Sunday

Outlook for Engineering job looks great: http://ping.fm/1QhSE

Monday

Want to put Americans back to work? Insourcing for Job Growth

Insourcing - The Secret to Job Growth in America.

By ROBERT M. KIMMITT AND MATTHEW J. SLAUGHTER

The Labor Department reported on Friday that the U.S. unemployment rate is now 9.8%, as the economy added only 39,000 jobs in November. Since the start of the Great Recession, America has lost nearly 7.3 million private-sector jobs. Today's 108 million private-sector jobs are the same number America had in April 1999. And unemployment, Federal Reserve officials predicted last week, will likely remain at 9% through 2011.

Meanwhile, U.S. policy makers are fiercely divided over how to support job growth. The Fed's second round of quantitative easing triggered sharp criticism both at home and abroad, and fiscal prospects remain bleak, with little prospect for additional stimulus. So what is to be done if neither monetary nor fiscal policy will spur job creation?

Last month a Survey of Current Business report by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis suggested—perhaps accidentally—a promising new approach. The report documented a dynamic group of companies that create high-paying American jobs based on significant capital investment and export prowess—precisely the kinds of jobs America desperately needs to build a sustainable recovery.

In 2008, these companies employed 5.6 million Americans, 4.7% of total private-sector employment. In the U.S. private sector that year, these companies accounted for 11.3% of capital investment ($187.5 billion), 14.3% of research and development ($40.5 billion), and 18.1% of goods exports ($232.4 billion). All these activities contribute to good-paying jobs. In 2008, total U.S. compensation at these companies was $408.5 billion—a per-worker average of $73,023. That's about one-third more than the average for all other U.S. workers.


So which companies are these? Ones that "insource"—that is, the U.S. operations of multinational firms based abroad. Insourcing companies now employ more than twice the number of Americans they employed in 1987. According to a recent survey by the Organization for International Investment, the chief financial officers of insourcing companies continue to see growth opportunities in America. Almost 50% plan to increase U.S. employment over the next 12 to 18 months, and just 22% plan to reduce it.

To boost the hiring prospects of insourcing companies (and of many others as well), policy makers should focus on three issues quite distinct from macroeconomic tools like quantitative easing and federal stimulus spending.

First, taxes. Insourcing CFOs reported to the Organization for International Investment that taxation is the single most important policy area that shapes their companies' investment decisions. In turn, their top concern is the U.S. corporate tax rate, which, at 35%, is one of the world's highest.

America's high corporate tax rate inhibits hiring and investment in all U.S. firms, big and small alike. All the recent proposals by prominent deficit-reduction panels have recommended cutting the statutory rate and simplifying the corporate tax code. Policy makers should act on these proposals as quickly as possible to reduce the uncertainty that is inhibiting businesses' hiring and investment.

Second, trade. The global production and distribution networks of insourcing companies foster lots of exports and related jobs. So does trade liberalization. The more U.S. policy makers enact free-trade agreements with other nations, the more insourcing companies will be able to expand their exports and related jobs. Insourcing companies owned by South Korean parents exported $10.5 billion in goods in 2008; this would likely grow if America could ratify the pending free trade agreement with South Korea.

Third, tone. A worrisome 72.2% of insourcing CFOs say that the environment for doing business in America deteriorated over the last year. Contributing to this deterioration were the "Buy American" provisions of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This protectionist tone belies the reality that America today is in a new era of global competition to attract the dynamic operations of global companies.

Last week's news (from the OECD) that global cross-border investment flows fell again in 2010 only intensifies this competition. To meet it, America should set a more welcoming and optimistic tone. A good start would be an "open investment policy" statement from President Obama affirming America's commitment to promoting international investment.

Mr. Kimmitt, who served as deputy secretary of the Treasury from 2005-2009, is independent chairman of the Deloitte Center for Cross-Border Investment. Mr. Slaughter, who was a member of the council of economic advisers from 2005 to 2007, is an adviser to the Deloitte Center.

Be a better manager


About the biggest mistake successful managers make is thinking they’ve got all the answers. Let’s face it, when you’ve got enough successes and failures under your belt and plenty of gray hair on your head, it’s a natural tendency to spend more of your time talking than listening.

That’s a pitfall none of us should fall into, and that includes me. While it sometimes seems like I have enormous disdain for some “leadership gurus,” especially the academic type, I’m always on the lookout for folks who, like me, have real-world management experience and the inclination to share it with others.

Saturday

Call for Papers: 2011 IEEE International Technology Management Conference

ITMC 2011 Call for Papers
Call for Papers
2011 IEEE International Technology
Management Conference
ITMC2011
Hilton San Jose
San Jose, California USA
June 27-30 2011
Managing Technology in Challenging Times
We invite contributions from researchers, educators, managers and students. Contributions may be
conceptual, theoretical, or empirical. They should document research activity, case studies or best
practices, shedding light on the theory or practice of engineering, technology, or innovation management,
and address the strategic objective of technological change. Major topic areas include:
Globalization and its Implications
- Outsourcing and Off-shoring
- Globalization of Research & Development
- Role of Silicon Valley and Other Technology Centers in the World
- Adapting Business Practices to the New Era
Entrepreneurship
- Opportunity Recognition in a challenging environment
- Innovative Business models
- International Sources of Capital
- Legal Aspects of International Entrepreneurship
Management of Innovation
- R&D during the Economic Downturn
- New Measures of Innovation
- Management of Innovation Processes
- Alternative Energy opportunities and pitfalls
- Open Innovation and Collaboration in Technology Management
Adapting to Change for Employees
- Career Planning
- Employee’s View of Management
- Organizational Learning from Past Management
- Education in Technology Management
- Employee Innovation in the Wake of Recession
Supply Chain Management
- Sourcing Management
- Logistics and Distribution
- Product Development and Production Management
- Strategic Issues in Supply Chains
- Sustainable Supply Chains
Sustainability
- Green Product and Process Development
- Engineering Management and Climate Change
- Safety and Health Management
- Ecological Modernization
- Project Management for Sustainable Solutions
- Green Information Technology
In addition to these core technology management topics, we will open the door to special sessions on management during these
challenging times as seen by sponsoring societies – for example, particular management issues as seen within computer,
communications, and electronics areas.
Important Dates: Paper Submission Due: 1 December 2010
Notification of Acceptance: 1 March 2011 Paper & Author Registration Due: 15 April 2011
Hotel Block Deadline: 27 May 2011 Late Registration Begins: 15 June 2011
Organizing Committee:
General Co-chairs: Michael Condry (Intel), Atif Shaikh (Altera)
Technical Co-chairs: Xiaohong “Iris” Quan (San Jose State), George Farris (Rutgers)
Treasurer: Richard Stallkamp (Electronic Medical Devices)
Secretary: Ken Knox (Maxim Integrated Products)
For additional information, visit the conference Web page at www.ieee-itmc.org

Sunday

If no one had a sociopath for a boss, who would start new businesses?

Bad Management
If no one had a sociopath for a boss, who would start new businesses?

