• THE SOCIAL MEDIA AGE HAS INCREASED ‘REPUTATIONAL’ RISK FOR BUSINESSES – with many hurt by damaging YouTube videos and/or FaceBook posts. Yet a recent survey of more than 1,300 professionals found that fewer than half ever, and 28% never, “use social media feedback to help anticipate and monitor this risk.” Especially for small businesses and companies without direct consumer contact, “brand reputation is built through all relationships” – customers, employees, vendors, regulators, investors, etc… and those relationships will be absolutely critical in the ‘valuation’ of such businesses for decades to come.” DCG can assist with protective strategies including Crisis Management Plans. [JRNL OF ACCOUNTANCY – Oct 13]
  • IF YOU BELIEVE U.N. STUDIES, AMERICA CONTINUES TO DECLINE. The latest ‘WORLD HAPPINESS REPORT’ is yet another important analysis which ranks 156 nations based on citizens’ “sense of well-being, taking into account perceptions of wealth, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, the pervasiveness of corruption, and other metrics.” According to the latest, the U.S. population is 5% “sadder” today than five years ago, ranking with Pakistan, Africa & Japan. People even unhappier include Italians & Spaniards (10%), Iranians (12%) and Egyptians (22%). Denmark has been the winner for the past two years, but happier times are headed for Peru, South Korea and Ethiopia. Who knew? [BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK – Oct 7, 13]

    • Another study finds us FAILING IN WORK SKILLS. “The race between man and machine is a question of: Are you a worker for whom technology makes it possible to do a better job, or are you a worker that technology can replace?” An OECD study of 166,000 people age 16 to 65 in twenty countries reports that American adults scored below the international average on a test of routine activities – tough stuff like sorting email or comparing food expiration dates on grocery store tags – ranking with Estonia, Ireland & Poland, well behind the leaders (Japan, Australia, and Nordic countries). “It’s not just the kids who require more preparation to get access to the economy, it’s more and more the adults who don’t have the skills to stay in it… At least 10% of adults lacked the most basic of computer skills such as using a mouse… and this gap has the potential to extend into future generations, since learning is highly correlated with parents’ education levels.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS – Oct 8, 13]

  • SPEAKING OF FOOD-EXPIRATION, ‘SELL-BY’ DATES ARE SO MISLEADING that a new study by Harvard Law & Nat’l Resources Defense Council recommends eliminating them. Sell-by dates (which also utilize words like use-by, enjoy-by, or best-before, but never expiration) were “created by local & state organizations in the 1970s merely to help people know when products are freshest – not safest – and even that is basically a guess.” According to General Mills, which uses better-if-used- by labeling, dates are based on “sensory evaluations by product developers and expert tasters.” Meanwhile, up to 25% of food purchased by American families gets dumped, costing an average family of four nearly $1,600 annually. [TIME – Oct 14,13]
  • EVERY YEAR, NEARLY 80,000 AMERICANS OVERDOSE AND 150 DIE FROM TYLENOL and other pain relievers which contain acetaminophen – the country’s “leading cause of acute liver failure, from which even a small overdose (as little as two Extra Strength Tylenol tablets a day) can be deadly.” Just be aware. [THE WEEK – Oct 11, 13]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: In the event of apocalypse, U.S. Dep’t of Agriculture has stored 700,000 vials of sperm from 18 different species of domestic animals (including cows, sheep, turkeys, goats, and chickens) in a Colorado warehouse.

    “How much time one saves from not looking to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks.” – Marcus Aurelius
    “The difference between Fiction and Reality is that fiction needs to make sense…” -Tom Clancy

  • DCG-Bulltn-13-42