Trump Country – An Update Report

President Trump
President Trump, courtesy Politico

During the past five months of Trump being in charge 863,000 jobs were created. During the same period last year 955,000 jobs were added while Obama was still in office.  On July 5th this year, Gallup reported: “Last week, Americans’ confidence in the economy averaged a score of 0, the first time in the 33 full weeks since the presidential election that the index’s weekly average was not positive. ” Full Report

In a recent NYT article of Today, half of American jobs pay about $37,000 or less each year, a quarter pay about $23,000 or less, and a family of four qualifies for SNAP at $32,000 or less. No wonder just over half of all SNAP families work, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. In America, “real” poverty is not about a lack of work, but a lack of compensation.

Trump has run on a platform of addressing this issue by “Making America Great Again” by creating jobs.  So far this has not come to pass and slowly the public are losing faith in his “Art of the Deal.”

The US is in trouble it is no longer the land of the free and it is not the land of opportunity.  Our research shows that in many respects it never had been.  

National Conference of State Legislatures shares that in Oklahoma the minimum wage in 2017 is $2.00 per hour.

Oklahoma Employers of ten or more full time employees at any one location and employers with annual gross sales over $100,000 irrespective of number of full time employees are subject to federal minimum wage; all others are subject to state minimum wage of $2.00 (OK ST T. 40 § 197.5).  National Conference of State Legislatures.

How can people survive and pursue their happiness on wages like that? Meanwhile the cost of living index in Tulsa Oklahoma is only 24.42% lower than in New York City.

  • Four-person family monthly costs: 2,790.93$ without rent (using our estimator).
  • A single person monthly costs: 807.71$ without rent.
  • Cost of living index in Tulsa is 27.42% lower than in New York.
  • Cost of living rank 215th out of 507 cities in the world.

Realtor.com suggests that a 1 to 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment in Tulsa costs between $526 to $2,280 dollars per month which is of course much lower than the monthly rents in NYC $2,815 for 340 sq ft up to $22,000 for 2400 sq ft, or the San Francisco monthly rents of $2,815 for 340 sq ft to $13,500 for 2240 sq ft. The minimum wage is $9.20 to $11.00 depending on employer size in NYC and $14.00 per hour in San Francisco as of the time of this article. It is impossible to find a decent place to live on a minimum wage and it is little wonder that people who were raised believing in the American Dream are turning to suicide as a solution to their life issues at record numbers.

Housing Crisis and Fraud at all time high

Countries with a strong middle class are economically strong.  Only after owners and investor of large companies, and political policies support a strong middle class will the country stop the trend toward becoming a third world nation.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Whether you have a plan or not, you will get there.

Company who got funded
Company who got funded
Communication & culture determines business success

Whether I worked with a tiny start up like the one above, or Microsoft when they grew from 24 people to thousands, or major Fortune 1000 companies like for instance HP,  or a brand new entertainment company, it is usually easy to spot who will more likely succeed.

Ironically, it is not how breakthrough the company’s concept or the management team is on paper. It is also not the access the team has to VCs, Customers, and Vendors due to their Alma Mater, Or, even how chic their equipment and office furniture may be and how huge their marketing budget is initially.  Of course, all these factors help tremendously,  and of course without a functioning product or services success stays elusive.

What is so striking to me still, after providing strategic advice to companies during their rapid growth phase for so many years, is how much internal communications affects a company’s overall success.

I found in my many years of assisting people succeed, often from the two guys or ladies’ with an idea on a napkin at an affordable coffee shop phase to literally becoming billionaires. Quite a few of them anyhow and millionaires still count, right?  The success often hinges on the way the teams communicate with each other inside the company.  This is often an underrated success factor.

Are the founders/managers listening and hearing what their teams have to say?  Are they staying informed about what the teams are actually working on? Or, is everyone creating their own little business model without letting the rest of the team know?  Are people and their contributions valued?  Are they encouraged to contribute? Do they feel that they can grow their own career within the company by helping the company grow. Or, do they feel that their ideas are disrespected or worse stolen, are they treated like minions, do they feel used and abused.  Very often when the first or second venture money arrives, it quickly becomes apparent who can handle success without loosing composure.  Attitudes matter.

Companies, no matter how large or how small,  improve their success rate tremendously if they insisted that people communicate with each other in an empowering and honest way. The corporate culture is always linked with top management. Today the HR teams have a lot of influence, not always for the better. Whoever is in charge of hiring has a great influence over a companies’ success or failure.  Every new individual brings their own culture into the enterprise and adds or subtracts from the overall success of the company.  The culture determines if the company stays informed, nimble and quick – yet steady, reliable, and solid. Successful companies typically somehow manage both by nurturing a culture of open and mutually respectful internal dialogue.

