•  EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS, allowed to fly with their owners on airlines, are defined as “companions which, on determination of a medical professional, provide benefit for a person with a psychological disorder, like calming post-traumatic stress or providing a sense of security for anxiety.” All that’s needed to obtain a free passenger cabin flight for their pet is a mental-health-professional letterhead describing the emotional benefit provided (and some airlines also want a veterinarian’s form confirming health & vaccination). Last year, 75% increase in pet passengers brought a comparable increase in “animal incidents – involving urination, defecation, aggressive behavior, nearby passengers affected by allergic reactions and/or flight attendants being bitten delivering drinks – which has resulted in increased scrutiny for legitimate ‘emotional support,’ but widespread abuse of the system is rampant and flyer annoyance has no end in sight. [THE ECONOMIST – Sep 15, 18]
  • “EMPLOYEE APPRAISALS THAT IMPROVE PERFORMANCE ARE ESSENTIAL TO REACHING COMPANY GOALS,” but for many organizations the process often evolves into a routine procedure that fails to motivate and wastes a great deal of time. Typically this results when once-a-year meetings focus on criticism & correction steps, while neglecting the importance of recognition & praise for positive performance with forward-motion clarity. To optimize the value of a Review process, current trends are toward: (1) Encompassing self-evaluation along with perspective from supervisors, colleagues & support teams; (2) Eliminating redundant and irrelevant categories from the forms; (3) Conducting the process more often than annually, even quarterly; (4) Ensuring that meetings are dialogues which engage authentic in-depth discussion to solicit employee input with serious responsiveness.  DCG have decades of experience in this area; we can help.  [ENTREPRENEUR – Sep 25, 18]
  • A “LUCRATIVE 2-MONTH PHISHING SEASON” THROUGH YEAR END IS UPON US. October is Nat’l Cyber Security Awareness Month when employees should be especially cautious responding to emails involving benefits enrollment, holiday events and charity campaigns. Phishing emails typically “look familiar, so people begrudgingly reply after receiving a 2nd notice, by clicking a link to some 3rd party website (like health insurer or financial institution).” But logging-in is how criminals then get keys to the company network. ADVICE: Never click directly to links in the body of an email. Instead, go directly to the website or phone the entity directly.  Cyber-protection has become a critical factor in strategic business planning and protection. DCG participates on the Leadership Council for Secure the Village, a co-presenter of CYBERSECURE LA 2018 on October 25 with the Pepperdine Graziadio Graduate School of Business (at its West LA Campus). We strongly encourage business owners to attend. https://securethevillage.org/cybersecure-los-angeles-2018
  •  COMPUTER CAPACITIES HAVE ADVANCED OVER THE PAST FIVE DECADES at a rate consistently doubling every two years, known as Moore’s Law. But the manner in which chips are now being redesigned is expected to dramatically increase this pace in the next several years with computers “moving beyond silicon chips…as processor design evolves from 3D – within the silicon, by transistor stacking, rendering to GPUs, running trained machine-learning models, and basically putting brain cycles into solving computational problems that isn’t just brute force & transistors… Moore’s law is dead.” [IMPACTLAB – Sep 24, 18]   MEANWHILE, ‘5G’ IS THE NEXT GENERATION WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY NOW ROLLING OUT. America ranks 47th globally in average mobile download speed – slower in part because of high usage, but mostly due to weaker infrastructure. A few American cities show up in the top ten (led by Minneapolis, Fort Wayne Indiana, and San Francisco), but globally Qatar, Norway & Singapore lead the pack, and even Slovenia & Romania exceed our megabits-per-second speed[FORTUNE – Sep 1, 18]
  •  CALIFORNIA’S SAFE DRINKING WATER & TOXIC ENFORCEMENT ACT WAS MODIFIED EFFECTIVE LAST MONTH for businesses with over nine employees (regardless of where stationed). It applies statewide to all real estate landowners, developers, property managers and tenants, with up to $2,500 daily penalties for violation, requiring “clear & reasonable warning prior to exposing anyone to any of some 900 chemicals which the state lists as Carcinogens or Reproductive Toxins.” Signage size and warnings in all languages used on other signs in the affected area are also stipulated. Be aware.
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: “The trouble with using Experience as a guide is that the final exam comes before the first lesson.”

     With perhaps the most critical mid-term elections ever in this country now three weeks away, the spread of misinformation is likely to be at an all-time high. The latest study by Knight Foundation reports that “over 80% of Twitter accounts linked to circulating conspiracy & false news during the 2016 election are still active.”

      The world’s first actual flying passenger car is herehttp://www.anonews.co/the-worlds-first-flying-car-is-going-on-sale-next-month/