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Showing posts from January, 2015

Lower Oil Prices and Optimism Fueling Consumer Spending

The 4th Quarter saw a slow down of growth from 5 to 2.6% but consumer spending popped up 4.3%. This is good news as 70% of the economy functions from consumers spending. Growth might have slowed in the 4Q but people are more optimistic about their future and this can create positive signs for economic growth in the first half of this year. According to Sam Bullard a senior economist at Wells Fargo, " Sharply lower oil prices do present downside risk to business investment, but accruing benefits to the consumer in the form of lower gasoline prices should increasingly offset the near-term drag ( 1 )." As consumers save money at the pump and heat on their homes they are naturally going to spend that extra money somewhere. Americans are not great savers. Nearly 75% of people live pay check to pay check while only 25% have enough to cover 6 months of expenses ( 2 ).  If we aren't going to save that money most likely it is going to be spent somewhere. We love to eat, b

Developing Learning Teams-Lessons from the Military

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Teamwork is the bread and butter of creating stronger organizations.  Research in military teamwork and leaders can help organizations develop higher levels of functioning teams that learn and develop with each new challenge. Transformational leaders matched with learning teams can produce some of the highest outputs in performance. When developing your next team you will be wise consider a few lessons from the services. It is first beneficial to understand what a learning team is. Learning teams are capable of taking in new information and adapting to the environment around them. When these teams are capable of changing to stressors they become stronger and are more capable to solving problems in a ways that help them survive. According to a study on military teams in challenging situations  a transformational leader matched with a learning team can create positive adaptation (Di Schiena, et. al, 2013). Adaptation being the process of developing to a higher level of functioning

National Innovation Through Online Scholarship

Research is an important component of both online and ground based professorship. As matter of concern, trying to differentiate the two is dangerous as more universities move online and adjust the expectations of professors to fit online modalities. The institutions of higher learning have an important contribution to furthering knowledge through discovery and it makes no difference what modality they use. Removing this function can slow the pace of development for the nation by slowing new discoveries and innovation. The nature of that scholarship may be a little different than that which we find in the laboratories of hard sciences. The far majority of new ideas and scholarship activities don’t require a formal laboratory setting and often can be conducted in virtual format. Modern technology allows for data collection, research, and scholarly writing on a new level.  It could be argued that online tools could allow scholarship to flourish by connecting people, instituti

The Importance of Information Flow for Business Development

The flow of information helps entities integrate operations and services that lead to a more efficient system. It doesn’t matter if we are discussing a single company, a group of companies, or an entire hub of economic activity. The process of encouraging proper information transfer and collaborative problem solving is important for moving an organism to its highest state of existence.  Imagine for a moment how well your body works if your feet didn’t communicate with your brain and your brain had no way of talking to the hands. You would have a difficult time walking, grabbing items, and otherwise functioning. You would eventually starve and pass away. The same occurs in companies and economic hubs when elements can’t communicate together.  Glazer in his book Smart vs. Dumb Service Strategies: A Framework for Ebusiness Intensity discusses the importance of information flow in developing an entity for higher levels of performance (2001). He makes three distinctions where

What Can't Be Standardized in Higher Education?

Higher education is going through radical changes and struggling universities are moving online to increase their reach and balance their budgets. A number of studies have shown that standardization doesn't lessen educational quality and provides consistency in course instruction. Despite standardization there are two things that still need qualified faculty to complete effectively. Grading papers and engaging in conversation require a guiding hand to fully function as intended. Both of these course activities are based in qualitative measurements that are very difficult for automated algorithms to calculate. It takes considerable experience and human insight to understand the student's current vantage point and propose new information to push their knowledge. Each paper comes with a blend of course information, learned experience, thought processes and communication abilities. Professors must try and follow the train of thought and make judgments on the students understand

Eating Spinach for Internal Health

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Spinach is a food that every household should have on their dinner menu. Popular spinach salads, cooked spinach, and spinach recipes do more than simply taste great as they also encourage greater health. They also have health benefits for those who want to work on their insides as much as their outsides. Incorporating a little spinach into your diet will do wonders for your general health. According to Medical News Today spinach offers benefits for improving blood glucose levels, reducing cancer risks, improving blood pressure, preventing asthma and strengthening bones. The benefits of spinach move far beyond its tastes and encourage greater blood control and lower the risk of developing cardiovascular issues. Developing health eating habits is about knowledge, habit, and practice. It is not enough to know about healthy eating without implementing the practice and habituating that practice to formalize a habit. As we become familiar with what foods are healthy and which ones are

How Might the "Rich City" of San Diego Impact Talent Recruitment?

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Is San Diego a Rich Person's City? According to the article The 10 Richest Cities in America San Diego is in the top 10 cities in the nation for households that earn over $150,000. The only problem is that you have to earn $101,000 to live comfortably while that number is $75,0000 in other cities; much lower in other areas of the country. The high quality lifestyle has an advantage for living but can be prohibitive for young professionals who want to move to the area. Business thrives when motivated young adults move to the area, invest their time, and spend their money at local establishments. The price of living certainly is impacted by demand and supply. One of the most expensive aspects of living in San Diego is housing. For those who are young they are more likely going to be paying rent. In either case, the cost is prohibitive and the higher income is justified if trying to recruit young people to the area. The problem is when companies must pay this higher amount

Intuition and Science that Lead to Solutions

Science and Intuition seem like they have been at odds with each other but the more we learn about intuition the more we understand its knowledge base. There are two ways to gain insight into particular problems that can lead to a path of discovery and knowledge. Science and intuition are not opposed to each other and are based in some of the very same methodologies.  Intuition is a blend of logic, experience and subconscious ( Robinson, 2007). It is a fast paced analysis that leads to a better understanding of the environment as well as those “awe” inspiring moments that create insight. As a logic, experience and subconscious process it cannot be discounted as a valid method of understanding the world.  The process of intuition offers a way of seeing and experiencing the world that some people call the “sixth sense”. This is not a third eye as common folklore states but is similar to sensing and perceiving the world around us (Hales, 2012). It is an understanding of a sol