"Imagine a parallel universe where employees enjoy going to work. They feel empowered and fulfilled—so much so that they don't care about the size of their paychecks and never want to leave their jobs. That's exactly the sort of nightmare scenario that would destroy the economy. The last thing this world needs is a bunch of dopey-happy workers who can't stop humming and grinning. Our system requires a continuous supply of highly capable people who are so disgruntled with their jobs that they are willing to chew off their own arms to escape their bosses. The economy needs hamster-brained sociopaths in management to drive down the opportunity cost of entrepreneurship. Luckily, we're blessed with an ample supply." said SCOTT ADAMS, the creator of Dilbert in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

As a headhunter, there is more truth than humor in Mr. Adams article. Bad managers are the reason many people answer the phone when I call. Most of these people are managers themselves, abused by higher management - from outright narcisism and sociopathic executives to just a lack of opportunity to grow in a company.


"Though most of my immediate bosses were entirely reasonable and competent, the organization at large was riddled with hamster-brained sociopaths in leadership roles. Surely, I thought, this must be a problem that exists no place else on Earth. Otherwise we'd all be living in caves and holding long meetings on the feasibility of using sticks as stabby things.

The economy needs workers who are fed up, desperate and willing to quit their jobs for something better. Remember, only quitters can be winners, because you can't do something great until first you quit doing something that isn't.


I have always assumed there's a correlation between imagination and risk-taking. You wouldn't leave an unpleasant but relatively safe situation unless you could imagine a better outcome. So the people who leave a company first tend to be the visionaries who can best imagine entrepreneurial success. Bad management is how imagination gets wings." To read Scott Adams funny yet thought provoking article:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704353504575596372042140924.html?KEYWORDS=the+perfect+stimulus:+bad+management

Monday

Bosses Overestimate Their Managing Skills




Bosses who think they're the next Jack Welch might want to reassess their talent level.


A new survey of 1,100 front-line managers suggests many are over-estimating their skills, with surprisingly little self-doubt. Seventy-two percent said they never questioned their ability to lead others in their first year as a manager.
Managers were also unlikely to rate themselves as weak in a number of leadership attributes, such as planning, communication and adaptability, according to the study by consulting firm Development Dimensions International Inc.

Front-line managers believe that their biggest strengths are in setting work standards and planning and organizing, according to the survey.

The skills they said they most needed to work on were delegating, coaching and gaining commitment—but no more than 15% of managers pointed to any one of those as a "development area."

"It doesn't matter what industry you're in. People have blind spots about where they're weak," says Scott Erker, a senior vice president at DDI, which conducted the survey in September.

The company separately compared some managers' self-assessments to performance in a business simulation that attempted to mimic real-world challenges the leaders might face. They found that managers consistently over-rated their delegating and coaching abilities, Mr. Erker says.

On the other hand, the company didn't find any consistent pattern of "hidden strengths," or areas in which managers underestimated their skills, he says.

One problem: When workers become managers, they're often surrounded by employees who flatter them as a way of ingratiating themselves to their boss, said Stanford business professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, author of the book "Power."

"People also don't understand the feedback they get. They either mishear or choose not to hear criticism," he said.

Still, at least some front-line managers harbor some doubts. About 26% of front-line managers said that they regretted being promoted at least sometimes during their first year, according to the DDI study. Fifteen percent said that their interest in being a manager decreased since being promoted. - By JOE LIGHT on the Wall Street Journal

Friday

EV market Predicted to Grow 7%-30% depending on which study you believe.




The WSJ this week published an article looking at the "overhype" of EV's....."A well known auto-industry forecasting firm on Wednesday suggested that the heavily promoted battery-powered vehicles about to appear on roads around the world are "overhyped" and headed for a much slower takeoff than some auto makers and industry analysts expect.

In the new study, J.D. Power & Associates said sales of electric cars are likely to remain low for the next several years and won't make up more than a small slice of the global market even 10 years down the road.
The combined sales total of hybrid cars such as the Toyota Motor Corp. Prius and all-electric models like the Nissan Motor Co. Leaf will come to just 5.2 million in 2020, J.D. Power said. That would represent just 7.3% of the global market in 2020, which J.D. Power sees reaching 70.9 million passenger vehicles then.

Some auto makers and other forecasters are more bullish. General Motors Co. and Nissan are spending billions of dollars to market electric cars they hope will become mainstream vehicles. The Chevrolet Volt, made by GM, and the Nissan Leaf are due to arrive in showrooms in the U.S. in the next few months. A separate study by Boston Consulting Group sees hybrids and electric vehicles making up 26% of the global passenger car market in 2020. PRTM, another research firm, estimates the total may be closer to 30% as battery prices fall and the price of the vehicles comes closer to standard models.

Many countries around the world, including the U.S. and Israel, are supporting the introduction of electric vehicles with tax breaks and other financial incentives as part of an effort to reduce petroleum consumption and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
"Everybody feels that everybody else should be driving environmentally friendly vehicles. Although consumers generally want to be environmentally conscious, they are much more conscious of their personal economics," said Dave Sargent, J.D. Power's vice president of automotive research. "Right now, consumers have a lot of unanswered questions about the purchase premium of a hybrid or all-electric vehicle."

J.D. Power said that without a dramatic rise in fuel prices, a coordinated global governmental push or a technological breakthrough that lowers the cost of the cars, consumers are unlikely to adopt the vehicles. The researcher didn't find that any of these were very likely to happen.

J.D. Power pointed to consumer surveys to underpin its findings. Buyers didn't like the physical appearance and perceived performance of hybrids and worried about the limited range and recharging times for all-electric models.

"Based on our research of consumer attitudes toward these technologies—and barring significant changes to public policy, including tax incentives and higher fuel-economy standards—we don't anticipate a mass migration to green vehicles in the coming decade," said John Humphrey, J.D.'s senior vice president of automotive operations.

More than 20 electric vehicles are planned to go on sale in the U.S. in the next three years and the U.S. government has backed $5 billion in investments for battery technology and consumer incentives to kick-start the market.

The alliance of Nissan and Renault SA has invested $4 billion in a suite of electric vehicles due out over the next several years and anticipates 10% of global industry sales in 2020 will be all-electric models. That would equate to about seven million vehicles based on J.D. Power's industry forecast for sales in 2020.
J.D. Power estimates that the U.S. market in 2020 will account for purchases of about 100,000 pure-electric cars in total, or about two-thirds of the annual U.S. sales of Toyota Prius hybrids last year. Hybrids will make up 1.7 million in sales that year under the forecast.

Europe will be the largest market for electric cars, making up more than half the projected 1.3 million sales, J.D. Power says.

Seifi Ghasemi, the chairman and chief executive officer of Rockwood Holdings, which produces the lithium chemicals needed for advanced batteries as well as other chemicals, said in an interview Tuesday that some people underestimate the potential attraction of electric vehicles.

"I think we might be underestimating the enthusiasm of the customers," Mr. Ghasemi said. He said governments could and should be doing more to press for the adoption of electric vehicles as a national security and economic concern.

"Unless we change the internal combustion engine to something other than that—it doesn't solve the fundamental issue of energy security," he said."

