• IN AROUND THREE YEARS, GENERATION Z KIDS are projected to represent 1/3 of the U.S. population and 1/5 of our workforce. Also known as the Apps Generation, iGeneration, Plurals, and Post-Millennials, their perspectives on life and work have been shaped by parenting trends, by the widespread use of technology, and by social-media more so than interpersonal interactions. Major influences guiding their development include the continuing economic recession, the War on Terror, and legalization of gambling, recreational drugs, gay marriage and other previously considered moral issues; but the most significant factor is that Gen Z kids “haven’t known a world without the internet or smartphone. They are considered to be the first truly ‘digital native’ generation, having grown up in a highly-connected world with access to a variety of devices…which process information quickly. They have shorter attention spans, but are experts at efficiently multitasking while rapidly sorting through large amounts of data, even with multiple distractions.” Developing company policies to recruit, motivate and retain this new breed of employee has now become a critical factor in management.     [AICPA INSIGHTS – Aug 29, 17]
  • AS TOUGH AS FINDING AND HIRING GOOD EMPLOYEES HAS BECOME, initially assimilating new personnel into a company can be tougher, and failure to provide effective orientation can result in immediate loss of motivation. The initial days and weeks are a “highly-impressionable period” which typically plays a critical role in their perception of managers and company culture which “directly affects their long-term engagement, retention and performance.” To optimize the likelihood of a positive start: (1) Commitment of execs and line managers is mandatory, not just HR; (2) Onboarding strategies should be advance-planned to avoid practices which new personnel may feel are “arbitrary, untimely, uncoordinated,” or simply lame; (3) Wasting initial meeting time with administrative matters which can be easily off-lined has a high likelihood of negative reaction; Focus should instead be on “organizational values, culture and in helping establish bonds” within the team; (4) Emphasis should provide structured information & guidance to meet their expectations for career development and opportunities.    [INTERCHANGE- GROUP – August 21, 17]
  • ‘BLOCKCHAIN’ TECHNOLOGY, ALSO CALLED ‘DISTRIBUTED LEDGER TECHNOLOGY’ is being touted as a mechanism which “in the long term may revamp business, government and even society itself, just as surely as the Internet did last century and double-entry bookkeeping did centuries earlier.” In simplest terms, Blockchain is a kind of ledger which can track information “using complex mathematical functions to arrive at a definitive record of who owns what and when. Properly applied, it can help assure data integrity, maintain auditable records, and render financial contracts into programmable software… effectively providing a verifiable cryptographic receipt of any transaction that is accessible to everyone and controlled by no one… all without needing a third party or middleman like a bank.” All well & good except that the initial major Blockchain networks (Bitcoin and Ethereum) have now been deployed to power a new ‘asset class’ where investors are speculating with ‘tokens’ called e-coins, marketed through ‘initial coin offerings’ (ICOs) to “fund, track and participate in a miniature, virtualized, in-app economy… which has attracted absurdly inflated valuations that have inspired endless comparisons to the ‘dotcom’ era… Cryptocurrency is shockingly easy to steal” and valuations most certainly a ‘balloon’ likely to eventually pop. Just beware.  [FORTUNE – Sep 1, 17]
  • WHETHER FROZEN HUMAN BODIES CAN ULTIMATELY BE “THAWED AND REANIMATED at a cellular level, preferably without too many epigenetic changes” is far from technologically viable. However, for the first time, Chinese scientists/ physicians/technicians have now ‘cryogenically frozen’ a woman (who died at age 49 from lung cancer). The procedure – described as a “Life Preservation Project – utilized 2000 liters of liquid nitrogen to put the body “into a stable state where it won’t be decaying, but also won’t suffer damage… Cryogenics caters to the idea that death is a continuing process which can ultimately be reversed… and belief that death is a grey area and more of a process than a definite & final event.”  [FUTURISM .COM – Aug 20, 17]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Taxicabs are almost dinosaurs. Business travelers are currently using Uber & Lyft around 63% of the time, and renting autos 29% if their trips. That leaves 8% for taxis.

          PC on the rampage: A Memphis theater cancelled their annual showing of Gone With the Wind because it’s “depiction of plantation life was insensitive to a large segment of the local population… It must be exhausting to have to constantly assess whether you can enjoy a piece of art or entertainment based not on its merits, but on whether it and its creators echo your politics and values. Under those rules could/should you listen to another nocturne by Chopin (an anti-Semite), look at a painting by Gauguin (who slept with underage Tahitian girls), or watch a movie by Hitchcock (who harassed and abused his female leads)?”   [THE WEEK – Sep 8, 17]