• THE ABILITY TO CREATE YOUR OWN BUSINESS DESTINY starts in three distinct and core phases:  Developing the Goals – a vision of what the time-targeted future looks like; Clarifying the Objectives – what needs to happen and what puzzle pieces need to be in place to achieve these goals with moderate risk; then, Defining the Tactics and Action Steps – targeting the right paths, people & places to facilitate achievement, with strategy for course-correction along the way. When employees are frustrated, de-motivated or demoralized, it’s almost always due to absence of clarity in Vision & Strategy, Execution and/or specific Outcome Criteria by which they’ll be judged and rewarded; this can evolve to paranoia, absence of teamwork, and high probability of failure. For a more comprehensive discussion: see duitchconsulting.com/the-three-most-important-factors-in-why-businesses-fail
  • HACKERS ARE NOW FOR HIRE ONLINE. The business of hacking is no longer just the domain of intelligence agencies, international criminal gangs, shadowy political operatives and disgruntled ‘hacktivists’ taking aim at big targets.” In California, the going rate is $500 to hack FaceBook & Gmail accounts; In Europe, $2000 can get in someone’s website. Hacking seems on its way to becoming a respectable business service and an “increasingly personal enterprise.”    [NEW YORK TIMES – Jan 15, 2015]
  • INTEGRATION OF WORK GROUPS, PARTICULARLY IN MERGER OR ACQUISITION SCENARIOS, is far more complex and difficult than most business execs appreciate, and principally due to poor cultural synergy. Some 87% of organizations where transactions failed cite cultural integration as one of the top three reasons, a recent Aon Hewitt survey found. “Culture is an organization’s operating environment – i.e. how work gets done…manifested in behaviors and beliefs about what is important… including values & norms; strategy, structure & goals; decision-making & governance… Confusion in these critical domains can result in delays of product or services to clients, and even cripple a company… Given the significant erosion in value that poor integration can generate, leadership should not be left in the hands of busy part-time resources with other critical responsibility; it has to be leader-led.” DCG has decades of expertise in this area. Call for a courtesy consultation.  [CARRIER MANAGEMENT – Feb 6, 14]
  • THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (aka OBAMACARE) BATTLE GOES ON. A.C.A. has “degenerated into a remarkable example of Washington dysfunction, from inception to implementation… in mostly backroom deals, broken promises, bungling government and bitter partisanship… since it passed with only Democratic support and by taking advantage of a quirk in congressional rules.” Among the many outcomes of that ram-down process – including the pharmaceutical industry’s contribution of tens of millions to Political Action Committees supporting ACA – the legislation actually precludes the government from bidding down the price of drugs paid by Medicare, or “availing itself of research on the value and efficacy of different medicines.” Conservatives have tried to derail the ACA through lawsuits all the way to the Supreme Court, government ‘shutdown’ and even sovereign debt default (all so far without success), while liberal ‘policy wonks’ keep fighting to further “extend health coverage to as many people as possible, and deal with the cost of stuff later.” Slogan of the year: ‘Obamacare – it only works if you don’t.’   [THE ECONOMIST – Jan 17, 15] 
  • AND THE CHALLENGE OF MEDICAL CARE WILL GET WORSE, ESPECIALLY FOR SENIOR CITIZENS – not just in America but globally. Within 15 years, a billion people (1/8 of the world’s population) will be over age 65, a more than 50% rise from today’s level, according to U.S. government forecasts. Twenty years later, United Nations projections show the number of people over 60 will exceed those younger.  [FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE REPT – Jan 15]
  • ‘MOBIL CRAMMING’ is what cell phone companies do to goose up billings – charges for services like love tips, horoscopes and celebrity gossip. In T-Mobile’s case, these have been feebly disclosed in “complicated bills, buried within 3rd party charges of often fifty pages, which made it difficult for consumers to discover the cramming.” They’ve just settled a suit with FTC for over $90 million in fines, penalties and customer refunds, and are now required to get “express informed consent before charging… and provide info about how to block 3rd party charges.” Every now & then, government does something good. [MANATT ADVERTISING LAW – Jan 15, 15]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:  Newest research supposedly finds that “Men with an active sex life are more likely to live past 80 years; Having sex at least weekly can lower a man’s risk of heart disease by 30%, stroke by 50% and diabetes by 40%; During 30 minutes of active sex, the average person burns approximately 200 calories.”

     Ever wonder what happens to all of those cars that nobody wants anymore?  http://devour.com/video/car-grinder/