Global Business Section in Time

Time.com added a new section to their homepage. It is called Global Business. I’m glad to see this because it is finally getting into mainstream media that the global economy is a real force. I’m also surprised to see that their section titled Business and Tech remains.

Here is a quick review of the Global Business site on Time.com.
I really like the navigator map that lets you select a country and pin down the news you want to see. It lists out the top news stories in a light blue format. The main Time.com page doesn’t use much color. There is a weather section that also has market information and a currency converter tool. The page overall doesn’t have much advertising and is somewhat stout in the initial news offerings. But that is made up by the navigator which allows you to see much more specific news stories. Overall, I like the site and the strategy by Time.com to dedicate a space to it.

I will most likely use them for future posts.

Also, this highlights some of the posts I already have written such as:

Are Indian Companies Expanding Too Quickly?
Are Indian Companies Expanding Too Quickly? Part 2
9/11 and Its Real Impact on the Economy
Risk Aversion
MBA Alternatives
Migrant Workers and the State Department
A New Effort to Crack Down on Illegal Immigrants
US Government Hiring?

Cloud Computing and IBM

I wrote a post earlier in the month about Cloud Computing. I
wrote it primarily because of my excitement as an end user, but now seeing an
announcement from IBM, I’m excited as someone in the IT field. IBM tends to
shift viewpoints. It happened with Linux and made Open Source much more
acceptable as a corporate strategy.

IBM has launched something called Blue Cloud. The idea is
that they will harness their data centers, which have many standard servers in
them, to offer various types of programs on them. Users will most likely have
an account where their profile is known with all the programs they use. These
programs free the end user from maintenance and upgrading. Most people are
familiar with computer viruses. This system diminishes that threat tremendously
because the virus would only have one program to attack. And it is maintained
by IBM.

My prediction is that this shift brings basic computing to
another level of affordability. And it also expands the usefulness of the
computing to individuals as well as corporations, organizations, or government.
As more and more people get access to computers and learn how to interact with
the tools, more and more people add value back to it.

CEO Pay

My last post didn’t effectively convey something: the CEOs of the 2001 generation did a fabulous job. They righted the ship at their respective companies. And since they did a great job, they were paid very well for it. Here is a list of what some of them were paid (these numbers come from forbes):

Charles Prince – in 2006 from Citigroup

  • $1,000,000 Salary
  • $13,200,000 Bonus
  • $11,775,719 in other compensation (stocks of some sort)

Richard Parsons – in 2006 from Time Warner

  • $1,500,000 Salary
  • $0 Bonus
  • $20,979,353 in other compensation (stocks of some sort)

Stanley O’Neal

Bruce Chizen – in 2006 from Adobe

  • $925,000 Salary
  • $681,262 Bonus
  • $3,258,971 in other compensation (stocks of some sort)

Bruce Chizen left Adobe under the premise of my earlier post titled Next Generation CEO

Next Generation CEO

Nelson D. Schwartz wrote a terrific article in the NY Times
this past weekend. It is titled C.E.O. Evolution Phase 3. What is so great
about the article is an identification of the time for CEO change. After the
bubble burst in 2000 many people started seeing the need for a new guard in
2001. It was pretty obvious. What is going on right now isn’t as clear or
apparent as what happened then. But the new guard that came in 2001 isn’t new
anymore and the problems they came to fix aren’t the problems of today.

The current batch of exiting CEOs followed luminaries such
as Jack Welch, Sandy Weill, and Michael Eisner. The problems Charles Prince
and Richard Parsons faced came about from expansion. They made sense out of it.
These guys aren’t the mover and shakers as the men they replaced. But they are
cunning. Years of being in cut throat corporate positions molded them that way.
But being from that style is now burdensome. Key talent is seen as a threat and
now isn’t the time for corporate positioning.

Global growth is now the dominant strategy in every major
company. Why? Because the global economy is taking root in areas that were once
considered non factors. This means two things: 1 – Companies in these areas are
now competing with companies in the US and 2 – These companies employ many
people who now have incomes higher than they did before this expansion. 

So the next batch of CEOs will have to position their
companies in ways never experienced before – a world very open to competition.
This world has new oil players, new educations, new technology, and new entrepreneurial
drive. The American dream has been exported.

So how does the new CEO succeed? By doing what Mr. Schwartz
suggests – by building strong teams. They must hire people stronger than they
are. They must execute beyond the next quarter. They must grow internally and
only acquire truly valuable additions. And finally, they must take risks.

