Saturday, June 29, 2013

I want to be a garbage collector

The story that two garbage cleaners in New York were fined and forced to retire after being caught accepting a tip of $ 5 caught my eye.  Not for the reason you might think. This story would provoke hoots of laughter in my country where nothing happens in the public service without a gratuity.  Even in NY, this must be an incredulous story - every man and a dog demands tips shamelessly for just existing in the same space as you. But the real reason this story has prompted this post was buried somewhere in the middle.
 
The two garbage men apparently netted $100,000 each, including overtime. Granted that they had put in long years of service. Granted that they probably earned lots of overtime. But still a wage of $ 100,000 for a garbage collector shows everything that is wrong about the United States. No wonder they lose jobs by the droves to India and China. No wonder unemployment is a stubborn problem.
 
But this post is not to highlight the completely unrealistic pricing for labour in the US, as compared to the world. This post is instead about a global problem - automatic salary increases every year.
 
If you spend enough years on any job, even that of a garbage collector, you will reach levels of $ 100,000. If you start at $ 20,000 a year and get a 5% rise every year , you'll land up with a $100,000 salary in 33 years. That is presumably what happened to these two guys. Imagine the situation in India where anything less than a 10% raise a year leads to a strike. If you start at an annual salary of Rs 5 lakhs, an entry level salary for a qualified graduate,  and keep demanding 10% salary rises, by the time you retire after 35 years, your salary even staying in the same job, will be Rs 1.4 crores.
 
Now you see why there is age discrimination in employment and the older you are, the quicker you are fired. Now you see why there are large scale job losses.
 
Salary levels have to follow some form of a normal distribution over the years, if you stay on the same job.  You start low and as you gain more experience and you become more efficient, your salary should increase. It should probably reach a peak when you are say 40, and then begin a slow decline so that you can remain competitive with the younger folks who are trying to displace you. I know this sounds heretic, but I would rather take cuts in my salary than lose my job altogether. The trick is to price yourself, just a shade below the market rate (not go for the highest salary possible). If that involves annual salary decreases, then so be it.
 
Of course, you can, and should, upskill and move on to a higher value job. But if you stay in the same job, automatic salary increases every year is a one way ticket to losing the job.
 
So, how about negotiating a salary reduction, instead of a raise. At first read this might seem like an insane idea. But think about it .....
 
Its an altogether different matter as to why somebody who was earning $100,000 a year, asked and took a $5 gratuity !

Friday, June 28, 2013

BlogLovin' & Blog Huntin'

There's always something new to keep up with in social media, isn't there?  My latest adventure:  Bloglovin!    I'm still working through the details, but so far...I like what I see!  I was fortunate enough to get to transfer the blogs I follow from Google reader over to Bloglovin with a few clicks of the mouse.  If you weren't so lucky before Google Reader disappeared, it's NOT TOO LATE to search for some of your old favorites, and maybe even find some new ones to follow.   Let's go on a BLOG hunt together!  :-)  I've joined the Goin' on a Blog hunt linky with Laura Candler to help teachers find some terrific blogs to follow on Bloglovin' if you're up for it!   Follow on Bloglovin Getting started is easy! If you'd like to follow my blog, No Monkey Business, simply click on the black button to follow my blog on BlogLovin, which was a button created by the talented and super sweet Melissa over at Common Core and So Much More!   If you're ready to hunt for some additional teacher and student friendly blogs, click on the Blog Hunt button where you can peruse through some outstanding educational blogs. Happy Hunting!  
 Bananas for hunts that don't require camouflage and getting up early!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Why Firms Hire Their Employees' Friends

It is well-documented in the literature on labour markets that personal connections, friendships, and other types of networks matter a lot for finding a job. For example, applicants with friends in the recruiting organisation are more likely to get a job offer.

This may be perfectly rational for the recruiting firm; the friends of the candidate in the organization can be a great source of information about the applicant. As a result, the firm can be more assured of the job qualities of the person. Put differently, the candidate will pose less of a risk – in terms of potentially turning out to be a hiring mistake – if he or she has friends in the firm who have provided inside information. Therefore, employers may be more eager to hire new people who already have friends in the firm.

