• TODAY’S EROSION OF CIVIL SOCIETY is the byproduct and unintended consequence of “addictive technologies, chronic economic stress, and greater mobility – collectively leading to erosion of community and replacement with government and corporate structures.” Where traditional communities centered around public spaces (churches, town squares, marketplaces), social centers now emanate from corporate-owned spaces which “foster 24/7 marketing and addictive technologies focusing on profit maximization, while a vast central state expands its reach into every aspect of daily life. Together these dominant large-scale hierarchies have little reason to concern themselves with erosion of the social order… but the void of social connectedness that humans need gets mourned with addiction, loneliness and early death.” The fundamental poisons fueling this condition are: (1) “Toxic social media coupled with the mass media’s dependence on hysteria, fear, group think & obsession with public-displayed self-righteousness…all requiring passive watching & clicking versus active participation in the real world; (2) Smartphones which become replacements for live communications and interactions; (3) An overly-busy life that may serve workplace & household logistic needs, but leaves no time for actual intimacy, friendship, sharing or belonging.” [ZEROHEDGE.COM – 11/3/18]
  • CREATING WORKPLACE POLICIES & BOUNDARIES THAT OUTLINE ‘PROTECTED SPEECH’ is a critical factor in maintaining productive staff performance, as well as compliance with state and federal regulations. The Employer burden begins with “encouraging a workplace of diversity & openness, while retaining Rights to require civility and to request that employees refrain from discussion that is not ‘appropriate’ in the workplace, including conversations about politics or religion…. Employee Rights specifically allow freedom to discuss wages, working hours & conditions with co-workers, provided they are not bullying, harassing or discriminating against one another… Employers should be careful to apply these rules uniformly.”  [CALIFORNIA CPA – 11/18]
  • BUSINESS EXECS SPEND OVER 60% OF TIME IN ‘MEETINGS,’ according to an extensive Harvard Business School study, including company & committee meetings attended by participants who treat them with “indifference and too often regard the time spent as a painful obligation.” Reality is that most people involved in such meetings are unprepared to effectively communicate their knowledge/wisdom/position on topics. A few tips for increasing productivity and value: (1) “Listen carefully to exchanges for the right moment to present ideas” – usually when other voices are moving either toward or away from your view; (2) “Be discreet, avoid ‘I don’t agree’ or ‘on the contrary’ openings which position you as a negative presence”; (3) Get to the point asap with one-sentence statements which define the essence of your pitch, then follow up with just a few points to develop the idea. Do not “ramble, wander or introduce an information dump” which loses listeners before they get the message; (4) End with a ‘Call to Action’ suggestion for next steps as to what other participants can or need to do, and a timeline.  [FAST COMPANY – 11/7/18]
  • “THE POWER OF SLOW THINKING” is newest theory to combat increasing violence among Chicago’s young adults. ‘Automaticity’ – acting on impulse without thinking – is a human trait which involves subconscious “assumptions about what others are thinking” which leads not only to miscommunication, but to actions “which can potentially lead to violence, and the difference between life and death.” Researchers at Univ. of Chicago are utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to so far have purportedly reduced teenage crime rates by 50% and increased graduation rates by nearly 20%. [NORTHWESTERN – Fall 18]
  • THE 2018 TAX ACT FOSTERS INVESTMENTS IN SOME 8,700 ‘DISTRESSED AREAS called ‘Qualified Opportunity Zones’ (QOZ), by allowing long-term tax incentives for acquiring and/or substantially improving tangible property – commercial buildings, equipment, apartments, and certain businesses – when acquired thru a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOFund) entity. If purchased within six months of realizing a gain on any capital asset sale/disposition, major incentives involve (1) Deferral of taxability on the current gain until 2026 (unless the Fund asset is sold earlier); and (2) Depending on time periods of re-investment & disposition (up to ten years), elimination of up to 15% of the original capital gain, plus elimination of up to 100% of any subsequent gain from disposing of the Fund property. The law is complex with regulations still in process but, if re-investing in a distressed community appeals to you, this has major upside potential. DCG can help.
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: “The ultimate effect of shielding others from failing is to fill the world with fools.”

         VERY cool time-lapse video drawing of a woman from birth to seniorhood: https://biggeekdad.com/2014/12/live-painting-timelapse/

         A sensitive perspective on the reward from simply helping making the world a better placehttps://vimeo.com/91450687