- Mike Ramsey at michael.ramsey@wsj.com
First commercial Hydrogen station opens:http://ping.fm/QAzC8

Wednesday

Looking for a Manager of EV Charging Stations Infrastructure Build www.technicalheadhunter.com

Monday

What Good Bosses Do


bosses aren’t usually aware that they are bad bosses. The fact is that nobody wants to believe they’re the problem. Nevertheless, there’s a bell curve for all things involving people, which means there are few really bad bosses, few really good bosses, and most of you fall somewhere in the middle.
To me that says, for the vast majority of you, there’s lots of room for improvement.
So, if you’re not exhibiting any of the 7 Signs, that’s great, pat yourself on the back. Still, if you really want to up your management game, maybe even vault into the executive or ownership ranks someday, you’d better start doing at least a few of these 10 Things That Good Bosses Do.
Incidentally, this isn’t from some academic study. These are real attributes of real bosses, culled from decades of observation, which motivate and inspire employees to perform at their best.
1. Pay people what they’re worth, not what you can get away with. What you lose in expense you gain back several-fold in performance.
2. Take the time to share your experiences and insights. Labels like mentor and coach are overused. Let’s be specific here. Employees learn from those generous enough to share their experiences and insights. They don’t need a best friend or a shoulder to cry on.
3. Tell it to employees straight, even when it’s bad news. To me, the single most important thing any boss can do is to man up and tell it to people straight. No BS, no sugarcoating, especially when it’s bad news or corrective feedback.
4. Manage up … effectively. Good bosses keep management off employee’s backs. Most people don’t get this, but the most important aspect of that is giving management what they need to do their jobs. That’s what keeps management away.
5. Take the heat and share the praise. It takes courage to take the heat and humility to share the praise. That comes naturally to great bosses; the rest of us have to pick it up as we go.
6. Delegate responsibility, not tasks. Every boss delegates, but the crappy ones think that means dumping tasks they hate on workers, i.e. s**t rolls downhill. Good bosses delegate responsibility and hold people accountable. That’s fulfilling and fosters professional growth.
7. Encourage employees to hone their natural abilities and challenge them to overcome their issues. That’s called getting people to perform at their best.
8. Build team spirit. As we learned before, great groups outperform great individuals. And great leaders build great teams.
9. Treat employees the way they deserve to be treated. You always hear people say they deserve respect and to be treated as equals. Well, some may not want to hear this, but a) respect must be earned, and b) most workers are not their boss’s equals.
10. Inspire your people. All the above motivate people, but few bosses have the ability to truly inspire their employees. How? By sharing their passion for the business. By knowing just what to say and do at just the right time to take the edge off or turn a tough situation around. Genuine anecdotes help a lot. So does a good sense of humor.
All this adds up to an environment where people feel appreciated, recognized, challenged, and appropriately compensated.

By Steve Tobak
http://www.bnet.com/blog/ceo/10-things-that-good-bosses-do/5868?promo=665&tag=nl.e665
Battery cost are concern for EV: http://ping.fm/oRPIm

Thursday

Why Everyone Hates HR: http://ping.fm/hb8E7

Tuesday

In Search of charging Stations: http://ping.fm/MKV8N

Monday

Small Ways to Solve Big Management Problems: www.technicalheadhunter.com

Small Ways to Solve Big Management Problems

4 Small Ways to Solve Big Management Problems

Whether you’re a product manager, an Line Manager, or a CTO, we all face difficult challenges. That comes with the territory. But sometimes, critical issues are also the hardest ones to solve because they’re outside our functional expertise or there simply is no training to help resolve them.

For example, what if you’re not connecting eye-to-eye with your boss, an important peer, or a key employee? I’m not talking about a conflict; we’re all trained in conflict resolution. I’m talking about a relationship that’s just not clicking. You’ve racked your brain and can’t figure it out. Even the other person doesn’t know why.

Or your staff meetings are lifeless and unproductive, nobody’s engaged. You’ve bounced some ideas around and nothing seems to work. Or you’re constantly double-booked in meetings and deluged with interruptions and just can’t seem to find time to get any real work done. Something’s got to give.

Well, I’ve often found that small, simple changes can solve some of the most daunting management problems. Here are a few stories that will offer some interesting ideas. More importantly, they’ll get you thinking about how to solve your biggest challenges in a different way. You’ll see what I mean:

1. The curious case of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde CEO

Years ago, I was having one helluva time connecting with my boss, the CEO of a public company I’d just joined. He was a stoic, methodical, and controlling guy. I was having difficulty with his micromanaging style and the mismatch seemed uncomfortable for him too.

I was commiserating with a peer who had worked for the guy for years, when he asked:

“When do you have your weekly one-on-ones with him?”

“On Tuesdays,” I said.

“No, not the day,” he said, “What time are your meetings?”

“Um, 10 o’clock,” I replied, wondering what that had to do with anything.

“Try moving them to the afternoon, after lunch,” he said. “It’ll make a big difference. You’ll see.”

“Okay, I’ll try it.”

To say I was skeptical is an understatement. Still I was willing to try anything. So I did. And you know what? That was it. Everything changed. He was like a different person after lunch, more open and collaborative. No idea why. We got along famously after that. What started as a nightmare, probably for both of us, ended up as a great relationship.

2. How taking walks saved a company

Then there’s the CEO who showed up for our usual weekly meeting and asked if I wanted to take a walk. I said sure. I love to walk. It didn’t occur to me at the time, but it had to do with growing up in Brooklyn, where my family didn’t own a car. My dad loved to take walks, so that was like our bonding time, when I had him all to myself. I loved those walks.

Anyway, the weekly meetings with my CEO turned into weekly walks around the neighborhood surrounding our headquarters. I don’t know if it was the open air, the exercise, or the father-son thing (for me, anyway), but something clicked. We were in the midst of restructuring the company, and those walks became our strategy sessions that solved a host of critical issues.

3. Dilbert fixed my staff meeting problem

I used to hold my weekly staff meetings in the morning and, for some reason, they really sucked. Then, in a Scott Adams Dilbert book, of all places, I read that managers should hold meetings in the afternoon because most people did their best thinking and were most productive in the morning.

Well, I floated the idea to my staff and they all concurred. We changed the time to afternoon and, lo and behold, everyone was happier and more engaged. The meetings were more effective. Go figure.

4. Can’t work at work? Try working somewhere else

Executive life can be hectic, especially in the fast-paced technology industry. I was always struggling to find time to get any “real” work done. Most days I had back-to-back meetings I couldn’t get out of. And during my rare office time, there were constant, but important, interruptions. That was the nature of our business.

So I started doing my “real” work — strategy, thinking, presentations — in the evenings at home. I’d relax with a glass of wine and be remarkably productive. It wasn’t an everyday thing, just when necessary. And you know what? That was the ticket. It’s been part of my “process” ever since.

Those are just a few examples of how a simple tweak can solve a big, thorny management problem. What big challenges have you solved with small changes?

