• SMARTPHONES APPEAR TO CONTRIBUTE TO ADOLESCENT ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION. Scientific evidence supports the idea that “social media can inspire malaise,” and research on data from over 500,000 teens & millennials found mental troubles more likely from those who spent more time on new media than from those who “used screens less, spending time playing sport, doing homework or socializing with friends.” Other studies suggest that of the 75% with access to a smartphone, millennials check the device on average more than 150 times a day. Combined with rising suicide rates for 15-19 year olds over the last decade since the iPhone was introduced (nearly 1/3 for boys and doubling for girls), “psychologists are striving to understand whether this merely coincides with the rise of social media, or whether something causative is happening.” [THE ECONOMIST – Nov 25, 17]
  • PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT CUSTOMARILY INVOLVES A YEARLY RITUAL of evaluating, rating & ranking which “epitomizes the absurdities of corporate life – time consuming, excessively subjective, demotivating and ultimately unhelpful, while doing little to improve (and even undermine) performance of employees who struggle with ratings, worry about compensation, and try to make sense of the feedback.” A continuing trend, especially for technology companies, is now towards continual feedback & coaching, with real-time analytic focus on ‘over-performers’ at the top and ‘under-performers’ at bottom of the bell  curve, versus “shades of differential performance among the majority of employees for whom annual ratings rituals will not develop the workforce overall.”  The trend is further doing away with direct linking of pay to individual performance, instead offering competitive base salary and bonuses linked to the Company’s overall performance – leaving employees “free to focus on doing great work, to develop and even make mistakes, without having the worry about the implications of marginal rating differences on their own comp… driving real motivation through feelings like autonomy, mastery and purpose.”  [McKINSEY QTRLY – May 2016]
  • A REMINDER THAT ‘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 letting 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. 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.
  • COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY (CT) SCANS ARE A KEYSTONE OF MODERN MEDICINE, but every year in the U.S. some 80 million CT scans send radioactive doses at exposure levels way in excess of amounts considered linked to cancer risk. It turns out that “radiation exposure can vary profoundly among CT facilities – up to 100 times more than necessary” – so (1) Don’t rush to get scanned, particularly in urgent care or ERs where researchers have found “that only 6% of scans given to people after fainting showed anything abnormal”; and (2) ask the technician for ‘lowest effective dose.’   [MENS HEALTH – Dec 17]
  • 2017 CALIFORNIA P.C. FOLLIES INCLUDED: a lawsuit against Los Angeles Pierce College, for preventing a student from distributing Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution “because he was outside the .003% campus-designated-free-speech-zone”; ‘Sanctuary City’ status for Malibu, adopted after a Councilwoman’s motion argument for “protection of illegal immigrants since our city depends on a Hispanic population to support our comfortable lifestyle”; legislation that Caregivers in the state who “willfully & repeatedly fail to use a resident’s preferred name or pronouns” can now be jailed; and San Francisco officials surprised that “so many small businesses have closed and restaurants have died-off,” since the minimum hourly wage has not yet reached its $15 destination. [WASHINGTON POST – Nov 22, 17]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:  “A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.  A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.”

     Difficult communication:  A millennial job interview  https://vimeo.com/239050403/cdd07b248e

     JUST  IMPOSSIBLE Rubik Cube ‘magic’ (watch to the end)?!   https://www.youtube.com/embed/PFA-RmV_wG0