But professor Adina Sterling from Washington University suspected there might be another reason why job applicants with friends in the firm might be more attractive to an employer than those without. For quite a few jobs – especially if it concerns newly recruited MBA students – applicants will simultaneously apply for multiple jobs and then pick the most attractive offer they receive. And this can be very costly for a firm: the recruitment procedure can be very expensive, with multiple rounds of interviews and tests, but the time the candidate “sits on an offer” before eventually rejecting it may also precisely be the time that the numbers 2 and 3 on the list also secure and accept offers elsewhere. Therefore, understandably, firms are eager to limit the number of rejections they receive from candidates to whom they offered the job, and if they get rejected they want it to happen asap.

And Adina, who did a lot of interviews among employers, theorized that prospective employers would figure that candidates who already have friends in the firm might be more likely to accept an offer or, if they do reject it, do so soon. That is because the internal friendships might make them more attractive as an employee but also because the candidate has a reputation to protect with his or her friends, and feel an obligation towards them and the firm.
But that’s a nice theory and thought, but how on earth can you examine that? Because how could you statistically separate the two effects of 1) employers gain information about a candidate from his or her friends, and 2) the friends might make the candidate more likely to accept an offer?
To solve this problem, Adina chose a clever research setting. She looked at a 158 MBA and law students who had just completed an internship with a company, and then examined whether having friends in that company made them more likely to receive an offer from that firm. This was a clever setting because reason number 1 (gaining information about the candidate through his friends) no longer plays a role here; the employer already knows the candidate very well due to his recently completed internship! Hence, whatever effect is left could be attributed to reason number 2.
Adina indeed found that having friends in the company made it more likely that the applicant received an offer. Overall, her findings indicate that reason number 2 (friends make it more likely that the candidate will accept) is also an important consideration for prospective employers.
 
Paper to be presented at the “Sumantra Ghoshal Conference for Managerially Relevant Research” at the London Business School
Friendships and Strategic Behavior in Labor Markets, Adina Sterling (Washington University)
Paper summary published with the author’s permission.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Inquilab Zindabad ? No ! _____ (fill in the blanks) Murdabad .

What is common between a park demolition and a raise in bus fares. Well, something profound , I believe. Because in the last one month, I dare suggest that these were the two most important events in the world (NSA be damned ; as if that was a surprise)


The park issue was the first and it happened in Istanbul, Turkey.  The government had planned to demolish the Taksim Gezi Park and use the space to reconstruct the historic Taksim military barracks. About 50 environmentalists occupied the Park in protest. The police , predictably evicted them. That snowballed into massive nationwide protests and a huge Occupy Taksim Square movement started.  The issue of demolition of the Park has now given way to a protest against all sorts of unrelated issues and drawing crowds numbering in the tens of thousands. It is now an anti government protest without a coherent theme or leaders. A big section of the population is just protesting without a clear understanding of what they are protesting against and what the solution is. This mind you, in a country where the President Erdogan has won repeated elections with a strong mandate.



In Brazil, the government decided to raise some bus , train and metro fares. A few protested, notably the  Movimento Passe Livre (Free Fare Movement). The police broke up the protests. Again this has snowballed into a nationwide protest movement, involving millions of people. The government quickly withdrew the bus fare hike, but the protests have snowballed into something bigger - a whole range of issues, including protests against the Football World Cup and the Olympics all scheduled to be held in Brazil in the near future.  If Brazilians are protesting against football, something serious is happening. Again this is in a country where Dilma Rousseff won a resounding mandate in the elections and is the chosen successor of the extremely popular Lula.

As of today, both these protests are going on. You can see parallels with the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US and a few other places. In all these protests, there is no coherent theme, there is no leadership organising the protests. But these protests have been massive, cover a whole range of grievances and are significantly aided by social media.  They largely cover the middle class, not the poor. They tend to die down because they are not coherent and not "organised". But they are symptoms of a deep underlying problem.