By Steve Tobak

http://www.bnet.com/blog/ceo/4-small-ways-to-solve-big-management-problems/5747?promo=665&tag=nl.e665

Sunday

double dip recession or growth?: www.technicalheadhunter.com

Wednesday

Octoberbest - IEEE - Tektronix





OctoberBest Hi Tech Manufacturing conference

Saturday

Solar market continues growth: http://ping.fm/PuOLJ

Wednesday

How Web 2.0 is changing the way we work: An interview with MIT’s Andrew McAfee

http://ping.fm/Nqhs4

EV infrastructure plan for Western Oregon

ECOtality reveals EV infrastructure plan for Western Oregon

More than 1,000 Blink charging stations will charge up
electric vehicles in Portland and other key metropolitan areas

PORTLAND, ORE. – Wednesday, September 22, 2010 – ECOtality, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECTY), a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies, today unveiled its Blink electric vehicle charging station as well as blueprints for electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure deployment in four major metropolitan areas in Northwestern Oregon: Portland, Salem, Corvallis and Eugene. The announcement marks the completion of a critical milestone in the planning process for The EV Project, the largest rollout of EV infrastructure in the world. As part of the project, ECOtality will install more than 1,100 publicly available chargers throughout the region.

ECOtality worked closely with its Oregon Advisory Team and area stakeholders—including Pacificorp, the newest EV Project partner—to complete deployment guidelines and develop maps showing potential charging site locations and density. The maps were created using criteria developed during the Micro-Climate™ process and take into consideration a variety of factors, including transportation routes, employment centers and zoning.
Portland ECOtality completes charging density/distribution map for EV Project locations in Northwestern Oregon. ECOtality will install more than 1,100 publicly available chargers statewide. (Pictured: Portland Metro Area)

“I have long known that Oregon was the right state to launch this next generation of vehicles and show the rest of the country that we can make this transition without inconveniencing or pricing regular citizens out of this market,” said Governor Ted Kulongoski. “With today’s announcement, we are taking that next step forward toward making electric cars – and the supporting infrastructure – available, affordable and accessible to Oregonians across the state.”

“Today, Oregon is ready to emerge as a pioneer in electric vehicle adoption,” said Jonathan Read, President and CEO of ECOtality. “The support of our advisory group has provided invaluable research, and allowed us to develop a smart plan for the installation of EV infrastructure that suits the needs of Oregon’s future EV drivers. By coupling our plans with the capabilities of Blink, we are creating the rich charge infrastructure needed to make electric vehicles a reality.”

The four Oregon cities were selected as host sites for The EV Project in 2009, and will play a critical role in developing a rich charging infrastructure for EV drivers. ECOtality coordinated with the state to develop an advisory team including representatives from state and local government agencies and utilities.

“Throughout the EV Project, ECOtality is developing more calculated methods to prepare cities and regional areas for an EV infrastructure foundation,” stated Don Karner, President of ECOtality North America. “With each blueprint ECOtality creates, we are able to move forward in paving the way for the national rollout of electric vehicles.”

ECOtality is the project manager for The EV Project, and is tasked with supervising the construction of the largest deployment of EV infrastructure to date. The $230 million public-private initiative is funded with a $114.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The EV Project includes 16 states and major metropolitan areas, and will result in the installation of over 15,000 charging stations, over the course of three years.

The Oregon Advisory Team includes representatives from the Building Codes Division; City of Corvallis; City of Eugene; City of Gresham; City of Salem; Eugene Water & Electric Board; Oregon Department of Transportation; Oregon Business Development Department; Oregon Department of Energy; Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium; Pacific Power; Portland Development Commission; Portland General Electric; Salem Electric; and the Unviersity of Oregon.

Sunday

Moore’s Law and the Trajectory for Renewable Energy: http://ping.fm/9DqAX

Tuesday

News Flash: 100 of 100 People Die (Succession Planning): http://ping.fm/4DqlP

Saturday

How to Cure Leadership Dysfunction




On one leadership extreme is absolute power which, as they taught us in school, corrupts absolutely. On the other extreme are so many checks and balances that decisions and progress come to a screeching halt. Either extreme is a dysfunction that affects more companies than you can imagine. Countries, too.

Just look at the U.S. government. When the president and both houses of congress have the same party affiliation, we end up, well, we end up here. Not to point fingers at either party; we’ve seen this configuration screw things up left and right.

Then, when voters get fed up with partisan legislation, they vote the opposing party into congress and boom, stalemate. Nothing gets done. Yes, there are exceptions, but all too often, this is exactly how it goes.

We’ve all seen companies fall into the same extreme modes. When the board isn’t independent, the CEO can essentially do whatever he wants. Typically, that’s not a good thing. Too much power and not enough checks and balances are a recipe for dysfunctional behavior and potential disaster.

On the flip-side, I’ve actually seen quite a few companies where the CEO couldn’t or, for whatever reason, wouldn’t grow a pair and run the show. Under the guise of autonomous business units, for example, the company gets pulled in multiple directions and, again, stalemate.

This is exactly why a company should never be run like a government … any kind of government. So how should companies be run? How can Boards, CEOs, and management teams avoid either dysfunctional extreme? By following these five rules:

The CEO alone is responsible for developing and communicating vision and strategy, but the process must include the entire management team in a way that fosters open expression of ideas that ultimately leads to consensus. And the board gets to weigh in before everything’s cast in stone.
The management team must be motivated, aligned, and held accountable to achieve the company’s strategic and operating goals. The CEO and head of HR co-manage the process with board oversight. No, it isn’t easy and yes, it can be done. If you can’t figure it out, hire someone who can.
Let VPs run their own show … to a point. The management team is called that for a reason. These are the folks with expertise and maturity to run their own show and that’s what they should do. That said, they often come into conflict with each other. That’s when the CEO needs to make the call without hesitation.
Never, ever have a two-in-a-box or office-of-the-CEO configuration. Two leaders often lead to schizophrenic corporate behavior. It’s simply not a stable configuration. Companies operate most effectively with one person in charge.
Maintain complete transparency to an independent, active board. There should only be one executive on the board of directors, and that’s the CEO. All directors should be active and engaged. And the management team should be completely transparent when communicating with the board.
That’s it. Five rules are all it takes to avoid leadership dysfunction. Don’t get me wrong; that doesn’t mean the company will grow profitably until the end of time. There are a zillion and one failure modes from internal and external factors. But this will at least eliminate the most common leadership dysfunction modes. And make no mistake, they take down more companies than you can imagine. No kidding."
By Steve Tobak | http://www.bnet.com/blog/ceo/how-to-cure-leadership-dysfunction/5542?tag=drawer-container;load-section-river

Tuesday

Are you a Bad Manager?


One thing most bad managers have in common is they’re not consciously aware that they’re bad managers. And if they are aware of it on some level, they’re probably not willing to admit it to anyone, least of all themselves. That’s because nobody wants to believe they’re the problem.

It’s a common enough phenomenon that isn’t limited to bosses, but applies to people at all levels: executives, managers, employees too. I’m not a shrink, so I’m not sure why that is. But if I had to guess, I’d say it’s probably got something to do with ego, denial, compartmentalization, self-delusion, lack of perspective, that sort of thing.

It would be all-too-easy to just label these folks dysfunctional and call it a day, but I’m not entirely sure that would be either accurate or helpful. I actually think we all suffer from this sort of myopia to some extent and from time to time.


* Your group is underperforming. Sooner or later, bad management will trickle down and affect the entire organization. Whatever the appropriate metrics are for an organization, poor performance can usually be traced back to a management problem.
* Your manager is turning up the heat. When a good senior manager thinks there may be a problem with a subordinate manager, he’ll inevitably turn up the heat and see what happens. So if you notice your boss putting the screws to you, it’s a sign that something’s up.
* Allies are distancing themselves from you. It’s one thing for your employees to talk behind your back and for your enemies to despise you, but when your work friends and allies start to back away, that’s an indication that you’re damaged goods.
* You’re behaving like more of a jerk than usual. You may be in conscious denial about being a crappy boss, but on some level, you’re probably aware of it. And that takes a toll on you, usually in terms of increased stress and anxiety that you’ll likely take out on others.
* Your decision-making is compromised. One of the most visible signs of poor management is poor decision-making. After all, decisions are actions, actions generate results, and results are highly visible. Pay attention.
* Your personal relationships suck. Dysfunctional managers are also dysfunctional people. Relationships are relationships, period. And while I’m sure that some bad bosses are just wonderful spouses and friends, I seriously doubt it’s very common.
* Your employees are miserable. Come on now. I don’t care how self-absorbed you are, you know if your employees are miserable. Do they stop talking and look guilty when you walk by? Do they invite everyone else but you for drinks after work?


By Steve Tobak | September 7, 2010 see full article at:
http://www.bnet.com/blog/ceo/7-signs-you-may-be-a-bad-manager/5514?promo=713&tag=nl.e713

Sunday

Jobs Data Provide Hope although recover is slower than past cycles


Jobs Data Provide Hope although recover is slower than past cycles.

By CONOR DOUGHERTY

"The U.S. economy lost jobs for the third month in a row in August, but modest hiring by the private sector eased concerns the economy might be tumbling back into recession.


The U.S. economy shed jobs for a third straight month, losing 54,000 non-farm jobs, but the losses were half as bad as expected. The unemployment rate rose to 9.6%. Kelly Evans, Dennis Berman, Paul Vigna, Phil Izzo and Sudeep Reddy discuss. Also, Jerry Seib discusses what has happened to the American job creation machine.

Private-sector employers added 67,000 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department said Friday. Overall, nonfarm payrolls fell by 54,000, as the U.S. shed 114,000 temporary Census workers and state governments also reduced employment.

The jobs report was consistent with other recent economic reports, including a strong factory report earlier this week, that show the economy continues to recover, though at a painfully slow rate.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 9.6% from 9.5% in July, not because of layoffs but because more people entered the work force. Some 14.9 million people remain jobless, and the unemployment figure marked the 16th straight month above 9%, the longest stretch in a quarter-century.

That promised to keep the pressure on Democrats in Congress as midterm elections approach, with Republicans pressing the case that the party that dominates both Congress and the White House isn't getting Americans back to work.

President Barack Obama said the report was "not nearly good enough," and called on Congress to pass a bill designed to help small businesses get loans. On the GOP side, House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio said, "A year that began with Americans bracing for a jobless recovery has instead turned into a full-blown search for both jobs and a recovery."

Investors, some of whom have grown worried that the recovery could be stalling out, reacted positively to the jobs report, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 127.83 points, or 1.24%, to 10447.83. Though the number of private-sector jobs created trailed July's, it was better than expected by the consensus of economists.

The stock rally capped one of the market's best weeks of the year as economic numbers, including reports Wednesday suggesting better-than-expected manufacturing activity in the U.S. and China, put bears on the defensive. A U.S. manufacturing index from the Institute for Supply Management, which surveys purchasing managers, rose to 56.3 in August from 55.5; a decline had been expected.

The report showing modest private-sector hiring took some pressure off the Federal Reserve for quick action to address the slow recovery. Fed officials have been considering whether they need to do more to stimulate growth, such as by trying to drive down long-term interest rates through purchases of long-term Treasury bonds. Most economists still consider it extremely unlikely the U.S. economy will slip back into recession, and Friday's report reassured many that the recovery, however weak, would continue.


Atlas Energy Inc. is among those doing some hiring. The natural-gas producer, based in Moon Township, Pa., has added 160 workers this year, bringing its head count to 680.

The company recently played host to a jobs fair at a Pittsburgh-area hotel, where a line to register spilled out of a ballroom and into the lobby. "It's sobering to see the number of people who don't have a job," said Jeffrey Kupfer, an Atlas senior vice president.

Most of the private-sector job gains in August were in the service sector, a broad category that includes everything from insurance brokers to nail-salon workers. Professional and business services added 20,000 jobs. Education and health services, which have held up better than any other sector, added 45,000 over the month.

A separate report Friday showed the service sector's growth slowing in August. The ISM said its index of nonmanufacturing industries was at 51.5 last month. That was down from the 54.3 in July, but, because it was over 50, still showed the sector expanding.

U.S. manufacturing shed 27,000 jobs in August, according to the Labor Department, ending a long streak of job gains by the factory sector. Much of that was due to losses in the automotive industry.

A positive sign was that the percentage of workers out of a job for six months or longer, the so-called long-term unemployed, declined for the third straight month.

And Friday's report showed temporary-help services added 16,800 jobs in August, after a flat July. Growth in that sector is often a precursor to companies adding permanent positions. Still, the slow pace has some economists worried that the job market continues to flounder.


Lawrence Katz, a Harvard economics professor, said the economy would need to add roughly 300,000 jobs a month to reduce the unemployment rate to pre-recession levels within four years.

He said Friday's report portrays a job market still in neutral, amid a recovery fueled largely by federal stimulus and inventory restocking.

"It looks like an economy that got a burst of stimulus and it's wearing off," Mr. Katz said. "The labor market isn't bleeding jobs like it did late 2008 and late 2009, but it's certainly not recovering at a rate that would do anything to...
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703946504575469943419586202.html?KEYWORDS=jobs+data+provide+hope

Thursday

Generation Gap widens - rooted in devaluation of accumulated wisdom....

Generation Gap widens - rooted in devaluation of accumulated wisdom....

Generation Gap widens. Older people have always offered advice to younger people, with words of wisdom culled from their memories of youth. And, of course, in every era, young people have found advice from elders to be outdated and ineffectual. These days, however, given how fast the world is changing, there's been a clear widening of the advice gap.
It's rooted in a devaluation of accumulated wisdom, a leveling of the relationships between old and young. On many fronts, people from Generation Y—now ages 16 to 32— assume their peers know best. They doubt those of us who are older can truly understand their needs and concerns.
This is a great article worthy of continued discussion...not only relevent for personal relationships, but also for business and management.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704421104575463540853116732.html?KEYWORDS=want+my+advice

How to Say It

Among tips from young adults for their advice-giving elders:

Question your assumptions: What worked in your youth might have little relevance today.
Offer suggestions, not pronouncements: Say 'you could' not 'you should.'
Welcome a dialogue: Listen, don't lecture; you'll learn things and give better advice.
Resist saying: 'When I was young…'
Don't belittle technology: If you're critical of social media, young people may dismiss you as a dinosaur.
Accept your limitations: The young understand the world today. Sometimes, the best advice is: 'Trust your instincts.'