A quote that I often share with C-level managers:  “Whether you have a plan or not, you will get there.”

If the company has a plan everyone has a chance to move forward toward the common goal.  If there is no plan, everyone may very well move in different directions, messing up the chances for success.  If there is a plan that only the top managers know, the company functions as though there really is no plan. Only if everyone on the various teams understands the overall plan, likes and buys into the plan, sticks with the plan or improves and carries out their own part of the plan, has the company a solid chance for success. This is true at every phase of a company’s growth. Lack of mutual respect ruins companies. Sometimes when larger sums of investor money arrive some people get grandiose or create cliques. It is no fun to watch people lose money through foolishness and arrogance.

A small company maintains a solid sense of direction and cohesion by having regular meetings in which people in the various departments share how they move toward meeting their miles stones. An open communication style rooted in polite behavior and mutual respect allows everyone to help improve the companies’ cohesiveness and allows the prompt removal of obstacles to success.  As the company grows it is still needed that hundreds of people share their own progress and concerns on how to improve their abilities for mutual progress.  At that point, having a clear communication flow vertically, horizontally, and across different departments is ever more important. By the time communication flow needs to filter through team managers the corporate communication culture becomes vital to the company’s health.  For many years I heard financial manager say “stay out of the weeds.”  Yet, if you don’t know about an overgrowth of weeds, the growth of the crop may be strangled before top managers or the board finds out about needed fixes. Think Uber CEO!

Strategic governance allows departments to stay focused on future goals while dealing with issues in the here and now.  It helps a company stay realistic and in tune with their vision, mission, the company’s values, and manage available or missing resources.  Team members, whether male or female, will not get defensive if they stay regularly informed about market changes, delivery issues, needs or opportunities in the various departments. In healthy companies there are no problems only solutions! It’s a matter of the corporate culture’s attitude toward issues.

A cohesive team will freely identify and manage challenges, and turn them into opportunities.  They will avoid unnecessary risks and make sure the entire company is legally compliant, while allowing the company’s individual divisions adapt to remain relevant to the overall success of the company.  Company’s who have constructive policies about sharing, evaluating, and acting on new information without getting distracted from their overall plan have a greater chance for success.

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Travel industry will suffer, consumer prices will go up, cyber crime will go through the roof.

No more laptops on planes with the US as destiny

Making America great and relaxed again. Cut off from the world and with diminished numbers of enthusiastic  international business people bringing money and customers to the US the economy will suffer. Perhaps Americans should embrace the Amish life style?  Plant a garden and live life without any connection to the crazy media world?

But since when there is a will there is a way, government sponsored terrorists will simply use private Jet Planes. They are terrorists and they are funded, ironically by countries who have often held long and close relationships with the US government.  Europeans are not on the top lists of global terrorists.  They are too busy working, drinking beer at local festivals and going to the opera.

As international business people are forced to use public cloud systems, cyber crime will rise to an all time high. Which is a risk that many companies will not wish to deal with.

When computer illiterate people are in charge this may seem like a good idea, since they are completely unaware of the unintended consequences.

As imports are strangled and business customers can’t shop in the US anymore in a convenient way, both B2B and consumer prices will skyrocket. It may create local jobs for some of the basics.  There is always perfect balance in the world. Gardening equipment will go up as people have to grow their own food, due to loss of income.

Business internationally will be forced to reorient and Jean-Claude Juncker who recently got in trouble for stating that the “English language” is loosing its importance – just may become right with the help of some computer illiterate leaderships around the world.

It probably would be less costly and much more effective to just have a public relations campaign that promotes: “Buy Made in the USA” or “Assembled in the USA” products.

The fall out of such a decision will negatively affect the travel industry, tech industry, most exports, and it will practically force nations around the world to deal with each other and forgo business with the US, until this country’s business leadership comes to their senses.  While corporations are people and they can clearly sponsor anyone into power, they have chosen some real doozies lately.  They have eroded the middle class to an all time low since World War II.

The people in charge seem not to realize that trade is a two-way street. You cut off one way and you automatically cut off the other way as well. There are a lot of nations who will love to step in to fill the void.  US lifestyles will suffer but international business people from around the world will always find a place to their investment dollars.