This is a profound sociological change and one that should be researched deeply.  I believe the underlying issue is economic. Despite a big economic improvement globally across the last two decades, there is deep resentment. Large swathes of the population do not believe that there is a bright economic future ahead of them. This, despite the fact that the future is significantly brighter than what our parents, grandparents and forefathers ever had. And that is the problem governments and societies cannot ignore. There is no easy solution, and aspects of the solution will be different for different societies. But the root of the solution is economic. We have to have economic growth.


PS - In the title of the post - Inquilab Zindabad means Long live the revolution, in Urdu, a favourite phrase of protests of the past in the Indian subcontinent. Murdabad means "Down with".

Business Jazz – 24th June 2013 – Liz Strauss: We Won't Let You Fail



TOPICS THIS WEEK: Surrounding yourself with people who won't let you fail


Liz Strauss is a remarkable lady. She has touched the lives of many and helped them to improve their businesses and their quality of life. She's maybe best known on this podcast as one of the people behind SOBCon, a series of deep-dive online business conferences.

Liz has been ill. Those four words barely capture the hardship she's endured over the last year. In addition to ravaging her body, her illness has left her unable to work in the face of mounting medical bills.

What happened next is quite remarkable. Listen to find out.

The video


Here is the video of the Google+ hangout recorded during the recording of this week's podcast episode:


Links to people and things we mention

Liz Strauss Fundraiser
Liz's website

New rallying point


You are a big part of the story of this podcast. We'd like you to be an even bigger part of it. To help with that, and to help us have discussions about being genuinely attractive in business, we've established a LinkedIn group. Please knock on the door and we'll let you in.

Country tally


We're hoping to get a listener in every country in the world. The amazing, super, fantastic, wonderful Phil Sorrell has produced an interactive map for us. If you have a Twitter account, you'll be able to add yourself to the map. Hurry – maybe you can be the first in your country.

You can find the map here: Business Jazz Global Listener Map.

Listening to the podcast


You can listen to this week's podcast using the player at the top of the post or download it directly here: Business Jazz – 24th June, 2013.

We're also in iTunes. We'd love it if you subscribed or left some feedback.


Business Jazz Players


This podcast is a collaboration of people dotted around the world. Most of us have never met each other. It's quite a story and it's still evolving. 
If you'd like to read what's happened so far, you'll find it here: Our Story.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Business Jazz – 20th June 2013 – How Authentic is too Authentic?



TOPICS THIS WEEK: Being authentic as a marketing tool


Authenticity is a big buzzword in content marketing at the moment. The question is, how authentic should you be?

A second issue concerns how much you push your successes over your failures. Some of us are only really comfortable presenting a facade of wild success to the outside world. Yet in doing so we run the risk of not connecting properly with our audience. Nobody only experiences good things in their lives. Often revealing some setbacks or missteps make us seem more human and accessible. On the flipside, revealing business struggles can put off clients.

Plenty of connundrums there.

The video


Here is the video of the Google+ hangout recorded during the recording of this week's podcast episode:


Links to people and things we mention

We didn't mention anyone this week. But do go here: Liz Strauss Fundraiser

New rallying point


You are a big part of the story of this podcast. We'd like you to be an even bigger part of it. To help with that, and to help us have discussions about being genuinely attractive in business, we've established a LinkedIn group. Please knock on the door and we'll let you in.

Country tally


We're hoping to get a listener in every country in the world. The amazing, super, fantastic, wonderful Phil Sorrell has produced an interactive map for us. If you have a Twitter account, you'll be able to add yourself to the map. Hurry – maybe you can be the first in your country.

You can find the map here: Business Jazz Global Listener Map.

Listening to the podcast


You can listen to this week's podcast using the player at the top of the post or download it directly here: Business Jazz – 20th June, 2013.

We're also in iTunes. We'd love it if you subscribed or left some feedback.


