• THE NEW YEAR BRINGS OPPORTUNITY FOR TEAM MOTIVATION THROUGH STRATEGIC BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS. Studies consistently show that “people are more stimulated by intangibles like being given responsibility, appreciation, being listened to and respected,” so inclusion in forward-thinking sessions can promote better communications and improve team synergy, as well as often generating innovative and productive strategies. When properly structured, effective sessions can also “breathe life into old timers and help Millennials develop a sense of purpose.” The key is ensuring “respectfulness of ideas not normally heard” from those often closest to the firing line, without domination by or skepticism from bosses. Critical elements include: (1) relaxed atmosphere; (2) skilled facilitation by an independent leader (like DCG); ‘outside the box’ ideas from any participant without fear of ridicule or adverse repercussions; (4) no phones, tablets or other diversions. Our experience is that even short sessions – often over catered lunch – can spark great results.   [BARRYEISEN.COM NWSLTR – Dec 2, 14] 
  • COMING SOON: SMARTPHONE SUGGESTIONS WITHOUT ASKING! ‘Predictive Intelligence’ (aka ‘Anticipatory Computing’) delivers information when it deems you need it, based on data it finds on its own in your mobile device. Google now already does this when – unbidden – it calls up a bus timetable as you approach a bus stop, or delivers sports scores after determining your favorite teams.  Apple, Microsoft and other small firms are also expanding this technology “to draw on more sources of data beyond the current analyses of browsing history, email calendar and location,” and into workplace situations like “highlighting relevant documents at the moment you need them,” including legal and medical arenas. The objective is efficiency, but the line between usefulness and creepiness is bound to intensify.  [ECONOMIST –The World in 2015]
  • OTHER CHANGES ON THE WAY:  Shorter-hours work culture. Pressured by both millennial workers for whom life/balance is an absolute priority, and by older workers “exhausted by the tyranny of technology,” top companies are returning to ‘normal’ work-hours. The result should and could be operation of Parkinson’s law where work contracts to fit the time available, with “fewer pointless initiatives & meetings, shorter memos where three bullet points are enough, less unwieldy performance reviews, …where getting work done by a reasonable hour will not be a sign of slacking but that you are working efficiently… and office productivity, which has stubbornly refused to rise much despite advances in technology, will jump upwards.”   [ECONOMIST –The World in 2015]   
  •      Also, Women with young children serving in senior positions will “increase dramatically over the next decade.” These working mothers “in roles traditionally associated with significant after-hour social obligations… will not be relying on the conventional economic, physical and psychological support structures associated with marriage.”  Companies which fail to position for the impacts of this trend on culture, practices & benefits will have difficulty “attracting and retaining top female talent.”  DCG can help your organization be ready.  [INTERCHANGE GROUP NEWSLTR – Dec 1, 14] 
  • LATEST COMPUTER SCAMS ARE VIDEOS which “seem legit at first look with a thumbnail pretending to be hosted on YouTube, but clicking it installs a malware on your PC. “Recent fake scams on the web, especially on Facebook,” caught attention with captions including ‘Naked Woman Eaten by Shark’ and ‘Missing Malaysia Jet found in Bermuda Triangle.’   [HACKREAD.Com – Nov 20, 14]
  • TEACHERS IN THE U.S., on average, work 52 hours per week between contract classtime and home time planning lessons, grading papers & essays, etc. While teaching jobs are “as high stress as air-traffic controllers, firefighters or pilots,” they pay 14% less that people in other professions requiring similar education & training levels. Big surprise that a third leave teaching within three years and close to half within five years, according to a Univ. of Pennsylvania study. Yet surveys also reveal that “teachers are second only to military personnel as the occupation that contributes most to society’s well being.” Give your kids’ teacher a holiday smile and a nice gift.   [LEVINE BREAKING NEWS – Dec 7, 14]