• SMALL BUSINESSES ARE “ENTICING TARGETS FOR HACKERS… who presume – often correctly – that controls are not as strong.” The absolutely critical factors in protecting data, after reasonable configuration of firewalls & anti-virus software, are to: (1) Establish a culture of security that includes training everyone to “understand the dangers of visiting unsafe websites, what phishing emails look like, and that one click on a nefarious link can result in a major breach”; (2) Include mobile devices in the protective system, since “many Smartphone users don’t think of their devices as powerful mini-computers which can hold a treasure-trove of valuable data”; (3) Use strong and separate passwords for business and personal systems; (4) Conduct independent analysis and periodic testing to identify vulnerabilities. DCG can help.  [JRNL OF ACCOUNTANCY – Mar 15]
  • THE BAIT-&-SWITCH BULLET TRAIN STATUS: California voters approved a $10 billion bond package six years ago, for a “train that would zip passengers from downtown LA to downtown San Francisco in 2¾ hours, at a $33 billion cost with the Fed kicking in 10%. This “costliest public-works project in U.S. history” has now morphed into (1) a $68 billion budget which could double or more, even if completed in its 15-year target; (2) diversion of the LA to SF journey to now “begin and end on slower, already-existing tracks” before connecting to higher speed rails; and (3) rerouting to a “weaving pathway through central California” where population is sparse, much of the $3 – $4 million being spent daily goes to “multiple lawsuits from farmers, residents near the projected path, environmentalists worried about carbon costs,” and opponents who believe the train will be outdated before it’s ever completed by the HYPERLOOP plan from Elon Musk (PayPal, SpaceX and TESLA founder) – which for under $10 billion purports to connect LA and SF with a 30-minute vacuum tube pod ride. Some ride for taxpayers! [THE WEEK – Feb 27, 15]
  • AS WARS AROUND THE GLOBE PROLIFERATE AND THE LIKELIHOOD OF STABILITY DETERIORATES, America’s national defense ‘strategy’ is a dramatic example of the Parkinson’s Laws: that absent effective leadership, bureaucracies expand over time to a point of inefficiency, as “the size of an organization is unrelated to actual work with which it is tasked.” In the last five years, while the Pentagon’s “civilian workforce has grown by 7%, our active-duty military personnel have been cut by roughly 8%, and dozens of military equipment & weapons programs have been cancelled.”  [FORBES – Mar 2, 15]
  • PLANNING TO RECRUIT MILLENNIALS AS BUSINESS IMPROVES? A reminder that the hiring process marches to different models than just a few years ago. Millennials, in general, feel that you need them more than they need your job and (1) expect to be ‘sold’ on why your company is right for them from a challenge and opportunity perspective; (2) will be watching for evidence of company Culture, especially evidence of ‘flow’ & ‘transparency’; (3) will be focused on the ‘efficiency’ with which your recruitment program is presented and conducted, since their time is perceived as commensurately valuable. DCG can help.
  • ‘JIHAD’ REALITY CHECK: A speech recently delivered to congress should resonate throughout the free world – particularly those who shrug off the fundamental goal of Jihadists to destroy Western civilization.   http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4527881/senator-marco-rubio-us-foreign-policy . And for those who absurdly compare the Jihadists to Crusaders: A fascinating and quick analysis of why there is no moral comparison of some 550 “relentless Jihadist wars” which took over a million Christians as slaves, and the handful of Crusades which attempted to liberate them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_To-cV94Bo
  • ABOUT CHOLESTEROL: For over four decades, red meat, egg yolks, shellfish, liver and other animal products high in ‘dietary’ cholesterol were considered bad foods, with stark government warnings about fostering heart disease. It turns out that “genetics has a much greater effect than diet” and new research has debunked this theory; the U.S. Dietary Guidelines now acknowledge “no appreciable relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol,” and put the blame for Americans’ obesity on the fact that “when told to avoid meat, dairy and fat, they increased consumption of simple carbohydrates such as sugar, white bread, pasta and processed foods – the real drivers of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.” [THE WEEK – Feb 27, 15]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:     Ready for your flying car?  It’s not far away.  http://www.aeromobil.com/video 

     Developing business measurement Metrics create incentives which bring accountability and alter behavior – but “management purely by Metrics is rightfully compared to painting by numbers – strictly for amateurs and only effective in static environments.”