Business Jazz Players


This podcast is a collaboration of people dotted around the world. Most of us have never met each other. It's quite a story and it's still evolving. 
If you'd like to read what's happened so far, you'll find it here: Our Story.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Caste and Ethnicity still matter for Business in India

Ample research has shown that informal connections between people have a substantial influence on economic life, in terms who deals with whom and how well they perform. We call this “social embeddedness”, meaning that we are all embedded to different degrees in various networks of people, which influences our behaviour and success. One dimension which in a business context has received a lot of research is whether people have a joint educational background, particularly whether they are alumni from the same academic institution.

Guoli Chen, Ravee Chittoor and Bala Vissa thought that this embeddedness research that is focused on educational background could perhaps be especially valid in a Western context (where most of the research has taken place) but that in a different context, such as India, different types of affiliations might also play an important role. Specifically, they wanted to focus on the role of caste (i.e. people being of the same or different castes) and language (in terms of people sharing the same regional dialect).

Research setting: Equity analysts in India
To examine these different dimensions of inter-personal networks, they focused on a particular set of people and relationships, namely equity analysts. Firms listed on the stock exchange will often be followed and evaluated by analysts, as employed by banks, who make buy and sell recommendations to the public regarding the company’s stock.

Perhaps the most important task of such an equity analyst is to forecast – as accurately as possible – the future earnings of the firm. However, to make an accurate forecast, an analyst often has to at least partly rely on information received directly from the company; not seldom in the form of personal conversations with the Chief Executive. And Guoli, Ravee and Bala suspected that when the analyst happened to share the same background with the company’s CEO it would be much easier for him or her to get access to the CEO and his company information; making his earnings forecasts more accurate.

Findings
They tested this suspicion on a sample of 141 Indian firms, followed by a total of 296 equity analysts, between 2001-2010. First of all, they found clear evidence that equity analysts that are alumni of the same academic institution as the company’s CEO were indeed able to make much more accurate forecasts. But, in addition, the same was true for analysts who shared the same background in terms of caste, and in terms of regional language.  In fact, the effects were roughly the same size, meaning that these old historical patterns (around caste and language) were just as important in India as the more contemporary ones (i.e. university affiliation).

They then examined the conditions under which these different types of informal ties mattered more or less or whether such ties were indeed always beneficial. They found that older CEOs – who could be expected to be influenced more heavily by traditional patterns – were more susceptible to issues of caste and language than younger CEOs. They were less influenced by joint academic affiliation. Hence, although these old historical patterns matter a lot in India; they matter less for younger people, who are relatively more susceptible to joint academic affiliation.

In addition, they found evidence that these informal relationships were particularly beneficial if it concerned a truly Indian firm (part of a traditional business group). In contrast, such informal ties hurted more than they helped, when the firm in question was an Indian subsidiary of a Western multinational corporation.

Overall, what Guoli, Ravee and Bala’s research shows is that, in a country like India, old historical social structures still matter a lot in the world of business, especially when it concerns firms that are part of a traditional business group. The effect of language (which is analogous to ethnicity) was particularly potent. These effects may begin to matter a bit less for younger people (i.e. since they were especially strong for older CEOs) but they still wield considerable influence on economic life.


Paper presented at the “Sumantra Ghoshal Conference for Managerially Relevant Research” at the London Business School.
Which old boy network matters? Basis of social affiliation and the accuracy of equity analysts’ earnings forecast of Indian firms. Guoli Chen (INSEAD), Ravee Chittoor (Indian School of Business), Bala Vissa (INSEAD)
This paper summary is published with permission from the authors.
 

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Business June 19th, 2013: The Birthday Bash Edition



Join us as we wish a Felix Dies Natalis to two of our regular businessmen, Sean Keane and Bucky Sinister!

Watch the aging process IN LIVE ACTION!  Marvel at how their youth slips away into the ether of time, JUST AS YOURS WILL!!  THRILL at the palpable mortality!
Plus guests!

It wouldn’t be a party without Kevin O’Shea.

