• “TECHNOLOGY COMBINED WITH ‘FREELANCE’ WORKERS are supplying luxuries once reserved for the wealthy”: chauffeurs, cleaners, fresh-delivered groceries, lawyers, even doctor house calls. Beyond the more than 50 million Americans already working in freelance manufacturing capacities, some 9.3 million new ‘service workers’ are now available for hire (mostly online) through 3.7 million companies – “providing a way for people who have money but no time to trade with those who have time but no money.” The good news is that freedom from daily full-time employment commitment provides life/balance salvation for many, and a growing ‘On Demand’ economy “allows society to tap into its under-used resources, including spare brain capacity.” The tradeoff is that this “clearly imposes more risk on individuals to master multiple skills and keep them up to date… along with becoming responsible for their own pensions & health care; and as risks borne by companies are being pushed back on to individuals, that has consequences for everybody.”  [THE ECONOMIST – Jan 3, 15]
  • YET TECHNOLOGY CONTINUES TO MARKEDLY IMPROVE THE LIVING STANDARDS AND COMFORTS for billions, since studies show that as little as $10,000 “is the point where, on average, a global citizen can fulfill his/her basic needs and gain a toehold toward much greater possibility… Twenty years ago, most well-off U.S. citizens owned a camera, video camera, CD player, stereo, video game console, cell phone, watch, alarm clock, set of encyclopedias, world atlas, Thomas Guide, and a whole bunch of other assets that easily add up to more than $10,000 – all of which now come standard on today’s smart phones, or are available for purchase at the app store for less than a cup of coffee… In today’s exponentially enabled world, things can vanish without too much outside intervention,” thanks to technology and entrepreneurial spirit. [ABUNDANCE – Peter Diamandis] And check out the newest ‘Ambulance Drone’:  youtube.com/watch?v=y-rEI4bezWc&feature=player_detailpage&app=desktop
  • NEW YEAR LABOR LAW REMINDER: (1) Statewide minimum wage is now $9/hr but several municipalities are higher – notably San Francisco at $11.05 until May 1 then $12.25, Oakland at $11 starting March, and Berkeley $12.25 beginning October; (2) Overtime pay is mandated for work over 40 hours per week, or if over 8 hours per day, unless the employee is classified as ‘exempt’; (3) Exempt status is based on both salary level (at twice the minimum wage) and work function in “exempt duties” more than half the work-time – Licensed and ‘artistic’ professionals are usually qualified, but ‘administrative’ employees must be demonstrably doing work that is “directly related to management policies and business operations, utilizing independent discretion and judgment.” From the perspective of the State, focus is “fleshing out a ‘form over substance’ situation where an employee may possess the title of V.P.- Toxic Waste but actually spending the majority of time mopping floors.”  [CALIFORNIA CPA – Jan/Feb 15]
  • WRITING SKILLS HAVE GREATLY DISSIPATED with the evolution of e-mail, texting, spell-check and other online shortcuts. This has meaningfully impacted the accuracy, tone and clarity of business communications, making the fundamental rules for effective communication, more critical than ever. The key rules for effective writing are mostly focused on what to avoid: (1) Vague generalizations which challenge a reader to guess about meanings; (2) Confusing presentation from failing to first organize thoughts logically or setting out important points before lots of details & backup which lose reader attention; (3) Lengthy sentences describing items which could be more easily presented & comprehended in bullet point, parallel structure; (4) Negative words or expressions which can de-motivate the reader; (5) Sloppy spelling or grammar errors which give the impression of carelessness or disinterest. DCG Coaching services can help your team in the area of effective Business Writing.  But Business Writing is childplay compared to writing a Novel, which involves “three-quarters-of-a-million small decisions… choosing adjectives and adverbs and punctuation. These are molecular decisions that nobody will appreciate, for the same reason that nobody ever pays attention to a single note in a symphony in a concert hall, except when the note is false.”  [LEVINE BREAKING NEWS – Jan 2, 15]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: “Words form only 7% of our communication with anyone, including spouses. Tone of voice accounts for 38% and body language is responsible for 55% of the messages spouses receive from each other.”   – Michael Levine

          Every day, some 13% of us eat pizza. Last year, over 250 million pounds were consumed – more than 200 pizzas per American.

         Companies have been hiding secret messages in their logos and here’s the very creative proof:  http://www.sliptalk.com/creative-logos/