• GET READY FOR THE FRENCH WORKWEEK – JUST OVER 27 HOURS – soon coming to America thanks to ObamaCare. As predicted, employers are reacting to the ‘Affordable’ Care Act mandate of costly benefits for employees working over 30 hours a week by simple cutting full-time hours below this level. Several national restaurant chains (including Taco Bell, Applebees, Dennys, Olive Garden) have already done so; universities are following suit; the state of Virginia is “trying to force potentially tens of thousands of public sector employees to a 29-hour week… to save some $110 million in additional healthcare cost.” From an employer perspective, the French socialist model may get even worse since their workweek became “a leading indicator of a cultural shift…to an attitude of doing as little as possible to keep your job without working.” One major Fund recently aborted a planned investment in a Goodyear tire plant which would have saved 1000 jobs in Normandy after union workers told its diligence team proudly that “we get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three… That’s the French way.” [FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE REPT – Apr 13]
  • “CYBER CRIMINALS ARE INCREASINGLY TARGETING SMALL BUSINESSES due to their less sophisticated defenses.” According to Symantec, companies with fewer than 250 employees were hit with over 30% of cybercrime attacks last year, focused on ‘watering hole probing’ of smaller company websites “in order to gain access and use this as a springboard into a larger company. Small businesses may have less cash on hand for hackers to steal, but these companies have other data, such as customer info or intellectual property of value.” DCG can assist you in proactive protection. For a reality-check on handling risk, check out a superb conference later this month http://www.issala.org/summit/executive-summit-201/ which, as a sponsor, EXECUTIVE PERFORMANCE GROUP, a DCG partner company, invites you to attend with a 15% courtesy discount (code:SummitV_CSponsor_2545). [INFOWORLD.COM – Apr 16, 13]
  • TO BALANCE THE FEDERAL BUDGET, roughly $900 billion of combined spend cuts and revenue enhancements are required. The President’s class attack to resolve this shortfall by raising taxes on a few high-income people is a sham – the entirety of wealth (not income, much less taxes on income) of the Forbes 400 would cover maybe six-months of this deficit. Then what? “The simple truth is that our society cannot afford the promises which politicians have made,” but none want the wrath from 50% of American workers/earners for increased taxes (as the other 50% pay an effective rate of zero) or reduced entitlement programs. “Party leadership is more attuned to sounding like they care than really caring… The outcome of current fiscal posturing may be like the resolution of WWI, which set the stage for the even greater devastation of WWII. Rather than achieving a true budgetary solution, a deal will be struck via accounting gim- micks and empty promises to reform taxes and reduce government spending over the next 12 years. And these vague unenforceable bad-faith promises will ultimately come home with a vengeance in about 2020.” [LINNEMAN LETTER – Spring 13]
  • WHILE HEALTHIER FOODS ARE TRENDY, “RICH, FATTY, GOOEY EXTREME FOODS” ARE BACK TOO, as the $160 billion fast-food industry is chasing 34% of men and 23% of young women who eat out several times weekly, “only 8% of whom even say they look for healthy options.” Extreme foods which get nationally advertised include: Pizza Hut’s 3100+calorie pepperoni cheese-stuffed crust special made from 1/3 saturated fat; IHOP’s 1800+calorie country-fried steak & eggs with “nutritional value equivalent to 5 egg McMuffins sprinkled with 10 packets of sugar”; 1100+calorie Johnny Rocket milkshakes blended with a piece of apple pie; and a glazed Dunkin’ Donut which serves as the bun for its pepper-fried egg & bacon sandwich. The obesity-police certainly have a challenge since “at home, consumers are more careful about what they eat, but, at restaurants they are more indulgent.” Also, the older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fate have gotten to be good friends. [BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK – Apr 22, 13]
  • “LEADERSHIP IS A NECESSARY SKILL FOR EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT… It’s the process by which a person sets a purpose for others and motivates them to pursue that purpose with full commitment, transforming individual potential into collective performance… If well led, teams operate in alignment because each member takes the team goal as his/her own, and the leader’s effectiveness is demonstrated by their performance… in response to the values and attributes that shape the leader’s character… Leadership is a matter of how to BE, not how to do.” [CONSCIOUS BUSINESS – Fred Kofman]
  • THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality. – George Bernard Shaw