Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tips on Protecting Your Data From Identity Theft

Professionals are targets for identity theft as they generally have some savings, lots of important documents, and do a lot of mailing. Identity theft is growing with according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics 16.6 million people becoming victims every your. There are ways to protect your data to ensure that you are minimizing the damage. Taking a few preventative actions can help but won't get rid of theft.

There are no fool proof systems of protecting your data other than to not have any which is something pretty difficult to do. Mistakes are always made. Recently I went to a mall and within a few minutes someone grabbed my backpack out the backdoor of my vehicle. It didn't take them but a few seconds and I immediately went into damage control mode calling the police and my bank.

One of the best ways is to get a shredder and never put important documents in the waste basket. Criminals will dig through the garbage in order to get documents. They are seeking your social security number, old checks, bank account information and other documents that can help them get some of your money.

Don't always trust the people you know. Roommates, family, friends, and neighbors are some of the biggest perpetrators. They take advantage of your niceness and closeness to get documents. Even if they didn't start out this way they will inevitably come across something they can monetize on and could eventually steal it. Try and keep important documents locked away and out of site.

Don't expect these issues to get resolved and if you do happen to find out who did don't expect any remorse. Police departments are flooded with these issues and many times they cross state and national borders. When they are resolved confronting the person does no good because they cannot see what they did as wrong. More likely they will blame you. The best defense is be proactive with your documents.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Conferences and Tourism Success in San Diego

Most major tourist destinations have conference centers that act as an avenue for drawing in new visitors and interested investments. The type of conferences will determine the success of a diligent conference schedule. Beyond putting a city on the map it also helps brand an area to the rest of the world who come to know the genre of a place. Even though almost all conferences are beneficial the ones that support local industries have multiple advantages.

Consider why conference locations are chosen. One isn't going to offer a conference on palm tree conservation in Northern Alaska unless they discovered a way to grow it in wet and cold soil. Therefore, conferences should be related to the local competencies and businesses to create the greatest impact. People  want to come to what San Diego has to offer.

To do this well means that leaders must understand the local economy and try and highlight those conferences that will spur local economic growth. For example biotech, technology, higher education, conservation, green technology, water, and the military are a few that would work locally. Others that relate to core competencies are also possible.

Conferences offer an opportunity for people to shake hands and to pass out cards. It is where industry leaders make contacts and learn about emerging technologies. Small and large businesses show what they have to offer and share ideas for future development. Making sure that San Diego attracts those conferences that have the most benefits can be helpful in the long-run.

Getting those people to stay in San Diego for a while offers multiple layers of benefits. They stay and spend money locally but also meet local industry leaders. Once they leave with some new ideas they have an incentive to come back to San Diego to capitalize on some of the contacts they have made. Sometimes this might be a new product, partnership, investment, or shared services agreement.

The Benefits of Dining Like Our Ancestors-Fish!

You stand on a rock in a stream and look out over the horizon at the miles upon miles of clear tree tops. Looking back at the water you notice the swirls of sand that indicate a moving fish. With a quick pluck of the fingers and an outward scoop you fling a breeding bass onto the shore. Our ancestors knew the benefits of eating fish an perfected the art of fishing first by using their hands, and then tools and boats.

The good news is you don't need to stand out in the wild with your buckskin trousers and hatchet to get the same benefits. Not that there isn't something about doing that and I must admit growing up in the U.P. of Michigan I got pretty good at plucking fish out of shallow streams. More difficult than you think because you got to find the right spot, angle, shadow, and river bend to make it work.

Today most people buy their fish at the supper market and it still holds all the great benefits it did for our ancestors. The American Heart Association recommends that we eat at least two servings a week. It has been known to reduce the risk of heart disease, help inflammation, balance weight loss, improves brain function and reduce risks of cancer.

Fish comes in man different forms and varieties. Particularly popular right now is sushi which has all the advantages of fresh fish. There is also baked, boiled an grilled. Most restaurants offer a large selection of fish. Consider swapping out some of the meat you have become accustomed with to fish to better protect your body from diseases.

Ideation Through Teamwork

Ideas don't come from no where but instead live in a context of other thoughts and knowledge. Creative cultures and people bounce new thoughts and discoveries off of each other creating the right environment for innovative breakthroughs. One idea is adapted through the man mental frameworks of a team to create something that can have tangible value on the market. Having the right people on the team can make a huge difference in its innovative capacities.

Innovative teams have value on the market. They are able to adapt and react to complex, turbulent and ever changing environments faster than others (Andres, et. al. 2015). Their ability to understand problems and create novel solutions makes them more adaptable than other teams that are focus on more rigidly defined methods.

Innovation Team Characteristics:

-Education/Experience: It is difficult for teams to understand problems unless they have education, experience or both with the subject in question.

-Diversity of Backgrounds: Understanding the subject can come from multiple industries and backgrounds that help in creating unique solutions.

-Egalitarian Approaches: Team members will need to feel like valued members and able to express their opinions.

-Creative Mindset: Participants should have artistic, scientific, creative, and expressive backgrounds to think about issues in new ways.

-Scientific Approach: Are able to investigate and explore an issue scientifically to come to important conclusions.

-Business Experience: Has enough business experience to know which ideas and products can result in profit. 

Andres, M. et. al. (2015). Could innovation teams provide the necessary flexibility to compete in the current context? Cuadernos de Gestion, 15 (1).

Advanced Employee Disciplinary Processes

Policies can be good or bad but are generally processes and modes of handling situations when they arise. All organizations have policies and procedures that help them understand and guide work behaviors. In most cases the punishments are punitive by nature and should be used with great care to ensure the end result is positive. It is necessary to have a human element and checks/balances to ensure decisions are accurate and based on sound logic.

The most common disciplinary method is progressive by nature and includes threats of termination that can be less effective than structured achievements in meeting goals (Miller, 2014). There are times when the standard punish all that come across the managers desk doesn't work. The approach is counter intuitive and can sometimes lead to lost capital.

There is no such thing as perfect policies and procedures as they consistently run a course and don't often include a value judgement. Ensuring appropriate checks and balances along with human intervention can make a difference in the eventual outcome. Without that intervention the organization could be hurting itself in the long run.

I worked in labor relations for a number of years and I could not count the amount of times an angry manager came with spotty evidence of poor performance and demanded either termination or heavy discipline. Their anger and behaviors were based more in their perception and personality than in any employee violation.

When both sides of the argument was heard and a little time in understanding the "facts" of the case was invested it was the managers who needed discipline. Training was weak, policies were enforced subjectively, there were multiple complaints, turn over was high, customer satisfaction was low, and despite all this the manager continued to rant and rave.

We know that employees can be wrong and in most cases a good dose of discipline is helpful; but it isn't always helpful. If the employee was following what was expected by the culture of a department, manager's poor direction, did what was logical based on the training available, and sought to do his/her job, punishment is counter intuitive and destructive.

Unfortunately the "hot shot" manager sometimes continues down his/her path with all the executive support they need because they know how to play the metrics game. This is where they look good on paper but inadvertently rip the fabric of the department apart. People lose trust, leave, and move into defensive mode. The managers incessant need to be right and in control takes its toll.

A few years later and it becomes apparent how poor the manager actually was. All the skill, knowledge, and resources lost on poor management and improper applications of policies & procedures. X should not always result in Y. High performance disciplinary processes should always seek to understanding first, apply discipline when appropriate, seek routes to positively reinforce positive behavior, and make human judgement calls when the policies don't work.

Miller, L. (2014). Its time to rebrand progressive discipline to structured achievements. The Journal of Medical Practice Management, 29 (5).