Out of 7,347,000,000 there are only about 321,000,000 Americans and only about 58 Million Brits. That means that over 7 Billion people and their business élites are not controlled by the US government. The reason why the US and England were so successful in the past, is that they were fairminded business people who wanted to create mutually beneficial financial relationships.  Clearly that is no longer celebrated or even supported by the US government, except in genuinely international businesses like Space Travel and the development of life in space.  NASA is entering into more and more genuinely international relationships as the support in the US is diminishing since several administrations in a row.

International business execs are not controlled by anyone, since the can simply move to another country that is more supportive of their business ventures. I imagine this will be great news for Canada, Scandinavia, Brasil, and of course China, Vietnam, Japan, and India, and even Russia and the ex-Soviet States as the Silk Road gains importance.  Enterprising Europeans will look elsewhere for business that is enjoyable and profitable.  Theresa May was annoyed when Jean-Claude Juncker snubbed her about the English language loosing importance.  And he is often quite arrogant!  But unfortunately lately his arrogance is not entirely unreasonable and occasionally even understandable.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Access your mobile phone with your performance eyewear

Liberty Sports partners with Avaya
Liberty Sports partners with Avaya

Liberty Sport Shoots for the Moon with Avaya Midmarket Solutions

SANTA CLARA, CA–(Marketwired – May 02, 2017) – As Liberty Sport grew into a dominant force in the performance eyewear industry and a choice for NASA missions, the company needed a new approach to communications and customer service to mirror the high quality of its products. Called to join the mission, Avaya Midmarket Solutions provided the functionality, mobility and remote accessibility that enables Liberty Sport to execute powerful launches with sustained contact at a level the company had not experienced before.

Significant growth brought Liberty Sport to a crossroads. It had to decide whether to support increasing demand by upgrading its existing solution from an Avaya competitor, or to consider solutions from other vendors. The company elected to change course once Avaya Midmarket Solutions came into the picture with unified communications and contact center support. Avaya offered functionality and efficiency that made an upgrade of their existing solution pale in comparison. Ultimately, the new Avaya solutions enabled Liberty Sport to:

  • Integrate with existing systems so agents are better informed when working with customers.
  • Increase scalability to handle more customers with better service quality.
  • Enhance mobility for traveling executives and managers, allowing them to use their smartphones to seamlessly access calls and messages sent to their company extension.
  • Provide better remote access for and oversight of work-at-home agents. When a major snowstorm caused some to lose power at their homes, agents were able to continue working from any location where they could get Internet access through a wifi connection.
  • Generate real-time and historic reports that enable better staffing strategies and performance improvements among the agent workforce. Management can view peak call times and adjust staffing as needed, which has already resulted in different shift hours. This will also lead to more revenue as agents are placed in roles where they can generate sales.
  • Significantly improved voice quality throughout the organization.

Liberty Sport Vice President Robin Young said:

“When I saw how much reporting functionality Avaya would give us, that’s what made me go this route. What Avaya offered was still more than what the upgraded system would give us. Avaya is always staying above the cusp, always striving to improve their products.”

Learn more about Liberty Sport and the company’s implementation of Avaya Midmarket Solutions in the case study.

About Liberty Sport

For nearly a century, Liberty Sport has been producing superior frames and lenses to handle the rigors of sport. Built to perform under demanding conditions, our products set the global standard for sports eyewear and Rx. From leading ASTM F803 impact sports protective to innovative sun technology, our commitment to research and innovation is unrivaled. And you’ll see that commitment in every product we make.

About Avaya

Avaya enables the mission critical, real-time communication applications of the world’s most important operations. As the global leader in delivering superior communications experiences, Avaya provides the most complete portfolio of software and services for contact center and unified communications with integrated, secure networking- offered on premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid. Today’s digital world requires some form of communications enablement, and no other company is better positioned to do this than Avaya. For more information, please visit www.avaya.com.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Tillerson is a sidelined Fake “Secretary of State” – who runs the country?

Tillerson sidelined and replaced by two financial oligarchs who are working for their personal and family’s fortunes and Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster who is meant to be a National Security Advisor. If he is an advisor why is the Secretary of State sidelined? What is their agenda?

So the US is now run by Real Estate Mogul Jared Kushner – who has is still involved in major real estate deals – contrary to the earlier press releases.

Gary Cohn, ex Goldman Sachs president, who still managers nearly 1 Million shares of Goldman Sachs, essentially still working for Goldman Sachs.