Established in 1984 following the mergers of Steven and Cathy O’Shea, Kevin O’Shea has been one of San Francisco’s leading manufactures of mirth, laughter, hilarity and all around good times! Kevin has been commonly described as clever, absurd, awkward but in a funny way and too smart for his own good. He has been seen on the Independent Film Chanel and ComedyCentral.com. He is a favorite of comedy festivals such as: The SF Sketch Fest and the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. Go see him now as his 4th quarter productivity has never been higher!

New to our stage, but not to our hearts, Land Smith!

Land “The Wreckingball” Smith, the pitbull of comedy, is becoming a real force in comedy. He stands there and tells a one-liner, then waits too long to tell the next one. It’s not clear if there’s something wrong with him or what.  Land has been writing jokes for 10 years, but finally got around to telling them just now. He opened for W. Kamau Bell 2 months after his first open mic, and now performs all the time to always-receptive audiences across the Bay Area. He doesn’t do any jokes about his name being Land because that would be too obvious.

No gifts, your presence is present enough.

Do still bring $5.  It still costs $5.

We sell out!  Get there early for a seat!


BYOBurrito and party hats.

Business Jazz – 17th June 2013 – Does Backing a Failure Make You Appealing?



TOPICS THIS WEEK: When Big Corporates Chicken Out While Small People Dream Big and Achieve Greatness, Four Birds Aboating, Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman, AJ and Melissa Leon


One way to be attractive in business is to help others achieve their goals. The bigger and crazier the ambition, the more appealing you can become by helping to achieve it. Or do you?

While everyone wants to be associated with success, what are the pitfalls of associating yourself with an endeavour that fails? Is that good for a business? Does that make it genuinely attractive or the opposite?

We explore these questions in this episode of Business Jazz.

The video


Here is the video of the Google+ hangout recorded during the recording of this week's podcast episode:


Links to people and things we mention


Four Birds Aboating
Misfits/AJ & Melissa Leon
Long Way Round (Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor)
Podio
Go To Meeting

New rallying point


You are a big part of the story of this podcast. We'd like you to be an even bigger part of it. To help with that, and to help us have discussions about being genuinely attractive in business, we've established a LinkedIn group. Please knock on the door and we'll let you in.

Country tally


We're hoping to get a listener in every country in the world. The amazing, super, fantastic, wonderful Phil Sorrell has produced an interactive map for us. If you have a Twitter account, you'll be able to add yourself to the map. Hurry – maybe you can be the first in your country.

You can find the map here: Business Jazz Global Listener Map.

Listening to the podcast


You can listen to this week's podcast using the player at the top of the post or download it directly here: Business Jazz – 17th June, 2013.

We're also in iTunes. We'd love it if you subscribed or left some feedback.


Business Jazz Players


This podcast is a collaboration of people dotted around the world. Most of us have never met each other. It's quite a story and it's still evolving. 
If you'd like to read what's happened so far, you'll find it here: Our Story.

Black yoga pants that "showed too much"

Some businesses I can completely relate to. Most businesses I understand,. But there are some that completely fox me .

Take the case of the quaintly named company,  Lululemon. I was, of course, blissfully unaware of its existence until I read a news item that its CEO was leaving (polite term for being fired). Naturally, with a name like that, I couldn't but help read up. Apparently this Vancouver based company is  in the business of "yoga inspired" athletic gear , whatever that means. They are fast growing , but reportedly had a product problem recently which led to the CEO's exit.

The "product problem" made further interesting reading, Apparently, their Luon range of black Yoga pants was getting too many customer complaints - the product was too sheer and ,er, "showed too much" ! A particularly sensitive topic when when doing yoga which involves stretching and contortions !! The outcry was so much that they had to pull the product from the shelves in March.  The CEO stayed long enough to resupply the product, hopefully this time,  not "showing too much", but then had to go.

What amazes me is that this company makes a margin of 50%, selling yoga pants and the like.  Products include "Wunder Under pant" priced at $92 


and "Om pant" also priced at $ 92



If you want more gems such as the above visit their website here.