If each era has a different type of CEO then I conclude that
this era will be defined by the 3G CEO. The Green, Global, and Govern CEO. Green
is the next push in handling resources effectively. So many companies will save
by putting their energy utilization on the front of their minds. Being Green
means stop taking things for granted, i.e. electric power or water and start
using every resource to its fullest. Global is the result of technology as the
great equalizer. The more barriers to trade that are torn down (in one example
geography) the greater it is for people to trade their wares. New suppliers
come on board and new markets open up, but competitors evolve as
well. Govern because this CEO will abdicate certain powers to his team and put
in place a governance program to regulate the output. This requires trust and
patience, but inspires creativity and the speed and ubiquity of a decentralized
organization.

So as we say goodbye to the baby boomer leadership and bring
in generation X and Y we are also saying goodbye to a thick middle class and
hello to the Divergence Generation. We have a time for CEOs to transform the
corporate world unlike any other leadership group has ever had.

Who are the 3G CEOs?

Thank You Veterans

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Veterans Day. Veterans
Day is November 11th in the US. Many people honored it today
(November 12th) with a day off of work. Here are some resources for
people interested in finding out more about Veterans Day:

US Department of Veterans Affairs
History of Veterans Day
Wikipedia site for Veterans Day
American Military Personnel Wikipedia site

I’m sure everyone has a friend, a coworker, or a family member that is a veteran. These people are special. I have absolutely no reservations about writing anything I want on this blog because of the freedom they provide. And what is so great, is that the job a person in the military performs can be on the front line or somewhere in New Mexico checking on nuts and bolts on a wing of a jet that might never be flown. All of these jobs are important. Each one ensures our freedoms. So again, thank you to every Veteran.

Teaching Teachers and Kids

The system used to train teachers hasn’t changed much over
the past twenty years (maybe even longer, but I feel confident about twenty
years). But first, let’s look at teachers.

Teachers are some of greatest people on the planet. Many of the teachers I know
love people. Teachers have qualities that other people don’t have – fulfillment
from seeing others succeed despite serious threats to your own manifestation of
patience. To teach is to sacrifice.

But what enables teachers is also disabling. Being people
persons hampers their ability to take hard looks at the system, themselves, and
each other. The result is a routine of getting though each day much like you
did the year before. This serves a great majority of students.

Unfortunately, US culture tends to change at a faster pace.
So as teachers learned a style during their instructive days, the style they
learned probably isn’t as effective as it once was. I’m not trying to imply
that there isn’t training for teachers to improve that situation, but training
isn’t going to dent an approach that was reinforced by years of success.

So what you hear now is blame; mainly on parents. And there
is truth to that. But teaching has never been a job of ideal circumstances. Potential
teachers know that going in. I know there are many teachers that roll up their
sleeves and embrace the challenge. For instance, there is a group in the San
Francisco area called Reach. They use a team based system to improve teacher
performance and ultimately devotion to the job Reach. What I find great about this is
that the team based approach consistently prods improvement and idea sharing.
Innovative methods can spread much faster this way. Also, failures can be
learned from by many more people. Another byproduct of the team approach is the
limiting harm of loneness. And I mean this twofold: 1) There are X amount of other
people who are going through the same thing you are at the exact same time. 2) Having
uniform tests as a measure of success can undermine what the teacher tries to
achieve day in and day out from a learning perspective. The only people who
understand walking that line between a new teaching method and teaching to the
test are other teachers.

I’m an advocate for trying new ideas. The kids are and they
are changing because of it. The teachers should have that opportunity too.  So take risks and hopefully, you have a team
to help you through them.

Worker Productivity is Strong

Congratulations to the US worker.

The third quarter of 2007 was strong in terms of US productivity. The increase was 4.9% and well ahead of the 2.2% of last quarter. Also important to note is that the wage growth was at 4.7%. When productivity is slightly better than wages it is a win win situation. Basically, it means the standard of living has improved. People are getting paid and producing at a greater rate. It also means that producing the good or service was done more intelligently than before. It wasn’t just brute force. The workers found a better way. Often times this gets lost in the shuffle. Important decisions were made and resources were used more efficiently.

Revision: The Labor Department changed the productivity increase from 4.9% to an increase of 6.3%
Revised again: From 6.3% to 6.0% (2/6/08)

Congratulations to the US worker.