• ‘REVERSE DELEGATION’ IS AMONG THE GREATEST NEMESIS OF MANAGEMENT EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS. It involves ‘taking back’ a delegated assignment when employees are stuck, or redoing it yourself when not up to your expectations. These actions not only waste your own time (albeit an often immediate result), but preclude the employee’s opportunity to learn and sends a message (deserved or not) that they’re untrusted. According to a Gallup survey, 75% of employer entrepreneurs have “limited-to-low levels of delegator talent,” leading to structural weakness in back-up coverage and in succession capacity. Tips for more effective delegation: (1) Test the water with less important assignments first; (2) Clearly and fully explain what you expect as the returned product – especially whether you intend for them to ‘check in’ along the way, and the timeline, since ‘asap’ or ‘urgent’ mean different things to different people; (3) “Have reasonable expectations, since you are ultimately responsible for the outcome,” and it’s highly unlikely that any employee will perform exactly as you would have. [U.S.NEWS & WORLD REPORT – May 16, 17]
  • ‘INFORMAL’ MEDIATION IS AN EXCEPTIONALLY EFFECTIVE MANNER OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION –facilitating focus on core underlying issues to ensure that each party listens and fully hears the other’s concerns face to face, versus attorneys doing the talking and too often complicating the issues. Effective resolution involves interface between finances, taxes, economics, legalities, emotions and family or team dynamics. When conflict can be minimized, and parties hear the same facts and concerns directly in real-time, opportunities for negotiation & compromise are almost always successful. Dennis has decades of experience in timely & effectively resolving disputes with dramatically less stress & cost, without the legal/litigation process. Sessions are conducted in neutral and relaxed settings, addressing the personal interrelationship dimensions of disagreements between business associates, executive teams or Boards, divorcing spouses, or dysfunctional family members. Call us first.
  • MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS ARE A MEANS OF CREATING ART which, like most other ‘products,’ are continuously improved by technology – even the classic Italian violins crafted centuries ago which currently fetch millions of dollars, most notably Stradivarius and Guarnerius models. Research and experiments in Paris & New York concert halls, of both musicians (wearing goggles) and audiences (with players behind screens), has found “experts agree that new violins projected sound better, clearly cannot tell between the classic violins and well-made modern violins, and generally prefer the sound of the latter.” [THE ECONOMIST – May 13, 17]
  • LINKAGE BETWEEN DIET SODA AND BOTH STROKE & DEMENTIA were findings of Boston University research reported by the American Heart Ass’n. A ten-year study of more than 4,400 people who reported “consuming at least one artificially-sweetened drink daily were nearly three times more likely to have an ischemic stroke caused by blood vessel blockage, and/or to be diagnosed with dementia due to Alzheimer’s” Chemically-developed sweeteners (saccharin, aspartame, etc, but not stevia, which comes from a plant) show only correlation, not causation, but the study is relevant. [WASHINGTON POST – Apr 21, 17]
  • THERE’S ALSO ACTUALLY SORTOF GOOD HEALTH NEWS, if you’re into ‘recycling’ of sorts. “Scientists at several U.S. universities revealed that eating boogers can improve dental hygiene and overall good health, thanks to their ‘rich reservoir’ of good bacteria… Also a Danish brewery has launched a beer made with barley fermented in human urine.” [THE WEEK – May 19, 17]
  • SUMMER SUN CAUTION: Skin cancer stats now show one in every three is malignant, basal cell carcinoma is now “more common than all other human malignancies combined, and 10,000 Americans dies annually from melanoma… But most sunscreens are failing to deliver adequate protection, with over 2/3 appearing to increase free radicals and deactivate antioxidant systems which may contribute to skin cancer risk.” A major culprit is SPF – a misleading marketing pitch! ‘Sun Protection Factor’ may help prevent sunburn by blocking UVB rays that affect the superficial epidermis skin layer, but “do nothing to block UVA radiation which causes suppressed immunity and fosters skin cancer, as well as accelerates skin aging.” Additionally, (1) most don’t bother with sunscreen at all on cloudy days, but about 80% of ultraviolet light penetrates cloud cover; (2) many apply less than half the recommended amount and/or assume it’s unnecessary for under an hour exposure, while “only a few minutes exposure can alter skin structure”; and (3) SPF ratings give a false sense of security: “100 SPF provides just 1% more UV protection than 50 SPF, although the higher rating encourages longer exposure.” [LIFE EXTENSION – June 17]

     Mexican drug cartels, which now sell some $25 billion yearly in the U.S., have led Mexico to become second only to Syria as the “deadliest conflict zone in the world,” with over 23,000 killed last year – more than died violently in Iraq or Afghanistan.