What foxes me is this. Who on earth wants to pay $ 92 for a "Om pant".  Do yoga by all means, but concentrate on , well, the yoga. Does it matter an iota whether your pant is "om" or "not om" ?? There are many places on earth to make a fashion statement, but I doubt if a yoga session is one of them .

I am a sports nut, as regular readers of this blog would know. I have spent an insane amount of money on sports. But for rackets, bats, balls and the like which help me to play better. Not for looking like an Adonis on court (well, that would be an impossibility anyway, but you get the drift ... ). I thought the purpose of getting on to a training room, or a sports field, is, er, to train or to play.

Yeah, I know lots of people who dress up for the evening walk. This is a disease that especially affects the female of the species. The sight of a Rajalakshmi - she of the ample proportions - trying to look fashionable while huffing and puffing at 1 kmph, I can assure you, is not a sight for the Gods. You can spot a true sportsman or sportswoman from a mile away - just from their dress. Although I admit, that Pete Sampras, one of the all time greats hit new lows in dressing, wearing what I can only describe as a Kachha which a Sardarji would be proud to wear as an underwear !

Even I would blanch at that !

But seriously, you can run a very successful business by peddling yoga pants at outrageous prices ! While being called Lululemon !!

Now , that's a business I can never understand :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Business Jazz – 13th June 2013 – Customer Service: Good and Bad



TOPICS THIS WEEK: Customer Service: Good and Bad


The biggest threat we used to be able to make when we received bad service was to write a letter. That was utterly ineffectual in most cases. The letter was conveniently filed in the bin. Things have changed a bit. These days we can publicise our anger (or our delight) online.

But have companies woken up to this? Many haven't.

Social media is a great opportunity for businesses to engage with dissatisfied and satisfied customers alike. The latter is especially overlooked. Many companies are missing a fantastic marketing opportunity by not encouraging pleased customers to use social media.

In this episode, we run through some stories of good and bad service, and how the companies involved responded.


The video


Here is the video of the Google+ hangout recorded during the recording of this week's podcast episode:


Links to people and things we mention


David Bailey
Cherry Host
Phil Sorrell

New rallying point


You are a big part of the story of this podcast. We'd like you to be an even bigger part of it. To help with that, and to help us have discussions about being genuinely attractive in business, we've established a LinkedIn group. Please knock on the door and we'll let you in.

Country tally


We're hoping to get a listener in every country in the world. The amazing, super, fantastic, wonderful Phil Sorrell has produced an interactive map for us. If you have a Twitter account, you'll be able to add yourself to the map. Hurry – maybe you can be the first in your country.

You can find the map here: Business Jazz Global Listener Map.

Listening to the podcast


You can listen to this week's podcast using the player at the top of the post or download it directly here: Business Jazz – 13th June, 2013.

We're also in iTunes. We'd love it if you subscribed or left some feedback.


Business Jazz Players


This podcast is a collaboration of people dotted around the world. Most of us have never met each other. It's quite a story and it's still evolving. 
If you'd like to read what's happened so far, you'll find it here: Our Story.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Who won the Cold War

I sometimes wonder, who the real winner of the Cold War was. Traditional wisdom is that capitalism won over communism, right ? The Western world over the Soviet bloc. Freedom and liberty over authoritarianism and government control. Etc Etc. But I wonder if this is really true ?

Take the capitalism versus state enterprise debate. Today capitalism is a four letter word to much of the world. The fastest growing economy in the world and the second largest, China,  is significantly  state enterprise driven. Government expenditure as a % of GDP is 53% in France (surprise surprise), 47% in the UK, 43% in Germany and in supposedly the bastion of free market capitalism, the United states, 39%. Government spending has propped up the global economy for five years now and bailed out financial institutions when they were mired in the quicksand.

