “Clothing sizes are broken.” [WALL STREET JRNL – 12/16/19]
- CHINESE PATENT APPLICATIONS NOW NEARLY TRIPLE THOSE FILED IN AMERICA, a result of China’s ‘Ten Thousand Talents Program’ (TTP), an “elaborate system which recruit overseas researchers to send skills home, and which U.S. officials say encourages espionage & theft of Intellectual Property… Combined with China’s so-called military-civil fusion’ strategy – in which the government employs resources, technologies of people to advance both sectors simultaneously” – TTP participants have stolen research from the U.S. Dep’t of Energy, Institutes of Health,, Science Foundation, and State Department, and file some 1.5million patent apps yearly (all according to the Senate Homeland Security committee). This issue is at the heart of the current round of ‘Trade’ negotiations. [BUSINESSWEEK – 12/16/19]
- SMALL BUSINESSES, ESPECIALLY THOSE FAMILY-OWNED, SHOULD REALLY HAVE A BOARD OF DIRECTORS, OR AT MINIMUM ADVISORS. Investing in corporate oversight with diverse & expert perspective not only leads to optimizing productivity and profitability but can be critical to long-term success, as a company encounters obligations to employees & investors. “Good governance increases linearly with the size of any business and number of its stakeholders to avoid conflicts of interest”; for family-controlled businesses, a succession plan that allows members to get the experience they need is also critical. DCG have decades of expertise in guiding startups, emerging & mature companies in development and structure for both Advisory and Director Boards. [YALE.EDU.INSIGHTS – 1/7/20]
- THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: “We have enough gun control. What we need is idiot control… If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons make people fat!”
Last year, IRS audited less than ½ percent of personal returns, roughly one out of every 220 taxpayers – down by over half the ratio from ten years ago, mostly due to budget & personnel reductions.