• HIDDEN BIAS MAKES MOST OF US SUSCEPTIBLE to judgments & decisions which are often misdirected and/or less than optimal. The process of quick decision-making, known as heuristics or mental shortcuts, is efficient and can be effective but is subject to these hidden biases, stemming from : (1) Overconfidence – the general tendency for people to simply overestimate their knowledge, skills or abilities; (2) Availability – of information most memorable or easily accessible; (3) Confirmation bias – the tendency “to seek or interpret evidence in ways that support pre-existing beliefs or expectations” while ignoring evidence to the contrary; and (4) Rush-to-solve bias – when judgment is formed without considering all relevant data. In the workplace, these tendencies can impact morale and productivity when an employee “feels as though they have done more work than others.” DCG Coaching services can help. [JRNL OF ACCOUNTANCY – Feb 15]
  • MILLENNIALS (UNDER AGE 35) NOW COMPRISE THE MAJORITY OF THE WORKFORCE in small to mid-size businesses. Many of the challenges stemming from broadly varying communication styles, technology skills and work-life values remain, but cultures have generally been reasonably assimilated except in one critical area: workload allocation. Since layoffs necessitated by the 2008 economic crisis, remaining employees who took on additional tasks & responsibilities are “stretched thin…and exhausted” to a point where declining energy and motivation often impact productivity, however millennial employees generally “lack both skills and initiative to pick up the slack… As corporations will not be giving up their profit margins or increasing staffing levels anytime soon (since financial gains from this new normal are too lucrative to ignore or alter)… company cultures still need to adapt to include emerging communication and collaboration practices, along with new methods for motivating employees.”  DCG have decades of expertise in this arena. We can help.   [INTERCHANGE-GROUP NWSLTR – Feb 5, 15]
  • POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IS INCREASINGLY PREPOSTEROUS and literally “poisoning political discourse in America… On college campuses, social media and large segments of our culture dominated by the Left, ‘language police’ now vigilantly patrol what people write and say for any possible offense” to groups they perceive as disempowered or oppressed, demanding “total adherence to their rigid, humorless Groupthink,” contending that only members of such group (blacks, gays, disabled, American Indians, dwarfs, Muslims, whomever/whatever) have the legitimacy to “speak with any validity about that group’s complaints about society… Transgressions bring an avalanche of vicious personal attacks and ‘demands’ that the sinner be shunned and silenced” – unless and until appropriate apologies and groveling for forgiveness. “In this malignant new form of P.C., even mildly conservative commencement speakers are unacceptable, professors must provide ‘trigger warnings’ for potentially upsetting subjects in novels and history books, and even small slights or backward terminology are condemned for causing ‘searing trauma’ among various classes of victims… This war on free speech and free thinking” by squeaky wheels is fundamentally illiberal but media-fashionable, so don’t expect it to lessen anytime soon. [THE WEEK – Feb 13, 15]
  • THE FEDERAL DISABILITY BENEFITS TRUST FUND “WILL RUN DRY BY THE END OF 2016” without congressional action, which is unlikely since options for saving this program (along with the entire social security system) – like raising the payroll tax or restricting benefits – are “political poison.”  Nearly as many people now collect Disability Insurance as work in manufacturing – some eleven million working age Americans. While stats show that actual number of reported disabilities has remained stable for the age 40 – 60 group over a few decades, a 50% rise in claimants results from (1) baby boomers & women in the workforce; (2) easier eligibility for “hard to verify ailments such as stress and back pain”; (3) unemployment or “wage stagnation among the low-skilled which makes benefits (including health insurance) more appealing”; and (4) loss of benefits for returning to even part-time work (one study found 96% still collecting after ten years).  Just one more Washington mess.  [THE ECONOMIST – Jan 24, 15]
  • ALCOHOL ADVERTISING IS NOW PROHIBITED ON ALL LOS ANGELES PUBLIC PROPERTY including buses, by City Council action “citing an interest in reducing alcohol abuse and underage drinking.” As always however, exceptions are allowed for “proprietary departments that control their own funds related to operation of a restaurant, concert, sports or entertainment venue (airport, zoo, convention center, etc).” [MANATT ADVERTISING LAW – Feb 6, 15]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: There are three classes of men: lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain” –Plato

                             The amazing state of robotics: See Spot Runhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8YjvHYbZ9w