Just in Case it Matters to You
Weekly Report 18-11
- “TRADITIONAL WAYS OF CONDUCTING BUSINESS AND PLANNING NO LONGER WORK. Today’s environment requires an approach that anticipates sophisticated maneuvers from underdog competitors and enables organizations to adjust strategies on the fly… 3 to 5 year Business Plans – once a staple of good governance – are a thing of the past, as disruption increases and change quickens… The process of innovation needs to be recognized as a “culture shift that extends into every part of the business,” with focus on Creativity at all levels, along with prioritized interaction between employee teams – who, otherwise, tend to work in ‘silos.’ With high risk of both stagnancy and being eclipsed by competitors, continuous Strategic Planning is a critical factor in maintaining profitability, stability, and too often survivability in today’s environment. DCG have decades of experience in helping businesses develop and implement direction; call us before your reality check bounces. [CORPORATE BOARD MEMBER – Mar 9, 18]
- AMERICANS HAVE BEEN ‘SHOCKED’ BY REVELATIONS OF ‘RUSSIAN MEDDLING’ in the 2016 election. The political hoopla, and waste of time & funding which has been focused on the Kremlin’s hacking, social media mischief and media leaking confirms success of their strategy – effectively having created confusion and discord among naïve Americans. But the pronouncements of our Talking Heads about this being “an unprecedented attack on democracy!” is absurd. Reality is that our own government has overtly and covertly long practiced these same tactics to influence foreign elections for decades. In fact, many were most like invented by the CIA when it was formed after WWII, which “helped directly overthrow elected leaders in Iran & Guatemala in the 1950s, back violent coups in several countries in the 1960s, plot assassinations and support brutal anti-Communist governments in Latin America, Africa and Asia.” A Carnegie Mellon study found more than double the number of U.S. overt election-influence operations than Russia, not counting the covert stuff in recent decades. “The Russian campaign in 2016 was fundamentally old school espionage, even if it exploited new technologies.” [NEW YORK TIMES – Feb 12, 18]
- OVER 40% OF CYBER-ATTACKS TARGET SMALL BUSINESSES, from which over six in ten fail to survive the ramifications –beyond direct financial loss, costs of responding to a hack can involve legal fees, investigation, stolen intellectual property, wasted management & staff time and stress, lost productivity, diminution of competitive position, and reputational damage. Business cybersecurity is not a rocket-science matter. Dennis recently co-presented a webinar discussing why breaches happen (predominantly from human failure), and that 80% of attacks are preventable by relatively simple & cost-effective action plans to implement a practical cybersecurity program. https://securethevillage.org/information-security-management-webinars Also, be aware that acquiring personal passwords on the dark web now cost below $10 for accounts like Amazon, Walmart, Netflix; just above $15 for an Apple I.D. or Macy’s card; and only $247 for your PalPal account.
- THE NEW FEDERAL TAX LAW RESCUED TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS HELD OVERSEAS by American corporations, since the ‘repatriation’ rate was dropped to 15%. Rationale and expectation was that influx of these funds would be invested in U.S. plants, equipment, workers and expansion programs to regain our global competitiveness. Congress balked however at stipulating these objectives as a condition. So – surprise, surprise – most of the windfall is not being spent on wages or investment, but on ‘buying back’ their own corporate shares from investors. Last month, nearly a hundred companies (including CISCO, Alphabet, Lowes, PepsiCo and Applied Materials) announced over $178 billion in self-share purchases which provide the remaining shareholders with increased percentage ownership, largest ever in any quarter. [THE WEEK – March 9, 18]
- “CANCER IS THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN AMERICA and, if most headlines are to be believed, there is generally a single entity of a person’s lifestyle that, if altered in a specific way, can stave off onset of the disease” (bacon, beer, calcium supplements, fluoride, sugar, etc. etc). However, “decades of science have indicated that most cancers are complex, caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors… According to the American Cancer Society, more than 300 activities and substances could cause cancer, and nearly the same number that could prevent it.” So no one is really sure, but most scientists & physicians are in agreement that fruits, vegetables, exercise and healthy lifestyle, while avoiding high-carb diets and obesity, are positive steps. Also, researchers at Yale just reported that a 6½ year study of over 800 cancer patients (who’d already been treated with surgery & chemotherapy) found 57% improvement in overall survival when they consumed at least 2-oz weekly of tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans). [FUTURISM.COM – Mar 5, 18 and YALE.EDU – Feb 28, 18]
- THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Truly awesome stunt videos: https://1funny.com/best-videos-of-the-year-2017-people-are-awesome/