• “PHISHING MESSAGES TRICK ONE IN FIVE EMPLOYEES.” One recent campaign induced 72% of users to click on a malicious link. Most effective message content is apparently a fake lure for Employee Discount, targeting “specter of loss (e.g. thanks for your $500 purchase at Amazon),” or that the recipient won something. “Online thieves use phishing to infect a computer for use as a beachhead into the network… since over 70% of users are vulnerable to exploitation through a common piece of software, such as Adobe Acrobat or Flash, Oracle’s Java or Microsoft Silverlight.” [EWEEK – Nov 7, 13]
  • EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE REVIEWS SHOULD BE “FORWARD-LOOKING, not a nitpicking appraisal of the past… Feed- back shouldn’t be like a report card – and especially not ‘stack racked’ which ranks on a curve, meaning a certain number must be labeled as underperformers.” Anytime problem issues first addressed at annual review time means that management isn’t doing its job. A 2010 study found nearly 60% of Human Resource managers “disliked their own review systems.” DCG have designed & implemented effective Performance Review systems for decades, adapting process & procedure to the uniqueness of every business and its key employees. Time for a review of your process? [BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK – Nov 11, 13]
  • “PEOPLE ARE INCREASINGLY SACRIFICING PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS FOR PURSUIT OF WEALTH.” Last year, the American Freshman Survey (which tracks ‘values’ of college students) found 81% who prioritized “being well-off financially” over social values like ‘starting a family’ or ‘helping others.’ “The more that individuals endorse materialism as a positive life value” and/or to isolate themselves from personal interface, “social connections – which are as important to our survival and flourishing as the need for food, safety & shelter” – continue to dissolve, resulting in increasing levels of loneliness, suicide, depression and diminished happiness. And technology continues to exacerbate this trend. In an article fifteen years ago, Dennis had accurately forecast that “impacts of people communicating increasingly ‘on-line’ to the exclusion of interpersonal contact… especially staying on-screen for extended periods with the anonymity & monotony of technology, would decrease brain stamina… and, beyond affecting mental acuity and emotional well-being, that the absence of authentic psychological encounter… would wreak havoc with organizational culture… portending a serious and increasing toll on human resources.” ( http://www.duitchconsulting.com/StrategicFocus/comp_mental_health.html ) [THE ATLANTIC – Oct 29, 13]
  • MOUNTING FEDERAL RULES in Banking, Wall Street, Healthcare and International Trade (including multiple foreign laws & regulations), have contributed to job growth in at least one sector: the Compliance Industry. “Obamacare, Dodd-Frank Act and other large federal undertakings have led to an outpouring of new agency rules derided by business groups and defended by advocates.” Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows 18% growth since 2008, with more than 227,000 American Compliance Officers currently employed – this excluding those tasked with monitoring companies for fraud & safety violations (bank examiners, tax collectors, OSHA Inspectors and the like). [THE HILL – Nov 9, 13]
  • PASSWORDS, PIN NUMBERS, ALARM CODES, & SECRET USER NAMES have become critical to accessing info in this day and age. “If you were incapacitated tonight, who could open computers, find keys, read financial records, or relay your electronic records?” Especially if you live alone, it’s very important to (a) prepare a listing of important information, and (b) inform a trusted relative or friend how to locate that list – e.g. ‘if I’m hit by a truck, look behind the sock drawer… or under the picture album.’ “That paper or flash drive can be private and updated, moved or destroyed at your whim” without attorney or trustee involvement, and can be critically important for the help you’d need. [SIEFFLAW NWSLTR – Nov 13]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: PC at its absurdity level: Hallmark cards, attempting to ensure their policy of “never making political statements with their products,” opted to update a word in the Xmas song Deck the Halls – changing ‘Don we now our GAY apparel’ to ‘…our FUN apparel.’ After gay rights group protests, apparently it’s back to the original!

    In the political maneuvering for Obamacare legislation, remember when Nancy Pelosi said: “We have to pass it, to find out what’s in it.” Turns out that’s the same criteria for a ‘stool sample’ – which pretty well sums up this fiasco.

    “Gift bags Russia handed out to world leaders at the recent G-20 summit contained bugged memory sticks and power cables.”