In a NYT article Kate Kelly on JAN. 25, 2017:
“Goldman Sachs has rewarded its departing president, Gary D. Cohn, with expedited access to cash and stock payments valued at nearly $300 million, and in doing so has tacitly encouraged another of its executives to accept an influential role in Washington. Late on Tuesday, Mr. Cohn, director of the National Economic Council advising President Trump, disclosed in a securities filing that he and his family members had received ownership that day of 940,908 shares of Goldman stock — a position valued at nearly $220 million. That award came in addition to a cash payout, announced the same day, amounting to about $65 million, leaving him with a total windfall of about $285 million.”

Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, National Security Advisor, replaced Michael Flynn who apparently turned out to be a foreign agent and working for Putin, together with Carter Page, Giuliani, Sessions, Kushner and many others.

What is the agenda?  Is there an agenda other than setting up more Trump and Kushner properties, under threat of a Military invasion or Financial Blackmail.  With Trump wanting to get rid of all the “bad hombres”  clearly the meeting was not meant to be friendly. Or, is the “bad hombres” fake news, merely meant to distract us of the biggest Oligarch take over of our country.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Amid questions about ethics Andy Pudzer withdraws himself from nomination for Secretary of Labor

Pudzer who is responsible for such misogynist ads, withdraws over conflicts
Pudzer who is responsible for such misogynist ads, withdraws over conflicts

Puzder who fought for lower minimum wages or automation in the fast food industry finally realized that even some Republicans are more pro-worker than he planned to be.  He has been sued numerous time for underpaying workers, which is illegal.  The Labor Department claimed that in 2,561,000 earned $7.25 or less per hour.  Please note that all minimum wage workers who live in states with a higher minimum wage than the Federal Minimum wage rate are not even included in the statistics. Chart

Puzder fights against raising the minimum wage for his workers while paying himself more very well.  Meanwhile, according to CKE’s final public disclosure after going private—Puzder made more than $4 million in salary and bonuses.

Mother Jones reported in December:  “Back in 2004, the company agreed to pay $9 million to settle claims that it had not paid overtime to store managers. In 2013, CKE was hit with a class-action suit for “allegedly failing to pay its general managers overtime, even while requiring them to be on call 24 hours a day,” reports Law 360.”

In response to the proposal to raise minimum wage, Puzder vowed to replace workers with machines. This is what he sarcastically said about machines: “They’re always polite, they always up sell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”

Donald J. Trump strongly defends Andrew F. Puzder, his chosen secretary of labor who is an outspoken critic of the worker protections enacted by the Obama administration.  Trump, accused under oath of raping his first wife, defends Puzder and claims that he is treated “unfairly.”  Really?

Puzder’s ex-wife Lisa Henning was terribly abused by him. She said that Puzder  in a widely reported interview that “attacked me, choked me, threw me to the floor, hit me in the head, pushed his knees into my chest, twisted my arm and dragged me on the floor, threw me against a wall, tried to stop my call to 911 and kicked me in the lower back,” according to a 1989 Riverfront Times article.

At last Puzder withdrew his name from the nomination.

Now that Trump, Bannon and Puzder had been accused of spousal abuse, we really need to start wondering.  We know that the best predictor for terrorist is a history of family violence.  Hmmm.  Maybe we need to look at our government through the lens of Domestic Violence.  Article

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Good Guy Billionaire: Who is Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg?

Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg
Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg

Ms. Priscilla Chan is a former grade school teacher and a recent medical school graduate training to become a pediatrician.  She has a strong commitment to health and put’s her wealth toward the common good. Her parents came as refugees to seek a better life.  Now she is one of the top Billionaires who is committed to make life better for everyone.

In an interview with Today, Priscilla Chan recalled: “If you’re the first generation to go to college, sometimes you don’t realize your potential until others point it out.”  For her, those individuals were her public school teachers, whom she credits for “getting me excited about learning.”   Priscilla spoke Cantonese growing up, learned English in school and life, and studied Spanish to server her patients better.

Her commitment to health is genuine and unsurpassed.  She met her husband Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard where they were first class mates and later they dated.  They dated for 10 years before deciding to get married to form their family.

She and her husband donated $600 Million dollars through her charity organization CZI to create a Biohub together with University of California at San Francisco, Stanford University and University of California at Berkeley, which will be headquartered next to UCSF’s Mission Bay
campus in San Francisco.

She is an amazing woman who is one of the best examples of what America genuinely stands for.  Immigrants who seek a better life and in turn make life for the rest of Americans a better place.  Thank you Ms. Chan Zuckerberg for sharing your big heart, brilliant mind, and wealth for the greater good.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail