• CARDIAC HEALTH APPEARS DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE ‘HAPPINESS’ LEVEL OF RELATIONSHIPS, with married couples tending to live longer and be healthier than their single peers. According to latest University of Michigan research (involving 1,300 couples over six years), ‘systolic blood pressure’ which rises with stress is the critical factor – more so with husbands than wives. Other research at Brigham Young University found that “people whose marriages were ambivalent, with a significant amount of negative interaction, consistently had higher blood pressure than those who said their marriages were very satisfying.” Analyses show an 8.5% increase in risk of heart attack for “spouses who say more negative than positive things to each other,” and double likelihood for women divorced twice or more. [TIME – Mar 7, 16]
  • THE CULTURAL GAP THAT DIVIDES YOUNG EMPLOYEES FROM ELDER LEADERS can be bridged. According to a recent McKinsey survey of 120 companies, effective techniques include: (1) Empathizing with the “harsh economic realities and stress they’ve experienced… including huge student loan debt and weakening of the social contract as corporate scandals stripped workers of pensions, and terminations have left committed workers & families financially vulnerable”; (2) Acknowledging the importance of ‘flexibility’ to millennials – who “value the genuine blending of their work & personal lives… and demand family-friendly policies”; (3) Coaching and training mid-level managers so they are “prepared to handle pivotal scenarios – such as giving/receiving more frequent development feedback, managing difficult situations, and learning to adapt to challenges”; (4) Getting creative with realistic growth & challenge opportunities which “give young professionals a chance to flex their entrepreneurial muscles – like temporary projects or rotational programs… with exposure to senior leaders, cross- functional work and community service, elements that millennials value highly.”  [McKINSEY QUARTERLY – Feb 16]
  • WITH THE ADVENT OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY, ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION has substantially replaced mail and to a great extent telephone communication. The result is that Thoughts and Feelings are easily, instantly, and often hastily transcribed & transmitted to the world, with no opportunity for retrieval ‘on second thought.’ When frustrated or in doubt, to avoid ‘shooting from the hip’ or presenting impulsive comments which are later regretted, it’s often wisest to “wait an hour and re-read your message with a clear mind before hitting the ‘send’ button.”  [JRNL OF ACCOUNTANCY – Mar 16]
  • PENDING BANK BUST UPDATE: A knowledgeable and powerful new voice of concern in the ‘too big to fail’ discourse is Neel Kashkari – formerly Goldman Sachs, then Bush administration overseer of the 2008 bank bailout (TARP), now President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank – who says that America’s biggest banks “continue to pose a significant ongoing risk to our economy.” Notwithstanding some 22,000 pages of rules & regulations which emanated from the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Law in 2010, the “basic structure of the financial industry is the same as before the crisis… stemming from ‘interconnectedness – borrowing from one another to finance deals in a mind-bogglingly complex world of investment firms, hedge funds, mutual funds, and mortgage companies, so that everyone is at risk when a deal goes bad… And also because bankers’ compensation remains structured to reward excessive risk with other peoples’ money… getting paid in cash bonuses when they win, without having to give anything back if they lose.” [THE WEEK – Mar 4, 16]
  • FEDERAL BUDGET FOLLIES: Just a few Federal spending priorities which contributed to our soon-amassed $20 trillion national debt:  “$120 million in retirement & disability benefits to federal employees who have already died; $10 million to bring a Pakistani version of Sesame Street to Pakistan; $3 million for a California university to play the video game World of Warcraft’  $1.6 million studying the effects of excess alcohol on prostitutes in China; and $765,000 to open an IHOP for ‘underserved communities’ in Washington DC.” Shaking your head slowly may at least release some neck muscle tension… [DESERET NEWS – Feb 19, 16]
  • THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Interesting observation on sports enthusiasts: The sport of choice for urban poor is BASKETBALL; for maintenance level employees it’s BOWLING; front-line workers more so FOOTBALL; supervisors choose BASEBALL; middle management follow TENNIS; and corporate execs generally GOLF. The higher up the work structure, the smaller your balls become. There must be a boat load of people in Washington DC playing marbles.