What about freedom and liberty. After the revelations over the last couple of days from a certain Edward Snowden, we may have to redefine the word liberty. If I told you that the government listened to your every word, read every e mail and tracked every movement of yours, you would naturally think that the government in question would be Russia or North Korea. Instead we now know that it is the US of A and that their snooping is not not just restricted to US nationals, but literally everybody in the world (the fact that there are howls of protest in the US about snooping on US citizens , but perfect acceptability of snooping on an Indian citizen like me is an interesting definition of the word liberty in America). That this revelation is met with a big yawn in China, where this is just routine practice further annotates my point.

Force feeding prisoners in Guantanamo, keeping them in detention forever without a trial is not very different from what the gulags did in the Soviet Union.  Even at the height of its powers the Soviet Union did not kill citizens of another country from the air with impunity as the US does today with drones. If the Soviet Union brutalised Afghanistan invading it needlessly and tyrannically, you could perhaps make the same point with the US and Iraq.

The citizens of the Soviet Union could never get out and go elsewhere. Those in the  West were blissfully free to go where they pleased. Is that really true now ? Anybody from any country who has to get a visa to go to another country , just to visit (forget emigrating), might have a different point of view with regard to freedom of movement.

What about the West over the Communist bloc ? Well, if you define the communist bloc widely enough to include China, the verdict might be closer to a draw than a clear cut victory. 

Of course, this post stretches the facts, but only to make a point. The scale of what happened in the Communist Bloc during the Cold War may have been beyond anything you see today. But then, although the Soviet Union collapsed, aspects of its ideology are thriving in many places around the world.Perhaps they lost the battle, but haven't yet been defeated in the war. 

Yes, they may never be a winner in the capitalism versus communism debate.  As indeed in the democracy versus totalitarian debate. Alas, what a pity, at least in the case of the former.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Business- June 12th 2013: The Family Jules Edition



This week’s Business is studded with precious gems.  Who are all studs.

Jules Posner has been described as a comedian who, “puts the ‘b’ in subtle”. Jules started performing at various open mics around the San Francisco Bay Area in January of 2009 and has quickly established himself in the comedy community. Recently, Jules was featured on Jokes.com’s No Drink Minimum. 

Mike Spiegelman grew up in New Jersey, and, like half his high school class, moved to San Francisco. He has opened for Neil Hamburger, Emo Phillips, David Cross, the late Mitch Hedberg, Robin Williams, and many more. He is a frequent host of the Darkroom Theater's "Bad Movie Night". His humor site is Luggage Tuesdays.

Red Scott never saw things the same way as other kids; he thought he was cool. Born in the early 80s, he established himself as a trend-setter — fat, asthmatic, and socially inept years before Asperger’s was a syndrome or obesity an epidemic. On his way to finding the stage, Red had several diversions, ranging from working as a Software Developer to delivering for Pizza Hut in South Central Los Angeles.  Red is free is not delivered within 30 mintues.

Josef Anolin was born and raised in Oakland, CA thanks to his parents. Josef likes to tell jokes that offer audiences fresh perspectives on "hot button" issues like race, class, gender that are simultaneously respectful and tounge in cheek offensive. Josef has been peddling his humor to audiences throughout the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Oregon, Nevada, Hawaii and may have been the first comedian to do a joke about NY Knicks Point Guard, Jeremy Lin (albeit back in 2010 when he was still a Golden State Warrior and irrelevant).

Plus resident studs of The Business Sean “Ruby Cheeks” Keane and Bucky “Brass Knuckles” Sinister.

$5.  Just $5!

We sell out.  Get there early for a seat!

BYOBurrito and if you love it put a ring on it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Read Like a Detective Book Study & Freebie

Have you read Teaching Your Students to Read Like Detectives?  It's a close up look at training students how to analyze and dive deeper into the text, as well as learn how to discuss text in a meaningful way.  I heard someone recently say, "When you teach kids to read like this, it's more like scuba diving, than water skiing."  
My teachers and I pulled together for a book study so that we could better prepare ourselves for Common Core and teaching kids to read more rigorous text with a purpose.  We had some fun along the way and I'd love to share the highlights.

