• ‘INFORMAL’ MEDIATION IS AN EXCEPTIONALLY EFFECTIVE MANNER OF ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION – a process of coaxing parties to focus on “surfacing the agenda” to ensure that each party listens and fully hears the other’s core issue(s) – which then facilitates negotiation & compromise on what-it-takes-to-move-forward. Dennis has decades of experience in effectively resolving disputes before becoming enmeshed in the legal/litigation process. Informal Mediation sessions are conducted in neutral and relaxed settings, addressing the personal interrelationship dimensions of disagreements between business associates, conflicts among executive teams or Boards, prenuptial or divorcing spouses, and especially dysfunctional family relations about succession or estate matters, with dramatically less stress and cost. Call us before involving the attorneys.
  • ‘WORKPLACE DIVERSITY’ HAS BEEN GENERALLY ACCEPTED on the conceptual premise that people with different ideas and perspectives can produce more innovative and creative business approaches & solutions. But theory doesn’t always gel with reality and many companies “complain that they are not getting much for their investment in diversity training” since lengthy HR seminars focus on social goals like equal opportunity and political correctness instead of the real challenges: management style and culture. Troublesome areas include: (1) “evaluating people on their willingness to ‘speak up’ without realizing that some people – women especially, in many countries – are brought up to hold their tongues and defer to authorities… (2) ‘acting like an owner’ in some cultures means playing golf all day,” or that (3) hiring departments often fail to distinguish between “genuine cultural diversity and the box-ticking sort (like appointing the right number of people with the right biological characteristics)… Most of workplace diversity requires hard work as well as good intentions.” [THE ECONOMIST – Feb 13, 16]
  • REMINDER: DATA STORED ON PERSONAL COMPUTING DEVICES POSES INCREASING SECURITY RISKS – particularly on phones or tablets which “automatically save web browser passwords… or if stolen, sold to others, or accessed by family members include confidential medical and personal identifying information.”  [LEGAL TECH NEWS – Feb 16]
  • WHAT’S KILLING WHITE MIDDLE-AGED MEN? Some half-million American males have self-destructed in the past 15 years from suicide, drug overdose, and alcohol poisoning or related liver disease. In the 45 – 54 age group, mortality rates continue to increase which research now attributes to declining ‘life satisfaction’ – predominantly the result of “unmet aspirations (including impact from an economic recession that eroded savings)… contributing to depression, anxiety and social isolation, and causing a great deal of emotional pain… Neuroimaging studies show that anticipated or imagined pain activates the same brain regions that are involved with processing a physically painful event… and that having a chronic pain condition is linked with a nearly twofold increase in the likelihood of attempted suicide.” Age 52 appears to be the target point for trouble, when “men get lonelier, tending to deprioritize time with friends for career & family concerns… diminish consistent physical activity which can increase risk of getting the blues… and also get less sleep (although this can supposedly be countered with just 15 minutes of morning sunlight which lifts mood and calibrates body clock).” [MENS HEALTH – Mar 16]
  • A SITTING MEMBER OF THE U.S. CONGRESS SPENDS UP TO 70% OF HIS/HER TIME “RAISING CAMPAIGN FUNDS, instead of tending to constituents, official duties, or legislative affairs,” according to a Cornell Law research study. And, according to the Campaign Finance Institute, the amount they raised & spent directly to win 2012 Congressional seats averaged $1.6 million. Senate races cost nearly three times that ($4.7 million on average) with top billing going to John Corzine who spent over $63 million for New Jersey’s seat, and Hillary Clinton who spent $30 million for New York’s.
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Amazing 3-Dimensional drawing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TE8Z4Mu9DgY                                                               

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. – Stephen Covey    

“Having just the vision is no solution; everything depends on execution.”  – Stephen Sondheim