Just in Case it Matters to You
- THE INTERNET SPECIALIZES IN DISENTANGLING THE BUNDLES OF PREVIOUS CENTURIES, whether cable TV, local newspapers or department stores. Now, with the pandemic shuttering face-to-face economy, it seems poised to weaken the special relationship between work & home… with up to 20% of the workforce remaining entirely remote, and leading to surprising & significant changes impacting America’s economic, cultural & political future”: (1) Tech giants (Google/Facebook/Twitter) have told staff to plan working at home perhaps indefinitely, affecting some 30 million workers in restaurants, transportation, building & grounds maintenance, along with office & residential real estate markets; (2) Remote work will impact social relationships as “connection to the Office weakens and expands to the outside world… where online communications can be a minefield of mutual understanding, when people are as close to communities on LinkedIn/Twitter/Instagram as to Slack messages and/or chats with bosses… and lovable yet complicated colleagues can be reduced to annoying abstractions”; (3) “Superstar-city exodus will reshape politics, as young middle-aged, college educated, white-collar workers from urban areas – the demographic sweet spot for liberal voting behavior – shift to the conservative Sun and Rust Belts… and could more easily win elections.” Along with other western countries, America’s future is quite likely to change dramatically. [THE ATLANTIC – 8/6/20]
- “THE 10 BIGGEST WESITES SPREADING HEALTH MISINFORMATION THROUGH FACEBOOK had four times as many view as the 10th largest health bodies, which include CDC and WHO… 84% of medical misinformation posts were left up with no warning label, despite the platform’s ‘policy’ to counter bogus claims,” based on a U.S. non-profit report covering 174 pieces of content (3rd-party fact-checked) which found the bogus info viewed 3.8 billion times across U.S. & Europe, “posing a major threat to public health.” [BUSINESS INSIDER – 8/19/20]
- IN ABSENCE OF ‘CUES’ FROM FACE-T0-FACE MEETINGS IN PERSON OR ZOOM & TEAM MEETUPS which have emerged as an efficient, if less effective substitute, the default mechanism for business negotiation has become email/ text/ chat/ instant messaging. “Given the ubiquity of e-communication which can convey ‘negative tone,’ it’s important to be proactive about cultivating and enhancing style versus relying on ‘gut instinct or autopilot; otherwise what works well in face-to-face encounters may be misinterpreted… People also behave differently when not face-to-face and often more presumptuous, conveying the impression that they are entitled and not easy to work with – a problem in negotiation because excessive pride or hubris…impacts impressions of people, quickly developed on the basis of very limited information – often within minutes or seconds of composing & sending a message or email, as the recipient is already forming a character sketch of the sender’s personality.” For optimal level of effectiveness in e-communication: (1) Be aware that Social engagement is best achieved by avoiding use of the royal ‘we’ or ‘I’ which can be perceived as a reflection of dominance; (2) Influence Task appointment utilizing action verbs – words like talk, meet, align; (3) Avoiding negative-toned phrases like ‘I don’t think’ or ‘this is a problem’ which “create a gloomy tone such that everything following will be viewed negatively. Aim for a 2:1 ratio in positive imaging”; (4) For important written communications, Double check before clicking send. [KELLOGG NORTHWESTERN INSIGHT – 7/14/20]
- AS EXCITING AS HIGH U.S. STOCK MARKET LEVELS REMAIN, they are not a prominent factor in global economic forecasts which remain relatively low. Beyond the profound impacts of recovery from Covid pandemic, downside risk uncertainties have become so broad as to make predictions within rational ranges increasingly unreliable. Principal factors are: (1) Weather-related risks from climate change – increasing frequency in tropical storms, hurricanes, drought, heatwaves, wildfires & floods which endanger health and economic outcomes; (2) Intensifying social unrest – erosion of trust in established institutions and reliability of information (from politicians & media), governing process, structures & integrity, (3) Rising political tensions & friction – from disrupted oil supply, higher tariff barriers, imperiled supply chains, ‘protectionist acts’ based on national security or currency grounds, all impacting business investment. American businesses are headed forward in totally uncharted territory, and reality-based business strategy has never been more critical; DCG have decades of experience in strategic guidance. Call us for courtesy consultation. [I.M.F. WORLD OUTLOOK REPORT]
- THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK:
The only ‘certainty’ in a financial forecast or projection is that every single number is wrong. The focus in reviewing is to attempt – in light of the Assumptions upon which numbers are presented – to guesstimate the degree of how wrong!