Valuable lesson #1:  We decided it's important to create not only a text dependent classroom, but a SAFE, text discussion-based classroom!  By setting the stage early, you can foster a classroom where everyone's opinion, comments, expertise, learning, etc. has value.  The book discusses some key components to creating this type of environment.  I created an acronym to post on an Anchor chart to help remind our students what type of Reading classroom we would be! 

Valuable lesson #2 and key "take-away" from the book was the importance of keeping kids IN the text.  OH, how easy it is for them (and us) to jump into personal schema and bring what WE know (or think we know) to the text, instead of keeping our conversations centered around what the AUTHOR wanted us to focus on. The book gives some great question stems to help guide teachers BACK to the text when students start to stray.

Valuable lesson #3:  Teaching Narrative text (fiction) is still VERY RELEVANT and EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!  When Common Core came along, one of my very first introductions to it was someone who said that Non-fiction was here to take over the world.  Okay, maybe not that extreme, but I began to wonder where literature would fit into all this Common Core stuff.  It didn't GO anywhere!  It's still as relevant and crucial to teach as it ever was!  

Valuable lesson #4:  Expository Text IS making a bigger splash! There are many cool non-fiction genres to expose children to.  The book gives a list of some signal words that help lead students to a better understanding of how text can be organized.  I put them on Anchor Charts to help alert children to some of the different types of expository text they would be exposed to!  They're NEW, but my ultimate goal is that they will carry over into the different genres of writing.  If students are writing a compare/contrast piece, the "signal" words on the anchor chart can also be used in their writing to assist them in keeping it a true compare/contrast!  




















Finally, Valuable lesson #5:  Collecting evidence from the text can be fun!  I've included a FREEBIE template that can be used in your Common Core Reading classroom.  As you do a 'Close Read' of a text, you can have students scour the text for a variety of information you want them to focus on. There are lots of suggestions in the Teaching Your Students to Read Like a Detective book.  Our teachers will simply add the labels to the magnifying glass handles for what evidence they want the students to locate in the book. Students will record in the magnifying glass circles and share.  Click on the image to grab the freebie template!  :-)


If you're an educator and are teaching Common Core, this book is an excellent resource for your professional library!  If your faculty is into book studies, this one is a quick read and provides teachers with some essential tools for tackling the Common Core in Reading.  

Bananas for anything that helps my students become better readers,

Business Jazz – 10th June – Access and Boundaries


TOPICS THIS WEEK: Access and Boundaries


Gary Vaynerchuk is a visionary social media expert and entrepreneur. He recently announced that he had tasked one of his staff to shadow him and produce social media content based on his comments. His thinking is that more content equals more exposure, and more exposure brings more business.

In this week's episode of Business Jazz, we talk about some of the issues this raises. Specifically, we look at access and boundaries. Many businesses are wary of letting people in. They aren't comfortable lifting the veil. So how much access is good?

We also look at the issue of setting boundaries for employees who are producing social media on behalf of a business. Trust and responsibility become big factors.

The video


Here is the video of the Google+ hangout recorded during the recording of this week's podcast episode:


Links to people and things we mention


David Bailey


New rallying point


You are a big part of the story of this podcast. We'd like you to be an even bigger part of it. To help with that, and to help us have discussions about being genuinely attractive in business, we've established a LinkedIn group. Please knock on the door and we'll let you in.

Country tally


We're hoping to get a listener in every country in the world. The amazing, super, fantastic, wonderful Phil Sorrell has produced an interactive map for us. If you have a Twitter account, you'll be able to add yourself to the map. Hurry – maybe you can be the first in your country.

You can find the map here: Business Jazz Global Listener Map

Listening to the podcast


You can listen to this week's podcast using the player at the top of the post or download it directly here: Business Jazz – 10th June, 2013.

We're also in iTunes. We'd love it if you subscribed or left some feedback.


Business Jazz Players


This podcast is a collaboration of people dotted around the world. Most of us have never met each other. It's quite a story and it's still evolving. 
If you'd like to read what's happened so far, you'll find it here: Our Story.