• WORKPLACE ‘ACCOUNTABILITY’ IS NOT REALLY ABOUT “taking the blame when something goes wrong, it’s about “taking initiative and strategic follow-through… to deliver on a commitment with responsibility to the outcome.” The key to holding people accountable mostly involves clarity as to (1) expectations about the outcome, how to achieve it, and how success will be measured; (2) capability of the task performer and required resources; (3) timelines for meeting objective target measurements; (4) feedback to ensure that people stay on the same page; and (5) consequences – appropriate reward for success (money, acknowledgement, promotion, etc.) with penalties for not proving accountable. Neglecting structure & process in any of these areas impedes accountability.  DCG can help.  [HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW – Jan 11, 16]
  • MILLENNIAL WORKING WOMEN WITH CHILDREN WILL BECOME THE MAINSTAY OF ‘COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE’ in the American workforce over the next couple decades, as the number in their 40’s and 50’s is increasing dramatically. “Corporate America will see a rising female share in senior positions (roles traditionally associated with significant after hour social obligations)… but who will not be relying on the conventional economic, physical & psychological support structures associated with marriage… as the percentage of births from non-married U.S. women has risen to 41%.” According to Pew Research, 78% of those are over age 25 and raising infants. So companies without targeted HR programs which provide work flexibility and better financial security will soon find themselves in rough recruiting & retention waters. [INTERCHANGE-GROUP.com – Jan 26, 16]
  • SOCIAL NETWORK ‘FRIENDS’ ARE MOSTLY A MISNOMER, according to a recent Oxford University study which found “very little correlation… with being able to depend on such ‘friends’, even talking to them regularly… and that most Facebook friends don’t care about you and probably wouldn’t even sympathize with your problems.” On average, responders felt that about 27% were “genuine” and that only 10% would “express sympathy in the event of anything going wrong.”  [LBN ELERT – Jan 22, 16]
  • THE ECONOMY IS LIKELY TO BE BOUNCING FOR SOME TIME. Forecasters are wide apart between risk of downturn recession versus upswing growth. The ‘BEARS’ see weakness and bubble-bursts from factors like: China’s declining trade and crashing stock market; continuous falling demand for oil which impacts U.S. producers; a rising U.S. dollar (as foreigners park money here) which impacts exporting companies; falling auto sales; some 90% of counties still below pre-recession levels; and the Federal Reserve plan to continue raising interest rates. The ‘BULLS’ are optimistic about ongoing Recovery, looking to factors like: increasing job creation and payroll growth which enable consumer spending; a slowing pace of unemployment filings; denial of a bursting housing bubble based on “consumer sentiment”; and a bucket of Economic Indicators which have historically pointed towards growth. It’s a crapshoot either way, so caution and diversification are the game. [BUSINESSWEEK – Jan 15, 16]
  • HISTORICALLY, ECONOMIES FAIL WHEN THE MIDDLE CLASS – “the layers between Power Elites and landless laborers/state dependents – erodes away, the nation/empire is destabilized and it descends into crisis.” Stability is dependent on this functioning intermediary of social as well as economic activity, since “those at the bottom have little in common with those at the top” and the Middle Class buffers this void. “The erosion of a self-employed middle class – an important precondition for collapse of Rome and the French revolution – is happening in America… The lifestyle that was widely accessible to a broad swath of households in the 1960s (including not only possessions like a home or vehicle, but productive assets that can be handed down to the next generation) is now available only to the top 10% below the wealthy (the top 5%).” The core drivers of this erosion are “reflections of deep forces that cannot be reversed,” primarily: demographics; the digital/automation revolution; shifting of pension & healthcare costs & risks from the State & employers to workers; increasing costs of higher education, healthcare & housing; and transition from an economy with stable returns to a financialized economy that w­­­ipes out Middle Class wealth in the busts, but does not rebuild it in the booms.” A society without a functioning middle layer is simply not stable.”  [ZEROHEDGE.COM – Jan 18, 16]

2015’s most popular – and therefore ‘hackable’ – passwords were: 123456, password, qwerty, football, baseball, dragon, master, monkey, letmein, princess, and starwars.