Friday

Oregon Wave Energy Project moves forward: http://ping.fm/ImKlT

Thursday

The Math on Solar: http://ping.fm/UuhLA

Tuesday

The End of Management as We've Known It: www.technicalheadhunter.com In a recent Wall Street Journal Article written by Alan Murray he surfaced some very thought provoking information regarding management.

The End of Management as We've Known It.


In a recent Wall Street Journal Article written by Alan Murray (see below) he surfaced some very thought provoking information regarding management. I've experienced this same management dilemma as a headhunter as many small to medium size companies embrace a new management methodology, throwing away the old traditional corporate management style of our fathers. In a time when companies are threatened with outsourcing, lowered profits, downsizing and survival mode, a new way of thinking about corporate management and ultimately - company growth, as become an essential requirement. Corporate inertia is being battered by change and a global outlook. Managers are not being hired now to merely "manage". If they want to grow in their careers....contributing to innovation, big thinking to move the company forward is being sought after by executives. in the article below, Mr. Murray states " The new model will have to be more like the marketplace, and less like corporations of the past. It will need to be flexible, agile, able to quickly adjust to market developments, and ruthless in reallocating resources to new opportunities.", this model will also need to be seen in the performance and attitude of the managers and employees of the company. In my opinion, this is what progressive, forward looking companies are seeking in their staff as well.

Read the article below.... Gary Perman

"Business guru Peter Drucker called management "the most important innovation of the 20th century." It was well-justified praise. Techniques for running large corporations, pioneered by men like Alfred Sloan of General Motors and refined at a bevy of elite business schools, helped fuel a century of unprecedented global prosperity.
But can this great 20th century innovation survive and thrive in the 21st? Evidence suggests: Probably not. "Modern" management is nearing its existential moment.

Corporations, whose leaders portray themselves as champions of the free market, were in fact created to circumvent that market. They were an answer to the challenge of organizing thousands of people in different places and with different skills to perform large and complex tasks, like building automobiles or providing nationwide telephone service.
In the relatively simple world of 1776, when Adam Smith wrote his classic "Wealth of Nations," the enlightened self-interest of individuals contracting separately with each other was sufficient to ensure economic progress. But 100 years later, the industrial revolution made Mr. Smith's vision seem quaint. A new means of organizing people and allocating resources for more complicated tasks was needed. Hence, the managed corporation—an answer to the central problem of the industrial age.
For the next 100 years, the corporation served its purpose well. From Henry Ford to Harold Geneen, the great corporate managers of the 20th century fed the rise of a vast global middle class, providing both the financial means and the goods and services to bring luxury to the masses.

In recent years, however, most of the greatest management stories have been not triumphs of the corporation, but triumphs over the corporation. General Electric's Jack Welch may have been the last of the great corporate builders. But even Mr. Welch was famous for waging war on bureaucracy. Other management icons of recent decades earned their reputations by attacking entrenched corporate cultures, bypassing corporate hierarchies, undermining corporate structures, and otherwise using the tactics of revolution in a desperate effort to make the elephants dance. The best corporate managers have become, in a sense, enemies of the corporation.
The reasons for this are clear enough. Corporations are bureaucracies and managers are bureaucrats. Their fundamental tendency is toward self-perpetuation. They are, almost by definition, resistant to change. They were designed and tasked, not with reinforcing market forces, but with supplanting and even resisting the market.

Yet in today's world, gale-like market forces—rapid globalization, accelerating innovation, relentless competition—have intensified what economist Joseph Schumpeter called the forces of "creative destruction." Decades-old institutions like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns now can disappear overnight, while new ones like Google and Twitter can spring up from nowhere. A popular video circulating the Internet captures the geometric nature of these trends, noting that it took radio 38 years and television 13 years to reach audiences of 50 million people, while it took the Internet only four years, the iPod three years and Facebook two years to do the same. It's no surprise that fewer than 100 of the companies in the S&P 500 stock index were around when that index started in 1957.

Even the best-managed companies aren't protected from this destructive clash between whirlwind change and corporate inertia. When I asked members of The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council, a group of chief executives who meet each year to deliberate on issues of public interest, to name the most influential business book they had read, many cited Clayton Christensen's "The Innovator's Dilemma." That book documents how market-leading companies have missed game-changing transformations in industry after industry—computers (mainframes to PCs), telephony (landline to mobile), photography (film to digital), stock markets (floor to online)—not because of "bad" management, but because they followed the dictates of "good" management. They listened closely to their customers. They carefully studied market trends. They allocated capital to the innovations that promised the largest returns. And in the process, they missed disruptive innovations that opened up new customers and markets for lower-margin, blockbuster products.

The weakness of managed corporations in dealing with accelerating change is only half the double-flanked attack on traditional notions of corporate management. The other half comes from the erosion of the fundamental justification for corporations in the first place.

British economist Ronald Coase laid out the basic logic of the managed corporation in his 1937 work, "The Nature of the Firm." He argued corporations were necessary because of what he called "transaction costs." It was simply too complicated and too costly to search for and find the right worker at the right moment for any given task, or to search for supplies, or to renegotiate prices, police performance and protect trade secrets in an open marketplace. The corporation might not be as good at allocating labor and capital as the marketplace; it made up for those weaknesses by reducing transaction costs.
Mr. Coase received his Nobel Prize in 1991—the very dawn of the Internet age. Since then, the ability of human beings on different continents and with vastly different skills and interests to work together and coordinate complex tasks has taken quantum leaps. Complicated enterprises, like maintaining Wikipedia or building a Linux operating system, now can be accomplished with little or no corporate management structure at all.

That's led some utopians, like Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams, authors of the book "Wikinomics," to predict the rise of "mass collaboration" as the new form of economic organization. They believe corporate hierarchies will disappear, as individuals are empowered to work together in creating "a new era, perhaps even a golden one, on par with the Italian renaissance or the rise of Athenian democracy."

That's heady stuff, and almost certainly exaggerated. Even the most starry-eyed techno-enthusiasts have a hard time imagining, say, a Boeing 787 built by "mass collaboration." Still, the trends here are big and undeniable. Change is rapidly accelerating. Transaction costs are rapidly diminishing. And as a result, everything we learned in the last century about managing large corporations is in need of a serious rethink. We have both a need and an opportunity to devise a new form of economic organization, and a new science of management, that can deal with the breakneck realities of 21st century change.
The strategy consultant Gary Hamel is a leading advocate for rethinking management. He's building a new, online management "laboratory" where leading management practitioners and thinkers can work together—a form of mass collaboration—on innovative ideas for handling modern management challenges.

