• COMPANY EXECS SPEND AN INORDINATE AMOUNT OF TIME RESOLVING STAFF PERSONALITY CONFLICTS. One recent Accountemps survey of 2,200 finance execs found nearly 50% spending up to a quarter of their office hours, and another 17% “dedicating up to half their workweeks to handling problems between employees.” Suggested strategies to minimize office conflict include: (1) Addressing conflict right away – not every minor issue, but where productivity is jeopardized; (2) Ensure that company culture promotes speaking their mind; (3) Show empathy which demonstrates willingness to learn from someone you disagree with; (4) Reward positive role models who contribute to a supportive work environment (with praise, promotion, choice assignments, etc.); (5) Support outside-office events that help staff get to know and trust each other. [CGMA MAGAZINE – Mar 14, 17]
  • ‘TRANSPARENCY’ – SHARING OF COMPANY INFORMATION WITH EMPLOYEES – HAS BECOME A BUSINESS MANTRA, ostensibly to “empower frontline employees and improve quality of decision making.” But excessive sharing within organizations has some downsides, including: (1) fostering debate and second-guessing of executive decisions; (2) when compensation data is involved, resulting in critical evaluation and envy among employees; (3) slowing down decisions since “the argument for transparency lies in wisdom-of-crowds effect, by broadening the number of people to achieve smarter decisions and increased buy-in – but taking longer to make decisions because so many are involved”; (4) “concern that people weigh in without relevant knowledge, or without any responsibility to see things through”; (5) Reality is that many people aren’t interested in lots of details, “nor do they want to be held fully responsible for its outputs, instead “happy for someone else to process and manage that information on their behalf.”   [McKINSEY QUARTERLY – Feb 17]
  • THE ABSOLUTE COMMON DENOMINATOR OF SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES is a deep focus on core values and culture. At the top level is Google which, after a two-year study with over 180 active teams and hundreds of interviews, concluded that “what really matters for effectiveness was less about who is on the team, and more about how the team worked together.” Their top Keys to Efficiency, in order of importance, turned out to be: (1) Psychological Safety, where teammates feel confident that mistakes, questions, or new ideas won’t result in embarrassment or punishment; (2) Reliance on Dependability – work quality & timeliness – of others; (3) Specificity, Challenge and Attainability of job expectations and consequences of performance; (4) Common Sense of purpose in either the work itself, or the output contributing to organization goals. [PETER DIAMANDIS.COM – Mar 19, 17]
  • 3D PRINTING PASSES ANOTHER HURDLE: 24-HOUR CONSTRUCTION of a complete, stylish, single-story house at cost of just over $10,000. “The only restrictions on 3D-printed designs are the laws of physics”; printed in Russia, the house has “fancy, high-tech double glazed windows with built-in climate control, a curved wall to perfectly incorporate a curved Samsung TV, and a roof lighter & thinner yet capable of withstanding tremendous amounts of snow.” The entire automated process, utilizing a giant mobile 3D printer, required “very little human intervention – which means very little chance for human error.” [3DPRINT.COM – Feb 28, 17]
  • SUPPOSEDLY THERE SHOULD BE A MILLION ‘COMPUTER JOB’ OPENINGS IN AMERICA BY 2020, according to a government study. Currently there are over a half million open, and only 60,000 students graduating with bachelor’s degrees in computer science in 2015. Meanwhile, of 270 occupations listed in the 1950 U.S. Census, only 33 occupations have “evaporated” – 32 jobs due to “loss of demand…and only one completely eliminated by automation: Elevator Operator.” [THE WEEK – Mar 31, 17]
  • FAMILY HABITS “PLAY AS VITAL A ROLE AS GENETICS in the likelihood of developing heart disease, depression, blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and other illnesses that tend to run in families.” According to a Univ. of Edinburgh study of over a half-million medical histories (including both blood & adoptive relatives), “scientists often overestimate the influence of genetics… by not fully accounting for shared family habits” – such as smoking, being sedentary, hygiene, eating poorly, health choices, etc. – although family habits did not seem to effect Alzheimer, Parkinson or Stroke.   [WEBMD MAGAZINE]   

     Worried about photos fading, books rotting, obsolete hard drives? ‘Nanostructures inside tiny glass discs’ can now supposedly preserve music/image/video for virtually eternity – up to 13.8 billion years, over three times the presumed age of the earth.

     Clever engineering design, but some people need to get a lifehttps://www.youtube.com/embed/QQ9gs-5lRKc?wmode=transparent