• “STRATEGIC PLANNING IS A PROCESS, NOT AN EVENT. Generating a comprehensive document only to use it as ‘show & tell,’ then collect dust on a shelf, is a waste of time & money. The Plan should be a ‘living’ document, refreshed and measured as often as market conditions competitors, technology and core assumptions can change.” Tips for optimal effectiveness in developing a Plan: (1) Let DCG facilitate the process, among participants who are relevant to forward motion and are “prepared to step out of their comfort zone of regular/recurring duties & responsibilities, in order to free-think”; and (2) Spread the ownership so that Vision and Plan are shared by all, versus “top down presentation which risks participants disconnecting from the process… if handled effectively, Strategic Plans which focus on sustained growth & profitability can become a cornerstone in a Company’s foundation.” Call DCG before your reality check bounces! [CHIEF EXECUTIVE.NET – 4/26/19]
  • “AT LEAST HALF THE TIME SPENT MAKING DECISIONS IS INEFFECTIVE” according to over 60% of 1,200 managers surveyed recently, largely resulting from “lack of real debate, an overreliance on consensus, and death-by-committee.” DCG strategies to overcome this material obstacle to productivity & profitability include: (1) Meeting facilitation or participation “with a ‘devil’s advocate’ perspective, to explore assumptions, alternatives, and actively seek information that might disconfirm initial hypotheses”; and (2) Follow up responsibility to ensure that decisions & action plans “will be fully and effectively implemented… since often people leave assuming that once there has been a show of hands or nods of agreement, the job is done – but without commitment to implement.” DCG have decades of experience in this critical factor of business success. [McKINSEY QTRLY – May 19]
  • WITH 45% OF ALL AMERICANS OVER AGE 17 NOW SINGLE, over half telling surveys that marriage is not an ‘important’ part of becoming an adult, and some 50% ending in divorce anyway, many increasingly “question the value of a legal contract that includes allusions to obedience and lifelong mutual suffering & death, along with disastrously punitive terms of dissolution… with challenge then becoming one of maintaining composure as the staggering deficits of two highly ineffectual humans come into sharper & sharper focus, while keeping a sense of humor, minimizing contempt, and increasing joint take-home pay (currently the most accurate predictor of how long a marriage will last).” So, what’s the point of marriage?  “The moments of sharing anxieties, fears, longing, even horrors… with commitment which grows, evolves and eventually transcends a Contract or Ceremony… affirming shared and separate ability to face the unknown going forward.”   [THE WEEK – 5/3/19]
  • SLEEP MEDICATIONS HAVE BEEN LINKED TO BIZARRE BEHAVIOR resulting in “falls, burns, near drowning, carbon monoxide poisoning, hypothermia, motor vehicle collisions, self-injuries including gunshot wounds, and apparent suicide attempts.” Now, after FDA review of 26-years reported cases, “strongly worded warnings” will be required on sleeping pill labels for Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata and Zolpidem, with specific warning against prescribing those drugs to anyone with ‘sleepwalking’ history. While up to a third of ‘retirement age’ people and one-in-eight with sleeping difficulty use these brands, “incidents are rare, or rarely reported – especially since individuals don’t always remember raiding the refrigerator at 3:am, or connect that behavior to the medications,” but it happens enough. [NEW YORK TIMES – 4/30/19]
  • FBI AND EUROPOL AGENTS HAVE FINALLY REACTED TO ‘DARK WEB’ CRIMINAL ACTIVITY in gun/drug/contraband sales, money laundering, terrorist recruitment & attack coordination, and other illicit transactions. This week they took down three major encrypted Dark Web sites (Deep Dot Web, Valhalla Marketplace, and Wall Street Market) which have been easily accessible for decades through Tor browser and other special software. It’s about time.  [FUTURISM – 5/8/19]  
  •  THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: An average slice of pizza contains nearly the same calories as a bowl of cereal with whole milk, and provides a “much larger protein punch.”  

   “Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places”