What will the replacement for the corporation look like? Even Mr. Hamel doesn't have an answer for that one. "The thing that limits us," he admits, "is that we are extraordinarily familiar with the old model, but the new model, we haven't even seen yet."
This much, though, is clear: The new model will have to be more like the marketplace, and less like corporations of the past. It will need to be flexible, agile, able to quickly adjust to market developments, and ruthless in reallocating resources to new opportunities.

Resource allocation will be one of the biggest challenges. The beauty of markets is that, over time, they tend to ensure that both people and money end up employed in the highest-value enterprises. In corporations, decisions about allocating resources are made by people with a vested interest in the status quo. "The single biggest reason companies fail," says Mr. Hamel, "is that they overinvest in what is, as opposed to what might be."
This is the core of the innovator's dilemma. The big companies Mr. Christensen studied failed, not necessarily because they didn't see the coming innovations, but because they failed to adequately invest in those innovations. To avoid this problem, the people who control large pools of capital need to act more like venture capitalists, and less like corporate finance departments. They need to make lots of bets, not just a few big ones, and they need to be willing to cut their losses.
The resource allocation problem is one Google has tried to address with its "20%" policy. All engineers are allowed to spend 20% of their time working on Google-related projects other than those assigned to them. The company says this system has helped it develop innovative products, such as Google News. Because engineers don't have to compete for funds, the Google approach doesn't have the discipline of a true marketplace, and it hasn't yet proven itself as a way to generate incremental profits. But it does allow new ideas to get some attention.

In addition to resource allocation, there's the even bigger challenge of creating structures that motivate and inspire workers. There's plenty of evidence that most workers in today's complex organizations are simply not engaged in their work. Many are like Jim Halpert from "The Office," who in season one of the popular TV show declared: "This is just a job.…If this were my career, I'd have to throw myself in front of a train."
The new model will have to instill in workers the kind of drive and creativity and innovative spirit more commonly found among entrepreneurs. It will have to push power and decision-making down the organization as much as possible, rather than leave it concentrated at the top. Traditional bureaucratic structures will have to be replaced with something more like ad-hoc teams of peers, who come together to tackle individual projects, and then disband. SAS Institute Inc., the privately held software company in North Carolina that invests heavily in both research and development and in generous employee benefits, ranging from free on-site health care and elder care support to massages, is often cited as one company that could be paving the way. The company has nurtured a reputation as both a source of innovative products and a great place to work.
Information gathering also needs to be broader and more inclusive. Former Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley's demand that the company cull product ideas from outside the company, rather than developing them all from within, was a step in this direction. (It even has a website for submitting ideas.) The new model will have to go further. New mechanisms will have to be created for harnessing the "wisdom of crowds." Feedback loops will need to be built that allow products and services to constantly evolve in response to new information. Change, innovation, adaptability, all have to become orders of the day.
Can the 20th-century corporation evolve into this new, 21st-century organization? It won't be easy. The "innovator's dilemma" applies to management, as well as technology. But the time has come to find out. The old methods won't last much longer. "
—Adapted from "The Wall Street Journal Essential Guide to Management" by Alan Murray. Copyright 2010 by Dow Jones & Co. Published by Harper Business, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Write to Alan Murray at Alan.Murray@wsj.com

Thursday

Scammers on FB: http://ping.fm/tOagf

Monday

Design Engineering Salary Insight


Design Engineering Salary and Career Insight

Responses to Design News' 2010 salary survey indicate stabilizing pay rates, rebounding industry demand and a level of job satisfaction that remains high enough for most to recommend the profession to others.

Article by David Greenfield, Editorial Director -- Design News, July 15, 2010 http://www.designnews.com/article/509765-Design_Engineering_Salary_and_Career_Insight.php

To say 2009 was a difficult year for most economically and in terms of employment would be considered a "sky is blue" statement. That is, it would be difficult to make a more obvious statement. Despite the bleak realities encountered across the board in the past couple of years, results from Design News' most recent survey of subscribers clearly indicates that the scene for design engineers is improving.

Granted, responses to the survey also indicated that plenty of work-related pain remains. The good news is that the bright spots were just as readily apparent.
Granted, responses to the survey also indicated that plenty of work-related pain remains. The good news is that the bright spots were just as readily apparent.


One particular bright spot is salaries. Forty percent of respondents received salary increases in the past year; while 51 percent saw their salaries remain static. Considering that salary reductions, furlouhs and other such cost-reduction tactics were making major news last year, the fact that such curtailments were encountered by less than 10 percent of our subscribing engineers is certainly a positive indicator, given the persistent economic circumstances.

Even with such a large number of respondents receiving salary increases, the static nature of design engineering salaries is reflected in an average salary of $89,597 - which is less than 1/10 of a percent lower than last year's average. On the bright side, bonuses are way up. Compared to last year's results, bonuses increased by 47 percent to an average of $9,025. This indicates two likely reasons: engineers are having increasing amounts of pay tied to performance and/or many companies had better-than-expected results at year end 2009, with bonuses increasing commensurately.
Salary Factors
In terms of what industries tended to pay the most for engineering talent, the highest paying industries were computer/peripherals, semiconductor and communication systems, in which salaries averaged out at about $103,000. The lowest paying industries were instrument/test equipment, machine tools and contract manufacturing, with an average salary of $74,000.

An interesting point to ponder about these industry-related salary figures is whether these salaries are more tied to the industries themselves, or where most of them tend to be located. Consider the evidence: The regions with the highest salaries were the Southwest and Mountain areas, which are well-known for high-tech computer, semiconductor and communication industries. Conversely, the Pacific Northwest and Midwest were the regions with the lowest salaries; both of these regions represent a large number of instrumentation, machine tool and contract manufacturing providers. The question this raises is a real "the chicken or the egg" type of conundrum. Are salaries lower in the Midwest because of the industries principally located there or because of general cost of  living issues? Likewise, are salaries higher in the West because of all the leading-edge industries there
vying for talent or the cost of living?
Satisfaction Points
Though salary is clearly a leading indicator - if not the leading indicator - of job satisfaction, if your work environment is miserable, your salary is likely to be of little consolation.

For the majority of design engineers, this issue is not a problem. Fifty-nine percent of respondents say the role of the engineer in their company is well respected and 63 percent say they personally feel appreciated at their jobs. However, 49 percent feel underpaid and overworked and only 44 percent feel they are fully using their engineering skills.


Of those who are most satisfied with their jobs, the principal reasons are that their work provides them a sense of accomplishment, and the freedom to design and make a contribution to the company's viability. Those who are somewhat or not satisfied most often cite offshoring/outsourcing as the primary reasons for their discontent, as well as company politics and bad management.

The proportion of respondents either completely worried or definitely not worried about the safety of their job was the same - 29 percent are not at all concerned about losing their job, and 29 percent are extremely or very concerned. Those most concerned about losing their jobs cited the economy, outsourcing and canceled orders/projects leading to downsizing/layoffs. Of those who are not concerned, most claimed to work for stable companies with good management and/or are in well-performing market sectors. These respondents also feel they have unique skill sets and are seeing older engineers retiring soon, thereby providing more opportunity for younger engineers.

