• LONG-TERM PLANNING IS A CRITICAL FACTOR NEGLECTED BY MANY BUSINESS OWNERS, a process of: (1) Developing a time-targeted ‘Exit’ program, including Estate Planning aspects of ownership, company & family continuity, and positioning for optimal taxation impacts; then (2) Developing a ‘Succession’ Plan for the business by assessing existing employees as the future leaders, with a time-targeted program for promoting development & retention of those with most potential. Failing to plan is planning to fail. DCG have decades of experience in these areas; let us guide you.
  •  HUMAN BEINGS HAVE BUILT-IN COGNITIVE BIASES WHICH DISTORT the way we collect & process information, and color our judgment in most decision-making. When strategic or financial choices are involved, adverse impacts too often result from (1) over-optimism about the likelihood of success (especially ‘hockey stick’ forecasts; (2) overconfidence leading to under-estimation of challenges; and (3) overemphasis on avoiding losses which leads to inaction. Decisions with an element of risk (all strategic ones) then typically face the conflict between risk avoidance and “expectation of both the outcome and the value of utility placed on it… Executives tend to evaluate every option as a change from a reference point – usually the status quo – rather than just one of many possibilities for gain or loss over time across the organization… Reality is that most of the phenomena commonly grouped under the label of ‘risk’ aversion actually reflect ‘loss’ aversion.” [McKINSEY CLASSIC – Apr 17]
  • NEWEST SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY NOW ALLOWS CLONING OF ANY VOICE based on only five minutes of speech retrieved online, by storing “slivers of recorded speech a mere five milliseconds long, each annotated with a precise pitch that can be shuffled together to make new words and tweaked individually.” This effectively renders voice-biometrics systems (like banks use to authorize account access) “now deeply, fundamentally insecure…with enormous potential for disinformation… It is easy to imagine the mayhem that might be created in a world which makes it easy to put authentic-sounding words into the mouths of adversaries – be they pranksters, colleagues or heads of state.” [THE ECONOMIST – Apr 22, 17]
  • MANY BUSINESS EXECS AND HEADS OF STATE SAY THEY MANAGE ON LITTLE OR NO SLEEP. President Trump claims four hours a night. Obama claimed five hours. But researchers have found that “a lack of proper sleep can weaken the immune system, increase risk for infectious illness, fatigue & depression, with 10% increased risk of mortality.” In the workforce, absence of sleep also leads to absenteeism, with an estimated 1.2 million missed working days annually in America – a projected economic cost of over $400 billion. Supposedly, changing sleep habits to “between six and seven hours nightly could add $226 billion to the U.S. economy.”  [THE WASHINGTON POST – Nov 30, 16]
  • SEXUAL HARASSMENT CLAIMS HAVE BECOME COMMONPLACE in the business-world, for the most-part bogus in a high proportion of cases. Protective steps to at least minimize liability include: (1) maintaining and distributing updated handbooks to recite written anti-harassment policies and complaint process; (2) prompt investigation of all complaints; (3) conducting formalized harassment prevention training; (4) displaying current posters of mandated notices; (5) if over 50 workers, providing formalized supervisor training; and (6) obtaining legal counsel before taking corrective action steps. [SIEFFLAW BULLETIN – Apr 26, 17]
  • “DOGGED PERSISTANCE IS KEY TO CREATIVE SUCCESS… The more creative the task, the more people underestimate the value of persistence,” according to researchers at Northwestern University. Experiments found that by ignoring the feeling of ‘I’m stuck,’ and plodding on even after “hitting a wall… there’s good reason to believe that there are better solutions — James Dyson developed 5,127 prototypes in his quest to invent a better vacuum.” [KELLOGG – Spring/Summer 17]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: “History may be read as the story of the magnificent rearguard action fought during several thousand years by dogma against curiosity.”   – Robert Lynd

      A real-life electric flying automobile is now functional: https://futurism.com/a-real-life-all-electric-flying-car-just-took-off/

      Americans are now migrating fastest to the western states: Arizona, then Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah & Washington. Phoenix grew by an average of 222 people daily last year. Chicago has led the nation in people leaving over the past three years, with a net loss of more than 21,000 last year alone.

      A truly amazing juggling act – atop, while playing, a violin: https://biggeekdad.com/2014/03/amazing-violin-balancing-act/