Verbatim comments to the survey reflected the disparity of opinions over job satisfaction and security. One respondent said, "I was already laid off and found a new job. I am not highly concerned that this new job will go away because they are currently trying to hire more people." Another noted that "If you are a skilled and proven engineer, there are always jobs out there."

On the other hand, responses of this type were not uncommon: "All companies are downsizing. It is only a matter of time before it happens here unless economic conditions change soon."

Several respondents also noted the "short-term attitude of their company" adversely affecting their jobs and that the "attitude toward engineering as a profession has been shifting. Engineers used to be respected and had a voice. Now they are merely viewed as the grunt workers."

Despite the not-insignificant number of engineers unhappy with their current job situation, only 10 percent said they are actively seeking other employment. Of those engaged in a job search, most are relying on word of mouth/peer recommendations; 33 percent use job websites; and 28 percent are turning to social networking. The social media site most cited for job use was LinkedIn.

The most telling statistic for any product, service or job lies in how many of those currently involved with it would recommend it to a close friend or relative. When it comes to design engineering, 70 percent of respondents said they would recommend their field of work to a son, daughter or friend."

Saturday

Electric Vehicle recharge in 30 minutes: http://ping.fm/7nyYz

Wednesday

MArketers spying on internet users - good article: http://ping.fm/ooFPE
Obama Takes Volt For A Short Spin As GM Increases Production: http://ping.fm/ql0NW

Tuesday

A salary Gap Between Men and Women? Oh, Please: http://ping.fm/xzRVH

Monday

power grid supply and demand chart - real time


BPA Balancing Authority Load and Total Wind, Hydro, and Thermal Generation, Near-Real-Time

http://www.transmission.bpa.gov/Business/Operations/Wind/baltwg.aspx

Read more: BPA sets up website to monitor power consumption - Portland Business Journal

Tuesday

Stupid interviewing questions: http://ping.fm/EeHdQ

Thursday

How to Become an Effective Delegator

How to Become an Effective Delegator
A few years ago, my son Alec, who was fifteen at the time, asked me what I do at work. I told him as CEO of Blinds.com, I set the company’s strategy, help make people the best they can be, and ensure we execute according to plan. With a puzzled look, Alec responded, “So, you don’t really do any actual work.”
I assured him that the work I was doing was, ahem, critical to the success of the business. But in a way, Alec was picking up on something important: I’ve gotten to a point where I can work on my business instead of in it.

A lot of leaders can’t get to this point because they either don’t know how to or they’re afraid of delegating. Maybe they think it will take too long to train someone effectively, or if they delegate too much, they’ll have nothing left to do. And often the more competent they are, the harder it is to delegate. They’re afraid the work won’t get done at all, or more likely, it won’t be done according to their high standards. It’s difficult to give up control, especially when you won’t tolerate anything less than the perfectionism and high-level performance you expect of yourself.
Trust me, I know because I used to be one of these control freaks. But I reformed and I learned that I couldn’t do everything myself. The only way your career - and your business - will grow is by assuming increasingly higher levels of responsibility; the only way you’ll have time to do that, without spending your life at work, is to delegate. You have to work on your business and let everyone else work in it.

Want to free up some time and get ahead? Here are five ways to start delegating:

1. Create a culture where mistakes are tolerated. All senior leaders must understand that mistakes are acceptable — as long as people learn from them. No one will accept more responsibility, try new things, or risk making a mistake if they get yelled at or penalized. This is essential.

2. Take the monkey off your back. Whenever someone comes to you with a question, he takes the monkey off his back and puts it on yours. Don’t accept that chimp. Instead, ask, “What do you think?” Tell all your direct reports, and have them tell theirs, that when people want to know how to solve something, they must come with suggested solutions. They should be ready to discuss the factors that should be considered, and provide reasons why one solution seems better than another. Pretty soon people will become more autonomous, feel more empowered, need less supervision, and get people in the habit of thinking critically. That’s good input for determining succession planning and promotions.

3. Ask your direct reports what part of your job they think they can do. You’ll be surprised how readily they’ll accept more work when given the chance to choose. And be sure to tell them to ask their own direct reports the same question. This chain creates a process of building skills throughout the organization.

4. In formal reviews, include a specific rating for delegation. Do not just mention delegation in passing. It should merit a specific grade. Discuss with managers how they can delegate one-third of their job to one or more of their direct reports. Ask them to develop a specific timeline with the peoples’ names to which they’ll delegate.

5. Communicate to your staff that pay increases come only with increased value provided. Increased value comes not only with increased effort, but with increased assumption of higher-level responsibilities and duties — those duties you might be doing now.
It’s so easy to solve others’ problems by giving quick solutions, but that makes people dependent on you. The next time your employees ask you what to do, pause, look straight in the eye of the monkey poised and ready to leap on your back, and then simply turn the question back on them.

Jay Steinfeld, founder & CEO of Blinds.com
Email Jay Steinfeld, founder & CEO of Blinds.com Jay Steinfeld is the founder and CEO of Blinds.com, the industry leader in online window covering sales, representing over half of window treatments sold online and doing more than $80 million in sales annually. Blinds.com was awarded in March, 2010 the American Marketing Association's Marketer of the Year. After starting a small chain of window coverings retail stores, Steinfeld launched his first Web site in 1993 and eventually sold his stores in 2001 to go exclusively online. He is an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for his leadership at Blinds.com. Blinds.com is currently ranked #236 on the Internet Retailer 500. In 2010, it was named one of Houston's Best Places to Work by the Houston Business Journal, the Award of Excellence by the Better Business Bureau, and the honor of being the #1 E-Commerce company in Houston, TX.

Monday

Why executives take big financial risks: http://ping.fm/XQ4lH

Wednesday

LED Lighting benefits gaining traction: http://ping.fm/D7X3H

Sunday

7 ways an aging workforce will affect Companies:http://ping.fm/pgZZs
startups hoping to kickstart EV charging:http://ping.fm/K35MO
Solar cell energy captured: http://ping.fm/0kEcC

Friday

Breakthrough in capturing lost solar cell energy:http://ping.fm/qB1Yq

Thursday

5 secrets to personal branding: http://ping.fm/lcFEq

Tuesday

Management Jobs on the Rise


US employers continue to add more executive management jobs than they are eliminating as the American economy continues to emerge from recession, according to ExecuNet's latest Executive Job Creation Index data. In May, the number of companies adding new executive roles and "trading up" with new hires for existing management jobs was 28 points higher than the number actively reducing leadership head count, according to the survey of 185 executive recruiters. May ranked as the fifth consecutive month in which executive jobs were created, following a period of significant retrenchment by US employers and a difficult period for executive staffing levels.

Wednesday

Obama's oil spill speech turns to energy policy agenda....with a backlash http://ping.fm/GgNiz

Tuesday

Seeking a Regional Sales Manager - Seattle - freight Forwarding experience - gary@permantech.com

Friday

300,000 Hybrid trucks and buses on the road by 2015: http://ping.fm/NmQdf